Monday, September 3, 2007

First Post!

Well, I finally joined the band wagon and set up a blog. These things tend to take me a long time to join, while technology rolls on ahead. We'll see how it goes from here. With hope, the work I post here will be interesting and worth your time.

To get started I'd like to show you a breakdown progression I did recently. In later posts, I'll show stuff like this because I like the process of creating illustrations. After a series of thumbnails I came up with a final drawing, shown at right. The AO22 also known as the Cimmaron was an oiler that fueled the pacific fleet from 1939 to 1968. My dad served as a lieutenant aboard her and so I was honored to be able to draw her.

Next I went to Photoshop and started some color. I wanted a tintype kind of feel and worked reasonably monochromatically, but with minor color additions to give a nostalgic "Navy" feel. After blocking in a 'post-storm' sky I shifted to the foreground ship and laid in ruff values. Note; the number on the ship is in the right place but isn't a style that would appear on a US navy vessel.

I was satisfied with the appearance of the ship itself, but something was bothering me with the sky and water -I guess what I'd loved at the start wasn't happening anymore (the honeymoon's over) ...and I started again.

I don't know what possessed me to paint this new sky but I did. I suppose I was looking for a more stormy sky and it ended killing my lights in the clouds. My daughter saw it and refused to sit on my knee and "help" me draw because it was too scary. Even my wife saw it and hated it, asking why it was such an unhappy image. This is what you get if you think too much in the paint stage rather than the thumbnail stage.

So...I guess it really was love at first site for the sky and lighting. After a few undos (this, friends is the best thing about working digitally) we were back to a better sky and on our way to finally addressing the water. I handled water last because of all the lighting issues incurred there in. So after going back in an cleaning up and refining, I ended up with the final version you see below. Turned out alright I think. the best compliment I could get was from my dad who after a thoughtful smile turned to me and said, "It looks just like her".


Chris said...

Hey Jax,
This was a fun read, as well as a great progression to see. I liked how you included so many people's input, especially your daughter. Gives all the more to the argument for "feel" in art!

Keep the posts coming...


Jeff Jackson said...

Hey Chris. Art is feeling and right now I a sandwich.
Mmm pastrami.

californiagrown said...

Hey Jeff -
Great to see some of your work form outside of school! PLease just make the pictures a bit larger. Thanks

Saul Ruiz said...

YEA JEFF! You are up and running! It's on!

Linda said...

As one of my favorite TV characters, Chris In The Morning from Northern Exposure, once said, "The fling's the thing." Art is all about the process, the journey, which you nailed with this first post.
Looking forward to the next installment.

Pat said...


Anonymous said...


from the non blogger,

joe g

Jeff Jackson said...

Thank you all. you're truly wonderful...(I'll give you a dollar later, shh don't tell anybody)

Anonymous said...

9th post!

This is great Jeff, update it often!


Stephanie said...

Hi Jeff,
Mike linked me this blog because I was asking him why aren't on Deviantart. I must say that your drawings are still as awesome as I remebered. Your line work is just so confident... I hope to get there someday. We have a little circle of friend on where we try to motivate each other to draw more . I am sure that you are glad to hear that I still try to work on my art as often as I can.. it is hard those days working so much (I am working full time as a graphic designer now ^_^). I really hope you will join us on Deviant...I know there are lots of terrible fanart anime stuff there that you hate...but I have to admit I have seen some great art on there as well (theres other industry vets on there, you just gotta dig for em). We all hope to see you there showing your art to more people and teach them what is good art...It is also an easier way to see what you've been working on. I hope to continue learning from you and have you tear my mistakes apart like you used to in school. We all need tough love to become better! ^^
I hope you and your family are doing well! Hope to see more art from you.
Stephanie (Asian Stephanie, remember?)

Jeff Jackson said...

Hi Stephanie, how could I forgot a student like yourself? I'll see what I can do about DA. Good to hear you're well, thanks for stopping by.

Stephanie said...

Cool! Jeff, please let us know if you do make an account on DA. Here are links to some cogswell students on there:


Anonymous said...

hey jeff,

i'll make a DA page if you do?

might motivate me to do some more crappy work!


joe g

Jeff Jackson said...

Um...I have a blog. See?

Stephanie said...

but it doesn't notify us when you reply or upload new work :P.
Btw, nice WIP eagle...I like the head of the eagle the most. You used many different colors on the white to shade. Looks very 3-d!