Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Baseball Illustration (Color)

I laid in the color for this children's magazine illustration. This is a scanned sketch that I colored digitally in Photoshop.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Monhegan Painting (...oh yeah...still workin on it...)

I'm creeping along, added the small boat house, road and grass. I have to get to my children's book magazine assignment so I'll be side tracked again. Can't wait to finish this one and pull it all together.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Legend of Captain Sweed (Sketchbook doodle)

Twas a score and seven years ago
According to nautical lore.
Captain Sweed the salty pirate
Set sail from Paddocks shore.
Took with him his compainions
His scurvy, sea dog friends.
Twas upon this very voyage
The legend of old Sweed was penned.

He stood five foot tall and one inch more
With a beard of forty years.
He'd a broken nose, a crooked hip
And the strength of ten bucaneers.
A scabbard hangs by his wooden leg
A pistol from his vest.
A portrait of his smilin' mum
Is tattood upon his chest.

"I'm Christopher Ichabod Sweedenpoop
Or Cap'n Sweed to you.
Pirate of the Seven Seas
Master of me ship n' crew".

Todays post is a doodle of Pirate Captain Sweed, I wrote a really bad story four years ago in an attempt to write a children's book about this character based on my scurvy friend who we call the Sweed. In the story, he is shipwrecked and eats his own eye to survive. You can see why Houghton-Mifflin would reject such a tale.

I've been doodling this character and similar versions of him and his sea dog mates in my sketchbooks ever since.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Monhegan painting...(still in progress)

Memorial Day weekend means stolen moments in my studio under the stairs. I was lucky enough to get down there for a short while and add some color to this little house in the backround. It's just a small part of the painting but there is something about it that I'm satisfied with. It's my attempt at an Edward Hopper like house, boxy and simple, light and dark, carefull to keep color in the darks. At this point it's tough to say if this will work with the entire completed composition, we'll see when all the color is laid in.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Monhegan Painting ....(In progress)

I finally mixed up some color and began laying in the backround of the Monhegan painting. Can't wait to spend more time on it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Portsmouth Lobster Dock (Plein Air)

FINALLY! After the rains and a bussy schedule I had a chance to get out, plant the paintbox in mother earth and slap some oil on a canvas. I drove a few miles not knowing where I was going to paint and pulled over at this small Lobster shanty and boat dock in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon on the seacoast.

I recently read a great artical about Kittery, Maine artist, Donald Demers plein air technique and thought I would give it a go. In a nutshell: He rubs in local color crudely, then using a small round brush, he does a detailed linear drawing in brown paint, taking great care to measure. He refines the color, darks and lights working back to front.

This took two and a half hours. I'm not nearly as fast or skilled as Demers but I really like this process and will likely adopt parts of it to fit my method. I'm always trying to find what works best for me.

Portsmouth Lobster Dock (6x8) Oil on Wood panel.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Baseball Sketch (Children's Magazine)

Here is the other sketch for the children's magazine piece I am working on.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Children's Magazine sketch

After returning from Manhattan I was all geared up to jump into some oil painting and maybe finish some of the sketches I've been noodling, however, my rep called with a small Children's magazine assignment that includes this sketch of two boys chatting before their baseball game. One of the boys has leg braces on.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Espresso drinkers (sketchbook)

I'm back from New York city and a very inspiring weekend. My old college roomate Dan and I met up with our old Illustration professor, Robert Kaufman in Lower Manhattan on Saturday. (This was our informal 10th reunion from The Art Institute of Boston). Robert recently wrote and illustrated a book called
  • BLOCKOLOGY An offbeat walking guide to lower Manhattan

  • He spent six months walking every block below 14th street, observing, photographing, sketching and journaling his observations. He walked over 300 miles. Robert took Dan and I on a walking tour that included a speakeasy in Greenwich Village called "Chumley's", a prohibition era bar that was frequented by many american authors and 20th century characters like Hemmingway and T.S Eliot. There was no sign on the door, you just have to know that the inconspicuous "86" on the door is the entrance to Chumley's (Exit is through the alley way out back). The distrssed wood, cheap beers, cigar stench and the 100 year old dog lying in the middle of the barroom floor kept that 1920's feel ever present.
    Todays post is a sketch I did afterwards of a couple of Paisans sipping Espresso in a Chumley's-like atmosphere. This image is out of my head, I'm thinking of maybe doing some earth pallet paintings of imagery like this. We'll see, I've got a lot on my plate right now.

    Friday, May 19, 2006

    Artist gone Apple pickin.....

