Want to buy my art prints?

My Society6 store

My online store account for art prints.

LINKS FOR CREATIVES:

Society6- Online gallery and store for artists

AIGA - American Institute of Graphic Arts

Jakprints - Print & Apparel company in Cleveland, OH

Creative Commons

Society of Digital Artists

Mischief- freeform sketching app

Clip Studio Paint- Manga creation app

Wacom, Inc.-Tablet manufacturer

Sketchbook Pro- drawing app

Moleskine-Sketchbook company

INSPIRATION:

Abhishek Singh- Illustrator

Phoenix Tree Publishing-Cullen Nolan

Hi Fructose magazine

Shawn Barber - Artist

The Marquis by Guy Davis

Audrey Kawasaki - Illustrator

Katsuhiro Otomo - Illustrator

Katsuya Terada - Illustrator

Jean "Moebius" Giraud - Illustrator

Roberto Ferri - Fine artist

Yoshitaka Amano - Illustrator

Tomer Hanuka - Illustrator

Back to Frank Black- Millennium fan site

FENCING:

Vermont Fencing Alliance- Fencing club site

United States Fencing Association-National HQ

Saturday
May272017

Airbrushing Once Again

Years ago, I got into airbrushing during the time I was in art school and owned the classic HP-C Iwata airbrush. This thing was an engineering marvel which never broke down on me The Paasche was the other I had and it worked pretty well except for the certain times I had difficulty creating thin lines. The problem, at the time, was that I had a small air compressor which was a single motor without a tank and it was quite loud. I had to pull the plug every time it got hot and waited for it to cool off in order to resume the work. 

But I enjoyed the airbrush process and how the paint flowed onto the surface was fascinating to me.

I got into it when an old neighborhood friend of mine, who's a talented artist, purchased an airbrush with a huge silent compressor. When I first saw it, I was stunned to see the incredible details he was able to pull off and the medium was new to me. I owe it to him for opening my eyes on this incredible tool, among other techniques. 

After I finished art school, I stopped using the airbrush and went into other media. I moved around a lot back then and lost two air compressors. The loud motorized one and the other was a pitch black box from Aztek, I believe, were the only ones I had. When I moved to Vermont, I lost both of them in the process and could'nt locate the items. 

But the Iwata still remained in my possession. Until now, when a friend of mine privately hired me to custom paint his HEMA (historical european martial arts ) fencing mask based on the heraldry of the design I did for him over a year ago.

All of a sudden, it was my chance to get back into it. So I had to get a new compressor and start all over from scratch. My Paasche then broke down due to the nozzle tip that snapped. I couldn't use it again and had to buy a second hand vintage Paasche V from a local person. This brush was much older from the 1980s and surprisingly, it worked. 

But the Iwata is still my favorite workhorse which had not failed me over the years. And that needle which was inside of it was still there since the last time I used it in the old days. It was in perfect condition that shocked me because ordering airbrush needles are not cheap, let me just say. 

My Iwata HP-C airbrush. A solid classic revered by many.Zeny airbrush compressor with a motorI had to order new Wicked Color paints from Createx so that they would flow better through the airbrush than the opaques which were causing problems to the needle and nozzle areas. The new air compressor from Zeny did the job perfectly well for the level and scale of my project. Especially the new paint had to adhere to the apparel surface of the mask which was important. And best of all, it's got a tank with the moisture trap which was badly needed. 

Worked out the visuals on the Concepts app on my iPad ProI then got to work on my iPad Pro to visualize on the Concepts app of how the mask would look and the way his creature's mane would flow. I swear by Concepts for many things and made things more streamlined. It took several iterations to get it right. The final results can be seen below.

Front of the maskThe side of the maskThe back of the maskIt took me a few days to complete it after some re-adjusting to the compressor and getting the paint volume right. This was a lot of fun and my client is very please with it. Especially since it's part of the SCA form of fencing that's partly related to my interests. As an epee fencer myself, it's really a great way for me to run wild with this and learn from this experience on how to airbrush again. 

Now the thought of doing a large scale airbrush illustration intriques me especially if it's something for the Art of Horror group exhibition in October. I think I may buy one more airbrush along with a few other necessities to complete the kit and add more colors for future projects. 

 

Tuesday
May022017

Brigada Graphic Novel

I've always loved graphic novels published from Europe that has such a wide scope of style, substance, and creative ingenuity. Creators like Jean "Moebius" Giraud are what inspired me to be a visual storyteller to this day especially having grown up with the Heavy Metal magazine back in the day. 

It has been a long time since I've read a good graphic novel from overseas and recently one title caught my eye while walking around in Earth Prime Comics, located in Burlington, Vermont. This shop has literally everything you're looking for especially the indies. 

