Cowboys, and Westerns

Seems to be the theme of this month- oh and werewolves!

Hey guys! Bea here! Hope you’re ready to see some arts!

Since much of my time is spent doing commission work, I’ve learned that no matter how busy I am, it’s important to take some time to simply draw whatever random thing that comes to mind that I want to do.

Well, that moment came last night when I went out and saw Hateful Eight with Zygona.  I’ve always been a fan of Quintin Tarantino’s work, since Kill Bill–  and became interested in titles like Pulp Fiction too. I mean, what Tarantino is able to do with his movies, visually, has always charged and inspired me in creative ways. I

n his most recent movie, the Hateful Eight, my favorite character, played by Samuel L Jackson is Major Warren.  I loved his design, and his character is so well written that I couldn’t resist drawing him…Only, as a woman o.o.

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There wasn’t any reason to draw him as a woman, other than the fact that I loved his outfit and wish I could cosplay as him every day >_<. I mean his jacket is, omgaah! Love it!

This sketch isn’t done though– I certainly want to fully render it, but I’ll save that for a time when I have more leisure. What’s great though about doing this sketch is that it also helped me to set up for my next set of commissions that are in progress.

 

Gothic Dust

A few months ago, I was contacted by a nice guy who I’ll refer to as Ray, who commissioned me to do 4 character illustrations, plus an ad illustration, and the name of his story is Gothic Dust.

From what I can say about it, it has a western/cowboy style with some rather interesting characters I hope you all get to learn more about as I go through designing each one.

So far, we are in phase 1- thumbnail silhouettes

Poses are important, when designing non-static characters because it tells you a bit more about them through their body language,  and thumbnail silhouettes help me get a feel for that, and the energy each character has, prior to adding all the details.

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Much like the last set of character designs I did, I’ll be saving each phase to show you the steps, so that when I’m done I can animate them.  But unlike my previous character designs, because these will all be complete renderings, there will be more steps to record.

I have a few more concepts I have to start sketches for, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I hope you liked this post, and as always, Enjoy!

 

 

 

Busy Bea

Hey Guys! Bea here! Hope all is well on your end 🙂

As the title suggests, I am a very very busy Bea, considering I have quite the list of commissions that I’m working through at the moment, on top of my regular work. While it may be a while before some of these illustrations are complete since I’m still in the draft phase,  I’m glad to say that I’ve been given the go-ahead to share the process work 🙂

Also, at least one of the photos shared today is coming directly from my Instagram account, which I’ve recently joined at https://www.instagram.com/jackson.bea/  . I’ve been making a habit of posting works in progress there before anywhere else, so if you care to see what I’m up to in my downtime,  feel free to follow 😀

First up, the second draft of a book cover, featuring a female werewolf

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For the most part, I’m still roughing this one out– though the colors are pretty solid as it is since it’s supposed to be very muted, with highlights of gold. Because this book will be the first in a series, I believe, it was decided that we’d take a more straightforward approach with the design, by treating it like an introduction to her character. The idea was to communicate who she is, what she looks like, and to tell a little bit about her–specifically the fact that she’s a werewolf/huntress.

Since the eyes are the windows to the soul, I figured that’s the best place to start. Therefore, what you see here is as the full moon approaches, and she’s on the brink of turning,  her eyes glow a golden color, giving insight to the wolf in her, and foreshadowing her becoming the wolf, as seen in the wolf eyes peering through the darker part of the sky.

I’m not sure on her pose just yet, and there’s a lot of room for improvements, so I’ll be doing quite a bit of experimenting with this one until I’m satisfied with the concept before I begin to work towards a final piece. So far tho, it’s a good start!

The second image is an update from an earlier work in progress that ended up on hold due to the demand of the holidays-

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This one is not that far off from being done. In fact, it’s only about two days left of work in it.  The concept behind it, is she’s like a superhero/ empowered woman. To help me get an idea of what he was looking for, the client posed himself,  and had his own professional photography done, similar to this, which I drew my color pallet from. Mostly, it’s the face and the flames that need work, and her body needs to be rendered smoother all around, before it will be complete!

