Friday, December 7, 2012

More vector fun for Once Upon A Sketch

Here's a quick doodle I worked up in Illustrator for my other site, Once Upon A Sketch. Lots of fun! Still getting the feel of things down for my style in vector. I think next time out should be a full out Illustration rather than a spot.

Tighten Up

I think next time out should be a full out Illustration rather than a spot in vector. Maybe a puzle or hidden picture!

(Maybe I should have made the dino a zanier color??)

Be sure to check out OnceUponASketch!

Monday, December 3, 2012

I've been Interviewed!!

Heya guys I forgot to share here that I was interviewed over on two different websites!!! What an honor! Drop by and check out these artists and the wonderful blog posts they share with the world!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sketchy Sketch

Some character sketches done to warm up over the past few days. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


A little vector process. I'm working on expanding the vector end of my portfolio. This really is more of a character study than anything that could really be used as a portfolio piece. But it was fun nonetheless!! Enjoy!



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Folio Academy gets a touch up!

I am a huge Will Terry fan and have bought a number of his videos. So I am very happy to say that the site through which he sells his videos, Folio Academy has been redesigned and relaunched! I highly recommend dropping by and seeing which videos you think may fit your fancy.

The Folio Academy has videos from Will Terry, A.B.(Russ), RussellAmber, MediaBill, WhitakerBlufire Studios, Bob Barrett, Burning Oak Studios, Danni Jones, Greg Newbold, Jerry's Artarama, Justin Cook, Kirk Richards, Paul Mann, Perry Milou, Peter Wood, Provo Creative, and Simon Winegar.

I learned a great deal from Will's video's so I stand by those for new-intermediate artists. But even you masters of your craft can always learn something from somebody else's technique or methods.

I will probably be posting a review of one of his videos soon. Check his art below!

So drop in check the previews and see what you like!!

Use a link in the above article or the one in the right sidebar!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quick doodle

Another quickie from this weekend!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Time to alter the dress!

Recent little illustration I did for my sister blog But after looking at it further I decided to alter it a bit. The results are below. Is that better?
The changes are subtle, but they are there!! Can you see them?

And even more changes. These are just for this blog though. I widened the straps A reader told me that she should have three finger straps. Anything less than that wouldn't be allowed in school. Really?? Wow!! And I opened her eyes and her mouth a bit, just to give some variety let me know if you prefer it with them closed. I also altered her right hand some. (thanks Milica!!)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Another Beastie

Another beastie from an ongoing project!
His feet could be bigger and his toes more pronounced and forward rather to the sides like that! He looks bow legged. Did this while watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thank you Photoshop!

Just finished another coloring book! I love doing coloring books! So much fun! In the process I learned how much I absolutely love Photoshop!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for Curves, Layers, Levels and Hue/Saturation! It's so easy to get tunnel vision and for your palette of colors to get way too narrow. This happened to me on the cover. Here's the image chosen by the art director to be the cover. This is just the linework that appears within the book.
I then proceeded to color it. And guess what I thought I was done. Here is that image.
After looking at it I realized that my contrast was crappy. My background was muddy. The foreground characters were getting lost. So I pulled out the Curves, Hue/Saturation and Levels to push and pull my colors. When I finally got something I liked it looked like this.
Now truth be told if I had more time I would have posted this to a few groups I frequent online and let my art peers tear into it. Pick the advice that I thought was the most on point and went back in and reworked those areas. But I am glad that I am getting better at seeing what's wrong with my own images. (Not the best, but better.)
Every image we do is a lesson to be learned about what we are bad at and need to get better and what we are good at...and still need to get better. I'll let you know when the book becomes available for purchase!! :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Some Critters for Sunday!

Some Critters from a recent image!

Enjoy!! More on the project later!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Congrats Gabby

This started out as a warm up sketch and I decide d to try and emulate the style of Miss Vanessa Newton. Of course I come up woefully short!!! She is amazing! But enjoy the image none the less! Congrats to Gabby Douglas!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Process for Educational illustration

I haven't shown a process piece in a while so let's do one now! This one will be something that was done for a client. The first step: I was given a poem about a kitten and some visual direction and reference for what they wanted the image to look like. I created a sketch and sent it to them leaving the predetermined amount of space for the left side of the image.

The first step: I created a sketch and sent it to them leaving the predetermined amount of space for the left side of the image.

The second step: The feedback received was that they wanted me to zoom in on the action. Move the mouse to the left. The kitten didn't need to be under the table and use the string to allow your eye to move from left to right.I made the changes and resubmitted.

The third step: The sketch was approved for color. I proceeded to color in the image and resumbit it.

The fourth step: The feedback received was that they wanted me to show the full room and remove the white fade. They also weren't happy with the boys face and wanted more roundness and depth to it. I also adjusted the shadows, added stripes to the boys shirt, added stripes to the wall, changed the color of the string and changed the shapes and colors of the shadows.I also did some touching up to the kitten.

The fifth step: Before submitting I showed the image to a few fellow artists who noted how odd and wrong the floor patterns were. I went in and changed that as well as add additional shadows to the back wall. Then I submitted it to the client. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it's approved!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Project - Bugaroos-We are what we eat!

