Sunday, June 20, 2010

Alice In Nowland

This was my final piece for my pictorial foundation class second semester. I probably put more work into this piece than any other over the entire year. The prompt for it was "Alice in Nowland". We were supposed to take Alice as well as any other characters from wonderland and put them into a contemporary setting. I decided after coming up with some not so good ideas to put them into a Starbucks, or I suppose any modern coffee shop. This was done on cold press board with gouache like most of my other pieces however unlike my other pieces I painted it opaquely. It took much longer but it was rewarding and actually pretty fun to do, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

I used a lot of reference to get the coffee shop atmosphere, aswell as reference for the positions and gestures of the characters. But I actually did the perspective out of my head. This piece also started out with the mad hatter sitting at the table with Alice and the march hare, but after getting some critiqeing and suggestions about his position I changed it so that he was closer to the foreground which I think really helped. it also gave more attitude to the piece overall.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Father Mckenzie writing the words to a sermon that no one will hear"

This was another "personal portfolio piece" like the Spider-Man one. My teacher would give us these every three weeks of the second semester to give us a bit more creative freedom. The prompt for this one was Eleanor Rigby, which meant we could use anything related to the Beatles, or this particular song as long as it in someway related back to Eleanor Rigby. I actually had a bit of a problem coming up with an idea because this was around finals and I didn't give it that much attention relative to my other prjects. I knew I wanted to use ink but that was about it. I eventually decided to illustrate the line Father Mckenzie, writing the words to a sermon that no one will hear... After which I did 4 thumbnail sketches, moved directly into final sketches and then immediately transferred the sketch to bristol board and began inking. This all only took several hours and I thought I'd be able to finish the whole thing at a reasonable hour and go to bed. Man was I wrong. I started adding ink with brush and pen and then doing corrections in pro white (mainly in Father Mckenzies shirt) and then going over the pro white with ink and then correcting those corrections with more pro white and so on and so forth. Long story short I didn't get to a good stopping point until 5 or 6 am at which point I went right to bed.

When I awoke several hours later and looked at it, I was less than pleased with the result of my effort. I showed my housemate and she suggested going in with colored pencil to pull it together which really worked. However even though most people seem to like this I think my opinion of it is badly tainted by how much trouble I had with it. The lesson with this piece is, always allow pro white or any other correctional fluid to dry completely before adding ink to it again. Otherwise the result is a grey ink pro white hybrid which is extremely aggrivating to work with.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spider-Man Pin Up

This is a piece that I got to do for my illustration class. The only guideline was "the hat makes the man". Meaning something that someone possesses makes them who they are. So I decided to do Spider-Man and his web since I feel that's one of his coolest attributes from a visual standpoint.

I actually got this design from a quick little doodle that I found in my sketch book. Which was great because I had a lot of trouble when I tried to come up with something new. So instead I just took the small sketch and used illustrator to increase the dimensions. Then I printed it out in segments so that I could tape it together and transfer it to Bristol board in pencil. Following this I inked it using a light box, a dip pen, and a brush for large areas of black. At this point it was still a vignette. Meaning that Spidey was still basically just floating in the picture plane. After I inked it I brought it into photoshop and colored it and also added a background of the silhouetted building using the lasso tool. Below you can see the different steps and stages. Although I like painting this is my preferred way of working if I want to add color to a piece.

Original sketch
Finished Pencils
Finished Inks.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Good Man is Hard to Find

This is a painting based off of Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find". Which is, in short, a story about a family who's taking a road trip. It's an interesting story and you can read it here. I have to say my original sketches for this project were completely different and much worse. In fact I started thumbnailing this version during the sketch critique because I hated the idea of taking either of my other sketches to finish. With this version I was going for more of a cover than a direct depiction of a scene like I had done with the previous sketches. This one is also thinned down gouache on coldpress with some colored pencil touch ups. I had a lot of fun painting the faces in the dust, as well as the car, and the trees, actually I really enjoyed this piece once I scrapped the other ideas and got this one. Also this painting makes a bit more sense when you know the story, which is another reason I feel it would makea good cover.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Visual Metaphor

I feel this is pretty straightforward as far as visual metaphors go, but just in case I'll give you a second to figure it out...

...It's writers block. Which is something I experience fairly often when writing my comic unfortunately. This was by far one of the most difficult projects I had over the course of sophomore year. Mainly in the idea stage. It was so insanely challenging just to come up with a good metaphor to illustrate. Then add to that the clarity that needs to be present in a metaphoric illustration. It was quite a good mental workout. I did have another design that I'll try to post up at some point which was more literal. It consisted of a giant typewriter in a glass box with a big lock which was preventing a tiny man from using the typewriter. My teacher said that it was clear but that there was no real visceral read to it. Which is why he preferred the design above, simply because there is more of an emotion and an opinion to it. It's clear but it's not spoon feeding the concept to the viewer like the other one I described.

