Don't Hold Your Breath
11 results for swans
Wow! Check out the photo Jaime sent me of the Frank and Marilyn pieces hanging up in their pad. I’m really humbled when people go out of their way to send me pics of their collections.
Check out Jaime’s portfolio too. She’s done work on many movies and tv shows.

Wow! Check out the photo Jaime sent me of the Frank and Marilyn pieces hanging up in their pad. I’m really humbled when people go out of their way to send me pics of their collections.

Check out Jaime’s portfolio too. She’s done work on many movies and tv shows.

BRIANEWING:

Check it out. Aiden interviewed me for his tumblr blog and I don’t sound like too much of a moron.

aiden-shaw-illustration:

Firstly, what is your name and where do you come from?

Brian Ewing. I was born in LaMesa, CA

Have you ever hand any formal training (college, university, art classes.)?

I went to the Milwaukee High School of the Arts and studied Fine Art there and then Attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago for almost a year and dropped out. Then tried the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design but didn’t last six months before I dropped out. The cost of school was too overwhelming for me. That’s why I dropped out. I was trying to pay for school on my own because my family didn’t really like the idea of me wasting my life on being an artist. I had a job before school, during school and after just to keep the lights on and have sharp pencils.

After that I had to unteach myself everything to do what I do now.

Do you work from life or from photographs or imagination?

Yes.

What techniques do you use (line thickness, colour, preparation for screen printing)?

I was heavily influenced by comic books, rock posters and skateboard graphics at an early age and that had a profound impact on my style. You can see a lot of those artists heavily influencing my technique.
I normally sketch in a hardcover sketchbook with a blue pencil. Scan it. Enlarge it in illustrator and set my type (if it’s a poster) or just work on how it will be cropped (if it’s just an illustration). I print that enlarged version out and lightbox it onto a piece of strathmore bristol board. I redraw the sketch and tighten it up then ink it with a brush. I’ll scan it, smack it, flip it, rub it down….oh no and color it in illustrator. I don’t convert my drawing to vector. That’s just way too much work. So I obsess and make the drawing as clean as possible during the inking phase. Once I’’ve colored it I open it in photoshop and do my color separations (if it’s a poster) or just save it as a cmyk file (if it’s an illustration) and send it off to my screen printer or my client. You can read a detailed description here - http://www.brianewing.com/tutorial/


Which is more important to you, the subject of your work or the way it is executed?

Both. I’ve grown in confidence with my technique so now I am obsessed with simplifying my ideas.

Where do you do your work?

In my head. Otherwise when I hafta draw I do it in my studio. Since I was a kid and studied art history I wanted to have my own studio that wasn’t in the corner of my bedroom.

What inspires you the most?

Paying my rent. I’m a commercial artist. I’m not trying to fool anyone or devalue what I do but I do it for money. I don’t want what I do to be a hobby I dabble in on the weekends. It’s my life and I want to be able to support myself as an artist.

Where do you feel art is going?

On someone’s wall hopefully. Instead of trying to predict where I’m going I’ll slightly nudge it (my career) from time to time. Otherwise It’s the not the destination – it’s the journey that I’m more interested in. So far my art has taken me to several cities and countries. I’m in museums and private collections. People have bought toys I designed and gotten my work tattooed on them. I’ve seen my work in movies and television shows.

How have people reacted to your work?

Don’t know. I live in a bubble. If I, or any other artist, worries about that then they’re not long for this world as an artist. I’ve been doing this full-time for over 12 years. With tons of success and tons of failures under my belt. So I’ve heard and experienced so many reactions that I’m not sweating every single good or bad reaction. Everyday I wake up happy and I want to draw. I know other artists who don’t feel so great. As long as I can pay my rent then I think the reaction is favorable.

What is your favourite aspect of your job?

The research and the daydreaming. Usually when I’m doing research for one job I’m getting ideas for other projects – commercial and personal. Some ideas a client doesn’t like will get saved and used elsewhere sometimes. Other than that just seeing something from a fuzzy idea in my noggin to an actual printed piece is pretty exciting for me. For a small amount of time all my self-doubt disappears and I have one more piece finished.

Is all of your artwork hand rendered or is some of it digital?

Yes! I start out with a hand-rendered drawing but usually finish the job on the computer as a means of being able to deliver it to my client or printer as easily as possible. I think the funniest thing is that younger artists see my work and think it’s digital whereas older artist think it’s all done by hand.

How do you begin a piece of work (reference material, spider diagram, symbolism behind elements)?

