Friday, May 23, 2014

Color Finishes

So here is the moment you have all been waiting for……my color finishes or final art.  At least it's final for now until I get some feedback that makes me decide to change them:)  My professor helped me chose the 4 strongest compositions from my dummy book and those are the ones I finished first.  I had done the cover illustration last semester so I include that with these since it set the color pallet and tone for the artwork.  As I mentioned before, I have three more I want to finish off.  They are the "cow" scene, the "dog and squirrel from above" scene and the "boy flying" scene.  You can check these out in my color studies post which preceded this post.  I figure these additional scenes will give me a nice variety of angles, perspectives, and characters to chose from for the final 5 that I will use in my final thesis.

These are mixed media paintings done on illustration board.  They all measure 12"H x 22"W.  I little bit about my process…

I transfer the drawing onto the illustration board with graphite.  Then I paint in local colors with watercolor to get the values and approximate colors.  I know I can always change these a bit so it helps me to see whether I have made them too saturated or too light.  Then I put an oil wash over the whole painting and remove it with tissue in areas where I don't want it, paying attention to shadows and form. When it's dry I go back in with oil paint preserving what I like from the underpainting and covering up or enhancing areas where I want to draw the eye.  I then use prisma color pencil to add the fine details I can't get with the brush.

So here they are!  Let me know your thoughts.  I'll post the next three when I have them done.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Color Studies

Here are the color studies I did for my picture book "The Swing".  Some are done in prism color marker and some are done in prisma color pencil.  I think I like the pencil versions better so that may be my tool of choice for future projects.  I didn't do a color study on every page yet, just the ones I want to take to finish.  I'll eventually do them all so I can show it to a publisher, but for now here is what I have.   Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Book Dummy

Ok, so many of you know that I am working on a picture book as part of my studies at AAU.  I actually will illustrate three picture books in total, but only 5 fully finished illustrations from each manuscript.  One picture book, however, I have a personal soft spot for and so I decided to illustrate the whole thing!  That means I need to create a book dummy for the whole thing.  A book dummy is a value study layout of each page.  It helps you to see the flow of the book, determine she sequence of images and maintain the consistency of the characters.  I worked for most of the semester this winter/spring on creating my book dummy.  It still needs a few tweaks, but at least for now, it is in a close to finished state so I thought I would post it for you.  I'll post the whole dummy as a storyboard and then each page so you can get a feeling for how the book will flow.


Copyright and Dedication Page

Title Page

Wordless spread to establish environment

Wordless ending page

I'll post my color work next time!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Busy April and May

Wow!  I can't believe I haven't posted since March!  It has been a very busy April and May and I have so much to tell you, but I just haven't had the time to sit down and write.  In the last month I finished up teaching at my college, which meant final exams and final grades.  I also finished up my semester at AAU which meant final exam and final projects.  Plus Mother's Day, basketball tournaments with my older son, volleyball tournament with my daughter,  and a crossing over ceremony for my younger son who became a boy scout!  Whew!  It was a lot.  Now I have some time so I thought I'd catch up on my blog.  Rather than inundate you all at once with what I have been doing I thought I'd do a couple of posts over the next few days so you will have something fun to look forward to each day.

Let's start with my raven study, which is where I left off.  At the beginning of April my good friend and fellow artist Jen Seth-Cimini and I made a little retreat to a cabin for 24 hours of painting.  Jen found us an adorable little cabin at Beaver Meadows, an naturalist site near us in Western New York. We brought our food, chocolate and cookies and drinks, our sleeping bags and our paints!  We had a blast talking and drinking and painting till all hours of the morning.  It was wonderful to get away, no kids, no meals to cook, just painting and laughing.  I do a ton of both whenever I am with Jen.  She is such a great friend and artist:)

Here is Jen and our cabin...

Here is Jen set up in her space

And here is one of her paintings that she was working on there…a view out of our cabin window.

We ordered in some food including cheese and bacon covered french fries!  Yummy!  I wanted a little salt to go with them and the bar maid at the restaurant/bar we went to gave us the whole shaker!  We laughed for hours about that and brought it back to paint a picture of it.  Here is the photo reference we took for the painting.  Painting to come:)

We made a camp fire that night outside in the fire pit and sat around it in 22 degree weather looking at the stars and listening to the boy scout troupe that came to use the observatory on the property for their own star gazing.  The next morning was beautiful so we went on a walk…

And here is the painting I worked on…another raven study.   I started another painting but did not finish it and haven't worked on it since that weekend.  When I'm done with it I'll post it for you.  

Hope you enjoyed the story of our little retreat!