    Hi all,

    I'm leaving this morning to spend the weekend in the Big Apple, going to the Surtex design show where my rep has rented a booth to showcase her artist. I'll be bringing my sketchbook and paintbox because I'm obsessed so I may post some images over the weekend if the hotel has wifi. If not, I'll catch up with you on Monday.

    All my best,

    Todd Bonita

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Monhegan Island Sail

    Another drawing from my sketchbook of Monhegan island and a sail boat. I may rework this a bit more for a larger painting. It needs some things figured out but there is a painting in there somewhere.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Monhegan Island Sailboats

    Here is sketch I did of some Monhehan Island sailboats that I will use to make a larger painting from.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Pigeon Cove lobstermen(Sketchbook)

    This is another rainy day sketch of an image from Pigeon Cove in Rockport, Massachusetts. These two guys accidentally caught a bullfish in their lobster trap, "good eatin" he told me.

    I may revise this compostion a bit for a larger painting.

    Sunday, May 14, 2006

    Monhegan Island (Sketchbook)

    We are experiencing some of the worst rainfall in my lifetime here in New England. Roads and rivers are flooded, basements are filled with floating debree, the electricity goes on and off and it still rains. We have several more days of rain to come. This is great weather to stay indoors and draw and paint.

    Todays post is a thumbnail drawing from my sketchbook of monhegan island in maine. This scenery doesn't really exhist, it's made up from glimpses of photos of Monhegan. I'm using it to figure out a composition for a larger painting.

    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    Scotty's Cove in fog (Sketchbook)

    I'm going to put more thought into my compositions, that includes thumbnail sketches. Here is a page from my sketchbook of a foggy afternoon on Scotty's Cove in Winthrop, Massachusetts. This veiw is from my mothers back yard. She lives in a very sweet spot with her backyard butting against a small cove that overlooks the Boston skyline to the south west. Across the street, in front of her house is the Atlantic ocean. There are some real nice spots that I'll definitely return to for some future painting.

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    "Devil" Illustration Friday submission

    Step 1: Do a creepy pencil sketch of an Illustration Friday topic
    Step 2: Scan, manipulate and color in Illustrator, painter and Photoshop.
    Step 3: Scare children and adults with colored creepy skecth.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Dingy #3

    Back at the oil painting easel and loving it. I just finished this Dingy and I plan on starting some much larger works tomorrow.

    Dingy #3 (Oil on Wood) 8x6"

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    "One, Two...I'm all done with this one...

    It's nice to mix things up; a little digital children's illustration is nicely balanced by getting back to the oil easel and painting from life. I'll be squirting out fresh paint tomorrow morning.

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    "Five-Six, pick up sticks" (Close-up)

    Almost done...this is a close up section of the "Buckle my shoe" poem.

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    One, two, buckle my shoe...(Color lay-in)

    The art director working on this illustrated poem gave me the go ahead to do the color finish of my sketch for "One, two, buckle my shoe". It's a very large piece for the computer, (11x17"). Today I layed in the local color, it's a bit crude at this stage as I am interested in simply establishing what the overall color scheme will be.

    The upper left side has been deliberately left lighter to accomodate the Title and poem. I'm going to try and finish this tomorrow.

    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Tae Kwon Do Review by Book Loons

    OK, it may not be Caldecott material but it was personally a thrill for me to recieve this little review from Book Loons
  • about my Children's Book, Tae Kwon Do:

    "Todd Bonita's colorful illustrations superbly show busting a board with a high kick, and the training garments worn with the color belt achieved in graduating from one level to another. Most of all the children's round, smiling, friendly faces show that concentration, hard work, and fun, too, are all part of the serious, healthy sport of Tae Kwon Do!"

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Dingy #5 (Monochromatic)

    This is the last of my dingy paintings. This is all experimental for me and doing a small series has been very helpful to the process. I think I'm going to finish painting these boats and then work on a much larger painting just to mix it up a bit and welcome some new challenges.

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Perkins Cove Dingy #4 (Monochromatic Underpainting)

    This is actually a bit more than a monochromatic underpainting, I glazed in additional darks in the shadow areas.

    I'm beginning to feel more comfortable about my oil process. I still need pleanty of tuning but I think I'm getting a better grip on a working method. I'm trying to keep my shadow areas transparent while maintaining a life in them (They may be too dark here, we'll see how it goes in the finished painting).

    At this point I feel as though my drawing skill is better than my oil painting skill. I'm feeling pretty good though, I've learned a lot from these little studies.

    Onward I go...