Sunday, April 29, 2012

Demons in King Arthur's Court

The final project for Storytelling an Environments was a doozy: 5 illustrations depicting a world of mish-mashed genres. I've been looking into Arthurian mythology lately and my love for horror is definitely no secret, so I decided to blend Arthurian, sword and sorcery with contemporary horror films.  

An Overview of Camelot featuring the origin of the dark portal opened by Merlin over the Round Table of Arthur and his Knights. He wasn't powerful enough to close this portal to the Darker Realms and evil pours through, creeping through the kingdom, tainting all it touches. Salvation lies at the Lake of Avalon: Excalibur!

The big revelation was that of Excalibur's transformation into a chainsaw/sword. Oh. Yes.

The transportation in this world is dragons, a strong presence in Arthurian mythology, but I didn't want to do a cliched dragon design, so I fused a dragon body to a strange, flesh-colored, humanoid top section. Weird.

The headless Green Knight stalks Lady Guinevere through the castles of Camelot, a nod to slasher flicks. The lighting is very Suspiria on this one.

The Final Showdown in King Arthur's throne room; Excalibur in hand, Ancient Evil slithering in through the door.

Speaking of horror: I just saw Cabin in the Woods. Freaking fantastic.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Draw Beavers and Vomit Ice Cubes

Today was the last day of school, wrapping up my 3rd year at ACAD and ushering in the final year of impending doom/glory.

So here's the last project submitted for the year:

A bit of a breakthrough as far as media exploration, this piece illustrates a scene from Shane Jones' Light Boxes, a beautiful, melancholic fairy tale for grown ups. It's a beautiful little experiment of a novel filled with beautiful, grisly imagery and it really messes with the craft and theory of storytelling. This scene is fairly self explanatory. Thaddeus has been standing in the middle of his frozen little village as a from of protest, hoping to retrieve his kidnapped daughter from February, and he suddenly vomits ice cubes.

Influence: I looked to German expressionists, Max Beckmann and Francis Bacon, trying for that raw emotional power.

The process: I drew the image in pencil, enlarged then inverted it on a photocopier (where the hell did that idea come from???) and then drew in the highlights with a white china marker (I figured this would really get across the merciless cold), scanned and coloured digitally. 

So here is one of the lengthier projects of the year, and the toughest. Select a company and create spot illustrations for their annual report that describe a metaphor for an aspect of the company. My chosen client was ROOTS. The metaphor was "new strategy for a new market." And somehow, after many sketches and discussions with my instructor, I ended up with beavers.

A cute beaver mascot bursting onto the scene, exploring new lands and being generally EXTREME in every sense of the word. My whole reason for selecting Roots was to work on my fashion illustration so, needless to say, I got a little sidetracked. I really dig the first two, the canoe one just wasn't working at all ever, so screw it.

 Here is the final montage piece we had to do that incorporated the same look and concept but with different aspects of the company (environment, active, Canadian heritage, community support.) All of these pieces were my attempt at escaping the crutch of the line and relying on shape, colour and pattern to create a composition, very much inspired by Charley Harper. Some small victories here.

Now let the summer begin!

(*mumbling to myself*...don't slack off on art don't slack off on art don't slack off on art...)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pride and Prejudice and a little Punk Rock

I'm way behind on the blogging but school is very nearly wrapped. I've been busy with all sorts of cool stuff (from school to... comics! [GASP!]) and I'll be updating lots in the next few weeks for sure.

So let's kick things off classy: 

19th century-Georgian-England classy.

The Environments class was way tough but I learned so goddam much. This project was especially tough:  describe a classic character using artifacts and environment and then reimagine that character in an entirely new setting and genre. I wanted a challenge so I picked something super far removed from my normal taste. But Pride and Prejudice is one of my girlfriend's favourite books. And I had to discover the secrets of wet Colin Firth and his abilities to drive the ladies into a frenzy.

 This first pic is from the view of Elizabeth Bennet's bedroom. The reinterpretation takes us to a London squat in late 1970s London for a tale of young love in the midst of the rising punk scene.

God, I just hate the way that first ballroom picture turned out. Looks like it's something out of Edgar Allan Poe, but that's what I get for throwing in a creepy fireplace portrait of some random moustached creep. The dive on the bottom is where Liz first sees Mr. Darcy in his band, Dapper Darcy and the Bingers. She hates him at first. She thinks he's a total poser.

And finally, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth picnic outside his estate and she spontaneously decides to go for a dip, Mr. Darcy in tow. The lower pic features the spot where Liz and Darcy share their first passionate, post-riot kiss in the warm glow of a burned out car... (*wipes away a tear...)

I'd say the reinterpretations turned out way better than the classical pics but it was nice to try something different, stretch some new muscles.

And maybe Pride and Prejudice isn't the most boring story ever created after all.