Thursday, June 30, 2011

Illustration Friday: MIDSUMMER NIGHT

Once again, I've run out of time… but I'm still trying to keep my promises to myself and participate & post for Illustration Friday regularly. So, here's a work-in-progress for the Midsummer Night theme: a mock-up book cover sketch. I plan to add a whole lot more (possibly animals in the tress, fairies?, etc.) and make it a real melding of illustration in the background with designy elements in vector overlapping/transparent on top. I also couldn't pass up a chance to do some hand lettering. Love it.

Basically I just started doodling and my mind wandered and eventually landed on this idea for a book cover. All while on a plane, being watched by fellow travelers.

New: Drawing Morning Pages (Doodle Edition)

Next installment (up to date at last).
Oops, didn't quite fill one of these pages… I was traveling and still managed to draw something everyday.
JUN 25-28 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Animal Crackers"

Hello, hello again! More fun stickers to share… it's kind of a random theme, but I always love drawing animals.

I only did the sketch for this design… the vector art was completed by a designer in-house. The final stickers (at least the cookie stickers) are rendered in moulded resin, a really nice touch.

I think I have a real sample somewhere, but I just wanted to get these posted for you. Maybe I'll come back and update the post with a prodcut scan a bit later. :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New: Drawing Morning Pages (Doodle Edition)

Next installment (post dated because I've been traveling).
Another random collection - includes more pattern & line, plus the view from a plane and observations from a Strawberry Hulling Party in South Berwick Maine (featuring my mom, the "public servant").
JUN 21-24 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Illustration Friday: LAUNCH

This week has turned into something crazier than I can manage. I was hoping to do a finished drawing of this, but I am just not going to have the time this week… so I decided to just post this concept sketch and be done with it - accept and move on. Fun stuff happening, so I can't be too upset about it. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

New: Drawing Morning Pages (Doodle Edition)

Next installment (post dated because I've been traveling).
I love patterns and line, and that seems to be where my mind was wandering to during these few days. I was looking at some henna patterns most specifically. I just love those designs and they look so beautiful on hands and feet. Of course there was a detour looking at amebas too. ;)
JUN 17-20 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Work: Sticker Sunday - Happy Father's Day

Not everyone has the world's greatest Dad, but I suspect there are a LOT of us that think we do… which really says it all. Dads Rule. I myself, can't say enough great things about my Dad. Last year, when I bought my first house, he came to stay with me for a month to help me with various house projects and generally settle in. Then, a few months later, he drove across the country with me in his truck - schlepping all my "stuff" that had been in storage back east out to my new home… then stayed for another month, culminating with a visit from from Mom and a family Christmas together. Wow!
I really hate that I somehow managed to settle myself so far away from my parents, but at the same time, I think it helps me appreciate them both more. Happy Father's Day, Dad! Wish I could be there today, but lucky me - I'll get to see you at the end of the week! :)

Above is a sticker I designed a few years ago. I don't think it was ever distributed nationally, but it must have been a special order for a specific Retailer - because I got a sample (wish I remember WHERE). I made this Appreciation/ThankYou card for my Dad and used the sample, so I don't have a picture of the whole sticker sheet and I can't find one online. It's a shame, I really liked this design - a counterpart to my Best Mom design that is readily available in stores and online.

Below is another Dad themed sticker I designed last year. Same themes, but slightly different as icons are given more equal focus. I have the sketch and vector art I provided them, and the actual product seems like a pretty literal interpretation. But It's interesting to see how much vector drawing details are lost (like the necktie for example) and how they changed the gem placement (also on the tie). Funny little things. Still, I think it looks good!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New: Drawing Morning Pages (Doodle Edition)

Groups of four seem to be working, so I'm going to stick with it… new installment of morning doodles, most of which actually took place in the morning. ;)
JUN 13-16 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Illustration Friday: SWEPT

Admittedly, this is more "windswept" than just "swept", but this is my story and I'm stickin' to it. Below are the various sketches I made in the process of arriving at the final drawing. I started with sand dunes because they're constantly swept by the wind, shaped in fact… and then I stumbled upon the Sand Cat, a critter I had never heard of before. They're pretty darn cute and I had a lot of fun drawing them over and over.

Update: Revision Comparison

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Congrats Grad"

It's still Graduation season, at least it's winding down… actually I have no idea but I have one more grad theme to share so here it is… I did this one for the Jolee's line of 3D stickers. At this point, I've been doing these sketches for a long time and I've developed a clean, but very editable, way of presenting concept sketches (lots of layers , mirrored half-sketches, etc).

