Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mother, I Remember

This is my first film piece I plan on working a lot more on improving the illustrations by removing the brush, easier to distinguish characters and heavier line weight. Remove some flashing. Cleaner sounds from the mic. Maybe even personal musical audio I create myself. This is basically my first step toward what I want to do for my Senior Thesis. This is a step still a lot to do to improve, but try and enjoy. Critiques welcomed but try and remember what I just said. I already know these obvious problems.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Avatar Gang

So during a late night avatar watching party with friends. Me and some of my art buddies decided to sketch one of my sketches was oh me and my closest cincy friends as a warrior for each element. We all pretty much was divided in the fact that, I felt I would be a fire bender, and sunny related to the earth benders, and Emily to the water benders, then also we put kenny the extra as an air bender because he really can be passive when it comes to fighting. He is not the avatar just an air bender. Oh wait I should be tlaking about teh my work, woops!

So you can see the sketch it was taken a photo of since my scanner is currently not working. But that is right out of the book. I really wanted to make this us and not the characters but I did base some of our designs on avatar characters to fit the theme and mater our element bending tribes. But its just us.

So im working with photoshop in coloring and drawing and I thought I would quickly make a new layer to show how the colors are going to start building up then eventually I think I can remove past layers as I need and they arent needed, like the original sketch its self

So no lines and not much figured out with color balance and I know Im going to change a couple of things since its photoshop and I can do whatever, but this is what it looks like currently and there is more to do and show. I'll be sure to up date on this sketch and I have a couple of other doodles I might be throwing in here to do the same thing,

Also Sunny Han, has been a lot of help getting me more comfortable with drawing in photoshop and really has been inspirational to my drawing recently. We've actually have done a lot of common theme stuff I think we might be feeding each other creativity. But shes great so check out her blog

Also check out Emily Thompson, she has been doing some great design work, and im really proud of her work, its really interesting and different.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A tattoo

So its not developed, but here is the idea to this design.

My step mom keeps talking about wanting to get a tattoo on her foot, and a connection to her kids.

So I thought of making a design for that, its a flower, and each petal will have a name of someone closer to her, and she could always add falling petals of future grandbabies and stuff of that nature.

Right now its a rainbow, but I think its not really her, and its more me, but its a work in progress. So here is the first step I guess.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quick Update

So I haven't done much on here but I have done a lot. I've made comics, drawings, and done a few small craft like projects that I just haven't documented or posted. Particularly because they are more for me than for show. They arent fully developed, but it is me. Recently I've been really into gaming in the role playing world of imaginations and I really like illustrating my characters and bringing them to life.

As an artist who likes to tell stories I am trying to make a story to DM, or to Dungeon Master. For those that don't know what that means that would be me making an adventure for other people to go though. I like the idea of creating this world, and seeing how my friends who go through my world like my non playing characters, the description of the world, and the over all story. If goes well, maybe I can make a functioning online game with flash that will have choices.

Unfortunately for a video game there is so much more limitations and a lot to be developed for a story to show where the characters could lead. I made one game but didn't finish the graphics for an animation class, and I think i would like to update that and post to show what I am talking about. Like a choose your own adventure book, but game.

Though currently most of my focus and time has been to job hunting. Luckily I had an interview in one week for a Teaching Assistant job at a preschool. And I have just been commissioned to do a large family portrait painting for a good friend of mine. I am very hopeful for both of these opportunities and I feel confident that given the chance I can do a great job.

This Post is less about my art and more about me as an artist. We are constantly searching and moving forward for progress in our lives and work because we have to, to fulfill our desires to create. But I feel a calling with my work. There is something about having a real choice. Not playing a game with one time line and a guarantee of winning if you finish. Just the idea of Living a different life, where you could die and no accomplish anything, or save the world. Just the concept of being swept away in a story fascinates me. So for now I leave you with that, and I hope to have more to show soon.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Bad Joke

So there was vandalism at my College and while the school was attacked in multiple ways one of the things that happened was someone put a bunch of oil paint on all the locks at the lockers. I spent 30 minutes getting oil paint off. While it was put on my lock, to clean it, I had to get it off the locker which meant putting my key in the painted lock, then it got on my hands as I had to hold it to get it to the trash can and sink to clean. I took this picture after cleaning for awhile, it was a very long process. Also my hands where dried out because i had to use paint thinner because soap wasn't enough.

