Artists to Follow?

If you’ve read most of my blog posts you’ll notice a common trend. Quite often I like to reference either Will Terry Illustration and The Oatley Academy of Visual Storytelling as two sources that I follow that have been extremely helpful to my art. I’ve posted about and linked to their YouTube videos/podcasts and have specified how my work has gotten better because of them. As a freelance illustrator these sources have been invaluable. They have given me a better sense of direction, have helped me to improve my style of art, and have greatly changed how I approach art as a business.

In the recent past I’ve also referenced Wylie Beckert Illustration‘s tutorials as being super helpful to me. Her tutorials have allowed me to refresh on some painting basics and have assisted in pointing out where flaws in my own paintings are.

So today I’m asking you, who do you follow? What artists/youtube channels/podcasts/companies/blogs/etc do you follow that have helped you grow as an artist? I look forward to your responses in the comments. 😀

My Top 25 Favorite Book List:

I have always loved to read and have found that reading has a way of sparking my imagination and keeping artist block at bay. Because of this I’m almost always reading a few books at a time. The following books are my top favorite books of all time and hold a soft spot in my heart. Check them out below and share what your favorite books are. Do we have any similar ones?

12 reasons Why I Love Her by Jamie S. Rich & Joelle Jones51VHj3XdRfL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

1984 by George Orwell71DgPQAEnFL

As I lay Dying by William Faulkner91B2XZKrFcL

Batman: Arkham Asylum – A Serious House on Serious Earth by Dave McKean81-ZMm0az2L

Blindness by Jose Saramago81M-+NQDCfL

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller61k33tU1CaL

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradburyfahrenheit-451-book-cover1

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchettwylie beckert goal - Copy

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesMTI4ODM1OTU4NDIxNDQwNTIy

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2013-12-23 00:36:22Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com

Memory and Dream by Charles DeLintmemorydream_tor

Physics of the Dead by Luke Smitherd71dDJHncRkL

Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan{870CC3D6-7904-493F-9FBE-9CD802757571}Img100

Slog’s Dad by David Almond and Dave McKean9781406331394

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plathbelljar

The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven11886210

The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. KiernanDrowning_Girl_book_cover

The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Bankssusaeta2010-lynne-reid-banks-the-farthest-away-mountain-445511-MLU20552038803_012016-F

The Gemma Doyle Trillogy by Libba BrayGemma-Doyle-Trilogy

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten BoomThe-Hiding-Place-cover

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver JeffersTHE-INCREDIBLE-BOOK-EATING-BOY-1-THE-INCREDIBLE-BOOK-EATING-BOY-(OLIVER-JEFFERS)

The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turnerqt series

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegutthe_sirens-of_titan

What the Dead Fear by Lea Ryanwhat-the-dead-fear-wasteland-cover

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi9780330522380White is for Witching_4

When Pigs Fly

I wanted to write a post today about a unique commission that I worked on last month. I was asked to work on a flying pig painting and was given 100% artistic licence. At that point I knew that I’d have a blast with this piece but what I didn’t know was how much fun it would be. I started off by discarding the idea of doing a flying zombie pig, yes that idea was the first to cross my mind, and instead decided to work on generalized thumbnail sketches to test out the overall style and feel of the piece.

I experimented with various styles trying to get a feel for where I wanted to go. For the first thumbnail I started aimlessly doodling and something circa 1990’s Cartoon Network came out for the first piece. This was quickly rejected and I decided to attempt a cuter route. I worked from extremely abstracted pig shapes and made each a bit more realistic.  Once I drew 4 I knew I had the perfect pig, though pig #2 was a close runner up.

Lauren-Crest-Blog-pig thumbnails
With the pig figured out, I began sketching it out in a larger format on nicer paper and got to my final drawing. I don’t have any pictures of this part because after sealing the sketch with a 2-1 ratio of water and matte medium I immediately started painting it (I may have been a bit excited). Check out a speed painting video showing part of my process:

This is the final result of the commission.

Lauren-Crest-Blog-flying pig

Note the amazing clouds that are painted in the background. Those are all thanks to this tutorial video by Painting with Jane. It has saved my bacon on multiple occasions now (pun intended).Checkout her YouTube Channel for more painting tutorial videos. 

Lauren-Crest-Blog-flying pig detail

And the piece is finished off with a frame.Lauren-Crest-Blog-flying pig framed

I’m quite pleased with how this commission went. Let me know your thoughts by commenting below. Also, shoot me a message if you are interested in commissioning your own custom art piece.