A new project that I did a while ago with the creator Garry DeArmond at Bugaroos. I just seem to have forgotten to post about it. It doesn't seem to be available at traditional markets, but it looks like you can snag a copy here!

This job was different for me in the fact that I had to deviate from my normal style to come up with something more vector and licensed looking. For the most part the characters were already established and I needed to match what an artist had done previously. Definitely a learning experience!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm back!!!

What I'm working on today
I have been neglecting my poor, poor website! I've been pouring a lot of energy into my other project Once Upon A Sketch! But it's time to give my own blog some love and attention. So for the moment I'll quickly post the freelance I'm currently working on. This is an image in progress for a new book. Enjoy! I'll update it with progress later this week!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donna Summer passes away at 63

It saddens me so to say that legendary Queen of Disco, Donna Summer has passed away at the age of 63. She will be sorely missed but her legacy and contributions to an era of music will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Over at Once Upon A Sketch, one of our ongoing initiatives will be to provide meaning for terms and phrases that are local to the Children's Market. So from this point forward we will go into some of those terms and what they mean. If you have specific requests feel free to e-mail them to us! One of the first set of terms that confused me was the varied Book Market classifications. Many publishers listed the markets of books they published and I wasn't sure what the words meant exactly. Trade and Mass Market most notably. So they will be first.

Above is cover to Hardback Trade Edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.    

Trade Books- Books released to the Traditional (trade) Markets are generally directed almost exclusively to Bookstores and Online markets for sale. In most instances this is a books initial public release and would be a precursor to being released to the larger Mass Market depending on sales numbers of the book within the Trade Market. Trade Books are often printed in smaller runs, on higher quality paper and binding in a larger format. While it is frequent that you will have a hard cover with a slip cover for a Trade Book, this is not always the case. First run Prints of Trade books can also be softcover but the quality of these books is still generally at a higher grade than what is used in Mass Market Books. Because of the better quality the book is also generally more expensive, which also contribute to its smaller customer base. They are usually sold on shelves with either their covers out or their spines showing. Trade Books are also the version of a book that you will most often find being used by Libraries for their patrons. This is due in large part to the sturdier format that makes the books more able to stand up to many uses and reads by multiple Library patrons.  
Above is cover to Softback Mass Edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.  

Mass Market Books- As the name implies these books are directed at a larger (Mass) audience and consumer base. This is accomplished by making it available in more outlets to consumers, as well as making the books smaller and cheaper for purchase and personal convenience. While trade books are available in bookstores and online. Mass Market books are more commonly found at the checkout counter of your grocery store, drug stores, gift shops, airports and newspaper stands. They are priced cheaper to attract more impulse buys and purchases. Think small child begging at Mommy or Daddy’s feet for that Zora the Explorer Activity Book! Mass Market books are generally paperback books printed on less quality paper and sized to be easy to carry in your pocket or purse. The production of Mass Market books also generally follows the release of the Trade version of the same book title. The Trade versions are usually of a higher quality paper, larger, more expensive, and hardback in nature. Mass Market Children’s Books are very often tied into more popular books, licenses or characters. If you think about it in most of the outlets listed above for Mass-Market you are much more likely to find products from Licenses like Disney, Warner Bros., or Nickelodeon. However, it is just as likely that you’ll find classic best sellers like The Hungry Caterpillar, Where The Wild Things Are, and Goodnight Moon. Books that are so popular that they demand to be available to more customers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm in Highlights in June!!

If you remember I made a post a long time ago about sending off a submission to Highlights Magazine fresh out of college. I got a letter back expressing interest in seeing more, which scared me to death! (The human mind is so funny at what freaks it out, success being amongst those fears.) Well 10+ years later I finally have conquered my fears and I'm in!

My first appearance in a Highlights Magazine is out next month!!! Soo Excited!! I just got my two complimentary copies in the mail and I am psyched!! I hope to get to work with them again in the future and hopefully move up to the cover at some point!! So be sure to stop in your local bookstore or library and check me out when you get the chance! A definite lesson to be learned here. Hold onto your goals and fight for them. Times are hard all over but be persistent, keep your goals in sight and do everything you can to reach them. Do all you can to get input on your work and improve what you do! It may not happen when you want but with a lot of hard work and perseverance it will come eventually. Nothing beats a failure but a try.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Finally my first hardcover children's book has been released! It's for sale at Amazon, Books A Million, Barnes and Nobles and a bevy of Christian Bookstores!
There is also a Free App that has games and activities. Some that require the book and others that don't. Be sure to check it out! You can download it here!

So far the reviews are pretty good and "Mommy Reactions" have been wonderful. (Currently 5 stars on Amazon!!) I'm super excited about the prospects this book will potentially bring in the future and we are already working on the follow up adventure!! So stay tuned for more information! Creating the illustrations for this book taught me an awful lot about my personal business, my flaws and the sacrifices needed to do what I love. Hard and great lessons all. I look forward to the next book coming out!!