Favorite Medium?

General discussion on illustration, art, and the business of same.
Canotila
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Favorite Medium?

Postby Canotila » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:56 pm

This forum is sadly barren, so here's my question for all the artists lurking on here.

What is your favorite medium to work in? Do you work in more than one, or have you found a favorite that you stay with most of the time?

Personally I adore oil paint. I have a 4 year old daughter and another on the way, and I love that oils let me mix up a color, go help someone with a puzzle for a bit, then come back and do a layer. Acrylics were extremely frustrating in that way because my mixed colors would always dry before I had a chance to finish with them.

Aside from that I'm partial to charcoal and graphite, though I usually use them for sketching underpaintings rather than finished pieces now. I've also started dabbling in digital. It's pretty intimidating though.

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soulmirror
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby soulmirror » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:57 pm

Canotila wrote:This forum is sadly barren, so here's my question for all the artists lurking on here.

What is your favorite medium to work in? Do you work in more than one, or have you found a favorite that you stay with most of the time?


Interesting Art thread! Woo hooooo!

Meghan?
Joey?
OTHER FREAKIN' ILLUSTRATORS out there?!
JOIN IN?!

I like both pen&ink drawing (which is my main thing, I suppose, but I range from cartoony to the more rendery and realistic there)

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5253/5409147481_0dbc4f1184_z.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/5415974918_7f91afc10f_b.jpg

My style is unfortunately archaic (well ... not all that swell, AND archaic) so i really REALLY need to school myself with DIGITAL ART ... it's "new" lookin' !!! :)

Seeing the other IotF winners' portfolios in the workshops blew. me. away. :shock: but i'll never have their painterly skillz!

... and I'm trying to explore photography too.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/4529874689_acff3a677e.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5306/5661136022_17b35ec261_z.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4003/4428314173_e55f9f7b33.jpg

I'm banging out writing / illustrating a few short graphic novel stories, in prep for a far bigger project ... That seems to be my more "marketable" future pursuit ... (which means, Yeah, good luck selling it etc)

One advantage with all VISUAL ART is you can hope to "hook" potential readers / buyers instantly, rather than ask them to have to read a twenty page prose work.

It's just an issue of what can hit the eye and the imagination faster, obviously.

But Illustrators would argue THAT is WHY more magazines need to be illustrating stories too! And why digital reading platforms will be amazing, adding the visual seamlessly etc ...
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'The only tyrant we accept in this world is the still voice within.' -Gandhi
IOTF:Winner Q1 vol.27 (3x Finalist); WOTF: HM x2

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Pat R Steiner
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Pat R Steiner » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:06 am

My favorite medium who'd have to be . . . Edgar Cayce.

Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

I'm a life-time doodler who sticks to pencil for my finished/detailed stuff (maybe 20 hours total creation time) and regular old Bic pens (often red ones) for quick/emotive studies (1 hour max total creation time). When I was a kid I'd start with a random squiggle and work outwards from there, which often resulted in nicely detailed stuff that was freaking big-time off on compositional value. Nowadays, I'll get an image in my head, do a half-dozen or so thumbnail sketches to work out composition issues and then move on to the final drawing. I'll do a non-detailed line drawing of the complete composition, which usually takes a couple hours, (over a couple days as I usually only draw in shorts spurts--45 minutes to an hour) and then spend time moving from subject to subject, first building up tone, and then adding more and more details until I'm happy before I move to the next subject. In between, I'll futz around with the background or move back and forth between subjects blending here, adding texture details there. This is all in pencil--I prefer softer graphite, using B drawing pencils for 85% of any drawing and then 2B, 4B, 6B, etc, to bring out darker tones--usually background stuff. (Although my last three drawing were limited to B and 2B) And of course, all the while I'm working--pressing down that pencil tip, moving it back and forth, being in that creator's zone--I'm hoping not to screw up the dang thing!

In the past, I've done some color work using pastels, but I feel more comfortable with pencil. Just like when I write, I let my subconscious take over and sort of go into a trance letting my hand/fingers/mind/pencil go where they like, slowly building up line/tone/texture bit by bit until the image on the paper is as close to the one in my head as I can get.

