Thursday, May 13, 2010

Triflection! Like a reflection, but three

So I have a couple of pieces that need to be reflected upon so here goes.

This was the piece I did for our emulation project. I started out wanting to emulate Alex Ross when we started this project. I got a friend to come take some photos of me in "heroic" poses for a reference to draw from like Ross does with so much of his work.
I got a great photo to work from and got cracking on the drawing itself. Once I finished drawing myself the way I actually look in the picture I started to exaggerate my features. I looked at comics I own as well as some drawing muscle studies on deviant art to use as references.
When it came to inking and color I realized I was not going to be able to emulate Ross's realism so I decided to make my emulation of both Ross and Frank Miller's Sin City style. Frank Miller's Sin City was black and white with hints of color here and there and focused on making the images with a lot of play on positive and negative space to get definition.
I felt that I needed to do more than just black and white because the black may have overwhelmed the white and the viewer would lose the figure. In the critique some people thought I could have gotten away with it so I may take it into Photoshop and try it out to see how it looks.
The worst part of the drawing is the fact that the markers I used were very streaky and I felt that it was really distracting to the viewer. In the critique people said it wasn't as bad as I thought but that if it really bothered me I should fix it in Photoshop.
Overall I am very satisfied with the turnout of the piece. I feel it was a successful blend of Ross and Miller's styles. The pose looks typical of a Green Lantern drawing by Ross or many other artists for that matter. And the way it was colored feels like a good emulation of Miller's Sin City. Maybe a touch of green would enhance this, but I really like it black, white, and gray.

Sic Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. Latin for "If you wish for peace, prepare for war." This is the piece that was voted for to go into the end of the year show. I like this piece a lot because of how simple it is. The idea came to me when I saw a typographic design that had a magnifying glass enlarging a couple letters of a word in the design. I already knew I wanted to do something with the Latin phrase and I decided having Peace in the cross hairs of a gun sight would be a perfect way to convey the message and keep the design as simple as the phrase.
I didn't get a lot of feedback on this design because of the nature of the first critique and probably the fact that the one I brought to that crit wasn't to scale. I got a couple of nice comments on it like it was a very intelligent depiction.
I hope that it is well received at the show and at the final critique on Tuesday.

This is my final piece for the class. I like this piece a lot but feel that it needs a different background. I had imagined it in my mind as having a background that looked like a cross section of the rabbit hole Alice tumbled down in Alice in Wonderland. I want to continue to work on this one until I achieve the look I imagined in my mind.
I don't know what else to say about this piece since I didn't really get any comments on it. Maybe people didn't care for it, but that's fine cause I like it and I'm satisfied with the turnout.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


A. Artistic Influences – Most of my artistic influences are comic book artists. I love comics and read a lot of them. There are a lot of comic artists I admire but two that really stand out to me due to their completely stand alone styles. Alex Ross and his photorealism and Frank Miller and his Sin City comics. In what I refer to as the fine art world there are artists I like but only one artists I feel I was really inspired by, that being Caravaggio.

1. Alex Ross – The first artistic influence on my list is Alex Ross. He is a comic book artist whose style is unlike most. He draws his comics in a photorealistic style. Most drawings he does are worked from photographs. The book Mythology The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross documents a plethora of his work and his process.

Ross’ way of working intrigues me because I find a lot of my better drawings are done from photographs. I have done self-portraits from photos and while looking at a mirror and the ones from photos look much better. I feel it is easier to get correct proportions when you have something right next to you to compare it to instead of having to eyeball it from something across the room.

Ross takes his own photos of models in super hero costumes and works directly from them to get the pose he is looking for. From there he exaggerates and makes these ordinary people into super heroes. Replacing the models faces with the faces of today’s heroes, exaggerating their muscles, and adding in all the other things to make an ordinary photo into an extraordinary panel for a comic or a stand-alone piece. I feel like I can’t explain his work well enough in a paper and that to really see how amazing Ross’ work is you have to see his process in the Mythology book.

2. Frank Miller – Frank Miller is not only influential to me because of his comic book art, but also because he writes the stories for most of his work. This is inspiring to me to know that there are people to can work at more than one thing and be successful. Many people out there work their asses off to be good enough at one thing to be called successful and make a living off what they do, but Frank Miller is one example that shows you don’t have to settle for just one. He writes, he draws, he directs, he produces, and probably more.

