Saturday, November 27, 2010

Potty Training Portrait

A coworker friend commissioned this 10x8 portrait of her twin 2 year-olds.  Having drawn the boys once before (and always a fan of toilet humor), I was excited at the opportunity!  

We agreed that instead of the same old paper, claybord might offer us something special to work with, and I took it as another great opportunity to explore shading techniques.  If you click to enlarge the full image or detail shot below, you'll see that the boys themselves are primarily stippled (shaded using small dots, individually 'tapped' on the surface), whereas the background is hatched (shaded with lines).  In the case of their hair and the rug, I shaded with curves and squiggles.  All in all the process took about 9 hours.

detail click to enlarge

My favorite detail of all is where, at the last minute, I took my scraper-tool and re-introduced those highlights on the left edges of the boys' skin.  Every project seems to find me trying something new with the materials, and I'm wondering how I ever survived without the ability to push and pull values like I can here, alternating between pen and scraper-tool on the claybord.  Can you tell I love Ampersand products?  I should be sponsored, wink wink!

Mastodon vs Sabre Tooth

Greetings!  Here's an 8x10 claybord... my first in fact!  It was inspired by the legendary metal band Mastodon, something that I'd been plotting for months before I finally got to work on.  I was originally going for vicious and violent, but as is typically the case, a bit of my cute and cuddly cartoon style crept in.  Regardless, I'm really happy with the movement in the composition and the consistent texture throughout.  This was really fun to work on and definitely kicked off my new claybord obsession!

To those of you who may have seen these already, I promise to start uploading NEW drawings as soon as I'm back in my apartment and have a scanner handy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Claybord Band Art

Here's a 5x7 claybord piece I recently drew for my friends in the Dallas indie band Sealion.  

Recently I've been really focused on developing a more controlled use of line, especially when it comes to hatched shading.  The nice thing about the claybords is that I can use parallel lines to suggest value, but cut back across them perpendicularly with my scraper tool, giving it a nice faded dotted-line effect.  Best example being the sea lion's fin where it goes from white to gray.  Some areas work better than others, but looking back on it I'm especially happy with the fish/seaweed/bubbles area.  If you click to enlarge it you can see the details a bit more clearly.

Chasing that Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving, and welcome to the inaugural BigDumbAnimal blog post!

Here is a 5x7 ink drawing on Ampersand Claybord, my medium of choice these days.
Claybord is an 1/8 piece of masonite which is coated with a smooth white clay, allowing you lay down ink as thick as you like while still having the flexibility of removing it with a sharp tool.  This is almost identical to scratchboard art, except that instead of starting with a black board and removing the surface to reveal white, I draw black on the white surface and then scratch away when I need to make corrections or integrate texture.
After the drawing was completed, I scanned and colored it with photoshop and a Wacom tablet.