I think I've drawn 5 or 6 really detailed gem illustrations and I just use them on EVERYTHING now, so I don't have to go back and draw gems every time I need to suggest an embellishment.

They translated this design quite literally… although I don't think the glitter looks quite as good in actuality as it did in concept. Oh well.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Illustration Friday: SHADOWS

In know, I know - pirates, tropical islands, sea monsters, they're all are so overdone, but still, they're just so… cool. Partially inspired by my crit partner Wendy Martin and partially inspired by my own morning pages doodling… I somehow landed on this image that (I think) has a strong narrative (or maybe you're just thinking - what IS THAT, and what's going on THERE - you tell me?), with the shadows playing a large part in the story telling. I had a lot of fun with this, I somehow managed to give myself a million challenges and I'm happy with the results… but I know what it all is and the basic idea of what's going on - the question is, can everyone else tell?!

Because the shadows where so important to the concept, I decided to do something I haven't done since college and sculpt my own little reference for lighting. I took several photos, collaged different bits together in photoshop and cropped it as if it was a two page spread… although if I really intended this for a picture book piece, I'd probably finish it in color -- but at the moment I want to add more black & white to my portfolio.

Thoughts? I'd love to hear your what you think. :)

**And just a little side note -- after posting this I went and actually spent some time looking at other IF post-ers for this week's theme … and I am just AMAZED. So many unique perspectives, styles, concepts, pov's and just hugely talented people out there! Intimidating AND inspiring. Bravo IF-ers, BRAVO!

New Idea: Drawing Morning Pages (Doodle Edition)

Even as a professional illustrator, I sometimes hit a wall of not being able to draw… to just draw.

With no specific purpose, just for fun.

It's been a nearly constantly struggle for YEARS to get myself to do so - probably because it's "safer" not to. But I really want to be drawing more, because I believe just making marks on paper is a great way to general ideas and stimulate creativity in general.

Like many creative people on an artistic journey, I've read the Artist's Way (at least a good part of it), which encourages one to file three notebook pages with stream-of-consciousness writing every morning, as a way to remove the "junk" from floating around in your mind and clear your head for the day before you (at least that's what I got from it).

So I decided to try it for my drawing habits… just fill two pages of my moleskin sketchbook each morning, with line, shading, dots, whatever - just to put something on paper and force some stuff out of my head. I've only been going for five days so far, but almost immediately the lines began turning into things -I've started making purposeless drawings… just for fun, just because I can!

I'm so used to having a specific PURPOSE to draw, that just making lines and seeing where they take me is a wonderful & surprising journey. I'm really enjoying it so far.

*The only drawback (unintended pun, d'oh!) is that I'm getting into and spending too much time on them. But I'm not necessarily against spending the time. At least not right now. At some point I might challenge myself to do faster/time limited drawings, but right now I'm just happy to be drawing and I'm going to go with it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Just for Fun: World Oceans Day

Today is (or at this point, was) World Oceans Day so I thought it would nice to do a little ocean / sea creature themed drawing… late in the day I realized I hadn't done it yet and I kept seeing John Lechner's tweets about World Ocean Day, one after another after another (the ocean is obviously very important to John ;). They served as a reminder and I followed through for myself… for a changethe. I also watched Disney's Oceans while I was drawing… can't say I conserved much by doing that, but I raised my own awareness I guess. LOL

I like my line drawing, I'm not quite there with the watercolor yet… I mostly use it as an underpainting tool in my regular work and I think that shows here (flat!), maybe with practice…

Sunday, June 05, 2011

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Cap & Gown"

For some it's still graduation season… so here is another grad themed sticker design I worked on recently. I can't say how many graduation themed stickers I've worked on in my career, suffice to say it's been a lot. After the 10th time for so, it starts to get hard to look at it fresh and not repeat yourself, so when I was asked for a cap & gown theme again, it knew it was going to be a challenge.

Color can also be tough, because many graduations are dependent on the school colors, so product design has to stay generic enough to work for eveyone, but not be SO generic it isn't fun & interesting.

But I was really happy with how this one turned out. The gowns are maybe a bit stiff, but I love how I got to play with the cap & tassel icons, and lay them out in such a way they mimic the actual tossing of the caps that usually comes at the end of the ceremonies.

Stickers like these are usually used as accents on graduation scrapbook pages and/or party invitations and the like, to add an exciting little bit of theme-specific flare.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

New Work: Aesop's Follow-Up

Just finished this little guy for the back of my new promo card, such a little cutie. I was drawing for a good part of the day and I didn't even notice the time going by - I LOVE that feeling. :) Tomorrow, I'll be figuring out where/who to send these to… while trying to not to breathe in the smoky haze drifting over us from a forest fire in Arizona!