Wednesday, July 4, 2012

RAW Artists Austin

SO, I have new news to share!

I've been scheduled to show my work at another RAW gathering, this time in Austin, Texas!

I'm pretty excited, so thank you Laura and Meghan for allowing me this opportunity!

My show here in Tucson went very well (if you haven't seen it, the video interview that I did can be viewed here). I know I already covered it here on my blog - but I'm very anxious for this next show. I hope that I can have the same success that I had before out of state. Also, I've never been to Texas before - so that'll be a bit of an adventure!

If you're interested to see a few of the pieces that I'll be showing - I have some prints for sale on my etsy page. (Click the images for more info)



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Corn Corn Corn Corn, What's That Smell?

So I started inking my first comic page related to an original story that I've kept under my hat since high school!


It's gone through a ton of changes. It's been forgotten, picked up, revamped, and set on fire since then. Now I've gotten to a point where I think I'm ready to start sharing! Which is an amazing feeling. Really. 

I worked up a rough drawing and I have to say, I'm super pleased with how it turned out - and I fully intended to digitally finish it - see process pic below:




But damn if I'm about to digitally crosshatch all this corn.

So I've gone back to the original, which is penciled on bristol paper. I think I'm going to bring it up to a polished traditionally crosshatched piece and then...overlay color like I did with my pirates.
This way I can frame the original and a print of the finished piece together for my show in August.

I will always treasure how nice these ears of corn turned out though.

In short - I think I'm off to a decent start with this comic doohicky.  I just need to nail down a style that'll flow comfortably from page to page and then it'll be all systems go!

Also I need to start from page one, because this is like...pffft...page 3? Or something?? And also writing. I actually forgot that this'll require words 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

After a Frustrating Attempt to Wrangle the CSS

I've decided to move my portfolio gallery to a Tumblr site. I haven't had much luck finding functional and aesthetically pleasing gallery themes for Blogger so it seemed like the logical course of action.

I've already fixed the links at the top of the page, but you can find the new site at:

keene-portfolio.tumblr.com


Eventually I'd like to code my own website and have it be completely freestanding of a blogging host, but I just haven't worked up the skill to do so yet. Most vexing...

Anyway - it's been kind of slow artistically lately. I'm feeling the stresses of trying to become independent so naturally my work has taken a nosedive.

Also vexing...

Not to say that I haven't been working - if you'd like to take a peek at the sketches and doodles that I've been doing please head over to my sketchbook:

umbersketches.tumblr.com


-o0o-

Upcoming events~!

I'm going to be attending a mini-convention here in Tucson, and I'll have more info on it soon, but it's going to be at the flagship Peter Piper's Pizza on June 19th. I'm definitely looking forward to it! Many thanks to Eric at Heroes and Villains for including me!

I'm also thinking about putting on a show with an illustration buddy of mine. She's doing a RAW artist's show later next month just like I did, but sometime after that we've been talking about going in together on a smaller gallery show. NO WORD YET, but it's an exciting thought.

In the meantime, and I know it's been miserably slow work, but I think I'm coming to a stopping point with my sketchbook. I've made marked improvements in my work since starting this project - so it's become an issue of me removing and replacing pieces ad nauseum. With any luck, I'll hit my goal of finishing (for real finishing) and getting started on publication by the end of the spring.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Selling Stuff and BUGS!

Hey folks!

I'm currently working with a couple of friends towards getting a place together. It'll be my first time living on my own, so EEEGH. In the meantime I'm trying to sell off some loose sketches that I have lying around because I really, really don't want to have to pack them. Papers never survive boxes nicely.

Anyway - here's a link to what I have listed so far: Umber's Art Sale!

Price is as listed on the pictures (click to enlarge) OR BEST OFFER! Shipping is $6, buy multiples and I'll pack em together.

I'll be posting batches of stuff regularly, so check back occasionally to see what's new.

--

In other news - things have been pretty quiet post show. I completed one painting commission for a friend,


If anyone's heard of or seen the show "InuYasha", this is my interpretation of one of the villains, Sesshomaru. He's supposed to be a type of dog demon, and a several hundred year old menace - but the creator's interpretation of the character is very...frail looking...Bit of a disappointment really.

So I spiced up the character by doing some research into Japanese paintings, traditional representations of demons, akita inu, and Chinese temple dogs and incorporated these elements into a final design.

I think it came out looking pretty cool! 

I used pencil, watercolor, pastels, and gouache to complete it.