Over the next week, I’ll likely have more works to share, since there are other projects that I’ve been committed to, outside of my regular work, so, that’s something to look forward too 😀

Well that’s all for today! I’m tired, need sleep x_x. In the meantime,  I hope you liked this post, and what I had to share, and as always, till next time,  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Evolution of a Concept

Sometimes it’s good to push an idea a bit further, beyond the point you would usually stop– just to see if you can make it a little bit better.

Here’s a simple follow up, of the process to making my 2016 self-portrait: Dreams.

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I started this sketch back in November, with a simple idea in mind- to draw myself with a vibrant bouquet made up of art supplies, and my sketchbook. At the time, I was very confident  that I had everything figured out, and this was the final draft. I even took the time to do a clean pencil line-art in my sketchbook for inking.

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But because I simply wasn’t ready to finish it at the time, I stepped away from it, didn’t look at it or touch it, until New Year’s Eve.  After giving it some thought, It needed a little bit more…

Sometimes you have to take a step back, to see the better picture

It’s easy to run the risk of being too intimate with your own work. You could become so obsessed with the details, that you lose sight of what the bigger picture is all about.

In my experience during figure study classes,  the instructors always encouraged their students to step back, or away from their canvases every once and a while, because when working in such a large format, the artist is only able to focus on whats in their direct line of sight. When the artist fails to do this, very often when they look at the final piece, they find various problems.  For example, the eyes may not line up, the face may be out of proportion, different parts of the body may be disproportionate, or out of scale– All, which could easily be fixed by simply looking at the work as a whole instead of focusing on the finer details.

This isn’t a concept that’s exclusive to working in large formats either. The same can be said by simply stepping away from your work for a period of time, so that when you come back to it, you have fresh ideas on how to make it better, and it’s a trick used by writers, musicians and artists of all kinds.

So, when it came to working on Dreams, I certainly saw room for improvement.

ProcessOfMar2

Laziness is not a Virtue: The importance of having your very own support group

ProcessOfMar3

Bea: im really debating if I should color this
Zygona:  i think you should
Bea: I know I want it to have like, a watercolor look…
Zygona: that would be cool
Bea: i dunno if I just find line-art more appealing or if I’m just being lazy lol
Zygona: well, save the line and try coloring it, and if you still like the line better then you can say you do like the line better and its not laziness
Bea:  aka no being lazy lol

forever

Bea: lol I’m glad you made me not be lazy and actually color it
Zygona: indeed. i like it colored

Zygona– Always the voice of reason in my every-day life >_<. Justin and my friend D’andre are also two individuals who have a lot of say in my work, and their input has been essential to my growth. After-all, how do you know where to improve if you don’t have anyone there that you trust to critique you?  Thanks guys ^_~.

Conclusion

One thing that I’m happy about, after finishing this piece, is being able to see my growth in comparison to my first Constellations/Dreams illustration from last year, that featured Estelle, a character I created for the sake of marking my own progress as an artist.

As far as this illustration is concerned, I’ve always wanted to work with more vibrant colors, and play with collage like concepts, especially since both have always been very difficult for me to do. But I took the time to reflect on what I’ve learned this year, allowed myself to exercise new ideas and try new things, and challenged myself to work outside my own comfort zones with the encouragement of my friends, and it lead to a piece that I am very proud of. Going into 2016, I intend to do much of the same, with the hope that by the New Year of 2017, I’ll have another illustration to share, that not only marks my progress for the year, and my growth as an artist, but sets a new standard for the years that follow.

And with that, I leave you with a little animation showing my process to the final piece 🙂

 

 

MarryAnimate

Hope you liked this post, and as always, till next time, Enjoy!

2016: From Challenge to Change

Hey Guys, Bea here! And a Happy New Year to you all!

This post will be dedicated mostly to my plans for 2016 and how I’ll be running my blog going forward, but before that, I’d just like to take a a brief moment to reflect on the past year, and how it’s changed me, as an artist 🙂

Prior to January 1st 2015, I was really struggling as an artist, just trying to find the right inspiration to get off the ground. Most of my time was spent working my day jobs, greatly dividing my attention. So, my art suffered, simply because I couldn’t find the time to invest in my ideas and the betterment of my skills.