After getting a semi-final last year, I've tried to up my game by really trying to tell a story in each drawing. (I think I posted this somewhere else) I've tried to bring in everything I do when I write a story: POV, characters, plot/action, tone/voice, setting, symbols, etc. I've been using my own stories as inspiration for my illustrations.

I know my skill level isn't up there--I, too, was blown away by some of the finalists' portfolios--but maybe my stuff will be "unique" enough this quarter (Q3) to earn some recognition again. (Fingers crossed.)
Pat R. Steiner

IotF: Winner Q3 v28, 1x - Semi-Finalist
WotF: 3x -HM, 13x -Rejection

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Canotila
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Canotila » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:43 am

Soulmirror, something about your style really grabs me though. In the portfolio thread there was one in particular, the dude preaching to the wolves. That was excellent. It reminds me of the old style woodcuts.

Digital I have mixed feelings about. So many digital pieces just look way too clean and sterile or something. It's definitely something I need to work on more, though I really want to just stick with the oils and stuff. Mostly I've just used it to tweak my underpaintings, change size, move bits around, etc. until they're how I want them to be.

Haha Pat, :D . I really admire people who can get a nice finished look with their graphite pieces. Somehow mine end up looking all scribbly and stuff, especially in the deeply shaded areas. I'm probably not patient enough to do it right. Congrats on the semi finalist! And good luck on the Q3 entry. I've got some entered for Q3 as well, so maybe we'll both get to go to the workshop together. If my stuff isn't too crummy anyway. Did you draw your avatar?

It's fascinating to hear about people's different processes. I miss the days of zoning out to a piece. That's probably why I took up writing. Nowadays I'm working on an art piece in 5-10 minute increments between refereeing kids. Some day I want to take an art vacation. Just go somewhere for a week and paint.

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MJNL
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby MJNL » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:00 am

Workin' me some Painter 11 as we speak...and apparently I like using the pens, chalk, and crayons in the program. Though I don't use those much when I work non-digitally.

I really love good old pencil and paper a lot of the time. :D
~Marina

WotF Winner Q1 2012 (Vol. 29)

WotF Finalist Q2 2010 (Vol. 27)
WotF Finalist Q4 2011 (Vol. 28)
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Pat R Steiner
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Pat R Steiner » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:58 pm

Canotila wrote: Did you draw your avatar?


Yup, that's one I did for a novella I wrote called "Desk Jockeys Rule the World." I'm thinking of subbing that story to the Galaxy Project. I heard about this contest over at Baen's Bar from Sam (who sometimes posts over here too.)

Here's a link to the contest.
http://www.thegalaxyproject.com/

Here's a link to my lame (amateur) google site where I've posted some of my older works, including the one for my avatar--but not any of the new and improved stuff; don't want to get disqualified, or how else will I meet you next spring at the workshop? :)

http://sites.google.com/site/patsteinerstoryteller/
Pat R. Steiner

IotF: Winner Q3 v28, 1x - Semi-Finalist
WotF: 3x -HM, 13x -Rejection

Kilroy Wasn't There in Qualia Nous
God Eye at the Grantville Gazette vol. 53
Enlarge Your Tentacles, Overnight!

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Pat R Steiner
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Pat R Steiner » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:07 pm

MJNL wrote:Workin' me some Painter 11 as we speak...and apparently I like using the pens, chalk, and crayons in the program. Though I don't use those much when I work non-digitally.

I really love good old pencil and paper a lot of the time. :D


Hey Marina,

How "instinctive" is that program and what else do you need for it? A stylus? Etc.? The only digital work I've done is to clean up my scans with Photoshop and try to get them to "sort of" look as close to the original drawings as possible. I lose so much detail/tonality/and depth when I scan--it sucks! I've done the tricks that Steve mentioned in another tread, but still . . . I wish there were a way to do a "perfect" scan--and then have fun doing some digital tweaking.

BTW: Are you ever going to link/post some of you art on your blog or here? (Spoken by a serial blog-stalker :wink: )
Pat R. Steiner

IotF: Winner Q3 v28, 1x - Semi-Finalist
WotF: 3x -HM, 13x -Rejection

Kilroy Wasn't There in Qualia Nous
God Eye at the Grantville Gazette vol. 53
Enlarge Your Tentacles, Overnight!

