Monday, June 30, 2008

Scare Bear

Here are some sketches for a new illustration. The final will be handled much like the previously posted Kids vs Squirrel. The top sketch is nearly ready for transferring to illustration board and painting. The bottom sketch is earlier in the process.

Some of the changes I made between the two versions and why:
  • I moved the bear up. He now has more presence, he's also bigger/closer to the viewer
  • The dog is more animated and stylized - a little goofy looking. I like that!
  • The kneeling boy has been nerdified - I think that makes him more distinctive.
  • I changed the standing boys gaze and expression to differentiate him from the kneeling boy.
  • Details! Between the two drawing I spent time studying: bears, canteens, hiking boots, trees and ferns. I also took some reference photos of myself (and my wife) assuming the poses in the illustration.

Illustration Friday: Fierce

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The heart and soul of my hometown is The Music Hall, a 125+ year-old theater that features live performances and movies. Summerfilm is the Music Hall's film series that runs from Memorial Day through Labor day and features an eclectic mix of Hollywood blockbusters, art films and classics. Where else can you see Tarzan and his Mate (1932) one night and No Country for Old Men the next?

I created this poster for one of the first Summerfilms and it hung around town and in the lobby. It's a loving homage to the giant monster movies I grew up watching. I think that thing qualifies as fierce.

Special thanks to fellow illustrator John Watson for insisting I submit this for the Illustration Friday topic "fierce."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Illustration Friday: Hoard

This balloon cheeked vermin was inspired by the Illustration Friday topic "Hoard".

I gave myself three hours to create the illustration (from concept to final piece). I experimented with a style that I want to cultivate - line art with color washes. The black line is India Ink; the color is acrylic with colored pencil. I did this on toothy, "cold press" watercolor paper.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Attic Detail

I first posted sketches for the "Attic" back on May 18th. I'm putting finishing touches on the final painting this week. Here's a closeup of a scaredy squirrel.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Illustration Friday: Punchline

FROM THE ARCHIVES: One of my first paying clients was a comedy promoter. These are a couple of the many posters I created for comedy shows. Although the pay was modest, it was a great way to beef up my skimpy portfolio and get some much needed exposure - plus I always made sure I got myself some free tickets!

A sad side note: I had to scan the actual posters because the digital files are too outdated to open!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Attic Kids: Painting Progress

I'm making progress on the final attic painting! The actual piece is 14" x 10" and done in acrylic. This is approximately 75% done.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Illustration Friday: Forgotten

I had forgotten my "pillow in the freezer" technique to keep cool on hot and humid summer nights. And yes, I did have Pac Man sheets.

I just celebrated a milestone birthday and that has me feeling nostalgic. Another year older plus the first heatwave of the year brought this memory to mind.

Speaking of minds and forgetting - while working on this illustration I jumped up from my desk and ran to the kitchen. Once there, I had NO IDEA what had compelled me to go in there. I stood stupefied for a moment and returned to my desk. I then remembered I had intended to study the fridge for this illustration.

Illustration Friday is a great excuse to try a new technique. For this illustration I scanned the pencil drawing and printed it on heavy matte paper. I then applied acrylic washes to to the print. I also worked fast and loose (for me). I spent just under three hours on this illustration.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


One of the fringe benefits of being an illustrator for the children's market is that it gives me an excuse to buy TOYS!

Toys connect me to my past and to the stories and characters that have inspired me. That hunk of plastic sitting on my desk reminds me of the hours I spent sitting in kindergarten, drawing Godzilla over and over.

I got married last year. I'm starting to look into buying a house for the first time. I'm fast approaching one of those milestone birthdays. There's no doubt that I've grown up. But I'm happy (and relieved) that I haven't grown out my love of monsters, aliens, ghouls and dinosaurs!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Acrylic Study

OK, OK - I know, everyone is sick of these sketches and color studies! But this is the last one!