Still his graphic style remains the most intriguing to me. He has had a lot of different styles throughout the years from his work on Daredevil to the popular The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City and 300. Sin City in particular is the most intriguing to me. The style of drawing paired with the black and white pages with just a splash of color here and there makes the story seem even darker.

I feel like sometimes my work is all on the same linear path and I’m stuck in this box that I can’t escape. Miller has no box. The style of Sin City is unlike his work on Daredevil. 300 is nothing like The Dark Knight Returns. I want to try and develop some unique styles of my own that are unlike my previous work.

3. Caravaggio – My junior year of college I took Baroque art history and the one artist I was really taken aback by was Caravaggio. The contrast alone was what drew me to him. His painting of David with Goliath’s head reminded me of something I’d see in a comic book. It’s like one of the original full-page spreads for a comic book. I could look at that painting for hours I feel and not get sick of it. The blacks in his paintings really help emphasize the grim nature of a lot of his paintings.

In my first drawing for the course one of the reasons I chose to have so much black in my drawing was Caravaggio. I thought of how much I enjoyed the way the blacks emphasized the subject matter of his paintings and I tried to use it in my drawing to emphasize my subject. I liked the way my drawing turned out and felt I did a good job of using the black to draw the viewer into the subject.

B. Outside Influences – Outside the art world I have a lot of interests, but I think there are three things that both influenced me to become an artist and inspire me as an artist. Movies, video games, and the web comic Penny-Arcade. All three of these things are usually a part of my daily life and I get ideas from them all the time.

1. Movies – I love movies. I watch movies all the time. I’ll watch pretty much anything and probably like it. I am not picky at all; there is rarely a movie that I hate. When I was younger I thought it would be fun to work on movies. At first I wanted to be an actor, then I thought doing stunts and special effects. I thought of doing animation for studios like Pixar or Dreamworks. Eventually I thought of set design or the promotional material like posters and advertisements. Basically anything creative you can do for a movie I thought of doing it.

I have always been fascinated with the process of how movies are made and everything that goes into getting the final product. When I go out and buy a movie I make sure to get the DVD with all the bonus features so I can see all the behind the scenes footage, see the storyboards, set design, cast and crew interviews all of it. I watch all of them and they always inspire me to work harder at everything I do so that maybe one day I can do something for a movie. Whether it’s designing a poster, creating a character’s costume, or possibly directing someday I think working on a movie would be a great job or rather a great experience.

2. Video Games – I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. A lot goes into making a video game. There is so much concept art that is done for video games. And I have seen a lot of concept art for the games I have played. They go through countless ideas for every aspect of the game. From character design to level design, and all the little details in between. I have a couple of art books from games I’ve played and I am blown away by all the ideas that never make it to the games but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as fantastic as the ideas that got implemented.

I wanted to make video games for the longest time. I play video games all the time what better job is there than to make them. It would be like never working a day in my life. I would get to work on games and be creative at the same time. I’ve seen videos of what goes on inside game studios and it seems like the kind of environment I would love to work in. The people seem like people I would get a long with and would want to hang out with in my free time. So I guess when it comes down to it video games are an influence to me because they offer a career that I would love to have.

3. Penny-Arcade – Penny-Arcade is a web comic I’ve been reading for years. It’s a web comic that talks about many of the things I’m interested in including video games and movies. The style of it alone is a style I like and have tried to replicate. It was started by two guys over ten years ago and was meant to be something fun they did on the side. Now they have a huge following. They have books of their comics, a charity organization for children, a scholarship program, and two entertainment expos one on each coast.

Penny-Arcade is an example of how something small and just for fun can grow into something huge. It is an inspiration to me to see how these two ordinary guys grew something so small into something so great. It is kind of like a Cinderella story of two geeks like me. I’d love to be able to do half as well as these guys have in creating something that brings so much joy to so many people and helps out those in need.

C. Personal Influences – Personal influences were the easiest to come up with mainly because I know exactly what three things influence me the most personally. My parents, Legos, and forum signatures. These three things are what, in my personal life, set me on the path to becoming an artist before I even knew I wanted to be one. I don’t think anything is more influential to me than where I got my start as an artist.

1. Parents – It may sound cliché, but the first personal influence I have is my parents. I think everyone’s parents told them they could do anything when they grow up and mine are no exception to that rule. It’s funny because nether of my parents have any artistic talent at all. We are all at a loss as to where I got my artistic talent, and sometimes I feel like a black sheep because of it. But most times I just feel lucky to have something different that is only mine.

