What an amazing trip we had!
Sorry for the late post! I wrote most of this in September but just have been busy settling into a routine here in Southern California. Now as February 13th, 2018 we are definitely settled, haha! My goal is to continue posting once a month here. I missed January :( but I'm not giving up yet! What follows is the original post I wrote in September and I'll be sure to update you on what's been going on in the last few months shortly.
Here’s a list of things we experienced:
Airplanes, rocket engines, aliens, buffalo, texas bbq, st. louis bbq, frozen custard, zoos, Bearizona, the Grand Canyon, shooting stars, forests, farms, deserts, mountains, and plains. Superhighways that intersected to create strange roller coaster-like ramps. Mini tornadoes of dust. Tumbleweeds exploding off our car.
It was long, but worth it.
We are now enjoying the heat in L.A. We just came back from a ‘work’ lunch and bought coffee from a jean shop. Yeah... that’s a thing here. Lots of businesses just sell coffee for no apparent reason. It was good though!
From Washington, D.C. to St. Louis. Dallas to Roswell. Flagstaff (Grand Canyon) to Glendale. We made it. :)
Now let the real fun begin!
As I write this, it is August 7th and I have 3 more days left at a job that I have thought is my own personal hell.
YES, that’s overly dramatic but oh, so true. I realized that sometime around 2007 or 08 in the parking garage at Foxwoods Casino. If the Devil him/herself chose my means of suffering they could do no better (or worse??) than having me park cars for all of eternity while enjoying small-talk with strangers about how [OBVIOUSLY!!!] hot hell is today. And yesterday. And the day before. I KNOW ALREADY! Can’t you see I’ve been OUTSIDE FOR THE PAST 2 MILLENIA!
Well, I’m super excited to NOT have to work outside in New England anymore. It’s not the weather that bothers me, it’s the TALKING about the weather that really rubs me the wrong way. I already know that Fall is… well Fall is just FREAKIN’ FANTASTIC! Isn’t it? Winter is ALWAYS LONGER than it was last year, Spring is JUST around the corner, and Summer? SUMMER??? WHERE THE HELL DID SUMMER GO?
So, all you New Englanders, don’t let me stop you from talking about the weather, CARRY ON! Just leave me out of it ;)
Seriously though, I am really HAPPY to be leaving this job and moving forward with my life! Here’s hoping that my checkered past does not follow me to California, otherwise I may wind up parking other people’s cars….again :/
However, signs are promising and since it’s been over ten years since I’ve been in trouble with the law (and 8-plus years of sobriety) I am keeping my fingers-crossed that I’ll be fine.
UPDATE: We're in DC now on the 16th staying with a college friend :) A few days here and back on the road!
I am starting to do some of these "diary comics" to help with my storyboarding practice. This is just a little clip from my daily life. Hopefully, I can do about one a week for now.
I can see that limiting myself to traditional means of pen and pencil compared to the limitless options digitally is helping with my practice. I love color but it's just not for me right now, and I can't seem to not color/render when I do something digitally! I have to thank Cassie Soliday for inspiring me and answering my question on the sketch zone podcast. That led me to this technique. Draw it very small at first; draw it a little bigger, with less lines; and then one more time, with less lines; then ink.
Check out this YouTube link to hear Cassie's answer to my question on the podcast:
Here's the latest update from the fundraiser/art sale:
"WE DID IT!!! Thanks to you :)
As of Monday night, July 24th we are at $640!!! That's ALL of our gas money (for 2 cars), or ALL of our hotel nights, or 106 lattes from Starbucks (at $6 a piece) That's a-latte mullah! And that's a really bad pun
Thank you everybody for getting us over the goal! Because of that everyone will be getting an extra gift with their donation! We still have art to sell so if you haven't already, go and check out the fundraiser. It will be up until the last day in July!
We will be shipping/delivering things after that and on August 15th we will be headed out on the open road."
Here is the link to the fundraiser again!
Thanks and talk to you soon!
