Christmas Portraiture

I was commissioned a family portrait weeks before Christmas. Be it illustration or portraiture, I still love to paint and draw! Pictured first is the initial sketch. The client wanted to utilize a photo taken years ago, but incorporate current hairstyles and the children at their current age.


And here is the final painting:

Happy Halloween!

It's been too long. Sorry I'm recycling old art here, but you do what you gotta do. I think I posted this last year: a simple illustration of youthful role play. Of course, when I was a child, it was a bedsheet for a cape. But the Charmin mummy works too!


Illustration Friday: Artificial

It's a classic story that is familiar to most of us: Carved from a piece of pine by a woodcarver, he was created as a wooden puppet, but dreamt of abandoning his artificial state and becoming a real boy.

Illustration Friday: Double

Wow. So many connotations with this week's topic since I spent SO much time on it and found it challenging in a wonderful way: Double the effort. Double trouble.

My newest piece is truly a labor of love - mixing elements of fantasy and dealing with somewhat macabre themes. The idea comes from my neighbor and friend who is an aspiring children's book author. She wrote a story about a spoiled princess, called "The Princess Who Ate Dragons." The princess treated everyone badly, so, as punishment, her parents exile her to spend time with dangerous dragons. But, fearing nothing, the princess merely jests "I'll eat 'em, You'll see."

I included images of my photo references and the sketches. I spent a lot of time with the dragons as I wanted them to look a specific way.

As I was working on the sketches, I must have reworked the main dragon a dozen times. He kept taking on the look of the dragon from Shrek! After my initial sketches were done, I shot them with my digital camera and started composing them together in Photoshop. The last image is that composition.

This is the final sketch that I transferred to use for the painting. I printed the Photoshop-ed comp out and drew more on it: the stone wall and the ground. Notice that I changed the butcher knife to a spoon in the painting. My 10 year old son casually glanced at my sketch and remarked, "Don't you think that knife is a bit violent?" This is a story of a spoiled princess who eats dragons! But he was right, she had almost a murderous tone with that knife!


From the Sketchbook

Here are some sketches I just finished to prepare for an illustration. I wanted to focus on certain expressions for this character, who is not the nicest little girl in town. Happy

Illustration Friday: Giant

An unlikely friendship blossoms as the boy looks after the giant chihuahua. One of their favorite games is "hide and seek."

Illustration Friday: Satellite

This cow has set high ambitions after being inspired by her favorite rhyme. Our familiar satellite looks on with concern. Happy

I think the picture says it all.


Following in my footsteps.

Inspired by all that was being done by artists on the Ripple blog, my son wanted to do something as well. He had come up with a large composition on 8.5 x 11 paper but I told him that the art needed to be on ATC sized cards: 2.5" x 3.5". So he came up with this. I'm digging his style!

"Save The Animals!"
Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill


Illustration Friday: Ripple (Alt)

Yeah. I redid it. I think I have the creative license to give an idea another go. Happy The first one, I tried to be a little cartoony, but I think this one fits my style best. Again, visit ripplesketches.blogspot.com/ to donate and help the animal victims of the Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill.

Illustration Friday: Ripple

This week's topic is "Ripple", suggested by Kelly Light. Kelly is making an effort to help with the Gulf oil spill. Each sketchcard on her blog is $10.00. The $10.00 is a donation to help the animal victims of the Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill. Go there now and buy some great art and help a great cause. ripplesketches.blogspot.com/

Illustration Friday: Trail

A man came to Hamelin claiming to be a rat-catcher. The people of Hamelin promised him payment for killing the rats. So the man played a pipe, and led a trail of rats to the Weser river, where they all drowned. Despite this success the people reneged on their promise and did not pay the rat-catcher. And while the inhabitants were in the church, he played his pipe again, this time attracting the children of Hamelin. The children followed him out of the town, where they were lured into a cave and sealed inside.


Illustration Friday: Slither

The snaked slithered closer to his prey. The frog could sense danger and as the snake leapt, the frog jumped away to safety.


Goonies never say die!