The real reason my parents are an influence though comes from something they did when I was younger. When I was a kid my parents didn’t buy me coloring books instead they bought me sketchbooks and told me I shouldn’t be forced to color in the lines. They told me everything I need was in my mind and that I didn’t need anything but a blank piece of paper and a crayon. I think that was what first put me on the path to becoming an artist and I think had I had coloring books I would have chosen a different path.

2. Legos – Legos were my favorite toy as a kid. I freaking loved Legos. Hell I still love Legos. What better toy was there for a kid with an active imagination? Answer: there isn’t one. The only limit to what you can make with Legos is the limit you put on your imagination. I had tons of Legos. Like giant buckets full of them. I could sit down and play with Legos for hours on end making all sorts of different things. They really helped develop a great imagination. I’d build something, look at it and think of something to change or add and then do it all over again. I made cars, castles, ships, planes, robots, anything and everything. There were so many different pieces to use and to choose from to make all sorts of new things. I loved getting new sets because they gave me new pieces for my own ideas. The hours I spent playing with Legos definitely helped me to develop a great imagination and helped me along the path to becoming an artist.

3. Forum Signatures – I remember in high school I played a game that had and small community website with its own forum. This was the first time I ever really used a forum and it was the first time I saw what is called a signature. For those who don’t know a signature on a forum is a bit of text or a small image that appears after each of your posts on a forum.

This forum had a kind of sub community of people who designed these signature images. I was intrigued by how these were made and it was when I first learned about photoshop. I got a cracked version of photoshop and started to experiment and teach myself how to use the program. I got decent enough to make some images that weren’t half bad considering the amount of experience I had. This was my first foray into graphic design. In high school I took the two graphic design courses we had there as well as two photography courses, two drawing courses, and an animation course. This is what set me on my formal training to becoming an artist. If it hadn’t been for that game and that community of people creating those signatures I don’t know where I would be now. Maybe I still would have found my way to design, but I know that it is what originally got me into graphic design.

Friday, March 12, 2010


On Tuesday we all took the Myers Briggs personality test. I found out that I am an ESFJ.
My exact stats were:
According to this website ( an ESFJ is as follows: ESFJs are social butterflies that value relationships, supporting and nurturing others. Never one to shy away from social events, they are often the host. They are great encouragers of teamwork. ESFJs are responsible, dutiful, observe traditions and follow rules. ESFJs have a deep concern for others and often end up as caretakers. They are sensitive to criticism and have a need to be appreciated for the good they do for others. ESFJs are understanding, generous, have a quick wit and a knack for composition and beautification.
I feel that this description is very accurate of myself. I also looked at what an ISFJ was like since I was so close to being that and I feel that could be me too. I think it probably depends on which side of the bed I wake up on any given day.
Anyways, everything that was said in that description is close to how I live my day to day life. I like to entertain and I do host or plan a lot of outings or things to do with my friends. I enjoy being around people and I do follow rules and observe traditions. Especially ones that require some kind of social event.
When it comes to my work I think this type makes me want to create pieces that people would find fun or interesting. I like the idea of people looking at my work and having a laugh or being eager to turn the pages to see more. I think if there is a downside to this side it may be that it could cause me to focus too much on what may be pleasing to others and then I don't have a distinct style of my own that I like. I may be too busy finding what is going to make people like my work that in the end I don't care for it.
When it comes to subject matter I think my type is going to make me want to draw things that people can get involved with. Something people could congregate around and discuss the oddities or funny little aspects. I want to draw things that people will look at and be intrigued or laugh.
I really don't know how my type would act in a critique. An extrovert would be vocal in their opinions. Sensing would make comments on how it appeals to their senses. Feeling may make it harder for someone to be critical of someone's work. Judging would want to see structure in the work, evidence that there was a plan before the work started.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Can You See Me? Can You Hear Me?

Finished piece
Close up
Closer up

For those of you who don't know my words were mystery, wallpaper, and pattern. And this is what I came up with for those words.

