Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Punxsutawney Phil (finish)

I finally got around to laying in the color on the Punxsutawney Phil sketch for "Highlights for Children" magazine. (Original sketch posted July 24) see archives. Who am I kidding, the deadline is here so I had no choice but to finish it. I'm glad I did, I like illustrations where the composition has a strong light source. The groundhog opening made for some strong highlights on Punxsutawney's mug and some interesting color in the den.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Boneshakers...(Children's Illustration sketch)

I just got another quick turn-around illustration assignment from a small publisher to do a magazine spread. This is my sketch of a few friends who take a trip to the bicycle museum and take a tour with Oscar. The figures are placed in the wheels of an early nineteenth century bicycle called a boneshaker.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Connect the dots

Todays post is from the quick-turnover small assignment from Houghton Mifflin book publishers. it's a connect-the-dots illustration. I've wanted to illustrate one of these ever since I was a little kid, I always thought they were very clever. I must confess that it was one of the easiest illustrations I've ever done and I'm definitely not clever. If you look at it, you'll realise that there is very little illustration at all, the premise being for the veiwer to finish my work. Nice!

Please feel free to print, connect-the-dots and color. Mail finished works to:

Todd Bonita
30 Hillside Drive
Greenland, NH 03840

I'll send a two pound wedge of cheese to my favorite entry.

ps. Blogger.com has been experiencing some ftp post problems. I've been assured that the problem has been resolved. Five of my posts from this past week are now veiwable.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Children's illustration assignment

I just got a quick turnover assignment from Houghton Mifflin book publishers to complete some workbook illustrations. This is for an early reader math workbook, a fill-in-the-blanks numerical illustration. I painted in Photoshop over a pencil drawing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Plein Air painting w/ Stan Moeller

This afternoon I joined a small group of Seacoast painters at Fort Foster in Kittery Point, Maine for a plein air demonsration by one of my favorite local artist, Stan Moeller. Stan is so deadly with a paintbrush, legend has it that a man once died of a heart attack after being awe struck at the beauty of his artwork.

Stan set up on a rock on the beach at kittery Point and quickly got to work, slashing paint and making it look very easy. A little more than an hour and he had finished a really nice 9x12 plein air study. 5 quick tips I learned from the master today:

1) Make your own quick-dry white by mixing 1/3 part Griffin Alkyd White and 2/3 Permalba white
2) Start with warm darks. I usually start with a warm Raw Umber but Stan uses a nice mix with umber, a little red and a warm blue. This makes a much richer and bolder dark.
3) Underpaint the sky with an Indian Yellow. (I don't have that color but I mixed Cad Yellow with a touch of Alizeran Crimson). Stan laid in the yellow early in the painting with liquin and a little gamsol. Wiped away the excess and let it dry so he could return to it later and paint over it with blues. Clearly this isn't reccomended for all skies but presents the notion of underpainting whatever color is neccessary for the given sky you're painting.
4) "The Color Shaper". A small stylus with a rubber tip. Various shaped tips available. I think it's a pastel painters tool but Stan used it to remove small passages of paint in areas he wanted to add a different color, without smearing and making mud.
5) First layers painted thinly with liquin and gamsol so they set (dry). Later in painting, thicker paint rides along the surface where needed.

I am posting a picture of Stan working on his demo. I am also posting my plein air sketch of a winding road that I painted after the demo.

It was inspiring to finally see Stan paint, great afternoon.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bucket Bunnies (Finish resin sculpture)

These bunnies were posted in there sculpted form on March 12 (see archives) and are now finished. The bucket is a plant holder and will also be in Foreside and other stores Easter 2007. catalogue photo by the stupendous Mr. Mike Bowker.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Cabbage Bunnies (Finish resin sculptures)

I originally posted "Cabbage Bunnies" sketch (see archives) on January 30. This is a plant holder and will be in Foreside and other stores Easter 2007. Catalogue photo by Mike Bowker. thanks Mike!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bunny with Asparagus and Tomato (Finish resin sculptures)

This is the finish of my March 14 and 15th post (see archives) of Bunny with Asparagus and Bunny with Tomato. Catalogue photos by Mike Bowker.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Bunny Catalogue Photo

My good friend and photographer Mike Bowker from
  • Mike Bowker Imaging
  • took these Foreside Catalogue glamour shots of the resin cast bunnies I designed earlier this year. I'm guessing these are for the 2007 catalogue. The shot came out really nice, great job, thanks Mike.

    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    Bunny with Carrots (Finished resin sculpture)

    I posted "Bunny with Carrots" concept drawing on january 29 (see archives). This is the catalogue photo (taken by Mike Bowker) of the finish resin cast and painted bunny. I think the finish came out pretty cool. This will be in Foreside and other stores Easter 2007.

