Sketch and Paint Puddle Time

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Isn't rain cozy? Here is a rain-inspired free sketch I finished. It is watercolor and pencil on 140 lb hot-press. Still wondering what her name is, maybe Cleo, or Constance or Willa Jane. I discovered I LOVE hot press paper. It just holds wash lines and bleeds where the pigment blooms so well, no fading. Anyhow, I hope everyone is enjoying the rainy days one way or another, while we wait for the new season. How do you spend a rainy day?

In the 1920's, Women Wore Socks and Heels to the Beach

Friday, April 13, 2007

Gearing up to change the process, so I'm playing with hot press paper and a lot of watercolor. Here is one old-fashioned pin-up sort of gal. Aaaahhh... a break from digi paint is so yummy.
She isn't done, but I thought you might like to meet her.

Talking Shop!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Here is a sample of a little nightgown pattern I did for Emily from The Sleepover Squad (first two in the series out next month!). Scanning fabric swatches and now creating patterned swatches is now such an integrated piece of my process, I wonder what I would have done even 15 years ago, if I was an illustrator. It has has me studying Patricia Polacco, just letting my eyes explore how she deals with patterns, sans-scan. much to learn. These two quieter weeks, especially, feel like a visual growing period.

And now the learning is especially consuming... I just found out a week ago, I've got my first picture book, I am so grateful for this chance and now I see how very much I have to learn and will be learning the next year and a half.

So I've started my homework for the book: studies on things like old-lady wrinkles, flower gardens and very importantly my process- HOW I'm going to make a book. Will I scan? Will I print and paint? So many questions. It publishes in 2010 (how space-age does that year sound?) I will older and wiser artist...someone who understands what I do not yet. So so many mysteries still, about bookmaking. Sitting here with wide eyes, drinking everything in...

FREE DRAW in the marker bin!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Remember that time in art class in elementary school, where if you finished your papier-mache dragon early, you'd get scrap paper and free reign on the marker bin until class was done? This was a magical time to me, and I always wished it was a little longer. I think now, after a year or so of illustrating full-time, I've noticed free time is more daunting than enticing, though it is nothing at all to fear! This is something I am going to try to tackle today, schedule permitting. Re-learn FREE DRAW! Go crazy in the marker bin.

Recently, in working with art directors, and many a talented designer, I have come to approach critique in a new light. Healthy critique is so vital to digging out what you've already got, and polishing it up (even when the end result doesn't appear "polished" per say). When an artist is young (and at the beginning of the game, like me), it is easy to think pleasing the voices of others will hone style. I see now it's more about letting the challenges from art direction act as a catalyst for new invention in one's art. The prodding and pulling of the silly puddy in you that already exists. Get direction from the outside and let it sit a while...let loose and letting it grow AROUND what is being asked for rather than pushing it a bit and looking back for approval tentatively in baby steps. It's an exciting thing, in this field, to be allowed a chance for reinvention always.

Style is something that is like a growing and evolving little animal, and the artist needs to be careful to feed it good and honest things. It cannot be feared or stiff or impenetrable. I think free drawing like a little kid is one very honest way to see how far your silly puddy can stretch. Then it is a matter of taking what was learned in front of the marker bin and reintegrating, grafting on, restrengthening for the next project.

Above is a fast sketch from a few weeks ago. Her name just popped in when I wondered about it, and I chose to keep it. So this is "Bear". Yeah FREE DRAW! Ok, I'm off to play!