Wednesday, 10 October 2012

UPDATE- Work, life, etc.

Hello again blog lovers. I just logged on to realize you've been viewing my blog up into the quadruple digits; and considering my lack of posts I thought that was pretty sweet! So thank you for stopping by all those times.

The end of summer was filled with non-stop fun for me and my family, hope it was the same for all of you. My sister and a few of our friends also visited our first art crawl in September. It was amazing to see so many talented people, and you can read all about that on Jess's blog! After that I started the very long and appointment filled process of modifying a new wheelchair. I won't get into details, but the important thing is that I have it now! However this chair is taller than my old one, so I had to rearrange my work space. Not using photoshop for that month was torture, but I'm making up for it!

As far as work goes I still have a couple projects happening...just not sure if I can talk about them yet. But I can tell you that I decided to write a graphic novel of my own! I'm in the early stages of writing and working on characters sketches. I still don't know how comfortable I am talking details, or showing any pictures, but if I disappear from the internet again at least you'll know why. For now here's some illustrations I've been doing in my spare time, unrelated to my work.

I started this before I got my new chair, and worked a little on it today (as you can see on the far right). There's really no reasoning behind it, I just thought it'd be cool to do a scene with a recently killed monster. I still have to decide what the beast will look like before I work him in, because I'm not happy with the sketch (it looks like a giant dog).

At one point I got frustrated with the previous picture, so I started this...thing. I really don't know what it is, but I just needed to loosen up.

And lastly I have this other thing! There's some logic behind this one though. I just celebrated my birthday last week, and I finally realized how much I love the month of October (only took me 23 years to notice)! So I wanted to paint something using all the amazing fall colours we're enjoying. You can't tell yet, but I'm planning something cool for that orange fabric.

Anyway, that's all I have to show for now. Let me know what you think! Until next time interwebs, stay classy.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

PIXAR ARTISTS MASTERCLASS- Toronto

On July 27th and 28th I attended the Pixar master class, along with my friend, in Toronto. To say it was amazing would be a horrible understatement...I don't even care how dramatic that sounded, it's the truth! It was everything I'd hoped it would be, and more. Now I'm not going to get into specifics (pretty sure I'm not allowed to anyway), but I'll give you my thoughts.

The first day was all about story development, and I still feel that these lectures were my favourite; just based off the topic (not speakers or anything like that). Matthew Luhn spoke about everything from storyboards to writing gags. It was fantastic! We also had the privilege of having Emma Coats as a guest speaker, who gave so many useful writing tips, I almost stood up and asked for an encore (only my family and friends will get that joke...sorry). You need to check out her website, it's full of great information, and added bonus you can ask her anything! After that day I had never felt more motivated to get writing (which is odd for me), because not only did they outline what makes a great story, they gave you the tool to make one. Somethings may have seemed like common sense to the average person, but you'd be surprised how many people miss those ideas when they write. Plus to hear the experts confirm everything you've been thinking about for years was just wonderful. It made you feel less like a crazy person, because you can officially say "No there are other people who think like this, and they work at PIXAR!" (well it did for me anyway).

The second day, which covered everything animation, had more surprises than I had expected. You have to understand, I don't have the makings or the desire to be an animator. I took animation in college, but was not a fan of the whole "now make it move" aspect, so I decided to stick to illustrations. But I have a small understanding of what it takes (I never did it well, but I get it), so seeing an expert at work was just as fascinating. Andrew Gordon gave detailed lectures on all the principles of animation, and much much more. I personally enjoyed the gestures talk, because I could apply those lessons to my illustrations. You could tell all the aspiring animators in the room were mesmerized the entire day. And for those of you who want to get into that field, be prepared for more work than you bargained for! Not only do you have to analyze everything around you (which is common for any artist), but then you have to apply it flawlessly, in every teeny tiny detail. It's insanity, and I believe now more than ever that animators are gods among men.

