Tuesday, March 28, 2006

First Day of School #2

Okay, here's a second version in a second style. First version is in post below.

First Day Of School

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Star Gazing

There's this really special guy I know. And I think that when you receive your boarding pass to life here on earth, it should be a requirement that every one shall have a friend such as he to travel with. Rob gives much of his time to running local clubs, as well as volunteering to help those with disabilities. Plus he has been the cause of many of the smiles and laughs I have enjoyed since I've known him.

A few nights ago, we went star gazing in what felt like the dead of winter (we are talking Alaska cold)! He knows a great deal about the mysteries of space, seeing as he's in the astronomy club, so it was a wonderful time. Above is a much warmer version of our small adventure. This is for you, dear friend.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Lonely Space Ship

This one was so much fun to do. Only problem is that the brush and ink technique really bothers my wrist *sigh!* I'm trying to find a dip pen of some sort, or even a marker that mimics the look of brush and ink so I don't shread my wrists.

Pizza Party

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Swine is Too Rowdy

I love drawing snobby waiters...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lost: Final Version

Should Have Taken a Left Turn At Albuquerque..

The icecream painting from below is sitting on my desk half-done. There's something about it I don't like and am not sure I will be finishing it.


Here are some spot illustrations:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Final Sketch

Okay, so here we have the final sketch in blue. Much clearer and more balanced I think. I didn't like the way the vendor's elbow was jammed off the edge of the page, it made him look cramped. So I moved the edge over a few inches to give him more breathing room. I then added the pole to the umbrella as well and removed the writing on the cart. Let's see what else..I put a SHIRT on the elephant. He looked creepy without one and it was giving me the willies. The kid's legs were too short, so I lengthened them and added some meat on their bones. No Waif children in MY art ;-) I then lowered the horizon so it didn't cut the kids in half so awkwardly. Ewww..cut the kids in half?? I know there's a better way to say that but can't think if it, sorry. I think that's about it for changes. Oh yeah, added a hat on the girl to add interest. Now let's hope and pray to God above that this darn thing turn out well in color. I need a good postcard image, stat!

Oops, forgot to mention the mirror image. I did that with photoshop to get a fresh view and after printing it out as a reference, preferred it over the other.

What's with the stinkin' spell check not working on blogger? *groan* And I'm such an awful speller too. Ah well. Oh, found an online spell check, how nice. Worcks grate tew. <---oops! ;-)

Monday, March 20, 2006

In Line for Ice Cream

This will definitely be going through a tracing paper stage as there are lots of changes that need to be made. This illustration was inspired by all the lines I've waited in over the last couple weeks. One lady at a Subway ordered 6 twelve inch sandwiches with everything on them. You should have seen the looks on the faces of the people behind me (and admittedly my face as well, I imagine..). I've been on both sides of that situation though. It's frustrating either way.

Park Bench

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Jumping Bed - final

Jumping Bed Sketch

This sketch is quite a bit different than the one I initially scanned into the computer. I moved things around a lot in photoshop, particularly the three boys. I really wanted them to look poetic in the air, and to have a good visual flow between them. Photoshop is great for picking up a part of the drawing and moving it about to quickly find what's best. The resizing option is a Godsend too. I finished with a little air-brush shading to get a feel for where I would like to put shadows.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Growth Chart Final

Growth Chart Sketch

Color Final

Top Ten Things I Learned From This Piece:

10. I can, once every blue moon, like my own work
09. Ink smears when you accidentally run your hand over it (notice big blotch slightly right of boy's head)
08. Thumbnail sketches really work - God Bless 'em!
07. Dip pen and ink really does add a lot of character to the line. Prefer that now over technical pen.
06. I'm taking a break from drawing rosy red cheeks on kids.
05. I rediscovered Uri Shulevitz while desperately looking for rain illustration references
04. Painting stage is much easier the stronger the drawing is. If the painting is effortless, then that's a good sign the drawing will be successful
03. Did I mention thumbnail sketches? Oh yes I did. Well I'll say it again. They work!
02. Oh crap it's almost 2am. Time flies when you're drawing
01. It's possible to almost fall asleep while blogging...

