Category

digital

My Free Visual Storytelling From Your Imagination Course on Skillshare

By | art school, digital, Fantasy, Fantasy Illustration, Illustration, Skillshare | No Comments

I have a new class! It’s called Visual Storytelling from Your Imagination

 

I’m teaching it on Skillshare HERE

If you click on the link above, you’ll be able to watch the class for FREE AND get 2 months free of Skillshare Premium where you can choose from thousands of other classes for creatives. They will ask for your credit card to get the 2 month free trial, but as long as you cancel before the time’s up, you won’t be charged for anything.

Procreate is the most affordable professional-level drawing and painting program for the iPad. When combined with the Apple Pencil , it’s a pretty effortless art-creating experience.

In my class, I go from first sketches to final illustration and talk about composition, design, and inspiration. Using the affordable, yet professional-level app Procreate, I’ll show you how to bring your digital drawing and painting to life. This class is suitable for all levels of artists, including complete beginners.

if you upload projects in the project area, I’ll comment and give you helpful feedback!

Here are a few more details about the class:

1. CHOOSE A FANTASY SCENE TO ILLUSTRATE.  Would you like to create a dragon rider like me or another fantasy scene?  If you don’t know where to start, check out my suggestions for inspiration and brainstorming in Lesson 1.

2. FIND REFERENCES. Hunting for references an important part of my creative process.  I’ll give you my favorite tips for findings ideas and organizing visual references. How do you find references for things that don’t exist? I’ll have plenty of answers for you in Lesson2.

3. FIRST SKETCHES AND THUMBNAILS. Commit yourself to drawing out different ideas. Don’t worry if things are ugly. It’s fine for things to look ugly at this stage. We’ll discuss thumbnails, composition, rule of thirds, and positive and negative space.

4. COLOR, LAYERS, SHADING, and DETAILS. This is a fun stage to work on. We’ll add color and I’ll share tips that you might want to consider when choosing colors that work together in harmony. This video will also talk about special brushes and Procreate’s blending modes that can help with painting more realistic people, animals, and clothing. I’ll be showing you some nifty tricks with clipping masks that will help you finalize your forms and you’ll see your realistic 3d drawings emerge out of your 2d sketch!

5. FINAL TOUCHES: LIGHTING, LAYERS, TEXTURES, and STORY  This final video will show you how to make decisions about lighting (screen, soft light, hard light, multiply, etc), varying colors and tools to try new ideas to really make the scene come alive.  We’ll also think about the final storytelling details for your piece. These details help people want to know more and really get into your world.

Here’s an intro I made for the course:

Home Stretch on my BFA – More Squids

By | Animals, art school, Children, Children's book illustration, Comics, Cute Animals, digital, Fantasy, Fantasy Illustration, Illustration, Jules Verne, kids lit art, SCBWI | No Comments

Dustcover-no-title

Hard to believe it, but I’m finally on the homestretch on my BFA. I just finished Children’s Book Illustration II and I only have my graduation portfolio to go.

I’ve been working revising my Captain Nemo the great horned owl and Professor Arronax’s trusty research assistant Consay the badger has also gotten a little rehab.

I’ve got more illustrations to show you. The best thing about the past few weeks is that I have a animal picture book dummy on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that’s finally coming together!

Dragon Rider

By | Animals, Children, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, digital, Dragon, Fantasy, Illustration, kids lit art, Painting, People, SCBWI | No Comments


I just had this postcard made up in time for the SCBWI Publisher’s Bootcamp this weekend. There’s going to a talks by local agents and art director Goldstein from Sasquatch books and a 4 minute pitch round where I’ll get a chance to pitch a book idea.

SCBWI Western Washington has been a great branch of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators helping people learn more about book publishing and hopefully get published themselves.

NYC Trip and Sargent Master Copy

By | Animals, Children's book illustration, digital, Fantasy, Illustration, Painting, Portraits | One Comment

My trip to New York city was great!  It started off with a trip to the Society of Illustrators which was pretty amazing itself because of its collection (see Peter de Seve‘s owl).

