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Monday, March 22, 2010

Mutation Nation: Preliminary Work

I submitted this image to Mutation Nation's forum today. I am pleased with some of the preliminary ideas for this concept, however there are some things that I need to handle. For one, the thing that bothers me the most is the kilt material. I looked at images of African warriors and found a group that wear these garments. However after sketching I don't like how it hides so much of the creature so I need to fix this.

I do like that I was able to figure out how to make the skeletal structure of the animal stand on it's hind quarters. I don't want it to look too human, with the proportions and all but I don't want to get rid of the dog's natural proportions either.

Another thing to consider is the weaponry. Originally I thought spears, but given the anatomy I don't think it would make sense. So, bow and arrow might work a little better, axes, or kuriki......

Getting down to the final piece which I will sketch out today after I shoot my models. Should be up in a day or so.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mutation Nation: Strange Dreams

It's come to my attention recently that there is a competition via the blog ArtOrder for some twisted concept art. Based on what I take as a post apocalyptic setting, in which denizens of today are not your average denizens of tomorrow.

I'm feeling African inspired for this piece, having in mind a pleasant and cultural rich blend of African Wild Dogs, Nikisi (African Power Figures aka Fetishes), and a regal and commanding warrior like energy reminiscent of the late Shaka Zulu. I've already done a little bit of research into the above mentioned things and have pulled some wonderful references with which to help me found my imaginings.

Having recently studied Non Western art in History class I have a platform into African Culture that has had me thinking about how to best portray my new mutation. Most African art depicts females in a strong support role to their counterparts. I would like to emphasize this in my piece to be, but am hesitant about doing so since it wasn't specified as to how many of these creatures we should include in the single image.

I am also fond of depicting two because African Culture has some similarities and differences between male and females, such as markings and apparel. In some tribes both men and women are adorned with scarification patterns, and both can hold positions of command. And in thinking of the Wild Dogs they are pack oriented and work together for survival, a combination of male and female warriors, companions, and nurturers.

So ideally I would like to depict a male and a female. I've been tinkering around with possible compositions on the train, as well as anatomy and what I like to call 'stuff'. 'Stuff' being clothes, ornamentation, markings, weapons, ect.

Despite my workload this seems right up my alley and is a nice break away from more focused projects that school has me working on, like food illustration (which I loathe with every fiber of my being). I plan to document the process of this piece and am looking forward to adding it to this blog as my first art post.

One Final thought of today"
My classmate Ross and I were talking about our portfolio presentations in class and what conceptualizing art means to us. I do a bit of writing and Ross asked if I planned to include it in my portfolio. While my teachers are encouraging of this I wonder what effect it will have overall, since I would like my art to stand alone. So....I think that all the writing that accompanies my sketches in the process of becoming a final piece will be the basis for this blog.

A diary of sorts as to what goes on in my mind when I am working on projects. Cheers to me if all goes well.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Such and awesome book though I haven't read it since grade school. A future project in the week to come is a book cover illustration, and I have my heart set on this timeless classic. I have to admit I was surprised to discover the book, all copies of it, are checked out from the library at the moment.

I've been rather inspired of late by nautical things: jelly fish, chambered nautilus, kelp.....the last character concept I did had clothes based on organic denizens of the deep blue sea. So when asked if I would do a book cover as a possible portfolio piece by my instructor it seemed natural to do 20,000 Leagues.

A mix of steampunk has me daydreaming of giant nautilus shaped airships drifting about aimlessly among the clouds on my commute. Imagine if such things were real!

And Captain Ahab makes a come back in this tale, a man I picture as tall and haunted with a mechanical limb and a deep hatred for leviathans of the deep, after his plights with Moby Dick. Taking sailors captive undersea......a chilling way to scare people if they fear the dark, confined spaces, monsters, and drowning.

Ah....I can't wait to start production on this macabre image slinking through the dark recesses of my mind.

Monday, March 15, 2010


It's funny how creativity comes and goes like rain, and it sucks when you suffer from a long and dry spell. It's like your soul is thirsting for something that you can't do anything to quench. No matter what you do the lines don't go down right, or the colors seem wrong, or the words don't flow like you expect them to.