Monday, December 24, 2012

12.24.12 A very Phantom post!

Hey, guys (and ladies!!)!
 Well, what do you know?  Here I am posting on my blog for you even though I'm on vacation.  You know what that is? Love.
  Speaking of Love.....I've been reviewing all the traffic stats on my blog and I've found that the work you all seem to love by far the most is the concept art for my adaptaion of Gaston Leroux's "Le Fantome de L'Opera" ("Phantom of the Opera," you non-French speakers!)  I can't blame you because I Love it, too. This is why I've compiled all the Phantom concept art I'm willing to show you right now into this one very Phantom post!  MERRY Christmas!!!
   I'm not sure if I've professed my deep and undying Love for "The Phantom of the Opera" very clearly on this blog. I've read that novel more times than I can count, I've seen the play on Broadway 3 times (making that 5 times total) and seriously, I never get tired of it. I can't explain it! It's a really well-crafted story and the main reason I want to adapt it is because that beautiful story is almost always butured beyond recognition in adaptations. This is something I want to correct for Phantom Lovers everywhere--and for those of you who only know that there is a masked freak living under the Opera House I can't wait to introduce you to Erik, the Phantom, who I think is one of the most creative, innovative and amazing characters ever created. NOW on to the art....

  Let's get started right off the bat with what I know you all really want:  Erik and Christine!

Okay, I'm not interested in making Erik a sex-object because he's actually pretty frightening and icky--he's like a walking corpse--like one that's been dead for a while, too--think of an unwrapped mummy.  I want him to have the feel of a spider, luring his prey and then attacking it at its most vulnerable moment.
  I've decided it's time to created a fully fleshed out, colored conceptual illustration. These next drawings are for an image of Christine Daae singing on stage--but it's more about the breathtaking auditorium.  Oh so beautful!  The image on the left is a sketch I did over a year ago--so this image has been in my head for awhile--honestly, probably years and years and years....

The image on the right is, at least, compositionally, how I want it.  A few minor tweaks and it's ready to go on to be finished.  Also, I want her dress--she's got a bouquet of roses on her butt!

These are additional sketches for the same scene....I see things very cinematically so when I look at this image I see her moving and I hear her singing.  Imagination is the best thing, ever!  Plus, Christine is so pretty--and a blonde, people, she's Swedish!!

  Ultimately, I want my adaptation to really capture what Leroux was trying to get across.  One of those things was the magesty of Garnier's Opera House in Paris. The Opera House, itself, is a very important character in the book--much the way Notre Dame Cathedral is in Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." And the way the island was a character in "Lost."  Because of this it is very important, in my mind, to get to know and be comfortable drawing this space with or without a reference.  So I've been drawing it, studying  floor plans and cross-sections and watching documentaries and consuming about anything that I can on the subject.  Someday when I'm actually at the Paris Opera House I don't think will need a tour guide because I'm pretty sure I know where everything is and it will be really interesting to see how reality matches up with my mind's construction. Here are some of the sketches I've done of the Grand Escalier:

I know it's not perfect but I'm happy with how it seems to draw you in and up--just like Garnier wanted. (:

There are so many things I love about this space, one of them being how very few straight lines there are and how absolutely everything has been embelished in some way.  Ahhh, Neo-Classicism, how I love you, so. 

Here are examples of how I want the finished art to look.  Though I'm still tweaking things, stylistically, these are very close:

Though I really love all the detail, this is going to be in color so I will be toning down the line-work a bit in the final pieaces.  however, none of the magesty or feeling will be lost.  I've got a story for everyone in that crowd, that's why it looks so convincing, FYI.

The left panel is how the color will be:  washed out ochre with red as the only prominent color. 
I hope you've enjoyed this taste of my "Phantom of the Opera"!  For all you Phantom fans out there, rest assured more is coming.  I have 2 sketchbooks (TWO!)  full of this stuff.  I've actually storyboarded a lot of it out so I will put a fews scenes together as a teaser in the next couple of months.  I'm currently fleshing out the script--and for everyone out there who does knows this story I want you to know that I am NOT cutting the Persian--he stays!  You're welcome and Merry Christmas!!!

  Well, this has been fun but I'm sure I mentioned earlier that I'm on vacation.  It's time to take care of that relaxing thing I'm supposed to do now......I'm not entirely comfortable with it but I think I should try it out. I hear it does wonders.  :-)

Thanks for visiting this week and thanks for Loving my Phantom art so much!!
Keep coming back for more and, as always, email me with any questions/comments.

Monday, December 17, 2012

12.17.12 Oh, 2012, where did you go?

Hey there, friends, fancy meeting you here!
I feel old saying this but wow! this year has gone by fast.  I'm looking forward to 2013 because 2012 was really interesting for me. And of course, I gotta start thinking about the one New Year's resolution I make every year.  Only the very close to me know what it is.  Oooooooh!  a mystery.

