Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays Freebie!

Hi Everyone,

Everyone's been asking what an Eric Fortune snowman Holiday card would look like....ok, so that's a lie.  No one has ever asked that question.  Ever.  I did this little promo piece a while back and had a lot of fun painting it.  I thought I'd go ahead and share this one for the holiday season for anyone who wants to make a card, give it to a friend, or blow it up and try to reverse engineer my technique, have at it ;)  This is a give away and I do request it not be used for profit making of any sort.  Just paying it forward.

Hope everyone survived the Apocalypse and continues to have a Merry Christmas, Great Holiday Season, New Years, and life in general.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Work in Progress

Here's where I'm at with this piece.  I'm currently working on the background.  Tomorrow I'll start putting work in on the main figure.  Also as a reminder for anyone interested, enrollment for SmART School is open.  So check it out here

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Texture can be fun

Here's a quick progress shot.  I've been trying to keep the small brushes at bay as well as applying large washes that take a bit of time to dry.  What I've been doing instead is utilizing more of the scumbling/ dry brush application.  I've been using mostly a filbert and a flat brush.  I'm still using a fairly thin wash and gradually adding darker and darker washes.   The texture of the background is also a good opportunity for a looser brushy application. 

Today I actually picked up a no 6 round brush and did some refining on the drifting smoke.  I'll try to keep the small brushes to a minimum until the end but you know...stuff happens.  Every now and then I need my fix ;)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Final Final Drawing

Tomorrow aka later today... I paint.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Final Drawing

I'm trying to move quickly on this piece.  Trying.  As noted previously, what was I thinking doing a larger painting with a deadline around the corner?  I will make this happen.  Back to work

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Piece for upcoming show

Against my better judgment, I've decided to do this as a larger piece.  I'm not the fastest painter but I shall accept the challenge.  There's nothing like a looming deadline to kick your ass a bit.  I think the figure may change slightly but the overall composition should remain the same.  It's something of an homage.  I'm sure you can guess who and which painting.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I had a great time painting rock texture last night.  True story.  Here's a little peak.  I'm also working on a new piece for a show at Roq La Rue opening in Jan that I'm really looking forward to starting as well.  I had a photo shoot today and will need to do some major hustling to meet this deadline.  Will post more soon.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Progress shot

Here's a quick progress shot of the main character and a little background on the piece.  Lots of hours ahead of me.  I'm going to force myself post a shot at least every other day just to help keep me motivated.  And back to work!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Quick Update

I kept the file at a decent size for anyone interested.  That's it for now.  Stay tuned for more

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A new piece in the works

Here's a new piece I'm working on.  It's still in it's infancy. I have my photo reference set up and just finished transferring the sketch onto paper.  Transferring can be a horribly tedious and boring phase.  One way I deal with this soul sucking process is by transferring my sketch in a rather loose manner (takes just a few minutes) as opposed to doing a very detailed final drawing then transferring all those details and then following that up by going back over my transferred drawing yet again because it looks stiff and unrefined.  It's just not a nice thing to do.  After transferring my sketch loosely I go in with my photo reference and create my final drawing right on the watercolor paper.  Saves a lot of time and soul.  If all the proportions are right and the composition doesn't have any glaring flaws it's hard to make a huge mistake.  Consider using a 2b or softer pencil and a kneaded eraser so that the surface of the paper/board isn't disrupted too much.

For the next day or so I'll be working on the final drawing and then slapping some paint (gently applying thin washes of watered down acrylics) onto the paper. Will post some more progress shots soon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

"Acquisition" and The Blab Show

I have a new piece titled "Acquisition" in tonight's "Blab Show" opening at Copro Gallery. You can see a preview of the show Here.

Below are some work in progress shots, some recent time lapse videos, as well as the process vid that was posted here previously. For those not already familiar with my technique and process here are my basic steps for creating a piece of art. They may seem very obvious, but every now and then I'll catch myself skipping a step and usually end up paying for it down the road.

1. Thumbnails- Do at least ten of these. Try not to get caught up in details. These are about composition, flow, and getting your creative juices going.  Every now and then my first sketch ends up being the best sketch.  But most of the time my first ideas tend to be the most predictable and contrived.

2.  Refined drawing- I think much of people's style and influences tend to come out when they are drawing out of their head. I try to maintain some of the freshness that comes in a nice sketch. That said, my finals lie somewhere between my refined drawings and my photo reference.

3. Value study/ color comp- Again, these steps are invaluable in catching and correcting flaws early on and refining your composition and value structure. Of course they also give you a sense of what direction you want your lighting to come from for your photo shoot.

 4. Reference- I put a lot of stress on taking photo reference. My work as a student jumped significantly when I started taking my own photo reference. If your working on something architectural or a fantastic creature try creating a maquette and taking photo reference of it. It makes things a lot easier when you actually see how light is bleeding through a translucent object or reflecting off of some shape and lighting the underside of someone's face.

 5. Transfer- YAY! Everyone's favorite step!

 6. Finish- YAY! Everyone's actual favorite step!

The finished painting.