It was a privilege to get the chance to attend, and I'll never forget. Also just an fyi to all of you animation fanatics, this tour isn't finished just yet! They've got one last stop in Vancouver, so if you can make the trip out there I highly recommend it to anyone in the film, gaming or comic book industries. Follow the link to register, you won't be disappointed.

Aaand since this is an art blog, I guess I should post some art! Here's the rough for something I started today.

It needs work I know, but I'll get there! Until next time interwebs, stay classy!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

HAPPY BAT DAY!

After a very long wait, the day is here! Jess and I are all pumped up for the Dark Knight Rises tonight. The tickets are printed, the bat t-shirts are on, and the marathon will begin shortly. Then...we wait for the signal in the sky (teeheeee). If I had the energy I'd be painting something Batman-ish, but as you can imagine, I didn't get much sleep last night (I know Jess was worse off) :P So to all the Bat-fanatics out there with tickets, I hope you have a wonderful evening! And keep an eye on Jess's blog, because you know a Batman pic is gonna pop up within the week!

Since I've had a very awful posting rate lately, here's the work in progress shots of my business card images. I wanted to paint something epic, so I looked into my sketch book, found my dog-man idea and ran with it. I'm pretty happy with the finished product (which is rare...for me), but when it was all put together on the card, I was ecstatic! I have Jess to thank for that; she took care of the text and layout (best sister ever). Anyway we picked up the cards yesterday and they were perfect, so I'm a happy camper!

I'll take pics of the cards soon; but until then interwebs, stay classy!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

BIRD MAN- Preview

Wow it's been a while since I've posted anything, shame on me! Here's some rough work on a personal project I'm working on; I hope it makes up for my forgetfulness.

Basically I'm trying to create a Bird Man; and following the process of Terryl Whitlatch, I'm building him from the bones up (or out I guess). I gotta say it is a lot of fun creating creatures this way! I made sure I did plenty of research on bird anatomy (by research, I mean google), and found some key similarities to human muscles. But man, it gets tough. I'm constantly worrying about the logic behind every muscle, because each one should play an important role. I'm thinking of changing the back end to have more bird elements rather than human. We'll see!

Until next time interwebs, stay classy! Again, sorry for the lack of posts.

Monday, 11 June 2012

SITE NEWS

Happy Monday everyone! I may have missed yesterday's anatomy post, but I'll do you one better and officially announce the update to Over Dose Studio!

Jess has been hard at work re-vamping the logo and site layout, so thank you sis for all you're doing. Her portfolio will no longer be featured on the site, because she and her very talented friends are working towards starting 3J Design Solutions! It will be the graphic design company to knock your socks off (yea I went there people)! You can find out more about their plans here, and you can always see Jess's work on her temporary art portfolio. Parting is such sweet sorrow...well we're not physically parting (she works right beside me for pete's sake), but I'll still miss sharing the website we started 3 long years ago. Love you girl!

Logo Preview
With this change comes a whole new look! Over Dose studio is getting renamed to OD Illustrations, featuring both my personal and professional pieces. I'm really excited for the new gallery pages, they're super sleek and user friendly (what more could an internet lover ask for?). I think you'll be happy, but either way I know I am! So look forward to seeing the new site within the week (possibly tomorrow, finger's crossed)!

Until next time interwebs, stay classy!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

TATTOO DESIGN- Work in Progress

I know today was going to be my last anatomy post, but since I finished my sister's tattoo I'm sharing this instead! You can find more info on the design idea here.

Out of the two sketches I drew up for Jess (link), she and I felt this pose was the best. Usually when I start painting I keep the line art on a layer above with a low opacity. Once I have enough done I tend to hide it.









I typically work without colours for as long as possible. At this point I had just finished the hair and was moving on to the wings, BUT for some reason my Photoshop decided to mess with the hair layer! I didn't know why or how to fix it so I scrapped it and moved on....eventually. 'Tiz life!








It ended up being a good thing to loose the original hair layer. We now had the opportunity to replace the braid with a gold leaf hairpiece (sort of as a halo), and add more hair blowing to the side.









