The MOAR Monster…


An artist, an 18 month old, a sketch book, and a stack of crayons.  I was acting as a nanny to my roommates kiddo a few months back, and as an artist myself I liked to encourage him to take crayons to paper and go nuts.

We ended up doing a hybrid form of collaborative work.  I would sketch a line, he would scribble, only stopping to choose a new color and pointing to where he wanted me to place my next set of lines.  It was an exercise in showing him, how and where to color, but it became a freeing experience for me.  (As in not on the walls!)

As artists we lose a certain amount of boundless artistic freedom the more we attend any sort of formal training.  You always have a teacher or peer telling you how “that doesn’t work”, or “that is not atomically correct”, or my favorite “you have to learn the RULES before you can break the rules and be artistic.”

WE ARE MAKING ART, not doing brain surgery.  There isn’t supposed to be a “wrong” in artistic expression, it is a way of letting emotion and feeling leak from your soul into the world.  Going through formal training I spent a lot of time learning rules and concepts, and they have made me a better designer, a better painter, a better marketer, but not a better artist. Art School did more to teach me to lock away my creative urges in a cage of technical rules.

Sketching with a 18 month old, unlocked all that bullshit.  It helped me free up my talent,  and then let that talent flow through the techniques and tools, to become something awesome.  Our combined doodles led me to do this sketch, which I later applied to canvass.

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The MOAR! Monster.  pretty simple idea, just a monster I might have sketched in 4th grade, on the corner of a  math homework assignment.  Going to an art school is a good idea, and experience, it is the teaching that needs to change.

Jay, one of the best and most influential artists and teachers I encountered while attending formal classes, He had this rule.  if you ever had to defend or come up with a reason for something in your art, just blame aliens.

“Why is this guy floating?  That isn’t physically possible and so it is just bad execution of this assignment…”  ..because it matter what the subject of the SHADING assignment is doing when the assignment was to shade a scene of the artist’s choosing. My physics professor, liked a lot of the odder sketches I did, because I kept a good concept of the PHYSICAL world in mind when I create Science Fiction and Fantasy Art.

When the physics teacher says “yeah if we could float it would look like that…”  the art teacher who didn’t take advanced science or math classes can STFU.  Anyway Jay’s rule: aliens, the dude can float cause of aliens.  Here is a teacher that attempted to unlock all those rules and let students do whatever.  However Jay was the One good teacher, we need more like him.

I am not alone in having creativity stifled by formal education.  Not because we are incapable of executing the given assignment to the fullest ability of the techniques taught; but because the professor, personally, would have chosen a different subject matter.  It would be like me teaching a class on color theory and telling a student her execution was bad because I, personal, don’t ever choose to paint puppy-dogs and sunshine.  Then turning to another student and telling her she did a good job because she painted Zero Suit Samus killing a metriod.  The Subject matter of the painting has NO impact on the use of COLOR!

On the subject of color… here is the finished painting:

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The entire project was very freeing, and inspired me to continue with a series of “my little monsters”  trying to capture that cute and simple style kids sketch.  Everything I learned in 4 plus years of different art classes, and it takes an 18 month old to show me how to grow as an artist and painter.

Yeah education in America might be broken.

-TheGrav

-Like my Facebook Fanpage for updates on other paintings and sketches.

MOAR! Monster is an original, 10.5 x 14 acrylic painting on canvass, numbered and signed.

-Be sure to keep an eye out on a DeviantArt account for prints of my photography and digital paintings.

 

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Teaching an old painting new tricks…


So a few years ago I started trying to paint an underwater scene, some of you might remember this…

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We are just gonna do the TL;DR version here.  Don’t like it, wasn’t for me, needs to be finished/changed.

Being that Octopuses are one of my favorite animals, and that I wanted to play a lot with color and form I decided on a blue ring octopus as a subject.  In case you aren’t familiar with these guys, here are a few pics!

610_ag_blue-ringed-octopus

 

Here is my process on teaching this old canvass new tricks…

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Here I have used sharpie to mark out where I want to octopus to be, and with that done I have laid in a lot of the background coloring.

