I decided with Summer just around the corner, I had better do something about reducing the heat that’s generated in my office from these computers. Since I’m pretty much a digital artist, having the right equipment is important. Having a comfortable office is even more important. I started with my Falcon Northwest $6,000 custom built PC computer. Believe me it’s heavy to lift. This computer seemed powerful at the time, but I ended up having more trouble with it then it’s worth. I must have sent it back to the factory two or three times. The tech support was helpful, but I must say I was not impressed with the product. Never will do that again…
After doing the research I built my own mini computer about a week ago that uses considerably less amount of energy, is super light weight, no heat exhaust, and is triple the power of the Falcon for only $700! I found some helpful advice on what to get from various Forums. Newegg is great for all the parts. It’s amazing how quickly technology is improving.
Maybe someday I’ll wear my computer like a watch.
The Motorized Table
Trying to find out the best way to get off my seat while working. I built this motorized table to lift everything up so I can stand. It seems to work pretty well. Now I just need to figure out a way to get someone to do my jobs. Ha!
In 2010, I was contracted to design and Illustrate several lands for a branded theme park located in China. The challenge was to create exciting designs that stay within the clients production budget. These images had to inspire and provide a mood with the use of strong color statements. Usually I’m creating images based on a sketch or idea, in this case, I was given minimal direction and license to explore my own ideas. Knowing your client and target audience helps in deciding a direction. For Entertainment City, I needed to keep the exterior designs simple with a more extravagant interior. The deadline was tight, but all designs were delivered on time.
Cintiq 24 HD
Cintiq 24 HD!
Just picked up this beauty a couple weeks ago. I can’t imagine how I have been able to work without it for so long. The Cintiq 24 HD is the closest we digital artists can get to traditional painting and drawing (see it here).
I’m also using the Adobe Photoshop CS6. Again, how was I able to work without this too?
The need to study nature: Plein Aire painting
Plein aire painting originated in France during the late 1700’s. It was a method of painting directly from nature. As an Illustrator I find it of great importance to study how light works in the land around us. It teaches me about the colors that exist and the various textures and how they are affected. You would be surprised to see how much gray is in nature. Too often we find our work either stale or over saturated with color. Working outdoors in nature and making color notes are the best ways to fine-tune our ability to see and paint.
My method is as follows. I try to analyze in depth my subject before hand. I then observe what is in front of me and translate it into something I can understand. This translation then becomes my basis for expression. I organize my shapes into a pleasing arrangement while keeping true to the forms in front of me. It’s not my intention to try and create a masterpiece. The idea is to make as accurate a study of what is there in front of me. The painting should then act as not only documentation but also a memory in time. I can still feel each one long after it’s completion. Warm light, cool breeze, dry air. It’s an experience that pushes beyond a simple definition of art.
My tools consist of an 8×10 pochade box with a glass palette or the soltek easel as shown. I use a limited selection of colors similar to my Cel-vinyl arrangement I used in the past. I prefer bristle brushes mainly Flats and Brights. I also have two palette knifes that are used extensively.
If I could give any advice it would be to keep your thinking organized. Be aware of these simple truths: composition, values, drawing, edges, color and brush dexterity. Squint down at the subject and simplify in paint what you see.