Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Gifts

This Christmas I did several acrylic paintings as Christmas gifts, half of which I forgot to take pictures of, though some were small enough and flat enough that I could run them through my scanner. These are just a few I will post more when I am able to get pictures of them.
A while back laura showed me this artist who uses oil on wood and I really liked how that looked and the texture that wood gave to the paintings, not to mention how easy and cheap it is to find pieces of wood to paint on. Though I don't have any oil paintings, I don't have a work space with the ventilation to work with them, so I decided to use acrylics instead.

I did this one for Laura.
I started this painting like 6 months ago for the longest time it was just a daruma on a piece of wood for Christmas I decided to finish the painting by adding Hungarian (since Laura's family is Hungarian) flower designs inspired by their traditional style of embroidery, Kalocsa. This seems to be something I have been doing combining Daruma's and western European culture, I hope it isn't too culturally insensitive of me, I just love the design of the Daruma as well as the cultural meaning. Surprisingly I think that the flowers and the daruma work well together and the Kalocsa was a fun style to work in.

I did this one for Laura's mom
She is a former nurse and now a nutritional instructor at John F Kenedy University and when ever Laura and I come to her with a question about an ailment or a food question the answer is usually "try putting some coconut oil on it." She even fixed a a stuck lock by sticking coconut oil in the lock. So I wanted to make her a plaque that said just that. I looked at a lot of vintage signs as reference and came up with this design. On Laura's painting I would draw on the wood with a pencil which would dent the wood and aake it more difficult to put a smooth painting on it. I went to an art show last year and saw a show of Todd Schorr's work and they had a DVD on how he worked. One of the things that he did on his paintings was to take a drawing and cover the back with charcoal and then trace the drawing on to the canvas. I did the same thing here and it worked really well. Though I think in retrospect I would have painted the white on the board first. I really liked how the text came out. I showed this to Laura and she felt that the composition felt unbalanced and that I should add another coconut. I had wanted to avoid having two coconuts because I thought it would end up looking like balls (just sayin').

Here is the final version with the extra coconut and the added palm frond. It was kind of rough around the edges but I really liked how this turned out, and so did Laura's mom.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Congrats to the Wedding Zombies

Congratulations to my friends Catey and James DeSantis who tied the knot on this day in Las Vegas.
Here is a drawing of the happy couple as a pair of zombies.This was done on the inside of the card Laura and I gave them congratulating them on their wedding.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Card 2009

This year I ended up making two Christmas cards. My mom just asked for something funny. So in October I came up with theses sketches (previously seen on my sketch blog), they all had to do with global warming or the bad economy, things that are on my mind. Plus one about Santa being tattooed which was just fun. (If you are having trouble reading the dialogue on my sketch blog I wrote out the dialogue for clarification)

My parents weren't too crazy about the ideas that I came up with but I guess it started my Dad's mind a turnin' and he came up with "Things may be a little tight this holiday season what with the recession and all. But there is a barrel of love and good wishes from the Royals." So with that in mind I just started working in Photoshop.

Here is what I came up with. I got it done pretty quickly for one of my Christmas cards (which usually take forever for one reason or another) I finished it in about a day. Yes I know "recession" is misspelled, I based it off of my Dad's spelling which is also not very good. My mom liked it when I showed it to her, but then I showed this to Laura and she didn't like it and thought I could do better. That the elves were ugly and they should be cute, so then I decided to show it to my friend Chris Vear, who felt that the back ground could be more detailed and that I could incorporate the text elements better. So I decided to just redo it to incorporate their suggestions.

Here are the new elf sketches that I did trying to keep them simple cute and homeless looking.

I compiled all of the sketches along with some of the roughs I had done fro the older version and I created a new back ground sketches adding more posters on the walls. This is the sketch that I took into illustrator and made into the card.

Here is side A
I wanted to try and not do heavy black outlines and to not shade it so that they looked like little cut out characters. I took the finished Illustrator version into Photoshop and added paper texture to everything and added some blues to make the elves look more somber. Some of the lines got a little washed out; I should have paid a little more attention to my contrasts. There are a lot of things that I like about this piece and a lot of things that I think could have been better. I learned a couple of things and I think the second one definitely looks better then the first one. Though it took me way more time so we got off to a late start and I never got around to sending out my cards to my friends. Sorry guys, I still love you.

Here is side B
We based the idea of doing a post card off of this weird troll post card my mom found, on the back of that post card there was an illustration of the troll kids just sitting there so I wanted to do a similar thing. So here is the back of the post card with my homeless elves dumpster diving.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two Cups of Tea

Here is something I did for my friend Catey for her bridal shower, which is today. Laura is one of the brides maids and was helping out with the festivities of the bridal shower and had me design an invite. The theme of the bridal shower was a tea party, which made Laura think of the song by the Star Fucking Hipsters, Two Cups of Tea. One of the lyrics is "Two cups of tea // one for you and one for me."

This was always designed to be a painting but I started out by sketching it in Illustrator because I wanted a nice and clean template for the cups and the pattern going around the cups. The sketch I made in illustrator ended up being too flat for Laura and she sent me some tattoo pictures of tea cups for reference. Based off of those I sketched out these tea cups and added a ribbon to it with the song lyrics in the ribbon. I was really happy with how the painting turned out

This is a used tea bag that was meant to hold the the info for the bridal shower. In the end it was not the right size to fit all of the information. So I added it around the illustration, using the tea tag for the RSVP information.

We ended making these into postcards to send out to invited guests.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Card 2008

Christmas Card 2008!
This years card my mom and me decided that we wanted to put my Grandpa on the cards.

Here is the one of the many sketches that I did in October for my Daily Sketch Blog for my mom to pick what was going to be on the Christmas card. This was in fact the first Sketch that I did, the other ones were all "A Christmas Carol" based where my Grandpa was Scrooge, because he enjoyed saying "Bah, Humbug!" during the Christmas Seasons as well as he hung a sign in his front yard to that effect. In my rendition of "A Christmas Carol" my mom and dad were the ghosts of Christmas past, My brother was the giant ghost of Christmas present, and Laura and myself were the ghosts of Christmas Future. My mom and I both liked the concept, however some of my illustrations made my mom uncomfortable with the way i portrayed my grand father so she picked the first one I did where i had my Grandpa as father time and my new baby (second) cousin Reece as Baby New Year. This was very appropriate because my grandfather had passed away a couple of weeks before Reece was born, so it seemed like what happens with the changing of the year, the old pass one into our memories and the new is brought in with limit less possibilities.

I brought the sketch into Photoshop and completed the sketch to be a full body shot and then I added a clock and some texture for the back ground. For some reason every one kept thinking that my grandfather was death, instead of father time, I for some reason have references from the 30s in grained in my brain.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Card 2007

It seems that despite the fact that I had this blog way back in 2007 (I think) I didn't bother to post this on my blog even though I posted all of my old Christmas cards from the five years before that. So Before I let another year pass without posting it here it is.
In 2007 my mom asked me to do a family portrait being tired of doing Santa jokes from the years before. In 2o07 I also met Laura and my mom recognizing how important Laura was to me and how much i loved her offered to have me put Laura in our family portrait. Letting her know that she is part of our family.

Here is the sketch that I started with the idea being that it was

Here is the final version of the card that was sent out to every one.