This was a good year for art. Lot's of epiphanies with my art, process, portfolio, and the way I was going about breaking into the industry. 2012 is gonna be great.
January- Inspired by Feng Zhu. wanted to start the new year off with some mattepainting practice. Somewhat successful for a real first attempt.
Febrary- Attempting realism with zero reference. Discovering that realism lies within lighting more than anything.
March- Trial and error with painting realism.
April- Decided that I needed to go back to traditional. I was getting much better at painting than I was with ink and I didn't like it so I put digital aside for a couple months.
May- Took a comic art class with Robert Atkins. Learned a lot.
June- Decided to take my career seriously and hit up my first convention without the Hell Paso crew. Master Inker Ben Jones helped me a lot at my first con as an independent artist.
July- Got some good freelance work and did a couple of tryouts on books.
August- Started painting again. Somehow improved even though I took a break from painting. I started realizing more that my painting and use of color was much better than my inking and I shouldn't try to avoid it. It's my niche and it's something I have that's unique and rare. So I made a decision to rebuild my portfolio from scratch and showcase my painting and color use and try to break into comics as a digital painter.
September- Reworking my painting process. Trying to find something that works best for me. If I'm gonna paint sequentials, production paintings, covers, etc. I want to have a process that's not trial and error so I never get stuck and I'm comfortable with what I'm doing. Used the upcoming EPCON and the Gears of War contest to help me with that.
October- I got a 21UX Cintiq for my birthday! I'm able to paint much more accurately and with much more detail now. Spent this month testing the level of detail I could get with this Cintiq. I had been using a Wacom Graphire since 2006. I'm much more comfortable with the Cintiq. No wrist cramps. Comfortable posture. Accurate lines. Etc. I'd recommend it to anyone serious with digital art. Though you don't need it to be good.
November- Trying multiple painting processes. Finally figuring out one that could work best for anything I do and is very comfortable.
December- Finally testing the new process on a sequential comic page for The Darkness contest. I now have belief that I can paint sequentials. I used to never thing I'd be able to do it very well.
2009 and 2010 Calendars
And to that I say Happy New Year to everyone! Let's make 2012 a great year for art!
-ZhouRules (Chris Shehan)