Case Study - King Ghidorah, Process

While I've been painting a lot lately, it still feels like I'm figuring out a process. So, here's how my latest painting "King Ghidorah, 2009" came together:

The Sketch

After many doodles and scratches in my sketchbook, I felt that this composition of King Ghidorah summed up what I wanted to get across. I wanted to show the immensity of the creature and get across a sense of authority. He's Godzilla's biggest enemy, so he's got to be proud.

This sketch was done on my computer in Sketchbook Pro. Not all of my sketches are done at my computer. Plenty are made on plain-old paper with Col-Erase color pencils. I'm trying to warm up more to my tablet screen, so I made a point to work on it with this sketch.

Clean Up

After I got the sketch where I wanted it, I took it into Adobe Illustrator to pin down the important lines and shapes. Illustrator is very flexible and allows me to fine-tune my artwork. I traced the sketch and moved lines around, scaling things as I need them. More and more, a lot of my drawing decisions happen right in Illustrator.

The Final Drawing

After I was happy with the vector version of my drawing, I transferred the image onto gessoed plywood board using a projector. I then tightened up the artwork, adding detail as I went. I decided that it would be interesting if each head of the creature had a different style of horn. I also changed the angle of the foot for a more dramatic/graphic perspective.

The Color Comp

So, then it was long overdue to figure out what colors to use on this thing. I kind of had an idea that I wanted a vintage poster look to Ghidorah, but I needed to flesh that out before committing to paint. I took a quick photo of my board and brought it into Photoshop. From there, it was just a matter of making gestural notes about the placement of colors, and indications on how the details might play into each other.

Starting to Paint

With my Photoshop color comp as a guide (and opened big on my screen), I started laying out the basic shapes for the painting. Once I was comfortable with the major areas of color, I started having fun with the scales and where the light might wrap around the form. The paint I used was all acrylic based. Some of it was cel-vinyl paint. Some of it was gouache. I later used fluid acrylics for detail.

The Finished Painting

After all of the detailing, I applied a layer of semi-gloss varnish over the whole piece. This normalized all of the different textures and helps the colors to really pop off of the black background.

The Frame and Other Details

I made a simple box frame for the painting out of pine trim from the local hardware store. I used a miter box to cut 45 degree angles at the ends of the trim to join them at 90 degrees. Once the frame was made, I glued pieces of wood onto the back of the painting to brace it into the frame. I then nailed the frame to these pieces of wood with small finishing nails. After all of that, I painted over the nails and touched up any troublesome areas. Here are some shots of the finished product (via Flickr):

IMG_3583.JPG IMG_3582.JPG IMG_3581.JPG IMG_3580.JPG IMG_3579.JPG

My painting, "King Ghidorah, 2009", is part of a group show called "Toy Karma 2" that will open September 5th at Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. The show, currated by Max Toy Co. founder Mark Nagata, features over 70 artists paying tribute to monsters from Japanese popular culture. More information about the event can be found here:

http://www.maxtoyco.com/toy_karma/

 

Artwork for Soma FM's "Suburbs of Goa"


Ganesh on Yellow, originally uploaded by Josh Ellingson.

Online radio grand-daddy Soma FM just launch a new "desi-influenced Asian world beats" station called Suburbs of Goa. Station manager Rusty Hodge commissioned me to make a custom illustration for the station identity. He really liked an earlier Ganesh I had drawn but needed something that would be readable much smaller. It was a great opportunity to revisit Ganesh and work with Soma FM. Check out all of Soma FM's stations here:
http://www.somafm.com

Prints Available for August '09


Carrying Home print, originally uploaded by Josh Ellingson.

It's time for a new batch of prints on my web store. This time I have five heavy-hitters that I'm sure you're going to want on your wall. My casual homage to Hopper's Nighthawks, "Wi-Fi Diner" is back by popular demand. Another classic that's made the re-up is "Muni vs. Taxi", my take on transportation options in SF. Also included in this set are two pieces from my "Carrying Home" autobiographical series:
"The King of Kings" is a tribute to my grandfather's sock drawer. When I was a kid, I'd sneak into his room and look through the nudie cards he had hidden there. "Carrying Home" is a drawing of the farmhouse that I grew up in, atop a crab creature.

BONUS!
An extra rare variant of my take on Godzilla is included and available for this month only.
These prints will be available through the month of August 2009, after which I'll replace them with a fresh new batch of offerings. Get them while they are hot!

