Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 Boot Camp Schedule

Hey all,  3 days until the boot camp begin, and we couldn't be more excited.  Except that we are now more excited! Hearthstone Art Director, Jeremy Cranford, will be joining us on Friday to give a special talk and look at portfolios!  See you all soon!

Monday, Jan 9th
• Doors open at 9
• 10am – Introduction, Go over student sketches
• 11am – Students get set up
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm life drawing (Demonstration by Erik Gist)

Tuesday, Jan 10th
• 9am – Studio Opens
• 11am – Erik Lecture:
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 3pm – Lucas Demo: Painting a Dragon
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm Life drawing

Wednesday, Jan 11th
• 9am – Studio Opens
• 12pm – Dave Lecture:
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 4pm – Mike Demo:
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm Life drawing

Thursday, Jan 12th
• 9am – Studio Opens
• 12pm – Erik Demo:
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 3pm – Lucas Lecture: Working on Magic
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm Life drawing

Friday, Jan 13th
• 9am – Studio Opens
• 12pm – Dave Demo:
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 4:30 Guest Lecture by Jeremy Cranford
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7pm-10pm Life drawing

Saturday, Jan 14th
• 9am – Studio Opens
• Last Day, Students work to finish projects
• 12pm Mike Lecture
• 1-2:30pm Lunch
• 5:30pm-7:00pm – Dinner
• 7-10pm Final reviews and critiques

Friday, December 2, 2016

2017 Preliminary Critiques

Hey all, In the interest of getting a head start on the workshop we are going to offer some preliminary critiques for those who are interested.  To have your comp work critiqued just follow this process.  1) set up a blog just for this project 2) write a post containing a brief description of your chosen project and the images you wish critiqued. 3) post a link to your blog in the comment section of this post. Good luck!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

2017 Boot Camp Descriptions

Bootcamp Assignment Options

Hey all,
If you are already signed up for the bootcamp (or just want to play along at home) choose at least one of the sample assignments listed below, and try to come in to the first day of the bootcamp with as much of the following ready for critique as you possibly can.  The more prepared you are the better chance you will have to complete the project in the six days we have together.  This being said, we understand that people are coming from a variety of experience level, so work to your comfort level and we will be there to guide you in taking your work to the next level.  Please try to have thumbnail (rough) sketches, reference photos, and a tighter sketch ready to go.  Along with your preferred painting surface and materials.

Project Descriptions

option 1
Dragon Fighting
Depict a scene where a group of off duty, Scandinavian warriors, are betting and cheering around a ring where a cock fight is taking place.  Instead of roosters though, there are young dragons fighting.  The focus should be on the two dragons fighting.  The mood should reflect that of a traditional cock fight, cheering, yelling, coins passing hands, etc.  Make sure the dragon designs are different from each other.  The background should be that of a war camp or village.
Bookcover format  roughly 2:3 vertical (14 x 22 or 16 x 24 is a good size)
Hint:  The focus will be on the fight but your background can help support your story. Maybe the dragons that lose the fights are strung up to sell for meat or maybe there are cages of other dragons that are going to be fought.  Play with different camera angles.  Try low, in the middle of the fight.  Try over the shoulder, as if the viewer is a spectator.  Try birds eye view.  See which angle works best for the story.

option 2
Angel of Sacrifice   (Fake Magic card assignment)
Show an Angel in light armor who has just taken, or is about to take a fatal wound (arrow, sword thrust etc) in order to save the life of a knight.  The angel should radiate a sense of duty and serenity.
This is not about blood and guts,  or an over the top comic book action pose.  This assignment is all about subtle storytelling and conveying the emotion of the scene.
Format is 3:4 (like 12 x 16), horizontal
Hint:Use google images to find visual references for MTG style angels and knights.

option 3
Genre mash-up cover
Create a cover appropriate illustration (one that captures a viewer's attention and imagination through an iconic image that suggests a larger story/world) which largely reads as a traditional genre (fantasy, SF, detective, western, Gothic horror, historical, romance, etc.) but a closer look indicates a contrasting fantastical element (fantasy, science fiction, horror). 
Examples: Westworld (Western/SF), Shadowrun (SF/fantasy), Bladerunner (Detective/SF)
Bookcover format  roughly 2:3 vertical (14 x 22 or 16 x 24 is a good size)
Focus: Appeal to both genres, as well as find/depict an interesting juxtaposition.  There should be an element of the unexpected.  Also consider: The characters may not know that they're living in multiple genres."

