Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Original Claw-Foot Bath

8 x 10 acrylic on canvas

     This began as a scribble in one of my sketchbooks - a child in a claw foot tub with way more of the lion present than just its feet. Here it is, innocent enough: 

     I worked on a better rendering and ended up with a disturbing image of a lion with a giant hole carved into his back so that a child could bathe there. Ugh! Who wants to see that? Maybe you did, so I apologize. It was digital and I tossed it into cyber trash. I ended up changing it to a WHOLE lion who simply allows a child, a cave-child, to bathe upon him. (Lions were much more docile thousands of years ago.)
     Also, originally, the child's head was just tipped back with a look of bliss. That changed too. Six days ago I started, as I had done in 2012, to do a sketch-a-day. I am going to do a small sketch each morning while I have my coffee. I own a book full of nothing but facial expressions, so for the time being, I'm practicing from that. Here's the first 4 days: 

And there it was on June 19th! The expression I wanted on the kid taking his bath.  Isn't it awesome how things just fall into place once in a while?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Magic Bookcase

     This is an idea that started to form about 5 years ago in my sketch-a-day book. I was participating in Illustration Friday and the word prompt for the week was EXPLORE.
     In the image below, the top drawing is that first idea and the sketch underneath it is from my current sketchbook and was done just a couple of weeks ago:

I then did a more finished drawing and scanned it into the computer to do a value study:
From there I did a watercolor:

      and then scanned this into the computer and did all the digital enhancements that you see at the top of the page.

     The image at the top is really only half way there. I'd like to expand the bookcase to the 3 sections that you see in my sketchbook drawing and then do the whole thing as an oil painting. Could be a while so I don't want anyone out there holding their breath or anything. It's taken 5 years just to get this far! Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Works in Progress, etc.

     With the exception of the two weeks that coincided with my trip to Cuba, I have posted a blog every Wednesday. It was a resolution I set at the beginning of the year. Most of my resolutions fizzle around March so I have to say I'm pretty happy with myself. (If I were texting, I'd insert a smiley emoji here). Some of my posts were only at until I figured that it would be in my best interest to post the same blog in both places.
     Yesterday I realized that, although I've been putting in the hours this last week, most of it has been in sketchbooks and working out ideas for future work. So, I piled some of the things I've been up to on my art table and took a photo. I'm painting backgrounds for my story "The First Pearl," I'm working on characters to insert into those backgrounds, I'm working on a new illustration idea (the bookshelf) and I did a caricature portrait of my nephew for his 26th birthday. 
     I should have something a little more fancy for you next week, so please check back with me. You can count on me to have something. Have a good week!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


     My mermaid arrived! I was so pleased with the background that I was afraid of messing it up with a crummy mermaid. Haha! But I ended up happy with her as well. I darkened the water to give the illustration a bit more of a dramatic look. What a challenge! I'm happy I got it done before the end of the MerMay month.
     I'm also going to share with you a little excerpt from a story, in verse, I was working on about a year ago that is also about a mermaid. Now that I'm a year removed from it I can see where it needs more work. But for what it's worth, here's how it began.

We built castles of sand. We splashed in the sea.
We were on an adventure, my parents and me.

But my folks tuckered out, and I really can't say
Why they'd rather read books and waste half of the day.

Soon my mom fell asleep and Dad started to snore.
So I sat by myself looking out from the shore.

Far out in the sea, I noticed a flash,
A sparkling of silver, a spray, and a splash.

That's one whopping fish! It was huge! It was strong!
But as it got closer, I saw I was wrong.

It swam steadily toward me, and to my surprise
A girl broke the surface, long hair, and big eyes.

"Hello there!" she called. "Over here! Come and see!"
I glanced over my shoulder, responded, "who me?"

"Yes you, silly boy. Do you want to have fun?
Come away for the day. Let's escape from the sun."

So while my mom slept and my dad snored away
I walked into the waves with this girl, for the day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MerMay background

     I'm working on this in celebration of MerMay - a fun thing that a lot of illustrators are doing on Instagram. Some are posting a new mermaid every day! Today, I finally finished my mermaid's home and she should be showing up here by next Wednesday.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Serenity and Frog

     I've been working on a character page for my character Serenity and her frog. This is called "Love at First Sight." I made the frog more realistic looking and I think its working better for me, so I went back and redid the next piece of the pair all tucked in for the night.

This is what the first one looked like.

And here's one more character study -