2017 gets a surprising start with the announcement of the Infected By Art 5 awards!Read More
To say how Michael Jackson is a bona fide pop superstar because he gave a distinct voice to timeless songs and performances is a huge understatement. Not many people – including lifelong fans – know about the King of Pop and his different side, a part of his life that truly reflects his artistry beyond the concert stages and album covers. He is a great influencer, indeed; but The Baltimore Sun even went as far as claiming he’s changed the world.
Besides leaving behind a body of work that has benefited everyone from the Motown and RnB artists of old to modern day music superstars, his impact extends even to the far reaches of pop culture. In fact, his likeness was used in console games such as Moonwalker and Sonic the Hedgehog 3, as well as the online slot game, Michael Jackson: King of Pop. However, behind all these accolades in the music industry and influence in pop culture, Michael Jackson’s artistry also emanates from the pages of his drawings.
Jackson’s life has been well documented. For some, it’s a celebration of a once-in-a-generation performer and artist extraordinaire; but for others, it’s the reflection of everything that's wrong with the entertainment industry. A brief history lesson reveals how he was pushed into the spotlight at such a young age, growing up quite literally under people’s watchful eyes. His fans also witnessed his metamorphosis into a totally different person. There are many clues and conspiracy theories about the troubles of his personal life, which are reflected on through his previously never-before-seen artworks.
Early this year, a Florida-based television personality put Michael Jackson’s drawings up for sale. Joseph McBratney has collected, throughout the years, more than 100 drawings of the late pop sensation. According to McBratney, there have been many inquiries about these said drawings, mostly from art connoisseurs. Being also a psychic and drug counselor, he decided to sell the artworks as a way to raise funds for a local rehabilitation center. The collection features illustrations of the likes of Princess Diana, the Beatles, and many other famous personalities. Additionally, to a certain extent, Jackson’s doodles can be compared to that of Kim Noble’s, another talented artist with multiple personality disorder. These pieces have been authenticated and valued north of $100 million.
Joseph McBratney, like many others who know Michael Jackson, didn’t realize that Michael Jackson was that kind of an artist until randomly searching on eBay and coming across one of the illustrations. After building his drawing collection, McBratney also contacted the private company that now owns Neverland to talk about a possible art exhibit. At the end of the day, for Joseph McBratney, this is one excellent way to continue his mission to help the youth overcome addiction, and somewhat relive Michael Jackson’s legacy through the Joe Brat Foundation.
--Guest Post written by Michelle Philips.
Aside from being a devoted solo backpacker and a local band road manager, Michelle Philips is a lifelong fan of the arts. She always allots ample time every trip to immerse with locals, seeing it as a chance to get a firsthand knowledge of their culture. A few of Mich’s plans are to go travel back to the Philippines and meet comic book artist Leinil Yu.
Photos: Joseph McBratney c/o The Telegraph
In honor of this past weekend's Star Wars Celebration in London, today I pick the brain of the phenomenal UK-based Star Wars artist, Malcolm Tween!Read More
When it comes to telling stories through art, you've got to get those feelings involved. Here's some tips on how to improve the emotional impact of your work!Read More
Expressive, colorful, and thought-provoking digital art. How does Lane Brown do it? We pick his brain in today's Artist Interview!Read More
Star Wars Celebration Art Show pre-sales are coming soon! Order before the show and leave your running shoes at home!Read More
And as always, I'm about 10 years late to the game haha. But if you're interested to see what I'm up to in real life when I'm not on my computer working, my profile name is murr_art (you can be taken directly there via the social button at the bottom of this website)! I'll be posting photos and videos of on-location sketches, inspiration, and just general things that interest me.
Have you fallen down the rabbit hole of endless possibilities with your digital art? Move forward confidently and get committed to your art with these working tips!Read More
A small preview of the limited edition art I created for this year's Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim was released on the Celebration website, and I figured I'd share a little bit larger version here (click the image for a full view).