Option 4
Step-Down Imagery or Everyday Horror
Create an image that is set in an everyday location (ie. a grocery store, play ground, school, etc.) then contrast the mundane with “horrific” imagery.  As an example: a parent with a child in a shopping cart, perusing the frozen foods section of the local grocery store.  As the parent leans closer to examine the freezer’s selection a decaying hand reaches for from inside. (you can feel free to use this specific scene. but I would encourage you to come up with your own based on this idea)
Bookcover format  roughly 2:3 vertical (14 x 22 or 16 x 24 is a good size)
Hint: focus on ways to visually contrast the horrific elements with those of the “normal” world.

Feel free to post any questions in the comments below.

2017 Boot Camp Introduction


Hey everyone,
Welcome to the official blog of the Watts Atelier Illustration Bootcamp!  In the posts to come we will be introducing you to and giving you a glimpse into the processes of our four instructors,Dave Palumbo, Lucas GracianoMichael C. HayesE. M. Gist .  We will also be posting your four assignment options, and open up for any questions you may have.

Those of you who have already signed up we look forward to getting to know you over the next few weeks, and finally meeting you in person at the workshop.
Feel free to checkout any of the previous posts, but realize they are from the last two year's workshops.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Scheduling Change

Hey everybody,  We are all really looking forward to getting started.  One change to the scheduling, Jeremy Cranford will be giving his lecture on "The Business of Art!" at 11 after the introduction to be followed by "Opening Critiques" at 12

Friday, January 1, 2016

Lucas Kremer: Student Critique

Hey Lucas,

This looks like a good start.  I like the idea and the dynamics.  In my personal opinion there are a few things that could be improved.  First It feels a little cramped, this could be helped by either pulling the camera back, or pushing a bit more depth of field between the hunter and the Pegasus.  I lightened the value of the Pegasus a bit to see if that would help (it did) but I feel he could still be reduced in size and pushed a little more into the middle ground.  Second is in regards to the design, almost all the angles are vertical, horizontal or angling to the left (see green lines) making the image fell unbalanced.  This isn't entirely bad for the narrative in this image, but adding a few rhythms angling the other way can add a nice counter balance.  Then every thing won't feel like it's sliding to the right.  I would angle the wings and ground plane to create it visual balance (see the red lines)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2016 Bootcamp Schedule

Time is starting to fly by, and the boot camp will be here before you know it.  To help you get ready here is the schedule of events. The workshop will be open from 9am to 10pm or later.  This is the schedule as it stands, there will be some updating as we work out details, so check back often.

Monday 1/11/2016

10am- introduction
11am- Jeremy lecture on "Business of Art!"
12pm- open critique
1pm- lunch
2pm- get to work!


9am- workshop open
10am- Erik lecture on "Staging an Illustration"
2pm- Chris paint demo "Using Reference to Paint Fantasy Characters"
7pm-10pm Drawing from the live model (optional)


9am- workshop open
2pm- Lucas lecture on "Working on Magic The Gathering"
4pm- Mike paint demo "Glazing in Oils"
7pm-10pm Drawing from the live model (optional)


9am- workshop open
10am- Erik paint demo  "Theatrical Lighting"
2pm- Chris lecture on "Cool and Mood"
7pm-10pm Drawing from the live model (optional)


9am- workshop open
2pm- Lucas demo "Painting Dragons"
4pm- Mike lecture on "TBD"
7pm-10pm Drawing from the live model (optional)


9am- workshop open
11am- Jeremy Cranford lecture "Don't Be Afraid to Stylize"

Final critiques