Sunday, March 29, 2009

Even more Hidden Pictures!

Work is still rather slow, so I'm doing Hidden Pictures again. I've done so many, I thought it might be fun to do a Step-by-Step post on how I come up with them. I keep just about all of my old sketches, so sometimes I dig out one of them to use as a starting point.

I've enlarged the original sketch a bit and altered it to fit the required size. Then I traced over it, adding a tent, animals in the woods and clothes to the bears. I was going to dress them as Scouts with "Smokey" hats, but thought that might infringe on Smokey the Bear copyrights, so...just regular clothes. Now I have the basic subject matter for the puzzle.

Now for the fun, or tricky part. I have to hide about 18 objects in the scene, things that wouldn't normally be there, like a leaf. I can find shapes in the drawing... like a triangle becomes a party hat. I trace over, simplify lines, and add more lines and shapes to confuse kids!

The final sketch! Now I send it off to Highlights and see if they accept it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Life Drawing

Since the beginning of the year, I've been going now and again to a life drawing open studio at the Wheaton Art League. I thought I'd post one of the drawings I did last week. This was an hour and a half pose, but I was more or less done in an hour. I tend to draw fast, probably from all the years of working as an illustrator under deadlines! I'm going again tomorrow. I have to tell myself to relax and slow down... Drawing from life is great therapy for an artist. Rather like yoga. Good exercise for the brain.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Book!

I just received printed samples of the Kindergarten Memory Book that I illustrated last year, published by Annotation Press. That's my daughter Laura's photo added to the front cover. I think it turned out really well and Delane Pennington did a great job with the writing and concept. I hope to be doing more in the series!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lazy Jack and other nursery tales...

I've been working on some fairy tale or nursery rhyme samples. I remember Lazy Jack being one of my favorites as a kid, along with The Gingerbread Man. I was always hoping the Gingerbread Man would get away, instead of being snapped up by the fox - what a violent ending! Another favorite was The Little Engine That Could and now I don't know why. When my kids were little they begged for it every night, too, and I hated it! I took to hiding it, or if they did find it and I was forced to read it, I changed the words to "The Stupid Little Engine That Could", or used funny voices for the characters. That really got them angry, but probably saved my sanity!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A look back...

Looking back through my sketchbook from last year, I found a couple of sketches I never posted. This is my daughter Laura, sunbathing just a few days before she left for college. It's her Spring Break now and I bet she wishes she was doing this in Cancun today! Alas, she's stuck in still-frosty old Illinois. Warmer weather HAS to be coming sometime, though!

And another Ed sketch. He's one of my favorite models... never complains, holds the same pose for hours... Okay, I'm exagerating there, but now that he's 12 years old, it does seem like he spends most of his day sleeping!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Caribou Coffee, Downers Grove

Since it was a rather boring, cold day on Saturday, I decided to hang out at Caribou Coffee and sketch people hanging out at Caribou Coffee...