Magic Box #2

The second project in Chris Oatley's Magic Box course has you tackling the same painting as the first but instead of using Photoshop's Lasso and Gradient tools you are using the various Brushes. As in the first assignment you are assigned to recreate a portrait by a master artist but you get to replace the subject of the painting with an animal of your choosing. I chose a self-portrait by Gustave Courbet and decided to use our cat, Mr., as the animal stand-in.

I stuck with the same color scheme that was used in the original painting. This, along with the softness gained through the brush tool, allowed for a more realistic feel. I was tempted to keep going to see how far I could take the detail using smaller and smaller brushes but didn't want it to look overworked. I am glad that I stopped when I did.  Being able to see a some of the rougher brushwork allows it to still feel like a painting.

I am looking forward to starting the next assignment on Masking and Dimension. I will be posting the results here in the weeks ahead. Check back to see how things go.

Thanks for looking. -SH



Magic Box

I recently decided to expand my skill set to include digital illustration.  I've used photoshop here and there to clean up work for reproduction and as a layout tool for my work but have never tried making a painting from scratch using the computer. 

Earlier this year I discovered Chris Oatley and his "Magic Box" digital painting course and decided to give it a try.  The Magic Box is an online course where you pay a small monthly fee to have access to new set of tutorial videos and an online community of artists working their way through similar assignments. Each month you are given an assignment that introduces a new set of Photoshop tools or techniques and walked through how they can be used to make your digital paintings stronger. It starts out pretty basic but you learn quickly how much you can do with just a few steps. 

In the first assignment you are assigned to recreate a portrait by a master artist but you get to replace the subject of the painting with an animal of your choosing.  The painting you pick needs to have a sense of atmospheric lighting and you are only allowed to use the lasso and gradient tools to create the entire piece.

I chose a self-portrait by Gustave Courbet and decided to use our cat, Mr., as the animal stand-in.  It took a little while to get used to the limited toolset so my first draft was a bit off. Thanks to the constructive feedback I received from online community I was quickly able to figure out what I needed to do to fix the problems.  It took about a week of trial and error to get to this point but it probably would have taken much longer without having the other students as a resource.

I am pretty happy with the results for it being my first attempt at this sort of thing but know that it is just a start and there is much more to learn.  I am still enrolled in the program but a bit behind on the assignments at the moment. I hope to get myself caught up soon. 

I will be posting the results of future assignments here in the months ahead so check back to see how things are going.

Thanks for looking. -SH

How Milo Met Kate

Last spring I had the opportunity to create a series of illustrations for a feature article on Polyygon.com. I had meant to post these here a while back but never had a great place for them as the feel so different from the other work on the site

The feature, How Milo Met Kate: The Story Behind Lionhead's Virtual Boy by Matt Leone deals with the development and eventual downfall of a video game called Milo and Kate.  The game, which was being built alongside Microsoft Kinect in its earliest stages, was meant to function as a virtual boy whom players could befriend using the new motion  tracking hardware.  

The article is an insightful window into the game development process and a cautionary tale of sorts. It is the story of an an ambitious project that unfortunately never came to fruition for a number of reasons.  The accompanying illustrations reflect on how the disintegrating  vision of a creator can might impact his central character that had been created to be effected by his interactions in the outside world.

You can check out the illustrations in context at Polygon.com.

Big thanks to Art Director, Warren Schultheis for all of his hard work and guidance on this exciting project.

Ta-DAAAA!!!

Welcome to the new-(ish) site.  I made a few tweaks here and there to make everything a little prettier for you.  While I was at it, I added a couple of bells and whistles to simplify things like  networking, blogging and selling stuff for myself.

 I have been busy with a number of projects that I have yet to post here. I look forward to sharing them with you in the months ahead. I will be posting most of these in this space as well as on the various social networks you see below so take a moment to 'follow', 'like', 'pin', 'connect' etc. if you would like to stay up to date without having to come back to this page all the time.  I promise to keep the selfies to a minimum but can make no promises about cat photos...

...see??

See you soon.

SH