Once I had all my shadows worked out and all the pieces were made, I added colour. This is where I like to smooth things out (or add textures if it's a realistic pic), add darker shadows and pump up the highlights.










After some final adjustments I finished it off with a random background (just for myself). 7 hours and 42 minutes later, you got yourself a tattoo! Would've been more like 5 hours had Photoshop behaved, but it turned out for the best :)

Until next time interwebs, stay classy!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

BATMAN TRIBUTE POSTER

Happy Thursday one and all! Since I have a very annoying cold that just wont quit, I've got time to post the finished Batman tribute poster tonight (woot woot!). Hope you all like it!

Made in Photoshop CS4
I should probably mention that my client got a copy with all the bells and whistles to make it look like a movie poster (thank you Jess for all the help), but I don't feel right posting that everywhere so this is just the finished illustration. Took me a total of 52 hours and 24 minutes to finish...I have no idea if that's good or bad. Anyway, here are some close ups!


In the preview post I hadn't started Catwoman, which turned out to be a good thing! New official character posters were coming out the week I was working on her, so I finally had good reference pics to work from. It would've bugged me to death had I found out later that I made the entire Catwoman look wrong! To be honest though, I'm still confused by the whole headgear thing she's got on...but that's what dark shadows and the blur tool are for!

Anyway, now that I've confessed my art sins, I guess it's time for me to punch out. Gotta go blow my nose...so until next time interwebs, stay classy :P

Sunday, 27 May 2012

ANATOMY STUDIES- Leg

Here's the second last anatomy study sketch, featuring legs. I learned a lot from reading this chapter of Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy: Revised and Expenaded. Prior to, I didn't have a thorough idea of what muscles make up a leg; but now I know (and knowledge is power).

Leg notes
At the end of each chapter Hogarth gives drawing tips, which are the best parts of the book! They are so helpful, and for the most part they've become second nature when I'm drawing. I don't always remember every tip, but that's what notes are for!

Sometime this week I'll be posting the finished Batman tribute poster (yay), and then next Sunday I'll share my last anatomy study sketch. Now might be a good time to mention that the Over Dose Studio site and logo are getting a revamp! Whole new look (whole new name actually), and I'm super excited for Jess to get started (no pressure)! So I'll keep you all up to date here and on the Facebook page.

Until next time interwebs, stay classy!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

ANATOMY STUDIES- Arm

As I said in last week's anatomy post, the most difficult chapters of Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy: Revised and Expanded, in my opinion, were the arm chapters. Well, technically it was the lower arm chapter because the upper arm is pretty basic. I must have read it over at least a dozen times before I actually got around to summarizing everything!
Arm notes
As you can see, the lower half of the arm is basically a giant twist tie of muscles; so it took me a while to make sense of it all. Even though in reality you can't see every muscle, it's still helpful to have an understanding of what's there and why (or so I'm told). I'm pretty sure I took a long break between this and the previous chapter, because of school and what not. So these sketches were done after I had taken a few figure drawing classes, which is why they're a little better than the others. In any case, it was time well spent!

Hope you all got a chance to see my poster preview on Friday! Quick update on that, Bane is all finished and placed in the final file (about time!). Tomorrow I start working on Catwoman, and if all goes well the poster should be done this coming Thursday or Friday. If that's the case, I'll post it on the weekend.

Until next time interwebs, stay classy!

Friday, 18 May 2012

BATMAN POSTER- Process & Previews

As promised here are some previews to the Dark Knight tribute poster! Actually, both me and my sister were asked to do Batman posters, and you can see her's on her blog.  She did a kickass new interpretation of the iconic Bane breaking Batman's back image, so yea it's awesome!

To the left are the thumbnail ideas I sent to the client for my poster. There were two specifications for this project- A: it had to look like a movie poster (so I'm painting realistic stuff once again) and B: it had to have Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), Bane (Tom Hardy) and the caped crusader himself (Christian Bale). The client let me pick between the vertical thumbnail idea, and the bottom horizontal one.

