Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Keep your eye on the horizon...

...lest you run aground.

Well it's 4 O'clock in the morning and i just finished my second digital painting and I LOVE it. I started just wanting to relax and do a speed painting for 30 minutes to an hour but since i liked it so much i wanted to finish it up, so that's how it came about. It started out as an old man and then I felt like giving it a little depth and story so I added the lighthouse and dock. I titled it "the Keeper" and here it is.

"the Keeper"
by Denman Rooke

This piece was done in Photoshop CS3 and Painter IX and took about 4 hours. Reference photo credit goes to Wouter Roosenboom for the excellent photo.

I think I might try to do at least one digital painting a week now, but we'll see how that cooperates with my schedule.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Going Digital

Well over the past couple months I've been slowly teaching myself how to paint digitally. It was an interesting struggle between knowing what i wanted to do with what i could do. I started out on Corel painter IX, because i figured it's a painting simulation program so obviously it will work best. and after getting a bit frustrated in not knowing the program and other things i gave up and started the project i was working on all over again but this time in photoshop CS3. this worked out ok for a while but still didn't look the way i wanted, I started doing some research on it and read and watched some helpful tutorials. eventually i found an artist, Chris Oatley, online who had some helpful personal tutorials and after messaging him on deviantart gave me a handful of photoshop brushes he used for his digital painting purposes. As a traditional painter i find it easier to sketch on paper and then scan it on to the computer, I then start a color composition in Photoshop and then moving on to more detail. right now I'm using Painter mainly for finishing touches, but who knows down the road maybe I'll lean more towards it rather than PS. anyway here's the digital painting i did from one of my terminal sketches last week.

As a first finished digital painting project I'm pretty happy with it. hopefully down the road as I practice more with the digital medium I'll learn to use it to it's full potential, but for now I'm pretty happy with this one. I kinda wish i could add some more elements to this painting to bring out more of the 70's feel i kind of see in it, but i figured I didn't want to spend much more time on it, as it was mainly for practice. I titled it "Waiting for the Call" because that's what she seems like she's doing. It looks as if she's waiting to go out on her date or something. kinda cheesy but oh well. i guess it's better than calling it "Digital Painting of model Christy"... maybe.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Terminal illness

On Wednesday night I joined my friend Erik von Gore for a new artist gathering of sorts called the Terminal club. He started it up a few weeks ago after a year or so of it brewing in his mind, and quite frankly I'm glad it finally boiled over. Terminal club is hosted at our friend and awesome artist Mihailo's studio in the terminal buildings off east carson st. here in the south side. Terminal club is simply a place where artists can get together and draw live models, a luxury i haven't had since college 3 some years ago. It was an awesome time, i got to freshen up on my live drawing skills and meet other local artist in the process. when i got there it was just me and erik and mihailo. Mihailo however was very busy at his comic work titled "back to brooklyn" coming out this september. We had erik's friend Christy model for us and as a first time model she did an excellent job. Another of erik's friends, Jen, joined us for the last hour or so. all around it was a great time and I intend on going to as many as possible. here are a few of the sketches.

In other news I've been busy working on some t-shirt designs which I'll post here shortly and some signs for Hot Metal. furthermore I'm taking one of the live model sketches i did in the studio and turning it into a digital painting. I've been teaching myself wiht some online tutorials in digital painting the past few months and it's coming along pretty good. I got excited about trying it and blasted through most of it today. I'll be gone the next couple days, but hopefully I'll post it early next week. I think that about sums up the past couple days.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


here's what i worked on the past couple days. It's the cover for the new album from the Last Hope coming up this fall hopefully (the album name isn't totally settled yet, but I figured I'd post it anyway). we have 13 songs written so far and hoping to record the first couple weeks in September. other than that I'm currently working on a t-shirt design for Flatfoot 56 which I'll post up here in a few days, and a couple tattoo designs for some friends. well tonight me and the boys are heading down to polish hill for some good ol' pixburgh pierogies and some iron cities. so I'll see you all later.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Paintings this past month

by Denman Rooke

"Bride of Frankenstein"
by Denman Rooke

well here is Frankenstein and his bride, commission work for Justin Kunis and Samantha Lennox. I very much enjoyed doing these too pieces for a few reasons. first off the subjects are awesome, i love to do monsters especially traditional ones like these. there's just something raw and elegant about them that is perfect. secondly Justin (like the perfect client) when asked what style or colors he was looking for said. "do whatever you think would be cool". so without argument I said "OK!". and that's what i set out to do. a prior frankenstein portrait i had done for my good friend Justun was done with some greens and purples in a more realistic view of the late doctor's monster. so i wanted to do these with a very vibrant lively feel. BOLD COLORS was my verdict and what pops more than some simple primary colors (and i guess a secondary aswell if you want to get technical). All in all, I was pretty pleased with how these one's turned out, and i hope you guys enjoy them aswell.

by Denman Rooke
Oil on Canvas

And here's the most recent work. this one was done for a good friend of mine from a few years back, John Lario. little interesting fact: John recorded my first band's (the Ranks) first record back in early 2002 in his basement with a little 6 track mixer on casette tape I believe then converted to CD which is an interesting listen to if you get a chance, maybe I'll post the songs up here someday. anyway this project was done for him and for his love of the king of the monsters. I kept the background loose so that Godzilla would pop out of the painting a bit and I think it came together pretty well. I've also been on a bold color kick lately as you can see, so i figured I'd keep Godzilla his cool blues and burning Tokyo it's red's. nothing too crazy, but it looks cool. anyway there's some of the stuff I've been working on lately, if you want to check out other stuff I've done in the past go to my website at right now the website doesn't display properly in firefox or safari, which i apologize for. I'm new to the website design thing so come on! give me a break. hopefully I'll get off my butt and fix that soon.

the Beginings of well... something

hey friends, here's the very first post. well i guess i'm starting into the world of blogging now, and quite frankly i don't know how well I'll keep up with it. or if anyone else out there will keep up with this or read it none the less. anyway I was talking to a friend today about blogging and decided why not try to start one for myself so i figured I'd give it a go and see where it leads me. now the predicament I'm in is what to blog about. i guess i could start by posting up some recent artwork here in a little bit and let you know about projects in the works and such like that. this will probably be mainly an art related blog, but I'm sure I'll be posting music related items in here aswell seeing as I'm in a band and all and consequently music takes up alot of my time aswell.

i just got back from a mini tour with my band (the Last Hope) on sunday. we headed out for 5 days and it was quite awesome, although it was a tease of the awesomeness that is a tour. i struggle with even calling it a mini tour simply for the fact that it was nothing more than a jaunt out to Grand Rapids, Chicago, South Bend Indiana, Rock Falls illinois and back. I'm not in the least bit saying it was less than fun, just simply too short. other than that i worked on some pretty sweet fine art commissions this past month and a half which I'll post up hopefully today. the one was for a friend of mine Justin Kunis and his girlfriend Samantha Lennox: two airbrush portraits, one of frankenstein and one of his bride. the other peice was for another friend of mine John Lario: an oil painting of Godzilla destroying tokyo. I'll post up some pics and talk about the peices themselves and look forward to comments and such.

Well I look forward to this relationship with all of you here in the world of blogging on the internet and I hope it continues to flourish and grow.
-cheers, Denman