So….I asked my daughter if she had any tips and she said, “just draw it”….smart young lady.
I thought it would be good to just jump in and take a whack at a fully digital rendering. Now that I’m more comfortable with the sketching process it really kinda just drew itself. I gotta tell ya, sketching with the power of undo at your fingertips is pretty freeing. I highly recommend any art cats out there that want to use a tablet….do it. Once you get over what feels like a disconnect, you will realize you are even more in tuned to your piece in many ways. I understand why many of the hot shots do it this way. I’m looking forward to getting there.
My sketch landed in this area somewhere. In retrospect I should have cleaned it all up and worked it to a more finished state but I was anxious to get into it and since it was a Selfy automotive illustration, it didn’t seem critical to make it super clean…..I was wrong…I paid for the messiness in later stages.
The final kinda skidded to a halt in this area. It’s a bit loose but I was able to try some new brushes and also just spend some time drawing for the sake of drawing. It wasn’t really a shot heard round the world moment, but I did sit back and nod…..that’s pretty cool.
Look for more in the future. Pretty happy to be in this head space.
You know, they say art is an old persons game. You don’t really understand that until you get old.
I think it’s a reference to the fact that you continue to learn new and grow as you get older in the profession. Times change fast as new technologies are introduced every day it seems, but nothing will ever replace sketching. I amend my previous post. Paper hasn’t jumped the shark. Artist will always find paper, or tablets, or napkins or cave walls or whatever is available to express themselves.
That being the case, I am still playing in Photoshop sketching and loving it. I am a pretty loose sketcher, but there is an underlying feel in the line….pretty funky….pretty fun.
I watch a lot of YouTube videos on drawing techniques and methods. I stumbled across a cool tutorial on sketching in Photoshop. I have been trying to get a handle on a way to sketch digitally that fit my flow. I have been all about paper for decades so its been tough to get a handle on it.
In any case the video I watched, turned a light on and though its rough…it’s the beginning of paper jumping the shark in my toons.
I could smell the hops from the nearby Sierra Nevada brewery as I opened the door to Chico Volkswagen in Chico, California. The VW team was clearly busy on this slightly rainy day, but someone stopped and asked if they could help me. I told them I had an appointment with Barry and immediately he appeared…LIKE POOF!!…almost as if manifested….it was weird.
Barry was way cool and we hit it off right away. He took me outside to the lot next door where I saw this super clean restored vintage gas station. I have a Sinclair sign myself so it was great to see the Dino pumps. Barry explained to me that the owner of Chico VW was actually in VW service for something like 20 years and as the Chico community grew, he applied for and was awarded a VW dealership. Knowing that the dealership has a foundation in actual VW service is feather-in-cap worthy IMO. The gas station Resto was something that kind of happened in conjunction with the city of Chico. It looked like a real nice setting for a show for sure.
My mom used to and still does call me knucklebutt from time to time. It is a term of endearment and I use it here the same way my mom does with me.
The German Metal VW club is a local group of knucklebutts that get together and play VW. I did this design for them last year and it really came out nice. It’s a limited pallet design as in it only has 3 colors but it really works well.
When I was visiting a client recently, he mentioned that this particular design wasn’t on my site and he really liked it, so I thought just in case he’s right….I better put it up here in the blog portion.
Fun group of guys to work with. I was pleased to get a shot at this one.
Ok…I don’t really have a good reference for a dog named blue, but sometimes a title just rocks so you gotta go with it.
Over the last few years my art career has really taken off. Personally I attribute it to lots of new foreign and domestic funk music. Regardless, things are pretty ok. I feel fortunate to get the opportunities I have and this job for CB Performance is no exception.
These guys are THE SOURCE for performance parts for your Aircooled VW. They machine in-house and really….they are top notch…indisputable.
Our paths crossed a couple times on Facebook and out of that a relationship grew….there was long walks and flowers and yellow dresses with ruffles…it was lovely. I was able to strike a deal to get some parts for my car which turned into a motor upgrade of gonna talk about it later proportions and a 3 shirt art deal. This is design 1.
It features a cool drag bug in full motion. This was a pencil photoshop render so there was no line art. It’s intended to be loose and really capture more of the organic feel than the digital algorithmic line. CB and Me were pretty excited. The shirts are available here.
To say I am honored to have CB as a client is under…understatement. Great company, great cats….great feeling.
Buy a shirt.
I can’t believe I forgot to put up the Okla-Ho-Ho-Homa art.