This week I decided to show you some of the ideas I've been generating for new illustrations.  I've been working on more conceptual art for the two stories I'm actively developing as well as some for the projects I have on the back-burner.  Let's jump right in!

Here are some new sketches for Rabbit St. Cloud.  Now I think I've really got her !! I love her haircut and  I've got the evil eye, contemptuous look down.  See that zombie army behind her?  It's sloppy, I know, but still awesome.  Of all my characters I have to say SHE feels the most real to me.  ....And that scares me a bit......
Here is a nice solid shot of the Squirrel Trifecta:  Two-Tails, Two-Heads and Six-Legs.  Not very original names but Rabbit named them and she's a scientist--they are very linear thinkers.

So here are sketches for a conceptual  illustration for my adaptation of Gaston Leroux's "The Phantom of the Opera".  I can't stop loving this story--it's a sickness, really.  I LOVE the Paris Opera House and this is going to be not just a portrait of Christine Daae but also of the gorgeous auditorium and chandelier.  I can't wait!!

Here is a sketch for an image from Grimm's "The Frog Prince".  I never cared much for this story till I hear Joseph Campball's take on it.  Now it's one of my favorites.  

Last but not least this is a Christmas image for a lovely family I know.  These are two fabulous kids who are so fun to be around!  I wanted to capture the freedom of a child's imagination--how they can transform the mundane into an amazing adventure. This image is almost done and I'll post the final next week--so check back!!

  That is not nearly all I've been doing but it is all I'm posting this week!  I guess you'll just have to come back next week if you want more--and I have SO much more for you!
  Well, till then I'm off to sketch, sketch, draw, draw, process, process.  All for you.  :-)
Be well, my friends!  Here's some good advice:  Avoid the icy roads because OH MY GOD.  I thought I was going to die so many times last week!!!  But as it turns out, I'm a really good driver.  Must be all those spatial relational skills I've developed over the years.  See the power of Art?  it can save lives!! (:
  Thanks for visiting!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

12.03.12 Landscapes ...

Well, friends, it's the time of year when I'm extra happy I'm an artist because I don't have to worry about what to get people for Christmas/Hanukkah.  So I'm busy at work making Christ-mukkah presents for the family.  And that's all I'll say because they are my family and they read this blog!
  This is all good timing because I need a break for a bit from "Hero's Journey."  I also wanted to get in some more practice with color. Also, I'm sure you've noticed that most of my work is human or animal in subject and I decided it was time to do something outside my comfort zone. I've been really into landscapes lately  so these last couple weeks I've been working on that.  Landscaping has been very fun and definitely not what I usually do but I will be doing more in the future, for certain.
 The inspiration for these next two illustrations began when I was reading into the Victorian flower language (which is one of my favorite ways to insert symbolism into my work) and I stumbled across a flower called Dartura--but WAY back in the day they called it "Moonflower"  and then I had a vision of these glowing, phosphorous flowers and so I decided I would make that happen as a sort of practice assignment for myself.      I documented the process a bit so, here you go:
This is a sketch I did of actual Dartura Flowers with a little embellishment, of course, artistic license and what-not . . .

Here is the line drawing based on that sketch.  Hello, Little Spider Friend!

The almost completely finished piece.  I like it but it's a little "girly" looking to me.  I'm trying to be okay with that.  (:

This sketch/image I like much better.  This I drew after I learned that this flower used to be called "Moonflower" and I imagined looking up at them in the middle of the night.  I also imagined them to have a magical sort of glow so they would earn their name.  SIGH....So pretty and peaceful, I love it.

Here is the line drawing.  Not much without the color so let's just quickly move on ...

Oh how I love this!  It's like a snap shot of my imaginary world. This one is getting framed and put up on the wall--it's a winner! I Hope you like it as much as I do!  (and PS can you spot the spider?)
  These glowing flowers will appear in Hero's Journey so you could think of them as conceptual art, as well.
So .... I'm not doing a very good job of taking a break from Hero's Journey, am I?  Maybe someday I'll learn how to relax properly. :-)

  More stuff!!  Here are some fun motion drawings I made of the baby I spend the most time with.  She's the cutest baby I've ever seen--you may not believe me--or you may think I'm biased--even with these drawings as proof--but, trust me, she is ALL personality and, believe me, she knows how to work it.
  She's my little Boo!!  I've been doing motion drawings of her once a month since she was 7 months old.  This is her at 9 months, 9 days:

I wish I could do her cuteness justice!!

So that's been my work-packed week!
  I wish I could stick around and post some more stuff but it's been a strangely busy week for me and I've got to go!  I'm running late!!  Be well, all my internet friends!!
Thanks for visiting, again!
More next week--