This is a visual development project I dreamt up out of a fascination with all things sci-fi and because I have a plethora of awesome friends.


Random Introspection

A really hard thing about all of this visual development stuff is pulling out of your imagination all of the nuances and story that you feel, but don't necessarily see.  I know that's vague, but hang in here with me.  When I am trying to tell a story, visually, there are certain elements that I want to capture; sometimes it's not necessarily a space as much as it is an idea.  Like when Silkwood and Co. head north to investigate the creature - I don't necessarily have a picture in my head of what the north looks like; I know that it's grey and vertical, a lonely and demanding country.  There's steel in both the land and the people.  So when I sit down to try and draw all that, my goal isn't to draw any particular space - the drawings, the sketches are successful if they capture and clearly convey the idea that I'm feeling about a place.  Then it starts to become about design and composition.

I think that's why I like drawing people so much.  People are there in real life, there's no need to try and figure out what they are supposed to look like; I already know what they look like!  All I have to focus on is capturing the essence of who they are in the portrait.  I'm rarely satisfied with what I achieve (what artist is?), but part of the drive is the hope that someday you could find it, someday you can capture in a painting whatever it is that you are wanting to achieve in your art.


Merry Christmas!

I've been having a crappy kinda week so far - I know it's only Tuesday, so I guess it's been a lousy couple of weeks, but anyway.

To cheer myself up and try and banish this overly dreary mood I've been in, I decided to have some fun and threw together this little piece.  

My little gift to all you who have been keeping an eye on my progress over the past few months.  I love you guys!

These were done in Illustrator - I've been working on a Christmas card with a similar "cartoony" theme and started messing around until I had all of these.  Anyway, I hope they make you smile.  I did when I was making them.

Happy Hols!  


We're on G+

If you are on G+ (and you should be!), you can add S&C to your circle and get notified of all the updates to the blog!  So head on over to the S&C Google+ page and say hello!

The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello

Freaking gorgeous.  That's all I have to say.  First because, well, it is.  And secondly; I haven't finished watching it yet.  But it's brilliant, visually.  I might be a little bit biased in that opinion because I love silhouettes.  I can't tell you how many ideas I had in just 2 minutes of video.  


2011-12-20 Update:

I finished watching this, and let me say that it was more than I could have hoped for.  It was inventive, the story was well thought out and well told, the animation was awesome.  It exceeded all expectations.  I've been creeping on the movie's website and it looks like there will be a few more installments.  Can't wait!  

If you haven't already, I definitely encourage you to go watch this movie!


Character Sketch - Shep

Okay, it's finally up!  I've decided that I'm not quite happy with the design/presentation concept yet - I think it still needs . . .  something.  But that's the great thing about this - I can come back and revisit things as much as I need to until it feels right.

As always, I love feedback so let me know what you think!

Justin Gerard's Steampunk Wizard of Oz

Steampunk Wizard of Oz, by Justin Gerard

Justin Gerard is a fan-freaking-tastic illustrator.  Whenever I pick up an issue of Spectrum, I'm inevitably staring down at a piece he's done thinking "Holy crows, that's awesome!  I wonder who - oh, it's Justin Gerard's. Well, that explains it."  Without fail.  Every single time.  And I mean every single time because he's in EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Back in 2009, he did an illustration of Wizard of Oz for Illustration Master Class.  But is was Wizard of Oz . . . as steampunk.  Awesome, I know.  A few other pieces followed and the final art as well as his process are posted here on his blog.

He also posts on Muddy Colors: An Illustration Collective with several other bastions of illustration.  If you have any interest in art at all, I would suggest taking a look at both of these sites.  It's not often that you can really get information directly from the horses mouth, so to speak.  And all of these guys are really good teachers as well.  It's like a gold mine.  But more awesome.


S&C Poster Concept

Here it is! Goal 1.5 for this weekend reached!

This was the unanimous design choice here at the Silkwood house.  It's just a mock-up, but the idea isn't going to change much.  Let me know what you think!


The Beginnings of an Airship Crew

Goal 1 of 3 - DONE!

What's steampunk without an airship and it's crew of fan-freaking-tastic characters?

  • Elle - The owner of a small, varied fleet of airships.  She performs a hodge-podge of services like shipping and delivery, long distance message running, sight-seeing, etc.  She's slightly spastic and usually stressed about something or other, but with her driven work ethic and the help of her crew she's developed a reputation for excellence and getting the job done - no matter the circumstance.  
  • BT - Elle's engineer.  She's competent, capable and she can build or fix anything - out of anything - before you can spit.  All without chipping a nail.  She's kept Elle's ships flying through circumstances that would have crippled bigger and newer ships.  Her inventive offensive security measures have made many a merchant glad that Elle and her crew haven't turned to piracy, and many an air-pirate wish they hadn't.  
  • Sun - an accomplished medic and Elle's younger sister.  She's a little spitfire - and her mouth is sharper than the needle she'll use to sew you up.  She's amazingly shrewd and she can ferret a secret out of anyone - if she has to.  If it's advice you need, she's the one to ask, because ten to one, Sun's already thought of it. 
  • James - a kind of Jack-of-All-Trades, he's Elle's primary helmsman.  A fantastic pilot as long as you're not wanting to, well, dock or maybe land.  But you know what they say about any landing you can walk away from.  An eternal optimist, he can see the humor in anything and he's always ready with a joke.  He's one-half of a rather dynamic and fantastic duo with his friend Shep. Nothing is impossible with the two of them on the job.  
  • Shepherd (Shep) - very much a renaissance man, Shep knows a little of everything and a lot of other things.  He works the communications systems for Elle, and he'd like to see anyone do it better.  He's a visionary with grand dreams.  If you have a moment to give an ear, you might find yourself caught up in his ideas, too.  Just don't get sucked into one of his and James grand and intricate schemes to track down the fabled and elusive Granny Mede's Shack of Snacks . . .

Not Remotely Steampunk

I laughed at this.  A friend of mine sent me the link - and while I'm still trying to figure out if this is supposed to be a subtle hint as it pertains to this project, I thought I'd post it in an effort to establish what Silkwood & Co. will NOT be.


More Photo Reference

I had another impromptu photo session last night when I got back from my business trip.  The lighting was horrible, but the extreme contrast between the shadows and the light gave me an idea for a Silkwood & Co. poster!  I got really excited - because I'm a geek and art is what I look forward to at the end of the day right now.  Sad, I know.

But anyway, here's a little "tease" for ya!  The final will (probably) not be this pose.  But the general idea is the same.

See what I meant about bad lighting?  I was lucky Elle (another of my sisters, you'll be introduced to her later, too) was there to mess with the settings on my SLR.

I really need to take a photography class.

Anyway, as far as "real" art goes, you'll be getting some this weekend (I know, I know, I've promised that before).  I plan to upload at least 2 character sheets as well as a post to start the airship crew introductions.