Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More equipment, finally.

I fully admit to being a little cheap when it comes to buying supplies and equipment which I could otherwise borrow or do without. As mentioned in my last post about lighting, I'm now finally getting around to purchasing some necessary things for my studio. One can only use poor reference and deal with the morons at Staples for so long.

My lighting set arrived a few days ago, and so far I think what I got should do the trick. I bought the bottom end set, which is a bit smaller and less powerful than my friend's, but the basic function it serves is the same. I got the H30088 kit mentioned in the other post, and its a nice, simple package that comes with all you need to get started. If you already have an SLR camera, this kit will make the big difference between average and great reference photos.

A quick test shot below shows how you can have 2 independent lights. One is a wide, soft output using the included softbox or umbrella and the other a bright rim-light. The color filters also allow for colored light, so you can get lots of effect going if needed.
In the below photo is a life-sized wooden posing dummy I've had for years. This prop helps when you are arranging fabric that needs to go on a human frame and stay in position for a long time. I've also used "Woody" to lay upside down in awkward and painful poses that would be next to impossible for a model.

This past Sunday we did another portrait painting session at my studio. My usual nemesis in portraiture is making the head too wide, and having problems getting initial proportion. I experimented this time with another tool I've had lying around: a gridded window card.
I duct taped this to one of my light stands, and had an instant measuring tool for flattening the space and getting the proportions down. It worked great.

Lastly, I broke down and finally got a 13X19 large format color photo printer. A common tool for fantasy illustrators, these printers allow you to make large, sellable-quality prints to leverage your artistic efforts. Another main use is the ability to print your rough drawings off at a fairly large size to mount on Masonite, seal, and paint on top of. (another common process thanks to Donato Giancola)
Below are some links to various large format printers. I went with the Epson 1400, as it was at the bottom end of the price spectrum with Epson's recent rebate. I've heard the B8550 is better, though.

The reason I went with the cheaper model is that I've heard that larger run prints are better off being done by a printing service, due to the time and cost of ink if you do it yourself. Some online printers are below:

Now to make some art and make it all worthwhile!

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