Wednesday, September 14, 2011

GCU, and Color Techniques

Quick update on my online greeting card store, Kilter Cards. One of the things I like about selling through Greeting Card Universe is that they have such a wide variety of cards. If a customer can’t find the card they're looking for (no matter how specific the topic) it will be presented to those GCU artists who want to give designing one a go.

I’ve had a lot of fun trying out new designs for customer requests (so far I have done 3 of these) it has made me really stretch my wings. It’s also nice that on a more specific request you're getting the key to a subject that there are buyers for, but very few cards (ie way less competition for sales). I’m pretty excited about a recent card I made for one of these:

Yes, a Cthulhu Christmas card, wonderfully ridiculous :P

Part of what made this so fun for me is that I’ve been trying out a new technique. First I draw and ink the piece, and then I color it by hand (I’ve been using watercolor pencils). But instead of using the final tones I want for the piece I use the complementary colors. As you can see in the original artwork.

In Photoshop I change to color using the Hue/Saturation, and then tweak the tone using the Selective Color. I’ve found that modifying the colors to their opposite digitally, and then upping the saturation give this really playful feel to the final tones (and a lot more room for modifying the color range).

I’ve been having a lot of fun messing around with this. It’s the same coloring technique I’ve been using on the comic book I’m working on. I think the reason I enjoy it so much is becuase it walks that balance of traditional hand art and digital that I love.

And quick preview for those who care:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Assignment 2

I finally finished my second homework assignment. I was starting to get really stressed about how long it was taking, and decided I just needed to be done with it. I don't think it's as good of work as the cowboy one, but there are some things I really loved about the title (Paleo: The Epic Adventure of Dino Man and Pre-History Girl), and the rock star look of the cave people.

I'm curious to see the critism I get back, but a little nervouse becuase I don't think this one is as up to snuff as my last one.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Joe Kubert Correspondence Courses

While trying to decide whether or not to sign up for one of these classes, I did a lot of research (ie google searches) on the topic. A question I saw frequently come up was whether it was too expensive for what you got. Some people seemed to think $325 was a huge sum for a class that would end up being largely self motivated. So, I decided to make my own break down comparing costs.


What you receive:
1) Course Book
2) Boards
3) Art Material
4) Mailing envelopes (for assignments)
5) Practice Pages
6) DVD

The class is split into 5 sections (basically $65 dollars per section), each one ending with a Professionally critiqued assignment.

Breakdown of Costs:
Course Book & DVD (from website): $175
All Art Supplies (lets pretend you’re a savvy buyer and say): $50
5 Professional Critiques: $100*
Total: $325

*Essentially you are paying $20 dollars per assignment to have your work critiqued and drawn over by a professional.

How it compares to the cost of other Schools:

Community College:
At the community college where I live Art classes are normally 3-4 credits, meaning they cost around $265-$350

A non credit art class (of which if you are lucky a comic variety might appear) tend to be $100 + supplies.

Academy of Art:
I was attending the Academy of Art online (I already had by BA, but hoped the extra schooling would get my portfolio to the point that someone would hire me)

As an online student you would log onto a website, watch videos, read assignments, then turn in homework. The homework was personally critiqued by the teacher, but what counted as a critique varied. This meant that one of my teachers had weekly video chats where he would draw over students work live, and demonstrate techniques. While a different teacher would simply write a short paragraph emphasizing practice (which I needed) and something along the lines of: your proportions are off, bones can’t bend like that, pay attention to detail. etc.” (I am someone who learns better with visuals.)

Cost of a Class:

So, are the Correspondence Courses worth it? I don’t know, $325 (or even the $245 I ended up paying because of the holiday sale going on) is a lot of money for a starving artist. But it seems like a good deal to me (considering the debt hole the Academy of Art was, despite the classes I loved and the experience I gained).

I guess we will see. I will be documenting my progress as I take the Penciling course, hopefully my improvement will prove this a wise investment in my artwork : )

(and for those who don't know who Joe Kubert is, nerd it up a bit, he's famous*)

Update (feelings after finishing the course)