On the right is the rough sketch of the final layout. I did end up going with the vertical idea so it would match my sister's posters (they're for the same client). The only major change I made from the thumbnail was to eliminate the entire city scape in flames. Focusing on one building with fire instead has made the process much easier (plus is looks more dramatic).




Since the image size is so large, I haven't been working on one Photoshop file. Each character and the back buildings have their own file, and I'm placing everything together once I'm done each element. To date I've got Batman and the background all finished up; Bane will be finished by tomorrow (preview to the left), then all that's left is Catwoman and final touch ups. Now the Batman preview above was taken a while ago, when I didn't realize the new cape had scallops. No worries to the fanatics out there, I fixed that up recently! 

With luck (and a few all nighters) this poster will be done late next week. It's taken more time because I'm also working on my very first movie concept job!  But more on that once this poster is done (like dinner). 

Until next time interwebs, stay classy. Feel free to come back Sunday for another anatomy post!


Monday, 14 May 2012

TATTOO DESIGN

Here are the concept sketches for my sister's next tattoo. She talked a little about it on her blog (link), but she's been thinking it over for a few years now.
Tattoo sketches in Photoshop
I have a feeling she's going to go with the one on the left. That's what I'd do anyway ;) After I finish a few other things, my next endeavour will be to paint one of these for her. I better get back to work!

Until next time interwebs, stay classy.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

ANATOMY STUDIES- Torso

As promised, I'm posting the next few pages of my anatomy sketches. Once again I'd like to point out that these are my summaries of Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy: Revised and Expanded; which is one of the great anatomy bibles out there. These are the sketches I made after reading the Torso chapter of the book in 2009.
Front and back notes of the torso

At the time, I thought this was going to be the most difficult chapter to rap my head around. There are 14 muscles in total (7 each side) that make up the human back, so I never thought I'd get through it all. Once I did I figured the hardest part was over...until I got the the arm chapters. I'll post those next Sunday.

During the week you can look forward to previews of my Batman poster, and I'll also post sketches of my sister's tattoo design. For now, I'd like to say happy mother's day to all the moms out there. Hope you all have the relaxing day you deserve :)

Until next time interwebs, stay classy! Love you Mama Oddi (for the record, we've been calling my mom that way before Disney's Princess and the Frog, just sayin)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

ESPRESSO

Ello one and all! Since there were lack of posts in April, I figured I'd give y'all an extra right now. Made this today as a warm up sketch on Photoshop, but I decided to take a little extra time to finish it up.

"Espresso"- made in Photoshop, 1 hour

It's a little representation of both my Grandfathers (or if you're Italian, my Nonnos). When I was young I hated espresso, but my Nonnos loved it. And like many Italians, they liked it with Sambuca (which I also hated). I thought it was a bitter and pointless drink, and the Sambuca gave it an even worse black liquorice taste. But time changes everything...well almost everything. I've grown to love espresso, so much so that I need one every night after dinner...still hate Sambuca though (yuckerz). Anyway whenever I drink it I think back to watching my Nonnos chit-chatting over a cup or two. Unfortunately my one Nonno on my Mother's side did pass away a while back; but I still enjoy having a cup with my Grandparent's who I'm lucky enough to have with me.

Hope you all like the picture, and look forward to Sunday when I continue posting anatomy stuff!
Until next time interwebs, stay classy

Sunday, 6 May 2012

ANATOMY STUDIES- Body Proportion, Head & Neck


Way back in 2009 I started reading Dynamic Anatomy: Revised and Expanded by Burne Hogarth (though I believe this revised edition has other writers as well). In order to learn everything this book had to offer, I decided to sum up major points in my sketchbook and draw key images...turns out that was a bigger task than I had anticipated. Most of the chapters went on for so long that I couldn't keep them all in one book. So I scanned all the pages and squished each body section together into large jpeg files. To date, I'm still not done going through the entire book...pretty sure I stopped half way through the hand chapter. Anyway, here are the sketchbook pages on the first three chapters.
Basic "head count" of the average body
Keep in mind these pictures were drawn back in 2009 (I was so young and naive!!). I promise the new ones I post will be much better.
Skull, head and neck notes
For those of you looking for an anatomy book, I highly recommend this one (it's the anatomy bible people, can't get any better). But be warned, it's not really a "how to draw" kind of guide. It uses the scientific names of all the muscles, and goes through each of their function and placement with tremendous detail. There are plenty of pointers and amazing pictures by the legendary Hogarth, but it can be overwhelming for first-timers (like myself..who was reading it in high school..and had yet to take a figure drawing class). I found it more useful when I was in college for animation, and had weekly figure drawing classes to see what the book was talking about in real life.

