Thursday, April 26, 2012

New England SCBWI

Just getting chance to unpack my bags from the New England SCBWI conference this past weekend. What a great conference. The organizers did an amazing job (as usual) If you are interested in writing or illustrating for children's books and you live in New England you should really get your keister to this conference next year. Lots of good resources and lots of good inspiration. I went to a fantastic character design session with the amazingly talented Kelly Light on Saturday. I walked away with some great ideas as well as some awesome chocolate chip cookies (I hope she'll give me her recipe!) And I spent Sunday at an illustration intensive with Dan Yaccarino - how cool is that?!

Plus it's so great to see all my amazingly talented illustrator friends like Hazel Mitchell (roomie extraordinaire!), Russ Cox (winner of the poster contest times 3!), Teri Weidner, Carlyn Beccia, and Brian Lies just to name a few. And I also got to meet some new friends like Greg Matusic (somebody seriously needs to get this guy a banjo), AP Sabourin, and Misa Saburi. These are just a handful of the wonderful folks I met. There must be something in the water around here to have so much talent.

Today I'm putting all the postcards and business cards I collected over the weekend into my scrap book. It's good inspiration to look through them plus it helps me remember where I met people. Of course nothing beats the souvenir that Casey Girard came home with. I'm SO jealous that I didn't think of having everyone draw in my sketchbook.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New greeting card samples

Received some greeting card samples from Great Arrow Graphics (greatarrow.com) today. I love the velvety finish the hand silk screening gives the cards. I believe all of these cards should be available this Halloween and Christmas. I was especially pleased with how the fox in the woods turned out.

Automaton Video

If you are interested in automata like I am, you might enjoy this link to the automaton featurette that comes on the Hugo DVD/Blueray edition. I think I need to get BlueRay player just so I can watch all the extra content that they pack onto the BlueRay editions of movies. Thanks to the Automata/Automaton Blog for the link.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Packing my Bags for NESCBWI


I'm going to the New England SCBWI conference this weekend and trying to finish up my homework for the Advanced Illustrator Academy. Gee, it's been a while since I've had to do homework, I'm finding it a little stressful. Part of the assignment was to design characters and create a finished piece of art for a story that was provided. Here's a peek at my final art.

One of my favorite parts of picture book work is designing the characters. It's fun to see who shows up for the casting call so to speak. I've grown kind of attached to this little bear character, I think he might have to come live in another stories at some point.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Digital Painting for the Complete Beginner


I got a nice surprise in the mail the other day, an advanced copy of Carlyn Beccia's new book, "Digital Painting for the Complete Beginner." It officially goes on sale next week.

Carlyn has provided lots of information for someone just starting out and wanting to learn how to "paint" using Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop. She has also packed in lots of good tips and techniques that more experienced users will find useful. Carlyn is a wizard with Corel Painter. And I contributed a couple of Photoshop tutorials as well. Including this one on how to add age and color to a line drawing.



I can't wait to dive in and learn some new tricks. Hopefully with the help of this book I might finally be able to figure out Corel Painter myself.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My New Old Toy



Pros:
1. Unlimited battery life 2. It never replaces a word I type with something grossly inappropriate 3. I never have to drive 20 miles to an Apple store so someone can teach me how to use it 4. It's a great hand/wrist workout (carpal tunnel wasn't an issue back in the day) and 5. Although it doesn't come with a warranty it's still working after 83 years, so I figure there is an extremely good chance it will outlast the measly one year warranty on most of my electronic gadgets.

Cons:
Slowest internet connection EVER!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

School Pictures


Here's another promotional piece that I did recently. I thought it would be fun to try and create class photos from different time periods. I think most days I feel like the kid in the bottom row with the striped shirt.

Next, I think I'm going for the 1970's. That might have to be a standing group photo so I can get the bell bottoms in.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Promo


April showers bring May flowers. That was the inspiration for this year's Illustration for Kid's Spring promotional mailer. So naturally the first thing that came to mind was a sad little rat holding an umbrella made out of a guacamole container. Of course.

Here's the first layout I did for this image which I really think conveys the feeling of him being sad and along but I didn't want to loose all the details in such a wide angle shot.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Copying from the Masters


Here's a concept painting from Pixar's Up (Done in gouache by Lou Romano and Don Shank) Below is my 15 minute copy done in Photoshop. I struggle with color so for me this was a very useful exercise. I hope to do more of these.