Friday, August 1, 2014

Excelling at wood grain...

I have been told that my technique for illustrating wood grain in black and white is very good. Many times I have been told that the wood grain back drop, whether it be a background, table detail or simple element of a drawing often outshines the actual illustration itself. While that is not a great thing, it speaks loudly about the wood grain effects I produce. 

It also allows me to highlight some of my drawings that have not graced my blog, and since time is so essential, and I have not had a post in some time, I thought what the hell. 

Here is an illustration of a drunken dwarf, that I did as filler art for & Magazine, but has not been used. Notice that the end grain of the wooden table is all that is seen. 

(click to enlarge)

In my opinion it is not the actual rings in the end grain that make this effective, but the cross hatch of the saw-blade that was used to cut them. It gives them that touch of reality, if you will. 

The following illustration demonstrates well the view of wood grain, this was
 published in & Magazine issue 7
(Click to Enlarge)

The table top is in forced perspective, and very weathered. This was done with pencil and with black prismacolor colored pencil. The weathering effects are what really make this stand out, in my opinion. I tried to vary the areas where the knots were as well, so that they were not all nicely lined up, and the pattern of the grain follows very specific patterns.

All grain flows around a knot, so depending on where the knot is located, for example the knot on the far left board is in the middle section of the board. I start there and work flowing lines around it until the space of that board is done. Typically a board will be cut to its length along the grain, so all grain flows lengthwise. Conversely it will be cut for length across the grain. 

Aging the ends of the boards in this illustration was very important, it gives a very weathered feel, and the aging cracks always follow where the cupped end grain of the boards are. Again I cross hatched the ends of the board to show the saw blade effect. 

This table was over used in some Armorers shop so you can see tool marks, not only on the surfaces, but also on the edge, where the man either filed his work, or cut it with implements. 

Overall  I am very satisfied with these pieces, while writing this blog post I realized that subconsciously I think about wood and wood grain way too often. 

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome.