Well, I’ve finally made it back to the studio and to the pages of this blog!
Illuxcon was a fantastic experience once again. I met some of my art heroes and discovered some new ones.
In the coming weeks, I will be sharing some interviews I had with attending artists.
Paul “Prof” Herbert and I made the trek down to Altoona together. We met up with Drew Baker and Michael Phillippi. That first night, we went to the show opening where I hung out with fellow Ninja Mountaineer, Ralph Horsley.
This year I spent more time in the show room than in presentations, but I did manage to catch my friend Jeff Menges’ discussion of Golden Age Illustrators and how they’ve affected modern fantasy/sci-fi illustration.
It was a fascinating presentation and you can learn more about the master illustrators of yesteryear at Jeff’s blog entitled, “View–Vintage Illustration Explored Weekly”.
I got to hang out with lots of my fellow friends and illustrators.
Sarah Robinson of Paizo Publishing was in attendance, fresh off her recent travels. It was great seeing her there.
I ran into many artist friends at the event– some exhibiting–some not : Mike Burns, James Edwin Stevens, Andrew Thompson, Beth Trott, Chantal “Qitsune” Fournier, Chris Burdett, Larry MacDougall, Patricia Ann MacDougall, Chelsea Conlin, and so many folks who were in the main event. There are just too many to list. What a time!
It was a surprise to find so many folks familiar with the Ninja Mountain Podcast.
Folks really seem to enjoy it. I suppose after 86 episodes it should not be a surprise anymore that folks in our trade know so much about it.
It just reminds us that we better behave on air—folks are listening. ;)
Episode 86 goes out today and is a continuation of episode 85, but with an emphasis on how our work has grown in the past year.
It is a topic both timely and dear to my heart at the moment. The critiques I received in Altoona were invaluable to me.
The bulk of comments can be lumped into just a few big baskets and these have led to my setting a few new studio rules.
1) Produce copious amounts of photo reference and use it on every assignment.
2) Carefully determine the lighting of the scene at the very earliest stages of development.
3) Determine the focal point of the scene and use all of the tools at your disposal to keep that focus there–then allow the viewer’s eye to travel and rest.
Todd Lockwood phrased the question, ” Who’s the star?” of the scene. That is where the viewer’s eye must travel first.
4) Tell and Sell that story. Make the drama and emotions evident in how you pose your figures and how their expressions read to the viewer.
There is still an awful lot for me to process in the wake of Illuxcon.
The many lessons learned will find their way into all of my future work. That work will find its way here in due time and I hope you will continue to follow along.
Time to get back to painting! Thanks for tuning in after so long an absence.