Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Self Portrait, revised

Hey everybody. I have been staring at my self portrait piece on my desk since I last posted it and it was driving me crazy. I finally went into it and made some revisions. First of all, I lost the handwritten text because I'm not going to use it for business cards after all and it just felt contrived or something. I darkened up the hair area and made it less colorful. I also cropped it in on both sides to try to balance it a little bit better. Do you all have any other advice? I am starting to like it a lot better now, but I still feel like I need to do something with the hair.

Edit 10/31/06 - added the reference photo. I don't think it's spot on, but let's be honest, I'm no Erika (who by the way was in my dream last night - weird, huh?).

Friday, October 27, 2006

changing things up

been working on some promotional material and trying to approach things a little differently. im not used to doing to much stuff digitally so i thought i would take a crack at it. i wanted to be able to reproduce it for things and since my scanner is so small i decided that doing it on the computer would eliminate some problems.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I have an idea -

Maybe, instead of having an assignment the first 2 weeks of November, we can have a catch-up period. I really want to do this Short Story assignment but I still have a bunch of other projects to catch up on, and I feel like maybe we are all in the same boat. I still want to see a lot of your assignments; Erika's self-portrait, Chris' editorial piece, etc.

Then our assignment after the break could be a Christmas theme, due Nov. 27th.

What do you all think?

Monday, October 23, 2006

A little mixed up.

Here's the starts of my little project "love.wish" I am really enjoying some experimentation with some mixed media -new techniques I am trying out... Thanks for the uplifting blog visits everyone. It is in our struggles that we become stronger.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Gandhi sketch by Ben Shahn
I know that since the Academy, we have all had moments where we feel like we just can't be the artists we want to be without the living-and-breathing art mentality we had over the summer. It seems like living a regular old life won't make you an artist. While reading "The Shape of Content," by Ben Shahn (see it over in the books link), I ran across this refreshing passage and thought I would share:

"...art has its roots in real life. Art may affirm its life-giving soil or repudiate it wholly. It may mock as bitterly as did Goya, be partisan, as was Daumier, discover beauty within the sordid and real as did Toulouse-Lautrec. Art may luxuriate in life positively and affirmatively with Renoir, or Matisse, or Rubens, or Vermeer. It may turn to the nebulous horizons of sense-experience with the Post-Impressionists, the Cubists, the various order of Abstractionist, but in any case it is life itself as it chances to exist that furnishes the stimulus for art... Any living situation in which an artist finds material pertinent to his own temper is a proper situation for art... Thus it is not unimaginable that art arises from something stronger than stimulation or even inspiration - that it may take fire from something closer to provocation, that it may not just turn to life, but that it may at certain times be compelled by life."

So keep living and arting, my friends :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

new assignment?

First person to post a new assignment idea wins!

You may ask "Oh boy, I wonder what I will win?" Well, hold your horses, I will tell you. You win the opportunity for your assignment idea to show up over there -----> with the other assignments. How cool is that?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Well, I really want to post/blog more, so first things first, sorry i feel like such a slacker! I have been pulling 12+ hour days and weekends at my job, I am actually doing a lot of photography, design, larger graphics, art directing, managing, and more.... Which is alright , BUT I really need to focus on drawing again. I was at Barnes and Noble for like hours tonight, looking through a lot of books with some modern paintings in it... I did a lot of sketching and brainstorming while I was there.

So I am trying to make this whole, "change" thing fun,.. so I have been working on a promotional piece. I have some really creative ideas and would like to also promote some of my recent drawings and paintings on it too. I will keep you posted... tomorrow I am focusing on the special dicut for the envelope, I have a really neat interactive idea to it.

Well, mostly I wanted to tell you all that I have been seeing some really cool projects posted... Cat- way to go on the freelance job... Sara- nice illustration and logo, and Ty-awesome portrait, and chris- you are always so hard on yourself cuz you been rocking it out too... along with everyone else on this blog!

Well I see my man from Iraq next week! He is bringing a lot of photos with him, so one of the projects that I work on next will incorporate this. I think it would be a really great project to work on. I did one for the Sept. 11, 2001, all day on the 12 and it turned out really nice... Its old but maybe I will reach in the archives and bring it out to you guys.

well lengthy one, just wanted to say -way to go everyone!

Here are 2 old ink drawings ,... cuz the one at the beach well, its gotten cold so that was from a while ago. I want to post a couple of smaller mixed media paintings I have been doing too... More plantlife- pattern, media type of paintings but I dont have a scanner yet, I have been taking pictures of pieces at work with the cam we have... so more to come.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Well, I finally finished these two projects. I've been working on both of them at the same time for awhile, and finished them both last night. The top one is the finished image for the children's book. The right half of the image will eventually have a lighter box with text about Sacagawea over it. I think I may have over-worked her a little. It's a quick scan, so the color is kinda separated where the photo merge happened.
The bottom image is for a business card/logo for a local business. I traded with her for a bunch of free massages, which should be fun.
Please let me know what you think (especially with the top image). Thanks!!

