Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Red Panda :)

This little guy is from my next project! Will be posting more soon! :D

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Brian Lies Visits!

So last week, our Children's Book Illustration III class got quite a treat: a visit from Brian Lies! He is the author and illustrator of the NY Times' best selling books Bats at the Beach, and Bats at the Ballgame and my favorite, Bats at the Library! (To see more of his books, click here!)

Brian Lies! And there's Dede to the left! :)

Stunning work not put to justice by my dirty cell phone camera lens!

Brain was kind enough to share with us his working process, including the corresponding original art, starting with his sketchbook, his mini dummies and book dummies, how he re-works his pieces, and all the way through the steps he takes in painting with acrylics. He shared with us the book dummy for his newest book, More to be available next year. He does his finished acrylics on heavy weight vellum paper, using teeny tiny brushes and ink for his foundation line work. And his finished pieces... Absolutely gorgeous!

Brian shared some useful tips, such as writing paint color recipes for future reference, and to be sure to really layer the darks because they brighten in the scanning process. He said some things that rang true in my own creative process. It was heartening to see that like I do, he also draws in blue pencil to break in a piece of fresh white paper "because it doesn't feel like permanent final art." And he hates to erase (just like I do), so naturally he ends up with piles of paper (like I do), though he actually has storage for his piles, unlike myself! He also shared that he prefers painting animals with smaller eyes to avoid the "mass market" look in his work.

I've been so inspired, I think I might try my hand at working on paper instead of canvas with my acrylics. Just to see what happens. :)

It was a spectacular visit! So much so that my friends have blogged about it too!
Cheryl Kirk Noll (She had a real camera and got nicer photos than my cell phone did!)
Marcela Staudenmaier

Here are some links to interviews with Brian Lies, as well as Bat Conservation:

Thank You, Brian, for visiting us! :D
And Thank You, Emilie Boon, for inviting him!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Holiday Card Finished!

Hey there!

I finished and delivered this piece, and the family loves it! Woo hoo! Another successful commission! It's for their custom Christmas cards, and it has a touch of Hanukkah with the "menorah" of candles on the mantle. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Three Halloween Kittens, Finished!


Just popping in to say I finished the kittens, and here they are!

Pretty happy with it, and I'm glad it's done! Onto the next project!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Three Halloween Kittens!

Our latest project in Children's Book Illustration III was to pick a short story provided and illustrate a full page bleed and it's opposite text page with a spot illustration. I chose the story of the Three Little Kittens, (you know, they lost their mittens, and they began to cry...).

My first question was this: why were the kittens wearing mittens?
Because it is Halloween, of course, and the mittens are part of their costumes! And I went with the happy scene after they found their mittens and put them back on. :)

Just as we did with the last project, we did three double spread layouts, character sketches, and a final image. I'm not fully finished painting the piece, and I also will touch it up with colored pencil, but I'll share what I've got so far!

And then I did an ink under painting, and then watercolor painting...

checked my values via desaturation...

...and then I got nervous about covering the whole thing in my dark blue for the night, 
so I tried it out on Photoshop first...

And thank goodness for Photoshop! I went back and worked in the darks, and now I'm finishing up on the watercolors before I begin any colored pencil. 

Whew! I think it's time for bed now! I'll post ya laters, gators!

Holiday Card Sketches

Hi Again!

I am also working on a Christmas card design that includes all EIGHT of the client's pets. (The newest kitten has not yet been drawn.) Yep, home certainly is where the fur flies! Here are my sketches of the animals, plus I tooled around with colors and layout ideas. I'll show you the rest once I ink and paint the piece!

Modeled after the real fireplace in their home.

And some color compositions... 

 I personally like the last one best. The first one isn't bad! But it's up to the customer what they want on their card, so we shall see which style they pick!

Alrighty then, off to the next project...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Feelin' Sketchy!

Hullo Hullo!

Been SUPER busy working on multiple projects at once! With homework, and commissions, and Little Raindrop stuff, I haven't been staying on top of my blogging. But it's too late at night for my weary eyes to mix colors and such, so here's what I've been up to:

Little Raindrop, Ocean Habitat Sketching:

Little Raindrop, Chapter One Sketching:

And in my next post I'll share with you my Holiday Card commission! Yay! (See you in 5 minutes!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Little Raindrop: Character Art

Hi there!

Today I focused on narrowing down Little Raindrop's character design. The author and I are deciding whether to use the big round eyes or the little oval pupil thingies for the final character. This was a good exercise for me anyhow, because it gave me the opportunity to explore LR's emotions, and I also found a great little animation blog that features some excellent character art.

So these were my original LR sketches:

And these are what I came up with today:

I'm sure you'll notice it took me a bit of time to loosen up, but I finally did and then that's when LR started to have a mind of his own! I'm also working on a few more characters that LR interacts with, but those aren't nearly as developed, simple as these characters are.

And I don't know if I'm just slow, or if this is normal, but those sheets of characters took me 3 hours! However, those hours are worth it for a solid character foundation. :)

Off to sketch some more! Ttfn!