20 December 2010

Artist Portraits Part IV

Alright, after much fussing with final prompt work, I managed to get around to Leyendecker. Here he is.
As I said, I greatly enjoyed working with oils again, as it has been months since my last dabbling. I hope to learn more in the future.

J.C. Leyendecker, Oils. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

03 December 2010

Plein Air Painting With James Perry Wilson

I was recently introduced to the work of James Perry Wilson by my colleague Daryl Funck, and was rather intrigued by his articulate wealth of natural understanding; his work actually helped a rather immediate concern in one of my own projects. Being a life-time enthusiast of the outdoors with some training, I was happy to know of Wilson's painting. 
James Perry Wilson

02 December 2010

Stage III, Capturing the West

After tackling many other prompts, I've managed to get to finished this. I think "finish" might still mean a tiny bit of fiddling, but that is as it should be with this sort of thing.
I am looking forward to the large scale watercolor, though! I plan to get to that stage over the break.

Capturing the West, revised drawing. Mairin-Taj Caya 2011.

19 November 2010

Artist Portraits Part III

I have finished both the Lee and Leyendecker editorialized portraits, going back into both of them for corrections and such. Lee, I think, is fairly set. I have him here. Leyendecker requires a bit more fine-tuning, so he will be posted up shortly after Lee, once I feel good about it.

I had a blast working in watercolor on Lee. I was a bit apprehensive about getting it the way I wanted, as I have had annoyances lately with where my watercolor was going. But, through a several week period of philosophical and technical re-examination, and a brief re-freshment in my bout with oils on Leyendecker, I found my "zing" again and my watercolor direction is better.
Color reference for the face was key, for, while I can draw without too much reference, my color application is not yet strong enough to go it alone.
I have miles to go, but I think my application is more satisfactory and certainly in harmony with my drawing approach.

Artist Editorial Portrait, Alan Lee, Watercolor, 2010.

Leyendecker soon to follow.

Stage II, Capturing the West

I've sketched in a sort of "ghost" of foliage and landscape line for the Montana or Colorado inspired setting on this piece. Now I am working towards getting the wind-battered pines the way I want and firming up the horizon layers. Reference of geography and flora is key, as I have never been to the west. Some day.

Development, graphite, Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

15 November 2010

Self-Portrait, Mentorship Idea, & Allusion

This is an idea I have had, which is in part a self-portrait, in part a means to explore some considerations I have for my mentorship, and in part a playful allusion to those adventure artists who visually documented the west of America. I like the idea of combining my wilderness experience and my illustrative interest on the page.
Consequently, I have an image in my mind entitled "Capturing the West", and this sketch, using myself and my clothes as reference, is the first stage of getting it out.

Sketch one, graphite, Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

Also, I have been painting, so there will be posts for the finished versions of Leyendecker and Lee (shown below) soon.

12 November 2010

Linked In to networking...

Through a few contacts, Quinn Caya and Charlie Beyl, I have set up at LinkedIn for networking purposes, and am quite happy with the straightforward, crisp organization so far.
I am also working on my official website, as I think I need to streamline the aesthetic and connect it with my overall promotional work.
There should be some new concept work here soon.
Enjoy a beautiful Autumn.

31 October 2010

2nd Picture Book Dummy Thumbnails

As I mentioned on my facebook business page [Mairin-Taj Caya Illustration], I shall keep the story to myself for now, but this here is an example of my process for sorting through and getting a feel for the type of imagery in a book dummy layout. This one will be 32 pages content, vertical, watercolor media, etc.
I use general line or box structure for placement of the text in relation to the areas of illustration, be it spot/vignette, single page, or double page spread.
It is a highly fun and expressive process involving layered ideas. It also can be quite tricky to get the flow right.

 2nd book dummy spread, Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

Artist Portraits Part II

Alan Lee is an inspiration who's work I greatly respect and, by sharing an affection for trees, I am using that sketchy, imagined arboreal world as his creative environment.
Leyendecker's use of line and his narrative of the beauty of the human figure I respect. I have no wish to make a comment on his personal life, but instead on the icon he began, the arrow collar man. I am using that created icon as a ghostly imprint, combined with the rather notorious framework he used with his Saturday Evening Post covers. 
These are the larger, more tight sketches heading toward the color stage.
I work in a way which allows for alterations in the final stages, so you will see how the accuracy of Leyendecker improves and where I alter a bit of Lee's angle and trees.

Lee, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

Leyendecker, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

We'll see how they develop into the color stage!

Artist Portraits for PCA&D

As a senior illustrator attending Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, most if not all of our studio class work is prompted by external clients. In this case the prompt is two editorialized portraits of a contemporary and an historical artist or illustrator.
Using straightforward photo reference of Alan Lee and J. C. Leyendecker, I doodled small sketches and then larger, tighter sketches for my ideas.
These are the small, rough sketches.

Alan Lee, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

Leyendecker, trial one, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

Leyendecker, trial two, graphite. More editorial in nature. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

29 October 2010

Mairin-Taj Caya Illustration - Getting Out There

In the process of addressing self-promotion, I have set-up a business profile on facebook which is separate, but still associated with, my personal page.
I am at Mairin-Taj Caya Illustration, for those interested in connecting or saying hello.

