Friday, April 25, 2014

Faces and Fine Art for Friday

Greetings Friends! Its the last Friday in April and we're finally starting to get those April showers I've heard so much about. Theres been plenty of precipitation, but it was always snow up until now. 

I'm still working at sketching celebrity portraits using video interviews but it can be difficult to find footage doesn't cut away to the interviewer every 30 seconds. Fortunately I was able to draw at least one familiar face this week.

My name is Bond, James Bond. And it always will be. 

I've also been doing gesture drawings of fine art models to refine my anatomy skills.

Party Progress

I've taken full advantage of my new 11x14 sketchbook to figure out the pose particulars for the background dancers.

The most comments I've received have been about the couple and how they're posed. I figured it might be important to put some attention on developing the focal point of whole story. (click to enlarge)

Heres a screen shot of my latest update. The sky is now longer dark and the shelter tree is on the other side of the street. 

Now I want to hear from you. What do you think of the couple's pose? Which sketches do you like the best?

See you next week, hopefully with some May flowers. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

If you can't commit, you must a-quit!

Greetings friends! Hope this Easter weekend is kind to you. Mine is off to a great start now that the last patch of snow in the yard has finally melted!



Since last week, I replaced the cloud in the sky with a tree by the house. Clouds are typically associated with foreboding storms, so I thought that this couple would do better to have a tree over them to represent both life and shelter.

I also nixed the distant suburban street and brought the neighbor's house closer to make the back yard seem cozier and put more attention on the couple that this piece is all about. 

I had hoped to have this project finished in two weeks time, but a problem I seem to have with a lot of my work is the emphasis on meticulous composition planning. This can lead to burnout when it comes to committing to putting down lines for the final, especially when I feel very devoted to copying my reference material. 

Now I want to hear my fellow artists out there. How do you best transition from phase one to the final stage?

What are some precautions you take to avoid getting caught up in the little details? 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sketchbook Sharing: Talking Heads (Plus Party Progress!)

Something I've noticed in getting back into daily sketching is that I tend to get caught up in the little details very easily.

It was while watching an interview with Martin Scorsese on TV that I hit on the idea of digging up interviews with people I admire. When the focus is just on a face, moving just casually, I can create a more impressionistic portrait than I can from looking at a photo. It also means I have to pick out which details are important very quickly.

Curiously I noticed that when I draw a face the first thing I render is the eyebrows and nose. No idea why.

Martin Scorsese

Alfred Hitchcock

Orson Welles

Last week asked for feedback on ideas for a new illustration. The responses you provided nothing short of incredible. They were so articulate and encouraging that I was riding high on those replies for the rest of the week.

Based on your comments I've created a more refined scale drawing with more defined character placement, perspective and light-shadow contrast. 

In this upcoming week I plan to practice drawing the figures and experiment with various poses to decide what looks best.

Now I'd like to hear from you. Like I said, I love reading your comments.

Any fellow artists have some quick-drawing tips? Are there some particular people or characters you'd like to see me draw? 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

LOEB: If history repeats itself I want a dinosaur

This Week: "Hey, Isn't that..."

During my senior year of high school, the local museum in our small town was visited by a traveling exhibit of the famous "Sue" T-Rex Skeleton. During its time there we were also graced with a guest lecturer who had some experience with dinosaurs; James Gurney, author and illustrator of the award winning "Dinotopia" book series. 

The fellow on the left in the hat

In these pre-Wikipedia days, this was useful for learning key information about his career like his background paintings on the cult film "Fire and Ice", his work for National Geographic, and how in China, the Dinotopia books are printed as "Happy Magic Dinosaur Kingdom". 

At the end he was signing books were I told him I was an aspiring artist. Upon hearing this, he wrote "To Erik, Fellow Artist". 

Fast forward to my senior year at the Columbus College of Art and Design when James Gurney came to campus as a guest lecturer. I got the auditorium early with my copy of Dinotopia in hand. He saw me scoping a seat and said "Hello young man, would you like me to sign that for you?" So I got the chance to open up the book and show him were he had signed four years ago and how his encouragement had inspired me to pursue a career in the fine arts. 

Read about other Leaguers brush with greatness here:

* Geeky Vixen recounts many celebrity meetings
* Space For Rent gets his G.O.A.T.
* Retro Robot gets a case of Tenacious D
* Femme Fandom has an excelsior encounter!
* Dex meets the friendliest famous people
* Miss M parties with a local celebrity

Until next time, I'll leave you with something my father once told me as a child. "Dinosaurs didn't go extinct. They're just hiding ... right behind you! "

Friday, April 4, 2014

Project Progress: Party of Two

Greetings Patient Viewers!

You may have noticed that I dropped off the map for a while, only popping in every so often with editorial posts about design in film and television. The truth is over the past few months I've been involved with a project for Nickelodeon Studios, working on character art for an upcoming "Spongebob Squarepants" product. Thats probably as much as I can say before the official release. Trust me, once I get the A-OK to talk about it, you will all know. 

Now that I don't have my nose to that particular grindstone, I'm trying to get my sea legs back doing daily sketching and weekly blogging. 

Meanwhile, heres some color sketches for a new illustration I'm developing. Its the story of two shy people finding each other slowly getting to know each other away from the crowd. 

Now I'd like to hear from you. Which sketch do you think is the best? What would you like to see me draw for my future sketchbook shares? 

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