Unless you are an evil villain, you will be pleased to learn that I am no longer making zombies. And now that PS3's hunger for carnage is momentarily satisfied, I have some time to work on a few new oil paintings and make my plans to survive the rest of this year's conventions.
The first is Illuxcon in Altoona, PA on November 12-15. Illuxcon is a show dedicated to fantastic illustration and will have the largest display of original fantastic art to be found on this planet. I am really looking forward to being there. If you are in that neck of the woods stop by for a visit.
Then our tour of America continues as we hit CTN in LA on November 20-22. If you are there, stop by booth #37 where we will be rocking California's socks off. I will be giving demos and taking part in a few panels. I will also be stalking the floor looking for a copy of Peter De Seve's new book.
So with these conventions looming ahead I have been in the lab working on some new gems. Over the next few weeks I will be posting some process shots of the ones that I will be taking to these conventions.
This week, I've been making zombies; millions of zombies.
I have begun work on an animation project for an upcoming PS3 title and it has consumed my every waking moment. It has been a steady diet of profound carnage, terrifying mayhem and Chic-fil-a chicken sandwiches.
Considering this, you might wonder then how the above image came into being. The truth is that while I enjoy zombie-killing havoc as much as the next guy, there came a point where I had to paint something completely different or I'd lose it.
This was done while waiting for my files to upload to the client. I used charcoal and watercolor this time to try a new approach in my ongoing campaign of finding the perfect illustration medium to work digitally over.
Side Note: The PS3 game I mention above is going to be awesome. I wish I could show you the illustration work done on it thus far. However, the lawyers tell me that the company who has hired me will have the legal right to come and toss a pack rabid baboons into my studio if I let anything slip on the blog. Stay tuned.
I have always loved painting portraits of monsters. I find that monsters are largely misunderstood.
Monsters are people too.
Or rather, maybe a monster in a suit reflects the sentiment that every human has a bit of a monster inside them. And that I think that people nowadays prefer that it is on the outside, rather than on the inside.
Many of you have inquired wether or not these portraits will ever be made into prints. I am pleased to announce that The Grenadier and Grimsby Foulbottom prints are now available at www.justingerard.etsy.com.
I have made a great deal of prints to offer at the conventions that Portland Studios and myself will be attending this year. Comic con is over, and we still have CTN and Illuxcon to look forward to, but those conventions are still a ways off and I have been left with an over-abundance of prints and books that are now stacked floor to ceiling inside my very modest house. So this seemed like the perfect time to open an online store to sell some of my work.
Right now I am offering a few prints and sketchbooks, but I will also be putting some of the originals that have appeared on the blog here during the upcoming months. There are also a few other new pieces in the works that I am planning to make prints of as well, and those should be making their way onto the site soon.
The sketchbooks are ones that were originally made for the 2008 Comic Con and have a lot of developmental and conceptual sketches and studies from that year.
So then he looks right at me and says, 'No Disintegrations.' I mean, seriously? Say, have you seen Portland's new Booth?
Justin: "That print is overpriced."
Cory: "Yeah, great. Why aren't you wearing any pants again?"
Giving the SDCC Committee for Awesomeness some straight answers on being awesome.
Looking Good. Taking Care of Business.
San Diego was rocked again. It was an fantastic convention, and I am worn out. We met a ton of great people, got to see a lot of really incredible art and ate entirely too much awesome food in the gaslamp district.
We didn't really see much of the floor this year, because the booth was a madhouse. But we did make it out to see Donato and Manchess bring some shock and awe again this year with their demos. (Check out their work on Irene Gallo's blog here.) We also had the chance to meet and talk with Peter DeSeve. He has been a huge influence on me. I learned how to illustrate in watercolor from the Step by Step guide on him. (The one that Cory stole) Peter DeSeve is a great guy.
A few years ago, some friends (who shall remain nameless) and I broke into an abandoned chemical plant that had been damaged by a fire. It was huge complex, that stretched over the better part of a square mile, it had its on rail yards, depots and an underground labyrinths of pipes and crawl spaces. In the passage-ways there were hazard signs on rusted, pressurized-doors that read, CAUTION: DO NOT ENTER WITHOUT PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. Oily water dripped and pooled in the hallways. Everywhere we were surrounded by an atmosphere of latent deadly chemicals and the feeling that maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. We crept through this labyrinth in complete darkness using headlamps. Everything was dripping, dank, ruined, and everywhere lay twisted steel girders, collapsed ceiling tiles and rusting electronic equipment.
But in one burned out rooms, we saw something that didn't fit in with all the rusting, man-made structures and machines. As we came into the room we froze, stopped breathing, and backed out the way we had come. In the room, we had seen large colonies of fungus several feet high covering the ground. One of my friends had worked in water and smoke mitigation before told us not to breathe in the air anywhere near there. So we crept out of the room and back into the relative safety of rooms labeled, TOXIC CHEMICALS PRESENT with their friendly MSDS diamonds on them. This struck me as very strange. Here in the midst of this dangerous man-made place, was something organic that was more immediately dangerous to us.
When I began to think through possibilities for this particular scene, (which you have probably recognized by now) this experience of seeing organic decay creeping into the ruins of man-made industry inspired me a great deal. The idea of 'don't breathe the air' in this industrial decay fit the mood of the scene for me.
The Steampunk Wizard of Oz idea was such an appealing concept that I ended up doing several dozen conceptual sketches before arriving at the piece I did for the previous entries and the 2009 IMC.
There are 2 concepts in particular that I would like to do in oil, if you all will permit me.
I'll be finishing the previous watercolor and digital piece tomorrow, but I will also be posting a progression of these pieces in oil during the next few days leading up to Comicon.
For those of you who will be attending Comicon in San Diego, stop by and visit me at the Portland Studios booth. It is going to rock. For some shots of last years immaculate action, check out these shots of awesome people. This year, on top of being publicly awesome, Cory Godbey and I will be rocking the convention center's socks off by painting original pieces on site. On top of this, we have also caved to the overwhelming public pressure to deliver new limited edition prints of recent works. And I do mean limited. While they last, we will be selling them like it is our duty to mankind at the convention.
At this point in the week, I decided to begin a second piece in an effort to take advantage of the fantastic oil demonstrations that were being given. For this one I chose one of the other options that had been given, which was the Lady of the Lake from Arthurian legend.
For the Illustration Master Class we had some homework to do before we arrived.
Our assignment was to choose one of several stories that the faculty had provided and bring a tight sketch to show the faculty on our first day. This image would be critiqued and then we would spend the rest of the time during the week executing the piece. One of the choices was to do a steam punk version of the Wizard of Oz, which is the coolest homework assignment ever.