Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dr. Dolittle and the Horse


This piece is for a notecard contest for the SCBWI of Central/Southern Ohio. 

In this scene, Dr. Dolittle's parrot, Polynesia, has already taught him how to speak to animals and this horse was able to explain that he simply needed glasses. It is done in oils but I went in afterwards (side note: afterward and afterwards are both correct as far as Webster dictionary is concerned, in case you wondered about that, which I did) and made a few adjustments digitally. I made the dog a little bigger, the parrot a little smaller, added the light beam pouring out of the lamp, and a few other minor, nit-picky things 'cause that's how I am - nit-picky. 

I have to share a moment of shock I experienced as I was reading "The Story of Dr. Dolittle." There is a scene where the doctor and several of his animal companions are crossing the ocean to Africa where a terrible illness has befallen the monkeys living there. One of his companions, Dub-Dub the duck to be exact, dives into the water, behind the ship, in search of herrings for food so that there BEEF supply will last longer. WHAT!?!? Does Dr. Dolittle eat animals he can talk to?!?! I am a vegan, so, of course these words are going to jump out at me and freak me out. I just wonder what the rest of the population thinks. 

And then there's Prince Bumpo - an African prince who wishes he was white to gain the affections of Sleeping Beauty. What!?!? I'm imagining this book would not make it to print in this century .(Thank goodness). To the doctor's credit, he felt that Prince Bumpo looked fine just the way he was, but . . . wow. 

The Dr. Dolittle I've painted is a vegetarian. He loves and respects all animals and people and doesn't eat or bother any of them.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A peek into my studio


     I don't have a completed piece to share with you this week but I have been hard at work on a couple of projects.
     The upper piece-in-progress is a scene from "The Story of Dr. Dolittle." I'm doing it for a notecard contest for the Central and Southern Ohio SCBWI. I think I'm going to work on two or three more compositions for the same book as portfolio pieces.
     The bottom piece-in-progress is page 11 of "The First Pearl". With the exception of the Dr. Dolittle side project I have done a good job of staying focused on this dummy book.
     Below is the view from my art table with the pages I've done so far. This is keeping me motivated. I want to see the whole thing come together!!!


    Have a great week!


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Seahorse

   
     Here's a close up of what will eventually be page 10 of my picture book. Originally his name was Quin. It was suggested to me that the names be dropped out of the manuscript so now he's just Seahorse. Poor guy. In my heart he'll always be Quin.
     Last week my husband put up an 8'x4'  styrofoam wall so that I could pin up the story pages as I go. I now have a chance to study them at once, look for inconsistencies and come up with more ideas and improvements. It made all the difference in the world. Also, seeing my page spreads go up one by one is motivating. My goal is to have all the layouts and first coats of paint done by the end of August. We'll see. There are some pages coming up that are going to be a challenge.
     I hope to have another detail to share next Wednesday. Have a good week!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

First page First Pearl


     The little guy in this painting is Nac. He's an oyster and he's being awakened by the moon. I've known him for about 18 years now, so he's well overdue for the work I'm about to put into him. He has been patient.
      With my art studio back together after a refreshing paint job, I am able to use my oil paints again and spread my work area out a bit more. I think oils are my thing. I've said that before but then get distracted with digital work and play around with other media. That's all fine, but I lose focus. Focus, Tracy! Focus!
   

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Celebrate


     I did this for the monthly SCBWI bulletin contest with the word prompt - Celebrate.
     I started digitally, which you can check out 2 posts ago, then decided I wanted switch to a loose pen and ink with some watercolor washes. I am so used to being able to paint over a mistake or hit the "undo" button, (how did humanity exist before there were undo buttons?) that it's very stressful to work on paper like that. When I had the pencil drawing done I was so terrified to mess up the ink, my hand trembled at times. While I applied the first layer of watercolors over the ink drawing, which was not messed up yet, I provided myself a steady stream of pep talk, a few coffee breaks, (decaf) and some yoga stretches. 
     The trouble is, I'm out of practice with that kind of thing. I've been an artist for many years but I've become too reliant on "undo".  Does anyone else out there ever expect autocorrect to help you out with spelling when you're writing with pen and paper? Is it just me? 
     

Monday, July 17, 2017

Illustration Friday - Ice Cream


     This one is thrown in just for fun. On Friday I was under doctor's orders to lay on the couch!!! I had two wisdom teeth removed so nothing serious, but when a doctor tells me to stay on the couch, on the couch I stay. Yay!!!! I sat there with a book to read, my sketchbook and my ipad and it was pretty heavenly. I thought it would be a good day to purchase the Procreate App and view some tutorials on how it works and do some playing. The Illustration Friday word prompt this week is ice cream so here's some ice cream done on my ipad with Procreate. (I'm a vegan so this ice cream is almond based, or coconut, or cashew).