Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beatnic Bobat

This is the line art for my next painting exercise.
The circle will be a yellow spot light.
The areas around the circle will have a purple under painting.
She's a bobcat beatnic beatin' on the bongos.

Monday, September 27, 2010

White Bird

The White Bird likes to wear Wigs.
It's not easy to paint an all white picture.
I can't do it. I know because I really tried with this one.
I like color. Kids like color. You like color.
So, the white bird has hints of color in her, and she has a nice red/orange wig.

I'm not sure the background is finished.
I'm considering putting a pattern on the wall.
Like this...

That pattern was added via photoshop.
I am purposely avoiding digital methods for these paintings so that the painted art is the same as the printed art in the book. So is I do a pattern it would either be simpler or have bigger elements in it.

This is the 3rd go at doing the White Bird.
The first one was this...

White Bird watches TV.
To me it's funny. But because he's asleep like a lot of dads who watch too many sports shows on Sunday.
I got comments about the "wife beater" shirt and all that's missing is the beer. So I rethought it.

The second one was going to be "White Bird goes for a walk."
It didn't get finished because I felt it was too boring.

After thinking about it. I felt that there needed to be another girl bird in the book, and she should make eye contact with the reader. Open eyes make the character more likable.

Now all I have to do is figure out the cover art.
I also need to figure out the type treatment or find a graphic designer who wants to do the layout for fun or his/her portfolio. I'm not asking, I'm just saying.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Inspiration from the past

I love my sketchbooks. I try to keep one handy at all times.
It took me a while to get used to it, but now I feel incomplete if I don't have one with me.
Did I say I love my sketchbooks? I do.
Because you never know what's really in them until you go back through an old one look at them with new eyes.
For example:
This is a page from one of my sketchbooks from last year.

As you can see I used the top part of the page to do a quick sketch of a Circus Train for the  Illustration Friday website. The word of the week was "Wind." It was supposed to be read as the wind that blows through your hair, but I read it as you have to wind something up to make it go.
  I liked it and had room so I used the bottom half to do a tighter version using pen and markers. Like I said, that was last year.

Yesterday I revisited this page and used it as inspiration to draw/paint this...
I had some scrap that was left over from another painting and I wanted to use it to do a small one day painting. 
His basic proportions and the pose are the same, but I drew/painted him in the way that I am currently working.
He was painted using gouache on watercolor board.
He started out like this...

At least that's how far I got before realizing I needed to scan him if I wanted to show the process.
At this stage I have drawn him in pencil on the board, used a brown Pitt Pen to do a tight line drawing, then erased the pencil drawing leaving the pen line, I then did the underpainting in a sepia and brown mix of gouache and watercolor. After that I started to add color. As you can see at this stage the nose is pretty much done.

He turned out nice so I think I'll use him as inspiration to do a set of paintings. Maybe they'll end as prints or I can license them to someone. Maybe the little circle can be personalized.

I love my sketchbooks!
My sketchbooks are full of drawings. Some good, some bad. That's just the way it goes.
So I say, go out get a sketchbook and start drawing in it. If you don't like the kind you bought, buy a different kind next time and draw in it. Keep doing it until you find a kind you like and buy them when they are on sale, so you have a new one when the old one gets filled up.
I f you do this you'll soon be saying, "I love my sketchbooks!" too.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I just finished painting the purple bird for the book concept.
Here it is...

Purple Bird paints a picture of his pet platypus.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New bird art

Actually it's One new bird and One revised bird.

The new bird is the pink bird.
"The pink bird is a Princess who has found her Prince."

The revised bird is the yellow bird.
I revised the background color from this...

To this...

As alway comments and crits are always welcome.

I am currently working on the purple bird and will be revising the white bird.