Saturday, January 31, 2009

Illustration Friday: Flawed 2

Thought I would continue this idea from my first Illustration Friday entry...

Too dirty for a moose!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Illustration Friday: Flawed

Too clean for a pig! :0)

Ready, Set, GO!

While I wait for comments on the second set of sketches for Raj The Bookstore Tiger, I've started preliminary work for Baby Moose Comes to Visit! Hooray! This manuscript made me laugh out loud at all the mischief the main two characters get into-- so I can't wait to add my own slant to the humor. Here are a couple color sketches.

Also, I thought I would answer a couple watercolor questions I was asked recently. For paints I use the Winsor & Newton Artist's series and paint mostly on hot-press paper, although if I feel in a painterly mood I'll use the cold press for that added texture.

For flesh tones I'll start with a really light wash of cadmium yellow, then follow that up with light washes of cadmium red for the edges of the face, a little blush and softer shadows. If I want a darker shadow I'll go with Burnt Sienna and sometimes will add a little extra red to that as well so the shadow doesn't flatten. I'll then add some slight touches of cadmium orange and primrose to the cheeks and nose. I also make sure the surface is slightly wet before adding the blush so that the colors runs across the cheeks smoothly.

Some people are very technical and studious about mixing watercolors, but I'm basically a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of painter. I'm always mixing odd colors together - a dash of this or that, and if it doesn't work I don't do it again lol. I'm still definitely student of this medium and in fact feel most at home with oil paints. I don't think I will ever feel at home with watercolors - they just don't allow for you to relax...ever..because of their unpredictability. But then again that's why I like them.

Thanks for the questions!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Illustration Friday: Climbing

This just made it - it's 11:54 pm on Thursday!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Meet Monet

This is my new Betta fish, Monet! I saw a fish bowl at my Vet's office with this beautiful, velvet blue and purple fish swimming around and asked about it. Next thing I knew I was at Petco asking the fish expert every question under the sun and filling my basket with aquarium supplies.

Running an aquarium looks simple but it's actually a very delicate thing that requires (at least the first few weeks) constant monitoring of the water chemistry and temperature (for tropical fish).

The kind of fish I bought is a male Betta - very territorial so the store keeps them in these little cups. There's an ongoing debate among fish hobbyists whether this is cruel or not - alls I know is the fish looked sad and sickly in there.

So here's how Monet arrived in his little cup. He looked well, but lethargic. I put him on my bookcase away from 'traffic' and drafts in my studio and got to work putting together his new ten gallon (Hilton Hotel lol) tank. It took FOUR hours and several phone calls to a friend of mine about properly setting it up. Mistakes - even small ones - can mean the death of the new fish within a week.

I waited 24 hours to let the tank cycle a bit and cleaned out some of the water in Monet's cup - I also placed him under my little desk lamp to raise the temp of his water to above 75 (which is what they prefer). After a good water cleaning in small increments he actually began to stretch out his fins and swim around a little. He was feeling better!

Finally the time came to introduce him to his new tank. This was also a long slow process which I won't bore you with, but his release was fascinating. He don't know much beyond the tiny cup he lived in and so he was a bit clumsy getting used to his new home. He had never been given a chance to swim fast or long distances so this was all new to him.

After a few weeks I'll start adding more fish over time. But for now it's just Monet, Risky and I.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Warm-up Sketches and a Thumbail Sketch

Writing in the Age Of Distraction

This is a great article - it's for writers, but can definitely be applied to illustrators as well.

Writing in the Age Of Distraction

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trial Painting

As I'm finishing up the sketches/mock-up for Raj: The Bookstore Tiger I'll continue to try out different pages in color to make sure things are working. A lot of times it's a complete mystery whether certain compositions will come out well in the end--plus I'm always tweaking the style.

I'll most likely end up doing this over after more changes are made to the sketches by the art director, but I just view it as another chance to add or take out things I wasn't happy with the first time around.

How To Sharpen A Charcoal Pencil

After dealing with several failed attempts to get my charcoal pencil points sharpened I did a search on google and found this invaluable video. If anyone else has some charcoal pencil tips, such as good sharpeners that don't break the delicate points, or a pencil brand that's tougher, please post here! By far my worst experience has been with "Pro Art" charcoal pencils - they are a nightmare when it comes to constant breaking and I hardly got any actual drawing out of them. It went more like this - sharpen, break, sharpen, break, sharpen, break - then when the pencil was down to half -size a miracle would occur and I could draw with it a little....before it broke again..

Charcoal Pencil Sharpening Demo

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Your Blood Sugar Levels Will Rise

Here's a link to a video of my new little niece, Julianna (my brother Daune is the Daddy) saying her first vowel.....soooooo cute!! Her Mommy, Rosemary, is the voice encouraging her vocal exercise. I promise it will make you smile.

Julianna's first vowel

Friday, January 09, 2009

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Twitter With Me!

I just joined Twitter and am pretty enamored with it. If you haven't heard of it, it's a site where you update what you're currently doing throughout the day in a couple sentences or less. A pretty neat idea. Everytime you update, anyone who is 'following' your profile receives the post on their page. Blogging buddy Eric Orchard has a profile on there as well and he's a very active member (which I hope to be as well).

Come join me!

Twitter - What Are You Doing?

Boy Reading

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Another Pig

Happy New Year!

I hope the New Years festivities haven't left you feeling like this.....

Or left you pacing over the good and bad of 2008......

In the end it's always best to put the past behind you. :) Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Best of luck in 2009!