Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Break at the Park

Today was one of those glorious spring days, and Donna and the kids were heading to the park. I grabbed my sketchbook and went with them. The girl on the swing was so aware that I was sketching her... she didn't know whether to be embarrassed or show off.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fretting Fly

Been busy today putting together a promo, so I pulled a sketch from my book. Another image for the children's book I'm working on.

It's a kick working on these characters. Like anything else, it's important to know how the real thing looks before you distort it.

My youngest daughter, Emma, and I draw characters on her MagnaDoodle every night before she goes to bed. I split the screen, create a wacky face, then she creates one of her own. It's now part of her evening ritual.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It started with a pansy

Been messin' around with patterns using silhouettes of flowers. Here's just 4 examples of patterns from an image of a white and purple pansy. Playing with hues and blending modes produces an infinite number of patterns. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lydia too

Another image of Lydia, this time watercolor and graphite. I've done better... the hair is really muddy. BUT... I'm glad to push myself through another piece. I suppose the liberating part of all this is being able to put on display something I'm not happy with. It's all a work in progress.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Decided to experiment with mixing several different media. Took a photo of my daughter Lydia, created a small pencil drawing to keep the lines fairly coarse. Scanned the pencil drawing in, ran it through a couple of filters in Photoshop (underpainting and poster edges), scanned in some watercolor splashes, and went to town with layering and masking. I really like the effect. Need to try it with other images. Would love some comments.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scaredy Cat

Had a great chat with Q Cassetti today — great artist and even better coach. I'm letting myself get too bogged down by this whole thesis thing. This daily blog right now is my kick start. No pressure, just what's flowing from the brain through the fingers today.

I've dusted off the children's book I sketched out in Hartford this past summer and decided to work on the character of the cat being chased by the old woman. After poking around at a bunch of cat pics online, some of Peter de Sève's work and a few Disney characters, I came up with this fella. Having fun.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Take a deep breath, and...

So, after more than a year of hemming and hawing, I'm finally posting. This past week's trip to San Francisco with so many incredibly talented illustrators inspired me to take the plunge. So here it is... the first of many daily paintings (or drawings, or whatever). I admit I'm not very impressed, but this is more of an exercise in experimenting and loosening up than in noodling and fretting over technique.

I'm currently earning my MFA in illustration through a limited residency program with the University of Hartford (www.hartfordillustrationmfa.org). In the 30 years I've worked as a designer and illustrator I've never been challenged as much as I am now. I've spent too much time as the big fish in the sea. It's humbling, demanding and stimulating to suddenly find yourself a guppy in a tank full of angelfish.