This is another gig I got to do with Miller Graphics which is owned by my good friend Donnie and his main squeeze Jimmie. I really enjoy working with them as their jobs are usually outside my norms and they are very funny and creative as well. He asked me to come up with a Hot Oil Truck/Santa theme….??
This piece was nice to start as a pencil sketch and render directly to that. I’m still dialing in my process within that method, but I really do dig the illustrativeness (now a word) that comes out in the final.
I’ve learned so much through folks like Donnie and Jimmie so I need to give them a little extra love.
Finally get a chance to visit my own site and bring some new. It looks like 2013 will see a slight slide into other areas. I will be putting up more non car stuff and the car stuff might not be all VW as I’m getting some other type work in. May be time to put on my big boy pencil and just get down. :)
Fun one here. Wanted to do something like the pioneers used to do. My linework isn’t as spiritied as theirs, but this will be a fun little series. I’m doing the inking in Corel Painter which is a program I’m not as familiar with, but I really do like it. This is the first of 3 in this series. Shirts will be available at Chirco.com soon.
OK…lets get this out of the way first…..My car is clearly the best car in Tucson, all of Arizona and it’s top 2 in the world (you could make an argument however weak for the original Barris Batmobile.)
The Chirco Bugtoberfest weekend is easily the “most funnest” air-cooled weekend in Arizona. I have a role in organizing and coordinating the event as well as being the guy that does the rt and videos for the event.
This year the art featured the vehicles of local enthusiasts that have had major health issues creep or suddenly appear in their lives this year. All three I consider close friends so I was happy to render their vehicles and give back some of the love they have givin me over the years.
Here’s a look at the pieces:
I’ve been fortunate enough as an artist to get to know a few of the real big wigs in the automotive art field. One of, if not THE biggest is Greg Tedder. His work has been an inspiration, motivation, intimidation and several other “a-tions”.
Recently he called me up and asked if I would work on the t-shirt design for the Houston Autorama.
He was very cool. Sent me the reference, gave me a concept and just let me do my thing.
It was a bit of a rush, but I made it on time and I’m told the shirts printed great! I’m really happy to have had this opportunity to help a friend and to stretch out a little bit more. Pretty cool -lemorris
Here’s a look at some of the parts
Since I was a kid I always wanted to see Lake Tahoe. The TV show Bonanza was set there and I used to watch it with my dad (RIP). Well…fortunately I have a daughter that just got accepted into animation school and we were able to combine her school visit with a trip to Northern California and a tag along ride on a great great VW cruise around Lake Tahoe.
It was an amazing trip…I will never forget it. Daddy/Daughter trips don’t get better.
here’s my video of the cruise. Enjoy!
I’m doing a repost to try out my new Facebook Plugin. I can tag people from my blog and share my site content in the Facebook world.
This is a toon of my man Wes Cavelier’s Type 3 vw. Wes is known for his welding in flip-flop skills and his sausage fingers. He is also one of the people I am most proud to call friend.
True, Fish may be a strange name, but he’s a great guy. Last year I gave a rendering away as a raffle prize at a car show. I was thrilled when Fish’s number got called. He swam up to me and wagged his…..ok..ok…his name is Steve, and anyway…he swam up to me and wagged his scaley fish body and…LOLOL
Let’s make this short. Fish won, I drew his Buick. Yay!
Here’s where it landed. If you want to see all the steps click “Read the rest of this entry” below
This is what the 56 Ford shirts will look like. My good friends at Pierson Productions in Henderson Nevada are pullin the squeegee on this one. They always make me look better than I am.
Big thanks to Amanda for doin the seps and a semi-dirty man-hug to Ron Pierson for addin fuel to my career.
Value your printers fellow artist. It’s symbiotic.
I had the pleasure of getting to put together the VW Invasion 1 (one…one…one…one) shirt for my good friend Jill of Grins Graphics in Grass Valley. Ca. It was a repurposed but redesigned gig. She provided the concept and then let me do my thing.
It was pretty cool cause it’s the first show for these kooky NorCal cats and it’s great to be involved if even from afar because their enthusiasm for the car and the hobby is just great. I really appreciate getting a shot at it. This is one I hope to land again. Pretty fun.
