I guess since I draw and have for most of my life usually with a No.2 pencil (or a 4H most of the time) and scraps of paper, I have to try the drawing tools more. So on this IPad Pro I used the Sketching tool with an HB pencil option. It works a lot like a real pencil. The line quality is good. Scribbling, hatching, general basic shading works pretty well. Once I started blending, though, everything turned out more like paint and not so much a drawing. Still I like the results of this piece.
I originally Left my working lines on the right side so that anyone interested in how I created this image, could see how I designed this piece. It’s another in the latest project I’m developing. This is the Imp. A vicious little tormentor that loves to pull evil pranks on the unsuspecting travelers.
I thought I would update you guys on my current status on my projects. Before that I wanted to ask a question of you:
When you don’t have your materials redily available, what do you do about creating?
My position on this will be explained within this post.
Here I am working on a very long term project, “Relative Perspective”. (I plan to share the whole journey once it is finally finished.) I’m having breakthrough after breakthrough and making good progress, for this project. I find myself delayed, again. It’s not from any issues with the work.
As I have mentioned before, having a portable art tool has been a liberating benefit. My daughter is enjoying the benefits with her school work. Because she has assignments due, the tablet is spending time with her this weekend, again.
Luckily I have traditional work to continue. I was able to get some sketching done last night. I plan to bring that journal with me out today so that I’m making progress. As much as I hate multitasking and it’s horrible side effect, symptoms of procrastination, at least one of the projects waiting in the cue gets attention, today.
I’ll have to remember my mindset when I can resume “Relative Perspective”. I hope my daughter does great! I’ll keep plugging away on the other work.
Next up? I’m working on the middle to foreground main images. This has been a very long time! I’m glad to see it’s finally coming together. First element in, three to four to go. I’m anxious to finish it now! I hope you like the update!
I finally have some updates on this project to share with you!
I’ve got screenshots of my progress! It’s been good having this tablet. The freedom to take my work anywhere and some really great tools. I’m still learning it’s limits but it’s been very helpful!
I’m debating on putting snow in the mountains. I’ll put them on a separate layer so I can change them if it doesn’t work out. The details are coming out very nice! There’s still a lot to do but the scene is setting up pretty good! I’ll post more proper progression photos next time.
I thought I would ask you what’s happening in your world. Aside from the recent holidays, what events are influencing you? Is there great positive things going on? Maybe it’s not so positive. It’s ok, you’re welcome to share that, too.
Many of my friends are gearing up for this year’s convention circuit. Either submitting work, getting notifications of their submissions or preparing for an upcoming convention.
Some of my friends are dealing with tough life events. Physical or emotional pain has entered their lives. Stress in dealing with these situations, trying to erode their peace of mind.
For myself, it’s a mixed bag. For the negative side, problems from a old injury have come back on me. Sometimes there’s pain for days, even weeks. My real world paying job is affected because of this. I’m stressing over where my future is going. What about my family? How will I continue to be able to support them? Will I return to having constant pain? How much this is triggering my blood pressure and depression. A lot of heavy things.
On the positive side I’ve celebrated 20 years of happily married life with my wife! Both her and our daughter are my whole world! I’ll be turning 54 soon. I’m reworking a piece of fantasy art that was started as a pencil sketch in ’96. I’ve posted progress photos of it before here, “Relative Perspective”. I’ll post updates of it later.
Here are some photos from before:
I hope all is well with you and your world is great! If it’s not, I hope you find a way to get peace and balance. May the right side always win.
Becauseit’s been a part of my art for most of my life it seem like a good time to explain my signature and current web name.
XT comes from my family name, Thaxton. My father’s name was Thackston until he went into the Air Force. His original documents were burned in a courthouse fire. So when he got new documents he changed the “cks” to “x”. So my brothers and I were the first generation of Thaxton in our family.
When I was a kid, learning about art history, I found out about signet rings that was used to stamp the wax sealed communications. I was very intrigued by the double signet. I played with different forms until I figured out a modified cursive lowercase “xt”. When it is flipped over the “Rt” is there.
Long before created anything, I started incorporating this signature in my work. Many times it would be hidden in the work. I’ve used this with almost everything that I’ve created. If you happen to have one of my older pieces let me know if you found the hidden signature.
I got a chance to play with jewelry making while I was in Merchant Marine training. Because I was able to test out of math class, I got to take a couple of electives. In the jewelry class I got the chance to finally create my signet ring. This has been used to put my maker’s mark on 3D that I’ve made.
XT Illos is my current web name for the illustration work that I’m creating. Fantasy Art is my favorite genre. I also create logos and tattoo designs under XT Illos.
I’m trying a different direction with the posts I will be putting here. This and the following posts under this title will share parts of my world. What helped to create the artist in me? Why am I driven to create? What has influenced and inspired me to do these things? What do I like to create?
As an artist, it’s important that my work find you guys and others like you. I want to share the things I imagine with everyone. There are so many people, places and things to show you.
But before that I should do a better job of introducing myself and sharing why this is such an important thing. My name is Richard Thaxton. In my Bio I explain about the reason why I chose the name XT Illos. The oldest being that an “X” was the way most people who couldn’t read or write would mark their signature.
Due to differing processes in training kids to read early on in school, many of my classmates and myself did not learn how to read properly. The new pilot program was not continued when we were transferred back to our original group the next year. This is where my choice to express myself visually took roots and grew. Even though I took an advance placement test in middle school and scored 11th to College level, I struggled with reading a lot all the way through high school. In the first quarter of college I taught myself to read.
I’ve been drawing for a long time. As a kid, I would try to reproduce small images of art that came in catalogs into larger pencil and colored pencil drawings. I got pretty good at catching the details. My favorites were the old tall sailing ships, pirate ships and different animals.
I was and still am a avid cartoon junkie which of course includes anime! Those and the live action dramas would keep me glued to the TV on Saturday mornings or the theater, when we could go. Many films about great works really mesmerized me. Some of my early favorites were Kimba the White Lion, Ultraman, Speed Racer, King Kong, Godzilla, Star Trek, Tarzan, the Seven Voyages of Sinbad, the Land That Time Forgot, Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy and the Wolfman.
There was lots of influences all around. there was lots of primers for the creativity to start flowing in my imagination. One day in high school a friend shared a book with me that really set things into motion. It was by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the John Carter series A Princess of Mars. This story and the artworks by Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta was the final push. I was enchanted and felt driven to learn how to tell stories with my art.
It’s been a long road from then until I could properly relate what I was seeing in my imagination. Lots of frustrating attempts in the beginning. As I would practice and study the things I was attempting to create I began to pick up more details. I took art in middle and high school. I also took classes in college for art both fine and commercial. One day I decided to give story illustration a try but that’s a story next time.
I don’t have any examples of my old work because of them being lost in a storage fire. I will drop in older pencil sketches, design processes and finished art that has not been seen since most of them were published.
I thought that I would share an update on “Relative Perspective” with you. I’m working digitally to develop this into a color piece. I’m also working out some points of development in my techniques. I plan to improve on my color intensity, dramatic lighting and rendering skills. Enjoy and feedback is welcome.
Back-Ground Blocking: Sky and Distant Mountain Range
Middle-Ground Blocking: Intermediate Mountain Range
Fore-Ground and More Middle Ground Blocking: Grass and Trees