--

I'm also working on an illustration of a cicada:



I'm not very far in yet - just drafted the sketch yesterday. But I hope to continue with watercolors either today or tomorrow. So far I'm pleased with how it looks though.

In any case, I'm hoping to stay busy while I try to collect myself for the move. It's still a month out yet, but again...EEEEGH.

I'm also still looking for work, and I'll have to get something once we pin a place down...and stuff and things, so many things. EEEGH worry worry worry.

To summarize, below is an accurate description of how I feel.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

RAW:STIMULUS and the After Show Sale!




THE SHOW WAS AWESOME GUYS!

Holy crepes!
I really lucked out in having my friend, Heidi there to help me set up. Everything went very very smoothly and it all got off to a great start. Heidi bought my Captain Gingerbeard print straight off and then another guy bought my skulls. The guy was super excited to get a hold of my print and we talked for a little bit and as it turns out he's looking for an illustrator for some freelance work. So definitely a solid lead there, nothing set in stone though, just a lead that I'm very hopeful for. And if that falls through, a friend of my mom's is also looking for an illustrator!

But yeah, the show went on for a long time and I was super tired by the end of it. But I'm so glad it went as well as it did and that I got to see so many people come. (THANK YOU GUYS!)
It was a great opportunity and it was a ton of fun. I definitely would like to do more gallery shows in the future.

Sometime in the next few weeks I should be getting some promotional photos and a video interview, so I'll probably share those as they become available

--

So as I mentioned,
I sold two pieces while at the gallery show on Thursday but I'm left with four additional prints that need to go!

So if you missed the show and would like to bring home a limited edition print (matted and framed) check it out on my Etsy page!

I probably won't be making any more prints of these pieces so once they're gone they're gone. Each one has a unique frame and is signed and labeled on the back.



Also appearing in my Etsy store:


Two original oil paintings, an original oil triptych, and seven 5x7 prints of my illustration that appeared in the Womanthology Holiday special.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

All's Well That Ends Well

So everything turned out spectacularly for the Heroes and Villains signing today!

I had a few errands to do today, so I spent most of the morning running around town getting lighting for the show, getting a matte corrected, getting dog supplies, pie, altering my business cards. THEN, at three o'clock I scooted down the road to the comic store to get acquainted with the other Tucson Womanthology contributor, Jenn Corella and the press coordinator that I'd been talking to for months.



Once we got settled in, it wasn't too long before our first visitors came in! Honestly I didn't know what to expect, so I was pretty nervous for the first few minutes - but you know, after a while it gets really easy to chat with people. I was even able to promote my show at Plush next week to a few people!



All in all, I had a really excellent time. I'm very grateful to have been given the opportunity to not just be a part of this huge project, but to be able to promote it in my town and meet other locals. So thank you all of you!!


Oh gosh, and I won't lie, I'm so exhausted now!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Busy Busy Busy!

Wow, this whole month has been kind of a whirlwind!

Right now I'm sitting at my desk handling emails, surrounded by frames in various stages of disarray, scanning in gesture drawings while waiting for gesso to dry. And this is a moment of tranquility compared to yesterday or the day before.

Phew.

Thankfully next week is the STIMULUS show and I'll be able to take a breath after it's over (hopefully anyway).

In the meantime - I've been back and forth running errands all over town, making sure my prints are looking good and all that other preparatory work.

I kind of hit a snag last night. I got an email from the Womanthology kickstarter website saying that the release day is tomorrow. SURPRISE!
So, I'm currently freaking out a little bit. I had been talking to the press manager of a local comic store about holding a release day party for several months. Now I have no idea what's going on. GEEEH...

So aside from doing some Womanthology damage control today, I plan on honoring drawing day by possibly going out with a friend to the Desert Museum; which is pretty much a zoo specifically for native desert animals. So it's kind of a break day. Kind of.

Speaking of my friend.
I have to give a huge shoutout to her, since she helped me by cutting my mattes! When this is all over I'm gonna do something for her - I dunno what...but something. Haha I think I have an idea of what I want to do...


---In other news---


I started working on redesigning my business card. For whatever reason, when I was finishing up my last semester of school I got it into my head that business cards had to be made of vector graphics. Looking back, I don't know what came over me. So, my current business card is honestly pretty ugly and it doesn't fit in with any of my other designs.

Yuck
So I took the design I already have working for me here on the website, my tumblr, and my twitter; and made this - which looks tons better if you ask me:



I'm kind of thinking of doing a self portrait to put on the backside - but we'll see. I'll need time to work on it and I just don't have any to spare at the moment.

I'm just a little bummed that I won't have these for the show next week.