Saturday, June 25, 2011

black and white truck Illustration

Just got a logo/t-shirt /business card design gig at the beginning of the week on a short deadline and already finished by the end of the week. Wish all my projects could be like this. I may do a final color rendition in the future if the client wants that but for nwo he needed something quickly for a truck show he's headed to in a week or so. I started with these rough thumbnails thinking he wanted something a bit more cartoony.
 I soon realized he wanted something to depict a particular model and year with a certain level of detail so from there I eventually got the below design. I also got him a great deal with the printers, $40 off!  If you ever need any truck parts for the sort of truck mentioned below, you can contact him via the e-mail along the top of the image.

Monday, June 20, 2011

IF Launch

This week's word for Illustration Friday is Launch. I could think of nothing more appropriate than my cats favorite passtime. Two of their favorite passtimes are "Launching" and "Plopping". They will launch themselves from the cat tree and land on coffee tables five feet below. They will launch from my lap to my keyboard or from my buearu to my stomach while I'm sleeping. They seem to have this great knack for knowing the exact instant I'm just about to wake up because for some reason I always seem to wake up just moments after one of them launches themselves onto my stomach. Funny how that works. Too bad my sense of humor doesn't kick in until sometime in the afternoon.

    As for plopping, they will plop down and go to sleep on just about anything so long as it's something I happen to be working on. They love to lay down on my drawings and walk over paintings. They really seem to love sleeping on my scanner, keyboard, on my chair etc. The harder they fall and the wider they can streatch out their legs to scatter art supplies, papers, coffee, books or whatever is in reach, the louder they pur. They particularly seem to love plopping down in front of me while I'm trying to walk by them. Over the years this has made me in to something of an olympic athlete in the sport of Cat dodging.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Black and White Line Drawing Kids

I really don't plan to post all of the illustrations from my current books but I just finished off another yesterday and can't resist the urge to post it. So here it is.
The first is the thumbnail sketch, then the pencil line drawing of "gerti" and the turtle. Then the last is the near finished image. The dark black pen and ink lines were working good for the other  spot illustrations of objects but looked horrible for kids faces and hair. I tried a couple fo times and couldn't get a pleasing result with the pen and ink. SO I did a bit more digging looking into other artists. Then I found Denise Brunkus who uses a dark graphite pencil for the line drawing and then fills the drawing in with ink. I loved the soft edges of the pencil for the face contours and the gentle gradation in the hair and the fact that the pencil seemed to be easier to draw lines of varrying width and leave breaks in the line without looking bad. This final image is inspired by that medium and artist.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mail Art For James Gurney's Contest

Today I was working on the book cover for one fo my books listening to an episode of "This American Life" called "Letters" when I realized today is the day! Today is the day James Gurney posted the mail art he recieved for his contest. I wanted to make a video for his video contest a while back but didn't have time, then wanted to do this mail art contest and ran out of time up till the very last second. Then I realized the post office was closed that day as it was memorial day weekend. SO I asked James if he coudl move the postmark deadline until after memorial day and he did! Yeah! So while I'm not really happy with my entry I did in fact get to enter. Please head over to his blog and vote on the entries today and tomorrow. There are some great entries by others.

Here's my mail art for the contest.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Another Illustration friday image. This weeks word is "Shadows".  Once again I'm chosing an image from my current book I'm working on because this book is filled with shadows.  The book is "allegra Friend of Al Monsters" and will be out sometime this year. I thought about trying to shade this image or paint this one real fast to have the finished image for IF but it would have been silly for me to let IF dictate that process. Anyway, here it is!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chapter book Line drawings / Black and white Drawings

Final artwork for my first chapter book is underway! For this project, as usual, I started with some small thumbnail sketches of each illustration concept.

Then I chose one of the simplest and favorites to try out some different finished results. Since I've never done finished black and white chapter book illustrations before, I needed to see what style looked the best. I looked at lots of line drawings from other artists to get a feel for what others are doing. I could  go to a museum or pet store to take a picture of a box turtle and then copy the picture detail for detail, with a beautifully rendered pencil drawing, with all levels of shading and value, but that's not what we were going for with this particular project. I hoped to have an end result that would be a mix of realistic and yet have a spark of life and character. Some of the artwork I was looking at was perfectly rendered linework but it was all very even lines with no defferentiation in width adn nothing to help the eye defferntiate between forms in the image. I tried a few things and the client and her family chose the one that works best for the kindle and looks best overall ( Ink line, shaded in ink). I also experimented with digital linework on Inkscape and Illustrator but after a few hours of frustration I realized it would take too much time to get that to look beter than my hand drawn stuff.

Then I went ahead and drew all of the images as line drawings on heavy duty paper and scanned them in. This would allow me at the very least to print them off later in case I made a mistake on the first version.
Then I just went to town with the ink trying to have a variety of values.  

I've got four more of these small spot illustrations to go and about five full page illustrations and one color cover illustration for this book. The working title is "Samantha and the Box Turtle" and will be available on amazon for the kindle and other e-readers sometime this year.