Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beatnic Bobcat

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

Everyone loves the Circus!

This post is about the importance of keeping and using a sketchbook.
I carry one with me almost everywhere I go.
I don't always get a chance to use it, but I take it in case I end sitting around doing nothing.
It can be any kind of sketchbook you like from the really cheap ones for kids, Crayola makes some nice little sketch pads for kids that I have used to do client concept drawings in, to an expensive moleskin, I've never bought or used one, but people rave about them.
  I think the best ones are either the spiral bound or the hard bound with nice white pages.
A lot of artist have said that you should get the wire bound kind so that you can flip the cover and any previously drawn on pages around to the back and have a nice flat surface to draw on.
I tried one and I personally don't like the wire bound because the wire part always gets in my way, and I used  to draw on facing pages so I smeared the sketches on the page that got flipped to the back.
  I only draw on one side of a page most of the time now and not on facing pages anymore.
I have come to prefer the hard bound sketchbook. It can be hard to draw into the gutter sometimes but it takes a lot of abuse and holds up longer.
  I try to buy the cheapest thinnest one I can find. After all you're not supposed to be creating masterpieces in it. It's a depository for the junk in your head, write down the title of that cool book you want to remember to look up on line, a web site you saw in a magazine, an idea that you won't remember if you don't write it down, and lots of sketching.
Your sketchbook is you. Put things in it that are important to you.
  My sketchbook usually starts from the back because I am left handed. I like to rest my hand on the page when I draw so I like to draw on the right hand page and rest my hand on the left hand page. That way I am not rubbing my hand all over my sketches as I go from page to page.
  The reasons for keeping a sketchbook are simple.
A. Drawing in one all of the time improves your skills.
     After you have filled a few sketchbooks you can look back through them and see progress.
     It's a good moral booster on those "I suck" days.
B. Even a really quick little sketch on a page that looks like nothing can become the starting point for
    your next great piece of art. If you are still reading you'll see soon see why I started this post.
C. A sketchbook is a great thing to take to a first meeting with a potential new client.
    I have had art directors spend more time looking at my sketchbook during an interview than at my
    portfolio of finished works. I have actually seen one or two art directors drool over it.
    One looked through my sketchbook and asked if I had any more. Luckily for me I decided to bring
    two that day. I don't know why. I was given a "try out" project because of those sketchbooks.
      A different art director for a greeting card company saw some halloween characrters in my
      sketchbook and asked me to do final art with them for cards. Those quick, fun sketches that were
      done for my entertainment ended up as paid work that I wouldn't have gotten if she hadn't seen
      my sketchbook.
D. You can eventually sell pages from your sketchbook and make some extra cash.
     Make sure you scan them before you sell them so that you still have the sketches to look at when
    you are looking for inspiration.

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 and then the bottom half to do a tighter version. Like I said, that was last year.

Yesterday I revisited this page and used it as inspiration to draw/paint this...
I had some watercolor board scrap that was left over from another painting and I wanted to use it to do a small one day painting. The only things that are similar are the basic proportions and the pose, but you can clearly see the inspiration.
He turned out nice so I think I'll use him as inspiration to do a set of paintings.
My sketchbooks are full of drawings. Some good, some bad. That's just the way it goes.
So 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  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.
The important thing is that you keep drawing!

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

2 new birds for the book.

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.