Thursday, October 9, 2014

SCBWI Illustrator Retreat

Last weekend, I attended an illustration retreat at the Dumas Bay Centre in Federal Way, Washington. Organized by the SCBWI chapters from Western Washington and Oregon, the retreat was a weekend filled with delightfully challenging workshops led by Kelly Murphy and Sergio Ruzzier.

In addition to the great faculty, it was energizing and inspiring to be surrounded by the sixty or so other illustrators who attended. It was an incredible weekend and I feel honored to have had the chance to go. The fun of the retreat is over, but I'm excited to return to my troll hole and continue drawing and experimenting.

Here are a few paintings from one Kelly Murphy's workshops, which involved experimenting with color palettes.

Here are a few drawings from Sergio Ruzzier's workshops, which involved lots of inking and thinking.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SCBWI Summer Conference 2014

Happy autumn! I hope you've had a terrific summer, jam packed with all the people and places you enjoy! My summer was a busy one and it's taken me a little while to get around to blogging, but I'm excited to give you a quick update. 

At the beginning of August, I went to the SCBWI summer conference in LA, where I had the opportunity to meet many kind people and attend many helpful workshops. Here are a few highlights (in no particular order):

-It was encouraging to hear many successful authors and illustrators talk about persevering and working hard, I especially enjoyed hearing Stephen ChboskyTomie dePaola, and Meg Rosoff's thoughts on the subject. I also love this quote by Meg Rosoff: "Treasure your faults."

-This year, instead of attending the illustrator intensives, I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to the writer intensives, and I'm glad i did! At the two workshops I attended, by Andrea Welch and the another by Bruce Coville, I learned many useful techniques and ideas that I'm excited to apply to my writing.

-During Aaron Becker's workshop about developing his book Journey, he shared many insightful stories and sketches. At his keynote presentation, he taught the audience the vocals to the song "Don't Stop Believing" (by the band Journey) and we all sang together. 

-Here I am waiting in line with some great folks: Rodolfo Montalvo, Corinna Luyken, and Pat Cummings (I'm in the plaid shirt on the right). I wish I had photos of all the wonderful people I got to spend time with.

-Linda Sue Park shared many useful techniques for writing and editing.

-Peter Brown won a Golden Kite Award for his beautiful book, "Mr. Tiger Goes Wild." 

-And last, but not least, I walked a way with a stack of incredible business card art and postcard art, hooray!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Animation for Starbucks

Earlier this summer, I worked on a video to introduce Fizzio, Starbuck's new line of handcrafted sodas. I designed, illustrated, and animated all the visuals, which was a fun whirlwind of a process. Now that Fizzio has been unveiled to the world, I'm excited to be able to share the video with you:

Here are style frames I created at the beginning of the project to show the client two possible directions:

Thanks for taking a look!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wild West Parade

Howdy folks!

Here's a new illustration I call Wild West Parade. Below are close-ups and photos of the process. 

This is my line drawing, I transferred it onto watercolor paper to paint the final.

I setup a small model for lighting reference. Building the characters on push pins allowed me to easily reposition them on the foam board base.

To approximate a campfire, I whittled down a small tealight and wrapped the base in aluminum foil. The Sculpty hot dogs got too close and burned, but I lucked out and nothing else caught on fire.

I tried a few different color studies, I chose the layout that had white space in order to display the characters clearly.

I separated the elements and painted them on watercolor paper with acrylic paint. Then I scanned them and arranged them in Photoshop. This method allowed me flexibility to make changes quickly.

Thanks for visiting, happy trails!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Girl and the Heron King

Hello everyone!

It's been a busy month of painting, here's a new illustration I call Girl and the Heron King. Below are close-ups and photos of the process. 

Here are a few of my sketches. I wanted the girl to be riding a large majestic bird, a Great Blue Heron seemed like an ideal choice.

I built a model out of Sculpty, card stock, and paper towels to figure out lighting and perspective.

I did several color studies to decide what elements to use.

Cloud a Trader Joe's parking lot.

My final line drawing.

My palette when the painting was finished.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lucy's Tiger

Howdy folks!

Here's a new illustration I just finished, it's for a story I'm writing about a girl who likes to invent and build mechanical creatures and contraptions. Below are close-ups and photos of the process. 

My final line drawing, color study, and two value studies. For my first value study, I tried staging the scene at night with dark shadows. After thinking about color combinations, I chose bright lighting to showcase the characters and create an upbeat mood.

For lighting and drawing reference, I built a rough model. I used Sculpty, wire, aluminum foil, and bits of cardboard.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Keytar Panda

Howdy folks!

Here's a new illustration I just finished, I call it Keytar Panda. Below are close-ups and photos of the process. 

This is the sketchbook page that inspired the idea. I doodled it while on the phone, it's always fun to see what the brain throws out while it's distracted. 

I built a rough model for lighting and pose reference.

Tight-ish line drawing before painting. 

 Value and color studies. The rooster was originally a songbird, but it changed when I was painting these studies. I felt the rooster's bigger silhouette would be stronger and the bold dashes of red around it's face would be a good accent.

Thanks for visiting!