Im just putting this on here so maybe people can see. I dont know if it was just a punk or an artist who did it. But I hope there can be more respect for the art community at my school, and I hope that somehow I can assist in making the art world better somewhere.

Note: They also broke into the vending machines and robbed the snacks breaking teh glass everywhere, and spray painted in peoples studios.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Check it out!

In life painting a friend of mine was viewing this website and was telling me about the artist, how this person was an illustrator and worked up from their to making advertising and selling personal work. I think this is really interesting and all should check it out!

In The Buff

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shared Drawing

This was done by me, Kenny, and Sunny. We took turns working back and forth on our napkin art. I think we each brought something the other couldn't and that it we couldn't do on our own. 

Life Painting

So this is my first oil painting done for my first life painting class.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mini Comic For Space

Hey dont have much time to link to all the details, but I am going to an underground comics convention in Columbus on April 24th. For part of a class I need to make a minicomic to show off, either to sell or give away. My plan is to make two brand new ones that fit with same short story, different perspective but fit together so two different comics, also thinking of fixing up some old ones, but first work on one, then the other, then the old. work by importance to get done, because I only need one new one for the class.

Its this idea I know everyone thinks of as pirates vs ninja, well what if a pirate and ninja fell in love? This mini doesnt go into the detail of how they get together, but more of their escape. I would like to do a his and her view, but right now I am working on the Girl Ninja's point of view. No they do not have names yet, because they dont talk to each other, all thought. But might create names when the story is more clear to me. but here are some sketches I have so far.

oh and they are backward because they are quick photographs, when I get the comic done I will show it off to my fans, though I am thinking of selling them at space, my following fans get free via web, but if you want a hard copy, you have to buy it. It cause money to make these things.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Make it Happen

I always like browsing through craigslist and seeing whats on there. There is always someone giving away some free trash, maybe you could make something with it maybe not, but when I found the following ad, I was very interested.

When I found this it is something i would love to get and take advantage of with an installation but I am not able to because I am currently without a car, and I dont do much installation work. But as an artist I feel we must keep our eyes open see what we can find and how it would inspire us. Any of you guys got any ideas? Feel free to contact the owner and take advantage of some free material for your next big thing.

I have 13"/14" Apple monitors - 9 in all. Take one, take all. Really would like to get rid of them. They worked when they went into storage. Can provide a power cord just so you can see if they turn on, but no computer to connect to. Contact me via the craigslist link. Leave a phone number if you'd like. We'll make arrangements for you to come pick them up.

No deliveries, no scammers, no phishing, no solicitors. You want, you pick up. Serious inquiries only. They are free!

  • Location: near Oxford, Hamilton, Trenton, Camden
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Paper Tiger Dogfight: Opening by Heidenreich and Johnson Productions

Paper Tiger Dogfight: Opening

We have a lot to do to finish the story and we plan on going back and redoing some things later. Like the visuals, but right now we are trying to get the story out there and make it look as good as possible, we already have a list of critiques, but please feel free to add. You might find something new that we havent.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Dark Secret Production

A little Intro

This is a small intro I made to put before clips I made on my account, but I am going to have to edit it now that I changed usernames. I like being part of Dark Secret Productions. I recorded the sound myself and it was just a trial type of thing. Back before I wanted my name out there so much. Click, View, Enjoy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Working the Night

Im working on a collaborative piece with Kenny Heidenreich tonight. Its going to take awhile to finish, but we are trying to finish what we can to show for the quarter. Though we do plan on finishing it eventually on our own time. When its done I will post a link to it online. Should be up by the end of the week.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

We all need some inspiration

I had seen the library staircase before, but I discovered this new website

I would check it out, even if you arent looking for inspiration, you might find it ^^

Friday, March 5, 2010

When I Make a Comic

There are many different ways to do the same thing. To make a comic there are a lot of different styles, but there is a traditional way that I learn that is still used today by many comic publishers.

