Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Day Late and A Print Short

Hello everyone,

Sorry I am a day late with the post but yesterday was a bit busy and before I knew it, it was dark outside. Sometimes we all have days, weeks, months, or even years like that.

Well we have reached the "50 Followers" mark this week so a BIG THANK YOU for signing up to my little blog. And since I said I would give a print away once we reached that mark, I did that by using a online random number generator so the winner is ... drum roll please ... JILL SANDERS! So a Voltar print will be going out to her next week. I guess I will have to do a second giveaway of some sort once I hit a 100 followers. Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to sign up.
I started some new promo pieces which include the Roscoe caricature and the bikini girl but some projects came in that required my time. I hope to get back tho them soon. Here is a study of Roscoe's head which I tightened up the sketch and exaggerated more of his features. It has been a while since I have done a caricature so I wanted to make sure I could at least make a half decent attempt before I go to the final art. I will completed the piece on watercolor paper with pencil and ink which I am looking forward to doing.

That is about all I have for this weeks update. People here in the States, have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and remember those who sacrificed for our freedoms.

"I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies." Le Corbusier

Friday, May 21, 2010

Labels, Adobe, and More

For this week, I thought I would share some beer labels that I worked on. The very cool designs were done by Dantinne Design Communications ( They contacted me to work on the illustration part of the project. Even though I usually do cartoon or kids stuff, I also do a couple of other styles like the engraving look for these labels. The way I created the label illustrations was first to sketch out the composition. Once the roughs were approved, they were tightened up and submitted for feedback. After final sign off on the layouts, I enlarged the drawings to 8 1/2 x 11 and placed paper over top of the originals. I used various sizes of Sharpies to ink the final art. That was done freehand so the lines would have an organic, rough look to them. White gouache was used in areas to clean up edges and help get that woodcut look. The inked drawings were scanned back into Photoshop at 600 dpi and reduced 75%. The scanned images were imported into Illustrator where I used the Live Trace to vectorize the artwork. Lines were cleaned up, if needed, and color dropped in on various layers. This process helped maintain the old engraving/woodblock look the client was after. I think everything fits well and gives the labels a classy, old-time look and feel. Now I am waiting for the liquid samples!

Has anyone tried upgrading their Adobe software? Am I the only one confused by their upgrade process? I think their online tech people are as well. I am trying to upgrade CS3 and CS4 versions of various software as a bundle (so it is cheaper next time to upgrade everything) but they have different prices and packages. The tech guy had me upgrade to a package that I thought had everything that I used but when I got an email receipt, it listed software that I do not use. So for the last few days I have been trying to cancel this order. What a pain-in-the-ass this has been. I love Adobe products but they really need to make upgrades more user friendly. Of course, less expensive would be nice too.

The other thing I have started doing is writing my first children's book. After much prodding from my wife, I finally gave in. An idea struck me a few weeks ago so now I am in the early stages of flushing out the idea. Once I have it written, I will send it to a few people for proofing and thoughts. I want to work up a cover and sketch out the interior pages to submit to a publisher. We shall see if there is any interest in it. If not, I may either self publish it or give it away online. But first I must get the thing written and see if it is any good before we head down those roads.

I will leave you with this quote: "Drawing is putting a line (a)round an idea." Henri Matisse

Until next week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Voltar Giveaway

Okay, several people suggested that I give away a piece of artwork. I think it is a good idea so what I am going to do, is give away a limited edition "Voltar" calendar. This piece was designed, illustrated, and printed last year as promo piece. I worked on the concept and illustrations with New York designer extraordinaire Ilene Block. We shared the piece as a promotional tool with 1800 Postcards who supplied the printing. They did a kick ass job with all of the spot varnishes, die cuts, foil stamping, etc. The wheels really turn to not only to show the date, but it will give you advice on your investments as well. This was a ton of fun to do. It is not often that you can go hog wild on a piece.

So my contest/give away is once I hit 50 "Followers", I will draw a number and match it with the person in my "Follower" list. I may do a second "Voltar" drawing once I reach 100. If the winner wants me to do so, I can sign the back of it. Does this sound like a good idea?
Not much new to report for this week. Our daughter was up for a visit before she heads out to Chicago so I was out of the studio for a majority of the week. I will have more to show and chat about next week.

A great quote: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." Picasso

Chat with you next week.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Admiring From Afar

I was thinking today on what should I post for this week. At first I was going to show some new promo sketches that I am working on. Plus it was suggested to me to post my technique on how I do my final artwork. That is a good idea. BUT for this week, I want to share the illustrators and artist who have had a big impact on my artwork. You will probably see the influence from some of them but not from others. Some of the artist I just like their work. I will try to write a brief blurb on each of them but some of these talented people no introduction from me. This is in no particular order.

The first artist is Bill Mayer. He is a Atlanta based illustrator who has been around for a long time and is very well known in the illustration community. He probably has had the biggest influence on me. I love his use of colors and how he exaggerates his characters. Bill has a couple of different styles but his airbrushed zany characters is the style I love the most.

The next artist is Gerry Gersten. One of my art school instructors introduced him to me. At that time, I was really into caricatures and doing quite a few in school. After seeing Gerry's work, I knew there was another level of quality and craftsmanship. He actually does not use pen and ink for most of his drawings. He works with pencil and has a high contrast stat (now it would be done in Photoshop) that turns the pencil into a pen & ink look.

Warner Brothers cartoons occupied my Saturday mornings for many years and I watch them just as much now (to my wife's amazement). Bob Clampett, Tex Avery, Robert McKimson, Chuck Jones, and the rest of the crew at WB inspired me to draw, laugh, and push the boundaries. They also provided me an interest in animation. Daffy Duck is my all-time favorite cartoon character.

Speaking of animation, how could one forget about Ren & Stimpy. John K(ricfalusi) really pushed the limits with that cartoon. The bizarre stories blurred the lines between adult and children's cartoons. But his character and scene designs is what attracted me to the show. A cross between retro and contemporary in the look and feel.

Shane Glines is a character designer that has done work on the more modern version of the Batman cartoons as well as Ren & Stimpy. He is also known for his for modern pinup style and how achieve his illustrations in a very graphic way. He has a booked called S Curve which features his sketches and final illustrations. A must have for animators and illustrators

I really love the paintings of John Singer Sargent. Every time I see his work in gallery, I am just mesmerized and could spend the day just viewing his paintings. A master of drawing and painting.

Salvador Dali. Just look at the prints on our walls.

Bill Watterson is the creator of the greatest comic strip ever, Calvin and Hobbes. I don't think I met anyone who does not love that comic. Watterson is a master draftsman and story teller. Comics have not been the same since Calvin and Hobbes exited.

Illustrator and character design Peter de Seve is well known for his work on A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, Robots, and Ice Age. He has worked on covers for numerous magazines including Time. I have his sketch book which actually got me back to doodling in my own book.

There are many others who I admire and am constantly finding new artist who are brilliant at what they do. I think as artist we need to constantly look not only for inspiration from our environment and life, but from other artist.

Chat with you next week.
Keep on drawing!

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