At first I thought I lucked out when I drew my words. Getting pattern and wallpaper seemed to be a lucky break. I mean what are the odds right? But then I got to thinking and realized how do you make wallpaper mysterious... My initial idea was to make something reminiscent of the Jeepers Creepers movie poster. So i thought I'd go out and find some awesome wallpaper and get to work and cram this thing out with time to spare. Thing is I got to Walmart and realized that oh yeah, there is no such thing as awesome wallpaper. It's all ugly. So I bought what I thought would work best and decided my initial idea wasn't going to work with this wallpaper. So the Tuesday before crit I was sitting in class with no ideas and trying anything that came to mind to no avail. It was 3 hours down the drain. I stitched 4 pieces of my wallpaper border together for Thursday and when I got to class on Thursday I went with the first idea that popped into my mind which turned into my final piece.
Overall I'd say I created mystery pretty well with what I did and I feel I used my other two words well. I think that the wallpaper needs to look more aged but that is something I can go back and fix in the future should I choose to.
I was much happier with this crit than my last one. I think my piece was well received and it definitely had people wondering what was going on. Mission Accomplished!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reflection of First Critique

Assignment 1
Hand detail
Door Detail


A summary? I think I'd prefer a drink, but I know I need to do this while it's fresh.

I feel like the critique of my drawing went well. People seemed to like what I did and didn't have a lot of bad things to pick apart in my drawing. That was the good part of it. The discussion after I felt could have gone better.

At one point I thought a line was going to be drawn in the center of the room with studio artists on one side and designers on the other and we were going to have it out West Side Story style. It seemed to me that the way I talked about my drawing and presented myself was disappointing to some of the fine artists in the class. I believe disheartening was one of the words used. Multiple people said things along the lines of I don't have any confidence in my work and I was afraid to defend it. I don't believe that at all. And I think it is unfair to make that assumption when most of the class has only seen me defend my work in this critique. I have no problem fighting for my work. In my design classes I have had numerous critiques where I had to fight for my work and show my conviction. Now I may not fight with the same conviction in my studio classes, but honestly that's because I like my design classes more and the work I do there more. I enjoy drawing, art metals, and ceramics (which are the studios I have taken) but I know that they are not something I would want to do for a living. I do not want to be a studio artist. Not that there is anything wrong with being one I just enjoy my edit>undo way too much.

Another question that was asked to me was how do I know whether it's a hit or a miss, and how do you know if your instinct is right. How do I know I am going into the right profession and that I will be successful. To that I say I don't know. I like my work, and I feel it is good enough that I could make it as a graphic designer. When I am working on a design project hours feel like minutes. My dad always told me that the trick to being successful and happy is to find something you love and get good enough at it that someone will pay you to do it. I love to design and so that is the road I am on now, but if down the road I find that I am not as good as I thought I was or that I'm not enjoying it as much as I used to then I will move onto a different road and see where that takes me.

In the end I know that some of what I said probably offended or upset some of the studio artists in the class and I'm sorry they feel that way.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Art Lessons Summary

In the first chapter of Art Lessons the author basically gives us an in depth definition of what she believes the word artist means. She explains how some people believe only a few people can really call themselves artists, and how others believe that everyone is an artist in some way.

The second chapter focuses mainly on 5 things the author believes are crucial for aesthetic education. The simplest being learn to write and develop your technical skills. The others were a little more about relating to your audience and being aware of your environment.

The third chapter explains how school is not the only way to become an artist. There are many paths you can take on the road and most of them intertwine and connect to back to each other. You don't have to pick one and feel like it's the only way.

I guess the thing that hit me hardest from the reading was the comment at the beginning of the third chapter about taking an active role in your learning. There are so many outlets for learning out there and school is just one of those. To truly excel at anything you need be aware of all the teachings around you and soak up as much as you can get and go back for more if you want to succeed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Drawing 3 Intro Post

My name is Andrew Freeding, I am a senior here at Stout majoring in Graphic Design. I am taking Drawing 3 this semester to try and improve upon all my drawing abilities. I am hoping to produce some works in this course that could possibly be worked into a poster design that could go into my portfolio. If none of these pieces can be re-purposed though I hope that they will get my mind thinking creatively enough to come with ideas for a piece I can put in my portfolio.

I think drawing 3 will give me the freedom to explore my creativity and allow me to apply it in a way I am not usually going to do in my professional work. My strength has always been digital art which is much more forgiving to mistakes. Fine arts classes are much less forgiving to mistakes. There is no edit>undo in drawing. Drawing will teach more than just how to make a mark on a piece of paper. It will teach patience and the need to think ahead and plan your next move.

The 2 pieces I have done here at Stout that I am most proud of are as follows.
Type in Motion: Emotive Type Piece

Publication Design: Cookbook
This is only one page out of the book, but I hope you get the idea.