Thursday, July 25, 2013

There's A Hero Inside Us All - Piece Breakdown

So this is a piece I have spent countless hours on! I think I've been working on this one for close to two months. A while back I saw a really cool photo of Heath Ledger as the Joker where half of him was in make up, and the other half was his actual face. I really liked the idea of having a piece where one person is split down the center (in fact three years ago I did a stylized self portrait based off of that idea!) I decided that instead of doing the Joker, I would go with a Hero for this piece, and play off of the theme that everyone has a hero inside of them. Now I'm a diehard DC Comics fan, but I decided to go with Captain America for this piece, mainly because I felt that Steve Rogers was a good example of someone who really embodied this concept.

The first thing I did was go to Photoshop and make a SUPER rough mockup of the concept I had in mind. I decided to go with the current movie version of Captain America, as I felt that it would be a version of the Captain that most people would recognize. I actually had a hard time finding a good front facing shot of the Captain, so I had to combine a few images to make the mockup. Next I found a picture of Chris Evans, who portrays Captain America to use as reference for the Steve Rogers side of the piece.

Now that I had my mockup, the next step was to sketch out the piece. I have the problem that most things I draw are stylized and slightly cartoon-esque, which I didn't want to happen with this piece. With that in mind I decided to try a technique that I normally don't use, which is using a grid to sketch. I placed a grid over my reference image and then a grid on my blank canvass in order to the sketch to resemble the original photo. I was pleasantly surprised with the result, and I think that I will be using this technique for portraits more often.

Now that I had my sketch the way I wanted it, all that was left was to paint. As I said before I wanted to try and avoid a stylized work, so I had to make sure that no line art was involved. I found a fantastic tutorial on portrait painting by Roger Fletcher which really helped out with the painting process. Finally the final steps were to add the text I wanted to use and then figure out a background. I decided to go with a recruitment poster that transitioned into an American flag, as I felt that it both fit the theme of the piece and the subject matter.

For a first attempt at a photorealistic piece, I'm quite happy with it. I know that there is a lot I could improve on, but I really love how this turned out in the end! Well I hope you like the piece and enjoyed reading about my process for this one. I have another portrait in the works already, so I can't wait to get back to working on that!

Until next time!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


So ever since attending Star Wars Celebration IV and seeing this amazing T-Shirt by Matt Busch I've wanted to do a similar style piece. A few months back I saw this AMAZING promo photo from Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back and I thought that it would be fun to do a painting of it. Since I wanted to try this new style I figured this would be a good test subject. Here's the result!

So one thing I added that wasn't in the original photo was the "Bang" flag. However instead of "Bang" I wrote "Pew" in Aurebesh. I just felt that it needed something extra!

This is definitely one of my largest pieces to date, at 30x15 inches! I plan on getting this printed up at full size and then possibly selling some half sized prints in the future! However if there is enough interest I might do a limited run of the full sized ones!



Friday, July 5, 2013

Pixar Typography Posters

So I recently learned how to make images out of a block of text, and I've been having a lot of fun with it the past two days. Yesterday was the Fourth of the July for us Americans, so in honor of that I did this piece of Thomas Jefferson which was made up of the Declaration of Independence. After I finished that up I decided I wanted to make a poster of one of my favorite Pixar films, Monsters Inc. I used an image of Mike and Sulley and filled them with the lyrics of Randy Newman's "If I Didn't Have You". I really liked how it turned out so I started to do posters for other Pixar characters. Before I knew it, I did one for each Pixar film, excluding sequels/prequels. I really like this style of art, and I'll probably be making these posters available for sale once my site is up. However if you find yourself needing one THIS SECOND send me an email and let's chat!



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Freelance Fun!

I'm not sure how common this is at other Universities, but my school has this craigslist thing that someone created on facebook. Its a group of about 7,000 members, who sell anything from Beats by Dre to Blacktip Sharks (no I'm serious, check this out!). Every now and then I check out the page to see if there is anything I might want, when I happened to find someone looking for some freelance design work. I got in contact with her and found out that she wanted a logo for the organization she was part of, called I Am That Girl. After chatting about what she wanted, we finally settled on a Facebook banner design instead of a logo. She wanted something girly, preppy, and similar to something you'd see in a sorority. Obviously as a 22 year old guy this was my area of expertise. Initially I went with something that felt more "Greek" but we finally settled on this design, which is much more preppy.

On the same facebook post where the client was asking for logos, I found someone else who wanted a logo made for her club. After getting in contact with her, I found out that her club was the DIY club, and they wanted both a logo and an icon. With this logo, I had a clear idea in mind and immediately went to work. I wanted to make up the letters DIY out of objects you would use for a DIY project. The client really liked that and the only thing she had me change were some of the tools, as she felt that it was a bit too masculine. The last thing she had me do was make up an icon for the club as well, that they could use on posters, banners, etc. In this case, the client had a clear design in mind, and provided me with the background image to use, and the font. These are what we came up with

It was fun doing some freelance work and I know that I will definitely be keeping my eye out on that facebook page for any other future jobs like this. If you have any design needs feel free to send me an email at