I really like this idea of just dumping a whole six-month supply of sketches on you! I hope you like it too ;) Maybe I'll make it a regular feature of the blog.
This is pretty much every sketch I did on my phone. Some are from travels to LA in January. We went to the zoo and some museums. There is a lot of Starbucks sketches and some digital plein air sketches from the West Haven beach. See if you can guess which painting isn't mine! One of them is a ten-minute copy of a Joseph Mallord William Turner (JMW Turner) painting at the Yale Center for British Art.
REMINDER: Julia and I are moving in one month and we'd love your support. We have a fundraiser/sale where you can buy some artwork at very low prices! You can also donate if that's what you'd like to do!
Here is the link to the Generosity.com fundraiser. Supposedly 100% of your donations go to us (no fees involved) Julia and Landon's Next Journey We are close to the $500 goal and if we get to it I will be giving out a special surprise with each purchase. :)
It's getting pretty serious over here.
Julia and I have one month left until we hit the road; final destination, Los Angeles! We are having a fundraiser/sale on Generosity.com if you want to check out what we have to offer. If there's anything not on the list that you're interested in just send me an email.
Here's the link again.
Now's a great time to buy as our prices are slashed; plus it will help us a great deal!
Landon and Julia
This is an animation I created using an illustration I did previously as a base. It's a protostar that is shooting outflows of material during the formation of itself into a star.
This is for fun and by no means a scientific representation of what's happening. The original illustration was done with lots of reference and science understanding but this animation is just something cool to look at! I doubt that this has much resemblance to what actually happens but maybe there is a little something there!
I have a number of signed prints of this already in a 13" x 19" format on high-quality luster paper with archival inks that are available. I was surprised at how great the image looks printed on this paper!
UPDATE: I meant to put this blog post out 6 months ago and just never got around to it. So much has been happening lately! In preparation for our move to LA we are going to have a sale of sorts so stay tuned on how you can get this print as well as others, plus original artwork. :)
Hey! I haven't shown you anything in quite awhile... Sorry about that! I had a post ready and then forgot about it. I've been very busy working towards a new goal I have.
That goal is to work in the animation industry!
I have been doing a workshop and mentorship with Kris Wimberly and TheAnimationNetwork.org.
You'll be seeing more narrative work from me, including comics and storyboards. I went to LA in January and man was it nice to be in California xD If all goes to plan, I will be out there by the end of the year. There are just so many amazing artists, teachers, opportunities, etc.! I look forward to this new challenge!
Enjoy this first comic strip I've done. It's about PetSmart and inspired by someone I know who works there :D I have tried to do other small comic strips but just haven't been able to finish them properly. I finally finished this storyboarding workshop and it has really helped. It's all starting to come together now!
Below is the first draft done in my sketchbook with post-it notes. That's my new secret weapon by-the-way. Post It notes are so easy to scrap and move around. It just made everything so much easier. It's a new secret to me anyways, (not to anyone in animation anyways!)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :D Thank you for your support in 2016 and continued support into 2017!
Hey! It's been awhile and I've been broke-ish? I'm never really broke.. I always save money but I've been behind since I made that fateful decision to go back to college. (Here's hoping I dig myself out of that hole one day ;)) Needless to say, I got BILLS! In a flurry of excitement (or stress, depending on how you look at it) I uploaded some pictures and filled out my profile on Upwork.
Upwork is the former Elance website where people with skills can connect to people with projects/ideas. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of CRAP out there but it is much better than when it was Elance. By CRAP I mean, some people expect you to do 10 illustrations for $25, maybe $100, if you're lucky. Or a logo for $25. Considering it could take 20 - 40 hours to do a GOOD logo, that price is pretty ridiculous, but I digress.
I also have a goal to make $1000 in freelance money this year. (I thought about keeping that a secret, it's sometimes nice to keep these things private, but then that's probably what you really want to know! If I were reading this I'm sure I would have that question!) I put in probably 20 - 40 proposals in about 3 weeks time before I was able to convince a total stranger that I will not fail them!
