Crash Landing: Dimensional Illustration

Crash Landing

I’ve finally finished a dimensional illustration I had started several months ago. I find it is a lot easier to finish something when you have a deadline. This piece was a personal project, so it was easy to delay or get distracted by other ideas. Well it’s done. Hope you’ll enjoy seeing some of the process that brought it together.

I started with the basic idea of a spaceman climbing from the wreckage of his ship. I did some sketching on the idea and some designs for the ship and came up with this:

Original sketch for Crash Landing illustration

I then proceeded to create a 3D model of the ship with Sketchup. I would use this model as a plan while building the physical model. Here is a printout onto which I have written the dimensions. When I was a kid I hoped and expected never to use math in my career. Well I mostly don’t—except finding ratios, which I use all the time.

plans for spaceship model

I started building the fuselage from foam, which I coated with a clear acrylic to protect it from the hard resin that I added on top of that. Well five coats of acrylic wasn’t enough. The foam melted and shriveled—I started over with wood.

Process shots of building spaceship model for dimensional illustration. by Jameson Gardner Art

The original sketch had the spaceman right next to the ship, which is why I spend so much time on the detail of the ship. I later decided to move the pilot forward. I am not sure which I would have liked better, but once I built the pilot at a larger scale, there was no going back.

Here is a new comp that I worked up as a guide to painting the background,

spacship hero ref b

I always paint my backgrounds in oil. I usually end up with narrow enough depth of field that the background blurs a little, so I don’t worry too much about the little details when painting.

Painting the background and shooting the set

After shooting, it was on to digital cleanup and adding the smoke.

I hope you like it.

Landscape Commission

Colorado mountain winter landscape oil painting ©Jameson Gardner Art

This is the landscape I was working on a few weeks ago. The client was giving it as a gift, so I’ve held back on posting about it.

I started out with a few thumbnail sketches that I sent to the client. The bottom right was approved so I got to work.

Work in progress winter landscape oil  painting. Mountains © Jameson Gardner Art

I toned the canvas with burnt sienna. It’s one of my favorite colors, and it make for nice temperature contrast when you are painting a lot of cool colors over it.

Work in progress winter landscape oil painting. Mountains © Jameson Gardner Art

Work in progress winter landscape oil painting. Mountains © Jameson Gardner Art

I tend to paint pretty thin. I usually move across the painting filling in areas at medium finish and then going back over it for details. That, of course only works because I sketched in the composition first. When painting from life, it works better for me to bring the whole painting up together, rather than moving across it.

Work in progress winter landscape oil painting. Mountains © Jameson Gardner Art

Work in progress winter landscape oil painting. Mountains © Jameson Gardner Art

Work in progress winter landscape oil painting. Mountains © Jameson Gardner Art

Painting Backdrop for Mini Icebergs

Unfinished painted backdrop for miniature iceberg scene with seal hunting schooner and ice flows.

Since the icebergs are finished, I’ve been painting the backdrop. Unlike my previous image with the dock, this backdrop will play a greater visual role in the scene. It includes the seal hunting schooner from the story.  There have been some challenges painting it.  The backdrop is 18″ wide, and therefore, decently sized for a portrait or something.  However, the ship turns out to be a little small for my painting style.  I think it will do, but it got pretty uncomfortable at times.

Below is a quick test shot with the icebergs. I still have to work out the lighting, the snow on the bergs may need some cooling.  If I can’t do it with light, I might just have to whip out the paint.

Test photo of painted backdrop, including schooner, with miniature resin icebergs.

Update!

Writing that made me want to try overlaying cooled versions of the bergs over the originals in photoshop. I only spent a couple minutes at it, but it definitely comes closer to my vision.  I’ll be keeping that in mind for the final shots.

Color corrected composition photo for miniature scene with icebergs and seal hunting schooner.

Nervous About Etsy

I’ve wanted to start an Etsy shop for awhile—a few years in fact. Every time I seriously consider it, though, something has stopped me. Sometimes, it is because I am just to busy. Sometimes, it has been because I don’t feel like i have a group of images that would appeal to buyers on Etsy. Now, I find myself just worrying about whether it will hurt my self esteem or something. I browse Etsy from time to time to see what the competition is like and I keep finding people who’s art is either mediocre or not very good at all (that of course is my opinion, but it’s an opinion that I tend to value), yet, they are making sales.

A more optimistic person might say “well if they can sell, I will have no problems”. I find myself, rather, saying, If I don’t sell, logically, my work must be less valuable than mediocre or bad.  That is my dilemma—it is dumb, I know it, but it’s how I feel.

This is a portrait/study of a girl with a green hat.  It is a little older and doesn’t really relate to this post at all… but I hate to put up a post without a picture and I couldn’t see myself writing a post for just this image. So this is the orphan illustration.

Oil painting study or portrait of girl with pink shirt and green hat