Sunday, December 8, 2013

fancy flamingo part 2

So, I finally got around to pulling this into photoshop to use the new techniques I have been learning. Here is what I ended up with.  Now on and upward! Time for alternate color comps.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fancy flamingo

Secret Lab assignment:

Merging an existing painting with an animal character.
Here is my initial sketch

Here is the painting I am using and some of my reference studies

A simple value study

And here is a quick mock up from my iPad 

I think I am ready to pull it into photoshop and see what happens.  More later.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain

I just got home from a wonderful workshop with Doug Braithwaite.  He is an amazing plein air painter from Utah.   I was lucky enough to be able to attend at Quartz Mountain Fall Arts Institute in Oklahoma this year.  It was a truly inspiring experience.  I learned so much from Doug about painting, and how to see the natural world and to break down environments into basic shapes, the same way you would with any other subject.  His process starts in such a simplistic fashion, it changed my world.  The main focus is to create a value study of your subject prior to beginning the painting, and then while it is still wet, begin tinting that underpainting with the appropriate colors. This technique frees the artist by allowing them to work out the more complicated drawing and shadow aspects of the painting in the early stages and then focus on the confident application of paint.  Confident brushstrokes people.  He explained that as we add paint, we should be painting dark to light and thin to thick so that the lighter colors have the thickest paint.   He also talked at length about color matching, and mixing all of your paints before you actually begin the painting which allows you to be able to capture your subject with certainty regardless of the changing light conditions that are to be expected when painting outside.  Over the course of the 4 days, he created 3 demo paintings.  It was amazing.  We gathered around his easel and watched him complete a painting within a matter of 3 hours.  His second demo was of a derelict old building with some children's playthings scattered about.  In real life it had very little appeal, but through the lens of his painting, it became extraordinary.

My first attempt at painting after this demonstration was, somewhat wanting.  Clearly Doug had made it look too easy.  I started with the value study the same way he had showed us.  I worked on it probably longer than necessary, but I had this strange need to be told that it was time to move on to the color.

Eventually I got over it and started adding color.  I lost some of what was great about the initial study.  I made the mistake of not mixing my paint prior to beginning to layer it on, so by the time I got halfway finished my painting was a bit too dry.  The only way to counter this problem was to really start adding more paint.  I realize now that in the past, I probably have not been using enough paint, but that is a different story all together.  

The second day was trying.  After another astounding demonstration by Braithwaite, we were off to paint again.  I was having the hardest time deciding what to paint.  It seemed like I could not get any good shadows, and I couldn't get all of the elements that I wanted in the image in one composition.  After working up a value study for an hour, I got frustrated and wiped my board down completely and turned to start a new composition.  I worked up a value study for that one and started adding color.  Then I decided I did not like it, so I set it to the side and pulled out a new surface.  It was now magic hour and the shadows on the area that I had originally started drawing were lovely, so I quickly worked up a value study of that area.  I frantically began mixing paint to try to capture as much of the color that was present as possible.  The day was over, and it was time to go, so I packed up my things.  I took a few quick pictures of the two areas I had sketched up and went back to the studio after dinner to work.  I had to finish those paintings.  I stayed for quite a while, but I got it done.  I think they turned out well, despite my earlier frustrations that day.  

Here is the first pass 

I got a critique from Doug and added a few final touches.  His biggest suggestion was: more confident brushstrokes. 

Here is the second pass

I pushed the oranges more in the grass, and added more paint.

Here I added more life to the water by using the moll stick to create a few hard edges by the shore, and also stronger highlights on the water.

Overall I think it was a very inspiring trip, and I learned quite a bit, and got a few decent pieces out of the deal.  I call that a win.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

So, it has been quite a while since I last updated.  I am sure that you get tired of hearing that.  I notice that nearly every artist I follow begins their posts with the same statement.  I have been through quite a few changes lately, some have worked out well, and others...well, not as expected.

 The good news is that I have been working on an illustration project for a client and I have finally finished, a little late perhaps, but it is done.  So, here are a few images from the book.  It is about a little girl who loves cats so much, that she wants to be one.

Friday, April 26, 2013

something new

Sorry for the long absence.  Life has gotten in the way.  Here is a little something new.  It features some really cute kids, monsters and taekwondo....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day all!  I can't wait to get some time to solidify some of these little doodles.  Here is one especially for the day of love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

a little scribble of a girl and a bird, I think they are singing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My one and only little bird is turning one next week!  So I made this little image for her invitation.

I can't believe it has been a year already,  last year this time I was waddling around franticly trying to get the house clean.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

I saw a burlesque show not too long ago, and this little beauty has been dancing around in my head.   You should have seen the girl on the scarves...maybe next week.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Here's another little quick scribble, just like Grannie to feed the squirrels.

So, blog post fail yesterday.  I do have a few that I can share with you from a book I recently illustrated.  The book is called:  Twisted Tales by Lynette King
interior illustrations