Wallah! I worked on this mobile game called Rum The Dog. It is a fun pinball-style game and I invite you to give it a try. I created the logo and the Level 2 (Kitchen pack). The game is free but the Level 2 pack is $1.99. Here is a link to it on android and ios.
Above is my first go at the "pencil" stage. I used my own kitchen for reference. It helps that I renovated that kitchen from the ground up so I know it like the back of my hand!
The left image above is the BEFORE and the right picture is the AFTER. YES! I DID THAT! And I'm DAMN proud of it! (I can't leave my Dad and Mom hanging, THANK YOU for the help :))
Although, I already had the basic layout prepared, I wanted to give my client a few options for color. I really did not know much about the game at this point; my main instructions were to keep it "bright" and "modern" and to keep to the existing style of the Level 1 Living Room pack.
Here is the cleaned-up final ink version. I fixed the perspective issue with the reference from the photo I used. The camera tends to add a fish-eye and warp all the straight lines in most images.
Above is the living room finished by another artist. (I do not know who, otherwise I would credit them.) My goal was to stick to this style. That was definitely something I was worried about. I am not practiced at being so exact with my colors, lines, shapes and shadows. I am much more attuned to being "loose" and "painterly."
Here is the finished Kitchen pack! I think that I was pretty successful at keeping to the original style. I also am happy with the texturing on the countertop and cabinets, as well as the gradients for the appliances. I am still learning this digital workflow but I am beginning to see the rewards with a faster digital workflow.
Just to reiterate, I did this all digitally on Photoshop CC. I used Kylebrushes mostly but the cabinets and (I think) the granite I created custom brushes to do that texture. I used the Adobe Capture app on my phone to snap a pic and then make a brush from that picture. It's pretty awesome to be able to do that actually :)
Next I had to do the logo. Honestly, I kinda hate doing logos. They are such an up and down roller coaster ride. One minute I think, "yeah, this is ok"; the next minute I've done 5 different variations and I have no idea if any of them are any better. However, the back and forth with the client and the satisfaction from finally solving this problem for them is a great feeling!!!
Here is just a small sampling of thumbnail designs I did for this logo. My instructions were to create something simple that uses the ball as the main object in the logo. This was also to be bright.
Personally, I liked the one on the left and the middle a bit better than the one on the right. My client did not. Sometimes it's just not what they are looking for and you have to remember not to take it personally. I think we did an awesome job of collaborating and expressing different ideas to each other. Overall, I am really happy with the end product which is below.
I invite you to download the game for your Android or Apple device. It's a very fun game and it can be addicting at times. The game is free. If you want to play the Kitchen level that I worked on that is $1.99. (I don't get any cut of the profits, if that's waht you're thinking ;) but I may be asked to design any further levels if there is enough interest) Feel free to share with your friends!
Here is the link to the Google Play Store for your Android device.
Here is the link to the iOS App Store for your Apple device.
I think one thing to remember here is that next time I am feeling broke... all I have to do is ask.
Well, ask a lot, and eventually I will receive what I am looking for! :D
While I was away…. Well, I wasn't really away, just not here in this particular spot inside the Internet. That's a strange place to be, and I'm not sure if it should be referred to as a place.
It is, of course.
It’s somewhere in a relatively large, nondescript building, in fact, it's more than likely in multiple nondescript buildings somewhere in America. I think. Some hard disk is spinning away right now, regurgitating this information back to you.
Is it the same hard disk it's always been on, or have I been moved from drive to drive. What about Facebook and Instagram and Tumblr and LinkedIn and MySpace. YES! MySpace! I'm still out there somewhere on MySpace and maybe there's a little left of me on AOL, too.
Lando003 is my AIM.
It's stuck with me to so many places here. Banking institutions and email addresses. I'm glad it's not as ubiquitous as HustleDogGetThatMoney69@gmail.com. At one of my day jobs at a retail store we are sometimes asked to input someone's email address and it is all I can do not to break out into laughter as I am being told their address.
