Friday, April 29, 2011

IF "Lesson"

I do plan to post some other stuff eventually but for now here's another for Illustration Friday. The word this week is "Lesson".

This image is from my new book "The Little Boy Without a Name and Without a Birthday" which is due out in May and will be available on Amazon for kindle and as a paperback.  I also did a video tutorial ( or "Lesson") for this illuatration which is available on this blog and on youtube at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Illustration Friday- Bicycle

My third Illustration Friday post. I found out that TONS of folks stop by the blog from Illustration Friday so now of course I'm hooked! Plus I just happen to have another preconcieved concept that goes along with this weeks word, "Bicylce".

    This was originally a very quick pencil sketch I did in a sketchbook. Not sure what brought it on as it was  a few years back. Now for this weeks IF I decided to make it a bit more of a finished ink line drawing. May color it someday if I ever find the time and may find a way to put it on some zazzle products. For the original sketch I wrote BORN TO BE WILD in some fluid large type, reminicent of John Handcock's signature. If I make this into t-shirts or something I would probably put some kind of humorous saying along those lines in there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vermont Oil Landscape Paintings

I just realized I've never posted any of my landscape paintings to my blog. SO I guess now is as good a time as any since I finally got around to posting a few on my etsy shop for sale. and of course the snow is finally disapearing which means as soon as my current children's book is done I can get outside and do a few new lansdscapes!!!!

 I really enjoy painting Landscapes as they give me the freedom to paint freely and make my own choices while getting me out of the studio for ala prima landscapes. Unfortunately that is something my children's book art is quit the opposite of most of the time. For children's books I do tons of thumbnails and idea sketches, search for tons of reference photos, consider borders and gutters and bleed and book sizes and text layout. Perhaps most importantly, I work with a client ,who generally has the last say in the final outcome as well as choosing between color choices, compositions and what goes in or stays out of each illustration.

In particular I enjoy seeing landscapes done in thick oil paint. Over the past year I have learned a lot about this from Brad Teare on his blog titled "Thick Paint". Whenever I have time my hope is to delve deeper into thick paint with my landscapes while I'm headed more and more into watercolors and digital for my children's book art.

Another artist who I would have to give credit to for helping me in my understanding of landscapes to some degree is Elizabeth Tolley. I picked up her book "Oil Painter's Solution Book : Landscapes" a couple years back and bring it out in the field with me. Excellent book on many levels!



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Illustration Friday- Journey

My second image for illustration friday. This is a previouse illustration from my book "The Caterpillar and the Express Train" in which a tiny caterpillar character goes on a long journey on a massive express train on a route between Boston and Miami.
                      more info about the book and book reading video can be found at

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Birthday cake Line Drawing

I have a few minutes to post something tonight but had a hard time figuring out what to post. I've got a ton of great new illustrations for my new book but want to wait til it comes out before posting those. I have a bunch of ladnscape paintings I did but want to wait til I get soem posted on Etsy. I've got a bunch of new character designs I want to post but need more time to write a bit about how I achieved various aged characters. I also have a bunch of in progress posts but all need more work. So for tonight I decide dto go ahead and post a line drawing I did of a birthday cake for my new book "The little Boy Without a Name and Without a Birthday". This cake line drawing got me thinking about the possibility of doing a coloring book for kids and so one of my clients and I are tossing around the idea.

          I generally don't get a chance to do what I would consider finished line work like this. Usually my line drawigns only serve as  a ground or boundary for me to paint over or within so I don't worry about having good looking energetic lines as much. Actually I used to do mostly oil paint so the lines wouldn't show at all but lately I have been thinking a Lot more about line quality as I moved into watercolors.  I new I wanted line to be an iportant factor in my watercolor art as that is one of the main things my oil paintings were missing. SOmetimes I would love the drawing I did for an illustration but then loose that spontaneous energy when slaving over an oil painting in which the line ulitmately got covered up. It's much easier to swing your wrist with apencil and get a great arch than to do so with an paint brush loaded with thick opaque paint.

       Recently I also got my first chapter book gig in which I will be doing lots of finished line work and now just foudn out about a second chapter book that I will be starting up in the next few months.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Illustration Friday, "Duet"

This is my first ever Illustration friday submission! Lately I've seen artists everywhere participating in this websites weekly drawing exersize and have wanted to participate. I thought I would never have time to do so, but when I saw this weeks word "duet" I immediately had an idea come to mind and decided to stop all else and just sketch the idea to paper as fast as I could. Here's the result. I wish I had time to color it but maybe will do so later. Enjoy! (click for larger image)