Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Creating Eric's Adjustable Drawing Board

Since I made my Illustrating Animal Characters class on Craftsy a lot of people have asked me where I got my drawing board.
It all began after finishing the illustrations for our book, Phoebe's Sweater. I was working at my drafting table and my neck was in pain after all the hours I spent leaning over my work. I tried looking around for a drawing board that would be more comfortable but couldn't find anything. So I came up with this simple design so I would be able to sit up straight at my table and work. I originally built it out of random scraps of wood I had in my shop.
I decided to make a digital pattern that you can find at Craftsy or our Etsy store, so you can build your very own. You could customize it to your liking. You could also use this for books, laptops, or tablets too. It should only cost under $20 to make. I made them for my kids also.

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:
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!