“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Yesterday, Axel, Geoff and I went to the GNOMON WORKSHOP's "The Art of Sketch Theatre" gallery.

For those of you who don't know about Gnomon, they are the ones who bring you those DVD/DVD-ROM art instruction videos centralizing primarily around concept design and whose subject matter range from traditional media all the way through 3D and digital production. Visit the link above for more info and if special effects and CG based concept art is your cup of tea, they're the guys willing to stir that tea for you. My personal favorites are the ones by IAIN MCCAIG. Good lord! Those DVDs really made me ill as I watched them.Why? Because in the initial sketch of the mermaid, he erased the WHOLE THING damn near 6 or 7 times. It was nuts! Insight into any artist's process and line of thinking are invaluable, but with Mr. McCaig it's doubly so because he's damn phenomenal at what he does.

Anyway, at their Hollywood based instruction school, Gnomon had a gallery there for the people who have participated in their website's online feature called "SKETCH THEATRE". Axel had done a short segment a little while back and his work was exhibited at the show. High five, Ax. More importantly, Axel is also an instructor at the school. He teaches weekday and weekend classes in character design and character development. I think. Or he cleans the latrines. One of those.

BTW, I love teachers. I love anyone who goes beyond themselves in order to share what they know. High five, all you teachers.

Back to the show itself. Along with the art ehxibit, they served some hors d'Ĺ“uvres & alcohol, and had a DJ for some music. The whole event had a grand turn out. Axel (BTW, for those interested, Ax is the guy in the first picture, bottom right-hand corner) had his own little stand-alone kiosk thing where they were exhibiting three of his sketchbooks. I thought it was very, very classy.

But the icing on the cake was that on top of all the things I mentioned above, in the back of the gallery they also had a live life drawing session where you could pull up a bench/horse and just start drawing the models who showed up in full costumes! Neato! I brought my sketchbook along as per Axel's suggestion and I'm sure glad that I did! It gave me something to do for the first hour and a half!Don't get me wrong; the show was great, but I can only loop around so many times before I realize I've seen the same stuff over and over again. I also don't drink (yeah, I know; I'm a buzzkill, man) nor did I know too many people there. So even though I talked to a handful of new people, mingling was kept to a minimum.

Instead I went with what I knew - I slid into a bench and started drawing. The idea was that I would take some pictures so I could put them up here later as a point of reference. But the strong, bald model guy told me to knock it off and he had a sword. So I stopped. Fast. Heh.

All kidding aside, he was very accommodating and nice about it. So I took pictures of what I could and that was that. I wish I managed to get their names so I could thank them indirectly here for a job well done, but I'm an idiot and I didn't get their info. All three of them were great. So thanks, strong bald guy. And thanks geisha lady. And thanks Mad Max/Bladrunner lady even though I didn't stick around long enough to draw you. You're all pros.

These are the ones I managed to take before he put the kabosh to my whole plan. And below them are the images I drew during the sessions. You know, I'll bet you good money that real artists and illustrators would worry about measuring and proportions and planes and lightsourcing and etc. Me? I was just sitting there thinking, "Oh my god! Is *THAT* how that muscle really goes?! Holy sh*t! Who knew?"

And even after seeing it front of my face, I went and drew it wrong anyway. So basically, I went to the life drawing and didn't draw from life. Instead, I pissed off the bald swordsman by taking pictures, oggled the models while they posed and drew what I wanted. It's like staying at home, only not really.

I'm such an ass. But I had fun! So...uhm... yeah. Enjoy!


Adam said...

oh, that guy. I've had him before, he is a pretty good model, but a jerk. My girlfriend had him in a class once and the guy tried to get her to go out with him. He made her so uncomfortable she ended up leaving class and called me crying.

j_ay said...

Thanks for sharing, totally wonderful interpretations on the model poses.

Andre Szymanowicz said...

Your "made-up" muscles are totally way cooler then the model's "real-life" muscles!! Awesome stuff Eric!

Brandon said...

Mike Mattesi said something like "Don't copy the model, interpret the model", and that looks like exactly what you did. These are beautiful.

Omaha Perez said...

Beautiful work on here, Eric. I'm very glad to have stumbled upon your blog!

Chrispy said...

OH SHIT! Iain McCaig, that guy is one of the most phenomenal designers out there! I have the art of Phantom Menace book, and that guys stuff is what made me want to get into Concept Design in the first place. Dope stuff man, i like seeing your life stills. Geez "E", you killed it with these man, dope stuff.

Olga said...

Wheee! That looked like so much fun.

And the models are so cool! The models I've had ovah in our neck o'the woods are not nearly as accessorized, I tell ya what.

Your second sketch of the bossy bold guy is tres sexy. :D Awesome sauce.

Parka said...

Nice. The stylized look and poses.