Nod Your Head to This: 311 Applied Science Tee

 

It’s no secret that I dig 311 and I’m always excited when I get the chance to work with them. I saw my first 311 show in September of 1993 and have been a fan ever since. 

The first time I saw them do a drum solo with all members of the band participating was in the early 2000s at a show in New Orleans during the song Applied Science. I ran into Chad Sexton, 311’s drummer in the lobby of hotel where I was staying (turns out the band was staying there too) and I got the opportunity to ask him about the solo. Which being a drummer myself, was a highlight of that show for me. Chad said that back in high school in Omaha, he’d played in the drum corp and wanted to incorporate that sound/feel into the solo with the other guys playing too. It’s a fun idea and one that has become part of their live shows. I always look forward to it when I see them live. 

Commemorating one of my favorite moments in their live show with some art seemed appropriate. So here is a little behind the scenes look at my new 311 Applied Science Tee available on the Summer 2016 Tour!

The first step is to create a folder and name it 311 and then create another folder in that folder and name it Reference. Then spend an alarming amount of time Googling and gathering images of amps, guitars, drums, stage, stage lights and the band and put them in the Reference folder. 

The next step is to put on some music, draw, erase, look at reference, draw, erase, look at reference. 

Here's look at some of those drawings:

 Rough sketch of Tim and SA. 

Rough sketch of Tim and SA. 

 Sketching out Chad's kit. 

Sketching out Chad's kit. 

 Some studies of hands holding drumsticks. 

Some studies of hands holding drumsticks. 

 A sketch of the concept. 

A sketch of the concept. 

If you look closely at the concept sketch there are a few items placed in it to commemorate 311's 25 years as a band.

• Checkered flag on Tim's amp for the racing sponsorship announcement
• Hive emblem on Chad's bass drum for the boxed set release
• Beer bottle on P-Nut's amp for the 311 Amber Ale release

Only the beer bottle made it into the final art. 

With the sketch ready to go, I spend many, many hours drawing the vectors in Adobe Illustrator. Then send it off and it gets printed on shirts you hope people will enjoy wearing while listening to 311 or taking selfies and saying "look at this cool 311 tee!" or eating tacos. Or all three. 

 311 Applied Science Tee Art

311 Applied Science Tee Art

So there you go. A little behind the scenes on the making of the Applied Science Tee available on the 311 2016 Summer Unity Tour. 

Until next time, 

Scott 

Process: Scary Good Photoshop Brushes

Photoshop brushes are a lot of fun and can add a natural feel to the art often lost when working digitally, especially in vector. There are so many options with Photoshop brushes its easy to get spooked. I try to pick just a few or even just one to work with to prevent getting carried away. Here is some behind the scenes on a recent brush experiment.  

It’s that time of the year where vampires, ghouls, skeletons, pumpkins, bats start to lurk in my sketchbook. I chose a little bat to work with to try out some new Photoshop brushes. 

 Bat character sketch.

Bat character sketch.

I sketched all kinds of Halloween critters in my sketchbook, but I liked this little guy. He was a quick little sketch done with a ball point ink pen (which is what I draw with more often than not). 

The sketch is placed in Adobe Illustrator. When placing the sketch I checked “Template” which will put it on its own layer, screen it back a bit, lock the layer and open a new layer for which to work. Ready to go. I like using Illustrator to build the shapes. You could do it in Photoshop, but I find it easier to do in Illustrator. 

 Sketch placed in Illustrator. 

Sketch placed in Illustrator. 

I should note that lately I haven’t taken the time to scan my sketches. I snap a photo of them with my iPhone. Dropbox syncs the photo with my “Camera Uploads” folder and I go place the photo from that folder to Illustrator. Much faster and it works even when I am away from the studio (and the scanner). 

Now I’m ready to draw my shapes in Illustrator. Yep, the Ye Old Pen Tool. As I look at the sketch, there are some details that I think I will do in Photoshop. Such as the “fingers” on the wings, lines on the hat bill, etc. So I’m not going to build anything in Illustrator for those. 

 Shapes drawn in Illustrator.

Shapes drawn in Illustrator.

With my shapes drawn, I consider colors. I pictured the bat purple or dark blue with a pink nose when I started, so I know those will be in the palette. Now I fill in the shapes with colors. They don’t have to be exact, I can tweak or change them in Photoshop later. 

 Rough colors applied to the shapes. Ready to take into Photoshop.

Rough colors applied to the shapes. Ready to take into Photoshop.

Export those shapes to a PSD from Illustrator, and then crack open Photoshop. Grab a brush and start painting. This is the fun part and has the most traditional feel in the process. I highly recommend having a tablet like a Wacom Intuos or Cintiq to get the most out of the brushes. Trying to draw with a computer mouse is like trying to draw with a bar of soap. I’ve never liked it and got rid of my mouse years ago. If you are an artist who is going to use the computer, invest in a good tablet. You’ll love it. 

That's really it. Have fun painting! Here is the finished character in Photoshop. 

 Finished character in Photoshop.

Finished character in Photoshop.

You can make your own Photoshop brushes, but these guys have some awesome Photoshop brushes. They are very inexpensive and cover a range of techniques like inking, gouache and watercolor. Try out some of these awesome brushes:

Kyle Webster Brushes
https://gumroad.com/kyletwebster

Dave Opie Brushes
http://spacemandave.blogspot.com/2014/04/dry-media-brushes.html

Cale Atkinson Brushes
https://gumroad.com/caleatkinson

Happy Halloween!

Scott

Sharkupations - Art for Sharks4Kids

I recently had the opportunity to draw some of my favorite creatures–sharks–for another of my favorite creatures–kids! I was contacted by Jillian Morris, founder of Sharks4kids, a non-profit organization out of Florida that promotes shark education and ocean conservation to do a shark themed poster. 

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