While that address is fictional (I hope!) it's a pretty good example of why I am glad in the Nineties I created Lando003 and not SuperstarLandoShinesBright333!!!
Well, what have I been up to?
I have been drawing, sketching, learning and painting. I have been able to relax a bit without having to come up with something for the blog every week. I think I will shoot for a monthly schedule from here on out. I only have so much time in the day, and considering my goal is to become a better artist every day, I need to draw more and that takes time!
I can only devote a couple hours a day during the week as I do have a full-time day job. Of course, I spend the majority of my weekend working on art projects, etc. Plus, I do have freelance artwork to do for clients which helps pay the bills but doesn’t really help me much on my art path.
With that being said, tomorrow is October 1st and with it brings my second installment of #Inktober. (If you've forgotten, Inktober is a month-long celebration of Ink work done by artists who post one drawing daily during the month of October.) I will be continuing the story I created last year so stay tuned!
Here is a quick recap video of what happened during last year's Inktober. Maybe I will give some background information about this story in a following blog. Of course, I'd have to make up that background information because I am still pretty much winging it on this story! This year I plan on doing a little bit more "homework" so the story and drawings sync up better. We'll see!
Here's a link to the 30 Second recap video of last year's Inktober if the embedded video is not working.
It's been awhile since I've talked to you…
I haven't had much freelance work of late so I decided to enter a contest. It was by comic book colorist K Michael Russell. The project was to color a comic strip that had already been penciled by someone else. (For those that do not know, me included not too long ago, comics are a collaborative project usually with a writer, a person that Pencils the original drawing, someone else who then Inks that drawing, and lastly a fourth person who Colors the page. I've never colored a comic like this before so I took his free webinar. It was actually very good I was surprised how much I learned and I recommend it to anyone wanting more information about technique, etc. Here is the link -> ComicColor.com
I used some of his techniques from the webinar and applied them to the comic strip. Overall, it took a long time, but I definitely feel like I learned a lot and honestly, I did expect to win his course. First and Second place won the course while first place additionally won a critique. There was a about 10 other artists and the competition was very good. I assumed that I had a leg up on everybody else considering my 4 years of Art School.
I was wrong.
It's always difficult putting yourself out there as an artist, creating new things and wondering what kind of feedback you're going to get. Sometimes it’s crickets.
Sometimes it’s a thumbs up and sometimes it’s “I want that, sell it to me.”
I would think that at some point I would get used to the prospect of rejection, but it still stings.
I was certainly put in my place. I was knocked off the pedestal I’ve been on for a little while, lol. And it feels good. Now. It didn’t before. But it does now.
When I found out I “lost” I was a little depressed, quite honestly. I had a a couple days where I was kind of confused and didn't know where to go or what to do. Well I've decided to double down on my schooling and I enrolled in SVS. It's the [online] School of Visual Storytelling formed by Will Terry and Jake Parker whom I follow on YouTube and elsewhere. It is a pretty good deal as it's less than $15 a month for all the classes I can take.
Here’s the link to the Facebook post for the contest where you can see all of the entries including mine -->Contest Results
So the moral of the story is I'm going to take some time off of the blog and I may still edit a few videos (I have a huge backlog of footage…) but I'm going to try and concentrate on learning more about this craft we call illustration for the next month or two. So if you don't hear from me until then, don't get worried, I'll see you on the other side of Summer!
I dropped my oldish phone at a Starbucks. I tried to slip it into my back pocket. It, alternatively, slipped right down my pants leg and onto the stylishly tiled floor. It was on life-support for a few days until it finally gave out after one last fall at work... Funny thing is, I can still talk to it and it talks back to me. It tells me the time, or what my last text message was and I can respond via voice. I just can't see anything on the screen.
Well, I'd been thinking about what it would be like to be able to draw on my phone [easily] for the past few months anyways
I was getting UPGRADE FEVER.
