Thursday, December 8, 2011

Free shipping on prints of my artwork to the U.S.!!! Limited time only.

Artflakes has a special promotion going which is pretty sweet: free shipping for the whole US till December 14th 2011!!!

This is worth taking advantage of. You can check out my store at http://www.artflakes.com/en/shop/piero

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

figure study


It started as a quick sketch and sort of became a figure study. I probably would've done this in charcoal if I knew where it was going, but why change horses mid-stream? Not sure if I want to go on with it yet, but here it is so far.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Blog address.

I've ported my Blog to a new address (this one).
I was not able to transfer links or followers, so I will find out how to do that hopefully soon.
I have also secured www.pieromacgowan.com which looks just like pieroartist.com.
Cheers,
-P

Monday, September 5, 2011

Store

I now have a store where you can find prints of some of my work. I will update it with more as I have it ready.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Share One Planet" competition final piece.

This is the finished piece. More details on the w.i.p. post below.

Making of "Share One Planet" competition piece.

So last September I got an email inviting me to participate in "Share One Planet", a wildlife "digital artists" competition. I of course forgot about it eventually, since the deadline was April 20th, and I told myself I'd do it when I had more time. March comes and I realize I need to get moving on this.
There were about 100 species I had to choose from, and different categories to focus on. I chose the "Mother's love" category. For the animal, I started by choosing the Alaskan moose, but I then decided to see if both Siberian tigers and brown bears were in the list. They were, so I looked them up, and I found out they actually do meet in the wild every now and then - and tear each other up (tigers usually win the battle; they are designed to kill large mammals better that bears, who, even though they seem bulkier, are omnivores, and thus not used to battling other species of huge meat-eating predators very often).
My main focus was tension and narrative. There are still a couple of things I'll get to (you know how finishing a piece can go - there is always something left to adjust/correct/etc.)  Here are the color thumbnails I started with, and subsequently the end result.

Quick color thumbnails helped me set the mood rapidly. I sketched out the lines quickly at first, then added swabs of color followed by sharper and more distinguishable shapes, which I did by using a combo of strokes, the lasso tool and custom brushes.

Focused on these two choices. While the left one has a lot of action, the one on the right seemed a more dynamic composition. It also narratively provided more questions than answers, which I thought was more interesting; It's not clear what's going to happen.
After some feedback I tried to give the tiger a bit more of a surprise appearance to the cub, like he was coming out from behind the rock. I did a quick warp and transform to see how that would look, but the idea didn't work as well as I wanted. The anatomy just wouldn't look right, so I eventually adjusted that back to how it was. Another important aspect was that I didn't feel the separation between the tiger and mother bear was obvious; I needed the tiger to look like he had not seen momma bear yet, and was going for the cub unaware of her approach.  So I added some shrubbery and twigs to give the sense that the bear was partially hidden as he was coming. That helped to add a bit of a visual barrier, as well as to break up the snow and add some interest to the ground.


I wanted the eye to follow the tiger  down to the cub, instead of going straight for the mother bear, so I included some
foliage at the top to help a bit. I also added the tree trunk on the foreground behind the rock to help the composition from escaping to the right. There was too much contrast and attention drawn to that area. Also, the mother in the previous thumbnail seemed too frantic. I wanted the tension in the piece to come from anticipation, and having her run full force wasn't selling the idea, so she is now approaching with sudden alarm; she probably had suspected something was wrong, but did not see the tiger until a moment ago. 

Here is the finished piece. I adjusted the scale of the three animals a bit to better fit the composition. Momma bear is a bit larger, and she now has her head down, which gives her a more menacing posture. Previously she did not have enough presence in the scene, especially since I wanted her to portray incoming danger. She is also not as dark; the contrast in the upper area of the piece was drawing too much attention, so I added a slight atmospheric perspective to tone it down a tad. The tiger's tail, body and front paw were shortened (they were too long). I also polished the fur on the tiger and the bears, and did what I call a "vignetting" pass on the piece, where I brighten and darken certain areas as well as adjust contrast here and there for emphasis. Special note: custom brushes are your best friends. I created about 8 just for this piece, which helped with all the different textures I needed, and saved me tons of time.


Closeup of momma bear.

Tiger closeup.

Cub closeup.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Got into EXPOSE 9!

So this piece got into Exposé 9 this year. Wohoo!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Done

So I think I'm done, at least for now. Things I did:
-Tweaked the location of the helmet and faded it a bit since it was attracting too much attention.
-Added some more foreground bushes to help the framing of the piece.
-Changed the position and posture of the farmost leg and foremost arm in the guy in the bottom. The way he was posed was dividing the composition a bit, so this created a bit more depth movement through the piece.
-Tightened up certain armor parts and added some highlights to both guys.
-Polished the moon's edge.
-Rendered the clouds some more.
-Added the feeling of marshes in the background - it was a bit too nondescript.

For now, I just have to wait and see what the Spectrum judges think in a couple of months. You never know if your artwork is what they are looking for or not. Here's hoping!
Cheers!

Monday, January 24, 2011

more

Added the horse's armor, polished the image in general, and changed things here & there. Not much to say except that I'm working the up to the final stage. I am trying to keep the balance the image started with. As I polished the horseman, he started looking too overpowering, so  armored the other guy up to restore a bit of the tension.

Monday, January 17, 2011

another update

I changed the weird sword thing he was carrying for a mace. It just looked bad, broke the composition, and just didn't fit. Same with the rock that I tried to make look like a shield. It was getting lost in the piece and was gonna take too much effort with little payoff. To hell with it, and I also changed the helmet which didn't look like a helmet) to the foreground. Hopefully the whole thing reads better.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Evil Horseman update

Here is an update to the piece. I obviously polished some of the armor a bit, and added the shield and helmet, both of which I am not sure about yet. I wanted the guy on the bottom to look defeated but yet still willing to fight, so I made him wipe the blood from his face with his hand (hopefully it reads that way). It's late so I will retire from this for now and look at it with fresh eyes later.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spectrum, Maybe?

Long-ass time since I've put anything here. This is a piece that I started as a sketch a whiiile back. Abandoned, I decided to see if I could rekindle my interest in it. I'm having some fun with it, so if I keep going maybe I can submit it in time for spectrum. Hopefully I'll be a good boy and post wips. So far: