Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Thursday, April 28, 2011


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

IF - Rescue

This is what was inspired by this weeks IF word - Rescue.
The mermaid girl is rescuing the sea turtle from a fishing net.

I will be working this up to a finished illustration.
It will probably take more than a week though because I am working up several rough ideas to select from to take to finished art.
I'll edit this post with the tight line art for this image if I can get it done before Friday.
If you would like to see the other roughs I am working on, they can be viewed here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Process Report - 

Yesterday I finished the revision to the last assignment of my illustration class.
The revision was self imposed. I didn't like the digital collage version that I made so I decided to redo the art.

Here's the process I went through.

The original rough...
As I remember them the comments during the critique were as follows...
She looks very uncomfortable, both in body position and by having her straddle that very big branch.
There's too much going on with the multiple nests, squirell, the mouse, and the bug.

I agreed with the comments so I searched the "net" for some images of kids sitting in trees, as well as, robins, and fall clothes.
Then I reworked the rough and came up with this...

The girls clothes stayed the same.
Her posture was improved and I changed the tree to have a curving horizontal trunk that I found on the "net."
I added another horizontal trunk so she would have a place to rest her foot.
I added another robin and positioned him so that the beaks of both birds pointed to her hand offering up the piece of sandwich. This helped improve the focal point of the image.
I removed one nest from the bottom of the image, the squirell, mouse, and bugs.
The mouse will be appearing in another illustration along with several more.

I took this rough and decided that I would do an inked version.
One of my areas to focus on this year is black and white line art.
I believe I need more for my portfolio. And I like doing it.
So, this is the first inked image. It's more of a coloring book,open feel.
The type would be printed in black in the upper left leaves.

It could be used as is, or flat color could be added using Illustrator for a screen printed feel.
I liked this one, but I wanted to do a "fully inked version."
So I inked it again...

This time I used "heavy blacks" to make sure the focus stayed on the girls hand.
I focussed on texture and giving the robins some "personality."
I really like this version. It will go onto my web site and to my agent.

I still had the urge to paint the image in color to get that "fall feeling" with the color.
So I went back to the rough and transfered it to a piece of watercolor board and made a tight pencil drawing. Then I did an under painting using watercolors.
It came out like this...

I removed the upper right nest.
I have to say that this is the first time I purposely started with an underpainting, and I was worried about how the final art was going to turn out. So I put it away for a few days because I wanted to start the next step of painting it with gouache when I was able to sit down and focus on it properly. The holidays were here and there was no time for an involved painting session.

Around the 27th my wife got tired of looking at me a day and told me I needed to get back to work. So I spent all day out in the studio and painted the final version.
I was still worried about how it was going to turn out, so I started with the robin on the left to build up some confidence.

He came out like this...  

I liked the way he turned out. So with my confidence restored I continued on with the rest of the painting.
It turned out like this...

I like it. It's not the usual bright "Yellow, Red, Orange" fall pallet. It's more of a muted version.
Now I can say I am done with this image. I don't feel the need to do any other versions of it.
I am considering using the multiple images in some sort of self promotional way.

There were a few revelations that came from doing several versions of this image.
The first was that I have always liked doing black and white art. 
So I will do more.
The second is that I like to do animals realistically with some personality. 
So I will do more.
The third is that my work improves when I search for reference materials and use them to influence the final art instead of making everything up from my imagination/memory all of the time. 
So I will do more.
The fourth is I like to paint. And I need to develop my color sense and modeling of the form. 
So I will do more.
Lastly I have talent that people want and I need to let them know it with self promotion. 
So I will do more.

So my recommendation to you for 2010 is "to do more."
Good luck in the new year!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Color revision time.

At this weeks Illustration class we showed our work for the emergent reader.
The comments on my work were mixed.
The main one that I need to focus on to improve my art is that the backgrounds are interfering with the ability to see the characters. 
It was recommended that I change the colors, remove some color and show "the white of the page", and or make the background colors flat/solid and not so washy.
With that in mind I have played around in Photoshop a bit to do some quick revisions...

This is the original painting...

This is with a solid lavender for the upper part and a solid brown for the bottom part without touching the middle red and white bit.

This one has a solid blue top part, solid red and white stripe, and a solid brown bottom part.
This one has a solid white upper part without touching anything else.
Let me know your opinion on the best way to proceed. 

These are the "finished" pieces I showed in class...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Even tighter line art

These are the the line drawings that I print out onto watercolor paper.
I will reduce the opacity to about 10 or 15% so that I can see the lines to do the watercolor painting .
After the painting is done I will go over it with either pen or a combination of pen and colored pencil.
After the paintings are finished I will scan them and add the type using Adobe Illustrator.

I should say that I don't usually revise my art this many times.
Usually the process is roughs, tight pencils, transfer to the painting surface, and then paint.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Updates on IF art

I have updated some of my recent IF drawings from past weeks.
I changed the line work on this one by making the out lines of the foreground characters thicker.

I'll be painting this one in the future.

I colored these with markers as studies for painting in the future.

And this last one is the line art for last weeks IF- Sugary.