Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sketching at the Huntington Library

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Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays getting rolling :)  I took a break from the developing craziness by visiting Huntington Library & Gardens in Pasadena today and doing some sketching amid the gorgeous setting.

I treated myself to a membership this year and have been keeping a small sketchbook set aside for whenever I go there.  The sculptures are what seem to pull my focus whenever I'm there...  of which there are so many beautiful ones.  Had fun with these today, and found myself keeping a nice, loose line :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Frost Giant in the works...

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Here's another one I've got going for the Norse series.  I decided to switch away from the main god characters, and work on one of the "lower" tier characters: a Frost Giant, or "Jotun."

I'm using straightforward standing type poses for the main characters, but I'm breaking away from that for characters like this and various creatures that I'll do, I think.

I do want to continue with using Norse-style decorative shapes in the background though.  Haven't figured out how I'll work that in with this one yet...

In other news, my teaching starts up again next week.  I've had the last two weeks off and have enjoyed lots of inspiration time!  Got a few preliminary meetings to get things rolling this week, and then classes start next week.  I'll be teaching my usual Animal Drawing & Figure Drawing classes.

I can get pretty stressed at the beginning of the semester with my schedule shifting up, but I'll be doing my best to keep up this stuff :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

And now... Thor!

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So here is a long-time-coming follow up to the Freya piece that I posted a while back--which I have been painting on actually.  I had a tremendously busy summer.  My summer teaching schedule is actually more rigorous than the regular school year.  But now I've been able to actually get back to this Norse stuff I'm excited about.

I have a little grouping of thumbnail sketches for the different Norse characters that I'm going to do paintings of and I hope I can start to gain some momentum in rolling the designs out.  Here's the thumbnail that developed into the above finished Thor drawing:
I really like how my very manly Thor (I mean, come on, it's THOR!) came out, but it took a while to design the background shapes.  The two animals in the background are the billy goats that pull his special chariot.

Not sure which of the drawings I should work on next.  Perhaps Odin.  Or one of the creatures like Fenris the wolf...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vikings on my mind

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Well, yes, I have been kind of getting excited about Norse mythology & Viking stuff lately.  Though this drawing could almost have evolved off of that last Celtic dragon & warrior little piece I posted previously :)

But it does seem that Viking culture is getting some attention these days: the new VIKINGS tv show on the History Channel, the Thor movie sequel coming out...  I've centered some illustrations on Norse mythology in the past, but it's been quite a while and I would like to tackle the genre again.  It will be interesting to contrast what I did back then with what I produce now.

I do plan to paint the above drawing digitally, but I thought I would show the drawing by itself first.  The figure is meant to be the goddess Freya.  She is seen as one of the preeminent goddesses and is associated with many things including love, beauty, gold, & war.  She is linked to the valkyrie warrior maidens, of whom she leads half of their number (Odin gets the other half).  I picture her here in her warrior capacity.

Here's an illustration from that Norse mythology series I did way back when (in graduate school).  I painted in oil over inked lines.

Anybody else appreciating Norse mythology these days?

P.S. I noticed that this makes my 100th blog post!  (congratulates self--feel free to join in :) )

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ahh, Myths... like dragons!

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This week's Illustration Friday challenge (from was "Myth."  Couldn't let that one pass me by!  Plus, I had extra time this week because my teaching is mostly on break for Finals week.  Yes!

First off, I knew I wanted to do something with dragons.  Then I felt like I wanted to do something Celtic knotwork-ish.  Sketched around and came up with this fun little image.  Thought it would be fun to have a lady warrior challenging the beast.  I did the color and texture in a way that echoes the Book of Kells.  The technique was pencil sketch scanned and then colored in Photoshop.