Saturday, January 3, 2015

Taking that next big step

     So with the beginning of the new year and everyone talking about their goals and plans for 2015 I thought I too share what some of my big plans are for 2015.  For the past two years running I have started my new year with an ambitious painting that is meant to set the stage for my work for the rest of the year.  In the fall I look back on my work and I look at all of the things that I want to improve and work on for the following year and decide to tackle them all in one large ambitious work of art.  The first year I did this I wanted to work on something grand and epic, an epic fantasy landscape.  I wanted to throw everything I could possibly throw into this painting, I wanted to work on my architecture so medieval fantasy castle check, I wanted to work on my landscapes so I added mountains, grassy plains, rivers, and waterfalls check,  I wanted to work on depth, atmosphere, detail and overall rendering.  It seemed like a daunting task but with some perseverance and almost two months of hard work I ended up with this.

    This at the time I finished it, it became the best painting in my portfolio, got me my first professional illustration work and helped me take that next major step in my artistic development.  This past year I had some portfolio reviews with two art directors that I really wanted to work with, one told me that they thought that my figurative work was my strongest and that I should focus on that, the other told me that they thought that my landscape work was my strongest and that I should focus on that.  I got two very different reviews from two companies that I both want to work for!  It was then that I decided to please them both by painting a figurative landscape painting, taking the critiques I received and turn them into one grand painting.  I wanted to take everything that I learned from my last epic landscape, improve the things that I thought needed and I wanted to improve while also adding figures to the mix.  To give myself an even bigger challenge I noticed that my portfolio had no animals or monsters so I added some into the final painting.  I wanted to work on my overall detailing, keeping the foreground elements super detailed to help push them foreword from the background.  After a few months of work on and off I ended up with this

    This painting got me even more work and helped set the stage for even more better work throughout the year.  So this year I want to push myself even further and harder, the goals of this years painting is going to be a large multi-figure oil painting.  I really want to start getting into working on and with book covers, so one of my main focuses will be on my storytelling and narrative.  The idea for this painting is going to be a massive multi-figure scene from one of my favorite book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" and for all of you non book readers also known as the hit HBO show Game of Thrones.  At times in the past I have taken shortcuts the "I will make it up as a go along" routine that is almost always to the detriment of the final painting.  With the an ambitious piece like I am planning and with all of the figures and dragons (yes there will absolutely be dragons) the only way to do this is with a lot of planning, research and studies, studies and reference for every aspect of the piece.  I thought to make this even more interesting I am going to post all of my reference, all of my studies so you watching at home can follow me from start to finish as I work on my painting "Daenerys Targaryen accepting the surrender of the slave families of Meereen" 

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