Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Illustrating Animal Characters Class for Craftsy

Last August I drove down to Denver to be filmed for what would become a class on Craftsy.com, for developing animal characters for children's picture books. Craftsy is an online site where you can take instructor taught video classes on cooking, crafts, photography, art, jewelry, etc. You can also post your work also and even communicate with the instructor. My wife and daughter had taken some knitting and crochet classes. I thought of doing a hand lettering class, but instead it became Picture Book Illustration for Animal Characters.
 
 
This was a new experience for me. I first had to figure out what I actually do when I illustrate since I kind of came up with it as I went along. Then try to figure out how to explain it verbally, which is not my strength (I avoided speech classes like cats wants a bath). I went back through my previous work..
 
 
 I decided to illustrate a scene from 'Froggie went a Courtin' since it was familiar and had two different animal characters...
 
 
I had to do a lot of work to prepare for the class like step-outs. I decided to ad a little ladybug playing violin in the illustration, and on the night I finished the final art a real one decided to stop by!
 
 
Well, the first day of filming was quite a learning curve. I only recorded 1 of 7 lessons and it was rough going. That night I completely re-wrote my plan. I came back and did all 7 classes in the last 2 days. I was very honest and gave many good tips that I have learned in my trial-and-error experience.
 
  
Here is my final project, I am planning to have prints available at our Etsy store soon....
 
 
After I was done I recorded 'Froggie went a Courtin' on my guitar which they did use in the class too. By the way if you are interested in the class here's the promo for it too:
http://www.craftsy.com/video/course?courseId=4831
You can also click the Craftsy link at the top of my blog to the right and get a discount! 
 
 
I'm glad I did it, and thankful for the opportunity. Thanks Craftsy!
 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Website Hand Drawn Icons

When we made our website, slatefallspress.com for our books, we thought it would be neat to draw the icons. So I did and here's the originals.
 
 
I don't know how many people will notice that they are hand drawn, but now you will!
 
 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Drink Coaster Design Contest entry for Dr. Dog and memories of the past....

I heard about a design contest for a band my daughter and I both enjoy - Dr. Dog! I originally wasn't going to enter it, but I got an idea and decided to try just before the deadline. The design had to have the name of their tour and date on it 'Flamingo Hotel Tour 2015' also. So I began with some sketches, flamingoes are neat animals. Their mouths look similar to a baleen whales....

 
It had to be a maximum of 4 colors and in a 4" circle. It also had to be in vector on the computer. The title seemed like a retro 50's kind of theme. I like that because most art back then was hand done.

 
Here is the final. I don't know if I will win, but it was fun to make.
 
 
 The band is from Philadelphia. I actually lived there for a time. I was trying to find my way in the world after college and could not find work related to art, let alone any job. It was hard for me to find somewhere where I could fit in since the hand lettering sign industry died and that's what I grew up doing (although I didn't really grasp it at the time). So I was a bike messenger there, which was a neat experience. It was an interesting time. Anyway, fun, creative good music, see you at the show!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blackcap Bear Illustration

Here is another illustration I made for one of Joanna's knitting patterns that she came up with. The pattern is hand knitted shawl with a ribbon tie named Blackcap Shawl.


 It kind of reminded us of a black raspberry. In rural New Jersey, where we both were raised, you could fine wild berries growing all around. We would pick them and make pies or just eat them. The black bears like them too. So that is the setting and animal I thought I'd use for this one...

 
And this is the finished illustration...

 
Here is a closer view...
 
 
Here is junior bear gobbling up all the berries in reach...


 
If you would like a copy of this illustration or any others, we have prints for sale in our Etsy store.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Website Spot Illustrations

I thought I would show some various spot illustrations I made for our original website. We thought it would be neat to have a picture for each of our tabs for our children's books.


Here is Phoebe typing, we had that on our original 'Phoebe on the Road' blog where we had photos of the Phoebe knit doll from around the world and in interesting places.
 
 
This was for our book signing calendar...
 
 
This one didn't make the cut so it didn't get finished...
 
 
The dog is like an old time phone operator. We used this for 'contact'.
 
 
This one is on our order forms...
 
 
Most of these are still being used on our current site: www.slatefallspressbooks.com.
 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Colorado Rocky Mountain Mural

I was asked if I could paint the Colorado Rocky Mountains on two, textured walls in an office area with a few corners and doors. The project needed to be completed within 3 weeks. So, as usual, I quickly started out with a sketch....

 
After I sketched it onto the wall with charcoal I began with a faded sky...
 

Then four different base colors for the mountains....
 
 
 Then the foothills...
 

 
Shaded the clouds, added some trees and dimension and it's finished.
 
 
 I used latex paints. They worked well because they don't have strong fumes as I had to work around the receptionists.

 
  It was hard to get a photo of the whole scene, this one gives the best view of most of the layout.
 
 
 Here are some detail shots...
 


There were many outlets and vents I tried to hide in the scene...


 

 I was able to complete it in only six work days, well ahead of schedule!