Tuesday, November 15, 2011


So here are a few work in progress pictures of the giraffe I mentioned in an earlier post.  On Arches 140 lb cold pressed watercolor paper, the giraffe is cut away to show different layers of its structure.  Much like the recent Bodyworlds exhibits, the painting shows areas of skeletal structure and muscle.  Yet to be finished but far more complete than what I have shown here, the complete painting will be available soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More Figure Drawing

     Since I have an abundance of life drawing work this semester, I figured to show you more.  As I become more efficient in the medium, an increase in quality becomes present.  I hope you enjoy these works.

     Just to further stress how having an area specifically set up for the use of pastel is important...  So I've been working in a cramped area.  I just stretched a sheet of watercolor paper and finished most of the drawing portion.  I set it aside to work on my pastel homework.  I was using an open window to blow out the dust from the pastel but when I took a break, I placed the drawing on my desk.  During my break, the wind direction changed to flow into the window blowing pastel dust onto my watercolor paper! 

     Speaking of watercolor, I have a few process drawing I wanted to share.  It's of a giraffe but I think some might find it highly interesting.  Perhaps I'll save it for the next post...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Well it definitely has been a while since I last posted.  In all honesty, my schedule has been very hectic lately.  Regardless, I plan to keep up this blog on a regular basis going forward and I have plenty of material to post. 

Since I last posted, I started going back to school.  I'm studying 2D animation via Internet at the Academy of Art University based in San Francisco.  A collection of sketches and roughs has built up already and I would like to show everyone them in addition to my regular work. 

These are two drawings I did early on in my life drawing class using Nu-pastel and toned paper.   I enjoy the things one can do with pastel but why does it have to be so messy?  Well it is not as messy as certain other mediums but it provides a nice dusting of color to everything in a ten foot range.  I would recommend having a well ventilated area before using them.  Also, keep it away from your computer area unless you happen to enjoy buying canned air on a regular basis.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Indiana Dunes

     Seeing as how I am pursuing natural science illustration, I think it's important to research the habitats of some of the animals I will be illustrating.   Over the past few weeks I have been visiting all the areas of the Indiana Dunes.  With my camera and a bottle of water I set out to take reference pictures, learn, and exercise.
     The first day, I went with my son to the State Park area and visited the Nature Center.  He loved it there, especially the bird viewing room.  The room had windows for walls on three sides.  Outside, bird feeders littered the immediate area where the tree line began.  We saw several types of birds from the order Apodiformes, Piciformes, and Passeriformes.  Present were Blue Jays, Cardinals, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, and a few Goldfinch.  Fox and Red Squirrels also added to the busy life around the feeders.
     Eventually, we went for a hike around the marsh and stopped at the bird observatory.  It took a little while to get started because little Aaron insisted the forest reminded him of a Scooby-Doo episode.  It didn't help that he had a conversation with the young lady working at the Nature Center about the cartoon.  Needless to say, with periodic stops to check for "the woodsman," we endured about a two hour walk(an hour and a half of which I carried the little guy).  Toward the end we heard several Pileated Woodpeckers and enjoyed observing one as it worked.
     On one of the trips, I took my brother along to Cowles Bog.  I haven't been everywhere yet but this trail is one of my favorites.  I say this despite the experience.  See when a White Tale doe is blocking the way out and becomes mad that we are interfering with her eating, the atmosphere gets a little tense.  Also, I failed to mention that not too long before, tornado sirens filled the air.  Maybe I didn't pick the smartest time to go out but I definitely will do it again.  The rain provided a nice relief to the strenuous hike.
     I did manage to snap several pictures during the rainy hike of a few deer and a northern leopard frog.  Surely a better camera would have made for some quality photos but I'm an Illustrator not Photographer.  I can't afford to have my own photos show me up.
     The trips are well worth it if you are a nature lover and the staff at the Nature and Visitor Centers are very kind and informative.  Granted, I finish some current work soon, I plan to visit the Dunes many more times ahead.  Painting trips are next on my list and anyone is welcome to join me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Animation Short W.I.P.

In preperation for upcoming programs, I have been studying when time permits on the fantastic universe of animation.  Here is a very rough practice short to demonstrate a walk cycle, movement speeds, and the need to paint in layers.
This particular wip has been drawn traditionally on newspad for the grainy effect.  Photoshop painting has been added in the more finished areas.  The video was created using the animation feature in Adobe Photoshop.  A total of 133 frames were used at various delay times.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


 Most of my time has been spent looking for work but I used my break time for finishing the barracuda painting.  I also used that time for eating, so painting took a lot more breaks than I expected. Below are two more paintings I dug out from my summer watercolor class. A lot of learning came from these two. All the techniques learned between the two I used for the Barracuda.  It was a whole lot faster to do too, with a better result.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Barracuda Sketch

Not quite fully grown, this Barracuda will never reach its potential.  In a study to show more than a surface portrait of the fish, I've taken the liberty of stripping away the flesh to reveal the remnants of a bone structure.  Once imposing and powerful, this creature is but a testament to life...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Searching for work...

I've come to a crossroads, perhaps even a cul de sac.  I've been trying to pull information on publishers to submit artwork, in an attempt to find work.  I've found that most publishers don't even accept unsolicited illustrations or manuscript(children's books seem to be an exception).  A few sites such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt http://www.hmhco.com/faq.html#submissions_manuscript suggest to contact literary agents.  OK sweet, but still there is a problem.  Agencies normally don't accept anyone until they have a few years of work experience in the field!  So what is going on here?  Why does this continue to play like the chicken and the egg?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Site Maintenance

     I find it annoying when I post on a site and I have to wait for the post to be approved.  It kills the excitement I had for posting in the first place.  I hoped, on my website, I would not have to approve comments but now I find myself in a dilemma.  I have been getting insurance spam on my site.  It isn't funny and only subtracts time away, making sure my site doesn't turn into a pan handler.  What to do...?  Approve comments?  Leave as be? 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last Summer Watercolor

My first watercolor class was over this past summer at the American Academy of Art, and I'd have to say, watercolor is amazing!   These two paintings are different environment studies required for the class.  Not my favorite pieces from the class but I wanted to share them anyway.

Hopefully there will be a time when I can focus more effort in watercolor. Since my greatest strength is Photoshop, I've been building my portfolio to show case it.  Soon, I hope, I can spend time improving my watercolor.

Friday, March 25, 2011

First post! Hurray!

Hello!  This is my first blog post and I wasn't quite sure how to start so I threw in a link to my website: http://aaronmelendez.com/?p=195 Obviously I'm trying to generate traffic to the site but I figure I can also post things here that I normaly wouldn't there, like say, sketches and what not.  Well I hope you enjoy and I'll post again a few times before this weekend is done.