Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sneaker Tweaker

Well I have arrived... I finally did just about the hippest thing (or so I'm told) one can do as an artist nowadays.
I cuZtomized a shoe... a sneaker to be exact.
I was asked, together with my friends from StayGold and a guy called Jill, by the organizers of a little art/culture festival called 'Stoelendans' to come and sit in the middle of a dance-floor and doodle on shoes.
It was great fun. The venue was a club that during the day is bar/restaurant and then turns into a throbbing dance/booze/sex extravaganza at night. We were there during the day... rats! As I said we were in the middle of what at night is the dance-floor on couches which was nice enough... apart from the lighting.

So it was really hard to judge the colors... I decides to stick to black, white and red straight from the can.
This was the first time I did this so it was a little bit scary to take a sharpy to some-one else's brand-new virgin white sneaker at first, but my old vandalizing tendencies from my graffiti days came flooding back to me soon enough.
I did take my time though. Jill, a newly befriended veteran shoe-customizer (the guy next to the empty spot on the couch) only did one half of the pair... so he got to do a lot more shoes. He wasn't to concerned with details neither. Big, bold shapes, two colors, real block-buster style. Great work! And a good lesson for me, if I ever get to do it again: don't sweat the small stuff.

The first pair took me most of about 2,5 hours... masking, spray-paint, thinking, doubting, hesitating, some drawing, do a few high-lites and then multiply that be 2 and here's the result.

The second pair went a bit faster. I did them for a girl who wanted something not too 'big' or 'heavy'.
I did simple little ornaments in silver and black, with a flower and a bee on the noses of the shoe (sorry for the blurry inset, something must have gone wrong with the flash I guess)

Anyway it was a lot of fun. A friend of mine to do his classic Adidas shell-toe high-tops, that he never wears (so "I might as well hang them on the wall"). When I finish them I'll post some pics on here too...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Growing paints

First off, excuse me for the title of this post, but I wanted to share some pics of a painting I'm working and the thing has been in development for a while. Ahh, I remember as though it was a day ago... (imagine the wobbly flash-back effect here).
It all started with a sketch I did in one of my sketch books a couple of years ago, which looked like this:

Nothing further was ever intended to happen with that sketch then to just sit there in the sketch book... But then I got an e-mail from Mark Beemer of Shirts for a Cure, a charity organization that offers financial aid to women with breast cancer and poor health insurance (check out the website), for whom I had been designing t-shirts for quite some time (I still do). He asked me if I was interested to do a design for the band The Draft and I happily obliged.
So I inked the thing and made design for the shirt.

I did several designs the band decided to donate another design to Shirts for a Cure and use this one for themselves, for a small buy-out fee.
By then I had grown quite fond of the thing and the idea of doing it on a larger size sprouted somewhere in the back of my mind. I hadn't really worked on any decent sized painting since my college days and really needed to stock up on supplies and equipment. I got an easel from the basement of my girlfriend's granny's basement and I bought some new brushes and acrylics. I considered oils, but I'm working in my house now and I don't want to stink up the whole place. All I needed was a way to get the inked piece on blown up to the size of the canvas (100x100cms). I found an overhead projector on the Marktplaats (the Dutch local e-Bay), so I could finally start working on it.

After I penciled the illustration on the canvas, I did a base color using ultramarine blue before I started painting. It will end up a different color but whatever that is going to be (probably black) this will make it a nice and deep dark color.
By this point I really didn't have clue of what I color I was going to paint the rest of the thing, so after I had finally finished the base color the painting was not much more the a annoyingly big thing in the middle of my room for about 4 months.
Then I decided to just fill in the background with a transparent red basecolor, to give whatever color that goes over it some depth. I don't have a picture of this. I took it, but misplaced.

Anyway another 3 months and a move later there has been some development. I'm still not completely sold on the colors and the background. The little controller guy should become more fiery and the zombie has to be more greenish, more the color of oxidized copper. I'm pondering the possibility of a pattern in the background... but not sure yet.
It's nice to just let the thing grow as I go. It's a good to surprise myself which makes it fun.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Flat bodies everywhere....

Well after a bit of radio silence ("It's madness at the office, honey, sorry I'm late") I think I should post some more sketches...
Since my last sketch post (in which I realized that I mostly draw faces) I consciously focused on drawing bodies more. And also try to put them into sort of interesting position. I found that it's something I REALLY have to work at and I'm going to do some live figure drawing classes. Because as every good artist knows there's nothing that will hone your skills sharper then drawing flabby naked 'eccentric' people from life. Anyway...

The far arm is too flat and not in the right place... nor is the far leg for that matter....

I also really need to actually do some drawings with more full bodies, instead of just sketches.

Ok this one is mainly a face but I liked it anyway...

I wish I had paid more attention when I was still at arts college, but since I did graphic design, figure drawing and painting was only a small part of the curriculum. If only I could do it all over again...
As soon as the live figure-drawing classes start I'll post the results on here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Work in progress continued...

So I finally got some hours scrounged together to work some more on an illustration that had been on the table for quite a while.
It had inked the main characters in this piece, but I was still trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the space. It's not the first time I got impatient and started inking before the whole drawing was finished, but it's a habit I really have to kick.
The think turned out a bit busy which can be toned down when color, but I initially didn't want to use color and now I have to... rats.

There was a lot sketching before I decided to keep it 'simple' with just the beams of light and the condensation coming off the robot and the guy being fried, just like in the sketch. I had also considered putting trees in the background and plants in the foreground but that would just be to much. More for even color to help out with.
Now all that's left to be done is the type... There's going to be a big "BLAM" or "BOOM" or even a "ZEEEEEEEE" over the top of the scene... Any suggestion for better sounds please send them to me.