I have to say until I actually finished the painting I don't know if I agreed with him. But I definitely agree with him now. I'm really happy with the typewriter, especially the keys and I also enjoy the color palette. As far as the actual painting of this goes it was one of the fastest ones that I did. However all the prep work for this project took forever. I feel that that's how it should be. Nothing is worse than starting a finish with an unresolved sketch and/or concept except maybe looking at a finish and realizing you should have put more time into the sketch.

Also as a side note, this piece was done in gouache on cold press illustration board. It is also a mixture of watercolor and opaque gouache. Again I really recommend trying gouache if you want something versatile to work with. It can be a bit pricey but once you get comfortable with it it's totally worth it in my opinion.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

It all started at the circus when...

This piece was the second project I did during my spring semester this past year. It was done using thinned down gouache and ink on cold press with some wipe off technique. Personally I love the versatility gouache gives you. You can paint opaquely with it similar to acrylic and oil but you can also thin it down and use it as a watercolor. Or you can mix both methods together.
To be perfectly honest I wasn't really much of a painter before this past year at school. I never enjoyed it as much and as embarrassing as it is to admit I didn't really think I needed to learn how since I primarily wanted to do comics and figured I'd use Photoshop for color. But after spending all of sophomore year doing paintings it has really grown on me and I quite enjoy it.

Now normally I need to do a bit of thinking to come up with a good idea for a project, but the second i got the prompt of "It all started at the circus when..." I immediately wanted to do the origin of Robin (Dick Grayson). The only other perimiter was that the piece had to fit in a circular format. So I started thumbing and getting a few ideas of how to go about it. I eventually decided i wanted to depict the story in a sequential manner, but after a few tries I realized that having rectangular panels in a circle flattened the piece and made it look a lot like a logo. So I decided to curve the panels and make them fit more naturally inside the circle. My teacher suggested that I overlap different elements accross the borders to increase the visual flow, such as the rope and his moms head on his shoulder. I'm quite happy with this over all and I also learned a valuable inking lesson. It is much easier for me to ink after painting. I find I am less temped to add unneeded value or crosshatching which can occur if I ink before painting. This was a tip I picked up from reading about the process of an artist named Dustin Nugyen. If you haven't already, check out his work because he's an absolutely fantastic illustrator.

Just in case you are unfamiliar with the character, Dick Grayson (the original Robin) belonged to a family of trapeze artists named the Flying Graysons, who one night had their trapeze line cut. Dick then watched as his parents fell to their deaths unable to do anything.

I should also say, even though it's obvious, that Robin/Dick Grayson is a character owned by DC comics and not by me.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This was an in class project that I was given in order to get familiar with the wipe out technique used in the inventor project (Push Pin). Just like the inventor piece it was done on hot press with gouache and involved some photo reference, although I made up the face for the most part. Oddly enough this is one of my favorite pieces that I did within my sophomore year. Obviously there are some problems, like the tree, but I really enjoyed making this piece which is probably why I like it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Who invented the Push Pin?

This is a piece I did in my Pictorial Foundation class this past year. It was done on hot press illustration board with gouache. There is also heavy use of wipe out technique and I did some Photoshop corrections on the walls. The prompt for the project was to depict an inventor with their invention. I spent a bit of time thumbing concepts but nothing hit me as being quite good or interesting enough. Then for some reason I thought "I wonder who invented the push pin?" I discovered the inventor was a guy named Edwin Moore who lived in Philadelphia. In 1900 he founded his company and spent every afternoon carefully crafting pushpins.
Edwin Moore (He really looks like a guy who would invent the push pin)

After a few thumbnails I came up with the above composition, which I enjoy because it's pleasingly awkward and it was really fun to radically alter the scale of the push pin using perspective so that it was the largest object in the painting. Plus doing this project has given me an awesome yet completely useless nugget of trivia.


Welcome to the Pipeline

Hey everyone,

My name is Jason Piperberg and I'm a 20 year old illustrator. I love comic books, music, and all kinds of art. I'm currently attending University of the Arts, and this fall I'll be heading into my Junior year. As such I thought it was about time for me to start promoting myself a bit more legitimately instead of telling people to check out my Deviantart (Although if you want to, feel free.

In the days, weeks, and months to come I'll be posting everything from little doodles to finished paintings. So feel free to comment and tell me what you like, and what you don't like. Or if it suits you better, just check in now and again.