Monday, January 12, 2015

Haldir

Well... Today is one of those art fail days, apparently. I finally gave up on trying to do anything important and defaulted to my go-to response to any art block I might have: portraits! It took me a while to find an interesting face for reference (I'm not overly clever with my google searches), but I finally did a sketch of Haldir, from Lord of the Rings.

Fan confession: Haldir is my favorite LOTR elf. I don't know why, the guy is barely in the movies. But I like 'im anyway.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Book Time: The Storyboard Artist

I have two newer art books that I recently added to my shelves. I just read one of them today, so I thought I'd better write my thoughts, such as they are, while the book is still fresh in my mind. So, here goes!

Title: The Storyboard Artist (Giuseppe Cristiano)

Who should read it: Aspiring storyboarders, and people who work with storyboarders

Why is it awesome?:

When I ordered The Storyboard Artist, I was expecting a book filled with storyboarding tricks and techniques. You know, like your basic how-to art book. Do NOT expect to learn storyboarding basics if you order this book. The Storyboard Artist is similar to Your Career in Animation by David B. Levy, except you get a candid camera look at what it's like to be a storyboarder instead of a broader overview of animation as a whole. It provides a valuable inside look into the storyboarding industry from a veteran's perspective, so if you're hankerin' for some insider knowledge this is likely the book for you.

The Storyboard Artist discusses the behind-the-scenes goings on of film, TV, and advertising storyboarding. This includes tips on what to expect, cheats for certain situations, and advice for doing a good job and making a good impression. I think this information alone is pretty great, since it prepares you for stuff that you wouldn't possibly know about unless you'd already been there. But along with that information you also get chapters dedicated to other important topics, such as what tools you'll need, how to stay organized, how to promote yourself, and a section titled "Freelance Survival Tips". (That last one is probably good for ANY freelancer to know...) My personal favorite sections were chapter 4, which covers framing and camera movements, and the segments devoted to contracts and bookkeeping, respectively. It was nice to hear about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that is a little more mundane, as I don't think that sort of thing gets covered very often in art books, despite how important it is to your future career. I also recommend checking out the glossary, which includes terms that aren't covered in the main text of the book.

One thing I should note that I found kind of odd: Every now and then, while you're reading, you'll come to a spot where it looks like someone forgot to finish writing. Random words, just sort of missing. It only happens a few times, but it happens enough to be noticeable. Otherwise, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I would highly recommend this to anybody interested in the art of storyboarding.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hellboy

A Hellboy pose / expression sheet in the style of Sean Galloway I did a little while a go, as part of a fun little facebook challenge. Not much to say about this one.

Monday, December 1, 2014

More Books: Art of Drawing Anatomy

It's been a while since I've given a brief review of any of my art books. As I'm sure many of you are just dying to know which books are on my shelves, I thought I would appease you by doing a quick lil' blurb about a book I've had for a year or so, but only read yesterday. Be excited!

Title: Art of Drawing Anatomy (David Sanmiguel)

Who should read it: New artists

Why is it awesome?:

Okay, "awesome" is not actually how I would describe this book. On my shelf I have books that I love, and books that didn't quite live up to my expectations. This would be one of the latter. My reason for picking up this book in the first place was to once and for all figure out the placement of the upper arm muscles, as well as to get tips and tricks on drawing anatomy in general. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get a more useful analysis, such as multiple arm views with muscles flexed and relaxed, explanations of the muscle structure, or a close look at how they connect. You do get some views, but I didn't really find it helpful. After I read the entire book, I think my overall impression was that I could have used a few less "Step-by-step" drawing tutorials for drawing the human form (though useful, it took up a large portion of the book) and more discussion of the actual anatomy (as per the book's title).

However, I am not saying that this book is useless. Far from it! It just wasn't what I was looking for in an anatomy book. In the hands of a new artist, this book would probably be extremely helpful. Though titled an anatomy book, it's really more of a general how-to-draw for the human form. Art of Drawing Anatomy has sections on drawing tools (as well as how to use them), several methods for breaking down the human form (such as using body axes to construct the basic pose), anatomy of bones and muscles, how to get the feel of movement, and, as mentioned before, step-by-step drawings of the human form. It covers quite a bit, and I did find the proportion diagram at the bottom of page 15, the skeleton and muscle drawing shortcuts, and the sections on movement helpful. (There is a section on facial construction, but I would recommend going elsewhere if you want to learn the intricacies of the human face, as this was one of the weaker sections, in my opinion.) This book also has quite a few photos and drawings of the human body, so you won't lack for reference. If you happen to be an artist just beginning to draw anatomy, Art of Drawing Anatomy might just be the book for you. Just keep in mind that it might not be for everybody.

:D