Wrapping Up Monster Week with Star Trek and the Gorn

kirk fighting gorn illustration by bob ostrom

Kirk Fights the Gorn

I don’t know what it is about monsters but they sure are fun to draw. Am I right? My favorite are probably movie monsters I’m not talking about the CG monsters in today’s movies, they’re great and all, but there’s just something about a guy in a mask. I don’t know, I love em. Especially the ones from the 50s and 60s. They were just real enough so you could tell what they were suppose to be but dopey enough so that they weren’t scary. I guess it’s the hokeyness.

Star Trek was great at that. I mean Jim Kirk fighting the Gorn, come on is there a better scene than that? The old Kirk double fisted punch or the karate chop knockout blow to the neck, that is good as it gets. Anyhow Monster Week at Bob Ostrom studio is just about over but if you want to see more like this come visit me over at Instagram. See you there monster lovers.

Next up? Science week!

Penguins Procreate (It’s not what it sounds like).

What’s Procreate?

I’ll bet you were thinking you were going to see something different in this post. Sorry nature lovers this one is for all my artist friends out there using the iPad. This penguin art was created using the Procreate app for iPad. If you own an iPad and haven’t worked with Procreate yet, what are you waiting for? Procreate is an excellent drawing app available to iPad users especially those who are using Apple’s pencil. I’ve really been enjoying this one. It’s got a nifty little feature built right in that creates a movie of your drawing. The best part is the recording turns on and off without interruption while you work. Exit the program the recording stops. Open the program start working on your illustration and the program records again. Once you’re done just click the output button and save your movie. From there you can share it with any number of apps or post it to DropBox like I did and share it on your blog!

Other recommendations?

I’ve been experimenting with a lot of drawing apps lately and so far this is the best one I’ve found. I have lots more to try though so stay tuned and I’ll do my best to update you as I work my way through them. In the meantime please enjoy this illustration of an escaped penguin in the fish section of a nearby grocery store.

Creating a new style with Digital Watercolor

digital watercolor by bob ostrom

Digital Watercolor

I’ve been trying some new stuff for the last month or so here at the studio and I think it’s about time to let the cat out of the bag. For many years I worked traditionally, mostly with watercolor and airbrush. I don’t really miss the airbrush, that thing was a crazy amount of work and to be honest Photoshop just does a better job. The watercolor though, that’s a whole different story. I love the spontaneity of working in watercolor but trying to capture that look and feel digitally has been a challenge. I could never really get the subtle variations I wanted so it inevitably wound up on the back burner saved for another time. I supposed I could have just dragged out my old set of Winsor Newtons and scanned them but I really wanted to see if I could make this happen digitally. Here’s a little peak at what I’ve been up to. I’m pretty happy with the direction things are headed. Hopefully, as I get used to the brushes and how to mimic the translucency that make watercolor so special, things will only get better.

 

 

Working with Textures in Adobe Illustrator

texture art by Bob Ostrom

Hamburger illustration showing texturesMost people point their cameras up when there taking photos. Lately I’ve been pointing mine down. I find the best textures live on or near the ground. I’m sure my neighbors think I’ve lost it when they see me taking pictures of my driveway but I don’t care because I know it’s going to make an excellent texture for my next piece of art.

There are lots of different ways to add visual interest to a digital file.  I’ve been inspired by the some of the unique art I’ve been seeing on Instagram lately. Lots of textures and lots of originality. It seems as though the pendulum has begun to swing in the direction of a more organic look these days. Adding texture is a great way to great way to add visual interest and create a unique signature.  The trick is figuring out how some of it is done and that’s the focus right now.

I’ve worked with adding simple textures in the past but I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface when I look at some of the artists I’ve been following. This month I plan to dig in a little deeper and see if I can come up with some solutions of my own. At the same time I’ll be attempting to solve some of the problems I ran into earlier with my textures. I noticed some of the blending modes I used earlier made my art skew a little darker than I would have liked. I’d also like to see if I can find a way to add more vibrant colors to my textures at the same time.

My early attempts focused mainly on Photoshop but now I’m looking into Illustrator. The technique is slightly more complicated with Illustrator because, as you know, Photoshop offers the ease of using clipping masks where Illustrator does not. The art shown here involves two different textures placed on top of the original art using different blending mode for each. I’m pretty happy with whats going on in this illustration but for my next attempt I’d like to try and push the envelope a little further. Stay tuned for more updates.

 

chameleon texture art by bob ostrom
This art was created in Adobe Illustrator using two different texture placed on top of the original image each with a different blending mode.

 

If you’d like to see a demo of the Photoshop techniques I use just check out this video: