May the Fourth: Star Wars Drawing

Yesterday was May the Fourth—Star Wars Day. I couldn’t let an opportunity like that pass my drawing table. So, I figured I’d draw and ink something starwarsy. Honestly, I spent a lot of my childhood drawing images inspired by Star Wars. A quick search through some old nicknacks turned up these two images:

7th grade Death Star Drawing

This one appears to be the surface of the Death Star. It is drawn on the back of a note card for a 7th grade research paper about what it takes to become a culinary worker. The next one is a tiny TIE Interceptor found on sheet of random doodles from the same era.

tie interceptor doodle

 

I didn’t find any examples in my quick search, but as a kid I always loved to draw a couple capitol ships pounding it out with the turbolasers while star-fighters zipped around them. So this year on Star Wars day, I figured I would do something along those lines. I started yesterday and wanted to finish yesterday, so I had to keep it relatively simple—this wasn’t going to be the full battle of Endor or anything.

I began by gathering reference. You’d think a quick google search for Star Destroyer would turn up plenty, but most of the nice detailed images were pretty recognizably the reference for every peice of fan art, Star Wars book cover and spoof meme you’ve ever seen. So I turned to my secret weapon—3d model libraries. If you want to see a vehicle from an angle that google can’t provide, you can be almost certain some other geek has already made a 3d model of it. Some sites, like the Sketchup warehouse, have a bunch of models downloadable for free (but you have to sift through all the wedges with cube on top created by twelve yr-olds and titled star destroyer) or there are other sites where a small fee will grant you access to some pretty professional models. I managed to track down some decent models, which I arranged and lit to use as reference. Once I had that it was just drawing, inking and coloring.

The coloring I did digitally and the image below showcases some of the different layers and elements used to make the final image.

Process and layers for starwars image by Jameson Gardner

As you can see, I had the original ink layer, the basic colors and shadows and a watercolor texture scan. Together:

Star Wars Battle by Jameson Gardner

The process results in what I hope is a nice comic-book sort of feel. Hope you enjoy and may the force be with you!

 

One Week of Inktober

I decided to participate in Inktober this year. The whole thing was started by awesome artist Jake Parker a few years back, and the gist is to create an ink drawing each day during the month of October. Of course, it helps motivate you not to slack if you are sharing those daily on social media. I’ve shared each of my drawings on Instagram, but I thought it would be fun to include the first week’s worth together in a post.

Inktober drawing of girl with hair blowing. painted with acrylic washes. By Jameson Gardner Art.

My first Inktober drawing was this portrait of a girl with her hair blowing a little. I try not to judge my success (it’s hard) by how many people are following me, or how many likes an image gets. There is always that 18 year old who’s drawings look like mine did when I was 10 (literally, I don’t mean a fine artist who is intentionally simplifying or exaggerating forms—I am just talking plain old amateur), yet who has thousands of followers. That can get me down if I’m not careful. Anyway, despite that, I do pay attention to the response. This first one had, by far, the biggest response on Instagram. Maybe it was because it was the first day and people were pumped to look at the first round of Inktober drawings, or maybe people just liked it. A few days later I went ahead and painted some acrylic washes onto it to see how some color would look.

Inktober Girl 1 Drawing

Inktober 2

For my second drawing, I imagined up a scene of a soldier in battle who is surprised by a goblin leaping through the air. I didn’t love the composition on my sketchbook page, so I broke it down and tried to create a sort of fractured comic frame. I don’t really do comics or graphic novels—but it was worth a shot. The response on this one was significantly lower. It has still reached what I’d call the medium range. I think I posted this one later in the evening which may matter too.

Inktober drawing with fairy. By Jameson Gardner Art. Inktober drawing with damaged spaceship. By Jameson Gardner Art.

My third drawing was a fairy. Response to her was low. I spent quite a bit of time on her and I thought she turned out pretty nice. I wonder if displayed small on instagram, she didn’t have the bold blacks to attract attention. Some of the nice details of the drawing may just have been missed at that scale. Don’t hesitate to click and view her larger to see if you agree with me.

The damaged space ship was next. I admit it was a quickie. It got only slightly better response than the fairy.

Inktober drawing with frigate heeling in the wind. By Jameson Gardner Art.

This frigate was next. I worried a little while drawing it that people wouldn’t understand the angle of the masts and spars. the wind is supposed to be coming from the right. So the spars are angled to allow the square sails to still catch some power. That is also why it is heeling to port—all the pressure pushing the masts that direction. Anyway, I guess my fears were unfounded. This one did second best for likes. I don’t know if it was the drawing or if people just love ships.

Inktober drawing portrait of girl. By Jameson Gardner Art.

Inktober drawing with dragon skull. By Jameson Gardner Art.

So, this other girl portrait wasn’t my favorite. It is just as simple as the first one, but not as elegant. I guess it is just a little dull. The response wasn’t great either. It’s tied with the damaged spaceship for likes. I’m not surprised.

Last drawing of the week was the dragon skull. I tried to combine features from dog skulls with antelope skulls. You are probably wondering why I didn’t just look at lizard or dinosaur skulls…. well, because I didn’t. 🙂 The Dragon Skull scored in the mid-range. It was a later evening post too, so that might have affected it.

Hope you enjoy these. Inktober isn’t over. There is more to come. Check out my progress on Instagram @jamesonart

2nd Raven Illustration

Illustration in pen and ink, oil wash and NuPastel of raven atop column from cathedral st. Francis of Assisi

Here’s the second raven from my Cathedral of St. Francis series.

So we watched an episode of ‘Stephen Fry in America’ last night. We’ve watched one every once in a while and had reached the episode where he visits New Mexico. I pointed out, to my wife, all the places I had recently been. This was also the episode where he would be visiting my home state of Utah. Unfortunately, he only visited Lake Powell in the Southernmost corner of the state. That was disappointing. I thought he would at least go to the Salt Flats, Promontory Point or Temple Square. Oh well, he did interview a couple of Mormons in Las Vegas, right before he interviewed the owner of a brothel…?

Basically, I hope people don’t make all their judgments about the USA based on the places Stephen Fry visited.

Santa Fe Raven and Basilica

Earlier this Summer, I went with a group of artists from BYU to Santa Fe and various nearby sites. While in Santa Fe, I visited the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. I spent some time sketching the exterior and noticed that no two columns had identical capitals. In fact, they were each very unique. This inspired me to produce the work below, which is one of five ravens atop columns based on those from St. Francis Cathedral.

Ink and oil wash illustration of raven atop capital from cathedral basilica st. francis of assisi.

This is a photo I took at Goblin Valley, where we stopped on the way home. Nothing fancy, but it has that Southwesty feel and thus belongs here helping to describe the trip.

Image