For those of you who don't know, upgrade fever is a state of mind that comes when a person is getting close to the end of their current phone contract and is totally preoccupied with all of the NEWEST phones coming out. I.e. Spending 3 hours a night researching the latest phone trends and latest technologies.
Not that that was what I was doing...
To make a long story a little shorter, there are currently TWO phones (that I know of in the US) that come with stylus' that can stay tucked away INTO the phone when you are not using it. The Samsung Note 5 (this is the latest iteration, anyways, you can go further back in technology, but COME ON who would want to do that?? And the LG Stylo (which its newest cousin should be arriving in stores shortly..the Stylus 2) The LG is cheaper materials, processor, software, etc. and does not have pressure-sensitivity for the stylus which is a big no-no when it comes to making art! It was pretty easy to make the decision to go with the Samsung which has pretty much been awesome since I've had it for two months now.
I can't talk to it though.
I mean I can, it just doesn't listen [Very well anyways..]
Oh, how I miss the Motorola Voice software... oh well.
Everything above was drawn while I was at work. If it is slow enough in the afternoon where I can reliably get a minimum of 3 minutes in between parking cars, I will generally try to get out a sketch. I usually choose the sky as a focal point.
If it is really slow and I think I can get a good 5 minutes I may try for a person. The "Ugly Dog Lady" from above is a lady that frequents my work and is always with her dog. It is usually dressed up in a sweater, brightly colored, of course.
I don't know. Maybe it's just me but I don't think a bald dog with pink and brown patches of skin and what appears like the same hairstyle as Donald Trump is particularity attractive... BUT it is interesting to paint :)
I LOVE TWILIGHT! The sky gets a particular type of blue just before all the light from the sun escapes to the other side of the Earth. I am always chasing that color but it still seems to escape me. I did this while standing on the sidewalk of a bridge that crossed the train tracks.
Maybe I'll try for an oncoming train next time!
The painting of the brick building was done on a very slow afternoon! I had a lot of time to add details and get a decent drawing in before i started to put down some color.
The painting on the right was done while I was sitting at Starbucks. I was sketching a couple ladies studying in front of me but they seemed to catch on quickly and I got nervous!
It is a great feeling to capture a little bit of someone on the down low. It is a completely different feeling when they notice.
It's just CREEPY at that point.
So, that's why I ended up painting I95 :) Usually it is not a very interesting subject but considering I had little choice, I am glad I came up with the composition I did. I enjoy the pinkish hue of the street lights contrasting with the blue twilight sky.
The artwork on the left is a fantastical landscape I created after being consumed with Magic: The Gathering lately. It is a card collecting/trading/playing game that started in the nineties. I played when I was younger.
My mother sold my cards in a yard sale.
I love you, Mom.
I'm sorry but I had to mention this... I want those cards!!! :)
The [cropped] artwork on the right is by Noah Bradley and has been printed on an actual Magic card. The amazing thing about Magic is that all the cards have these amazing illustrations on them!
Just to sum things up...
All the paintings were done on my Samsung Note 5 smartphone. They all took 15 minutes or less and were done in the ArtRage app for Android.
I really like the format of the phone. The aspect ratio is great, too. The restriction of size on the phone is something I can't seem to do on my computer. I always make the digital canvas too many pixels and then it takes the file long to load and slows EVERYTHING up.
I think it gives my artwork a feeling of immediacy that I haven't been able to get otherwise. The loose painting is a great way for me to shore up my skills and reminds me to Keep It Simple, Stupid. Or KISS, if you haven't seen the acronym before.
Simpler is always better.
This is a time lapse video of a digital drawing I did in Adobe Photoshop CC of. It is part of a series I've been doing with the 2016 Presidential candidates using the #Marchofrobots theme.
Ted Cruz is a junior United States Senator from Texas. He is a Republican and is running to be their representative in the 2016 Presidential election.