 And as promised here are the new videos for you viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

52 Shades of Greed

If you've seen my facebook profile you may know that I try to post relevant links about social issues and think it's vital to have an informed public. That said, I'm proud to have been able to contribute to the "52 Shades of Greed" project. Check it out and Spread it around!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Done and Done

Just finished up my latest piece "Acquisition" for the Blab Show at Copro Nason Gallery in LA. It's officially boxed up and ready to be shipped out. One difference about doing gallery work vs illustration is that I knew I could go back into a piece after sending in the final if I really wanted to. Once I send out an original for a show it's pretty much gone. I've noticed it makes me a lot more anal as I finish a painting. Perhaps that's a good thing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Goddess of Anitiquity": Process Breakdown

It's been awhile since I've posted a breakdown of one of my paintings.  So hopefully this will be of use to anyone new to Muddy Colors or to my work and process.  As quick overview I'm basically using watered down acrylics on watercolor paper with fairly traditional watercolor technique like wet on wet, scumbling, and dry brushing to produce my finished paintings.
Here's my original concept sketch which is overlapping a few other thumbnails.  In the beginning ideas for the new piece were very elusive.  I feel like I spent four or five fairly stressful days pulling my hair out(beard hairs obviously) trying to come with a decent concept.  This isn't always an easy task and sometimes made worse with looming deadlines.  But obviously concept is one of the most important aspects for a piece of art in my opinion.  The drawing on the right was done with the help of photo reference for the figure and as much of the background as possible in order to come up with a cohesive look and a certain amount of realism.  Cue photo reference.
Ideally, I would've liked to take photo reference of my model actually in the environment
that I'll be using in order to have information like reflective light, edge relationships, cast shadows, and other interactions between figure and the surroundings.  Of course when working on surreal or fantasy based imagery this is rarely an option.
Here's is the final drawing transferred onto the watercolor paper.  I have to make sure the drawing is just how I want it before laying my first wash of paint down as it seals the painting permanently.  Throughout the process I also try to be flexible  enough to allow for spontaneous things to happen while working.  Here some ruffly accent appeared on the dress.  I did a little research on flapper dresses from the 1920's and refined the dress a bit more as well as adding an additional accent in the figures hair.
Here I begin laying down some paint in thin washes.  While the paint was still wet I used a paper towel to lift out some of the pigment in areas that I plan on keeping bright, for instance the windows.  I'm also trying to establish some darks right off the bat for value reference.  What seems dark enough in the beginning of a painting usually requires even more darkening before it's finished.
Here you can see a shift in temperature on the background walls.  For the most part I work transparently, constantly building up value and color.  In a case like this I have to mix some semi-opaque washes and slowly work the areas in the direction of color and value that I want to go.  I also decided to add a veil at this point which I had been on the line about using or not.
And here's the final.  As always, if I was unclear about anything or skipped over something you are interested in, let me know and I'll try to address it for you.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lush Life Show at Roq La Rue

I'm scrambling to wrap this piece up.  But I thought I'd post a quick progress shot here.  Now back to painting!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Quick Reminder!

"As a special Muddy Colors incentive, any student who signs up prior to August 1st will receive $250 off their tuition!"  That means Tomorrow is the last day!
For more information on this check out Muddy Colors Blog.

"Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" Graphic Novel

Journalist Chris Hedges collaborated with comics artist and journalist Joe Sacco on "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt", an illustrated book dealing with what Hedges describes as "sacrifice zones".  You can listen as Chris Hedges discusses these issues with Bill Moyers here.   It ends with commentary from Joe Sacco and showcases some of his illustrated comic panels.

You can also see more of the artwork in an audio slide show of "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" here.

If you find these types of issues interesting and relevant I would also suggest checking out the graphic novel "A People's History of American Empire" by Howard Zinn.  Here's a short audio, visual presentation of the novel, narrated by Viggo Mortensen.  Artwork by Mike Konopacki.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Work in Progress

Here's the final drawing and a wip of a piece I'm scrambling on.

Friday, July 20, 2012

If you missed it...

Well, the show is actually still up at LeBasse Projects.  So go and check it out :)  However, if like myself, you aren't able to see the show in person here's some shots of the art on the gallery walls via Juxtapoz  Always cool to see the work framed and on the wall.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hey! That's me.  As some of you may know I'll be teaching a limited class of online students with Donato Giancola, Gregory Manchess, and Rebecca Guay at SmART School.  I just found out my guest contributor will be David Saylor, Senior Art Director who has worked on such notable books Harry Potter and Hugo Cabret.  Super excited and honored to be working with such a high caliber of professionals to say the least.  For anyone interested in more info and availability for the classes click Here

One another note.  My next gallery opening is this Sat 14th at LeBasse Projects in Culver City.  Super excited about that as well.  If you're in the neighborhood pop in the check out the work and let me know what you think.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Schoolism Interview with Bobby Chiu

I recently had the honor of being interviewed by Bobby Chiu for Schoolism. Though I've been a fan of Bobby's work for years we met for the first time at Spectrum Live.  He's a super nice guy and we had a great talk.  Hopefully, there are some insightful nuggets you can glean from the conversation. 

Listen to the interview Here

It's several years old now.  But I thought I'd share a decent sized image of the painting I had pulled off the wall. The piece is titled "Divided by Time"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"The Cairn in Slater Woods" Progression

This piece just went live online so I thought I'd share some progress shots.  As always I highly recommend getting decent photo ref for your art.  The reference I had taken had some pretty interesting folds.  But these didn't really reflect what I had in my head so I took what I liked and made up quite a bit.  I hate it when fabric doesn't obey my wishes.  I have to give props to Irene, the Art Dir at Tor, for her direction on this one.  Totally worth the extra effort :)

to see the art with copy click here.