I've always been a fan of the Star Wars art that depicts moments that you knew had to exist, but just weren't "captured" by film. This piece represents one of those moments for me, and has been in my head ever since the 5th grade when I first saw The Phantom Menace. Tusken Raiders never seem to realize when they've bitten off more than they can chew.
This piece will be offered to Celebration attendees as a limited edition print in April! I haven't quite nailed down how large the print run will be, but probably either 200 or 250 signed and numbered. Stay tuned for more details!
The Image in this post is TM & © 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.
I've updated my INPRNT store with two new prints! First up is "Mountains of Madness," the box cover art from Fantasy Flight Games' "Eldritch Horror" game expansion of the same name. And for all the blonde kids out there who owned the original Nintendo system, I've uploaded an alternate "blonde" version of my popular "Play Me Those Old Cartridge Blues" print. Check them out here!
I am over the moon to announce that I have been selected as one of 40 artists to contribute to and attend the Star Wars Celebration Art Show in Anaheim, California next April! If you're not familiar with Star Wars Celebration, here's a description from the official page:
Long story short, it's a pretty big deal for Star Wars fans.
The Art Show is a showcase of limited edition art prints, created specifically for the convention by a jury-selected group of artists. To be considered for the show, artists must have already had experience creating work for Lucasfilm or a Lucasfilm licensee. After the initial screening of work samples, artists were then asked to submit an original concept for the show. Concepts were judged by a handful of some of the top talent currently working at Lucasfilm and Disney, and from a massive pool of submissions, 40 concepts were chosen to be completed for the show.
And one of those 40 was mine! It's really hard to believe that my work will be showcased with the likes of other amazing Star Wars artists like Adam Hughes, Alex Ross, and Tsuneo Sanda. Unfortunately, I can't show any work in progress or say what my concept is, but I hope fans will find as much enjoyment in it as I do in creating it!
For more information about Star Wars Celebration and the Art Show, check out the official website.
See you in Anaheim!
Here's a new piece that can be found in the upcoming "Fly Casual" sourcebook in Fantasy Flight Games' "Star Wars: Edge of the Empire" RPG line. I find that the biggest and most enjoyable challenge with these kinds of "everyday" scenes is trying to imbue the figures with life and personality, without making them too overly exaggerated and cartoony. For this piece I was inspired heavily by the painting below by Edwin Lord Weeks.
One of the fine gentlemen across the pond at Solaris Books sent me this photo of a rather life-sized cigar smoking macaque invading their office!
Happy Friday, everyone!
Hello everyone! This is just a test post to check the blog's readability on various feed readers. Please disregard the message and have a great day!
Integrating my blog into my portfolio website is something I've always wanted to do, but didn't really have the tools necessary to make it worthwhile. But now that I've migrated everything over to Squarespace 7, I'm thrilled to announce the marriage of blog and website - together at last!
Here is where I'll be leaving updates about upcoming events, process articles, interviews, and everything else you've come to expect from my old Blogger blog! Please excuse the lack of finesse you're likely to find with posts prior to this one. Sometimes things imported nicely from Blogger, but most of the time it didn't. And I just don't have the time to go back through and tweak all of them back to 2009.
Anyway, thanks for your interest and support, and I look forward to sharing more in the coming days!
Creating the box cover art for the expansion to Fantasy Flight Games' "Eldritch Horror" proved to be a bit maddening. But once everything comes together, it's definitely worth it!Read More
|"Where Isss It?!"|
As with all my paintings, I start with very very small thumbnail sketches to help me figure out the overall composition in miniature form. I decided to develop the top left and bottom middle from this page into rough sketches to show to the client.
They preferred the composition and feel of the top left sketch, with Gollum climbing out of his boat, getting ready to throttle his unwitting riddle buddy.