I could not find much "material" on Cruz other than that he really doesn't like Obamacare, hence his robot form is a paper shredder to take care of very last pesky page of that *** page bill!
I am a little late on that, as it IS April now! But as I say... better late than never!
It is probably about 3 to 5 hours condensed into 5 minutes.
Click below to go to the YouTube website if the embedded video is not playing.
So this is the last in my series of 3 posts about My Artist Resources. These are things I look, at use, watch and/or listen to that help me do the things I do. Check out Part 1 (YouTube) here and Part 2 (Tools an Software) here.
I have embarked on a new project that has come about from this March of Robots event, I guess you would call it. It's similar to Inktober, which I participated in last year during the month of October. You're supposed to draw 30 robots for each day of the month of March and then post them on social media with the hashtag #marchofrobots.
I realized very quickly that I would not be drawing 30 robots in 30 days so I changed the project to benefit me more. I figured having a few polished and colored robots as compared to 30 half-done, very hurried drawings or sketches would be better.
I think I'll probably have 10 or make that less than 10 finished illustrations by the end of this. With the current political climate right now there's just so much material so I decided to make robots of many of the politicians in the running for president of the United States.
Here is one of the first ones I did, Ben Carson. I started with Jeb Bush and got him just before he dropped out and same thing with Ben Carson. So far I'm learning a lot and definitely my digital workflow is improving and I think that equates to my style improving, too. It's nice to be able to fall back on a “style” rather than to think, should I do this in Watercolor, Oil, Digital, or Whatever?
I hope you enjoy it!
If you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments below. Is there someone you wish didn’t drop out? Is there someone you just hate? Or are you a passive observer at this point (that’s ME!)
Click on the picture below to see the video on YouTube or watch the embedded video which is on the website (also below).
Hey, Hey, Hey! Click on the link below to go to the YouTube video.
I decided to change it up a bit with my editing and make it somewhat informative, too. There are a few facts I learned while researching Saturn for the painting strewed throughout the video that I think you will find interesting. Go ahead, check it out!
The 8 minute drawing challenge. Draw the same thing 6 times. First you have 4:00, then 2:00, 1:00, :30, :15, and :05. Watch me draw like a kindergartner!
It's a bit out of focus, sorry, I'll try better next time!
Click the image below to see the video via the YouTube website.
Hello to you! This is the second part of my Artist Resources list for 2016. Check out the first list HERE. It focuses on YouTube channels that I watch for inspiration and information. As for Part 2, these are all things I discovered and found extremely useful to my workflow. Maybe you have other things you have found or maybe there is something I have forgotten, let me know in the comments!
Well, that is about it for this list. Well. Almost.
Let me just quickly mention that I use the Microsoft Surface Pro Pen 3 and 4 Stylus for my digital drawings. The new nibs on the 4 are nice and I use the middle one most of the time (I think it is "H") and if I am painting loosely I may use the softest nib (B), which replicates that feeling a little bit better. The fact that it is also magnetic is nice because I can stick it on any of the various metal surfaces around my desk and find it quickly. I can't tell you how many times I went searching for the Pro 3 Stylus throughout the house... finding it under a pillow in my bed, down the crack in the couch, etc., etc.
Next time I will have my list of favorite artist podcasts.
So I have a new schedule for the new year. I will be doing a dedicated blog post bi-weekly and I will be posting YouTube videos bi-weekly. They will alternate the weeks and this should help me to transition into doing more videos which I think people respond well to. (I know I do!)
This week I have uploaded a video on the process of making the Earth illustration I did late last year.
Here is the description on YouTube:
"I painted this planet called Earth in watercolor. It has been my home for the past... ummm... 32 years now. It's beautiful. Check out this watercolor and digital mix illustration. I used Winsor & Newton Artist Grade Watercolors (some white Gouache), Photoshop CC, and Artrage 4 to complete it."
Let me know if you have any comments or questions about the new schedule.
Click here to go to the video!
Landon R. Wilson
Welcome to my blog.