Friday, March 23, 2012

Hitting A Stride

©2012 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

After a few weeks of battling a nasty bug, which my wife now has, I have finally gotten back to feeling somewhat normal. I thought I would quickly post a new piece that I completed this morning for a poster contest in April. Plus I needed to post something since it has been a few weeks so I thought why not share this. The theme is "A Whole New World." I liked the idea of Mother Goose using an iPad and built the concept around her. After many doodles, the idea of adding Humpty Dumpty and Hickory Dickory Dock helped in adding to the concept. The entire piece was rendered in Photoshop. Once it was completed, I felt that I finally hit my stride with working in Photoshop. It is starting to feel natural to paint with it and I'm finally getting the look that I am after with the software.

©2012 Russ Cox 

I am continuing getting together with a group of area fine artist to do figurative drawings. We recently hired a model for 4 three hour sessions so we could do a long pose. This is the result from that effort. I was happy with the final drawing even thought I could have spent additional hours fine on it. When one works mostly digitally, it is a welcome break to do some traditional pieces. The feeling of graphite and charcoal on my hands is equally as thrilling as seeing it on paper. Tomorrow, we are gathering again for some additional drawings.

My book is coming along. As of today, I have 8 pages tightly drawn. As I work on the tight line drawings, I can see that I need to do some additional text editing. I was told by other writers/illustrators that it will eventually start writing itself and now I understand what they mean.

The weather here in Maine has been unseasonably warm. It was in the low 80's earlier this week. My wife and I enjoyed being outside but soon realized how much cleanup we have to do once the weather stays warm. I foresee lots of raking in my near future.
©2012 Russ Cox 

Our two kids were up earlier this month for a few days. It was so much fun to have us all together. Who knows when it will happen again. Our son is getting ready to hike the Appalachian Trail starting in April so he will gone for 6 months. Our daughter and her boyfriend are thinking about moving again so who knows where the wind will take them. We enjoy those moments of being together when it present itself. As you can see from the photo, we are a very serious family.

Until next time, I will leave you with this: 
"The first task of an illustrator is to be in full sympathy with the writer. No matter how splendid and exciting the drawings may be, if they work against the story, the picture book is a failure." ~ Errol Le Cain


Shirley said...

Wow, Russ, this illustration turned out beautifully! Awesome concept and execution. And how great to see your life drawing..there is nothing like life drawing that really forces you to see! Super to work on your craft with a live model. And how fun to see you and your kids! Great post!!

Linda Hensley said...

Looks great!

melinda beavers said...

Look great, Russ! Will be sorry to miss this year's showcase, best of luck to you!

k.h.whitaker said...

love, love, love illustration Rus, it's wonderful

Russ Cox said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words.

theartofpuro said...


Helena Juhasz said...

Wow. I can't believe the softness you can achieve digitally. Great work!

Tara Lazar said...

Love the Mother Goose piece. Really nice work!

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