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MJNL
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby MJNL » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:20 pm

Pat R Steiner wrote:
Canotila wrote: Did you draw your avatar?


Yup, that's one I did for a novella I wrote called "Desk Jockeys Rule the World." I'm thinking of subbing that story to the Galaxy Project. I heard about this contest over at Baen's Bar from Sam (who sometimes posts over here too.)

Here's a link to the contest.
http://www.thegalaxyproject.com/



OMG, thank you so much for posting that!

And I love your salamanders, btw. :D

Yeah, I originally got the program for the same reason. Why can't scans ever turn out good???

It’s pretty intuitive, actually. You can use it with a regular mouse if you’re really precise, but I have a wacom tablet. It’s so accurate, it’s amazing. This is the first digital program I’ve used besides MSpaint, and it’s blowing my mind (perhaps more seasoned artists wouldn’t be so impressed). The only issues I’ve come across so far are with compatibility and file size. Make a piece too big and the next time you go to work on it the program will refuse to open the file. And apparently Corel hasn’t updated any of its systems for at least two generations, because it has issues with my operating system (thank goodness for compatibility mode).

But once I figured out those bugs it’s been pretty smooth sailing. Still haven’t figured out how to use masks, though...

And as soon as the judging for this quarter is over I plan on putting something up. Haven’t taken the time to scan and clean any pieces other than my entry samples. And I haven’t finished anything I like well enough on painter yet, still learning...

Well, guess that’s not entirely true. I can show you my first test piece, if nothing else: [ETA:10/12/11 Took down the link because I've got a more professional account, now. If I upload the fish there I'll edit in the new link.] (Nothing like my entry samples, of course. Just making sure the tablet worked at that point. everything else on DA is years and years old... just ignore those). I’ll be getting me a real website some time here soon.
Last edited by MJNL on Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~Marina

WotF Winner Q1 2012 (Vol. 29)

WotF Finalist Q2 2010 (Vol. 27)
WotF Finalist Q4 2011 (Vol. 28)
http://lostetter.wordpress.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/MarinaLostetter

Canotila
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Canotila » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:32 pm

Pat, I really love that salamander piece! It's nice to see stuff close up. The dragonfly you did is exquisite as well. You've got a real knack for critters. That google site looks pretty nice and professional too. Are they free to set up and use?

MJ, that is one pretty goldfish too. Oh man, the competition is fierce. I better get to work on my 4th quarter entries. :)

I've always been afraid to post links to my work because getting disqualified for being recognizable scares me. None of my current entries are online, but the very first and only time I submitted before this, I realized after getting a rejection that the entries were also in my online gallery. Easy to find if you google my name. D'oh! :oops:

I've had far better luck taking digital photos of my work than with scans. For one, I usually work a lot larger than most scanners, and trying to digitally splice partial scans together is a nightmare. Our camera does a passably good job, but my sister recently moved closer and she has a DSLR which does fantastic, high resolution renderings much better than any scanner I've used.

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:35 pm

Pat, when I need cover art, you're one of the first people I'm contacting. That picture is stylistically perfect for my stories.
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soulmirror
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby soulmirror » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:46 pm

Thanks for the nice comment, I like the wolves too. And "woodcut" is something the judges at our workshop said too. I'm a "primitivist" apparently. :) Good for my own sort of thing, actually ... but probably definitely the market appreciates the digital and the modern-vibe (basically, I suppose SCI-FI wants futuristic vibes and FANTASY can luv on a more gothic/primitivist/handwrought art vibe)?
Image
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Canotila
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Canotila » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:12 am

soulmirror wrote:Thanks for the nice comment, I like the wolves too. And "woodcut" is something the judges at our workshop said too. I'm a "primitivist" apparently. :) Good for my own sort of thing, actually ... but probably definitely the market appreciates the digital and the modern-vibe (basically, I suppose SCI-FI wants futuristic vibes and FANTASY can luv on a more gothic/primitivist/handwrought art vibe)?


I think your style can bring a lot to the table that is pretty distinctive from other illustrators though. And I don't think it has to be limited to fantasy either, though it is pretty well suited to that genre. I'm picturing H.G. Well's The Time Machine illustrated in your style, and that would be pretty rad.

