Tim Shumate is a 30 year old illustrator/artist, Chicago-based and with a degree in Editorial Illustration from the American Academy of Art. He currently works as an Art Director at Bradford Exchange making sculptures and collectibles. Tim also works as a freelance tattoo design artist and illustrator by commission.
I really enjoy looking at Shumate’s artwork and very much aspire to create works to that degree of excellence, I hope to one day be able to make work to the standard that he does. I like the style he works in, it has the elements of a Manga/Disney approach, but after it has been coloured in, it gives the overall painting dimension and the whole thing comes to life. He always chooses the right amount of tone to put in the different areas of the designs he creates; and the backgrounds are always simple and balance out the colours he has used for the actual design of the subject.
This first piece of art above I really like because of the colours he has used in it. The art is based around the character Elphaba in the theatre production of Wicked. The overall green colour really makes this piece stand out from the others, the connotations of the green colour and the story are also relevant. The background application looks similar to the way watercolour dried when dabbed after it has been put down on a piece of thick paper. The depth in this image is evident because of the glowing orb in the subjects hands; the light emitting from this can be seen all over her face as well as her hair, her chest and even the flying monkey sitting on her hat.
This would have been a tattoo design hence the banner at the bottom, but I feel like selling them as prints and t-shirts (as he does) is a good idea because of the popularity of the subjects he chooses to do his artwork around. Picking people who are quite trendy at that moment in time, will give the image more traffic meaning more people will see it and pass it on. The design of the banner is not necessary if it was just a print or t-shirt, but I think adding it there not only stops the lower torso from coming to an awkward stop at the bottom of the page, but also gives the artwork as a whole some shape; having the banner there constricts the artwork to only the edges of the banner and what feels like is the squished circle in the centre, however there are certain points of the painting that lay over the top of the circle, again giving the overall image a nice balance.
I think the eyes can be led around this image because of the very bright circle in the centre, your eyes see that and then go on to the glowing orb, then to the points of Elphabas body that the light of the orb is highlighting. You follow her face up to the top of her hat and then see the monkey, then going back down her hat you look back over the neck/chest/hands area and then read the bottom banner, which adds context to the image, without the banner and possibly the flying monkey, the image may be hard guess the subject, but with the details such as the green tint all over and the pointed witches hat, one could guess who it is.
This next one, above, is another popular culture reference to Star Trek. The use of different but limited colours in this one is quite interesting. Although the artist could have added many more shades of the colours already down, he chose to leave them as they are. Again the depth within this painting is similar to that of the one above this one; the subject appears 3D whilst also still remaining in that cartoon like state. The colours used for the background in contrast with what she is wearing, really plays with the eyes. The dress the character is wearing is red, the background the dress is against is a bright blue that fades into a darker and darker blue, followed by some hints of red/rusty colour around the edges.
I think the eyes again can be led around this image because of the different solid areas ones eyes can focus on for a while. The eyes see the characters face first, followed by the dress and the logo she is sat on because of the contrast in colour, the red against the yellow, against the blue. Your eyes then follow the thin white lines around to the small circles of planets and then the words; which I think is a nice area to finish on as the words you can either consciously choose to read first, or follow through to it at the end where you would have seen the character and then the words would make all the information given to you in the image make complete sense.
To conclude, I think Tim does think about what colours he uses for what sections before he does. He obviously takes into account the character he is drawing up, but aside from that the background, if it is a different colour, has been carefully thought out to make the character stand out more because it is the subject of the artwork.