First step is, get an idea and make a script:

Maybe you had an interesting moment, that you want to write about your life experience. Maybe you thought of a funny joke and you want to illustrate it for a small newspaper. Maybe you have been developing an alternate world with characters that no one could ever imagine. Having an idea comes first but before you start working out the panels, you need to write out a script about what you want to happen, who says what. Put in as much detail as possible.

The second step, is decide your media, and sketch:

I personally find that most publish work is done with inking and as that is how i was trained I feel I would be able to teach you that the best, but some people feel that working digitally is best. While I like to work in my personal sketch book, no matter where you do it, you need to sketch out the placement of characters and where the words will fit. Look at the flow, are the visuals easy to understand? Can you flow through the panels and understand without being lost. Remember to be objective, will someone who does not know the story be able to understand.

Step Three, Illustration board with pencil and ink:

So now you got your idea you need to focus on the technical skill. This is not the most glamorous step but the most important. You need to get a strong board to work on, like Bristol or Illustration Board. Measure out your boarder and tape it off. You need clean lines for panels. First make sure the corners are 90 degrees, usually they are not, but if you work off one corner you can get an even work. I suggest using a T square and a Triangle to work on getting the corners perfect. After getting the square or rectangle straight, Use a paper cutter then, use a T square to make even straight lines for the panels. Remember to sketch it out lightly, extremely lightly with pencil first, then measure out even straight lines for your font and work on making it look professional and straight. I suggest measuring out the three line bars for your words. One on top, botttom, and center of the words. Also make sure to leave space between lines. When you get done with the panels, text, bubbles, and transfered or lightly sketch drawings. You will use permanent black ink. They have Quills with different tips for fine or bold lines that can help create interesting strokes. Think of the work content to choose style. Ink everything in, and then erase the pencil work.

Step 3.5 Color and Detail:

After this is finished maybe you want to add something to it, like color. They have color ink, but a lot of different options exist. Some use markers, color pencils, highlighters, and water color. I personally usually use just black and white. But before you start coloring, work out your color palette on another piece of paper first. I suggest limiting your colors or choosing your style for bright or dark, cool or warm. Think of the scene, your target audience, and the overall composition of the piece with flow. I suggest working in black and white until you have built up enough experience to know that you can trust yourself with color.

Step Four, Scan, Edit and Print:

This is so very important. Keep the original, those are priceless, but ultimately remember what is being distributed is the print. If you don't plan on printing the work, you still need to have clean scanning and editing. Make sure the scanner is clean, it doesn't hurt to take a tissue and wipe the screen down before scanning. The reason why I suggest this, is because the way work looks on the screen and printed is different. There may be a unclear smudge that will show up at print that you will have to re scan, re edit, and re print. When scanning, scan at 300 DPI at least, this is dot per inch. When printing a work you will want this to be clear, but if its on the web you will want to save it as 72 DPI. I suggest starting with 300, you can always make it smaller. Also I suggest scanning in color, even if it is black and white. If you make it black and white, sometimes, it will assume some grey scales are one or the other and can lower the quality of your work, like if there is any pencil marks they could show up as more of a problem. 

When it is scanned, you might have to do some touch ups in photoshop or in a similar program. Maybe you want to experiment with color on photoshop. Feel free to do what ever, but I suggest always keeping the original file and save frequently as different images so you can work out which works out best for you. Its almost impossible not to make mistakes when inking, this is where you can clean up those mistakes, like smudged ink, or accidental drops or line marking. Be as careful as possible though, because it can look overly photoshop and loose its hand drawn look. When saving the work, i suggest saving as a tiff file there are a lot of differences in jpg, and gif files, You can read the differences online at...