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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby klaatu » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:51 pm

I'm not really into psychics, but I guess my favourite medium would be those psychic twins I saw on TV last week. ;)

Steve
TV is a medium, cos it's neither rare nor well done.....
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klaatu
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby klaatu » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:55 pm

soulmirror wrote:.. but probably definitely the market appreciates the digital and the modern-vibe (basically, I suppose SCI-FI wants futuristic vibes and FANTASY can luv on a more gothic/primitivist/handwrought art vibe)?


What's interesting, from a reader's viewpoint, is that it's exactly that 'futuristic vibe' in artwork that often dates so badly. I mean who would have thought in the late 70s that here in the 21st century we wouldn't all be wearing tight-fitting velour and tinfoil.

I too must congratulate you on your piece in Vol 27. It's a style I appreciated, and one that won't date.

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soulmirror
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby soulmirror » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:04 pm

klaatu wrote:I mean who would have thought in the late 70s that here in the 21st century we wouldn't all be wearing tight-fitting velour and tinfoil.


Ha! True -- when I was in highschool we were going to have "a manned colony on Mars" by 2010. :cry: And that wasn't pie-in-the-sky sci-fi ... that was us landing on the Moon and "Here are our conservative plans for the very likely future space program."

Plus the Gerry Anderson tv series UFO and SPACE 1999?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=1fdGktvfxrw
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Ja, mein Fuhrer! First ve build der V-2 rocket ... zen ve build der silver metal mini-skirt!

What's the joke about Werner von Braun's biography "I AIM AT THE STARS"? Yeah, he aimed at the stars ... but he hit London.

I too must congratulate you on your piece in Vol 27. It's a style I appreciated, and one that won't date.


Again, thanks for the compliment! Though our workshop was full of IotF painters AND digital artists ... and we'll be seeing those artists and techniques for a while too! :) Like ... centuries. There wasn't one other IotF'er there whose work couldn't be a boon to any cover of a book -- but it's hard to see a "woodcut" technique selling many things futuristic-themed (though saying that ... at least three ideas spring to mind! 8) The Salem Witch trials on Mars, anyone?)

I do agree with your point that our visions and projects of "The Future" can date amazingly quickly!

(An excellent book about the visual history of Sci-Fi illustration thru the decades is workshop guru/judge Vincent di Fate's INFINITE WORLDS, by the way! Inspiring visions from when the genre's attitude was "nothing will be impossible ... with Science! In The Future!")

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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby soulmirror » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:34 am

Me, trying to look all "new skool and digital" !

Image

yeah, a little too BSG ... but ROBOT TALIBAN is the coming thing, they say! :x

I was playing with snapshots I took in May ... (all the elements are from things within 2 blocks of the Roosevelt. Did anyone else notice the utterly bizarre "Oakley baseball" hanging up over the sidewalk on the side of the building? It would be THE most excellent "hovering UFO" in a movie! Thing was ... 15 feet across up on the building? Then mannekins and photoshop weirdness ... and this cud be a sci-fi fotocomix, hey? Well, no ... still too BSG, but ... playing with mediums and ideas!)

[ETA] And I meant 'hovering police spy DRONE.' :? I dunno where that falls in the "revise or don't" discussion, but "police spy craft" was the first word stuck in my brain, and "ship" is what my fingers typed ... but DRONE was obviously the word eluding me!
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IOTF:Winner Q1 vol.27 (3x Finalist); WOTF: HM x2

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MJNL
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby MJNL » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:19 am

Heehee, cool.

As for your "wood-cut" style being suited mainly for fantasy... Wasn't Patty's story hard SF (Ok, I admit, I haven't gotten my copy yet!)? And you did an awesome illustration for that. I don't think your style can be so easily pigeonholed genre-wise.
~Marina

WotF Winner Q1 2012 (Vol. 29)

WotF Finalist Q2 2010 (Vol. 27)
WotF Finalist Q4 2011 (Vol. 28)
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soulmirror
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby soulmirror » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:43 pm

Well, thanks. :)

Since we are discussing medium and style here ... Don't take me wrong, I'm not unhappy with that aspect of my drawing (and I actually have to make a conscious effort to emphasize the 'wood cut' vibe beyond basic line art, tho I like the wood cut / block print vibe) ...

