Monday, September 10, 2012

Original Art Sundays No. 139: oddments: surfer and Whoopi

Bit behind on the next page, but fear not.
Haven't posted oddments for a while, so here are a couple older pieces.
First up, a piece intended for an article on surfing.
The central image was back painted like an animation cel, and the background was a Photoshop manipulation of a scan of a Hawaiian shirt.
I was drawing on obvious Kirby influences, and though I was fairly happy with it, the editor didn't care for it.
The decision to violate the image border for dramatic effect worked against me in this case.
Object lesson: what works in comics doesn't necessarily work in editorial art.

Next up, a piece I thought I had previously posted but cannot locate in a quick search: a coquille board of Whoopi Goldberg, something done just to do a portrait.
I've always really liked this piece. There are only a few of my own works that I'd consider framing and living with them, and this is one.
The textures, the facial features, the pose: it all works. There's a strength and a vulnerability to this piece. Coquille board is such a great medium. It all comes together.
Well, except the smoke.
I could not get the smoke to behave the way I wanted it to.
I tried white colored pencil, but couldn't get it to overlay the ink. I considered scratching it out, but I was leery of ruining the work.
I finally decided on white ink, applied alternately with a small brush and a crowquill pen.
Like my Billie Holiday scratchboard portrait, one of the first pieces I posted here, the emotional resonance of the subject matter comes through.
Next week: the Cowgirls ride back.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Original Art Sundays No. 138: Surrealist Cowgirls, the Lunch Box

A day late for no apparent reason.
New page proceeds apace, but is not there yet.
Something I've been meaning to do for a while.
I've had a fascination with lunchboxes for some time. I still have my Pigs in Space lunchbox from the late 70s.
Not my own, but a reasonable facsimile!
I'm usually opposed to the gimmicky stuff, but I'd like to see Surrealist Cowgirls lunchboxes, posters, PJs and beach towels. All done, not necessarily with taste, but with a combination of reverence for the source material and silliness. 
After all, I did make a Surrealist Cowgirls cartoon as part of my undergrad work. If I can get it uploaded from VHS to DVD to digital, I'll post it sometime.
Don't expect miracles. It's an odd under-explained gag, and aside from seeing the characters moving, it's only OK.
Ahem. That said.
As part of the MCAD 2012 Faculty Show (now up but scheduled for Opening Reception this coming Friday, September 14), I prepared a lunchbox.
Not so easy as it sounds.
With my burning desire to do business locally, I wasted five weeks trying to hunt down a blank lunchbox in the Twin Cities. Aside from some half size cheesy yellow plastic ones at the usually reliable wholesaler Axman- nothing.
I found a website, I tried to commission them to do a custom job, which is part of their stock in trade. However, by that point it was early August, which is, of course, their busiest season, what with school starting and all.
So I ordered a blank and set to work on the art.
The Gang!
I still have to name the shapeshifting mule, represented here as a huge puppy.
The piece was done in colored pencil and ink, that the colors were pushed and border added in Photoshop CS6 (the new version, which I'm slowly learning/ relearning).
Design note: in retrospect, the floating Aztec winged light-bulb spire (well, what would you call it?) is a tad too close to the mountain- creates a bit of a merger.
I took the two printouts and did a simple pasteup.
The end result.

 Despite its crudity, I'm fairly happy with the end result.
Please join me in seeing this work, and the rest of the Surrealist Cowgirls exhibit, at the Faculty Art Show this coming Friday!
Next week: either more story or a field report on the opening.