But something clicked on that day, Jan 1st 2015, and I decided I’d stop making excuses for myself and just go for it. And to keep me motivated, I started this blog to not only share my work with the world and those who care to see it, but to document my process. From the start, I knew that this was going to be a challenge, because of how easy it is to start something and not finish it, and how tempting it is to give up when things get hard, and believe me, I had my moments lol. But looking back on that day, and at how much I accomplished by the end of 2015, by simply simply sticking with it, I would have never guessed that it would take me so far, as an artist, and as a person, or that it would bring me one step closer to my dreams…

That said, I have arts to share!

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Despite all the hardships 2015 brought, it did not come without its rewards, and turned out to be a year of many firsts for me!

  • I went from producing maybe 3-5 pieces of art per year, to the over 50+ Illustrations and Sketches that make up my portfolio, as of today.
  • From those pieces, I created my first portfolio book, which also turns out to be my first full portfolio of new and original work since I left college over 5 years ago.
  •  I flew out to San Diego and experienced SDCC for the first time, and had the opportunity to sit down with major companies, like Blizzard, and Nickelodeon, among others, and received my first set of portfolio reviews, outside of school.
  • And, as of Nov 22nd, I decided to stop working my day job, and be a full-time artist– which is the news I’ve been waiting for the right time to share.

So, November 23, 2015 was the day I began working as a full-time artist. Ironically, this did not happen by me quitting. Instead, the company I was working for simply decided to close the division I was working in, and though they offered me a position working elsewhere, I figured instead that I would take this opportunity to give my dreams a try instead.

I had considered leaving on my own many a times, but this was a company that I had been with for almost 8 years. I knew the work, I did it well, I had been promoted, and I didn’t want to leave, for fear that if I did, I’d have to start back at square one… so I stayed. But when they told me they were closing out, It was like a door had opened just as that one was closing, urging me to…take the next step. To go for it, even harder.

Since then, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how I’m going to spend the extra time I have– and how this is all going to work out. To be honest, it’s a bit scary to think about. But like many of my friends, and people who I’ve met who reached the same fork in the road and made the same choice, I’m confident that if I play my cards right, and put in the work,  I’ll experience success like they have.

This brings me to the main topic of this post– My blog and my plans for 2016.

Posting Schedule:

After giving it much thought, I’ve decided to just scrap the Monday Evening Posts entirely, and for good reason. As much as I like the idea of having a regiment, I’ve found that in trying to stick with it, I’m more concerned with showing work for the sake of keeping time, than taking time to put more quality into my work, and the posts themselves. Instead, I think it’s best I post casually, when I have something to share, especially since it allows me to put more soul into my work, and my writing.

Goals and Expectations:

If I may, I’d like you take a moment to talk about the art shared in this post. I started this illustration back when I decided to let my job go, in November, and it began with me drawing myself in a wedding dress, holding my sketchbook, and art supplies as part of my bouquet. When my friends asked what it meant,  I simply told them, I love art, that I’m married to it,  and committed to my dream of being a “successful” full-time artist, so that someday, I will be able to tackle the ideas, stories and concepts that I’ve been stockpiling for years, to share them and be recognized in the big world of art.

Of course, like the girl in the constellations, Estelle reminds me that my dreams are like stars- some farther off, but all are within sight, and some even branch off into others. Though touching the stars of your dreams may seem impossible at times, the goal is to aim high anyways, and see where it takes you. I’ve learned that chances are, you just might hit your mark 🙂

The mark for this year? I want to focus on creating art that is driven more by narrative. Most of 2015, my work consisted of character designs.  Instead, I want to strengthen my ability to tell a story, and Illustrate. In addition, to keep my focus where it needs to be, I will be less concerned about how polished these illustrations are– and more about how well I communicate my ideas, so you can expect that most of my personal works will be either sketches, rough concepts or speed paintings. I’ll also be experimenting with various different mediums, like watercolor, pen and Ink.

So that’s what the art shared today is all about. Experimenting with different art mediums, my sketchbook spilling it’s pages of rough concepts, my ideas finding new life, and my dreams my goals– which embody and all the things I hope to share with you this year!

This post has gone on long enough though!  Thank you for reading, I really hope you all had an awesome New Year celebration,  and here’s to 2016! *Cheers*

As always, till next time, Enjoy!