Digital master copy of a Sargent

I had some time to work on my digital painting skills.  I’ve really liked this John Singer Sargent painting, entitled “Head of a Capri Girl”, and wanted to try a copy of it for some time.  My drawing is slightly off, I know, but I was more focused on getting a close representation.  Since I’m new to this I thought I would start off the way I do when painting with oil.  I started with the palette.  Without a good palette set up, I find I do nothing but struggle with a painting.  I would consider this a complimentary palette with a strong emphasis on purple and yellow.  Below are my steps as I completed it.  I love the thick layer of paint that Sargent uses for the lights.  There was no way I could match that perfectly.  The goal here was to be as accurate with color and value as I could with the 3 hours I had.

Drawn_Trail of Shadows

This game was a lot of fun to work on. I thoroughly enjoyed every animation task I was handed. Each project on this was a learning lesson and inspired me more and more to work on my illustrative skills as well as pushing my knowledge in animation. I hope to post the scenes I worked on soon, but I encourage everyone to try the game out.

Big Burn WIP

This past Spring I read The Big Burn, by Timothy Egan, about the beginnings of the Forest Service  by Roosevelt and Pinchot and the fire of 1910 that took out millions of acres of forest land in Idaho and surrounding states.  It was quite a read and I totally recommend it.  Hundreds of railroad workers, miners and settles died in the fire.  The first hand accounts and descriptions pieced together by Egan burned a vision of the incident in my mind.   I’ve played with some thumbnail sketches and quick color comps before I finally decided to devote some tie to the painting.  I’m creating in in Photoshop, in hopes of becoming a better digital painter.  Here are some of the steps

original design done in B&W.  By using strong diagonals, I wanted to create a sense of drama.  Once Violet saw it and thought it looked scary, I new the design was working.

Here I started adding more detail.  Some people had to resort to climbing into mine shafts risking suffocation while others scrambled into shallow rivers during the drought that occurred over the summer.  Winds blew upwards of 100 mph and trees were falling all around.

I’m working in color now, slowly filling in more details.  I found no reference of the characters scrambling to get into the water so I shot some video reference of myself.  We’ll see how that turns out.  I still have a long ways to go.  Hopefully I can finish it up soon.  I’m open to critique if anyone wants to offer some.

more sketches

As I was going through some of these it really hit home that we never just wait, or do nothing at anytime.  Uta Hagen, an actress and instructor, said that people always have a destination.  We don’t do anything without a purpose.  Traveling by bus or plane, every one of these people has a destination.   Some escaping on vacation, others trying to get home to family or hook up with friends at a bar, etc.     Many of our conflicts in life are internal as well.  We move through solutions or situations in our minds.   When drawing people in public I see, happiness, sadness, worry or confidence in people.

It’s these emotions or stories that, if I can capture them, make an image more interesting.

sketches on my commute

I’ve been meaning to scan some of these in for some time now.  Last year, I took the bus to work a lot.  The ride was short, about 10 minutes , but it gave me enough time to get a drawing or two done.   These are just a few of the sketches i did.  I filled up about four sketchbooks with people on the bus, waiting, in food courts or airports.  It’s a fun habit.


Second Wind

I really like this film created by Ian Worrel.

Second Wind from Ian Worrel on Vimeo.

Move, Eat, Learn

A very cool project that reminds me how important it is to continue to travel and enjoy life

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Mystery Case Filse for the Wii comes out today!!!

I had the chance to do some fun video editing and animation for our latest MCF title, at Big Fish Games.   Being provided with great art by Ted Galaday, John Nangle and Ron Crabb, my job was made pretty easy.  I helped to create some of the transition movies that would lead the player from one level of the game to another.  I’ll eventually post them on my youtube page, but for now, the game would have to be played to see the work we did.


Studio Landscape Painting w Mitch Albala

This is a collection of some of the work I did in a Studio Landscape Painting course held at Gage Academy, with the instruction of Mitch Albala.  It was a great course that broke down the basics of landscape painting into simplified shapes, grouping of value and color palette options.  This class really helped me overcome the hurdles of painting from photo reference.  I also realized that all my photos from trips and hikes are crap reference for creating a strong painting.   Mitch really stressed the importance of good lighting (to pull out form) perspective elements and simplifying subject.  His blog goes into more detail.  But it changed the way I look at landscape painting and how I will approach taking photos on my travels.

Pend Oreille Paintings

This past January I went to Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho with friends and family on a ski trip.   It was a beautiful weekend and I quickly painted these two images while we were hanging out at the cabin.