But "wood cut" (if we're calling it that) might be a distinct vibe most art directors wouldn't choose for a futuristic starship on a book cover.

But that's not a limitation of the style or technique, you're right!

Leo and Diane Dillon are such genuises that they can indeed make even that sort of technique become futuristic and psychedelic (and it's just one of a gazillion styles and vibes they can enrapture their beholders' eyes and imaginations with)

http://stevenhartsite.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/dillonpavane2.jpg

Eric Drooker uses the "old school" style to make cutting comments about and insights into the modern world and technology ...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/elhamalawy/sets/72157594497704316/detail/

I just gotta understand and absorb a fraction of THEIR SKILLZ! :) And loosen up.

About Patty's story, if you haven't read it, you're in for a thrill AND I don't want to let slip any spoilers etc ... but I thought I was fortunate that my visual style could (in a few others folks' opinions too) echo some of the aspects of the cool story. Others have ... questioned ... that. It's all good.

But I get the comment alot that some of my art makes folks think of Latino religious art and prison ink. :mrgreen: Works for me ... and I bet both end up stepping on and off future starships, so ...
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Pat R Steiner
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Pat R Steiner » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:40 am

Scott,

I read Patty's story before she subbed it to WotF, (yes, like Marina I too still need to buy #28) and I think your style would fit perfectly. From the book's trailer, and the award ceremony video, I only caught a quick glimpse of your illustration so I can't make any specific comments, but your "wood cut" style with the story's "religious missionary" vibe seem to go hand in hand.

One of my favorite illustrators is Gustave Dore. His engravings (how similar are engravings to wood cuts? Metal versus wood?) just blow my mind. I just pulled down a copy of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner from my bookshelf that he illustrated and . . . boom--there goes my cerebellum. How in the heck can you get so many perfectly drawn lines? I thought I had obsessive/manic tendencies.

I can remember doing linoleum prints in grade school and high school, which is similar to creating a wood cut as you still get the nice bleeding gashes from when the carving knife slips. We also did scratch boards, which is another similar medium. I've seen some really cool scratch board work in Spectrum. In fact, I wanted to re-try my hand at it a while ago, but I had a hard time finding a place to buy any pre-made boards. I remember in school that we made our own, daubing on the thick, sticky ink, the "crackle" the roller made as we spread the black edge to edge, the pretend sword fights with the x-acto knives while we waited for the ink to dry. Oh, the days. . . .

I finally gave up on the scratch board idea and bought a couple German made ink pens and thick card stock. The series I did with those pens and board mimic that wood style too. (You can see them at my site under "Chapter icons") They're not as detailed as your works, but I wanted them simple for chapter heading icons for a holiday/historical/fantasy novella I wrote for my family a few years back. When I sold that manuscript to a publisher, they didn't want the illustrations--they said e-books and illustrations don't go well together as they're too big memory-wise. That was okay with me as my family has the original old-school hand-stitched chapbook version with the illustrations intact.

Speaking of the Dillon's (awkward transition).

I love their work too. Plus, they always seem to illustrate books that are made in that old-school way--with the rough-edged uncut pages and that heady inky book smell that you don't sniff that often anymore. As a youngster, reading the books they illustrated the cover for . . . the images were just so different from what I envisioned. Every time I finished a chapter or section or whatever, I can remember closing the book and studying the cover, trying to wrap my brain around the often, pretty funky, weird, images.

Going backward in time even more--from those Dillons' illustrated young adult novels to picture books--I'd have to say that one of my all-time favorites is Alice Munro's, The Story of Ferdinand, illustrated by Robert Lawson. Great ink work there. The details, tone, and compositions. . . .

A big BTW (and another awkward transition).

Scott--I wanted to ask you if you've had any nibbles from any markets since your win, or do you have to approach them, or more generally, what have you been doing since May to further your "professional aspirations." Sounds pretty hoity-toity--but as an amateur's amateur, I'd love a glimpse into that fabled dream realm of paid illustrator. You know, the nitty-gritty stuff, the art-underworld shenanigans, the cut-throat tactics artist use to sway editors to their portfolios, etc.

soulmirror wrote:Well, thanks. :)

Since we are discussing medium and style here ... Don't take me wrong, I'm not unhappy with that aspect of my drawing (and I actually have to make a conscious effort to emphasize the 'wood cut' vibe beyond basic line art, tho I like the wood cut / block print vibe) ...

