This is the final artwork I submitted for the IoW banner challenge. I’m wracking my brain trying to find a way not to say “I’m quite pleased with it” because that’s what I always say, so I’ll settle on the fact that I’m happy with my progress so far though I can see a few areas where I could have made the image read better. Foremost is that while it’s ok to make changes midstream, I should have taken into account the placement of the text and smoothed out the forms of the bearcubs much sooner. I ended up having to do very slapdash fixes much later on, which is never advisable.
The Illustration of the Week challenge has opened up on the conceptart.org forum, and for the first week we’re suppose to come up with a banner that lists all of the rules of the challenge. The banners are usually illustrations in and of themselves, and it comes with some prestige because everytime a new challenge is posted the banner will be the first thing people see. I’m very skeptical my work will be chosen, but I’m hoping I can pull out something decent. The image above is the first few sketches I made. I was inspired by the idea that illustration is “storytelling”, so the first thing that came to mind was someone telling campfire stories. For whatever reason, I’d first imagined dwarves being the characters.
I dropped the dwarves pretty quick mostly because I couldn’t figure out how to draw toddler dwarves with beards that looked like they weren’t old men. Anyway, bears are cuter than dwarves, and lumBEARjacks are the best! I’m trying to create some flow in the scene, after having watched Jason Manley’s very educational series on the basics of design. It’s something I’ve known for a while but for some reason hasn’t stick to me till now. I’m also using very basic perspective to help sort out the placement of the characters and give the image a little more depth.
At this point I’m almost done. All that remains is to add some color and do some cleaning up. I’ve made quite a few changes here, like moving the rabbit up behind the dog, replacing the nebulous creature behind the tent with a chimp (Yes, I just watched Rise of the Apes) and an owl, so the bearcubs look like they have a bunch of little friends with them listening to their father lumbearjacks’ story. I’ve introduced a lot of foliage into the scene (I still don’t know how to control that. :|), made one bearcub look interested and the other one afraid for some contrast, and also fixed the father bear’s hands so he looks more like he’s telling a story than trying to strangle someone.
I’m kind of stressed out about this because I think it looks really nice (at least Aissa thinks so) but I feel like something’s still wrong. Hopefully when I put this up on the conceptart forums someone will be able to point out the glaring mistakes. In any case, I have till this weekend to work out the kinks before final submission and voting.
There comes a time in every artist blogger’s life wherein he has absolutely nothing new to show you, and he digs into his sketchbook for the sake of updating his or her blog. This is one such time. The sketch above was for an unfinished contest entry for a gameartistans mini-competition called “Dreams and Nightmares. I had just recently finished reading The Knife Man and The Egg and Sperm Race, so I was very interested in anatomical drawings of the 17th and 18th centuries. My idea was to have an anatomist’s dream about one of his preparations mutating and mutilating him in the same way as he’d done to his subjects. As is commonly the case, work intervened, and I never really got started on it.
This second bunch of sketches is for a piece I’m still working on and hope to finish sometime this year when I finally have some free time. I wanted to draw a Bear bartender, and tried sketching different kinds of asian bears, from the Sun bear, Panda, and lesser panda. I think I’ll eventually go with the Panda just because the piece has a Chinese theme.
Not spectacular mind you, but good enough to merit dropping some coin to catch it in a theater. Unfortunately, it has some editing deficiencies that will leave most moviegoers a little confused about what’s going on, as there are numerous events that just “happen” out of the blue.
For example in one scene (not really a huge spoiler, don’t worry) a central character is kidnapped while on an expedition. After 45 minutes of shit happening, we are then quite matter of factly informed that he has since bribed his kidnappers and found/built a laboratory during all the time we were
wondering had forgotten all about him.
Peter Jackson (and by extension the screenwriters of the LOTR movies)’s brilliance was in distilling everything that made the Trilogy awesome (ie the epic battles) and foregoing all the singing Tom Mombadil nonsense. They also set things up much better in the beginning, with the narration of the how the one ring came to be, Bilbo’s finding of the ring, etc. Of course Philip Pullman’s series might just be that more complex and difficult convert into a 2 hour movie, but an additional 15 minutes of narration would have helped to explain a lot of things.
Oh and I don’t understand the brouhaha over this being a rant against religion. I have been informed by Aissa that this is more apparent in the books, but anyone who watches this movie and comes to the conclusion that it’s anti-christian is a lunatic. It’s quite obviously anti-authority, but that authority could be the nazis, communists, or even the Marcos regime. A bit of advice for hardcore christians: Just because you treat the good book as fact, doesn’t mean you should take other people’s fiction just as seriously.