In other news (cheesy TV reporting segue, gotta love it), the Part 2 to my previous post [link] will be delayed. In order to keep this blog as a weekly thing, I'll be posting these anatomy pages for the next little while instead. So tune in next Sunday (cuz I like sundays) for more body part drawings :)

'Till then interwebs, stay classy!
P.S, the Batman poster should also be done by next week, so I'm pretty pumped for that!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Imaginism Studios Blog: Short film with Imaginism artists.

"Imaginism Studios Blog: Short film with Imaginism artists.: Film maker Emily Switzer created a short film called "PEN & PIXEL" profiling Imaginism Studio's artists talking about "digital vs traditional" art..." This was such a great video to watch, and since I've had this conversation many times with friends, I thought I'd keep the topic going with this and other posts to come!


Progress work for "Nobody
Could Be That Clever"
by Christina Zakhozhay 
For those of you who aren't familiar with digital painting programs, allow me to fill you in. There are a growing number of them out there, but the popular ones used by professionals to date are Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. Artists use these programs just as they would use paint on canvas (or pencils, markers, charcoal etc.), to create what's known as "digital paintings". We'll open a blank document, use the brush tool, and get to work (as you can see in the image to your right)! Both Photoshop and Painter were developed with the help (or opinions) of artists so that they could simulate painting and sketching tools, and work spaces. Some might argue Corel excels in creating more "realistic" paint textures and canvases, but thats a debate for another day. Now, in order to draw on the computer artists will use tablets, the popular ones being Wacom Tablets (for more info on Wacom, click here). Each one usually comes with a pen-looking tool (known as a stylus), used to draw on the tablet pad, which shows up on the computer monitor. Some tablet models are made to be the computer monitor, so you can draw directly on the screen (like the one in Imaginism's video). There's a little more to the process and products that I haven't mentioned, but I hope you now have a better idea of what digital art is all about (if not, you can always google it, yay google). So to set the record straight, Photoshop is not only used to retouch celebrity photos (we all know they do it).

I consider myself a digital artist (rather a student of digital art), but there are moments when I wish I could do more traditional paintings. However, this task becomes a bigger hassle for me due to my disability (it's called Spinal Muscular Atrophy by the way, feel free to look it up 'cause I don't know how to explain it fast). Large canvases are hard for me to work on, plus I need help to set everything up, clean brushes, replace water, sharpen pencils (if it's a sketch). It's a mess! But with digital media, all I need is a laptop and my handy-dandy tablet, and I'm good to go. That's the whole allure of digital programs for any artist. Plus many find it to be a faster way to create, after you've had a lot of practice. So whenever I have the "digital vs traditional" debate with friends, I tend to scoot over to the digital side.

"A Dialogue with the Water" by Christina Zakhozhay
I don't know any artists personally who argue that digital work isn't "art", but I know they're out there! While I respect everyone's opinions, I have to disagree. Simply take a look at artists like Bobby Chui, Mickael Kutshe, Dan LuVisi, Raphael Lacoste, and Kekai Kotaki (just to name a few), and you'll see amazing masterpieces. Christina Zakhozhay's, who was kind enough to let me feature her work in this post, is another example of impressive use of digital mediums. Christina is a Russian illustrator and fantasy writer, who has published the first of her trilogy "The Book of Contradictions". When I fist saw her work, I was blown away by her portraits. It's a skill I admire, and boy does she have a lot to admire! But she also has an arsenal of detailed fantasy pieces, like "A Dialogue with the Water" (shown on the left) and "A Song". Her style varies from simplistic to over the top realism, where she incorporates lifelike textures; which is why I feel she's using digital media in all the right ways. She's showcasing how flexible artists can be when they use these programs, which is why so many of us love them in the first place.