When printing, you need to organize your piece. You can go to a place like Kinkos and pay to have them organize the files, but to save money and time, its best to organize it yourself. I suggest using adobe indesign and export it as a pdf. This is really only needed to print multiple pages. This is so you can print your pages on both sides, and possibly have them bind the work for you. The one thing is that not all comics are printed the same way, there are different layouts for flip books versus graphic novels. Really this needs to be personalize. Be clear and make sure before you mass produce any comics, always do test prints, see what papers work best for you, and make sure the test print is exactly what you want before you buy anything.

Step Five, Distribute:

So who is going to buy your work? Who is going to see it? This is all up to you, if you want to sell I would suggest starting out a underground comic convention. I say underground because you are a new face, its going to be hard to send it to a publisher for them to buy a work. But if you just want to get your idea out there. Look up free community newspapers and do not expect to make anything starting out. After you get some experience and build up a resume your chances of making money will improve, but go ahead and go for it. Also don't feel like you have to go through all this. You can always try a networking art website, like to share your ideas without working about printing. Maybe print out some freebies for your friends or other artist who might show it off and get the ball rolling. This is a lot of work, but the experience can be rewarding, and if this isn't for you then don't push yourself, there are plenty of ways to work. 

A simple copyright

When posting work or ideas. It wouldn't hurt putting in a copyright symbol. so here is a extremely simple how to

To create the copyright symbol © on a PC:

hold down the alt key while keying in the numerics 0169

To create the copyright symbol © on a Mac:

Simply enter Option + G

There is a lot more to copyrighting your work with an official US copyright law and to copyright your work internationally. To learn more go to the following website and it should have all the details you would ever need.

Sketching Her Out

So sometimes people want to know how to draw, but its something that most artist will say they have been practicing since they were young, not born with a natural skill of making it perfect. So for all you new learners, remember that this process takes time. I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil. Now, how do we do it today? We can't just draw perfectly there is a lot more to it, and while everyone trains their skills differently this is how I do it, if you need any help maybe this will guide you.

So first I like to work on loosening up. Do a couple of sketches of what is in front of you, if you have a still life in front of you, rearrange it, and look at it from other angles, give it perspective. Just don't focus on the detail. You just want to catch an idea of the work with dimension. Usually I start out by sketching lines to catch angles of shapes, then going a little darker has I build up basic shapes, with more exact line weight. Show the weight being put on some part over others, and break shadows into over all shapes so when you look back you get an idea of dimension and understand what is going on without so much detail.

The more you do and the more you understand about the overall shape, the more you can get into your work. Focus on shapes and parts that interest you. Try not to get distressed, as you start working you might struggle with getting the form right, or maybe it will look like it is leaning weird, remember that this is just an exercise. If you find something interesting then go to town and develop it. When you start working on the final product you are to be putting all of this together, so practice it now.

So now think about what shapes worked for you. Where did you find the most interesting shapes, and lighting. Before you start drawing your next master piece take the time to figure out as much as you can in your head. Pick out your palette, what tools will you use, make some light marks on your paper of how it will fit. While you are putting in more time on this piece, do not be afraid to take some chances. There is more there than just what you see. Try an interesting color palette, or different mediums than what you are use too. Right now at this point I would try just drawing everything. You can always crop later.

Now you want to spend a bit longer on a piece, remember to follow all the previous steps, but this time, think about the final product. "Where is the most interesting shapes, what parts take away from the piece? How big do you want it? Who is this for? What does it mean? Where will this be kept?" This isn't a study anymore, this is art work. This example was for me, I wanted to work on high detail, and capturing the person without drawing everything, to create a flow that keeps the eye on the piece and not let it fall off the page.

This idea can be used on anything, not just a figure. Every Piece is a learning experience. So have fun and good luck, just never give up. These pieces were drawn on 18 x 24" paper. The first two I used charcoal to sketch it out and the colored work was done with pastels. But feel free to use any think you can hold in your hand.