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Next I paint out the area that will be the octopus with white.  Paintings is about layering, and as the background is dark already, I don’t want to layer a light color like yellow, as my final painting will end up darker.  Here I am making sure that I get a nice solid, light yellow color2013-02-02_14-46-13_650

 

Not quite done yet, but here is where I am as of this morning!  More to come soon!

-TheGrav

 

Miss a Sketch a Day, do a painting…


Sketching is the way I make sure I practice and get just a little bit better each day; at times however, like yesterday, I miss a day because I am working on a painting

A few weeks ago I released a series of sketches I was planning to turn into paintings, all involving mice.  I began with the wind mouse, mainly because this is the only painting in the set that has a tie to a season.  Here is what I have so far.

 

As I have mentioned before the Devil really does plague the details in my work, so I have a bit more I feel I need to do in order to call this guy done… then I think it is time to move on to Fire!

To see more of the art I am working on head over to my Facebook artist page! : http://www.facebook.com/ArtofTheGrav?fref=ts

-TheGrav

Progress, and a lesson learned…


More work on thegrav.com, almost finished with the background images.. for some reason I always need to sleep on it before I decide I am done.

Colors and Values, Ryan Berry. Warp Gate

Here is the gate getting closed to finished, I have blended all my colors, and refined the values I wanted.

Texturing Step 1

To finish any good digital painting, a bit of time needs to be spent applying textures, and getting the final image to look right.  Here is the first layer of texturing I applied.

Second level of Texturing, Ryan Berry, Warp Gate

Here is the Warp Gate background after the second level of texturing has been applied.  I also refined the edges of the gate, and added some wear and tear.

Final Draft, Warp Gate, Ryan Berry

Here is the Warp Gate after the final touches have been applied to the painting.  I like the rough painted look it retains, and don’t want to make the image much more technical or bog it down under hard edges.  But I still feel it needs something more.

As with most of my art, I need to spend sometime away from the piece so I can think about the piece.  A valuable lesson I learned over the years work both in the freelance world and later behind a desk, never think something is truly finished until you forget about it for a few hours, go do something else, and then come back.

 

thegrav.com, progress and updates…


As revealed in my last post, I am currently hard at work fixing up thegrav.com, and turning it into my primary portfolio website.

thegrav.com, portfolio website design, Ryan Berry

This is my progress toward finishing the digital painting which will become my websites background, and eventually hover behind my website links.  This is the basic color step, where I am blending the colors and defining the values I will use to finalize the painting.

Follow along with the next few posts to see my progress.

-TheGrav

Inspiration and painting…


From time to time I have felt the need to break the cycle on either my graphic design work or with my digital painting.  My newest tactic has been to paint with acrylic on canvass.  The newest piece I have been working on is an underwater plane for my girl.  She is a scuba geek!

Here are a few pictures, mainly of some of the fixes I did recently.

Scuba painting, Ryan BerryScuba Painting, Ryan BerryScuba Painting, Ryan Berry

Quick note, the white lines are conte, mostly marks of where and how I want to add color, or tweak lines.

Scuba Painting, Ryan Berry

Quick Note, I need to figure out how to Photograph my paintings, more soon!

-TheGrav

More Tank Girl!


I realized I never got around to posting the work in progress images of my Tank Girl painting!  Check them out!

Tank Girl, Ryan Berry

Here is the blocking in I did with pencil, mush like a sketch.

Tank Girl, Ryan Berry

Next step was to trace all the lines in black, this helped keep the comic book feel to the piece.  I also attempted to vary the line width and stroke weight to get the comic look to come across better.

 

 

 

Tank Girl, Ryan Berry

Bit more line work and the first bits I added where the red paint.

I made a choice to add lots of red accents early on, based on how this painting was meant for the Ride to End AIDS auction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tank Girl, Ryan Berry, Deadmau5

Little shout-out to Deadmau5!  And some detail on one of her arms.  I like to try to add little references to pop-culture in most of my paintings.

Tank Girl, Ryan Berry

A little further along, and I have started to block in the major colors for the background.  As I did this I mixed a lot of different grays, kept them as fresh as I could, and moved back and forth. I use a similar technique when I am working in photoshop or painter.