Friday, March 17, 2006

New Sketch

Brother number two is having a March Birthday - Duane Keiser was born on St. Patrick's day (his middle name is Patrick). He's the artist of
A Painting A Day :

http://duanekeiser.blogspot.com/ (I don't have time today to figure out how to make this a link..)

Above is an illustration of him thinking about what he's going to paint. Probably the rain storm I imagine - he's painted a few of those. If it comes out well I'll give it to him for his b-day.

Repeat Posts

Sorry to Bloglines and other RSS subscribers for the repeat posts. Blogger was being strange last night, giving me multiple error message that I had never seen before. I kept reposting trying to get it to work, and even changed the title around wondering if that had anything to do with it. What can ya do?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thumbnail Sketches

This is a good question to ask yourself regarding your dreams: How bad do you want it? Well gosh, how can I even put this on a scale? MY dream is to break into trade books, and I'm willing to do just about anything it takes. I will even draw....*GASP*....thumbnail sketches.

Yes this is the big step I'm taking that will probably do a whole lotta good for my portfolio. A step I have resisted time and time again because my first impulse is to jump right in. I worried about losing the spark and the looseness of the drawing if I planned too much (translation : I have no patience..). The problem is that I have often ended up unhappy with the end results. So as Pooh would sit down and tap his paw to his head while saying "think, think, think," I did just that while on my trip. I didn't have time to put much paint brush to paper, but I still tried to at least solve some problems that might be holding me back. My conclusion was that I needed to plan the drawing more and take extra time thinking about the composition, and of course, the meaning of the piece.

Part of this realization came while I was watching the 2005 version of "Pride and Prejudice" and listening to the director's commentary. I loved all the thought he put into each scene; the lighting, the placement of objects, the angles. It inspired me to think more about where I place the "camera" in my illustrations.

So I will not allow myself to even touch the paints and watercolors until I have fully explored the possibilities with thumbnails, and arrived at a good strong sketch via drawing paper/typing paper (my bad habit has been to sketch right on the watercolor paper, which just isn't working for me). In the end I'm doing this for myself so that I am happier with the end product. We'll see how it goes. 'Bad' habits are hard to break.

Above are some thumbnails of a new illustration of kids jumping on a bed. Should be fun! And of course there are loads of different angles to explore with a subject like this one. Kudos to you if you can make any sense at all of these hideous scribbles.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

IWIN Competition

Well I've been on a trip for the past several days, so sorry for the slump in posts. I did get one thing done though - a book cover illustration for the IWIN competition. (www.smartwriters.com). I'll be back home Thursday!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Illustration Friday: Insect

My all time favorite insect is the firefly!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Scary Story

I used to loooove ghost stories and sleepovers. I still love ghost stories (true ones).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Classroom Counting

I'm happy with this one. For one thing, I tackled a lot of things that usually give me a lot of difficulty - namely drawing people around tables, and interiors. One day I won't have to think about the technical side of things, and I can concentrate just on the subject and idea I want to get across. Won't that be nice?

Is That.....BONO?!

When I was in highschool, I was known for my complete and utter obsession over U2, specifically Bono. Their posters were all over my locker, binders,etc.. any art I did in art class always had something to do with them or their music. My bedroom was wallpapered corner to corner (not one inch of wall showing) with their mugs. Then when I went to college I started a U2 cover band and played the drumset.

Although I have lightened up on the memorabilia a great deal, I'm still very passionate about their music. So when I was told to illustrate bedroom w/ a rock poster for my first illustration gig (early reader) over a year ago, I couldn't help myself...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I could draw snow scenes all day and would love illustrate a snow book of some sort--talk about pure heaven!

For John

This is for my brother John, the pilot. Happy early birthday! We bought lots of fun stuff for you at the mall today, hope you like it. Be on the lookout for a huge box with embarrassing things written on it. :-D (heh heh..)