Saturday, May 14, 2016

Idiot Box - Gallery 1988

Now showing at Gallery 1988 is a show called "Idiot Box", which celebrates a huge range of classic and contemporary television shows. This is my first time exhibiting in this particular show - I believe this is the 3rd in their series.

7308 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90046
Exhibit open May 13-28, 2016

I chose to cover ALF - the beloved alien/puppet of 80's television - who was stranded on Earth and had a healthy appetite for cats!

"Dinner Is Served"
Acrylic on canvas

As an artist and lover of puppets, this seemed like a fun one - first ever ALF piece. These long canvases seem to inspire me quite a bit, and this image of cats falling out of the sky right into ALF's mouth hit me pretty quickly. 

Original iPad sketch of the concept. I had seen the palate as browns, whites and oranges )with speckles of teal), but as I painted it up, the greens seemed to feel better to me. 

Here is ALF cheering me on as the Golden acrylics get set out.

Sketching up some pencil reference on the canvas. 

Laying in the background color - this is where it took a turn towards greens and the browns and teal colors took on a life of their own. I really started to dig what I was getting here and I chose to roll with it. 

More of the character colors blocked in - I was thinking of this one pretty flat, but once i started getting into ALF's fur, a bit more highlight and dimension felt appropriate. 

Closer up on the comedic genius. Mouth open for whatever fur-ball happens to land in it! 

I crack myself up with these dumb cat faces. 

Signature as the last detail. I usually do first and last name with the year, but this one was an exception. 

And coincidently, "The Goldbergs" featured the ALF puppet and show on a recent episode! Here is Adam showing off his furry friend to his Dad, Murray, who had the creepiest ventriloquist dummy as a youngster. This show is one of my absolute favorites, and if you are a true 80's geek - you should surely check it out. 'Til next time! -Dave

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Bob's Burgers - Gallery 1988

Today is the last day to see the Bob's Burgers show at Gallery 1988 West in LA. Thanks to everyone who went out and to everyone who purchased my limited edition prints that were part of the 100th episode celebration of the hit animated series!

Here is the animation I did to celebrate the show's milestone and a view of the piece I did.

"Steam-Bot Grilly"
11x14 digital print

My idea for the theme here was to get the whole family working together and feature parts of their personalities. Bob is the punching bag, but still strong-willed head of the family. Linda is the true heart of the family, always providing support. Gene is the loudmouth, musically inclined goofball son. Tina is the oldest daughter in her awkward years of exploring love and relationships. And Louise is the youngest daughter and hellion, always playing dangerous! Of course, there is the obvious nod to animation - and for those not in the know, "Steam Boat Willy" was the first Disney Mickey Mouse short with audio. 

Thanks for checkin' it out - until next time! -Dave

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Color Me Surprised!

An artistic egg and slice of ham, each expressing creativity in their own way! 

Color Me Surprised from Dave Pryor on Vimeo.

Worked this animation up on Easter weekend. Using Animate CC, with no software crashes during the entire development! Can't beat that.

Hope you Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Fly - 30 Years Later - Gallery 1988

It's hard to believe that I was 15 years old when "The Fly" was released. I was always enamored with Jeff Goldblum's performance as Seth Brundle, the confident scientist that you felt for as he slowly transformed and fell apart in every way. Hard not to feel for a guy reaching up and losing an ear!

Gallery 1988 Is now presenting the show "30 Years Later", showcasing movies that are 3 decades old this year! A difficult choice when you have such classics in the mix as Labyrinth, Stand By Me,  Little Shop of Horrors, and Aliens to choose from. I felt "The Fly" was one of those rare remade B-movie-esque horror flicks that really deserved some attention.

7308 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90046
Opening Reception Friday March 25, 2016 - 7-10pm

"I'm an Insect Who Dreamt He Was A Man and Loved It."
Acrylic on canvas.

As with most of my traditional pieces, this one started out on the iPad. 

There is a classic photo of Goldblum naked in the teleportation device that served for the inspiration here. I elongated his frame and (of course) stylized his face.

Rough drawing on canvas (above) - the nose is meant to harken back to the baboon in the movie - the one that didn't quite make it through the experimentation phase. Goldblum reminds me a bit of a monkey-man with his lean structure, and his nakedness openly embraces the primate feel.

Some blocked in color - I was purposefully using those hot pinks and teals that the 80's embraced.  

