Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pigs Making a Splash!

I was happy to find out that this past weekend my newest book "Pigs! Under the Post office?"  was in the Burlington Free Press Newspaper. I was really surprised when I saw not only a couple of the illustrations included but they are actually in color! That's a first for me and already lead to one person who contacted me about my art.

The book is off to a good start so far as we did the WCAX interview a little while back and are looking onto book reading event options. It also already has three favorable reviews online which is hard to achieve in self published children's books. This book means a lot to me as it is a culmination of many of the things I strive to learn and apply in my art over the years. it has the whimsy, the bright color, the characters with differing expressions and movement and an overall fun backdrop.

Friday, May 24, 2013

First Full Page Digital Illustration

I spent the first half of the day doing my last bits of research and study on digital illustration and then finally dove in head first for the second half of the day!  I'm soooo happy with the results so far! This is my first ever  digital full page illustration. It took me over an hour just to figure out how to get the clouds painted over the blue gradient sky among a few other struggles but I can already tell how much faster this medium will be once I get things down pact. I also discovered all sorts of great keyboard commands that save an immense amount of time and will help me in my typical photoshop work. So much faster pressing a button to make brushes smaller rather than having to click the pull down menu. I'm also really enjoying the process of acquiring textures and figuring out which ones work best in the various parts of the illustration. My progress so far shown below.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Finally Going Digital!!!! . . . maybe?

Well, I've put it off long enough. I finally convinced one of my clients to let me go digital! I've committed to doing one full page illustration from my new book as a finished digital painting. Yesterday i finished up some color samples for a few of the full pagers. They are messy and the colors aren't really exactly what I want but they serve their purpose. 

If the first digital illustration doesn't come out as amazing as I'm imagining in my head I will likely end up doing the whole book in watercolor like my last six books. I feel like I have a lot riding on this. Hoping for the best!

In the past I've done various pieces of digital art but always stuff without backgrounds and without any sort of textures. This will be  a whole new experience for me as I plan to introduce textures and at this point I'm not planning to have a bold dark line. to paint inside of. I'm planning to have the line be an important element but more subdued than my past digital work. Their are many reasons I have kept from going digital before now and there are just as many reasons I've wanted to go digital. In the long run I think digital is going to make my work a ton better and will put me in better standing with the publishers. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Maple Tree Watercolor Painting Kirby Vermont

   This past weekend I finally had the opportunity to get my watercolors out for my first ala prima landscape painting of the season! I have to give credit for the inspiration and idea for this piece to my wife.

 I'll likely eventually post this for sale on my etsy store but for now I'm going to get a few more paintings done first so i can photograph them and post them all at the same time. I currently have seventeen items posted to my etsy store, various landscape originals and prints.

A little bit of the process work.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

FROGZILLA!!!! and other stories

Recently I've been working on one book project that has four stories within the book. Rather than illustrating every single page of the story we've decided to give each story one full page illustration and one spot illustration. I've come to believe this is going to make for  a much better book than most of my typical children's books as we have plenty of room for the text and plenty of room for the illustrations. I get to take the main action of the story and make two illustrations rather than trying to make twenty plus illustrations for each story which can sometimes result in a  lot of watered down illustrations. It also allows me to spend a bit more time with each illustration than I might normally be able to. Rather than trying to draw each character twenty times in different poses I can focus on each pose and facial expression until i feel it's right.

I've even found myself doing LOTS more ambitious spot illustrations than I would typically undertake. In the end I'm feeling that lots of things are coming together on this project that will allow me to produce my best work BY FAR to date. That's somewhat ironic as each new week presents challenges and i never really seem to know how much longer I'll be able to keep at this full time. Yet I've wondered about that basically since I started illustrating full time over six years ago!