Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beast of Gevaudan: Now Available

It took much longer than I planned. I am in my first year of teaching as well as coaching, which has been great, but it has not given me a lot of time to fine tune the book. However, the book is now finally available. Here are the links:

My updated site
The Beast of Gevaudan: An Illustrated History -Official Site:
Purchase Book

Thanks for your patience. I am very pleased with the quality of the print and and product that lulu.com offers. The book is only available on lulu, so head on over there if you would like to buy a copy. If you are a fan of the Beast or just looking for an interesting tale from history, I think you will be very pleased with the book and story. I hope this book does some justice to the true story of the beast which has been an obsession of mine for the past couple of years.

Please enjoy the video trailer:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Book Website


Got the print of the book. The cover is a little dark, but the interior looks great. I am working re-designing my website and creating a site for the book before I release it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Layout




Good news: I got a job teaching high school art and technology. While this new job is great, I have been super busy trying to prepare lesson plans.

Bad News: My book has kind of been put on hold as I adjust to my first year of teaching. Today, though, I finished editing my files and prepping them for print. I am going to do one more proof read and send them off for print. Hopefully the colors look good and I can prepare to sell them. I want to do a major overhaul of my web site and create a site for my book. But I will see how my time goes. Its getting there...just slowly.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Book Cover WIP


Here is the 95% completed cover. I just need to adjust some saturation levels to finish it up. My goal is to get all of the files prepared to send it off to print this week. My big hope is that the printing turns out great the first try (Does that ever happen?). I am proofreading and proofreading over and over again to catch any grammatical mistakes (I promise it is more well written than these posts, which I treat as informal ramblings). I am also double checking dates, and assorted facts within the book. This has been a long time in the making and I am excited to be nearing the end.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cover Flats: Beast of Gevaudan



Color flats and inked cover.It is a wrap around cover. The left half will be on the back cover, while the right half will be the front cover. I will be working on the shading as I finalize the final illustration for the book.

-ZF

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cover Tight Sketch



The tight sketch for the cover. Next step is to transfer the drawing onto bristol and outline everything with various microns, scan it, color it and the book is done. Was hoping to get it done this week, but I have to get a lot of things ready for going out of town. Ugh, well I have to be up in 4 hours for my temporary job.

-ZF

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cover Sketch



Here is a sketch of the cover to my book "The Beast of Gévaudan: An Illustrated History." The sketch is a little chaotic. Usually I would make it more clear if I was working with someone. Since I am only one who needs to be able to read this sketch, I will leave it how it is (plus its 3 in the morning, which is a good time for ideas but not neatness). Anyways, I quickly roughed in some colors. The cover will wrap around, but the back side is pretty plain to leave room for text. The title is just a place holder for now. I will play with some more options later, I just wanted to get an idea for size and color. Anyways, I will move onto the tight sketch from here. Almost done!

-ZAF

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Color Flats


Another illustration from my book on the Beast of Gevaudan. I follow the same process for most of my illustrations. After all of the preliminary work, I do a tight sketch with a pencil, transfer it to a sheet of bristol, and ink my work. After that, I scan it into photoshop and begin to color my inked illustration. The first step in coloring is laying down all of the flat colors (pictured above) with no shading (shading is done on a separate layer). This allows me to individually adjust each color with only a couple of clicks. I will finish shading tomorrow. Nearing the end of the book.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Beast of Gevaudan Book Update


I have been busy filling out applications and doing some freelance jobs. I finished up one of my own illustrations for my book. I am shooting for it to be all ready and completed by the fall. I should have everything illustrated by the end of June, but I assume it will take a couple of tries to get the colors right in the printing. The dark blues and purples are very difficult to get to print correctly. Anyways, this is a victim being stalked by La Bete. What will be her fate? Find out by buying my book in the fall. I think this one has a very fairy tale feel to it. The overall look of the book is very deranged. It is super colorful, like a tie dye horror story. I just hope the print of the book is able to capture all of the colors. I am planning on using createspace. The site says I can create a custom size book. I was originally going to use lulu to print the book at 9 x 7" landscape, but for whatever reason, if you print that size on their site you cannot get an isbn. This is why I decided to switch over to createspace (it doesn't hurt that they are a branch of Amazon, where I plan to sell the book). I have another half page illustration to ink and color, and then I just need to create the cover (which seems very intimidating) and format everything for printing and the book will be good to go.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Illustrations.

I finished Grad school and got my Master's in Art Education. I am working on finishing my book in between filling out applications and trying to get back into shape. I had zero time to do anything like this while in school, so it feels great to be running and drawing again. Though, I still get anxious doing anything remotely fun, because I have been functioning on 3-5 hours of sleep a night for the past two years because of how busy I have been. Now when I have free time, I feel like I need to be working on something.