What’s a spider diagram? If the project is for a band I think about their audience. Then I think about what it is I want to try as far as technique or subject matter. After that I just start researching the band, read their lyrics and look artwork previously done for them. Then I try to do the opposite. If a song or overall theme hits me then I try to convey that with their audience in mind. Because at the end of the day it’s not really for the band it’s for their fans.
I want to believe that people hire me for both my head and my hands. So I try to inject as much of my personal interests as I can into a commercial job. Being an artist is -sometimes- all about what you can get away with.

What materials and/or programmes do you use to create your work?

Sanford col-erase blue pencil, Winsor Newtown Series 7 brush, sketchbook, micron pen #5, Epson expression 10000xl scanner, iMac, illustrator cs3 and photoshop cs3.

At what scale do you do your work?

For posters I work smaller than the printed size. Usually at 11x17 mostly because that’s the size of my scanner bed and I’m too lazy to stitch shit together in photoshop. If it’s an illustrtion I have the luxury of working larger so I try to work 200-400% larger. Working smaller is great because it saves time and you have better control over the line quality. Working larger is great because you can work a bit looser or add more detail and when the art is printed it’s shrunk down causing the artwork to tighten up.

And lastly, if your work was aimed at a different audience, say children, how do you think this would change the outcome?

Depends on the age of the child. After all these years I’m not so desperate to take on any job that comes my way. I have a good idea of what I want from my career so I’m focusing on that. I guess it’s something I don’t think about because I’m an adult catering to adults with the mindset of 15 year old kids – just like myself.

Poster designed for the SWANS

With XIU XIU
18”x24”
Screen Print
edition of 100

More info HERE
Click on the image details to see the design at 100%

Here’s the final art for the Swans poster. I had been posting process shots to show how I worked on it. Let me know what you think?

I really enjoyed working on this project because I just needed to try something different with my approach to rock posters. It was a challenge that sometimes had me wishing a jet engine would fall on my studio. But it came together in the end. I’m happy with the final piece. I know a few of my friends didn’t understand what I was trying to tell them until they saw the print. I actually learned a few things about anatomy that I forgot 20 years ago. Plus the research was the most fun.

Here are some more process pics from the SWANS poster
The show is tonight at Trees in Dallas. They will have copies of the poster at the show. Pick one up if you can. I will have copies available on my site Monday. I only have a handful so yeah…

I use a sheet of paper to keep the oils in my hands from smearing the pencils and affecting the surface of the paper. It’s a pet peeve of mine. I like clean artwork. I’m weird. Also because I’m a lefty I tend to touch my hand down on spots that still have wet ink. The sheet of paper helps keep me from getting that ink smudged somewhere else I don’t want it to. Also…I sharpen the tip of the brush on the paper. As you can see by the hatch marks.

I decided to ink the left side because there was less feathering I would’ve needed to do. I am a fan of instant gratification and working on the easy areas helps the project move faster. Also the feathering parts are hard so I’m using the easier parts to warm up for the heavy inking of the muscles. Sometimes I can be smart and stuff.

I really enjoyed working on this project because I just needed to try something different with my approach to rock posters. It was a challenge that sometimes had me wishing a jet engine would fall on my studio. But it came together in the end. I’m happy with the final piece. I know a few of my friends didn’t understand what I was trying to tell them until they saw the print. I actually learned a few things about anatomy that I forgot 20 years ago. Plus the research was the most fun.

Hope you dug my ramblings and out of sequence posts.

Here’s another process shot from the SWANS poster.I’m kinda doing these out of order cuz…I don’t know. You can see the others here, here and here.This is how I usually work. I use a non repro blue pencil and do my sketching in a hardcover sketchbook. If I didn’t I’d lose the sketch before I even started the project. It’s just something I’ve always done and so far it works. Also the reason I use the blue is mostly for aesthetic reasons - it looks nice. And it doesn’t smudge as much as a regular pencil would. A buddy of mine introduced me to them years ago and I never looked back. They’re also made in red. I see a few cats using them and it looks pretty cool.
So yeah…Anatomy is tough. After I drew this out I scanned it and placed it into a template I made for the poster. There were a couple of things I needed to fix on the arm that technically were “correct” but didn’t work for the poster. So, in photoshop I just sliced and nudged it til it did. Years ago I would’ve just erased the drawing and started over. I was an idiot. I’m less stupid now. After that I enlarged the sketch to proportionally fit an 11x17 sheet of bristol and then proceeded to lightbox it. You can see the end result of the transfer in a previous post.My brain keeps farting so I’ll stop writing. Hope you’re digging these.
Thanks to everyone that gave me feedback on the sketches and thanks to the folks for buying them. It’s greatly appreciated.

