Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Charlie Man

I'm so excited to be working on this illustrative commissioned portrait of one of my favorite guys, Charlie! I just finished this line drawing and I'm excited to move on to the final piece.

Charlie is a rescued yellow lab and loved by two wonderful people who currently reside in San Diego.  Charlie is not only an awesome dog -- he is a celebrity! For my inspiration Alex (Charlie's dad) sent me a series of fabulous photographs that were featured in The Popular Dog Series Magazine : Labrador Retrievers.  He made the cover! 

 

The great thing is that Charlie never let his celebrity status go to his head. Well, maybe only when he's asking for a belly rub...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Little Red Schoolhouse


A recent visit back home brought to me to one of my fondest childhood places, The Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, this little nature center plopped in the middle of the southwest forest preserves was a favorite place of mine. Of course when I used to visit as a child, you could still feed the ducks breadcrumbs or corn from a gumball machine. But you had to be careful in the fall and winter because you might get accosted by hungry geese!

Well, a lot has changed since then, and now there is an entirely new nature center with bigger and better exhibits featuring wildlife native to the mid-west, numerous footpaths around the property, and the schoolhouse is, of course, still standing. You cannot feed the wildlife anymore, however, which is probably for the best!

Along one of these paths I happened upon a fairly calm goose (compared to the ones of my youth) and took this opportunity to work on my bird renderings. I feel like he knew he was being watched...!

All of the animals in the exhibits at the schoolhouse are generally rehabilitated wildlife that for one reason or another, cannot return back to the wild. In the back of the property are some rescued birds of prey. The two owls were hiding out, being nocturnal creatures. However, the beautiful red tailed hawk was bright eyed and on the lookout for a spare rodent/snack. Not sure if he ever got that snack, but I got a decent sketch of him.


It was great to return to my home in the plains, and experience the beauty of the mid-west. I hope to go back again soon!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eat Dessert First!


"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." ~ Ernestine Ulmer

I think every dog lives by this rule... (or eat whatever is in front of you!) This scenario is based on a million stories I've heard (and seen) about dogs helping themselves to yummy goodies whenever they have a chance. Here's hoping someone catches Fido before the birthday party is in shambles!

Just finished this piece, and it happens to fit in nicely with Illustration Friday's concept word, "Dessert," this week. Enjoy...