24 October 2010

Renaissance Fair Fun

Lead singer of the Empty Hats Carl Asch, performing Giacomo's Love Ballads, PA Renaissance Festival, October 23rd, 2010. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.
Just this past Saturday, the 23rd, I had the pleasure of perusing around the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival with a couple of friends.
I went with the particular interest of catching a few performances of a favorite band called the Empty Hats, and towards the end of the evening I managed a few minutes of quick gesture sketching to capture a bit of their lead singer, Carl Asch, also known as Giacomo the Jester.  I hope I didn't put him off as he was performing his Love ballads, and I would like to convey here that I found them most effectively strummed and pleasant to listen to.
Anyways, here is my slightly more cleaned up version of the doodle, though not as well informed as I would like.

22 October 2010

Taking Visual Notes

Plate armor study, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.
The good humour of a friend indulged my interest in drawing from their admirable armor and arms collection. Long story short, I managed a few hours in front of a mid to northern European, probably 13th century, plate armor suit and helm.
Although I had to cut my fun time short, I still got a good first experience out of the time I did have, as I have never explored plate armor before, let alone from life.
Here is one example in graphite.
I dabbled in my excitement around the endless blobs and curves of reflection. I even have myself wedges in the waste somewhere. The play of light with contour was fascinating. I also found myself editing content out as I went, where surrounding fabric and shadow cut in.
I have left the sketch exploratory and "incomplete", one might say, for now. If it works out, I will do more from life soon.
I have another not yet scanned.

19 October 2010

Part IV, The Final Stage

Watercolor finish, the Court Boy. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.
This is the finish in watercolor which I managed, at least in part, to be satisfied with.
When it comes to painting, I find my desired aesthetic not yet achieved. This work has an all-around youthful, child-like cheer which rather startled me upon completion. Still, I think I made some technical improvements.
Unfortunately, the scanner was just slightly too small for the whole, and so I ended up with an inch or so cut off on either side. I will look to improve this error where I can.

Part III

Color Comp, thumbnail with watercolor. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.
This is the color comp stage of the project, which I completed in my usual uncertainty about the application of the paint in the following stage.
While it is a joy and a thrill to draw in any manor, I am as yet highly apprehensive about adding color to my work.

16 October 2010

Part II

Edited sketch, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.
This second version has shoes.
While I added them, I was thinking of how I wanted the image framed and how I would pose to check the accuracy of what my mind came up with.

I like drawing the historic clothing.

Part I Of First Mentorship Project

I have been working, albeit long distance, with my mentor Gary Lippincott for my senior year requirements.
Here is the sketch I did which turned into the first piece we addressed. You'll notice I had the thought for adding shoes, but hadn't yet. I tend to make little notes on my work.
Initial sketch, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

The Header Sketch

August Maple, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.
As an initial image to use for my blog, I cropped this sketch of a tree I like. It is a nice maple gracing the streets of the F&M campus housing in Lancaster, and I rather enjoyed walking out in the fine autumnal weather to sit and draw it.
I would like to address the placement of the image with another, perhaps better suited, horizontal illustration however. So, at some point when I discover I have drawn something I fancy replacing this one with, there will be a new heading image for the blog. We'll see!

Playful Sketches

First sketch, new sketchbook: Imagined female yeoman of sorts, modeled conceptually after myself, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

Some play with a Celtic warrior, a mermaid, and my twitchy cat, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

Imagined characters with the theme of exploration: Male figure entitled "Curiosity and a Button", Female figure entitled "Discovery", graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

Incomplete sketch, graphite. Mairin-Taj Caya 2010.

Getting new sketch books is always a thrill. Running my fingers over the textured binding and the smooth surface of the paper, smelling its newness, I can go off nearly without end, thinking of what I can spread throughout the pages. It can be daunting! It is always exciting.

Here I uploaded a few examples of some recent doodling to have a go at starting off this monologue.
I generally draw from my head on these occasions; the examples above are such cases. If curious about a gesture or an angle, I will use myself, or someone at hand, to demonstrate. If I am going to draw from the figure completely, I like to set up my drawing with the figure at the start, instead of starting out of my head and then having a model pose mid-way through. It allows for continuity of thought, and therefore application of the pencil.

The last image is not yet finished as a sketch...or perhaps I just want to do a second one which will be a complete drawing? I haven't decided yet.
It started as a combination of thoughts about my childhood exploring forests and gardens, and the concept of a young girl, perhaps medieval, taking a casual walk home through the gardens after a bath in the river, and finding a never-before-noticed crack in a wall of trees. Maybe they will be junipers, or cedar? 

15 October 2010

A Starting Place

Ever since I was young, through my fascination with mythology, largely Celtic, and the broad domain of story-telling, I have been developing the skill to illuminate texts and ideas. The great expanse of history, both in time and ethnicity, is a prime source of inspiration. 
I am also encouraged by heroes such as the watercolorists Heyer, Howe, Lee, Lippincott, Lynch, Rackham, Rayyan, and Santore, and the oil/acrylic painters Abbey, the Dillons, Giancola, Leyendecker, again Lynch, Manchess, N.C. Wyeth, Palencar, Parkes, Parrish, Pyle, and Rockwell, to name a few.
I am aiming high, and I have a long way to go to get the technical imprint that I am after, but keeping that creative fire going is the point. 

From a favored poet I know, "Impressions inform your wildcraft". 
I am working on mine, to be sure. 

"The Reluctant Dragon" by Maxfield Parrish
Note: I love the philosophical implications here, the idea of the Dragon Value being friends with and faced up to by Man, the Creator. I love that Dragon can be seen as the archetype for Quality composite, that which represents the highest and the most noble in ourselves, and therefore what we can accomplish through life.