Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Seeing as this is my first blog for the year, I thought I would talk about ......Beginnings. Every picture has to start or come from somewhere.

As an illustrator, the images that I create do not come from some divine inspiration or muse, but 98% of the time come from some kind of text giving me a description of what is wanted, some of it very specific :

Art Description:

Assassin Devil
— 6 feet tall
— Devilish humanoid
— Female
— Indigo skin
— Unappealing devil face with the left half covered by frightening iron mask that looks like a demonic face
— Two horns
— Lithe but muscular
— Wears dark leather armor with iron parts that resemble demonic body parts (iron pauldrom with iron horns sprouting from it)
— Wears a cloak made of shadows and darkness
— Wields a black longsword made of shadowstuff
— Has devil feet.
— Looks at us dourly with her sword held at the ready
— Vignette image on white background

............ sometimes something as vague as "I need a warrior with a pruple sword".

Once givin the description........the divine inspriation comes in handy in putting the words into a picture.

The longer more specific description above comes from over at Jon Schindehette's blog ArtOrder. It is the first of the challenges I worked on this year........anothe beginning.....and is what gave me the idea for this blogs subject.

Since I have my first step ....... a discription of what is needed for the illustration, the next step is to turn that need into an image, so I start to scribble.....and that is litteral. My first initial roughs are nothing more than little gestural scribbles:

these little scribbles are on the back of the piece of paper where I took and printed out the description for the image. I had folded it up and kept it in my pocket for reference and it also gave me little sections to do my doodles in while playing with the image. The one on the bottom right is the one that I liked best and started there to develope the concept further.

Once I had my visual concept, it was time to take it further and get a little more detailed:

In the top left of this you can see the refined scribble. That was the first thing drawn on this page, the others are me still playing with the concept and looking for the best positioning to make it a non-static pose.

These two sketches are a continuation of the process, and they really weren't working for me, but the sketch in the center.......

....that one said work with me. I liked the positioning and the movement of the figure. The attitude of the head. It all worked better for me than the original concept, so I went here and fleshed this one out more:

....and this is the finished sketch I went with for the painting:
So, there is the process from beginning to end, description, concept to completion, and its like the Dave Edmund's song says " From Small Things Mama, Good Things One Day Come". From the humble little scribble to the finished painted image.

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