But "wood cut" (if we're calling it that) might be a distinct vibe most art directors wouldn't choose for a futuristic starship on a book cover.

But that's not a limitation of the style or technique, you're right!

Leo and Diane Dillon are such genuises that they can indeed make even that sort of technique become futuristic and psychedelic (and it's just one of a gazillion styles and vibes they can enrapture their beholders' eyes and imaginations with)

http://stevenhartsite.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/dillonpavane2.jpg

Eric Drooker uses the "old school" style to make cutting comments about and insights into the modern world and technology ...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/elhamalawy/sets/72157594497704316/detail/

I just gotta understand and absorb a fraction of THEIR SKILLZ! :) And loosen up.

About Patty's story, if you haven't read it, you're in for a thrill AND I don't want to let slip any spoilers etc ... but I thought I was fortunate that my visual style could (in a few others folks' opinions too) echo some of the aspects of the cool story. Others have ... questioned ... that. It's all good.

But I get the comment alot that some of my art makes folks think of Latino religious art and prison ink. :mrgreen: Works for me ... and I bet both end up stepping on and off future starships, so ...
Pat R. Steiner

IotF: Winner Q3 v28, 1x - Semi-Finalist
WotF: 3x -HM, 13x -Rejection

Kilroy Wasn't There in Qualia Nous
God Eye at the Grantville Gazette vol. 53
Enlarge Your Tentacles, Overnight!

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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby soulmirror » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:24 am

Pat R Steiner wrote:Scott,

I read Patty's story before she subbed it to WotF, (yes, like Marina I too still need to buy #28) and I think your style would fit perfectly. From the book's trailer, and the award ceremony video, I only caught a quick glimpse of your illustration so I can't make any specific comments, but your "wood cut" style with the story's "religious missionary" vibe seem to go hand in hand.


I'm thrilled and gratified you caught that, I specifically tried for that exact thing: "religious missionary" :) To the extent that I added some old style Latin In principio creavit Deus caelum -- (but the "in" got lost somehow)
"In the beginning God created the heavens" ... which was another extrapolation that worked as a visual element (but one I might reconsider using now in retrospect -- adding WORDS not actually in the writer's story might have been assuming too much). But the Latin scripture put a visual stamp on the illustration, I think.

One of my favorite illustrators is Gustave Dore. His engravings (how similar are engravings to wood cuts? Metal versus wood?) just blow my mind.


We're on a common wavelength there too -- I aDore Gustave! ha! his Bible illustrations, his Dante, his fairy tales ... as a kid they simply summed up great classic "illustration" for me!

My second huge idol was Virgil Finlay
Image

One of our instructors in the IOTF workshop told us that Finlay was extremely popular, but only made a living with his art for a while by doing great quantity of work ... often for as little as $10 an illustration! But talk about intensity and control of line ... yikes!

Scott--I wanted to ask you if you've had any nibbles from any markets since your win, or do you have to approach them, or more generally, what have you been doing since May to further your "professional aspirations." Sounds pretty hoity-toity--but as an amateur's amateur, I'd love a glimpse into that fabled dream realm of paid illustrator. You know, the nitty-gritty stuff, the art-underworld shenanigans, the cut-throat tactics artist use to sway editors to their portfolios, etc.
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I'm pretty shame-faced to admit I haven't sold an illustration for publication in the last two months (actually, or put any out there) :?

On the other hand, that's not leaving me feeling dire or gloomy -- because just being in the workshops basically blew my imagination wide open, hearing the instructors talk about art and marketing yourself, and seeing the portfolios of the other artists there and hearing them talk about their efforts etc.

I'll allow myself some navel-gazing here (figuring it can be copied over into the general ART thread when it stops making sense here! :) )

Self-marketing seems more possible in alot of ways for visual artists, due to the "instant grab" of visual art.

And to be honest, comparing myself to the other IOTF'ers there, I realized my road might be more along the lines of graphic novels, where the artist has more leeway for technical ability because some of the emphasis is on the Story/Art fusion.

Generating my OWN story to complement the art ... just seems more do-able (maybe the only thing do-able) ... if we're talking "selling a product".