One of my favorite parts of the movie is the synthetic-tasting steak (getting blocked in below). I loved the idea of a machine doing it's best to replicate the original product, but somehow failing simply because of it's nature of being a machine. The steak lacks the essence of what makes it steak! Only Geena Davis had the pleasure of tasting it and conveying this to us. Someone has got to start a band with the name - "Geena Davis' Tongue"

I added black in-between the over-lit and under-lit areas. I've really never done an illustration like this before. I like the idea that there is this growing "darkness" somewhere between the fly and the man.

Below you can see a bit of double checking the "Fly monster" details. Those coarse hairy fly arms were terrific in the movie! [spoilers] The splitting head in the illustration is pretty much how the creature meets it's demise. Poor tortured soul. I needed another color to promote that wonderful regurgitated goo that The Fly kept barfing up. I experimented and ended up defining the outer edges of the monster parts in that bright yellow acrylic - giving a bit more energy and a pop feel to the art. 

 It was late in the game when I reconsidered the eye direction. A tough call since I liked Goldblum engaging with the viewer, but I decided that his connection to the bitty fly above was more important, and I turned his gaze upward. I also colored the human and fly eyes yellow to draw a subtle connection to the monster parts.

The whole piece sitting complete and ready to ship! Had fun working this one up. If you are in LA, I hope you get a chance to stop by Gallery 1988 and see it in person. I've already seen a teaser for another great Fly piece and I hope Goldblum gets a good nod from us for his 30th anniversary!

Boozin' Buddies

Hambone is in for a surprise when his buddy stumbles in after a few too many. 

My second animation with Animate CC - still working just fine. 

Boozin' Buddies from Dave Pryor on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Salt and Pepper in Love

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Hope you have a match as good as ol' Salt and Pepper here - their love rains down and effects others around them too - like yummy steak!

Just downloaded Adobe Animate CC this week and I wanted to give it a try to see what changed and hoped that in the transition they didn't bust anything that I liked about Flash. Happy to say the program works great on my Mac Mini and I had no crashes whatsoever. The only new tool I really took advantage of in my pipeline was the new onionskin, which shows "before" and "after" colors to help with the in-betweening. Worked well and I believe it is a better system. Hope to try out the new vector brush tools at some point when I have an opportunity.

Salt and Pepper in Love from Dave Pryor on Vimeo.

Thanks for visiting! -Dave

Friday, February 5, 2016

Rotofugi - Robot Envy Show

This is my first showing at Rotofugi in Chicago. It's one of the best places in the windy city for pop art and wickedly cool artist designed toys! I've gotten lost for hours there peering at all the fun oddities!

"Robot Envy Zenith" is a combined art showing and book launch for fans of awesome robot art! curated by artist Dave Pasciuto (davpunk). My piece, "A Robot's Best Friend", celebrates my love of dogs, and is is on the sweeter side of 'bot love. 

2780 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago IL 60614
Opening Reception Friday February 5th, 7-9pm

"A Robot's Best Friend"
Acrylic on Birch Board

Above is my starting sketch - an innocent unboxing of a bot companion. There are certainly elements of the sketch here that I absolutely love - which is why rough art is just as great or sometimes better than final. The looseness goes a long way here for me. Done on the iPad Pro.

With the printed rough in view, I lay down the paint on the birch board. Thin layers as I apply and try to do a gradient of the tones towards darker shades on the farther edges. Not really perfect - but it's got that painted "quality".   I go in on the silhouette a bit since mixing the exact gradient again will be tough if I want to go over the characters with background tones - I try and get the background finished in one pass.

 Here are flat color layers painted in - really just concentrating on edge coverage. I leave a few areas blank where I know I want to get in there and add creases between the robot coverings.

Further along - getting to the dog-bot's box - I ended up recoloring it based on the nose as a light source. Going into the painting, I hadn't committed yet to painting the dog nose as glowing or just an unlit lightbulb - but as you can see, I chose a lit-up nose. I really liked the idea of yellow reflecting in the orange robot's eyes!

OK - here is where things got clever. I hadn't originally considered a dramatic cast shadow for this piece, but as I worked on it, the nose-light made it seem very appropriate to add it in. Now, I had already painted the background gradient, and If I screwed up the cast shadow, it would be a pain in the chassis to re-paint. So what I did here was take a photo of the painting and "test" out the cast shadow in Procreate to see if it's what I wanted to do, and to try and place the cast shadow in the right spot. Above is the procreate digital render/test (see a hint of my original sketch in the background behind it?)

I've used this technique a few times before - a great tool for those unplanned decisions or just trying something radical before committing to the real deal. 

