Archive for children

Solo Art Show at the Aar Gallery!

For the entire month of October, I will be having a solo show at the Aar River Gallery in Westminster. Primarily I will be showcasing the art from the upcoming children’s book “Lights On!” to be official published October 1. Come, stop by, and see the originals.

  • There will be a First Friday Reception
    on Oct. 6, from 6 to 9.
  • Hear me talk about the process of creating the illustrations for the book during the Second Saturday Art Walk on Oct. 14 from 1 to 5:00.
  • Also showing will be moderately priced originals, books, and prints. Please stop by and support this wonderful gallery and this great event.

A Girl, A Horse, and Her Dog

AGirlAHorseAndHerDog_web-watermark

For the past three months, I have been secretly working on illustrations for a children’s chapter book with the tentative title as seen above. Yesterday, I put the final touch of pencil down on the last illustration, finally concluding the project. One color cover and twelve grayscale interior illustrations are now finished and ready for publication.

This project was a challenge for me. It involved drawing children with horses and a border collie, nothing I am familiar with or comfortable drawing. Some of the pieces required intense perspective grids (which I am familiar with, but it does take time). In order to get myself into illustration shape, I did what any illustrator would do, I filled sketchbooks full of studies of horses, border collies and children, until I had figured out a look and feel in which to work.

I also procured my own photo reference, setting up photoshoots with a friend who had a border collie and another friend who had a daughter who just happened to be the right age, plus several other children who helped out for some of the crowd scenes.

christmas pageant-web pageant perspective

I’m still not ready to show all of the illustrations yet, not until the book is published, but I wanted to show off the cover and the last interior illustration I worked on: Christmas Pageant. In order to create visual interest with this piece and the rest of the book, I decided that this would be a great place to set up a bird’s view perspective. Doing so properly would require perspective.

The different squared shapes (the stable and the inn flat) are not parallel to each other, thereby requiring their own set of vanishing points. Add to that, I decided to make this a three point perspective grid, so the vertical lines drop to a point beneath the action. Because of this, the characters also had to be subjected to three point perspective, and I tried to emphasize this as I could when rendering them. You can see a copy of the perspective grid I created. I usually create my perspective grids in Adobe Illustrator, that way I can set my vanishing points as far off the paper as I need to and be able to access them quickly and conveniently. Illustrator also allows me to draw vanishing lines rapidly. Since Illustrator is very technical, I’ll print out the grid, place it under my sheet of Bristol, and then render the scene with its nuances using a light table.

So, the next time you see an illustration of mine that has a lot of perspective, that’s how I do it. As soon as the book is published, I’ll update this blog and provide links for you to acquire a signed copy.

Sneak Peak

New project. While I won’t divulge all the details, know this: It’s about a girl, her horse and her dog in 1950s Colorado Springs. It’s a chapter book for children. I’m going to attempt a new look for this book, but one that I think is appropriate. Instead of my traditional pen and ink, I’m going to add pencil to that, in order to better create the soft and subtle grays normally associated with children. Here’s a sneak peak.

media studies 3 media studies 1

Customized Calendar Card for University Hospital.

uh-holiday-card-2015-2

Just put the finishing touches on another customized holiday calendar card for University Hospital. Specifically, this was for the division of transplant surgery, a very meaningful place for me. Every year I am privileged to design their card, and every year I am challenged with how to incorporate the green ribbon into the illustration–the green ribbon symbolizing organ donation. For those who do not know my story, I am a two time liver transplant recipient, the result of an aggressive auto-immune problem. The gift of life is very sobering, and I do not take my second chance of living for granted. Though the auto-immune still continues to plague me, I make it a point to drink in every living moment I can and to make the most of the skills and opportunities given me.

If you are curious to see more, please watch the video I made a few years back (below). It also serves as another portfolio piece and an exploration into some ModNarrative animation.


Regarding the above card, because of the client, I went back to a more realistic style, but my biggest challenge was how to make the vignettes of people enjoying life appear as reflections in the ribbon. I knew color had to be the answer, but it was really quite the brain warp mixing green skin tones and trusting that this was correct. And with every calendar card created for University Hospital, I included the honeybee. Sometimes it’s hidden, this time he’s a little more prominent. To me, nothing represents life quite like bees do and it just so happens that “Hummel” means “Honeybee” in German.