Icon, Actor, Script Doctor and all around Funny Lady, May the Force be with you.
Icon, Actor, Script Doctor and all around Funny Lady, May the Force be with you.
To make sure that 2017 starts on a creative and positive note I wanted to end 2016 with an artistic thank you to everyone who was there for me as I became an honest man.
This post includes the stages of creativity for my Flower Power illustration.
Working off of my iPad I used Adobe Draw to create the basic black and white line art. The next stage of this was filling in the flat colors. A note about the creative process, the green of the shirt was a happy accident, in making sure I filled all the open spots I used a green background and realized how good she looked in green. Even a digital drawing has an organic aspect.
The last stage was adding shading and details to the figure and her clothing. To give her that pop and personality I used Adobe Capture to create the flowers in her hair and on her shirt. From here I used Adobe Creative Cloud to transfer the illustration to Adobe Illustrator to clean up the image and create a more portable png.
With the final image done, I uploaded the illustration to Canva.com to add my Happy Holidays message and some random “snowfall” to give the seasonal feel. Enjoy and here’s to staying creative in 2017.
Working on some new illustrations of love, joy and happiness for the new year, starting here with the line art, shading and color to follow.
As the year comes to a close, here is a look back at some of my creative, professional and personal high points of 2015.
Summerstage is a New York institution, every year throughout the five boroughs, the NY Parks Department presents free concerts and performances for the people in all five boroughs, with Central Park’s Ramsey Field as the main stage. The headliner for that day was Big daddy Kane and let me tell you the crowd got hyped when the Symphony started and then went on to lose its mind as he brought out the entire Juice crew to perform it. What makes this moment so special is that to the crowds knowledge the Symphony had never been preformed live.
One of the the biggest publishers in the comic book industry packed up and moved to California. As I haven’t worked there in over 15 years it didn’t affect me outside of the people that I’m still friends with, but I still had to go to the place where it all started for me as an intern at Milestone.
The folks at BlackSci-Fi.com needed help covering events in New York. Some emails and a phone call later I was helping them cover the world of Blerds here in NY. My first full article Black Fantastic 2015 Afrofuturism Comes to Harlem can be found on their website.
For all the details of this event click here.
Leading up to the opening of The Force Awakens I did another article for the good peoples at BlackSci-Fi.com about the New York Jedi, a stage combat troupe. For a bit of research I was able to watch them perform during NY Winterfest held at Resorts World Casino, as well as get to hear Nichelle Nichols, the original Lt. Uhura from Star Trek, speak about her time on the show and advice for young folk starting out as an entertainer. To learn more about the NY Jedi, read my article The Force is Strong with The New York Jedi.
And speaking of The Force Awakens, I wanted to love it, I truly did. Yeah it was fun, but it was just ok. I am disappointed not because it was bad, but because after 30 plus years, it wasn’t as great as most of us had hoped. Hopefully the nostalgia of the original movies has been expunged and J.J. can move on to making new stories with these new characters.
I normally don’t step in front of the camera but over this year I had to, as I ran into these talented individuals. From left to right; author Suzan-Lori Parks, Brewmaster Garrett Oliver, author/activist Junot Díaz, and Master Chef Marcus Samuelsson.
On the personal front of this years events, my mother had open heart surgery to fix an artery which helps her heart pump better, many thanks to the Doctors and Staff at Mount Sanai Hospital for their excellent work.
I also got my hands on an IPad, which has helped me be a shitload more productive in my creative life, conducting interviews and having more of a presence online. The new logo was mostly done with Adobe Draw.
Lastly, I found someone crazy enough to say yes to spending the rest of their life with me and getting all my stuff when I die, so I know now that Unicorns are real.
Happy New Year, follow me on twitter @ and look for more in 2016. Live long, and prosper in the New Year.
I was finally able to lock down a design I liked and get to the printer. The artwork was all done with Adobe Illustrator and Draw between my laptop and IPad.
Look for my tips to survive Comic Con in my next post.
It’s been a few weeks now and I’m still getting a feel for the digital aspect of creating something. Don’t get me wrong I’ve made a gang of vector drawings using Illustrator, but mostly with a mouse. I’ve used styluses before but the programs just didn’t feel as intuitive as a pencil and paper for me.
And then came Adobe Illustrator Draw.
As I’ve mentioned in my last post, I’ve been able to work at a pace that I haven’t felt in a long time. Draw helps me translate all the sketches I’ve wanted to create into a digital format in a very short amount of time and with ease. I’m still working on a learning curve but the best part of this app is that it is very much like drawing mixed with the best parts of vector art. I still need to find a stylus more suited to drawing as I want a level of precision only vector drawings give me.
Which brings us to the subject of this post, this particular drawing has been reworked a few times in various mediums, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Red Devil Woman. RDW is a character I’ve been messing around with for years. The basic idea behind RDW is that she is a recurring force of destruction that pops up when history need a push to stay away from being too peaceful, the ultimate historical jump-start. RDW is always a woman who the force passes to, moving from country to country, woman to woman, always by transferring her horns and not everyone wants to have this power to cause chaos. RDW is the match, the fuse and the dynamite.
If you use this app and have any suggestions for a stylus please pass along.
I am really digging Adobe Illustrator Draw, I mean really diggin’. I do have some issues with it, but overall I feel like I’ve been more artistically productive in the last few days messing around with this app, then I’ve been all year thus far.
The bad; the undo swipe needs a bit more work, the size of your current brush should match what is being shown to you, and Draw does have a shape function but a ruler couldn’t hurt. Also, if you’ve read my previous post then you know that I’m working with a stylus not optimal to this app and its capabilities.
And this leads to the great.
I am super surprised in the best possible way at the processing power of the iPad and this app. The bottom file contains four layers and the Archer drawing contains seven layers, including the original images I used as a guide. The brushes are very responsive and once you get a feel for them they are a true asset to the app. Don’t believe it, click on the image to zoom in and see the detail brush strokes gave me. Another cool feature is the shape tool which allows you to draw straight lines, again check the arrow and bow-string.
The transfer from the iPad to my laptop is also impressive, if not a little scary. In Draw you’re allowed to send your work from the app straight to Illustrator, layers and all, the scary part is seeing the program start on its own.
Bottom line, it’s not Illustrator, but Draw sure does come close for something I thought was going to be a nice toy. Again these are works in progress, but more to come.
And please any recommends on a stylus would be awesome.
Due to technical issues it took me a minute to scan and post some of my favorite sketches from this months Drink and Draw NYC.
If you’ve been reading my past blogs, then you know that Drink and Draw NYC is a monthly gathering of artists here in New York’s Lower East Side, were we get a chance to work on our live drawing skills in a less academic atmosphere. Organized by professional comicbook artist Khary Randolph.
Our model for this session was brought back from last summers popular Harley Davidson edition of Drink and Draw, the statuesque Sweet Lorraine, creator of Shades of Burlesque, an all Black burlesque show here in NYC. If you missed the Drink and Draw, check her page for her local performances.
And I must reiterate the importance of being able to draw from a live model. The ability to quickly translate what you see to the page is a critical skill that must be utilized. The value of going out in a setting like a Drink and Draw, is that it allows you to see how another artist approaches the same subject, be it perspective or choice of area to focus on. You might want to get the whole model on the page, look over and see that someone is working on just her face or her feet, and make you think that might be something to try next time. Working under a time constraint can help in training your eye to see the primary shapes and angles to tackle in forming your overall drawing.
Interested, check the group page on Facebook for more information. Here’s to seeing you and your art next month.