Monday, September 22, 2008

The Work Area

Alright, here is a picture of my work area and a little preview of a new piece that I am working on. More in the direction of fashion-like imagery, I basically use the same thought process that I would approach any other painting, collecting tons of reference and inspiring visuals. You see torn pages from magazines everywhere, on the table, on the floor (even though I am quite fastidious), books from the library, and I also collect images from the web. All this is just to try and capture a feel for the painting and make sure I am consistently headed in the right direction. I also have a bundle of illustrators works posted on my wall, just to keep me inspired while I work and to always have new images that I like in front of me. I never hang up my own work, it just....mmmmm I don't know, it seems that you would have more progression learning from others, and artists that think differently rather than seeing your own images.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My First Book Signing at the Tom Joyner Family Reunion Convention in Orlando, Florida!!

AG Ford (left) Jonah Winter (right)

Hello all! Here are a couple of pictures from the Tom Joyner Family Reunion event in Orlando Florida where I had my first book signing along with the author, Jonah Winter of our new picture book "Barack". This was actually a first look at the book and a sneak opportunity for people to purchase before the release date of September 30th, 2008. We signed a lot of books and viewers were excited to see and read this inspirational story about Barack Obama. I myself am really excited to see the book hit stores and was overwhelmed when receiving a finished copy of the printed book. I had a really nice time talking with people about the process of book making, my experience with deadlines and the intensity of creating all the images for a full picture book.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Obama Sample for Harper Collins!!

This was a sample piece I did for Harper Collins which ultimately earned me the opportunity to work on my first full picture book for young readers. The picture book is based on the life story of the inspirational leader Barack Obama and is written by the award winning author of many picture books, Jonah Winter. I had a lot of fun doing this piece, especially from a historical perspective. I also wanted Barack's pose to have sentimental value and power, which is the reason I wanted him with his fist launched in the air with power. African Americans identify a fist in the
air symbolic of their struggle and a gesture that says "as African
Americans, be strong, we can make it through anything". It gives the sentiment of when John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fist's in the 1968 Olympic
Games which was the same year that Martin Luther King was
assassinated. I also wanted to show Barack in a position where he was
speaking to his people, this also gives you the tenderness you feel
when seeing a picture of Martin Luther King speaking, from which the
author makes reference to in the story. Be on the look out for "Barack" to hit stores late Sept 2008 (date may change), written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by AG Ford(me!)

Also, This piece was done with an acrylic under painting (value based) and then oil over top. Basically the same technique as the painting below, oil really helps the paint strokes look more appealing. I really wanted the strokes to be visible with a piece like this because it gives the painting emotion, and this is a passionate piece.

Friday, March 21, 2008

HOMER B!!!!! oils, 2 session painting, just for fun.

Here is the finish of my first shot at oils in a while. I tried to stay slightly neutral in the skin tones in order for the fire to glow. This took me about two and a half days which is way too long for a portrait but I was pretty experimental in the proccess. Im transfering into using oils more just because I think it is a more powerful medium. I usually use acrylic but after talking with other artists, I finally decided to make the leap and dive into some oils. I always felt like I would like illustrating in oil. Also shown is the drawing and the underpainting for which I then paint the finish on top. Once I have my value structure in place, I am basically just replacing the values with color while still maintaing the structure. Oh yeah, and this is a friend of mine, he enjoys art and likes graffiti, so I decided to do something kind of street and urban, its a bad pic but you get the idea, its time for a new camerea though, upgrade!