(Standing in front of everyone discussing our portfolios, that was pretty much the consensus of the instructors too: that my art seemed more devoted to telling its own story, rather than being a single piece of artwork that could stand by itself like a book cover. I think they meant that in a positive career way, I certainly was enthused to hear something I already suspected was my main creative drive being picked up on ...)

I'll tell you, at the workshops they will tell you what they really think of your work. But more valuable still ... they will open your mind to art ideas you ... well, at least, I ... had never thought about before. They will inspire you with the fire of their own utterly massive creative genius and careers!

(Look up the art our IOTF instructors create, you'll be awed!)

So, basically, they instilled in me a realization to stop thinking about doing "something big" -- and how to focus my creativity to actually get it done! And I'm being more creative and productive in these months since the workshops shook the cobwebs out than I've probably been in the past six months or year!

SELF-actualization, dreambabies! :D Creative gestalt and revitalization. But a part of that was the realization that there might be better ways than submiting to gatekeepers.

Presenting a finished work that is its own thing, of your own imagination, reinforced by the self-marketing tools they pointed us towards ... that was a mighty impactful idea they laid on us! :idea:

On the other hand, I may have just blown a few fuses in L.A. :shock:

Selling art at conventions and selling on the internet ... that's all in our own power right now, selling directly to the viewer who may luv your art ... without waiting for a gatekeeper to pass judgement? It's empowering indeed!

It demands more from us, but rewards us far greater, perhaps!
Image
'The only tyrant we accept in this world is the still voice within.' -Gandhi
IOTF:Winner Q1 vol.27 (3x Finalist); WOTF: HM x2

Starla Friend
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Starla Friend » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:04 pm

Favorite medium...that's hard to decide!
I paint with acrylics and ink. I'm not patient enough to wait for oils to dry. Sometimes, even the acrylic dries too slow. I have some watercolors that I generally just make a horrible muddy mess with. I think I've gotten one or two decent watercolors made. wotf012
Most of my pencil drawings end up being finished digitally. Painter and photoshop and a wacom tablet are my digital tools. I haven't done any purely digital art for quite a while, mostly due to a computer that got slow and grumpy, but it recently got fixed, so there might be more digital art in the future.

For a few years, it was just the opposite; I did more digital than traditional work due to living in very small apartments. I had to clean everything up when I was finished, and that's just depressing to have to put away the paint every time, whether you've used it for five minutes or five hours. But now all I have to do is shut a door, and the mess has vanished! wotf007

I almost always carry around a mechanical pencil, eraser and sketchbook. But I just got a brush pen that's awesome, and has joined the first three items in my basic drawing kit. All the fun of working with a brush and ink, but without the danger that comes with carrying around a jar of ink and a jar of water.

Currently, I'm working on an ink drawing/painting and one done with watersoluble graphite. I have another one in ink that just needs to be painted over and become something else entirely. And I'm working on an acrylic painting, but not for the contest. I don't think the judges want to see a painting of my dog. wotf005

But I always love trying new mediums. Next month I plan on getting some tubes of liquid pencil that should prove interesting to work with.

JoeyJordan
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby JoeyJordan » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:16 am

Hey there, been off the forum for a bit... Oh wow, new smileys...

Well back to the main Q. Berol Prisma color pencils on bristol... they have been a fave since I was a teen. Though I have a desire for oil paints, though I am still playing with oil mediums, I have done well with Oil mixed with Liquin on guessoed masonite. Sucks the paint in all nice. =) I tend to mix too much shiney into my paint... wotf005 so that does not reproduce well. So I am working on my choices.

So if my oils will do what my pencils do, I will say... hmmm wait a minute, I'll say berol under work with oil... that will be my favorite. wotf008
Watch me, I understand I am powerful, now see what I become when I am focused and truely understand myself......

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soulmirror
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby soulmirror » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:53 pm

Hiya, Joey! wotf007

I've come to the realization that I've just got to devote myself to getting better at the digital stuff, getting at ease with my lil wacom tablet and stylus ... it's the best way to blend the drawn/painted with the photographic (for any number of uses, covers and graphic novels being the biggies.

Remember how Cliff Nielsen at the workshop showed us his slide show of how he worked up his zombie book cover art, starting from the photo of his neighbor wearing that dental thing to distort his mouth? That's stuck with me!