Ah,  and you can see my re-pained dog box with highlights now on the inside to better showcase the lit dog nose. 

Here is the finished piece with the sketch on the side. The cast shadow painted in, and a corny techno name for the dog - "5P07 v1.0". Maybe this is the orange robot's first companion ever - these guys are at the very beginning of sharing a special bond!

Hope you enjoyed my process story here - thanks much for reading! Until next time! - Dave

Friday, January 22, 2016

EAG Winter Art Show - "The Meeting"

New artwork for the 2016 Elmhurst Artist Guild Winter show. This is one of the bigger group shows we've installed in a while - over 70 pieces. Here is some process on my painting - a fun one to do celebrating the cooler Chicago months. The reception for the show is Friday January 22, 7-9pm at the Elmhurst Modern Art Museum. All are welcome to attend!

Rough digital painting done on the iPad for rough color and layout.

Setup of the canvas, with the digital rough in view to copy, nestled tight underneath. look closely to see the guidelines in place. A nice clean plastic plate waits to get messy!

Laying down the teal blues is a delight! So silky smooth with the Golden paints. A bit of a battle with how soft the mountains in the background turned out. One of my bigger challenges is how to replicate the feeling of the rough image into the final - here ending up with a fairly sharp landscape with just a hint of rounded mountaintop. 

Getting some final detail in there, I finished this off on the flat desk with tinnier brushes and more light. Little itty bitty footsteps, some complementary scarves, and human peepers - all this packed into a modest, medium thickness custom black frame.

"The Meeting"
24"x8" - acrylic on canvas

So, what's the story here? Some kind of negotiation about a broken treaty? Long lost brothers seeing each other for the first time? I think it's better for the mind to wander on this one. This piece will be on display in the Modern Art Museum until February 26, 2016.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 - Happy "Chew" Year

During the Holiday break I had a bit of time to do some animation for fun. Here are a bunch of breakfast characters packing away 2015 and celebrating the arrival of 2016! Hope to have delicious days ahead - filled with butter and syrup of course!

Happy "Chew" Year 2016 from Dave Pryor on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Apple Pencil Drawing and Thoughts

I just received my Apple Pencil after waiting about a month for it to be shipped. My first impression of it after doing one drawing (using Procreate) is that it's a major step up from the Wacom pen I was using with my iPad previously. There are some minor crummy things too, but I wouldn't say it's enough not to give it a solid recommendation.

Putting it through a bit of a typical drawing test, I just fell back on my traditional roots and "drew" in the Warner Bros. style I'm most accustomed to.

Yeah - this little bear in pajamas does look like an Ewok - but we are in the heat of Star Wars mania, so it makes sense where my head was at (but yeah - regardless I like to draw Star Wars a lot). Here are my thoughts in a stream on consciousness order:
  1. First off, the Pen is super smooth feeling on the iPad. This is kind of a plus from the Wacom Creative Stylus (version 1) that I was using before, which tended to feel sticky against the iPad glass on occasion. That rubber would also smudge up the screen something awful. 
  2. This smoothness is a bit of a minus as well. If you like a tactile feel - you might want to stick with your traditional pencil or your Cintiq. There are no nibs to exchange out for different feels.
  3. Speaking of Nibs, this one has a replacement (1) and in the instructions, they say it will wear down and "may" damage the iPad glass over time. I wonder how long this will take, and how I'll know it needs replacement - I assume it's much like the Cintiq in terms of wear and tear. We shall see.
  4. The Apple nib seems sturdier than anything Wacom has. It's a big chunk of plastic - not a tiny nib or a rubber cover (in the case of the Creative Stylus), Appears to be built to last a while.
  5. The accuracy on the iPad - above all else - is the reason to get an Apple Pencil. For the first time, I felt like I could work a line - not perfectly, and not like traditional medium or a Cintiq, but much better than previous. 
  6. Unfortunately, the Pencil only works with the iPad Pro. I will still hang on to the Creative Stylus for use with the iPad Air. 
  7. The Apple pencil does not come with a case or anything to "protect" it. The Wacom Creative stylus came in a nice place case that held batteries and extra nibs. The Pencil comes with only the box it's packaged in, which can work as a case if you like, I haven't decided if I'll store it there. Otherwise, it's very prone to rolling off of things.
  8. The Pencil does come with an adapter to power it up via USB. Very small - keep an eye on it if you need to unplug it from the cord to power your iPad or phone. You can also power it by plugging the back end directly into the iPad, but it seems so prone to snapping the back end off if you're not careful, so I'm glad it has an alternate powerup option. 
  9. The pencil is a little heavy. Didn't bother me much, but my wife said it was bugging her when she was drawing with it.
  10. The pencil makes a bit of a "clackety" sound when lifting up the pen and placing it on the glass. If you are doing a stipple technique or something, that might bug you. By comparison, the Creative Stylus is whisper quiet because of it's rubber nib. 
  11. The Pencil supports having your hand lean on the screen without screwing up your drawing. This is a huge perk. I got so used to keeping my hand lifted, I need to remind myself that it's OK to lean. 
  12. I've only tried it with the Procreate app. It may feel better or worse depending on your personal preference of iPad app (check for support first). 
So, I'm happy and excited with this stylus overall. As much as preserving the iPad and the Pencil are legitimate concerns, we know there will be a new one in a year or two that will make this one seem like a hunk of junk! Truthfully, I need to test it further and play with the angled shading and all that - but thumbs up for now.