© Kristen Johnson

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some wild ideas

So this all started as a class thing, where every week we would turn in an idea, no mater how wild or crazy, for an art piece. This is the list of the ideas I had for this quarter. Please enjoy ^^

Kristen Johnson
January 12

Today’s political party people in a Batman setting, either an animation or a comic where Obama ends up being Batman, and Dick Cheney is the penguin and Al Gore is Poison Ivy. The idea would be to basically to show the stress and how much pressure is on The President and how impossible it is to get stuff done with conflicting forces and how many people get in the way. The people of the house and senate would work kind of as henchmen.

The story would start out in the Oval Office; Obama is having a monologue talking about the world and the troubles. While looking out the window at the end of his speech he sees the presidential seal in the sky and walks out of the office.

While walking down the hall, multiple secretaries and cabinet members are discussing issues, some big some small. Then he walks onto the rooftop and sees the vp, Joe Bidon. He discusses an issue, such as health care, but I don't want to use that one. He runs to the house and Al Gore starts talking about global warming and how people school die to save the plants and then Al Gore fights Obama with people of the house are henchmen. After epic fight scene he goes to the senate.

The people of the senate are under control of the conservative Dick Cheney, very intense battle where his speech is about money and guns, claiming that Obama is worst than a communist, because he is a socialist. When Obama finally wins he goes back to his office, all beaten and worn down, then turns on the news to see people complain about how he does nothing.

The end would end with a monologue similar to the beginning. Talking about the roughness and the challenges with the job and that even though he is not appreciated, he does serve the country and therefore does not plan on ignoring his obligations he has chosen to defend his country.

Kristen Johnson
January 19

I would like to get a small gallery space. Nothing to small, big enough to fit people walking around, but more or less one room. I would like to literally, have multiple gesture drawings and completed works of the nude models in different movements and different sizes. There would be no room around the pieces. It would have a one, together and unified look that will make the person walking around feel like they are in the sketchbook page. So for this to work the wall and ceiling would be completely covered, and there would a few unique sculptures that would have a figure drawing feel.

I think the purpose of this would be to make people feel what its like for the learning process of realism for an artist. Its all about the processes and how we are surrounded and consumed by our work. I think that it will make non artist feel what its like. They will feel awkward, or nervous. They will have an opinion. I want the person to relate to the story of the artist, the amount of work, the amount of understanding used to create work.

Kristen Johnson
January 26th

I don't know the media I would want to do this but it is inspired by a dream I had. I currently don't talk to my mother because of a serious situation that cannot be ignored. And even though I have tried to forgive my mother she always betrayed me.

I had a dream that my mother had a heart attack. She was alive but in critical condition and I thought about going back to my hometown to visit her but I couldn’t. I felt like I couldn’t so I tried to ignore it. I tried hanging out with my friends, but then I couldn’t get my mind off it, so I decided that even if she betrayed me, I would go home, but when I got there it was to late.

I know this doesn't go into complete detail of my current situation, but I think at some point I would like to write a graphic novel on this situation.

Kristen Johnson
February 2n

I like to doodle woman characters in interesting little unique outfits. I know this would be kind of fashion, but I would like to create these dresses and outfits and just show the sketchy fast pace of my doodle in a completed outfit. I don’t know how I would show this work, right now I would want to make it just to for myself. But I think it would be really into photography of these women dressed as my doodle characters in different setting. Probably like a fashion magazine, but blown up, and exhibited in a gallery space.

Not sure what the meaning would be, but I would want it to be visually forward and bright imagery in a darker setting with high contrast. Like the images would be blown up so the girls where life size, with spot lights.

Kristen Johnson
February 9

So this is an idea for a very small comic that would be produced for the anime community and the fandom. This is based off something I have seen, but might not make as much since if you are not in the anime culture as much.

It would start off me getting in line for a ticket at a convention for anime. And in front of me is a small group of middle school girls in different costumes, with a dad guardian. He would be talking about how he doesn't know how he feels about the whole anime culture thing and how its really weird to him. His daughter would justify it.