(Well, that ... and Cliff's bowler hat at the awards. And Ryan Harvey's killer swank L.A. of the 1940's suits and hats! IotF / WotF workshops ... first they open yer mind, then they blow it ... then they put a cool hat on to hold yer blown mind together under the hat!)
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'The only tyrant we accept in this world is the still voice within.' -Gandhi
IOTF:Winner Q1 vol.27 (3x Finalist); WOTF: HM x2

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M.O.Muriel
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby M.O.Muriel » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:56 pm

. . . Me too, Joey, I haven't looked in this niche of the forum in a while (bad, bad me).

So, favorite medium . . . multi-medium collage all the way (aka: digital being the underlying tool). I used to work in acrylics, as well as sketch and pen & ink. But in my college years I put aside art; didn't even draw a stick figure for 10 years. 10 years later, I had a novel project that needed illustrations. A friend of mine had introduced me to a basic photo doctoring program. And I kinda went crazy. Not being very technical, I've always felt much like an inventor, exploring the basic tools at hand to achieve my visions in newer and greater ways. In other words, digital tools have allowed me to reach far more fantastical fetes with what I already see in my head. In fact, I was on cloud nine when one of the judges (a master!!!) asked me <squee!> how I had created the magical smoke in my illustration for "Maddy Dune." So . . . don't anyone be afraid of digital tools ("tool" being the operative word here). And, no, the art you create digitally is NOT a cheat, or easy, or a dirty little secret--people can create crap in any medium.

On a wonderfully happy note, I've finally--finally!--started to learn how to use adobe! OMG, I feel like a kid in a candy shop. Possibilities . . . possibilities . . .
~M. O. Muriel
(Meghan)

WotF - WINNER, 2nd Place, Q3, 2011, vol. 28 (5x HM)
IotF - WINNER Q2, 2010, vol. 27 (2x Finalist)

Visit me on Face Book: http://www.facebook.com/meghan.muriel
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soulmirror
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby soulmirror » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:28 pm

Your smoke kung-fu is indeed strong, Meghan! wotf008 It sort of traps the eye, very much alive and illuminated! The colour in your art is simply vibrant yet subtle, a strange and wonderful brew, imo ...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61MzPnoitWL.jpg

I was going for some sort of visually-enticing compexity in my flames ...

... but yours leaves it in ashes. wotf011

( Images from the Amazon site for WotF 27 )
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'The only tyrant we accept in this world is the still voice within.' -Gandhi
IOTF:Winner Q1 vol.27 (3x Finalist); WOTF: HM x2

Gary Davis
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby Gary Davis » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:13 pm

Me, I like really there line work. That is how I got started when I didn't even know beans. Me and my brother would sit at a little easel blackboard Mom 'n' Dad got us before we were even cognizant to keep us out of mischief. And we needed it. You cannot imagine what something like that does to the lil' guys. wotf010 Seeing such stuff as Albrecht Durer and Rembrandt and any number of later and more contemporary practitioners is very instructive. I work with brush and ink now, the ol' fashioned way, which gives you a far better subtlety of line and an elegance you miss unless you are really really good and have learned your pen and ink lessons. wotf026
wotf019
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tlsmithphx
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby tlsmithphx » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:48 pm

In my teens and twenties, I did a lot of pencil, but then life took me in a different direction. Now, a few decades and early retirement later, I decided to give painting a try. I dropped into a Parks & Rec oils class, and found out I might have potential. I'd like to take some real classes on technique, but Oils is the medium that's got me right now.

I painted my avatar and when I sold my novelette and they asked about cover concept, I sent them a scan of an unfinished painting I did. The publisher decided to use the painting, so I had to finish it. I have a bunch of painting I still need to get down to have scanned for my portfolio.

When I'm in a tough spot in my writing, needing some visualizing, I'll switch to my canvas to break the tension.
Today was a painting day, as I got an email from a potential agent to 'call her'.

The Thing Down the Road, by T. L. Smith
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available at http://www.musapublishing.com

hopesullivan
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Re: Favorite Medium?

Postby hopesullivan » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:45 pm

this might sound basic but I love charcoal, it brings out classic artworks that are simply awesome!


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