Here’s another process shot from the SWANS poster.

I’m kinda doing these out of order cuz…I don’t know. You can see the others here, here and here.
This is how I usually work. I use a non repro blue pencil and do my sketching in a hardcover sketchbook. If I didn’t I’d lose the sketch before I even started the project. It’s just something I’ve always done and so far it works. Also the reason I use the blue is mostly for aesthetic reasons - it looks nice. And it doesn’t smudge as much as a regular pencil would. A buddy of mine introduced me to them years ago and I never looked back. They’re also made in red. I see a few cats using them and it looks pretty cool.

So yeah…Anatomy is tough. After I drew this out I scanned it and placed it into a template I made for the poster. There were a couple of things I needed to fix on the arm that technically were “correct” but didn’t work for the poster. So, in photoshop I just sliced and nudged it til it did. Years ago I would’ve just erased the drawing and started over. I was an idiot. I’m less stupid now. After that I enlarged the sketch to proportionally fit an 11x17 sheet of bristol and then proceeded to lightbox it. You can see the end result of the transfer in a previous post.

My brain keeps farting so I’ll stop writing. Hope you’re digging these.

Thanks to everyone that gave me feedback on the sketches and thanks to the folks for buying them. It’s greatly appreciated.

Ooops. Here’s another fuck up.More process photos of the SWANS poster I’m working on.This ended up being a lot more inking than I’ve done in a while. Plus I was working in a studio with no AC during a heat wave. I am human dammit and I need to be LOVED!Again I used an electric eraser instead of a white out to repair the problem.I usually make notes on the drawing while I work with the intent of erasing them when I’m done. I wrote “fix” near an area I wasn’t happy with. I get retarded when it comes to line weight sometimes. So I made the note to fix it. I usually do it when I call it a night and need a few hours of sleep. So when I wake up I don’t forget.I’m inking on a 3-ply board. It’s paper but they call it “board”. So when you’re looking to pick up a decent “board” to work on make sure it doesn’t have a thick green backing. Also the bristol that comes in pad-form kinda sucks in my opinion. I just buy a sheet of bristol that’s 24x36 and cut it down. If you’re a nerd you’ll figure out how to cut more than just two 11x17 sheets from it.
Bristol is kinda like toilet paper when it comes to thickness. 1-ply is thin and people think you stole this from a public restroom at a gas station. 2-ply is not so bad not but a little scratchy. It shows you care but are still a bargain hunter. 3-ply is where the comfort and durability start. You’re a person who likes the nicer things in life. 4-ply and up is like using a bath towel. Kinda overdoing it for just an ink drawing.

Ooops. Here’s another fuck up.

More process photos of the SWANS poster I’m working on.

This ended up being a lot more inking than I’ve done in a while. Plus I was working in a studio with no AC during a heat wave. I am human dammit and I need to be LOVED!

Again I used an electric eraser instead of a white out to repair the problem.

I usually make notes on the drawing while I work with the intent of erasing them when I’m done. I wrote “fix” near an area I wasn’t happy with. I get retarded when it comes to line weight sometimes. So I made the note to fix it. I usually do it when I call it a night and need a few hours of sleep. So when I wake up I don’t forget.

I’m inking on a 3-ply board. It’s paper but they call it “board”. So when you’re looking to pick up a decent “board” to work on make sure it doesn’t have a thick green backing. Also the bristol that comes in pad-form kinda sucks in my opinion. I just buy a sheet of bristol that’s 24x36 and cut it down. If you’re a nerd you’ll figure out how to cut more than just two 11x17 sheets from it.

Bristol is kinda like toilet paper when it comes to thickness. 1-ply is thin and people think you stole this from a public restroom at a gas station. 2-ply is not so bad not but a little scratchy. It shows you care but are still a bargain hunter. 3-ply is where the comfort and durability start. You’re a person who likes the nicer things in life. 4-ply and up is like using a bath towel. Kinda overdoing it for just an ink drawing.

Here’s another process shot of the SWANS poster.These are the final pencils for the piece. I normally work at 11x17 with the intent of enlarging the final ink drawing to work in an 18x24 space. I’ve been doing it this way for a while now that it makes sense to me but I can’t explain why. I also drew more than I needed to just in case. I’ve made so many mistakes drawing only what’s going to get printed. Sometimes sizes change or I made a bad calculation. So draw a little more than you need to. It’s good for you. So is booze. “We are friends…you and I.”
I referenced a bunch of anatomy books like this one and this one to get the bones and the muscles correct. I bought them several years ago and I’ve used them for almost every project since then. Well worth the investment. What I’ll do is scan the page I need and print them out and lay them next to the drawing as I work. They take up less space than a book does.

