Saturday, March 6, 2010

— Day 3 —

I know I said I was going to focus on animals, but this lady was too fun to sketch while I was in a meeting.
— DAY 2 —

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Madness…

To help spark my creativity, I've set a goal to do a new illustration a day, each in a different style, for the entire month of March. Because I like them, I'm going to focus on animals. Here's day 1:

— DAY 1 —

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Were-Rabbit® Buns…

I just made these for fun. They are modeled after the bunnies from Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. They are by no means identical, nor did I design them in any way. I just think they're really cute and gave me some good practice with the sculpey clay.

On that note, I'm finding the sculpey to be a bit difficult to work with, mostly because it is so soft, it wants to collapse. I had great difficulty with the mouth area and had to modify it to be a simple opening with teeth. I also ended up breaking one of the ears off of the gray bunny and had to Frankenstein it back together.

Ahhh! Big kitties!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Polar Bears…

I've been playing around with some other illustration techniques—mainly creating 3D sculptures and photographing them. This is my first attempt and was supposed to be this year's Christmas Card. *cough* They didn't quite get done. I wasn't happy with any of the photographs and need to make myself a portable photographers studio to get the lighting to come out better.

I made the bears out of sculpey clay then added eyes with a sharpie and nose and foot detail with powdered graphite. I then burnished that with a hog's hair bright to "set" the graphite. I tried photographing on a piece of glass over blue paper. I think I would have preferred to use the flaked snow in the background as opposed to the blanket of snow…

The lighting differences all have to do with the way I'm setting the white balance. I try a number of different settings and focus on different areas. Well, maybe this will be next year's Christmas card.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What’s New This Week…

Just finished up a book on undersea adventures for a local client. Here are some of the internal pages. The project was done in Adobe Illustrator and stared out with pencil sketches on copy paper.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year’s Goals…


This year, my number one goal is to draw and paint more. You might say, “but you're an illustrator. You draw for a living. Why would you possibly need to draw more?” In some ways that is true, but I draw for my clients, my viewers and sometimes even my readers and not for myself. Drawing for myself will allow me to explore more media and challenge my abilities as an artist. My first step in drawing and painting more is to get my studio organized.

Why is organization important?
Being organized in the studio allows me to find all the papers, supplies and design tools needed to create whatever I feel like drawing at that moment. Nothing is worse than trying to create something that has popped into your mind, when you have to find all your supplies. The creative spark often times simply disappears, or you get discouraged and stop the process altogether. I have found this to be true when simply doodling or even when working on the computer.

How can I create organized chaos?
I don't want to get lost in detail. I tend to be a quick artist and like to draw spontaneously. There are detail artists out there, and they are very good at what they do. I simply am not one. I tend to get bored with working on the same piece forever. This is of course different when I'm working on a client's piece—that I will work until it is perfect for both of us. But I don't want to get lost in noodling* a project.

For spontaneity, I make sure that I am up early in the morning—usually no later than 6 a.m. This time allows me for all the chores I have to complete, finish up any pressing work and e-mails that pop up and I can clear my day for drawing. I also thrive on coffee and tea. Though I drink decaf, it is a ritualistic thing I do that starts my day—find something that you enjoy that is both relaxing and invigorating. I know that's kind of a contradiction, but for me coffee both relaxes me, yet wakes me up.

Secondly, when I illustrate, I try not to look at anything for reference. I think you get a much more pure piece of artwork. Rather than trying to copy something, whether it be a photograph, object or another artists style, just put pencil to paper and draw from your mind. When I want to draw a still life, I like to draw whatever I see that is interesting. I may move objects around a little bit, but I try not to spend more than about 5-10 minutes setting up a still life. Otherwise, I'm just noodling again.

Thirdly, and for me one of the most important, is music. I listen to a wide variety of music and each musician means something different for me. You however might like silence. Shut off your cell phone, turn off your e-mail, turn off your phone ringer. Shut the door and just create.

*noodling: working on a project forever making tiny changes until you destroy the original intent.