So…on my facebook art page I held this contest and an old friend of mine won. more people voted I should draw his car. I was doin stuff a little differently then so I waited until I felt like I had something at least different to do with the piece. I started this whole pencil sketch color non-sense because of this book I got or I might have seen it on a CGI forum…anyway…I figure if they can do it to a dragon, I can do it to a car….(makes sense to me for some reason, but then again…the owl in Clash of the Titans didn’t bother me much, so that outta tell you somethin.) Read the rest of this entry »
So…this whole trying to keep character thing is moving…I can’t say it’s moving forward but it is moving. The process of rendering via the rough sketch is tricky but really fun.
I got an opportunity to do a piece for a cool cat in the UK. He has a real nice fastback and I will get a chance to repurpose it for a future design.
Here’s a couple shots from end to begin.
Really was a fun piece. I know I say I learned a lot all the time, but I really did.
Big thanks to Simon. NEXT!!
One of the jobs on the table right now is for Vintage Warehouse of Santa Rosa, CA. My buddy Greg is the owner and he gave me a shot at doing another shirt for him. This is the split Read the rest of this entry »
This past weekend I got the privilege of being able to attend the first German Metal Dayz at Chirco.
The German Metal Club is a local group of VW enthusiasts and I gotta tell ya…these cats are down! Whenever I set up a cruise or a bbq or a middle aged man crisis spanking, these cats are there.
They were doing a photoshoot for their upcoming calendar and then Chirco was kind enough to get us sandwiches and some frozen drinks as it was blazin hot.
I love the Tucson VW community.
here’s the vid….enjoy
Take a minute and visit the German Metal site. Tell them the overly excited art guy sent you. www.germanmetals.com
Oh boy…with a title like that, this better be good.
In my cartoon pursuits I have found that though my pencil roughs have a decent amount of character, some of that character gets lost when I redraw the toon in Photoshop or whatever I’m using. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why and though the final renderings come out fine, there’s always a part of me that is a little disappointed. Being a hybrid digital artist is hard….it’s like math…really sucky math that you almost get…(those issues will be addressed in another post)….anyway…
So…I picked up a few resources on Digital Character Rendering…I figured if those cats can render a dragon like that, I should be able to apply some of those principles to my toons. So…that’s what I tried to test.
Step 1: As usual I started with a rough pencil sketch. It was like the size of a quarter and this one just grabbed me. For some reason at that size I’m able to not focus on detail and speak to attitude in the sketch.
Step 2: For the next step I transferred the image on my light table and started to work into the detail a bit. It’s always fun to see the transformation here. I was listening to that new Jill Scott album which is awesome and really feeling my cabbage so to speak.
Step 3: I added some tone to my pencil sketch and in retrospect this is the one area I would try to do better next time. Not that this is bad, it’s just not what it needed to be to bring me home and land hard like set of Sprint Stars on Air-cooled Rag Bug. It’s good for this study though and overall I was pleased. but…..next time I do this step much better.
I scanned it and made it a multiply layer and added a putty colored background on a layer below.
Step 4: The method calls for more painting in Photoshop and less gradient work. The gradients tend to make it mechanical which is cool, but I wanted a more organic feel. From the flaws in the sketch to the looseness in the rendering, what ends up happening is the imperfections are what bring that human element to the table.
There’s a reason Bugs Bunny cartoons of old are still better than many of today’s. The non algorithmic line of the human hand with all it’s imperfections is the vehicle on which character rides….kinda like me on Mr. Toads Ride….it may not be a perfect vision and may induce vomiting, but it sure looks like fun. That’s what the pencil base brings to the party.
Step 5: For much of this I painted in general…no real care about staying in lines, very very little path work…almost no pen work…just color under the pencil line. There was a period where the image wasn’t taking shape and I found it funny because many times when inking I hit that wall. The wall is normally followed by self-doubt and heavy snot bubble crying but this time I was able to push through. I mean, this is a study…a test…a proof of concept and I gotta tell you….in the end I was pleased enough to sing this….
“Hoss and Joe, Adman know…every rock and pine. No one works, fights or eats, like those boys of mine.” – Theme from Bonanza as sung by Lorne Greene
p.s. I kinda just wanted to write Uranus cause the only other term to make me chuckle more is “Cheese Balls”.
Out of the blue I get an email from this cool cat in Alabama saying he was at my site and wanted to hire me to draw a truck. *blink*….*blink*…I’m thinkin….”is he sure he went to my site?…..a truck?” Anyhow he was sure alright and on top of that it’s part of their 2011 sweepstakes giveaway (link coming soon.) I will flesh out this story with lots of steps and what not in the near future. For now…here’s the beginning and the end.