Friday, March 31, 2006

Portrait Study #2 (Monochrome)

This morning I am posting last nights portrait study I did at Sanctuary Arts. I started with a Raw Umber monochrome underpainting and liked the way it looked on the Burnt Umber panel, it reminded me of an old Sepia photograph. I was just having fun and decided to bring it to a monochrome finish.

Portrait Study#2,(Monochrome) 8X6 Oil on panel

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Starwberry Banke (Plein Air study)

I went out this morning to Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to do some Plein air painting. Strawberry banke is a historic colonial New England Neighborhood preserved with a number of 17th through 19th century homes and structures on the grounds. It was a sunny spring morning and I was again reminded of how quickly that great ball of fire moves in the short period of time I had to paint. I posted a picture of my Raw Umber drawing and the finish. I'm going to have to work more quickly with fewer and bolder strokes next time.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Garden Bunny Catalog photos

The Garden Bunny illustrations that I posted in January have since been produced and photographed for the catalog. The colors of their clothes have been changed in production.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bunny Eggspress Train (Off to the Island...)

My "Bunny Eggspress Train" will not be produced this Easter, it's on a one way track to the Island of Misfit collectibles. Too bad, I was really happy with this design but it would have cost too much to produce. A few were purchased at the tradeshows and I managed to get my hands on one but this is goodbye to the bunny conductor, his chic companions and egg cargo.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Wagon Hill Farm (Plein Air study)

Aaah Spring! I've been waiting all winter to finally get outdoors and do some Plein Air painting. The temps on the Seacoast of New Hampshire got up to around 52 degrees today, so I headed out to Wagon Hill Farm in Durham with my pochade.

It's a beautiful spot. Over 130 acres of rolling, golden-grassy hills with lakeside trails spotted with ancient willows and an orchard meadow. I set up a few hundred yards behind the farm on a slopey plain and painted as quickly as I could.

Part of the challenge with plein air painting is the moving sun and shadows. You can see in my painting that the triangle-like shadows on the farm have already disappeared by the time I completed the study. (About Two and a half hours)

"Wagon Hill Farm", 6x8 Oil on wood panel.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Egg Truck (Island of Misfit Collectibles)

"Egg Truck" was not chosen to be produced with this years Easter collection, however, a small number were purchased by gift shop and boutique owners at the trade shows. With the exception of these few that are out there, "Egg Truck" will be cruising onto the Island of Misfit Collectibles.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Easter Figures (at Winners in Canada)

TJMaxx and Marshalls own a retail chain in Canada called "Winners", they bought the exclusive rights to sell some of the Easter figures I designed (See my January posts of various Illustrated Bunnies on Wheels). They are available now through Easter at Winners to my Canadian friends.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Portrait Study #1

On Thursday evenings I have been going to Sanctuary Arts Painting and sculpture center in Eliot, Maine to paint from a live model. Last night I did an exersice using a middle value, grey ground on a gessoed panel and simply painting directly wet into wet. I like using the grey ground because it feels like the painting is already started before I even lay down my first brush strokes.

Portrait study #1, Oil on panel, 6X8.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

East Coast Hogs logo

I recently got a small job to illustrate a logo for a company called "East Coast Hogs". It's a start up company that hosts a websight that connects buyers and sellers of Harleys and Choppers. I just finished the conceptual sketches about ten minutes ago and I will color it upon approval from the client.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Spring Ornaments

I just got these jpegs yesterday of some "Spring Ornament" sculptures that I designed in January. There is a potted tree that goes with these ornaments that I will post as soon as I get it. There is quite a variety of ornaments; Bees, Butterflies and Birds. They are made of resin and metal and are hand painted.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

One, Two, Buckle my shoe (Sketch)

I just got a small commission to illustrate the children's rhyme, "One, two, buckle my shoe" which will be included in a Children's book collection.

It's a two page spread and the art director provided very specific art guidelines with regard to it being on a farm, the gender, race and age of the characters and their specific activity, the animals and their placement, the inclusion of the large Oak tree, the barn door being slightly closed, etc...Part of the challenge is to make it all work compositionally within the publishers guideline limitations; consideration of the gutter (The place where both pages meet in the middle. It's important not to put crucial information in this area), leaving room for the placement of the "Title" and a block of space for the rhyme itself.

This requires planning the drawing ahead with lots of thumbnail sketches and pre-planning the color scheme.

I completed 90% of the drawing last night and left the rest to look at with a fresh eye this morning. This turned out to be a good idea, when I turned on my Mac and opened the file it was like looking in the morning mirror, (insert the music from psycho). I adjusted the necessary changes and I'm going to shoot it over to the publisher for approval. Check back for publishers comments and eventually the color finish.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Asian boy with drawing

Here is the last page of the Math reader, "Asian boy with drawing". After a day at the beach drawing Pelicans, he shows the reader his sketch.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Pelicans with Fish

Here is page eleven of the children's math reader I'm working on, "Pelicans with Fish".

