Saturday, March 27, 2010

Inspirations: Vintage Books no.6

After dinner last night I went to the used book store that's down the street and found two great books to add to my collection.

The first book I found was The House That Jack Built, published in 1911 by the Henry Altemus Company. It has black and white illustrations with the occasional color page. The binding is a little worn, a few pages have some small age stains, and the first page is loose, but other than that it's in pretty good condition.

The second book I picked out was a copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales, published by McLoughlin Brothers. I'm not sure of the publication date as it's not listed anywhere in the book, but judging from the look and condition I would guess somewhere between 1910 and 1920. The illustrations are signed as being by F. Bassett Comstock.

These both have great interior black and white illustrations, but what really caught my eye were the cover designs. All in all, I'm happy to add these to my book collection.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Black & White Photography - my first print

Last night in my photography class I developed another roll of film and also made a print from the roll I developed last week. It's pretty cool to go through the whole process of creating a photo, from originally taking the picture to going through the whole development process. Next week I plan on developing more films and prints, and I'm going to try using some filters to refine the print I made last night.

This photo was taken at Green Lakes State Park in Manlius, New York.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

iPod doodles & recent sketchbook pages

Jeff recently downloaded the Brushes App for his iPod Touch, so I've been playing around with that a little bit. It takes time to get used to drawing on such a small screen with your fingertip, but I think eventually I might be able to turn out some semi-decent sketches with it. You can see my first two attempts below.

And just to round out this post, here are two more recent pages from my sketchbook - a faceless hipster and a paisley doodle.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Black & White Photography

I recently started taking a black and white photography class at Community Darkrooms. It's been a fun class so far, and very informative. To take my photos for the class, I'm using the 35mm Olympus that you can see pictured below.

Last night we developed our film for the first time and practiced making contact sheets. Next week we'll be making prints and developing more film from the rolls that we'll be shooting during the week. Below you can see the contact sheet that I developed last night.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A New Sketchbook

I started a new sketchbook when I went to the zoo to draw during the previous weekend. I like to decorate the inside page spread of my sketchbook whenever I start a new one (my last one had a collage on the inside), so this week I broke out some blue acrylic paint to make a paisley pattern (inspired by some curtains I saw at Anthropologie).

This sketchbook has thicker pages than my last one, which for the most part I like because then I can draw on the backs of pages without worrying about ink bleeding through. I thought I'd test some watercolor paint on the pages, which proved to be a revealing little experiment. The paper is so smooth that the watercolor tends to bead up on the surface of the page. It made painting traditionally with the watercolor a bit difficult, but it did provide for some interesting texture in the brushstrokes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

1971 - a work in progress

I thought it was time to re-visit a piece that I had started a while ago but had to put on hold while I finished grad school. This is an illustration based on a photo of my uncle Jonathan with one of his motorcycles back in 1971. Below you can see the brown colored pencil and ink wash drawing that I started with, scanned in from a 24" x 18" piece of watercolor paper.

The next thing I always do with a piece to prep it for digital painting is to start blocking in my color scheme.

The image below shows the current stage of the painting. Colors, shading, and highlights are starting to become more detailed. The background is roughed in, along with parts of the motorcycle. Details are starting to be painted in on the motorcycle, such as on the headlamp.

More updates on this digital painting will be posted as the week goes by! I want to get this finished in time for my uncle's birthday next month.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Zoo sketches

Here's a few sketchbook pages from an afternoon of drawing yesterday. We went to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo to draw the animals and take advantage of the sunshine.