A lot of younger or newer artists that paint often say they never know when to stop on a painting and then they over-work it. Or they never know when it is done. I feel I usually know when to stop, especially on an illustration because there is a clear deadline. The trickier things are when there is no deadline, and the subject matter is more subjective. Then you just have to know internally what you want the end result to look like. In this case I had the poses I knew I wanted but the back ground?
This is a sci-fi illustration. The bg is totally up to me. I wanted enough information in it to put the figures in context. I was riffing off of one of my favorite artists I looked at in Heavy Metal mag. in the 80's, Tanino Liberatore. He always drew/painted Ran Xerox. Being the early 80's and I lived in a small town with not much art scene, let alone European comics scene, no one had any idea who he was or what else he had done. Then I saw a Frank Zappa album in a record store, "The Man From Utopia". Even in my early high school naivete in art I recognized his style. I didn't know much about Frank Zappa but I purchased the record immediately just for the art. I ended up getting several more Zappa albums over the years, but "Man From Utopia" was my first and probably my favorite. Especially since it was weird enough to aggravate my parents!
I've been sitting on this image in the "almost" finished stage for several months. I still need to tweak it but I don't know if most people will really see a difference from what it looks like right now.
College. Art school. I'm immersed in student behavior. Homework, coffee, Mountain Dew (this was before Red Bull), Zingers, Ramen noodles, and a lot of no sleeping. I was very focused on art. After design class I'd have to psyche myself up before going outside so my brain wouldn't melt at all the disorganization in the real world. I had the wonderful timing of graduating art school the year before my school opened a new wing full of the latest computers for design etc. Computers were not in-bedded in my way of life. Along with that, writing, and promotion, were never an emphasis.
Here I am 25 years after I graduated college and I'm on the computer tweaking art in Photo Shop, writing a blog entry and ravenously checking all my social media for feedback and messages and cat pictures. I think I do OK. I just mailed a little over 200 postcards to art directors all over the US. Physical cards! Of course they contained my e mail address, and my website so you can get a hold of me electronically. Just for you, I personalized all of them in case you ran in to a colleague and compared messages and you'd see yours was unique.
Postcards are fun to walk around the city with even after the mailing. You meet someone cool and then you can give them this small piece of paper with what you do and how to get in touch. Then watch and cringe a little on the inside as they fold it up several times and stuff it in their back pocket as they walk away. Soul is sufficiently "dinged" and you move on with full knowledge that they will never call you and that card is going to end up in a homeless person's hands as he rummages through a landfill. Fortunately he won't call either.
I've always liked the grace of some of the animations I occasionally see. I follow a few animators on Instagram and it's so simple looking. I know that's the trick, it appears simple but it's not easy to do. Throwing abandon to the coffee spirits, I began toying around with the style in my sketchpad at a cool little coffee shop on West Broadway and Canal St on the edge of SoHo. They don't have a bathroom for customers so I never stay for more than one cup of coffee! It's small and intimate and I always hear interesting conversations when I'm there.
I started with a circle or oval for the head. That is all I got. I have no philosophy or direction behind it other than trying to be aware that I'm not breaking the spaces up too evenly. I never took a class on it, but I know what I like when I see it.