Tuesday, April 28, 2009

First Phone

All this drawing and painting made me thirst for some 3D modeling (what a geek!). Anyway, in researching Teddy Roosevelt, I found that there were a number of "firsts" associated with him and his presidency, one of which was being the first president to have a telephone in his home.

I did some research on phones in that era, recreated it as a 3D model in Strata, and then drew the image. Here they are, the model and the drawing, side by side.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beginning Teddy Roosevelt

Started on the image of Teddy Roosevelt today. Gosh, how I love working with pencil.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dennis Nolan

Last night I went to the University of Hartford to meet with Dennis Nolan, a wonderful watercolorist with the heart of a father. We talked for 2 hours about paint and palettes and chroma and value and all kinds of other fun stuff. Dennis was a real encouragement to me in the beginning of the MFA program. He knew that my real satisfaction would come from going back to my traditional roots. How right he was.

Dennis gave me some great feedback on the direction in which my work has been going. The mentoring I received last night will really take things to another level. He and my thesis adviser, Bill Thomson, another amazing illustrator, have suggested I create some portraits of recognizable and/or historical figures so that any audience viewing my work will see that I can faithfully render their likeness. So, rather than pump out something for everyday, I'm going to be working on an illustration of Teddy Roosevelt. I'll be posting my progress.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

While we're revisiting...

Took Q's input about pulling back the color in the background on the image of Riley.

Liyah One More Time

Your comments are truly helpful and welcome. Taking one more shot at the image of Liyah, I desaturated the color, darkened the background a bit so that the face stood out more, and added a little color to her lips and cheeks. Still a moody piece, but a far cry from the murderous first attempt from a couple weeks ago.

impressionistic tissue

I was cleaning up my studio and started unfolding a piece of tissue I used to dab my watercolors. I scanned it in, made a seamless tile from it and started playing in Photoshop. I ended up making these Monet-like impressionistic patterns. Don't know what the heck I'm going to do with it yet, but it was one of those happy accidents that comes from entertaining oneself with paint-soaked kleenex.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Since deciding to work together with Ken and Lois Wilder I feel that rush like when I used to be a bike rider... when you come downhill and keep your cadence as you go up another. Having their photography, and the heart that comes with it, available to me has been a blessing and a half.

So ends my third week at this blog. I am so pleased with the progress from that first lip-biting shot with the lupe on my desk. So much more to learn...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Color Adjusting

While I'm in this color scheme frame of mind, I thought I'd play with the image of the Thai farmer. Unlimited possibilities.

Liyah Revisited

Now that I've done a few of these images, I'm understanding more and more the impact of color. I know that sounds like a "duh" moment, but I was so caught up with working the new style that I didn't think so much about what a slap to the eye that red can be. I've had a number of comments about the image of Liyah. Sure, if I was illustrating an article about someone who had been murdered or their heart broken, the original color scheme would work well.

Thank God for Photoshop. Since each of the images is built in layers (pencil drawing, watercolor, photo) I can go back in and play with the hues. What a huge difference.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thai Rice Farmer

Yesterday I visited Ken and Lois Wilder and we discussed how we might work together. They shared some of their photos with me, especially portraits.

Last year, Ken went to Thailand and shot some wonderful images of people working in rice paddies. I fell in love with this image.

Monday, April 13, 2009

First collaboration

One of the joys of being in a creative field is the friendships that grow with other gifted folks. One of these friends is Ken Wilder. Ken is a great photographer who works in concert with his wife, Lois, who is a fine artist.

Ken and I have breakfast every Thursday morning, and this past Thursday we decided to try a joint effort combining his photography and my portrait experiments. So, this is the first of hopefully many Wilder/Tuttle images. This is a portrait of one of Ken and Lois' granddaughters.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Okay... enough with the portraits. Playing with watercolor, photos and 3D. Click on it to see more detail.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Finally, a portrait of my oldest daughter. The last picture I drew of her was over 22 years ago. Bad daddy!

I tried a different paper for the pencil work. Not very happy with it... I had less control and it made the image too blotchy. What I do like is the very directional swash of the paint and the addition of the typographic swash. I also tried to keep to a much more limited palette than with the previous portraits.

Now, off to work on some more marketing materials...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Homemade Light Box

I was working on another image today when I started coveting a light box. When I worked at Union Carbide we had a beautiful light table... had to be 5' x 4'. Tried to get it when they were emptying out the offices after the Dow acquisition, but it got lost in storage somewhere and I never saw it again.

So, I decided to build my own. It's nothing like what I could buy at Dick Blick, but it hardly cost me anything... a mongrel mix of stuff in my workshop and some items from Home Depot. Yeah, I know... it's got hot spots, but for what I need, it's perfect. You know, you have those days when you just gotta make somethin'.

Working on an image of my oldest daughter, Alayna. Should have it up tomorrow.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I've loved the photo of my wife, Donna, that this image is based on. The setting, however, left a lot to be desired. So, why not create a portrait?

Because of the tedious nature of the way I used to handle traditional work, I ran from it. I may not settle on this approach, but what I love is the ability to create an image in less than a day... and be happy with it!

I know when I started the Masters program I really wanted to mix traditional and digital media together, but wasn't quite sure how. I'm enjoying this immensely.

Took some photos of my oldest daughter, Alayna, over the weekend. She spent the day with us while her husband, Ryan is in Germany. Apply this approach or discover a new one?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Nightly Doodle-Pro

Busy day yesterday... started another image but didn't have time to finish. So, I thought I'd post one of my nightly Doodle-Pro excursions with Emma.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Here's portrait of Natalie's friend, Liyah. She sang with Natalie on Tuesday. An incredible voice!

I'm enjoying this portrait style. Will keep playing and experimenting... maybe even incorporate it into my Masters thesis.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Natalie at The Space

My 18-year old daughter, Natalie, is a very gifted musician. I went to see her play last night at a venue in Hamden called The Space. I was blown away at how much she is maturing as an artist. Her song writing has improved greatly, and she always shines playing live.

I really liked the style of the piece I did of Lydia last week and decided to try it with a photo of Natalie. I think I'm on to something. I like it anyway.