Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bite-sized Blogpost 2: The Deal

While I was at the American Illustration party, I ran into an old acquaintance. Larry Gendron worked with my former boss/current rep, Richard Solomon, loads of times while I was Richard's assistant. Everytime it was a different hero of mine producing a great image for Larry's magazine, The Deal. Well, Larry was nice enough to let me show off my bit of art on the AI wall and told me he'd be in touch.

Wouldn't you know he had an assignment for me three days later. I received an email with an abstract detailing the unsteady financial future of colleges and universities. Larry encouraged me to push the "unsteady" aspect of the piece and have fun with it... did. And Larry picked my favorite as well.
Left is the refined sketch with some PS value added. The right is a clean line final that I find I need for the more complex images I create. This is apparently old news for many illustrators, but I tend to do a lot of things the hard way.
Really happy with this finish (a true rarity nowadays) and I think it's simply because of the shine on the coins. How sad is that?
And in context...
A big thanks to Larry Gendron for the opportunity.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Bite-sized blogpost part 1: American Illustration, Illuxcon and Fantasy artwork

Due to fun/hectic/awesome/fortunate circumstances, I've been running all over the place and painting my pants off lately. Lots  of new work to show and some I can't speak about just yet.  I'll stagger them out in the upcoming days so all of my devoted readers (all three of you!) can get their Brundage morsels in quick succession, without too much caloric intake.

First up was the ever popular and always epic American Illustration party. This year I was fortunate to have my first ever spread in the book with two entries accepted (Cthulhu Santa and Valentine's Oz). Highlights from the party include getting an elusive compliment from my old boss and chum, Peter de Sève, hanging with Frank Stockton over fruity drinks, and having some beautiful arm candy in the form of my girlfriend. I also ran into some SVA students I knew formerly from my hometown of Danbury, CT. Keep an eye out for Brian Schiering and Jensine Eckwall.

Second up was my last minute decision to attend Illuxcon in Altoona, PA. The majority of my buddies from Racebrook were showing off their wares at this fantasy art convention and had invited me for two years now. I was convinced it conflicted with the AI party and I couldn't attend. Two weeks before,  I realized I was mistaken.
     With little time to spare, I jumped into world where "bags of holding" and "lamps of lighting" were not jokes and "making a saving throw versus dragon breath" makes complete sense.
I love dwarves and figured showing that I could paint armor and human flesh would be a plus. Here is the thumbnail, sketch and photoshop bump up.

A big, resounding thanks to Lars Grant-West for being a pal and taking a look at my sketches. He helped me out bigtime with the dwarf proportions, and his suggestion of the head tilt added loads of character. A second thanks to Donato Giancola for suggesting I go a bit more nuts with the armor decor.
I knew I wanted to have some monsters and recognizable ones at that. D&D is very specific in its creatures so I chose to do my rendition of a Mezzodemon (or Mezzoloth, if you are hardcore). I threw in a second monster inspired by the mezzodemon as a goof.
Same dealio, thumbnail with a bit of PS, and a refined sketch. 
These were fun as hell to paint. The level of finish demanded for this type of work is a bit more than I'm used to, but it really was a blast getting in there and figuring it all out.
There is a third sample that looks to rushed to show as of now. I vow to return to it and give it its proper attention, without trying to cram it into an already tight deadline with other work.  I'm looking forward to creating more work in this vein with more action and fully realized backgrounds. The fellas at Illuxcon make it look easy...

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I keep it real. Grayscale, bro.

I just finished up a big fun project for very cool website that I can't talk too much about just yet. The site is directed toward a younger audience and set in a semi-fantastic world, the subject matter was right up my alley.
Even more fun was the idea of wanting most of the artwork to look aged, as if originally created on parchment. For me, this meant I had the opportunity to go nuts with my oldest and most trusted of mark making utensils... the exotic and mythical pencil.  I can honestly say I had a blast working just in black and white, worrying simply about value, shape and line. I'm not too proud to say that color has slapped me around more than once, and it was, indeed, a pleasant hiatus. 

Another cool thing about this project... they wanted a rollover. Nice to know they paid attention to my work enough be aware of the rollovers, let alone commission one.

The subject matter is pretty obvious. I used a fair amount of pug and shar pei inspiration for the main monster.

And the rollover offers an escape from the fleshy duo of horned beasts. 

This door went through a couple iterations. Not big changes involving the actual setting or anything real complex. No... instead we had a long discussion about what silly creature should be hanging around this castle's entrance 

I also had the opportunity to do a bit of character design. Firstly, a janitor. All I knew that the janitor didn't have to human. So I explored my options a bit. And, during that exploration, I unintentionally created an amazing stand alone photograph 

Ultimately it was decided that the janitor should be a portly old codger. 

I previously posted the secretary character I designed for this site, but again, I had to search for her. She also had no real description aside from a request that she be similar to "Roz" of Monster's Inc. 

And lastly, a narrator character. Again, the description was "not necessarily human." I didn't offer the option this time. Rather, a gnome was the closest I came, with a host of scaled and furred options. 

I think their choice was obvious. The little bugger looks so damn eager to read you a story. My girlfriend actually pointed out what it was that conveyed that emotion... while his arms are relaxed, his feet are clenched in excited anticipation.