Having said all of this, digital programs aren't all sunshine and rainbows. Traditional work will always provide unique textures that computer programs will never get perfect (close, but not perfect). Which is why some people describe digital paintings as "cold" or "impersonal". But luckily, there are artists out there who have found a solution to this problem. So in my next post, I'll be talking about the marriage between digital and traditional mediums.

My thanks to Christina Zakhozhay for allowing me to use her work for this blog. And as always this is only my humble opinion, feel free to state your own. Until next time interwebs, stay classy!

Monday, 2 April 2012

MORE PRE-WORK

Tom Hardy portrait (done in 3 hours 26 minutes)
After a very relaxing weekend, it was nice to get back into Photoshop today and pop out another facial study! As I said in a previous blog post (it's right below, no complicated search required), I've been commissioned to do a tribute movie poster. So I decided to do speedy-ganzalas paintings of the actors that will be in this upcoming piece. This new portrait here is of Tom Hardy (took just under 3 hours and 30 minutes, high five!), and down there is Anne Hathaway...I think it's pretty obvious what movie I'm gonna be tributing here! Am I right people?! C'mon you know! Totally know that you know what I know I'm doing! All you need to add here is Christian Bale (and a few others that I can't remember right now), and what do you got?.....Yea you know ;)

For the record I'm not going to paint a facial study of Mr. Bale, because most of his face is COVERED by a MASK of some kind. Hint-ady-hint hint right there.

Until next time interwebs, stay classy. And please feel free to share your thoughts on how these pics look! I can take it, bring on the critiques!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

PRE-WORK FOR MY NEXT PROJECT

Anne Hathaway portrait (done in 3h, 30 min)
A few months ago I was commissioned to make a tribute movie poster, but unfortunately I had to delay this project to make room for others. Luckily I have a very understanding and patient client!

Now that all the other distractions are out of the way I'm getting started on all the pre-work; and if imagineFX's magazine has taught me anything, it's the importance of preparation.  So in order to get myself pumped and prepared, I did this facial study of the beautiful Anne Hathaway who will be featured in this poster somehow. Can anyone guess what movie tribute I'm doing (hint-a-dy- hint hint)?!

Anyway, this study took me about 3 hours and 30 minutes. So it's safe to say it's my first successful speed painting (hold your applause till the end of the speech everyone)! I've always wanted to do a speed painting ever since I got my hands on a tablet 9 years ago! However, after countless attempts, I've never been able to make a painting in that 3-4 hour range (or sometimes less). It's a huge hit to your ego, let me tell you! After all, a lot of concept artists are required to make things fast. But I guess this is proof that practice makes perfect....aaand applause now (or don't, it's all good).

Until next time interwebs, stay classy!

ABOUT LI-O

After many months of resistance...I finally became a blogger! So I'd like to take this opportunity to let you know a little bit about myself. I'm a digital painter/illustrator, and I'm working towards a career in the concept art, character/set designing, and storyboarding fields. I went to college for a year of Graphic Design, followed by two years of Animation. I've always loved art, but thanks to inspiration from the concept art community, I now see it as a career and not just a hobby.

I decided to make this blog (not only because my sister J-ODDI told me to), but also to share my passion for concept art, and right about it! So I'll post about the different artists that have inspired me, any new techniques I'm learning, other new artists out there, and I'll try to get in my own progress work when I can. Once in a while I'll probably talk about movies, comics, tv, or books (even though I don't read too much), because nothing inspires me more than a good movie or tv show! High five!! *virtual slap** alright! I'm a pretty open minded person, with a side of sarcasm and humour (in case you couldn't tell), so I hope you'll like what I have to offer!

Until next time interweb, stay classy!