We had portolio reviews there and then Scholastic!  I’ve long been a fan of Arthur Levine Books, so it was an experience showing my work to Editor Weslie Turner. She said it was a great portfolio overall, but she wanted to see if I could bring the emotions and movements of my animal characters to kids – so I have more work to do.

I also spent hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and even some of the Frick collection. As it should happen, at the same time, I had assignment to do a Singer Sargent master copy. At right is a portrait I painted digitally of Julia inspired by Sargent’s The Daughters of Darley Boit. The more I looked, the more colors I saw. I tried to capture that piercing look that so many of Sargent’s paintings have.

I also got to see the Broadway show Aladdin while I was there. It also was great. A friend of my parents even knew some members of the cast.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading down to California for the Comics, Anime, Cartoons, and Fantasy show at Las Laguna Gallery. Here’s the flyer!  Say hello if you stop by. I plan to be there from 6:30-9:30 by my painting (Squid Attack on the Nautilus). More information can be found here. The show will be up from April 5-27th.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Octopus Card

By | art school, Children's book illustration, digital, Drawing, Fantasy, Illustration, Jules Verne, kids lit art, RMCAD, SCBWI | No Comments

I just finished this playing card today. It’s an octopus holding Captain Nemo’s Nautilus as the Ace of Spades. I had fun making this.

Next month I’m going to be going to New York City with other illustrators and my department chair. We’re going to be visiting museums and the Society of Illustrators and have some portfolio reviews.

Since I posted, I’ve also joined a SCBWI critique group and getting a picture book dummy together for 20,000 Leagues.

I’m in the Fantastical Worlds and Put a Bird on It Exhibitions!

By | Animals, birds, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, digital, Fantasy, gouache, Illustration, kids lit art, Mixed Media, Painting | 3 Comments

I’m excited to share that I’ve juried in two art pieces in the Fantastical Worlds Exhibition at Blakely Hall.  The curator is Anna Macrae and the event was organized by ArtEast. I am thrilled and honored. There are some amazing artists in the show. Put it on your calendar. The opening reception is September 7th at Blakely Hall in Issaquah 6-8 pm.  The art should be up until the beginning of November.

Here is my Art Statement for the show:

Animals have always captured my imagination. They come with a wild array of forms, colors, sounds, and with them an inner world we can only see faint traces of, and can never fully understand.  Focusing on animals in my work always seemed natural to me, expressing emotions and worlds outside our understanding.

“Outside Looking In” is a somewhat personal piece, capturing a moment in time between two worlds. The piece started from random pourings of blue ink on paper, which formed an appealing landscape; the rest was filled in digitally.

“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Rabbits” is a lighthearted piece, which attempts to capture that sense of wonder and mystery I’ve always been drawn to, of entering a world you never knew you were missing.
Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 9.18.14 AM

buzzard-blue-skyI was also happy to hear that my painting of Edgar (see right) made it into ArtEast’s Put a Bird On It show that opens this Thursday evening at the ArtEast Center (I’ll be there) and remains there until October 1st.

Sketching Bears, Wolves, and Dogs

By | Animals, art school, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, digital, Drawing, Illustration | No Comments

This week’s assignment are gestures of bears, wolves, and dogs. Using a envelope for the animals and simplifying geometric shapes helps with simplifying. The class is setting into a routine of drawing gestures with a little value added in some, skeleton and ecorche version, and discussion post which looks at different rendering of animals characters and how they can be portrayed as protagonists or antagonists in a story. It’s fun seeing the examples that my classmates come up with.

I’m finding I really like drawing with the Procreate app on the iPad pro and Apple pencil. It’s close to drawing with a real pencil. When I want this soft effect with pencil, I usually prefer to use mylar (Dura-lar) which comes in huge rolls from Dick Blick and erases cleanly.

bearslittle-polar-bearwolves

labrador-1labrador-2labrador-3

My discussion post:
There’s some amount of range when it comes to how sympathetically bear characters are portrayed. On the sympathetic side, there are characters such as teddy bears, and related characters such as the Care Bears and Winnie the Pooh, which are modeled more on the stuffed animal than the actual animal.

poohlitte-bear

More realistic sympathetic bears include Baloo from any of the multiple adaptations of The Jungle Book, Smokey the Bear, and the bear family of Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear.