Here’s another process shot of the SWANS poster.
These are the final pencils for the piece. I normally work at 11x17 with the intent of enlarging the final ink drawing to work in an 18x24 space. I’ve been doing it this way for a while now that it makes sense to me but I can’t explain why. I also drew more than I needed to just in case. I’ve made so many mistakes drawing only what’s going to get printed. Sometimes sizes change or I made a bad calculation. So draw a little more than you need to. It’s good for you. So is booze. “We are friends…you and I.”

I referenced a bunch of anatomy books like this one and this one to get the bones and the muscles correct. I bought them several years ago and I’ve used them for almost every project since then. Well worth the investment. What I’ll do is scan the page I need and print them out and lay them next to the drawing as I work. They take up less space than a book does.

Here’s a process pic for a SWANS poster.I love my electric eraser. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t do my best work unless I screwed it up first and redrew it.I don’t really like using white out or an opaque white to fix my mistakes. It eventually flakes off. So using the eraser is easier for me. Granted it’s best if you use a heavier ply paper and not erase the area too many times or you’ll put a hole straight through. The eraser has a grit in it, like a rubbery sand paper.So yeah even after doing posters for @10 years I still make mistakes. I am nerd…

Here’s a process pic for a SWANS poster.
I love my electric eraser. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t do my best work unless I screwed it up first and redrew it.
I don’t really like using white out or an opaque white to fix my mistakes. It eventually flakes off. So using the eraser is easier for me. Granted it’s best if you use a heavier ply paper and not erase the area too many times or you’ll put a hole straight through. The eraser has a grit in it, like a rubbery sand paper.
So yeah even after doing posters for @10 years I still make mistakes. I am nerd…

It’s one of those nights…
Laying down the first line for this piece. As a rule I always pick an unimportant area to start inking. Just so I can get in the groove and not fuck everything up right out the gate.I’m trying something new with this one. Not so obvious now so stop mumbling under your breath…”ooh something new like a SKULL?!”I wasn’t sure about lighting this piece cuz I hadn’t shot any reference for it. That’s a big reason for shooting reference is to get shadows and folds and people to pretend they’re zombies for you. So yeah…wasn’t sure. So I scanned the pencils, printed them out and went to town with a sharpie to see if the blacks I spotted would make sense. Been looking at a ton of Mignola for this to see how he lights his work and how much shadow he uses. He’s really good at using little detail and showing volume in just black and white.
Listening to this as I work…well not this one exactly cuz it sounds like a young Barbara Walters is reading it.Just made some tater tots. Gotta go.

It’s one of those nights…

Laying down the first line for this piece. As a rule I always pick an unimportant area to start inking. Just so I can get in the groove and not fuck everything up right out the gate.

I’m trying something new with this one. Not so obvious now so stop mumbling under your breath…”ooh something new like a SKULL?!”

I wasn’t sure about lighting this piece cuz I hadn’t shot any reference for it. That’s a big reason for shooting reference is to get shadows and folds and people to pretend they’re zombies for you. So yeah…wasn’t sure. So I scanned the pencils, printed them out and went to town with a sharpie to see if the blacks I spotted would make sense. Been looking at a ton of Mignola for this to see how he lights his work and how much shadow he uses. He’s really good at using little detail and showing volume in just black and white.

Listening to this as I work…well not this one exactly cuz it sounds like a young Barbara Walters is reading it.

Just made some tater tots. Gotta go.

It’s one of those nights…
This thing hurt my brain. I had to reference my anatomy books to get the muscles and bones correct. My AC has been on the fritz for the past couple of days making work in my studio unbearable. I thought the heat would’ve made me lethargic but instead I’m just grumpy.I kept thinking that this will be really simple but the more I worked on it the more ideas popped into my head which equals more hours drawing…in my hot ass studio. I know I’ll like it when I’m done but right now…ugh. Trying to spot blacks on this thing was a bit crazy too.Gonna watch some Firefly and pass the fuck out.

It’s one of those nights…

This thing hurt my brain. I had to reference my anatomy books to get the muscles and bones correct. My AC has been on the fritz for the past couple of days making work in my studio unbearable. I thought the heat would’ve made me lethargic but instead I’m just grumpy.

I kept thinking that this will be really simple but the more I worked on it the more ideas popped into my head which equals more hours drawing…in my hot ass studio. I know I’ll like it when I’m done but right now…ugh. Trying to spot blacks on this thing was a bit crazy too.

Gonna watch some Firefly and pass the fuck out.