Saturday, March 31, 2012

Meet My Doggie!!!

If you're one of my facebook friends you know how much I love my dog pooch. I've been trying to think of ways to include her on the blog and it hit me last night. So I dug up a photo we took this past winter and tried to think how I could combine illustration with her picture. Of course it had to be a penguin - my favorite bird! I think every dog wants to be ridden by a penguin. Photo shop is just so fun to play with and so all I did was import the photo to my iPad - do a little doodle on an overlay layer in "brushes" and then painted it in photoshop. This might be a fun way to illustrate an ebook or app about her in the never know right?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Painting Demo

This was an acrylic painting demo I did for my media tech class at UVU a few weeks ago. I still love to paint traditionally even though I don't do it for my freelance or personal project work any more. I don't think it's a any big secret that I have an extreme love affair with photoshop however working in acrylics is my first love - and I'll never forget her. The method I used on this piece is the same one that was taught to me by Rob Colvin 20 plus years ago in school. I painted this on a piece of 12x18 masonite - gessoed with lines from brush - pencil sketch - acrylic washes for under painting in burnt sienna - add value with ivory black and burnt sienna and then a series of acrylic paint layers that gradually get dryer and dryer as I work the lightest lights last. I actually even made a video tutorial of this process and you can check it out right here:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Got To Speak At Ringling !

Wow! What a week! I was asked to speak and jury the student show at Ringling College of Design by Octavio Perez (Illustration Faculty) -an amazing artist. It was a very flattering experience and rewarding to be able to visit an institution committed to excellence in teaching students good design and art fundamentals.

They have a really nice campus in a resort area - I don't know how they manage to get their work done with so many distractions available.

I spoke about the necessity to become indispensable and to open their minds to new possibilities in the creation of their own digital properties.

A group of illustrators hung around after to chat - one of them had me sign 1313 Dead End Drive - the Hasbro board game I illustrated years ago - first time I ever signed it!

They told me there were over 2000 entries in the student show - crazy! My job was to whittle it down to about 60-80 pieces - not an easy task - there were so many really good pieces.

Here are a few of the pieces that made the cut.

Bonus! My sister has a house in Sarasota and I met up with her and her husband for some wonderful dinners and even had a chance to hit the #1 beach in the US - Siesta Key!

And this is what I flew home to yesterday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nasty Bugs!!!

It's so nice to have a part in seeing a project go from beginning to end. I was privileged to work with the great Lee Bennett Hopkins - THE poet anthologist for kids. He's basically won all the poetry awards and even holds a Guinness world record for most prolific poetry anthologist. My editor at Penguin was like, "Do you know how famous Lee is?" and I had to apologize because I'm not well read in poetry- so I looked him up and holy cow! Anyway - he seems like a really nice guy too and in Nasty Bugs he's gathered some of the best poets from around the country and spun a web of YUCK!!!...for the boys...and the girls who are more brave than I.

This was a very fun book to work on - a dream project really because each illustration is a stand alone. When I finished one I could take on the challenge of new characters for a new nasty poem. One of the challenges in illustrating a traditional book is that often the story takes place in one or two locations which means that backgrounds have to be similar - which means similar colors. You have to constantly dream up new ways to keep the images fresh and avoid redundancy.

I sure hope I get to work with Lee and Dial again - Jason Henry did a fabulous job designing and laying out the book. I've always wondered why the designers don't get their name on the cover as well - they do so much work.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rockin on My Ipad Apps!

So, if you've been following my blog for more than a few months you'll notice that I was working on a monster app and then I kind of went silent on that front. Well, the project was going really well and still is however I started feeling like it was becoming larger than I wanted to tackle at this time. The amount of work was becoming overwhelming and so I've set it aside for now because I really want it to reflect my vision. I was afraid that if I kept working on it I would be tempted to cut corners.

Good news however - I'm about half way through my next app creation and am working with a talented and very accomplished writer Rick Walton and programer Mike Bohman to produce what we think will be a really fun______ (insert category here). We don't really know what to call it because it's not a story app but it has a story. It's not a game either in that you can't beat it or win...or even compete against the computer or another player. No - it's just a thing - a widget - a whobadeewhatee and so we might call it an iPad toy or digital toy or something like that. Anyway above is one of the illustrated characters for my ebook/app - just wanted to let you know that I'm actively working on several ideas right now - it's sooooo exciting to be able to concept, rough out, design, render, and publish anything you can think of!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Plea To You....

I don't recall ever asking you for anything so I'm going to call in a favor right now. I want you to read or listen to Linchpin by Seth Godin. I believe this is the most powerful argument for rethinking "the system" that I've ever heard before. Why should you re-think the system? Because all of us want to make art that's not only relevant but we also like the idea of making money. This book will tell you what you need to be doing to compete in the next decade and beyond. Please please please take the time to read or listen to Linchpin - I believe every H.S. senior and college student should read this as well!