Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kite sketch (Book cover illustration)

Just finished this sketch for the other book cover for Houghton Mifflin publishers. I just emailed it to the art director and now I'm just waiting on revisions or the green light to go to finish. Just like yesterdays sketch of the cat on the pillow, these started out as pencil sketches, scanned into the Mac and tickled with Photoshop using a Wacom tablet. I'll color these in Photoshop when I get the go-ahead.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cat on a Pillow (Book cover illustration)

This is hot off the computer-"Shazam!" It still blows my mind how quickly we can zap info and imagery to one another. I just finished this sketch for a cover assignment for Houghton Mifflin book publishers, fun stuff and I've always loved drawing cats.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Car sculpture

I started sculpting this small car with clay, paper pulp, metal and some plastic parts of a broken toy. It still has a ways to go, I plan on adding a cat sitting in the drivers seat and adding flames in the paint job.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Folk Art Santa dessert plates

Here are the Folk Art Santa dessert plates. I'm including my original illustration design of the four plates.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Folk Art Santa serving tray

The Foreside in Kittery, Maine is carrying a bunch of the Folk Art Santa dinnerware, including this serving tray.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Folk Art Santa Mugs

These are the Folk Art Santa Mugs set of 4. I'm posting the original sketch as well.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Whittle Baby (in progress)

Work in progress seems to be the story of my life. I actually like the chaos of a lot of projects going at once, it keeps it fresh and interesting for me.

I started in on this small clay and metal sculpture of a new born baby holding a small heart that I will ultimately attatch to his hands. From these photos you can see the early stage of the construction. That wire coming from his head will be a clasp that I will tie a ribbon to after I paint him. The finished product will be a christmas ornament.

I used to whittle these from balsa wood and give them to expecting mothers as gifts, thus the name "Whittle Baby" (Thats copywritten man, so don't steal my bazillion dollar idea). Alison and I are expecting our fist child in January so I plan to put this in her stocking. (She doesn't read my blog that often, so it's likely she won't read this). I'll post the finished ornament after I paint it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Folk Art Santa Hors'Douvres plates (set of 4)

Currently available at Foreside retail. This image is the catalogue photo taken by the master of light and lense, Mike Bowker.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Folk Art Santa Cookie plate

Here is another piece that I'm told is now available at Foreside retail stores. It's from the Folk Art Santa collection I designed, this is the Cookie plate.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Monhegan Island Sailboats (almost done)

I layed in all the local color and started giving form to all the elements. It's stretch and pull time to pull this all together. it's close to being done.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Folk Art Santa ornaments

These are small tree ornaments and table ornaments of the Folk art santa figures availale at currently Foreside.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A spike of Green (Finish)

Here is the finished illustration for the "Spike of Green" poem. This is a scanned sketch that I painted digitally in Photoshop using a wacom tablet. The final painting was extended on the left and right to accomodate the insertion of the poem. I also put the little girl in jeans instead of the cute little church outfit she was wearing in the original sketch.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A spike of Green

I just got an assignment from Houghton Mifflin Publishers to do a prototype illustration for a forthcoming childrens book of poems. This poem is called "A Spike of Green". It's a short and sweet poem about the innocent and gentle connection between this girl and her budding plant.

This is the sketch I submitted. It has since been approved with some changes, I'm painting the finish right now. I'll post the completed painting tomorrow.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Folk Art Santa

A few friends I used to work with at the Foreside Company recently mentioned that Foreside had filed chapter 7. It's always sad to hear of a small company going bankrupt, an unfortunate sign-of-the-times for the smaller home decor operations. The good news is that the retail stores are still open for the time being and hopefully they can manage to hang on and slowly rebuild the empire that once was.

Before I left, I designed a line of Christmas items based on a bunch of "Folk art Santa" characters I illustrated. The line includes an entire set of dinnerware with plates, serving trays, mugs, bowls, chip-n-dip plate, a cool cookie plate with three dimensional figures on it, etc...It also includes a number of tree ornaments, table ornaments in various sizes and styles, metal ornaments, a large resin figure card holder and several other items.

I went to the Foreside retail outlet in Kittery, Maine last night and saw a limited number of these items and was told they expect there will be more available before Christmas at all of there retail stores.

Today, I am posting the original Folk Art Santa illustration and one of the resin figures that is currently available at Foreside. I'll post more of the dinnerware and other items when I get word of there availability.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Greenland Sky study

It was unseasonably warm so I thought I would sneak out of the studio and do a quick outdoor study. The light changes extremely fast at sunset so I slapped down paint as quickly as I could to get an impression of the light and moving cloudes over Greenland, NH. It seemed every time I looked at my canvas and returned my eyes to the sky that the light had dimmed and the clouds had rolled along. It was nice to be outdoors again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monhegan Island Sailboats (Underpainting)

I'm finally back in my studio-under-the-stairs with the spiders and strange smells...right where I belong.

I transferred a drawing I did of two sailboats cruising by Monhegan Island and layed in a warm underpainting. This is a 16x20" gessoed wood board. I'm going to experiment with a slow dry medium that I read about in the December issue of American Artist magazine. The article was about one of my favorite American figure painters, Malcolm Liepke. I've always admired the smooth consistency of his paint and his fluid brushwork. He uses Linseed oil, Poppyseed oil and a few drops of Clove oil. It's supposed to stay wet for weeks and allow longer wet-in-wet working time, we'll see what happens.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pink Caddy spot illustration

I love you for your pink cadillac
Crushed velvet seats
Riding in the back, oozing down the street
Waving to the girls
Feeling out of sight
Spending all my money on a saturday night
Honey, I just wonder what you do there in back of your pink cadillac
Pink cadillac (insert Clearance Clemens saxaphone solo...)

I actually get the willy's from that song. Sorry Bruce, I know you read this blog and I like your music but this isn't your best work.

Todays post is a spot illustration of a Pink Caddy, slightly charicaturized.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Book bag spot illustratiions

Still cranking out spot illustrations for Fridays deadline, here are a pair of book bag paintings I did last night.

These are pencil sketches that I scanned and painted in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet. The Wacom tablet is a digital miracle. It's a pressure sensative stylus (looks just like a pen) that I draw and paint on a 12"x12" tablet surface. It responds to the subtle pressure of my hand, I can bear down for a fatter line or gently caress the surface for a thinner, more expressive line, etc...

I still have to make an image with the same considerations I would using traditional mediums, it's just less messy and quicker to remedy mistakes. Instead of using turps to wipe out an oil painting error, I can "command>Z" and back up a step...blah, blah,'s real fun, trust me.

I do love the balance of painting in oils some days and then working digital on other days.