New artwork: woodland nursery - meeting


I ran a survey on my facebook page to see which animals I would draw next for the Woodland Nursery series. The two favored animals were raccoon and porcupine. I had a great time creating them and was happy with their look, although I wish the porcupine's face ended up a touch cuter. i liked his face better in the original sketch. Oh well. It was also interesting trying to work out composition and placement of background images around all those spines. 

Like the others in this series, this one is a gift; unlike the others, this one is NOT for a nursery! Shocking, I know. I created this for a coworker and friend who was visiting from our India office. We had a lot of fun on our adventures together and many really good conversations. I knew from the start that I was going to give this image to her, so the characters just evolved into a...well, ...a meeting. Hence the creativity on my naming scheme. 

I chose this as my illustration friday image for sight, because while you can have a meeting without sight in this tech era, it's just so much more meaningful in person! 

Switzers landscape sketch comp with Karl Gnass

Even though I haven't taken any classes at the American Animation Institute for about a year, I still love taking Karl's workshops, particularly his landscape sketch comps. A day of hiking and drawing in the mountains I love. What could be better? He holds these twice a year, in April and September and I've been trying to make as many of them as possible. I think this is my 3rd or 4th trip, and I keep trying to push my skills a bit more with each trip. 

I made good progress this time with my dark colors and shadows, although as the afternoon progressed, i got messier and messier. 

Kraft Illustrated Recipe Contest

I've been swamped the last few days! I entered the TDAC/Kraft Illustrated Recipe Contest! I am super happy with how my illustration turned out. Check out my entry on their website here.

I'm really trying to push the limits on integrating my illustration work with my lettering work. I think I made great strides with this piece, but it was a lot of trial and error. To give you an idea of all the work behind the finished piece, here's a shot of some of the sketches, lettering trials, and the seperate portions of illustration. I'm very proud of the fact that I tried to minimize my colored pencil work to the three figures. 

I'm a published illustrator!

I have had one of my drawings/paintings printed on a book cover! This makes me a published illustrator! woohoo! 

This image was created last year at a landscape sketch workshop with Karl Gnass. (He has another landscape workshop coming up again in April). It was a detail study of a very twisty tree with interesing bark patterns and branches. 

When my coworkers saw the image, she thought it would work well for one of the cover projects she had and it got selected as the final cover. It just came back from the printer recently and it was great to see something of mine in print that I didn't get printed myself. 

For more information about the book: SAGE Publications.

Woodland Nursery 2 - Wolf

In the style of the first woodland nursery picture, I've created a second image. I played with graphic shapes in the background, while focusing the rendering on the animals: wolf and squirrel.  I had a lot of fun with this one. 

Amusingly enough, this is a wolf picture for a little boy who is named Edward--and I believe he was named after the vampire in the Twilight series. Go Team Edward! Go Team Jacob!

Illustration Friday: Prepare

He was prepared to enter the water, but he was not prepared to meet a new friend!

I had a lot of fun with this one, even in the initial sketch stage. I think that the only thing that would make this illio even better is a yellow duckie tube around the belly. It's tempting, but I'm not sure if I want to possibly mess up the illio for that.

The scanner is down for a couple of days, so I had to photograph it. I will post a scanned version of this once technology is back online...possibly with a duckie tube.

UPDATE: He has an inner-tube!

(still a photograph)

Hungry Giraffe

Artwork! I had fun with this one, and I tried to push the darks more than I'm normally comfortable. The second image was my initial scan before I went back and reworked the dark areas. I'm much happier with the revised image. And this guy has already found a new home, for a friend's birthday!

And to give me a direct tie in to Illustration Friday, I'll pull in what I told my friend earlier last week when it was still in progress, "He's not finished...he just hasn't been spotted yet!" (i know, bad pun)

Illustration Friday: Stay (Prehistoric Surprise)

This little guy has gone to stay in friend's nursery. Their theme is, unsurprisingly, dinosaurs. He was supposed to be smiling at whoever was in the cave, but he ended up looking more surprised than happy. Our friends were very happy to receive him as a baby shower present.

This may be a loose interpretation of this week's theme, but it is a rare occurrence for me to post finished, full-colored art.

I originally planned to crop this much tighter, but when I was at the frame store, I ended up liking the look of the panoramic matte rather than the standard 8.5x11. Luckily, I gave myself plenty of bleed area to try out different framing options.

I feel I've sufficiently mastered the dark-medium-light variant of basic composition. Next composition must be different, so I can study all 6 basic variations of foreground-middle ground-background lighting arrangements.

Baby bug illustrations

With my eldest sister's first child on the way, I got a bit carried away creating original artwork to decorate the nursery. She was very obliging to pick a theme at which I excel: cute insects. I couldn't be happy with just one insect. I created 5! She was very excited to receive them, and they are already framed and hanging on her wall.

I think my favorite is the bee, but I really like them all.

Two of them are also doing double-duty as her baby shower invitations and thank-you cards.

Gouache practice

I got gouache paints this past week because I made the determination that I need to learn to work with both color/value and work in areas larger than the tip of a colored pencil. So i'm going to start doing lots of little painting studies whenever I get the opportunity.

I found a photo that had the slightly atmospheric yet detailed background effect that I've been wanting to master and had a go at it, ignoring the person in it. I felt it went pretty well, although I was surprised at how dark my midtone had to go for the yellow trees to start to glow slightly. I went over areas more often than I would have liked overall, but ease and simplicity will most likely come with practice.

I set up my paints in an old watercolor set, so now my gouache paints will be portable for plein air painting.