Monday, January 16, 2012

Explore Native Americans!

Here's a sneak peak of a few images featured on the cover of a new title in the Explore Series I'm working on with Nomad Press. I find Native American culture fascinating and I'm very excited to be working on a book to help educate kids about it!

This work is a little different than my normal color work due to the requirements of the series, but it was fun to experiment more with digital illustration!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A New Look!

I thought I'd freshen up the old blog as a good start to 2012 with a few new illustrations and a whole new look! Enjoy!

A little fun fact: Everything I have in my avatar is actually in my studio! (and YES - that is Dogs Playing Poker behind me!!) :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Goodbye 2011: The Year of the Sketchbook

Saying goodbye to 2011 I thought I'd take a moment to reflect upon the artist's diary: The Sketchbook! One thing I tried to do this year was always have a sketchbook with me to enhance my life drawing. I know a lot of artists have that one special book that goes with them everywhere. I do love shopping, so I'm always a sucker for a new sketchbook. It's one of my favorite accessories! So... I have A LOT of different books that I trade in and out with me depending on where I'm going, what I'm doing, and of course, what bag I'm carrying.
When I travel for specific sketch trips (like the zoo or nature centers) I have a little bag with a lot of different medium ranging from watercolor pencils, to pens, to a variety of pencils. However in my everyday purses I try to limit those pieces in order to save room, and also to challenge myself. I thought it would be fun to reflect upon my "year of life drawing" beyond the exotic animals I tend to post, and just take a small peak at the everyday life sketches I've gathered. (Remember - to see the sketchbook sample pages larger click on them! You can even enlarge them more with the magnify glass tool if it's available!)

I love to look at people and try to sneak a peak at who they are, what they're doing and where they are. This is tricky because those pesky buggers tend to move as much as the animals! Especially if they feel like you are looking at them. I like using the micron pen for people because I can get an impression really quickly, and work on my stylization as well. I also like wearing sunglasses because then you can't tell that I'm staring at you! (mwah ha ha!)

The one thing I don't do a lot, but I am trying to get better at, is sketching environments & scenery. I'm finding that an environment can tell a story just as well and the characters in it. I have no real medium preference for this, but this year I tended to lean towards pen & marker a little more (again - light and small and easy to take to the park) Here's a small sample of a few environments that made impressions on me this year.

Last (but never least) are my animals. Outside of the zoo, I'm left to render and work on my two favorite animals - dogs and horses. I've starting to take up riding again, and I realized that just like practicing my posting and cantering, in order to be good at drawing horses I needed to practice drawing them as well! Nothing beats observing and drawing from life when it comes to this. And dogs, well... I can never get tired of drawing those guys. My final farewell to 2011 I leave you with a sampling of the domesticated animals roaming in my sketchbook.

Here's to more sketchbooks, more sketches, and more fun in 2012!