Monday, March 29, 2010

New rough concepts

I'm working on rough ideas for more portfolio pieces.
This one is pretty easy to read. It's a nice bright country scene of two boys fishing with their pet dog.
I the lower right corner will be a Kingfisher who has caught the first fish.
The background will be the lake and the shore with a simple fishing cabin.
I'm seeing a blue green lake, a dark brown-black tree and reflected light on the boys/dog.
As you can see I still need to take a good look at my dog reference to get his anatomy correct.
This one is my idea for the IF web site.
The word of the week is "rescue."
This is my mermaid rescuing a sea turtle from a fishing net.
I'm thinking a purple and yellow fantasy type of color scheme would be good here.
Her hair will fill up the top right corner of the image.
I wanted to do some simpler images as well, so I started drawing a character that filled most of one half of the page. I wanted to get a info page in science book feel.
This guy is holding up his peanut butter sandwich. The facts would be printed on the white part of the bread.
I'm not sure what she will be holding up yet.
Any suggestions?
I will be doing some paintings of characters standing on their own for practice/filler.
I believe I'll be doing a few more rough ides before I start painting any of them.
I would like to work up a night scene and probably a winter and rainy scene also.

Part of the reason for doing these illustrations is to solidify in my mind how I draw/paint people.
Another is to see if any of the people start to reoccur and become characters that I can show in multiple images.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Status Report 3/21/10

It's Finished!
I worked into the wee hours of the night Friday night and got it most of the way done, and then did a little touch up here and there on Saturday morning and finished it up.
Here it is...

Here are some close up details..
The bird

The orange cat

and the dog

I'm happy with the way it turned out and am glad I tried out a new way of painting.
I now have a better understanding of why an underpainting is important.
I never understood why an artist would spend so much effort on an underpainting only to completely paint it over before. Now I do.
The extra step of a light coat of workable fixative over the underpainting was worth it also.
The fixative kept the water color from bleeding through the gouache.
You have to be careful not to put too much fixative on though. If you do the gouache will just puddle on the surface and not stick or cover well.

As a final step I sprayed a couple of coats of clear sealant over the image.
Gouache can pick up fingerprints and such very easily so I wanted to protect it.

I believe I will be revising my website so that this image will be the splash/home page.
The image that is up now was created digitally and I want to let visitors know that I am a traditional illustrator first and a digital illustrator second.
You can see my web site at ...
to see what I mean.

I believe I'll be taking what I learned from this painting and revisiting my bird book ideas.
I have two ideas I want to work on. A Boardbook about colors and one about the alphabet.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Status Report 3/19/10

This is just a quick pic from my laptop.

I was able to put some more time in on this.
I worked on the two cats the bird, the girl and the ground plane since the last post.
It's coming along fine.
I need to get it finished over the weekend because my agent wants to post it on their section of
I should be able to get it done.
I just have to do the dog and his bone, the bushes in the foreground, and some flowers on the bushes in the background and foreground, and then step back and see what needs more work before I call it done.

I'll do a good scan of it tomorrow and show some details.

IF - Expired

I found a great new way to combine two weeks worth of IF topics this week!
I started to do a piece for last Fridays topic - Subterranean but didn't have time to finish it.
So it fits perfectly into this Fridays topic - Expired.
Here's what I was able to do before time expired.

It's The Moleman and his minions in their subterrannean lair playing charades.
It's The Moleman's turn and he's trying to get his team to guess his word.
He's doing the 4th syllable - jar
See him acting like he's trying to open a jar?
His word is Kilimanjaro.
The guys on the opposing team, on the right, are telling him his time has expired - it works twice.
As you can see, I was still working out how to draw the minions and what the background was going to look like.  I couldn't remember what his subterranean lair looked like back in the 80's.
If you look a little longer you'll probably see the John Burne influence from my comic book collecting days.  He was the big cheese when I was really into comics.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Status Report 3/11/10

I was able to do some more work on this...

Mostly, I focussed on the dark green tree and the fence.
I believe I'll be changing the color of the hearts on the fence now this is not going to be finished in February. I don't want it overly hearty anymore.
Next up is everything on the ground plane.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Status Report

I finally got some time to get back to work on the girl illustration.

I started in on the background - sky, bushes, fence, and tree - with the gouache.
I want to eliminate as much of the line work in the back as possible so that it has a nice effect in the foreground.
The bushes will need more work after I have established the foreground art.
As you can see I used a blue grey on the fence to set it back.
I will continue working on the fence to make it lighter. I need it to be dark enough not to blend in with the dog. He will be white with some large patches of color.
I added a dark base coat to the tree. I'll continue to work on it so that it looks like it's in the evergreen family. Lots of needles, not leaves.

I'm happy with the way the gouache is going over the spray fix so far. In some spots I have to work the brush a bit to get the color to soak in and take hold. I'm guessing those are areas where I overlapped the fixative when spraying it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New work

About this time last week an old client reconnected with me to do some work, a new client job got the go ahead, and some map work needed to be finished up.
Here's a bit of what the old client wanted.

There are more projects in the works with this client which is nice.

Here's a bit of what the new client wanted. It's waiting for final approval.

The client is in New Zealand so I can put a pin in that country and a mark it off my list.

The map stuff I can't show you. There aren't really any characters in it anyway.

For all 3 clients I do the work using a combination of hand drawing the rough and then pasting it into Adobe Illustrator and using it as a guide to draw the final art.
You'll notice that I have used two different approaches in the way the art is created for each client.
For the older client I used a soft blended approach without outlines.
There's a lot of gradient mesh use in that image.

The image of the girl is a flat approach using outlines. Kind of like a gouache painting.
I really have to push myself in both approaches to try to create volume in the art.
I'm not going for realism, but I don't want it to look flat like cut paper.
I like the way the girls hair is looking.