I've been going back in time all weekend. And wouldn't you know it, "Goonies" was on TV. So, I couldn't help doing a quick sketch to commemorate my youth and the youth of my peers as well as honor the characters who sought a fortune to save their town.


Shifting gears

Every now and then I am called upon to create art in different styles or media. Sometimes I'll work on more graphic projects like logo designs or t-shirt designs. Other times, I'll be asked to do stage designs for elementary school. Not too long ago, I was asked if I could do caricatures. I don't come across work like that too often, but I enjoy it when I do, so I jumped at the opportunity. This particular person was fond of her coffee mug and her iPhone, hence their presence in the picture. Here is the result:


Illustration Friday: Ahead

I did this illustration as part of a series for a children's science magazine. The article posed the question: "What if we could live forever?" In this instance, we explored what it would be like if Albert Einstein lived forever and the possibilities that lay ahead for the future.


Illustration Friday: Detective

Shelley was playing detective. She roamed the edge of the forest to search for clues in the grass. Little did she know that in a few moments she was about to make an amazing discovery.



My son approached me the other day and asked, "Dad, do you know how to draw in manga style?" (referring to japanese comic books) He discovered this style of cartooning from his friends recently and is really interested in it. I told him "No, I don't think I've ever drawn that style of cartoon." Funny thing about that: As I was diggin through some of my old artwork, i found these two drawings I had done in the 8th grade. Well, imagine the amount of crow I had to eat when I told him that I lied.


Illustration Friday: Linked

Molly found the magic dinosaur bone. Could this be how her backyard is linked to the dinosaur's past? Could this be how she could visit him in his own time?


Channeling Froud When I Was A Kid

When I was younger, I knew what I liked in terms of art, but rarely did I know who produced them. When The Dark Crystal came out, I was fascinated with the character designs and production art that pervaded the film. It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I learned Brian Froud was the genius behind those designs. Here is my homage to Froud when I was eleven years old. Interesting note: I remember getting this new set of markers and was eager to produce something with them that I was proud of. So, I labored with this drawing for quite some time.


Illustration Friday: Dip

I did this illustration for my school's first grade - the theme being "Dive Into Learning." I find that education and reading is very important and could actually be as fun as taking a dip into the swimming pool!


Out of the Attic

I was doing some digging again and found some old artwork. This one I did back in the early nineties. I was into the whole Wayne's World thing and did a color sketch of .... Garth! Why I didn't render Mike Myer's iconic character, I'll never know. Probably liked the fact that Garth was a drummer and a geek like me. Party on, Garth!


Illustration Friday: Rescue

In the midst of battle, the rescue mission changed. Colonel Panic was frozen in fear of a new enemy.


Is smaller better?

By day, I am an elementary school art teacher. And from time to time, I may offer artwork by my own creation as incentives. This time, I wanted to get a feel for working in the format of artist trading cards. For this batch, the students received ATCs of their favorite sports figure. This is my first foray into the sports genre. I kept it in BW and reduced the amount of detail. I gotta say, I'm not too thrown off by working in such a small format. I'm working on more, but here are three so far: Dwyane Wade, Colt McCoy and Kobe Bryant.


Illustration Friday: Expired

It looks as if the boy mummy's supply of toilet paper has expired.


Illustration Friday: Subterranean

Woken from his slumber, the lone prairie dog, Pete, poked his head from his subterranean home to see what was all the ruckus.


A Long Time Coming!

Hello my friends. It has been a long time. And I must say, that I haven't been a very good blogger for the last three months. But it sure has been busy. So, let's try to bring this back to momentum with a new sketch I have been working on. I have gone back to illustrating animals and have decided to channel my inner Beatrix Potter for this one. It's always good to challenge yourself as an artist and anthropomorphizing animals is a good challenge for me.


So We Meet Again, For The Last Time.

Here's Obi Wan as depicted by Sir Alec Guiness in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.


Before the Dark Times...

Here's another sketch I did for the Obi Wan project. This time it is of young Obi Wan as a Jedi Padawan. I figure I will include young Obi Wan, middle-aged Obi Wan, then elder Obi Wan as portrayed by Sir Alec Guinness.