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Brothers (Monochromatic Underpainting)

    Todays post is an 8x10" underpainting on gessoed masonite of a piece I'm calling "Brothers".

    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    New Website

    I finally launched

  • It will serve as a tool to communicate with gallery owners ,art buyers and the like. I am also planning to teach small private oil painting classes next year in Portsmouth, NH and will use the websight to announce instruction info etc..

    if anyone has an early interest in future classes please feel free to contact me at my regular email address: tmbonita@comcast.net.

    I have included a link to my daily blog on my website and vise-versa.

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Sandpiper Gallery, Wellfleet, Mass.

    I am now represented by the Sandpiper gallery in Wellfleet, Mass. Where I dropped off six of my paintings from the dinghy series.

    Thank you to all who have requested to purchase my art work and sent me emails to say nice things about my paintings, It's always encouraging to hear. For those who emailed me interested in the dinghy paintings, please contact Mary Houk at the Sandpiper gallery for purchase: (see her contact info in this post above). She currently has six of the seven dinghy's that I painted: "Perkins cove dinghy #2, #3 and #4, Quiet time, Superstar and Watching the tide". (Click here for review
  • Dinghy Paintings
  • They are all 8x6" oil on wood panel paintings in gold frames and retail for around $400 each.

    For any other artwork or commissions, please contact me at my regular email address: tmbonita@comcast.net.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    Artist gone to Cape Cod...

    I'm laptopping from a coffee shop on Cape Cod and before you think I'm a jet setter you should know I'm here on business...*snicker. I'm dropping off some dinghy paintings to a gallery in Wellfleet and meeting with some gallery owners to discuss the possibility of representation.

    I'll be back on Friday eve.

    All my best to you.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Watching the tide

    Finished "Watching the tide" painting. (6X8") Oil on wood panel

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Watching the tide (monochromatic underpainting)

    Here is another work in progress from my series of dinghy paintings.

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Superstar (finish)

    Finished! Although, the more I look at it the more I want to noodle it.

    Superstar...(I may change the name of this one) 6x8" Oil on wood panel.

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Otter Shack, Thompson Lake, Maine (Plein air)

    This is Guerrilla painting at it's best: waste deep in Thompson Lake, slapping oils on a small plein air study with three Herrons perched twenty feet above me pooping every ten minutes. The Herron poop made quite a splash from it's twenty foot freefall and landed only a few feet away from me each time. (I couldn't help but wonder if they were critiquing) It stirred my concentration but warmly reminded me that I was waste deep in nature.

    I have been coming to my brother-in-laws cottage on Thompson lake for seven years now and have always photographed this little shack when I'm here. About two years ago I watched a family of otters playing and fishing around it all afternoon, it's a great shack with pleanty of character. I knew I would come back and paint it someday.

    Today was that day. I took the kayak and paint box to this remote area and set up in the water. I wasn't happy about painting into the sun but this was the best I could do if I wanted to paint the shack, the water was too deep on all other sides. Sometimes it's not about the perfect compositon and lighting, sometimes it's about just enjoying the process and experience. This was definitely one of those days.

    Check out the red dragonfly that landed on my paintbrush in the color finish.

    Saturday, August 05, 2006

    Thompson Lake, Maine (Plein air)

    I reccomend turning 38 to everyone, so far it's been perfect. This weekends weather was a crowning achievment in mother natures long career, well done indeed and thank you for the bewitching and beautiful wailing of the Loons, very nice touch.

    I parked my carcass on the shore of Thompson Lake, just steps from the cottage and did a study of what was before me. I ommitted one of the boats for a better composition and took several dips in the lake to improve my already ideal afternoon.

    Friday, August 04, 2006

    Artist gone to Maine for the weekend.

    Heading up North to Thompson Lake, just outside of Portland, Maine for the weekend. Bringing the paintbox and will be back on Sunday night with some post.

    I hope you all have a nice weekend, weather in the North east looks perfect.

    All my best,


    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Self Portrait at 38

    Today I turned 38 years old and I started my morning with a self portrait drawing. I have been doing self portraits on my birthday for about ten years now, I keep most of them in the same old sketchbook. It's always fun for me to look at past sketches and see how my drawing and face have progressed over the years. I've noticed that my drawing is getting better and my face is getting uglier.

    p.s. Happy birthday to Tony Bennett and Tom Brady of the Patriots, I know you both read my blog.

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Superstar! (...in progress)

    I lowered the horizon line a bit, the negative space at the top was looking a little quirky. It's on it's way, I should finish this one next session.