Anonymous said: Hi Sterling, love your work. I discovered it only few months ago, but it's already of great inspiration for me. I have a question: what would you recommend for an anatomy book? Cheers.
I wish that I had a solid recommendation here, but life drawing was always an option for me. One bit of advice that is rarely acknowledged- you are your own best model; that is, become familiar with how you move, the cause and effect of gravity, movement, etc. on your frame. When drawing from imagination (memory), I’m often pantomiming the motion, expressions, etc. that are to be visualized in my drawings and paintings.
All the animators that I know keep a mirror next to their desks to work out facial expressions and related movements.
Anonymous said: pssst thank you very much for posting your process have a good night/day
You’re quite welcome.
Anonymous said: Ive always loved illustration and its what I am thinking about majoring in but im afraid it wont be financially best for me, I want to make atleast 40k a year after taxes do you think this is possible with illustration if your not hugely famous?
I would caution against approaching a career in illustration that way. While the point is obviously not fame (hell, “famously” illustrators can walk around in public just fine, and can only be identified by other illustrators:) you are clearly trying to become as good in the holistic sense, as you possibly can (communication, design, color, drawing, problem-solving, business, promotion, etc.) I would encourage all aspiring “illustrators” to shrug the title and the expectation that what is will be when you finish school. Focus on creative entrepreneurship, wherever that pairs with your interest and skill sets, and forge your own path. Sitting around and waiting for someone to contact you with an assignment(s) is a recipe for disaster in the coming years.
This is truly an exciting time to be an artist and we are quickly tearing down and working across the narrow margins between silos.
Wishing you all the best in your career, wherever it may take you.
p.s. There are many illustrators who are unknown, involved in studio work, licensing, scientific and medical illustrations, etc. that don’t get the recognition they deserve, but who make more than 40k a year.
Anonymous said: hi there-- your work is fantastic! I normally work with acrylics, but really admire your work in oil. I was wondering how often you use acrylics and about your opinion as to whether or not adding retarder makes for a similar effect to oil paints? I understand that there are some obvious differences, but right now my problem with acrylic paint is that some of my value changes are too sharp because of how quickly the paint dries. Thanks
Yeah, acrylics are problematic in the difference between “live value” and “dead value” after they dry (my terms, not industry terms). I’ve developed a method that allows you to paint directly into gouache with acrylics so that it more closely resembles wet-into-wet oil painting in that your color mixes on your piece, not on your palette. Step 1: Full pencil value drawing. Step 2: Use a light midtone acrylic (I like unbleached titanium white, Liquitex heavy body, diluted with water) to both fix the drawing, and define a midtone value in one step. I apply gouache or watercolor liberally in areas that I want to be warm or cool (generally only two colors that are complimentary, i.e. orange and blue). Step 3: Once the gouache is dry, I paint the same midtone acrylic back into the gouache which turns the color either warm or cool, dependent upon the temperature of the gouache. The acyrlics still dry darker, but they are changing in value and hue in front of you, not off to the side. Step 4: Redefine darks.
Nothing supplants oils, but this is a process I’ve developed over the years that gives me some favorable results. Hoping this helps!
scruffymynxbane said: Your stuff is inscrutable to me but it's too good not to follow. i'm not sure if there's a question in there or not. If you hear one, feel free to answer it.
Thanks, it generally helps when the work is paired with the text. I try not to make the illustration work too accessible on a conceptual level- it allows the text to aid in explaining my images, versus the other way around. I really appreciate the kind words and message.
hatingcoriander said: Hey there, I've just discovered your art and wow – you're incredible. I can't quite describe it, but your style is so moody, conceptual and just all round wicked! It's as if you've made it effortlessly and it's just really inspiring. You probably get messages like this a lot, but I'd thought I'd let you know anyway. Thanks for making and sharing :) – Cheers
Man- thanks a million. Every kind note is welcomely received. I wish the effortless part were true. Each image is a battle, filled with labor and frustrations. Sometimes they work out, and often, they don’t. Many thanks for taking the time to comment.
The color version of my artwork for Monstrous Opimism— In Memory of Kerry Talbott. Prints available soon to raise money for Kerry’s family.
Something for a passed friend. A little work-up of an IP I’ve been kicking around for a while that was refined during this summer’s Legendeer Workshop.
@legendeer workshop lecture before white water rafting. Great talk from @danluvisiart @allisonsmithart @chrisvisions
@legendeer workshop with Allison Smith, Dan Luvisi, and Chris Visions on authoring content and personal voice development.