Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guest Speaker: Illustration Media

My good friend, Neecy Twinem, teaches several illustration classes over at the Southwest University of Visual Arts (SUVA) here in Albuquerque—and I'm always happy to visit her classes when she asks me to come in and talk about colored pencils & illustration.

As usual, I packed up about 3 bags worth of supplies, samples, books, and finished pieces to share with the class. I discussed a few different methods of working with pencils, did a short demo, and talked a lot about how I got into pencils and developed a way of working with them that suited me (a lot of it was trial and error, luck of the draw, and timing).

I'm thinking about writing a post specifically about all this… sometime in the near future. For now, let me just say—I have used Prismacolor a lot in the past. I still have a rather large collection of Primacolor pencils… but these days I'm using mainly Caran d'Arche Luminance 6901 pencils—for three very important reasons:
One—they almost never break inside the barrel of the pencil. Prisma breaks often and easily, I've wasted whole pencils on breakage like that. 
Two—they do not bloom, there's not waxy white haze that forms over unsealed artwork that is heavily burnished.
Three—they have the best lightfast rating of any colored pencil on the market.  
 I'll see about putting together more posts about working with colored pencils… soon.

Friday, February 14, 2014

FaceTiming with an Awe Inspiring Artist

Fun little tidbit… today I got to FaceTime with my brother, the amazing painter, Sean Beavers. Being two busy creatives with multiple jobs, we rarely get to touch base… but today, of all days, it happened—making this one of my best Valentine's Days ever (really, they're generally never very good to me, LOL).
BroTime + PupTime
Golden Light, by Sean Beavers

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MasterWorks Interview

After a few scheduling snafoos, the MasterWorks of New Mexico team was finally able to make it over to interview me, on camera (eeeeek!), as this year's Judge of the MasterWorks Miniatures Division. This is my first opportunity to be a judge for a show and I'm so honored to have been asked by MasterWorks. I've been submitting to this show since I moved out to New Mexico, and I'm extremely humbled to have received multiple awards (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)  from them and served as a juror for the miniature division in 2012. 

I was quite nervous, I really don't like being the center of attention, but it went fast. I'm sure I'm not going to want to watch it… ever—but it was actually a pretty great experience, thanks to MasterWorks Mastermind, Barbara Lohbeck.

And, hey… New Mexico locals! I'm giving a colored pencil miniature workshop at the show in April. Check out the details here.

SCBWI-NM Illustrator's Meeting, February

Last night we had our second local SCBWI-NM Illustrator's group meeting of 2014!

At 5pm, as is the new norm—we started with dinner and socializing at a local cafe. Our SCBWI Schmooze is held on the same night, so writers and illustrators got to mingle a bit while we noshed and hung out. 

At 6pm, the illustrators headed over to one of local indie books stores, Alamosa Books, for our first official meeting of 2014. We had a night large group of 8 illustrators once again, and almost everyone had new work, a work-in-progress, or some topic of interest to discuss. We also had local author/illustrator, Neecy Twinem join us to lead a discussion about licensing basics—given her extensive experience with her own toy line, Zombie Zoo.

SCBWI-NM illustrator meeting at Lovely Alamosa Books

Neecy Twinem and her Zombie Zoo buddies!
We were having so much fun and had so much to talk about, we went right past our usual cut-off time of 7pm. Still, a few of us headed over to the monthly Schmooze meeting (about 45min late) across the parking lot at Alamosa's Reading Room where, SCBWI-NM member, Lee VanBrakle was giving a presentation on taxes for writers and illustrators. I personally, was very disappointed to have missed out on the bulk of the talk, so I stayed late pestering Lee with tons of questions (she very graciously put up with me). 

Whew, what a night!

Friday, February 07, 2014

New Postcard Promo!

(SCBWI Tomie dePaola Entry)

Hey! I'm heading to an SCBWI conference this weekend and I got a new postcard made for the occasion! I just happened to have a new piece, the one I made for SCBWI's Tomie dePaola contest.
See the Unofficial Gallery to look at other entires!

This is the whole piece, check out the assignment/prompt here.
It's a visual play on Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil… which originates from Japanese folklore. So I took the work famous Snow Monkeys (Japanese Macaque) and instead of having anything to do with evil, they're just all sneezing… but only one of them is covering their mouth. I thought it was fun, and I'm happy with the piece overall. It also gave me a chance to test a new style—I worked smaller than actual size on this, and I went back in and added the line work (breezes and sneezes) digitally.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Update: The SCBWI-NM Enchantment Show

Our local SCBWI Illustrator's group is doing a show this year, called Enchantment. It's a joint show with writers—several illustrators have completed and submitted pieces (loosely based on the theme of enchantment), which have been randomly assigned to local writers, who will write a one page story based on the image.

In May, all artwork and single page written works will be framed and hung together at one of our local libraries. I've decided to post my piece and my process so far. It's mostly done… but I'm still tinkering with it.

Initial concept, thumbnail sketch
Polly (polar bear) and Sunny (sun bear) meet in the middle of the ocean.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Process: Album Cover

Just finished up a project I started last year—an album cover for a local musical group. This was really fun and completely unlike my usual projects. It's nice to mix things up a bit from time to time.

Digital processes