English / Castellano

Bears,
illustrated
Download & hang

April

Kenzie LaMar-Rubens

from San Diego, California (USA)
hairymenart.blogspot.com

When asked to do this piece I was told the dimensions, month and the few restrictions there would be for each work done for the calendar. Black and white as well as square dimensions are actually something I am really not fond of so I got a bit nervous. I wanted to do a pinup style image and having the composition be square meant that there would be a lot of space around the guy if I had his whole body in the composition, unless I had lots of foreshortening and/or had him bent all up to fit in the square. I didn't think that either of those was something I would like in a pinup so that made me want to just do part of his body. I wanted to have his face in the image and wanted him exposed. I am not much into adornment fetishes personally and I am not in the mindset that hiding the naughty bits is sexier than showing them. The only major fetish I have is that I love, and I can't stress it enough, LOVE beards and body hair. In my own sex life I have not been able to find men sexually stimulating at all without lots of facial hair and lots of body hair. So my guy here was going to be hairy and bearded. The type of super thick beard that almost looks fake and grows all the way up to his lower eyelids. I also like short all around thick husky guys with moderate bellies. I think smart guys are sexier than macho looking guys so I wanted him to look erudite. It shouldn't be surprising that I find glasses sexy... I wear them, many family members wear them, most of the college professors and teachers in school I had crushes on wore them. There is a bit of nerd in him. Very few things can melt me into love pudding like a guy I am deeply attracted to smiling at me. My husband commented that I gave my guy in this calendar his smile, and I think he's right. I married him! Obviously I am very attracted to him so his features are going to come out in my artwork naturally!! Lately I have been really appreciating extremely hairy asses and backs. Not that I didn't like them before but for some reason I have been noticing them more lately. I have not often done much artwork of men showing off there backs and asses so I thought that would be a good thing to use as my muse. I wanted my month (April) to also play a part in the image so I thought having the setting be in a warm bedroom while it's cold and rainy outside would be appropriate.

The techniques and methods I use often change and also depend on the type of artwork I am making. I hadn't done a "painting" in a while so I chose that rather than my usual line art and cell shading. I say "painting" but the artwork I have been making for over the last 10 years has all been 100% digital. It feels a bit more like drawing but in terms of the mental process of creating the artwork its more close to the way I used to paint in oils. I started with 2 sketches I had in my head. Really fast thumbnails. Then I started searching online gathering reference images for the 2 ideas. Once I had a few images and felt I was ready I decided to try something I don't often do. I modeled the background elements in 3D with Softimage so that I could get perfect perspective and work out the composition fast with a camera (in 3D on the computer). Normally I don't bother doing all that but I thought this would be a good test to see if this method took more or less time than drawing everything by hand from scratch. It actually ended up taking a bit less time and made doing the background much easier than if I had drawn everything from scratch. I still painted it all, I just had the screen grab of the 3D to use for the basis of the composition and perspective. Then in photoshop I drew the background and finished up the line art for the character. Once that was done I then started creating layers and filling in the colors I wanted for each object in the image. I actually painted this in color and at the end gray scaled it and tweaked the contrast to make the composition work in black and white. Like I said, I really don't like working in black and white. I just find it boring. After all the layers were made for each object I then started globally and quickly doing an initial lighting pass. I wanted 2 light sources. Initially I had 3 but I ended up going with only 2. Then in each layer I would refine the details of each object and "paint it up". I finished the background and then moved on to the character. I reworked the lighting on the character twice. That is what in the initial fast blocking out of lighting that made me reduce from 3 lights down to 2. I liked the character with 2 better. Once the character was painted I moved on to paying attention to the edges of all the objects and flattened them into 1 layer to more easily soften certain edges and sharped others. Once that was complete I painted all the body hair on a separate layer. Then when every detail was finished I flattened the whole thing and tweaked the hue, saturation and value of the image (still in color). Once that was complete I then did the same for the the black and white version. Done!! Throughout working I constantly was looking at reference images, flipping the artwork horizontally back and fourth as well as zooming in and out to make sure everything looked the way I wanted it to.

This was a lot of fun to do and I am happy to have had the opportunity to have worked on this calendar with such talented artists.

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