This week's post is about texture. I wouldn't classify myself as a digital artist when it comes to illustration, a lot of the digital elements in my work is from some layered elements or a bump in contrast or color. However I have been experimenting with digital art in this past year and the number one thing I've found that makes or breaks the quality and appearance of work done on the computer is texture. 

A lot of the time you have artists who make incredible work using Photoshop (and other similar programs) but they always have the same feeling of soft clay (at least thats what I feel it resembles). Mainly this is because its incredibly difficult (I would say impossible) to get different textures only using the varying brush tools. 

I've learned from other artists that the best way to break up this monotony in your digital design is to bring back the hand made element into your work by creating your own textures and scanning them into the computer. Below is an example of a piece I did using different textures on the computer. 

Movie poster prompt for 'An Education'. 

Created in Marcos Chin's Fashion Illustration class. 

As you can see I incorporated texture into the background, and in the smoke to add the effect and quality of the piece. Below are the textures I created and brought into Photoshop. These were created with graphite on bristol and vellum, sometimes mixed with water to change the depth or create new and interesting texture. The best thing about creating your own texture is that you can have fun with it! Its a nice excuse to make a mess and allow things to happen accidentally.

An important thing to remember is that 'multiply' and 'darken' on your layer in photoshop will help to blend the texture immensely. When you do this you can mask the parts you don't want and lower or increase the opacity. There are also ways to change the color and eliminate the white but I'll save that for another post involving line.
There is no right or wrong to this technique, a lot of what you do should be a learning process that coincides with the way you work. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, and stay tuned for next week :) 

Birth, Sex, Death

I took a 'Fine Art as Illustration' class my last year at SVA and the assignment given to us was to create a series of works under the theme: Birth, Sex and Death. It was the most freedom I'd had at school to dictate the direction of my work since high school and I both craved and dreaded it. 

Thats probably why this series has meant so much to me, in many ways it allowed me to begin focusing on inserting more personal symbols and metaphors into my work. I thought less perhaps about the theme than I did my own memories and stories. I realized that we all have our own meanings attached to subject matter and no matter what you put on that page its going to be seen differently by every person given their own past experiences. 

So here it is, my own personal Birth, Sex, and Death (with a few explanations for each).


When I was a kid living in Texas stories of rattlesnakes in people's backyards, in movies, and in Cowboy culture has made me fascinated by the snake. 

Butterflies and Hydrangeas:

When I was a kid I grabbed a butterfly by its wings and I remember how fragile they were, and how they fell apart in my hands and became like dust. ( I swear I didn't squish it on purpose).


I always loved science, and I had wanted to become a biologist when I grew up. I loved looking at pictures of specimen and it wasn't until much later that I realized these were collected corpses. 


This was the last piece I did in the series, its perhaps the roughest of the bunch but its one of my favorites. Easter egg hunting always reminded me of when a fox would hunt for a bird's nest.