Here are the pens in "best to worst" order, with my vintage R2 for size comparison. Nothing beats the full Cintiq for feel and accuracy. Apple Pencil is the way to go with an iPad Pro for drawing wherever you want (which for me, is the biggest perk). I can be in any room of the house or out in the world - Freedom! The Wacom Creative Stylus is now last - but heck, I drew a lot with it and I appreciate the flexibility it did offer me. Sure it has a rubber nib the size of R2-D2's head, but if you can look past that, it's a fine option for those with iPad Air models.

Thanks for reading and feel free to shoot me any questions!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Console Wars - Gallery 1988

This is Gallery 1988's last show of 2015 and it's gonna be a buzz with electric delight. "Console Wars" features art from the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis era of video games. There is sure to be something there to delight your old school video-game needs! 

7308 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90046
Opening Reception Friday December 11, 7-9pm

"Playing for Keeps"
limited edition of 15 signed and numbered.

My show contribution is inspired by the gaming juggernauts of the time, Sonic and Mario. Here they are slugging it out to see who will reign supreme as they go head to head for the crown of the 16-bit era! Sonic has the speed - but Mario has the hammer. Choose your side as you celebrate the fun and excitement of gaming at it's best!

First Snowfall

Illustration of our home with us digging out for the first time this winter. I do the shoveling while my wife does the snowplowing. Dogs Ham, Waffles, and Piglet frolic happily.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Crazy 4 Cult 9 - Gallery 1988

This year's Crazy 4 Cult show is called "Let's Go Out to the Movies".  It's the 9th C4C show in the Gallery 1988 collection - and if you love pop culture, you are sure to enjoy the eclectic offerings that this show presents.

7308 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90046
Opening Reception Friday November 20, 7-10pm
Show runs through December 5th, 2015

My work this year is inspired by (as one might expect since I love it so much) "The Wizard of Oz". In this piece, a bright "alternate reality" vision for Emerald City being constructed as the Wizard looks on from above - a cheery view of his rulership, which ironically is simply rulership by fear and trickery. Gotta give The Wizard credit for seizing an opportunity!

"Building a Better Tomorrow Today!"
digital limited edition of 10

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Art Post Catchup

It's been a while since updating the ol' blog here - lets see... hmmm... what to say...

How bout just a smattering of stuff that I have been too lazy to place here until now? Cool?

"Choobakka Wants All Da Medalz"

"Gertrude's Secret" 
Inspired by "Rudy" from Funhouse Pinball
"Gorgar Speaks"
Inspired by Gorgar talking Pinball

"The Last Joust"

"Hellboy with Kittens"

"Holding Her is Dangerous"

"100% Mutagen Ooze"

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tom Hanks Tribute - No Sad Stuff - Gallery 1988 West

The next show I'll be participating in is called "No Sad Stuff" - with all artwork inspired by Tom Hanks films ranging from 1984-1994.

Gallery 1988 West
7308 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90046
Opening Reception Saturday June 13th, 7-10pm
Show runs through June 20, 2015

I chose "Big" mainly because, well, Tom Hanks is just a giant kid in this movie. I myself feel like I never grew up - so there is really no better match. I painted this piece inspired by when Tom's character, Josh Baskin, first steps foot on the giant piano in the toy store. Overtaken by childlike curiosity, all Josh can do is  proclaim "Neat!"

I chose to make this one a little wobbly/shaky - stuffed into a tall canvas - capturing the awkwardness of a man in a kid's body.  Zoltar - the "Godlike" figure in this scenario - observes stone faced in the background as good 'ol Tom parades a carefree smirk.

Acrylic on Canvas