Thursday, September 9, 2010

Launch before Dawn

This is sort of reminiscent of Florida, when you see a spacecraft rise from distant Cape Canaveral. I didn't actually visit Florida and see a distant launch until many years later, but this is what I came up with as a visualization. My records state that this was exhibited and sold at Chattacon 1992, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I also noted that it won "third place prize, astronomical," in the art show judging. I keep hoping that I can return to Florida someday. Acrylic, 7" x 10", November 1991.

My "Satellite Dragon," alas, did not get picked for the top 25 in its contest, and I'm out of the running there. But my constant visits to deviantART have now convinced me that just about anything is possible using digital media. That brings the question back to me and my quest to return to professional illustration. Basically: what should I paint that shows my work at its best to possible art directors and buyers? This may sound like a stupid question, but other artists seem to be much more coherent in their work than I am. For instance, most of the digital art in deviantART has human/humanoid females in it. Most artists paint girls. They know what to paint. My friend Tristan always knows what to paint: beautiful boys and anthropomorphic animal/humans.

So, really: what should I paint? Everyone predictably says: "paint what you like." OK, from me you get endless scenes of the Virginia countryside plus farmhouse porches and kittens. Not much excitement there, unless I wanna be the Thomas Kinkade of Virginia without the big money business. I like challenges. But I also need to paint something that will really impress'em in the art director's office. At this point I want to build a portfolio that's stylistically consistent but also shows that I can do diverse things, not just one type of character or one scene. I know that my specialty is buildings and fantasy architecture, but I am up for other assignments. Got any ideas to challenge me? No one is paying me to do any art (other than Trader Joe's) so anything goes.


Mike said...

Why not try something like a fantasy action/battle scene. Include a bunch of warriors, mages, archers all doing their own thing as part of a larger scene.

Sure, it's far from original, but there's a lot of material out there to work and learn from.

Tristan Alexander said...

First, I still don't get why you think digital is so much better than traditional media? Yes the digital stuff is flashy and slicka nd comercial looking, but that does not make it better! In most cases, if you look at the actual ART, digital is far less well done, far less well designed and just plain less good than traditional art!
As for what to paint, have you ever tried illustrating H.G.Wells, War of the Worlds? I could see your style doing buildings and tripods and dramatic night scenes being GREAT!

Pyracantha said...

Mike and Tristan, those are great ideas and I will keep them in mind.

Tristan...I think you're right! The digital programs, including the abominable "Poser," make it easier for untalented or lazy artists to do superficially good-looking art.
However flashy and slick is what the art directors are looking for, it seems.
Also, I see a lot of really good digital art done by good artists, in the right hands it can be a fantastic art tool.

Mary said...

Stylized cities. You're excellent at them. Populated with pedestrians laughing or fighting or kissing or fleeing from the "camera" or whatever you like. But if you want to do SF or fantasy art, you may as well let your stylized cities dominate the frame. We nerds are suckers for good world-building, and you've proven you can build worlds in a single scene.