The book is coming to an end and so is college. Its a weird feeling and somewhat depressing. I have to finish these pages and the cover and then just work on formatting everything and the book is done. And then...idk. Hopefully I will have a job and get things figured out soon. I hate not having any idea of what is going on. I have no idea what city, state or country I will be in this time next year. I just keep filling out application after application and hoping for the best.

I feel like I have been out of touch with humanity for the past year. Luckily, this past year seemed pretty awful for movies, unless you love sequels, remakes, and cutesy animal animated movies. There are only a handful of movies from the past year that I want to see, i.e Black Swan, True Grit, and that's about all I can think of. Still, when I am drawing I still go to the same basic couple of movies. I was watching Heat while working today and every time I watch it, it gets better. So, if happened to find this blog and haven't given up reading yet, here is a link to the greatest song ever written: God Moving Over the Face of Water by Moby

If anyone knows where I can find the version from the closing credits of Heat, I would be greatly appreciative. This version is a little more subdued than the closing of Heat. If you like happy movies, don't watch Heat. And if you have the time, watch Heat and then watch the Dark Knight back to back because they are almost the same movie.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Monsters of Gevaudan: The Making of a Beast


I fully intend on keeping this blog updated once I get done with Grad school (who would've thought they would make you work in grad school? jk). Grad school is going fine so far, I am teaching little kids right now which has been a different and sometimes frustrating experience because prior to which I have never had any experience working with little kids, so they were like a aliens to me. I am starting to figure out how to speak their language, but I am looking forward to teaching middle school in the next half of my student teaching.

So, on the topic of student teaching, I did pretty awesome on my Art Content Praxis so I am actually buying something for myself. I have just ordered a new English language book Monsters of Gevaudan: The Making of a Beast by Jay M. Smith. Based on the description this book focuses on the cultural aspect that created the beast. It should be an interesting read, and as soon as I get it and have time to read it, I will be posting a review. I hope the book does well and raises awareness of this French legend because it wouldn't hurt the chances of me selling a few copies of my book on the same subject. I only have to finish illustrating 2 pages for my book and the cover and it will be done. I am still planning on publishing on lulu. My hopes are that the book will be ready to purchase by August 2011 (once I get done with Grad school and have time to sit down on work on it). Then I need to figure out what to do my next book on. The USS Indianapolis? The Ghost and the Darkness? The Mothman? An illustrated version of Paradise Lost (Gustave Dore is my favorite artist)? These are all ideas I would like to turn into books.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Medieval Art at the Toledo Museum of Art

A Gothic Wood Carving of a Saint Holding his own Decapitated Head

Medieval times used to be referred to as the Dark Ages because it was believed that very little innovation or progress was made in these times. Further research has long since disproven this thought. The middle ages is divided into three time periods following the fall of Rome: Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic from about 500AD-1400. While Roman art focused on secular generals and realism while the art of the middle ages focused on Religion and the hereafter. Their art was more symbolic than realistic with the influence of religion.

The main art of the middle ages was building churches. Byzantine art had the Hagia Sophia with a large dome. Romanesque churches are short and stocky compared to the later Gothic cathedrals. Without the flying buttresses, pointed arches, and ribbed groin vaults that made Gothic cathedrals possible, the Romanesque churches are made with tall, thick, walls with little to no windows (they would make the structure weaker).

The Romanesque was known for relief sculptures, usually seen at the portals to their doors. They usually depicted the Last Judgement to scare people into
going to church. The Toledo Museum of Art has a wide selection of Romanesque and Gothic art to view.


Here is an example of relief carving done of various monster in a decorative pattern. However the main purpose of all art at this time was to teach religion which is evident in these examples of Christ sculptures.
Gothic art is more naturalistic than Romanesque and the artists try to capture natural folds in clothing. This can be seen in these examples of wood
carvings.






Gothic art is also known for its stained glass and tapestries. With the technology to know include large windows into their cathedral structures, the Medieval Europeans wanted to lit the light of Christ shine into their church. Even their windows tell religious stories.



Gothic tapestries (the most famous being the Bayeux Tapestry) were a new emerging art form. One of the most popular subjects was the unicorn. While you may be thinking that it seems out of place, the story of the unicorn was symbolic of the resurrected Christ. Also, virgins were used as bait to attract unicorns.


The ceremony of church has highly important and highly decorative. Here are some examples of Medieval altar pieces.


Reliquaries were a way of attracting pilgrims. They would contain clothing or even body parts of the saint to attract viewers to their church. They were contained in very expensive cases, often in the shape of the piece they represented (i.e a skull went into a container shaped like the saint's head). To allow viewers to see the bones, a viewing hole was included.



The Toledo Museum of Art displayed much of their art within a reconstructed Medieval courtyard containing stone arches. This provided a great setting for their medieval art.