The style of this particular artist got my attention because I've seen his work online in certain photo sharing websites and unfortunately, at the time, it was in entirely in Spanish. His name is Enrique Fernandez who's work can be seen at his website. It so happens to be in beautiful bound hardcover with rounded corners and in english, to my luck. 

Front cover of Brigadainterior of BrigadaThis is one of the most beautiful books I've read with lush line art, vivid colors, and the pacing flows wonderfully like animated film. In fact, this illustrator has some background in the animation industry as a storyboard artist which definitely brings the premise to life. I suspect he colors the book digitally after scanning in the line art or directly with a tablet. 

This book is actually the first part of two volumes while the second won't be released until later in summer which I hope to get my hands on to complete the story. It's got a nice mix of mid to high fantasy flavor with a bit of Norse/Viking/Elder Scrolls tone. I won't spoil the story but concept may appear simple on surface but rather more intelligent in layers more than one would think. 

One of the best books out there since Petersen's Mouse Guard which I greatly love. Highly recommended!

Friday
Mar312017

New LePen Drawing set

Recently, I ordered some new drawing pens from Marvy Uchida to experiment with because I enjoy the essence of inking and how it flows on paper. Not only that, it's a way for me to search for the right pen that would fit my style and workflow.

The new pen set has point sizes ranging from .005 to .08 and interacted nicely with my moleskine sketchbook even though the quality is not so different than what I experienced with the Faber Castell Artist PITT pen, which is one company that I really love. They make the best graphite pencils in the 9000 series that have such admirable quality. 

I suspect these pens would interact better on smoother paper than the moleskine to have a uniform line quality, especially if it were done on hot press illustration board which comes to mind. If they do, then I may buy more of them to stock up on specialized drawing surfaces. It would also come handy for life drawing sessions for crisper line and form, I think. The pen set is affordably priced and are comfortable to hold. 

One of the better pens I've tested in some time. 

LePen Drawing setThe font style reminds me of what Dover publishing books use with academic clean look.Here's a close up of what the tip looks like.A little experiment with dark theme using the LePen set.

Sunday
Mar262017

Meeting Aaron Draplin-Graphic Designer

It's not so often I get to attend speaker events locally but one by the name of Aaron Draplin, hailing from Portland, Oregon, got my attention when he was expected to be in Vermont. One event was hosted by the AIGA VT which cost a bit more and challenging to get tickets since this was a workshop. The next evening was at the University of Vermont at the Ira Billings Lecture Hall, hosted by the UVM Ski & Snowboard club and sponsored by Healthy Living and Market Cafe. Fortunately, the ticket was ten dollars compared to the previous night through Eventbrite.

This event was for his book tour titled " Pretty Much Everything " in hardcover which I got at the bookstore wth beautiful looking logos on the outside and inside of the book. It surveys his mid-career work and examines the processes he's gone through. 

Although, the weather had snowy and wet conditions that made it a bit slushier on ground as I had to find parking, thanks to the Parkmobile app after grabbing Starbucks Coffee en route. I almost felt like a student again walking on campus to the other side at the Lecture Hall only to see some people already inside the building. I could see some staff walking about in the hall and getting the tables ready. 

Aaron then showed up down the hall, appearing out from the lecture hall doorway having a chat with other people. A few minutes later, he starts approaching the first few of us at the doors about to sign autographs. I've been made aware of his work the last few years based on some of the graphic design work he's done for Burton Snowboards, located in Burlington, Field Notes ( one of which I'm familiar with ) and a few other images, especially the Obama administration. 

Draplin's book cover

AutographAfter that, I picked up some food from the tables and found a seat in the hall, seeing a DJ warming up the audience near the podium section. It would take another half hour for the entire auditorium to fill up and lights go out for Aaron to be introduced. His talk took about two hours going from 7pm til 9pm with inspiring insights and experiences. One part of his talk amused me by his mention of my hometown Cleveland which he already toured in.

After it all ended, I decided to drive back home which would be a 45 minute drive back south despite the fact it was a Friday night. The weather was getting crappier and I did'nt want to risk the road getting worse by the hour. 

People may wonder why an illustrator like me would go to this and frankly, to me, he's an inspiration when it comes to design as it's one part of what I do. But also, the process of design fascinates me, giving way for an illustrator to understand what graphic designers go through. He's done some illustration work, so that part applies. Many of the images he's done were produced on Adobe Illustrator which is obvious and they have this clean and concise look. Illustrator has such wonderful precision that I can appreciate and I'm aware that there is a competitor to this from Affinity Designer which is very tempting.

And it was all worth it as I plan to read the book throughout the week.