Friday, March 17, 2006

Flying Pelicans

Here is "Four Flying Pelicans", page eight of the children's book I'm working on. I'm pretty much finished with this project, just some touch up work and I'll shoot it over to the art director this afternoon.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Seven Splashing Pelicans

I'm still rolling along finishing up the Children's book assignment. Here is page seven of the math reader, "Seven Splashing Pelicans".

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tomato Bunny

You say Tomato, I say "I've just about had it with Bunnies and produce". Who am I kidding, I love these hairy little critters. This is the last of the sculpted Bunnies. The next time I post them, they will be cast in resin and painted.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bunny with Asparagus sculpture

I would like to thank the brotherhood of artist who emailed me today about my "Blog" post in Robert Genn's twice weekly letter:
It was great to meet so many of you, I apreciate all your positive comments.

Today I am posting another Sculpture from the Bunny series, "Bunny with Asparagus". I can't find my original sketch for this little guy, it seems to be lost in tranquility. Here he is in all of his glory with a backpack of asparagus. This will be cast in resin.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bunny with Carrots Sculpture

On January 29, I posted "Bunny with Carrots" sketch. I just received this jpeg of the clay sculpture that will be cast in resin. You can see the original drawing by going to the January 2006 archives on the left side of this page.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bucket Bunny Sculpture

Here is another version of the Cabbage Bunny sculpture with a bucket. This will be
a resin planter and eventually painted.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cabbage Bunny's Sculpture

On Monday, January 30th, I posted my drawing, "Cabbage Bunnies" which was intended to be produced as a resin Easter planter. I just got the jpegs of the sculpture. You can see the original drawing by going into the January archives on the left side of this page.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Here are pages 4 and 5 of the Children's book I'm illustrating. It's a counting book that features an Asian boy sketching Pelicans on the beach. These were painted in Photoshop.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


One of my favorite jobs as an illustrator is doing a bunch of small vignette spots. I can just be free to focus on the "pretty picture making" aspect of the craft and not worry so much about making all the parts of a composition work together. It's instant gratification for my right brain.

This page of spots is for a small Children's Book publisher and were created in Photoshop from my scanned sketches.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Beach

I'm currently painting the color finishes of a Children's Book for a small publisher. I'm painting them in Photoshop with a Wacom Tablet over scanned pencil sketches. I finished the title page last night and just touched up a few things.

I'll post a few more this week as I finish them.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Coffee Black

This is a small oil painting study of a Coffee Cup I did as part of my effort to paint from life as much as possible. I am including photos of "Coffee Black" set up so you can see my monochromatic under painting in Raw Umber and then the finish in full color.

"Coffee Black", 6"x8" Oil on Gessoed panel

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Farmer Sketches

Today I am posting a few drawings from my sketchbook of a farmer and his wife on the run.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Horse Sketch 2

Here is another Horse drawing from my sketchbook.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Chair

This is a piece I did for my Children's book portfolio, it's a monochromatic oil underpainting of a boy in "The Chair".

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Esther 1912 - 2006 RIP

I just got an email from my friend Jeff who just informed me of the passing of his 94 year old grandmother Esther.

Jeff and I used to visit Esther in her East Boston apartment around Christmas time and she would put on an old scratched-up 45 record of "Domonic the Donkey". She would play it continuously and we would have to sing along with her each time. Waving her arms like a symphony conductor, Esther would sing the "Chingedy-Ching" part then point to Jeff and I, which was our cue to "Hee-haw Hee-haw" like a donkey over-and-over again. I'm pretty sure she played it a dozen times each visit. She was spirited, humorous, genuine and beautiful. I cherish my Esther memories.

My friend Sweede, responded to Jeff's email with the following message;

"It should be a true celebration! 94 years to create memorable moments, and influence those around you is a true gift. Peace, love and prayers

Today, I am posting a charicature I did of Esther 4 years ago from one of my old sketch books, it's dated August 24, 2002. I think Esther would have apreciated it.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Merlin Project

This morning I discovered the AC Coin & Slot Company web sight and was thrilled to find not only images but videos of projects I worked on several years ago. I worked at AC Coin & Slot from 2000 to 2003 as a staff illustrator. In those three years I completed over a thousand drawings and paintings, including "The Merlin Project" for Carnival Cruise lines.

We worked with an anamatronics team from Canada (The same guys who developed many of Disneys anamatronic animals, including the talking birds from the Tiki Room amongst others). They turned my paintings of Merlin, Frogs, Dragons, Owls, Fairies and trees into three-dimensional, anamatronic sculptures, enabling them to speak and move. It was amazing to watch them come to life.

Today I am posting a few illustrations from the Merlin Project. I am also including a link to the AC Coin and Slot videos that showcase four of the assignments I helped design and illustrate. (Click on the AC Coin link under "LINKS" on the left hand side of this page. Then click on one of the four images to watch the animatronics video)