Then out of nowhere a pedobear cosplayer (pedophile bear – doesn’t actually doing, its just an ironic name for a teddy bear) he pops up and hugs the little girls then runs away. The girls laugh and giggle and the dad who doesn’t recognize the pedobear as anything other than a large teddy bear then makes a comment a short simple line about how he guesses the convention isn’t that bad.

The joke is that while justifying the innocence of the con, they get hugged by an icon of perversion, which is funny because they know he is only dressed as this fictitious character. And the dad just sees a polite person in a teddy bear costume and only sees the innocence without seeing the name tag.

Kristen Johnson
February 16

After listening to a narration by Patrick Stewart for the official Castlevania: Lords of Shadow E3 trailer. I got an idea to create a trailer for a sequel to paper tiger dogfight. This would be about Lovenote. It would talk about Lovenotes journey through the war and how he lost his paper doll who he was just wanting to get home too. After losing the war he begins a resistance with rocks that will overcome the new emperor and leader, The scissors, he will try and persuade the rock and divide them. And this movie will show more of the process of the beginning of a war between the balance and how Lovenote gave up everything for the war and how that affected him mentally and he felt that it was for northing if the paper could not some how get back into control.

As the war process begins again Index cards daughter who had been working to hold the balance with the rock and scissors will save the day. While it is discovered that Lovenote had done all of these things. Index’s daughter, Post’it will show compassion and stop him with her love and support instead of the violence like in the original when scissors and rock killed lots of people.

Kristen Johnson
March 2

So this is something I want to do next year my senior year in a metal shop class even thought its not my normal art style. I have created metal sculptures and worked in the metal shop class but what I want to do is create epic old weapons, like Maces, Axes, and Swords. I know this would be more for the look than the actual usage, but it is interesting how some people are still drawn towards these items and like to play epic action adventure games where the characters fight with such a thing.

The amazing part is the cosplay world where people commission work like this for their costumes and will pay hundreds of dollars for a two handed axe. I would like to get into that industry as a side thing. Making commissioned weapon. I really enjoy the old skill of blacksmithing, and would love to create these weapons.

The greatest part is, the industry now for these weapons is look over function so they can be extremely big, heavy, and with distorted shapes. Interesting to the eye, because no one uses them to fight anymore. I have some sketches of orginal ideas, but if I could ever get into doing this normally I would remake things like Dante’s Inferno game weapon, or the keyblades from Kingdom hearts for commissions, because people want that and there is a higher market for that.

© Kristen Johnson

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Make Your Own Album Cover

Make Your Own Album Cover game. Although the rules of the game have appeared on blogs and messageboards all over the web, the inventor remains unidentified.

The game has five simple steps:

Get a band name! Simply use the title of a randomly-generated Wikipedia article.

Get an album title! Use the last four or five words from the last quote on a page of random quotations.

Get some album art! Use the image thrown up using this Flickr tool, which generates random images.

Make it look nice! Using Photoshop, Paint, or whatever graphics software you have, fiddle your band logo and album title into some kind of visually-pleasing assemblage.

Post the results And that's it! The fun part of the game is in seeing what beautiful collisions of image and text fate can throw together, and then imagining what kind of music the resulting band might play, maybe even inventing an imaginary biog for them. There's bound to be myriad Facebook groups dedicated to the game, and it seems to have spawned at least one "real" band, although for better or worse most of the associations the game throws up tend to be very post-rock.

The catch is that you can only spend about 5 minutes on it. So here is what I did.

© Kristen Johnson

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Images of me

So I did something bold. I nude modeled for some drawing classes at the manifest gallery. There was some great work done and I think seeing how some people handled my body helped me think of ways to handle a figure in front of me during my own drawing sessions. Being use to looking out the window, it was a completely different experience being on the other side, being watched from others.

I just want to remind you that I did not draw these, if you are interested in taking some classes or hearing more information by the artists who did these images check out the manifest gallery at the website listed or check out them in person.

2727 woodburn ave., cincinnati, ohio 45206
gallery hours: t-f 2-7p.m., sat noon-5