Since this painting would be just one of a total of three Gollum pieces (all being worked on at the same time), I decided that I needed a good "hero maquette" of his head so that he would look like the same character in any pose and under any lighting conditions. I've been experimenting a lot with Pixilogic's Sculptris program lately and decided this would be a good opportunity to put some 3D sculpting to use. I digitally sculpted this Gollum head in Sculptris and then lit and rendered the model in Blender. The advantage of doing a digital model for me is that I can play around with all kinds of lighting schemes and colors that I wouldn't be able to with a clay model in real life. And things can be edited on the fly much faster than with a physical model.
After gathering all my photo reference material, I set out to do the final painting! Here's a sort of step by step below.
In order to keep my shadow passages rich and transparent feeling, I initially paint everything in a deep brown tone, after which I'll paint cooler blue in with a layer set to "color" mode in Photoshop, or "colorize" mode in Corel Painter. After all the heavy lifting value planning and temperature relationships have been established, the rest of the process is basically just using opaque color to paint details and model the forms.
Now a lot of people think of artists as these flighty, feelings-driven people who just have some mystical perception and creativity that other people don't. And while some of that certainly is true, I am the type of artist that needs boundaries and rules. I like to think outside the box, but I have to know all the dimensions of the box before I do it.
I decided I needed to understand the "box" that was my new set of paints before I started painting with them again. So, based on a study model proposed by Richard Schmid's fantastic book, "Alla Prima - Everything I Know About Painting ", and with the spirit of self torture in my heart, I created these color swatch charts.
Basically, the way it works is that you make a complete chart for each tube of paint in your palette, excluding white (in this case I had twelve). Each chart represents one tube color mixed with all of the other tube colors across the horizontal, and then 5 separate tints (mixtures with white) of each going down the vertical.
The goal in doing this is essentially to try and map the entire range (or "gamut") of colors possible with the tubes of paint you're using. Better yet, when you're painting out in the field, it can help you not only figure out what color you need to mix for a particular object, but also the exact tube colors required to mix it!
When working with a limited palette of just a few colors, you can do this same exercise to determine the limitations and color possibilities of that particular palette. It's a very similar (if not basically the same) method shared by James Gurney on his blog, here.
I hope all the Yanks out there have a happy Independence Day Weekend!
|"Let's share this on George III's wall!"|
So, sadly, it's been a long time since I've actually painted my girlfriend. In fact, aside from using her for more general reference in my client work, the last time I'd painted (or attempted to paint) her actual likeness was 4 years ago in our senior year of college (shown below).
...........My god. Those are hideous. Oh! I mean uh...not you Krysti! But I am pleased to see that I've come a little ways in my painting (and portrait) abilities!
So, wanting to rectify these previous atrocities against my girlfriend, I decided I'd like to do just a nice, loving portrait of her with the eldest of our flock of budgies, Johnny. Yeah. We're pretty much destined to be weird, old, bird people.
At this point, I was also seriously entertaining ideas of marriage and trying to come up with some grand scheme for how to pop the big question. Hearing all kinds of elaborate and romantic proposal stories through the years certainly puts on a good deal of pressure to the make the moment memorable. But, I realized that the more I tried to force the "magical romance" angle, the more likely I was to end up botching the whole thing because, let's face it, that's just not really me. And then it dawned on me; I may not be some magical knight in shining armor, but dammit, I'm a painter!
From that realization, and the desire to create a portrait of Krysti, the idea came to me to do what I like to think of as an "inverse portrait." Krysti already knew that I wanted to paint her portrait (and posed for some photos), but what she didn't know was that I would put a special little detail into it - specifically, painted onto the ring finger of her left hand. Whereas traditional portraiture strives to create an image that is true to real life, with this painting I would (hopefully) make real life become true to the image.
Once the painting was finished, I framed it in an old antique frame from my grandmother's house, and presented it to Krysti on April 19th, 2014. It didn't take her very long to notice the suspicious jewelry painted onto her portrait and that's when I took out the real ring, got down on one knee, and said, as romantically as I could muster, "Should we do this already?"
|"The Proposal" 12"x16" Oil on Canvas|