Thursday, January 31, 2008

Self Portrait with a 2B pencil

Click to look at full size image

After a flurry of activity in the studio that produced over 30 illustrations in the last 2 weeks, I have returned to the joys of sketching again. The main reason for the return is a brand new children's book project that the contract was signed earlier in the week. I am anxious to tell you all about it, but will wait a little while until I have something to show along with it. So with that, I have been busily scratching and pushing the pencil around the sketch pad the last few days and wanted to play around with only a 2B pencil. Normally I would compliment the sketch with a variety of soft and hard pencils, but thought I would keep it simple and pick just one. So hope you enjoy a little self portrait scratch!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Illustration Friday: Tales and Legends

This is an illustration I did from the children's book titled "Why the Owl has Big Ears". It is a native american tale of why the owl is such a peculiar little animal.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Keeping a sketch book

One of the things that I often lack on but try to do is keep a small sketchbook with me. I know that the key to developing your skills as an artist is by sketching and sketching and sketching some more. But, I find it hard to always bring it with and sometimes slack on that aspect. Hopefully with some renewed vigor in my illustration work and other art projects, it will bring it back into the light. The key I think is to have it be something that I automatically do rather than have to think about it. But that is easier said than done. In the spirit of the sketch, I have attached three random ones that I have done in the last few weeks and hope to continue creating these as I see them.

In other news, I am anxious to tell you all about some great things that are in the works and are close to being finalized with my illustrations. If all goes well, then I won't be complaining about having too much time on my hands and nothing to work on for quite a while. Stay tuned for updates.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ode to Winter

I figured it was time to do another ode to Old man winter with the beautifully cold air that is upon us. Nothing like going outside and being welcomed with -30 below windchills. So, here is my rendition of what you might look like if you ventured out and had some fun! Maybe your cheeks would be more red? Guess I won't be finding out myself.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Squirrelly work!

Happy Sunday to you guys. Hope your weekend has been going good so far. Sorry for the absence of posts lately, but have been hunkered down working on the final illustrations for two different books. The good news is that I should be done with the one book project by the middle of this week and the other one by the weekend. Then maybe I can get back to a more structured posting schedule. As for the images and stuff, I will hopefully be able to post them in the near future, but have to wait till they get the final approval to show you guys. I hope you understand. In other art news, have been working on a illustration project that will be reviewed by the cartoon network in the next month or so as well, so there is a lot to think and wonder about there.

Speaking of thinking, one of the things that I have really found to be interesting over the course of my art career so far is the flow of my artwork between my fine art and my illustration. Just when I think it is time to push full force with my paintings, my illustration work takes off and vice versa. At this point last year, all i was really talking about was my fine art and here so far this year it has been nothing but illustration. I guess it is that way to make sure that I keep both of these areas going full force and not get too burnt out with one area. And when I think about it, I don't think I could do without either one of these. They both provide that excitement and challenges that keep me wanting to start the next thing right away. Well, I guess it is time to quite my thinking session and get back to the work. As a visual treat for you I have posted some character studies of a squirrel that I have been working on lately. These are two different versions of what he could be. Overall I have probably 50 different variations of this character, but thought that would leave to many people's heads spinning to look at them all. So here are two of them. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Children's Book Illustrators Guild

One of the great things that has happened over the last year and a half is that I have been fortunate to have been introduced to the Childrens Book Illustrators Guild (CBIG) here in Minneapolis. I have met alot of great fellow artists and friends. One of the exciting things that we as a group have taken on over the last 6 months is to redevelop a website with illustration samplings from all of our members and also do promotional mailings to drum up more attention. Now I know that there are a few things to work out with the website and they will be fixed very soon, but was really happy to see the new postcard that we are sending out to all of the publishers. It will be interesting to see what they all think of the new look!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year and a great new read

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had a great time last night and were able to be somewhat productive today. Hard to believe that 2007 is over all ready, but am anxious to see what 2008 brings. Hopefully it will see more production done in the studio and also more projects with the illustrations. I am also happy to have found a new and interesting book from Phaidon called "30,000 years of art" thanks to a gift from my Mentor Martin Skoro. Now I know you are probably thinking not another art history book, but the thing that really stuck out to me was the fact that it traces history as a whole to current date rather than jumping back and forth between cultures and timeframes. I know that doesn't lend itself to a complete history of a time period and all the cultures within it, but it really creates a nice new look at the history of art in general. Another cool thing about this book that makes it stand out against the others is the fact that it is nearly 1100 pages and weighs an astonishing 14 lbs. Such a huge book makes for one that you rest on the table to read rather than hoisting it onto your lap. Believe me when your legs start to go numb, time to put the book down! Anyways, just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and hope all of your resolutions are broken already!