Sunday, June 21, 2009

Illustration Master Class 2009

This last week I attended the Illustration Master Class, hosted by Rebecca Guay. It was a fun week, I was very productive and met a lot of really darn cool people. I think my brain almost exploded when Irene Gallo, Greg Manchess, Jon Foster, Dan Dos Santos and Justin Gerard were all in the same room. It was way too much for a nerd like me to handle!

We had several options for our assignment this past week. I went with the "Steampunk Wizard of Oz" option. As you will see, even for a "steampunk" version, my piece was a very loose interpretation. I decided right off the bat that I wanted to show the Wicked Witch of the West in my illustration, along with Dorothy. My thumbnails here are much more rough than what I'd usually send to a client, but for personal work they work just fine. The one I chose had a very similar camera angle and setup to my last illustration, with the cartoony fox.

After choosing a thumbnail I was happy with, I did some drawing and some color studies, and finally ended up with two color directions that seemed like equally good solutions (A and B above). I settled on B because it seemed a little less typical for me, I know I've relied on "blue-green + red-orange" more than once. Plus, I've got a job I'm working on that might look really good in those colors, so I figured I could save that palette for later.

Once I got past the preliminary work, it was pretty smooth sailing into the final piece. After fine-tuning the colors and values in the studies, I knew that as long as I kept referencing my studies and adhering to them, it'd be nearly impossible to mess up the final illustration. (you can click the image for a larger version)

I really think this piece raised the bar, and is a step up from the rest of my work. More than one instructor told me I was working on my best piece, and that's a good thing to hear. It gets me excited to make EVERY illustration my "best" illustration (which is how it should be anyway).

Speaking of "best illustrations", I have a deadline staring me down, so I need to go kick its ass now. In the meantime, you may want to see some of the other illustrations that other notable IMC students did. Here are some links to the blogs of Justin Gerard, Nonie Nelson and Zelda Devon. No promises that they will have their piece online when you click the link, but I'm sure that they're on the way. These guys have great blogs anyway, so hopefully you won't mind looking at all the awesome work they have.

Thanks for checking in! I'll leave you with a picture of yours truly hard at work, from Irene Gallo's Flickr. Keep fighting the good fight!


Adam Tamte Volker said...

Great stuff Mclean, It really does seem like you are executing on a new tier now.


Andrew R. Wright said...

I dig it man. Although, I do really enjoy the green version (I am always envious of successful uses of green).

I followed the progress on Irene's blog. It looks/sounded like a great week.

Almost did not recognize you in the pic with your hair all short.

Kali said...

I would agree, I think this is a wonderful step up! Really looking great, nice job man!

Jeffrey Lai said...

that musta been an awesome experience!
I really love this piece of yours!

Andrew Olson said...

Kickass! You definitely took it to the next level with this one. Taking a step away from the cartoony vibe, I like it.

EL Gato Negro said...

great stuff man this piece is one of my faves from you. your stepping it up man !!!

Anonymous said...

beautiful piece brother.

Blaze said...

Hi! I don't think I got a chance to talk with you at IMC, but I loved seeing your piece progress when I was away from my easel and checking out everyone's work. Are you interested in showing any of your work in a sci-fi/fantasy themed show that I am putting on at my gallery in Sept-easrly Nov? If so, I'll add you to my email list and send on the details.

McLean Kendree said...

Thanks all!

Mr. Wright - Yeah, it was a great week. I really gotta say though, having done the Academy twice really helped me get the most out of my week.

Drew - oh, Mr. High and Mighty is too good for "cartoons". I see. I see exactly how it is. >:]

Blaze - I'd be honored, but unfortunately I don't really have the means to deliver a printed framed piece. Most of what I do is digital lately, and that makes for a lot of additional hassle when getting something together for a physical show. Thanks though! At some point I'm sure I'll work my way back into oil painting!