I have recently been working on series of paintings for a show at Gallery Nucleus in L.A. They are based loosely around the St. George and the Dragon legend. It’s a project I have wanted to work on for a long time and it’s been great fun so far.
The following is some of the early rough work for the first painting for the project.
Character Development work
Pencil on Vellum
Character Development work
Early Watercolor Stages
I’ll be posting more on it in the coming weeks. If you think you might be out that way, the show will be up from August 6th to the 22nd.
Justin Gerard is an illustrator who has traveled the world in search of the perfect medium to paint in. He has not found it, but along the way he has met some fascinating people, seen some interesting places and had a chance to paint a lot of great subjects.
His work has been featured in Spectrum Fantastic Arts, Society of Illustrators and Expose. He enjoys good music, chocolate chip cookies and tank battles.
ahhh it's so beautiful! Being English myself I think this is a great project 😀
Looking good Justin, keep them comming! Also did you use some ref at this point, or is just something from your head?
Awesome work, dude. How do you keep the vellum from not crumpling due to the moisture on your hand? I tried it because I'm such a fan of your drawings, and an hour into the sketch, the vellum kept rolling onto itself!
I love your sketching style Justin, and the painting looks really promising as well!
There is no reference, but the place is taken from my memories of a place called the Narrows at Zion National Park. I do intend on using some photos of the place for one of the future pieces. I will share that in a future post.
There are several ways around this. First, use a heavier vellum. I use Mylar sheets for pieces that are really involved and are going to take more than a few hours of work. But for these little studies I am not spending more than an hour on them so I never run into any moisture problems. They do buckle if I am careless in erasing though.
Second idea: Place a number of sheets of paper under this sheet as padding. (Sort of the Sergio Martinez approach) this tends to mitigate the buckling/wrinkling issues a little. And third, work a little more painterly. I tend to be a control freak about my pencil-work myself, but it is good practice to try to keep your hands loose and treat the pencil just a little more like a paintbrush so you can keep your whole arm engaged. If your leaning on your hand your range of motion tends to decrease. This sort of approach will cut down a lot on hand-to-paper contact a lot and thus any buckling/moisture problems.
Wow, I can't wait to see this fully finished. This may turn out be my favorite since your Camelot paintings.
I just finished up a semester learning about the illustration process, especially in how to utilize Photoshop to speed this process along. I found Photoshop, whether due to lack of experience or not, to be rather weak when it came to painting. You always segue between traditional media, then to the computer, and the results are great. But how do you know when to put down the digital and get into the physical media?
I admit that I have very limited experience with paints (i.e. watercolor), and I felt like digital would be a faster way to get my ideas out, without mastering a painting technique. But I'm quickly finding out that isn't the case!
Any thoughts on this? And as always thanks for the great post!
I love the color comp! I can't wait to see it finished. The way you handle draw and watercolor is awesome – I always feel like I'm being kicked rather hard in the rear end to get it moving when I look at your work!
Thanks for the response, i can't wait for the rest!
When to transition is something you have to do a lot of trial and error to find out. For me it changes based on the piece and wether or not I want to be able to display the original. Ideally, I would take the piece 90% there traditionally and then do the last bit of color adjustment in CS5, but it doesn't always work out that way.
As for mastering a technique, I would really encourage learning a traditional process. I found that learning to paint in oils helped my digital work a great deal. It may seem a bit backwards, but it definitely works.
One of my favorite themes! I can't wait to see more of your work for the show! I wish I lived closer to Gallery Nucleus and could see all there great exhibitions!
@Justin: Thanks a lot for the comments man. I really appreciate your input. I am really eager to expand my horizons as much as I can, and I think picking up oils or something like that would really boost my creative process.
Can't wait to see the final painting!
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