Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bunny Night Time 2

Sequel To Bunny Night Time. I think I may turn this one into a color illo.


I created this illustration based off of a Korean fairy tale about three girls that are being pursued by a tiger. He wants to eat them. Similar to the tale of "The Three Little Pigs." The tiger is especially fierce in his pursuit of the three girls.

Pool Sketches

Enjoying time at a pool and sketching.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 has expanded since I first saw their site. Back in the day when they first started it was just the directory. Now I see they've added animations, interviews, and news feed.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I imagined the King Bassett Hound of the Bone Hoard. There's probably one in every doggie neighborhood.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Keri Smith Illustrator

For those of illustrators new and old that are trying to make their way in the biz of illustration, you have to visit the web site of Keri Smith. She has great work, and the hilarious pick-me-ups that she had on her site. If you've had a rough time of it lately in the the competitive world of illustration go to her site for a good laugh. Check out the "How to feel miserable as an artist", "100 ideas", and "The Artist's Survival Kit". I LOL and felt better about the biz of illustration. It's a hard road but once you get there I gather you appreciate it so much more.

She has a practical page on "How to start as an illustrator" and I find that a lot of what she says makes sense.


I came across this on Grace Lin's illustration web site. She had a link to Yeondoo Jung a Korean photographer. The images were inspired by children's drawings that have been interpreted into photographs. The wonderful thing about children's drawings are their naivety. Baseline is flush to the edge of the paper, x-ray vision, and their sense of space. I think they are absolutely delightful. Check out Yeondoo Jung site.

If you want to learn more about the process of Creative and Mental Growth of children and their art check out the writings of Viktor Lowenfeld. He's well known in the art education circles for researching the stages of creative development. No matter the industrialized culture you come from supposedly we all follow these basic stages from scribble to pseudorealistic stage.

Homage to Richard Scarry

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Richard Scarry

Recently got a hand-me-down book by Richard Scarry. I'd forgotten how much I loved this illustrators work as a child. I loved how he made all of his animals dress up as people going around doing everyday things. I look at the illustrations today and realized why I probably enjoy drawing anthropomorphic animals. When I was a child I never questioned why a pig would be dressed human like and on the next page just be a pig in a pigsty. I get a chuckle out of it. Here's a link for more info on Richard Scarry.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chris Jordan

I thought I'd post the work of photographer, Chris Jordan. I mentioned I tend to recycle stuff from my home for use because it's cheap and practical. Of course there are many other reasons why we should try and reuse and recycle products. Chris Jordan's work examines this topic of mass consumption. I was fortune to view an original from his earlier series at the local art museum. It makes you really think about personal consumption. His work takes a statistic and creates it into a visual that we can understand better.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Technique/Style Change

I wonder how often does an illustrator change their style. I've been thinking about changing mine to a very different one. I've enjoyed printmaking so much I've been thinking about going away from my pastel work towards the looser feel of the lino cuts. You can see from my previous post. I enjoy the process and the texture that I see with the lino work, but then my pastels have been my old friend. I've also been thinking about exploring more digital techniques. I keep reading about how many illustrators are making the switch to using a wacom tablet. I've been thinking about changing for a while. So many choices.

Artists Books

I've really enjoyed this process of creating a tunnel book and wanted to share a step-by-step approach. Just like the old days of when Step-By-Step Magazine shared the techniques of top illustrators. I don't consider myself a top illustrator, but I enjoy sharing techniques and processes.

What is a tunnel book? It's like a diorama. There is a scene created by a number of pages that have been held together with accordion folds. I've posted a couple of images of two tunnel books that I've made to make things more clear.

First you need to have a clear line drawing of what you want to see in your tunnel book frame. I created a line drawing and then scanned it into the computer to clean it up. I resized in Photoshop to accommodate my smaller book size. Then I printed it out. I figured out what I want to appear on each layer of the book pages. You have to consider your illustration with real depth.

I am using lino cuts to reproduce each layer. If you are familiar with lino cuts it's a nice way to reproduce your work in case you want to sell prints. I personally like the look of relief printmaking. I also enjoy cutting out the sections in the lino blocks. You have to really think about what you are doing, because if you accidently make a mistake you can't correct as easily.

Once each plate has been cut for each page I make the initial proofs on newsprint. It's cheap. I also use styrofoam meat trays to mix my ink. Once again I'm cheap, and it's a good way to recycle. I use Speedball water based inks. I prefer Daniel Smith's water based inks. The DS ink has a better hold on the paper, and comes in larger tubes. I mix retarder to keep the ink from drying too quickly. I roll up each plate and then test out colors. I use a rolling pin for a barren.

After I figure out what colors work I start printing each plate on the nicer thicker paper. A thicker weight is necessary for the pages to be able to stand up. I use Stonehedge paper. It's about 100 lb cover weight paper. Maybe slightly thicker. Once I've printed each of the pages I use watercolor to fill it in with color, and add details. I use an Xacto knife to cut away the parts of the illustration that the page behind it needs to show through.

For my frame I make it out of a piece of old cardboard hanging around the house. I'm such a pack rat that I can usually find something in the house to use for the frame. The inner cut of the frame is 1/2 inch smaller then the illustration. I had some handmade paper around that I used to cover the front of the frame. I fold accordion folds out of the Stonehedge that will be glued to the front and back frames to hold the pages in between.

Once the frame is assembled I can slide each of the pages in. The final looks like one entire piece. Sometimes I'll take the time to create a portfolio that will protect the book. Some artists will make limited runs of their books, but once I've finished one book I like the idea that it is unique and one of a kind.

Used Children's Books

My family's children's book collection grew considerably recently due to a wonderful book sale at the library. They were selling the older books. The prices were great even if they were used books. Here were some of ones that we've enjoyed reading.

The Lima Bean Monster
by Dan Yaccarino (Author), Adam McCauley (Illustrator)
Any person that hasn't wanted to eat their veggies should read this book.

Bad Day at Riverbend
by Chris Van Allsburg
Simplicity and excellent storytelling by Allsburg.

by Robert Munsch (Author), Michael Martchenko (Illustrator)
Robert Munsch is always able to tickle the funny bone of children and adults. I wish I could have found "We Share Everything" at the book sale. The match of illustrator and author is well suited.

by Janell Cannon
Detailed illustrations and story that make Verdi seem more like a person then a reptile.

Art Dog
by by Thacher Hurd
It's a cute spoof of crime fighting superhero if he was an art loving dog.

We filled a few grocery bags full of books and felt like pirates that had sailed the high seas and returned with the best booty!

Punchline - Illustration Friday

The topic for this Friday reminded me of the familiar nursery rhyme of the "Hey Diddle, Diddle." Here is the version that I'm most familiar with:

Hey diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such a sight
And the dish ran away with the spoon.