Monday, December 5, 2011

You are invited!


If you live in the Champaign Urbana area, come by the Wind, Water & Light Gallery at Lincoln Square Mall during December to see my show! I'll have some samples of my excursions into Digital Art as well as many pieces in traditional media.

The reception is Friday, Dec 9th, from 6-8 PM.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Textured Spheres


I am deep in my MAYA class, and this assignment was to create a composition of spheres with lots of different textures and colors.

Really got to indulge my love of color!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Salamander with eggs

Here is Mama Salamander looking after her eggs! Though most of the animation will be hand-painted in Photoshop, some close-ups may combine my altered photos with my hand-painted digital images. Ultimately it will depend on which styles work best together, for a seamless and consistent effect.



In Photoshop I drew three eggs, duplicating, reversing, and otherwise adjusting them to give variety. I left some areas unpainted, some semi-transparent, to ensure a translucent quality.




This photo I'd taken of a dead log worked well for the background. It had that moist look salamanders laying eggs out of water need. I eventually made several alterations to ensure it merged well with my drawings.





The salamander began with an ink drawing scanned into Photoshop. I used Photoshop painting tools to create a color rough over the line drawing.

First, I made ink storyboard drawings. Liking the textures in this scene, I chose it for one of my first color roughs.

The animated movie will accompany lectures by a college biography professor, illustrating "ring evolution". The salamanders and their environment do not represent any particular species or area, but are generic.

All images are
© Lucy A. Synk 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

first rough drawing in Photoshop

Here is my very first rough drawing done in photoshop. It is part of the salamander project I'm working on. (The frog will be the nemesis of one of the salamanders)

I drew the bullfrog in pencil first, and scanned it in. Then "painted" it, with several different brushes on different layers.Used varying amounts of transparency to get more vibrant colors. The gradient is on the bottom layer. Originally I was going to leave it on white, but the background color really makes it pop.

Friday, June 17, 2011

summer class

The summer semester has started, and I am very excited about the independent study course I am taking! Using "The Digital Matte Painting Handbook" by David B. Mattingly as the textbook to improve my Photoshop skills, I will be working with the instructor to create some short animations. I'll be able to use the computer lab at Parkland to work on After Effects, Flash, and MAYA.

The project ultimately will produce an educational video on salamanders for a Parkland biology professor. I will also be working on a personal animation project. I will soon start posting samples of the work I come up with over the summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

MAYA lantern scene

In this MAYA scene I used the Polygon tool to make the box of the lantern, including the disks and circles. The CV curve tool was used to make the top and the stand.

One of the wonders of MAYA is its ability to make shadows. Once I had placed the light source inside the lantern, and constructed walls and table, MAYA did the rest. Placing a faint 2nd light source (like first light of dawn) colored the shadows, and I made some adjustments to ensure they looked candle-light soft.

The candle shape initially looked like a solid dark gray cylinder, not a candle. Giving it color and making it translucent, with a fainter, 2nd light source inside ensured the candle-like appearance.

Push Pins MAYA scene


It will be a long time before I'm animating anything on MAYA, but, wow, is it fun to make images! The pushpin handles were made by drawing one line (representing 1/2 of the silhuetted shape), using the CV curve tool, then transformed it into a 3D image. I made the needles separately. Duplicated it, then gave them each color and texture, and lit the scene. Voila!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1st animated short

videoThis is the very first video I have ever made! I drew the cartoons with a Wacom tablet and stylus in Flash. The project called for starting with a circle and changing into something and back into a circle three times. Fun and silly!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The semester at Parkland has just ended, and here is the video I produced in my 2d animation class to showcase some of the Natural History mural work I've done. I'm very excited about doing more digital work, and the possibility of getting into animation! I will be showing other pieces I've done at Parkland soon. The quality of this image isn't too good, I also have it on You Tube, where it looks a lot better! Look under: prehistoric finished.mov video

Friday, May 6, 2011

T-shirt design.

This t-shirt was a design for my Computer Graphics class. The second of my pieces to make it into the student show, it was created using both Photoshop and Illustrator.