On the more antipathetic side, there are characters such as the bear in the film version of The Fox and the Hound, and the grizzly bear from the film Balto, which are portrayed as bestial, inhuman predators.

When wolves are portrayed positively, they tend to come off as majestic, intelligent, loyal, embodying the nobility of nature; the wolf family in The Jungle Book, Moro in Princess Mononoke.

wolf-3

 

Negatively, wolves are portrayed as crafty predators, as with the classical fairytale archetype of the Big Bad Wolf.

 

 

wolf-4The main example I can think of when it comes to neutral/background characters is how, in Donald Duck etc. comics, otherwise “human” side/background characters tend to be given dog noses, and occasionally ears. Here, the use of animal characteristics basically just signifies that these stories take place in a completely unreal fantasy world.
In general, I would say that completely realistic renderings of animals, as you might find in an educational book, often have less strong emotional expressivity, and are less immediately emotionally accessible as a result. Even mostly realistic designs often “cheat” when it comes to faces, adding human elements such as humanoid scleras, eyebrow muscles, and mouth expressions.

Big Cats – Animal Anatomy and Drawing

By | Animals, digital, Drawing, Graphite, Illustration, RMCAD | No Comments

I had my first week of Animal Anatomy and Drawing and the assignments were all on Big Cats. Last week I also had a chance to go to Cougar Mountain, a small zoo in Issaquah. We shot some nice photo reference, though.

The first assignment was to break down the animals into 3D geometric shapes. It was a bit hard at first, but I can see that it helps simplify and visualizes the 3D forms when you see them in the live animals. The idea of drawing the envelope is to get the general shape of the animal or figure before working on details. Here are some of my gesture drawings. For me, it’s easier working out the forms when watching a video loop of animals moving. The book for the course is Joe Weatherly’s Drawing Animals. We also had to do skeleton and ecorche versions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western Washington SCBWI Spring Conference – This Week!

By | Animals, art school, artists groups, Children, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, digital, Fantasy, Illustration, SCBWI | One Comment

I’m be  attending my first Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference this week in Redmond. I’m doing some tweaks to my portfolio (here’s my new improved Snow Queen) and printing up business cards and postcards.

I’m signed up for the Illustrator Intensive “Hard Things to Draw” with David Small (see some of his covers below) as well as participating in the Juried Portfolio show. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of portfolios and hearing from other illustrators and writers, art directors, and agents. I’ve heard these conferences are great for networking and getting started in children’s books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s my design for a business card: 

I’m also doing  film class this RMCAD quarter, so I’m putting together a short film discussion of the movie, Vertigo.

I had a great chance to interview author and film critic Jeffrey Overstreet and attorney and film lecturer Robert Cumbow, in addition to my family. I even attended a 6-hour Cinema Dissection of Vertigo at the Seattle International Film Festival Center which gave me an even deeper understanding of the film.

Playful Crow – My First Etsy Store

By | Animals, art school, birds, Children, Cute Animals, digital, Drawing, Etsy, Illustration, Reference, Stationery, Store | No Comments

barn-swallow-thank-you-amazon

squirrel-card-etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m just setting up my first Etsy store here: Playful Crow.
angel-8x10-nosignature

Check out my store and see if there’s anything you might like. At left is a rescue duck named Angel who was a favorite uncle duck to 13 little ducklings in our backyard pond.

If you’re experienced with Etsy, please share any tips. I just had my first sale last week.

Western Civ II is now behind me (I like Dostoevsky best) and Film started this week. After this quarter, I’ll be back to Studio classes and I’ve really been looking forward to taking Animal Anatomy.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!