Art of Records 3



Rough sketches
Initial concept

For the second time this year the "Art of Records" premieres a group show featuring artwork inspired by two highly claimed and collected records. The "Art of Records 3" hosted by DJ Low Key and the Denver Solution was held on November 8th, marking the 20th anniversary of "Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers" and "Midnight Marauders" album release dates, considered by many as classic albums, "36 Chambers" is ranked #387 on the top 500 albums of all time. 
I chose to create a custom version of the Wu-Tang album, and after a few different thumbnails I ended up falling on a concept based on a skit contained within 36 Chambers. In this clip Wu-Tang members are doing a radio interview, and Method-Man says "We form like Voltron, and Gza just happen to be the head". The reference is to the members of the group coming together to form a larger, stronger and potentially more dangerous entity than the individuals as a whole.
This small excerpt from the album inspired me to create this illustration, using elements from the Voltron cyber-mech from the 1980's and a serious, but caricaturized portrait of Gza. To further finalize the product of an album cover I collaborated with my good friend and designer, Dan Castillo who created the full vinyl layout and design. In this post I have also included a concept that I had initially wanted to paint, but scrapped it for the "Voltron" variation. 
I worked up the sketches and process in Photoshop and the final painting was executed in acrylic on board at 13" x 13". The painting consists mostly of glazes with some direct painting thrown around in the half tones and core shadow area. 
The final twist to the concept was the full custom designed vinyl cover, which Dan and I wanted to have a feel reminiscent of a Mad Magazine cover. All the elements to the design and illustration had this end goal in mind, focusing on a caricature style GZA and the layout elements of Mad from the font to the "tagline" at bottom. The final design is printed on vinyl and paper elements made for folding and housing the vinyl record. Very pleased with the final product from this collaboration project on a short deadline. The artwork is on display at Family Affair in Denver until Dec.13 if you want to see the painting and the rest of the other great works from the artists below:

Here is a write-up from the Westword about the show:
Tonight at the Meadowlark, the Solution is presenting the third installment of the Art of Records, its unique artistic series, which combines music and art in a compelling way by having local artists offer up their interpretations of classic hip-hop albums. This time, the talented cast of artists include Xencs L Wing, Jaime Molina, Thomas Evans, Karma Leigh, Triston Minton, Aisha Renee, Michael Coriano, Tiredpirate, Joseph Martinez, Delton Demarest and Dunn the Signtologist. The albums: Midnight Marauders by Tribe Called Quest, and Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), both of which came out twenty years ago on November 9, 1993.

Thanks to DJ Low Key and Denver Solution for the opportunity and thank you for stopping by to view the posts.

Here are links to the previous Art of Records shows:




Giraffe Rider Process Line Drawing

This post is a quick glance into the process of creating this line drawing in Photoshop for sample purposes, and eventually for the final mockup that will be used in painting. I generally work very similar to the pace and fashion I would with graphite. By slightly "ghosting" in your gestural lines and moving from section to section the rendering starts to take life quickly. 
In this stage I am squinting at the computer screen much like I would when painting on location, or when trying to break down the values of any object whether in studio or in the field. This helps to eliminate distractions and to simplify the information I am attempting to translate. 
In the next stage I begin working from reference to add more character and realism to the figure. In this instance there is not much reference of a large land mammal such as a giraffe, doing anything dynamic, so much of the drawing is completed fusing reference and imagination. Another technique that I commonly use is to flip the work horizontal and vertically, this helps to refresh the brain and see the work in new light, often times revealing flaws of the drawing. By working these steps in a repeated fashion I end up with the near finished rendering, and a great springboard to paint the final from. 
This process can be expanded and simplified based on the artists needs. For the purposes of this project I did not take the illustration farther as I will execute those steps in the final mural. This allows spontaneous work to happen in the final stages, keeping the work fun all the way until it is completed.


Work In Progress

for a new concept I am pleased to unveil as the date for painting closes in. This piece is progressing well and I am working two different environments for this scene as in the previous post, and have yet to determine which direction it will go, but I assure you it will be a fun final execution, stay tuned for more on this color study. Thanks for stopping in and look for more posts this week. 


Colorado Plein Air Festival 2013 Opening Reception

is this evening at the Denver Public Library's 7th Floor gallery. This year's showcase is sure to be bigger, more diversified and showcase even more artists than the previous years. The Denver Plein Air Festival is known as the country's largest urban event of its kind. As this event has grown it has expanded its boundaries and taken on the title of the "Colorado Plein Air Festival", adding Colorado Mountain Parks and the Lariat Loop as partners while opening the variety of paint-out locations to include areas and historic sites throughout the state of Colorado. I submitted five works to this years jury, and I had one accepted. That piece is shown on the E-flyer, but to see the work in its full grandeur, adorned with a hand made frame then you will have to attend the show and view the works in person, it is well worth it, not to mention the collection of Allen Tupper True works the 7th floor houses amongst many other large scale masterpieces. 
All of the paintings can be viewed through the online preview, and the accepted works can be seen in the professional category. I will post all of my submissions and opening photos in a future post this week. I am excited for this year's showcase, and please to hear that my 1st place painting from the Museum residences paint-out sold. 


Color studies done at work

Here are some digital color studies mocked up in Photoshop, no custom brush usage here just looking for color and shape relationships. Have been getting the great opportunity to flex the illustration muscles on the computer more these days, it is quite enjoyable with upgrades to a new machine and software. Stay tuned for more on this project in the near future, and as always thanks for stopping in.