Monday, October 28, 2013

Make Day of the Dead masks

the recycle of life from Graham Smith on Vimeo.

Learn how to make Day of the Dead tributes, by recycling cardboard with a bit of paint, a touch of ink, and a bunch of imagination in this short video, the recycle of life.

You'll need: cardboard, white paint, india ink, a wide brush, a smaller round brush, and something to cut cardboard with.

Discarded cardboard is reborn and given a new life through your imagination. The decorative tributes are enjoyed for a day, then burned, because life is short and precious, and sometimes we need to be reminded to appreciate things, then let them go. The recycle of life.

the recycle of life (teaser) from Graham Smith on Vimeo.

I'll be at the Oceanside Museum of Art helping Art After Dark party goers make recycled Day of the Dead masks, this Friday, November 1st. I'll be assisted by The Art Elephant, Miss Chantelle Lamoreaux. Stop by to say hi, have a drink, and let's make art together! See you on Friday!

Read about the Event.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Drawing a Haunted House

Haunted House for Boston Globe from Graham Smith on Vimeo.

Houses that are hundreds of years old must have at least a few ghost roaming around, thought the owner of this 350 year old shaker, so she called a number of psychics to discover the otherworldly forces floating about.

Art Director Ryan Huddle called me to illustrate this fun topic for the Boston Globe. It was fun to draw, and to bring this illustration to life using fall colors. So, I made a little video while I was working.

Haunted House for Boston Globe: Graham Smith

Haunted House (detail): Graham Smith

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to Illustrate a War Story

Beer for Data - Illustration Process from Graham Smith on Vimeo.
"It was a dark time in a long, drawn-out war. Afghanistan was festering with resentment. The Pentagon brass were desperate. It was the kind of last-ditch moment when authorities start throwing an era’s weirdest ideas at its most hopeless bureaucratic mistakes."
Pacific Standard hired me to illustrate an article about the war in Afghanistan, and a bunch of "Burners" lead by Dr. David Warner, the called the Synergy Strike Force. They succeeded in trying to "hack the war", only miles from the treacherous Tora Bora Mountains, from the only bar in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

This story begins in Wartime Afghanistan, with a few smart guys building schools and installing solar generators. It ends with the burning of Koran's at Bagram Airforce base by US soldiers, and the riots that erupted afterwards.

Once stateside, the story is returns to another burning, a bittersweet ceremony where the Burning Man's Temple was razed, deep in Nevada's Black Rock desert. Goodbyes were said to those lost in the war.

Their story, by Brian Calvert is heroic and amazing. Read the Article.

Illustrating a reality based series about the war is a great responsibility, and a super fun project!

But where to start? How do you know what to draw? What is the illustration process?

Research: Illustrations are based on written descriptions from the article, and reference photos culled from the interwebs. It is helpful to research the objects in a reality based illustration. I read the manuscript and highlight the descriptive passages, then list all the objects to be illustrated, and Google them.

Ideas: Draw thumbnails: The goal is to put your thoughts on paper, and to generate ideas by letting facts, graphic themes, and subconscious ideas link from one little drawing to the next - evolving as they go. This is a really fun part of the process, where any idea, no matter what, gets drawn in a little box.

Edit: The best thumbnails are enlarged, and refined into bigger pencil sketches. They are reviewed by the art and editorial staff, and placed into temporary layouts to get a sense of how the illustrations will live inside the design.

Refine: Sketches are usually developed with anything handy, and fast. In this case, graphite. The rough pencil sketches are used as a guide for the more carefully done ink drawing.

Draw: On approval, the chosen sketch is redrawn with ink on a separate piece of translucent vellum or paper. A quill pen, and india ink are used to draw each illustration.

Finish: Color, and mono-printed textures are are added digitally in Photoshop, as is the final  resizing, and preparation for printing. The final print ready, Photoshop files are delivered via internet.

While I'm drawing, I'm also filming.

An iPhone camera captures time-lapse footage while attached to a overhead desk lamp. Between each drawing, I reposition my low end DSLR, (Canon T4i /650D) to film a different angle, setting the exposure, and depth of field, before resuming to draw. The footage is knocked together in iMovie.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Drawing the CEO of Audi

Drawing Scott Keogh from Graham Smith on Vimeo.

Scott Keogh, CEO Audi America. Worth Magazine. 
Art Director: Valerie Sebring. Illustrator: Graham Smith

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blue Moon Brewery - Expressionist Collection Video

I stuffed a suitcase full of drawings, and art supplies, then flew to Denver to film a video for Blue Moon.

Blue Moon's wanted to showcase the label illustration process, and asked me to develop a storyboard for a 30 second video spot using the process art from the Expressionist Collection label illustrations.

Then,I was asked be the hand that draws the labels on screen! That's a total bucket list item, so I said yes right away.  It is exciting to be part of any production. Doubly so, working on both sides of the camera!

Below are some of the storyboards I photographed in my studio, and some behind the scenes photos of the shoot in  Denver - where they built a replica of my studio, and filled it with lights, and cameras. See the storyboards taped to the wall in one of the behind the scenes photos?

My actual brushes, pens and pencils were used in the spot, you can even see my Sketchbook (#30 and 32) peeking into frame. And yes, we used the original label illustrations, sketches and comps, too. I lugged it all across the Rocky Mountains in a giant orange suitcase.

Shooting a video spot sounds pretty fancy, but in actuality, I stood at a desk drawing beer labels for 10 hours, while a time lapse camera clicked away. Futuristic Films, the production company, used a Canon 5D for the time lapse sequences. The real time sequences, and product shot, were filmed with an Epic Red, by Director Bill Timmer.

Related Posts with Thumbnails