from Alice in Wonderland
I tore the above page out of an old children’s book for a self-imposed little side project. I had no qualms doing it, either, since I have a really nice copy of Alice that I would never, ever tear pages out of. I’ll feature the finished piece in a future post.
Happily knee-deep in several projects on a sunny day, I found the time to color up the Peony drawing I began a few days ago.
Here again is the line drawing:
Using a combination of watercolor, colored pastels, and charcoal, I very loosely colored the drawing. I experimented with color bleeds and pattern and used some of the brightest colors in the box.
I am in love with THESE PASTELS!
They have been in my possession for nearly ten years. This Alphacolor collection features 24 “basic” colors, but really, some of these hues are eye-poppingly bright. They blend beautifully and I have used them for a million projects. If I ever run out, I may shed a tear. Maybe two.
I picked up the above postcard at the Division Stumptown coffee. The art show was by local artist Dan Groth.
Along with line, Dan uses stippling for his shading technique. That is, making one dot at a time, over and over. That’s a million dots, kids. Check out his intriguing community of animalia, lumpy humans, and all-around illustration goodness here at his blog!
You may not recognize the name, but you’ll certainly recognize his work.
Chris Van Allsburg is the writer and illustrator of many award-winning children’s books, including:
And, yes, Jumanji and the Polar Express have both been turned into major Hollywood movies, but screw the cinema – look at these drawings!
from The Widow’s Broom
from The Garden of Abdul Gasazi
Originally a sculptor, Allsburg was encouraged by his wife to try his hand at children’s books. His first book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, won the Caldecott Honor Medal in 1980. He has since written and illustrated 16 books. He is, needless to say, The Man.
I am fascinated by Chris’ technique. A master of pastel and pencil, he is able to create beautifully soft, tangible atmospheres. I have admired his illustrations since I was small, and found them more inspiring than any cartoon I’ve ever watched.
You may read more about Allsburg at his official site.
illustration by kurt d. hollomon
Jake’s dad, Kurt Hollomon, is a prolific illustrator, sketchbook junkie, and professor at PNCA. He was recently featured on the NYC style blog of Mister Mort. Read some well-deserved praise here.
Back to work!
I have been asked to design the logo for a local photographer. Once again, my talents lend themselves to a creature of fancy.
Day of the Dead?
Sign me up!
Here is a look at my desktop as I referenced photos for the rough draft:
While I pull many references from the internet, I use them only to draw out correct anatomy or for use as inspiration for my own projects.
These are the first drafts I sent to my client:
In the meantime, work continues on the book, The End of This & That. More sneak peeks to come.
A couple of scrappers:
A Dia De Los Muertos Frank
I made this doodle yesterday evening during a lull at the ol’ jobby job, using a ballpoint pen.
Shortly afterwards, I rode my Honda home. It was a wonderful ride at 3 am, not a soul on the road – just me, my bike, and the big moon.
I just completed the final for Shawn’s commission piece. Once again, here is the rough draft:
Shawn’s idea was very clear in his proposal. After a few minor adjustments, I continued on to the 18 x 24″ final.
The blobby ink wash. Sometimes, it can be easy to get discouraged at this stage. The magic doesn’t really start happening until I begin the charcoal stage.
The final piece. Inspired by a recent trip to the woods, Shawn really wanted a scene that featured a cozy fire and a big starry sky.
I wouldn’t mind being here right now, would you?
It is nice and sunny outside, for once, and instead of soaking up the rays, I am going to be spending a much needed day in the studio.
Going for two weeks without a real drawing session feels much like an athlete would after not working out for that long – my drawing muscle needs a good warm up to get going again.
Peonies are in season right now, and I am obsessed with them. They are just so fluffy and delicious looking!
Choosing floral subjects for a warm up (or trees, or what have you) is perfect for me – the lines are purely organic and curvilinear, so I can work much more freely. I have a couple projects I need to work on, so it’s good to have this piece to come back to when my drawing hand is feeling a little cold.
Fellow rider Shawn Kilmer has commissioned a custom drawing from me. Shawn took this awesome photograph:
and has this website: www.shawnkilmer.com.
Here is the rough draft for the piece I will be drawing for him:
I am excited to work on the final drawing, and also to get back to work on the Book.
I was very fond of this color scheme used for a clothing display at Buffalo Exchange.
This photo of Jake was taken at local store Vintage Pink. This store is rad! Their giant showroom has a huge selection of great vintage furniture – I may have to give Lounge Lizard a second thought the next time I go vintage shopping.
Also, I got a new drawing buddy. His name is Theo.
Off to the studio!
With my friend Lauren in town for the last two weeks, I’ve been taking my sketchbook on a few of our outings and victimizing my company with short portrait sessions.
This here is Lauren, known also as Little Brain, for her wealth of information and use of words that I can neither spell or comprehend.
This of course is Jake.
These portraits were done relatively quickly, in 30 minutes or less. Conversation continued as normal as they became unaware that I was drawing them.
This week I will return to my regular drawing schedule, remaining indoors during these glorious summer days – oh wait, this summer is totally SUCKING and it has been raining non-stop and Jake has taken to wearing his new motorcycle helmet indoors pretending that he is riding his bike. All the better for drawing more, right?
I am hosting a lovely out-of-town friend for a bit and trying to enjoy the day or two of summer Portland randomly graces us with, so I haven’t been able to draw much lately. Here are some random images I have hanging in my studio to inspire me.
Homunculi (hyena), by Claire Cowie
Black Crocs, by Dianne Kornberg
I picked up both of these postcards while visiting the Elizabeth Leach Gallery on a First Thursday.
Here is a self-portrait I drew a couple years ago:
I am right-handed. After completing this portrait, I decided to experiment with using my left hand for drawing, and thus completed this second self-portrait:
I found this experiment to be quite scary. While making the second drawing, my brain kept telling my hand to make a line a certain way, and my hand wouldn’t listen. It was incredibly frustrating.
The late and great Frank Frazetta, who passed away this May, had a series of strokes which forced him to use his left hand for the remainder of his career. While the thought of losing the ability to draw with my right hand is terrifying, I think many artists can relate to this sort of dedication. The love affair I have with my art would simply drive me to spend hours training my left hand to draw.
Georgie O’Keefe, after her vision started to wane in her later years, turned to sculpture to burn up that creative energy. Frida Kahlo (above), after a bus accident left her bed-ridden for some time, hung her canvases over her bed and painted in a reclined position. It is this kind of drive and passion that I can relate to. What drives you?
On Saturday the sun proved that it hadn’t died by gracing Portland with its’ appearance for nearly an entire day. I accompanied Jake, his lovely co-worker Katie, and photographer Tim Soter on an inspiring P-Town adventure as they worked mini-photoshoots at various businesses around town. Here’s a bit of what I captured during the day:
+ Portland’s “Big Pink” building
+ Jake at the Jupiter Hotel
+ chocolate sardines
+ Zoo Bomber bikes
+ more Zoo Bombin’
+ Upper Playground
+ Tim, workin’ it
+ a glimpse of an odd “coin-operated gallery”
+ inside the Doug Fir
+ Gas mask mannequin
+ Tree mural at Gothic Tavern
+ Eagle + Wolf!