A Little Late

Well, here's my conceptual portrait. I included the ink/graphite drawing (before I went to paint it) because I liked it and thought it might be fun to paint it in Photoshop, which I've never really done. It took me hours to scan and assemble this even though it's only 12''x16''. I think some of issues came up from the scanner reflecting off the white areas and making them too bright. If I can't do a good job photographing it myself, then.... I don't know. That's a separate issue....but I imagine this is going to be a recurring problem. I also used the burn tool to try to darken some areas on the face that where too bright from the scanner reflecting off the graphite....another material creating the same issue. I thought I had more to say about this but it's late and I can't think about anything but the scanning issues...... Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

my first assignment

Hello illustrator friends. Here are the 2 pieces for Louisville Magazine that I got to do. The article is about the Supreme Court handling a case that will determine whether or not Louisville (and other busing cities) continue to bus kids around to schools. The first one is a full page dealing with the Supreme Court judge determining the kids' fate and the second one is scales that are weighing black and white kids against all the other minorities.

I have to admit I'm slightly disappointed in myself. I didn't resolve the sketch enough, and didn't realize it until I went to finall. After I started working on it I noticed how terrible the hand looks. I had really bad photo reference of the kids so they look really cartoony. I didn't do a value study or a color study. I worked at a size that is almost 4 times what I'm used to working (the big one is about 14x20) and was overwhelmed with the large areas to fill. I had to do it that big because the children are so tiny - even at that size, the kids were really hard to render). I was totally out of my comfort zone and had to work on it all night. I had a breakdown moment at about 5 am when I thought I hated it and I wished I could start over from scratch and I thought I had blown my one chance at success. Then I opened up the blog, checked out Chris' cool portrait, then I popped over to the Illustration Academy website and looked at the Mark English demo on there (of Dracula - it's BADASS) and tried a few things. So I was able to salvage it a bit. What matters is that the art director loved it and I survived. And I learned a few lessons!

Monday, October 09, 2006

trying to find it...

trying to find something, my pieces lately have been falling apart. several reasons for that but thats another post. here is a portrait i am working on. sorry about the shitty picture, my scanner is too small. as soon as i get a scan ill post it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

a breather....

hey guys i know it has been a while. i will spare you the excuses. ok maybe i wont. i have been working two jobs for the last three weeks. i now have a job at circuit city corporate where they pay me a damn decent salary and give me great benefits to really do nothing. i was also working at ruby tuesday after i would get of at ccc. so needless to say, i was not getting as much art done as i would like but now i work at ccc only so yeah! here is my wip for the editorial piece. apparantly some researchers are convinced that TREX was a scavenger and not a hunter. so i thought, we all know that scavenger guy from high school who is very scary looking but never has his own twinkie. it is still in progress and i cant get a good scan but i will update soon.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

some thumbs

Here are some of the thumbnails I liked for it. What I just posted is off of the top, left. I like the bottom, right, as well.

Witchin Illustration

I did this really quickly for fun!! It's mostly drybrush acrylic, I really liked the texture I was getting so I let it show through in places.

Good news - I have my first assignment! It's for Louisville Magazine illustrating the controversy over mandatory busing and stuff. I'm going to be super busy this week but I'm just thrilled to have a real assignment. So far, all the places I have sent my mailings to have received it really well. Yay!!!

Hope everyone is doing well. Off to work at PF Chang's, UGH I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Well..... I finally got my studio space set up and I thought the conceptual self-portrait assignment would be a good idea for a way to regain some momentum..... less research needed. This is only "sketch" and with some feedback I'm going get started on the final drawing. I already see some areas I'd like to tweak. I was inspired by Sterling's work with cardboard and my new Toulouse-Lautrec book showing his work on cardboard and that sort of validated that material for me. And with all this moving, I'm surrounded by it.....free, easy, and cheap. Hopefully, I can put up a final soon. I had some other composition ideas, too. Maybe I'll post those as well.

McCaws and Things

Hi guys,
Thanks for the invite to come see and join you in trying to keep our artistic spirits alive.

While I was out on a walk recently I noticed an ad for an auction to support abandoned and abused parrots and McCaws in New England. I realized I had some great pictures of a McCaw from a long time ago, and I decided to create an image to donate to their auction. One of the best lessons I learned from it was to be OK with letting it go. I have had a tendency in the past to want to hold onto the work I have done...not a good thing when you want to sell your work, eh what? Anyway, here it is. I'd be interested in your thoughts and comments.

I haven't been able to find out how much they made off the painting, but the auction itself raised $14,000...can you believe it?! Right here in little old Malden. It definitely doesn't have the feel of a town that would support an auction in that way.

Coming up...working on a logo for a local fire department...not just computer generated as all the logos I've done in the past. This will be painted on a 3' diameter board and mounted on the building. I'll keep you posted as I create some possibilities for it.