7/26 Make My Monday- Sketchfest at Fort Mason, SF

I'll be sketching once again for "Make My Monday" at Fort Mason Center. Here's the info and text from the facebook event page:

Monday, July 27, 2009
Time: 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: Fort Mason Center
Street: Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street
City/Town: San Francisco, CA

Your Monday is about to get a makeover. Look forward to the last Monday of every month when Fort Mason Center hosts free happy hour events with the perfect blend of cocktails and culture. Take advantage of the waterfront views, enjoy drink specials and support the local art community.
Come down after work and meet local artists as they create original, affordable, artwork which will be available for purchase from $5 - $50.
$2 tacos!
FREE event, 21+ only, no host bar
RSVP to guarantee entrance.
All purchases directly support artists.
For more information including a list of confirmed artists go to: www.fortmason.org/mmm/
Make my Monday is held in the spirit of similar events, such as: Southern Exposure’s Monster Drawing Rally and 111 Minna’s Sketch Tuesday, or the Drink-N-Draw of NYC, Portland and Chicago.
Work submissions and artist questions should be directed to: mmmartist@fortmason.org
Make My Monday questions and free reservations should be directed to: mmm@fortmason.org

Photos from Renegade

The San Francisco Renegade Arts and Craft Fair was a great success. Thanks to everyone who made it out to Fort Mason for the event. Here are some of the the photos I took (via Flickr):

Renegade Art Fair, Day 1 - Saturday Crowd Renegade Art Fair, Day 1 - Dexter Dryg and me Renegade Art Fair, Day 1 - The Drygs Renegade Art Fair, Day 1 - Plush Ice Cream Gal Renegade Art Fair, Day 1 - Plush Ice Cream Renegade Art Fair, Day 1 - My Table Renegade Art Fair, Day 1 - Paul Friedrich Renegade - SF Weekly Renegade - Baby Doe and her awesome kids

 

Renegade, Gallery 1988 and Comic Con!

Wig Out! Get Your Nerd On! - Nerds!Hey, I'm back from a crazy getaway to Los Angeles. I went partly to get my nerd on with my pals at Bordello for "Wig Out! Get Your Nerd On!". At left is a picture of me and my collegues. Bay Area nerd-rockers "Three Day Stubble" performed and they were amazing as always.

I also talked myself into trying out for Bravo's new reality competition show, "Untitled Art Project". I didn't make the cut but it was an interesting experience and I met some nice artists in the queue. I was #136 in line and enjoyed lenthy discussions about Karate Kid, Iron Maiden, and heat exhaustion with Robyn (#135) and Amy (#137). Good luck out there ladies, wherever you are.

This has definitely been the busiest summer on record for me. This month is halfway over but there's still so much left to do. Next of the list is "The Renegade Craft Fair" at Fort Mason center. Here's the info along with my original calendar posting:

 

I'll be tabling at the annual Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco at the historic Fort Mason Center. Working the booth along-side me will be "the Terror of the Carolinas" and creator of ONION HEAD MONSTER, Paul Friedrich. Please come to the event and support your favorite artists and craftspersons from all over. It's a great little primer for Comic Con, which happens the following week (sweet lord). Anyway, here's the infos and links:

http://www.renegadecraft.com/san-francisco?site=sf
http://www.flickr.com/photos/renegadecraftfair/sets/
JULY 18th -19th
11am – 7pm
Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion
San Francisco, CA

 

And then on Friday, July 24th I'll be at Gallery 1988 SF for their "Beasts of the Bay" exhibit. Here's that information along with the original calendar posting:

 I'll be showing alongside many San Francisco up-and-comers for Gallery 1988's "Beasts from the Bay" group exhibition. I'll be debuting my new "SPEAKS WITH HANDS" series of paintings on wood. Please come by to check out Gallery 1988's massive space and wallow fresh new art from the Bay.

Friday, July 24th from 7-10pm
Gallery1988 San Francisco
1173 Sutter St. (b/t Polk and Larkin)
San Francisco, CA 94109

 

 

 

THEN I'm swimming downstream to Comic Con Int'l to make the annual tranformation from Nerd to Dork. This will be the first year in many that I won't be attached to a table. I know I've made this claim in the past and somehow ended up with a table, but this time it's for reals. I plan on twittering the whole thing, so follow me if you want to keep updated. I will be guest sketching at the Sketch Theatre booth sometime late on Sunday. Please come by and watch me draw.

7/24 "Beasts from the Bay" at G1988 SF

I'll be showing alongside many San Francisco up-and-comers for Gallery 1988's "Beasts from the Bay" group exhibition. I'll be debuting my new "SPEAKS WITH HANDS" series of paintings on wood. Please come by to check out Gallery 1988's massive space and wallow fresh new art from the Bay.

Friday, July 24th from 7-10pm
Gallery1988 San Francisco
1173 Sutter St. (b/t Polk and Larkin)
San Francisco, CA 94109

Flyer art by Dave Crossland

7/18 - 7/19 Renegade Craft Fair, SF

I'll be tabling at the annual Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco at the historic Fort Mason Center. Working the booth along-side me will be "the Terror of the Carolinas" and creator of ONION HEAD MONSTER, Paul Friedrich. Please come to the event and support your favorite artists and craftspersons from all over. It's a great little primer for Comic Con, which happens the following week (sweet lord). Anyway, here's the infos and links:

http://www.renegadecraft.com/san-francisco?site=sf
http://www.flickr.com/photos/renegadecraftfair/sets/
JULY 18th -19th
11am – 7pm
Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion
San Francisco, CA