The project called for a design that evoked the work of a major graphic designer. I chose Moscoso whose style suited my taste for bright colors. Using a photo of a friend who posed for me, I masked out the background and used a variety of techniques, including color replacement, to get the psychedelic effect. The AIGA logo was drawn by hand, and scanned in.

Fright Night remake poster

The semester at Parkland is drawing to a close, and I am seeing some of the fruit of my studies. Two of my pieces made it into the Graphic Arts Student show, this poster was one of them!

It was made in Photoshop, using photos I took of a house near my neighborhood. One photo was at twilight, and the lit window was actually lit in that picture. However, there were too many other lights on, so most of the house is from a picture taken earlier in the day. Multiple effects were used to darken and distort it, giving the image a scary edge. The figure in the window was hand painted using Photoshop's brush tool.

The title font and style was chosen to make it more like the styles currently being used in horror movies. I added the spikes to the letters and kept the arrangement of title and tag line in honor of the original movie.

Horror is not my usual genre, so this was a fun and challenging change of pace.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

beetles


I don't normally like bugs, but Christopher Marley's photos of beetles really won me over. These are one of a set of note cards all featuring beetles. They are so bright and colorful, and arranged so precisely! The rhythm of the shell patterns and the arrangement of the various sizes and colors creates a very pleasing overall pattern. He has changed them from merely subjects of scientific study to objects d'art.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


This image from Branding & Design is provocative and elegant. It tells a story through simple images that make the product seem very attractive.

Monday, March 7, 2011


The image on the cover of a brochure for a show of Andrew Wyeth's work entitled "autobiography" gives a sense of "traveling" with the artist. Wyeth's style is so well known that it is not necessary to show the entire piece of art.

Monday, February 28, 2011


The colors and composition of this book cover are quite stunning. I love the juxtaposition of textures and the unexpectedly hued foliage. The title and other text is left very stark and simple, so as not to compete with the fascinating image.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heye Group T-Shirt

I thought this image by the Heye Group was apropos considering our current project. I like its starkness and simplicity.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

John E. Kaufmann's image "Reflections of the Shire" was created entirely in Photoshop. In the past he had done illustrations exclusively in airbrush and acrylic paint, but found that he could create even better effects using Photoshop.
I love the way he captured the feel of Hobbiton reflected in Bilbo's doorknob. The unusual viewpoint is homey and mysterious at the same time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This poster by Harry Pearce graphically portrays Burma's plight and its need for help. The placement of the burning letters gives the impression that they are also falling, like crumbling rafters.

All viewers know the danger of fire, and seeing the state of the name Burma creates curiosity. The word "Burma" is very similar to the word "burn", and the charring letters on fire creates the visual illusion of a sentence: "Burma is burning". It rivets the attention, and draws the viewer in to read the much smaller text for more details.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


"Six Blocks" by Craig Cutler is strong and beautiful for its simplicity. Being in black and white, the artist's use of space and texture shows that one does not always need color to make a striking image.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This poster is in the 3-D animation computer lab. The dramatic image evokes what is possible in 3-D, even when presented as a 2-D image.

The complex figure is balanced by the black background so the viewer is not overwhelmed by the intricate forms within it. Via these shapes, the figure appears to be "evolving" from wires or computer elements, which echoes the evolve theme of the event being promoted.

The curling shapes and the color (which echos the logo and font) of the "hair", lead the viewer's eye to the upper caption, the kettle and arms bring them down, and the curving lines in the "skirt" brings the eyes to the Computer Animation Festival info at the bottom. In spite of my fascination with the intricacies in the figure, my attention continues to return to the text.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This illustration really caught my eye, while paging through Contemporary Graphic Design by Taschen. I didn't know what it was at first, a wax sculpture perhaps? Then I realized it must be paint over a person's torso, and anything that's not red paint is invisible.

It is a cover for "Manic Street Preachers:Lifeblood" record album. It certainly conveys a feeling of blood, and life. The photo is by John Ross, the company is Farrow. They did at least three album covers for this group, all in the same style. Fans would not even need to see the name of the group, or any other text- the image syles so iconically identifies who they are.

I like that it is both stark and organic at the same time, a sense of movement caused by the flow of paint.