 

 

Tank Girl, Ryan BerryLayer lots of different styles and colors onto one another helps to sell the idea of stone, or concrete.

More texturing and layering done to the background and a lot more color information added to the painting.

 

Tank Girl, Ryan Berry

 

And a few close-ups…

Tank Girl, Ryan Berry

Tank Girl, Ryan BerryTank Girl, Ryan Berry

Tank Girl, Ryan Berry

And here is the full painting finished 🙂

-TheGrav

 

TheGrav!?!? Where have you been!!


The last few weeks have been a little crazy… I have experienced being laid off, experienced crunch time in City 7s timeline, and I have started to try and gather everything I do together to see if I can’t make it as a freelance artist again…

Long story short, I have been pretty busy, and really bad and posting…

The largest task I have undertaken is in the composting the first 25 seconds of our short Zombie Movie, City 7.  As an artist and graphic designer I have had some experience with matte painting, which is basically the term used to describe how an artist might help a director create a scene that just can’t be filmed.  Some of the greatest examples of matte paintings in film, are in the Original Star Wars films.

Matte Painting at ILM

When I was in middle school and lived in San Francisco, my Dad and Step-Mom took me to see an exhibit of the largest single collection of Star Wars props, it was pretty damn cool, and I think it was there that I really started down the path towards art and graphic design as a possible career path.  I saw a handful of these paintings in person and going back to watch the films was just impressed with how they did it.

There are several good examples of digital matte painting in this little clip from ILMVisualFX.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/L7r5mz9aTlA%5D

Of course with a budget somewhere in the neighborhood of only $2500 we did not have quite the number of resources these guys did!  But we do have a cool little intro!

Our movie is set to release in full in the next few weeks on our YouTube Channel Digital Raven.

More to come!

-TheGrav

 

Please make sure to follow me, send me any questions you have, or just in general keep and eye out!

New Painting


Some friends are involved with AIDS LifeCycle here in San Diego, and sent out a blast on Facebook to get as many of us involved as they could!  As part of the event there is a raffle that will be taking place on March 31st, so I offered my hands as a painter.

Being that my style is normally pretty dark, I decided I would try something a bit different but still stick inside my favorite genre: post-apocalyptic.  Here is the first glimpse of my Tank Girl inspired painting for the event:

Ride to end AIDS

I will be doing both a acrylic on canvass and digital painting for this piece, make sure to watch my blog to follow some step by step updates!

-TheGrav

And how do you hunt the wastes?


I have returned to the wacom tablet, and tapped into the slippery bitch that is my muse.  My #sketchaday practices have done me good and inspired me to finish what I started.

When last I had posted about my Wasteland Rider, he was just a mess of colour and tone.  Basic shapes and information that needed to be trimmed, nurtured and formed into a final product.

To do this I started quick and dirty, taking a bender brush and smearing the colours together to get what I wanted.  As I blend, I keep returning to a other brushes to add in bits of colour and tweak the final image.  I also move back and forth between normal brushes and textured brushes.

As this rider is not going to be the focal piece of my painting I am not really putting that much effort into texturing, in fact I will do it all with paintbrushes this time.  Marking out and maintaining my hard lines, splashing texture in and blending all at once.  This allows me a more fluid development process.

As I worked I also changed my mind on several features of the figure.  The goggles, and gas mask were scrapped and redesigned.  I also moved to a more untanned leather look with the colour, and added girt where I though it should be.

Lastly I cleaned up the edges that needed it, but kept the piece  a bit gritty on the edges.

I combine them, do a bit more clean up and use the dodge and burn tools to tweak the rider just a bit more.  Now it is time to save it as a proof and  set it aside for a few hours to see what I think with a fresh mind.

After a few hours of letting it stew I decided to change very little.  More grit on the rider, made him a bit smaller as well, added some highlights and environmental reflections to him.

Then I messed with my colour levels to get it set a bit more like I wanted.

I have a problem with never “finishing” anything I have painted, so at this point I will call it done, and move on to my next hat trick!

-TheGrav