Monday, August 20, 2018

Boy, it just seems like icons are dropping like flies. Aretha is my wife's favorite singer, so I had to do a tribute illustration to her. It was done in Photoshop using a fake scratchboard technique I've been playing with.

When I haven't been spending time honoring heroes, I've been busy with more safety posters for Eat N Park restaurants. They wanted a superhero character, so I suggested rendering it like a comic book and my client went for it.

But I'm back to doing the regular style for the rest of the posters.

I've been purchasing traditional art materials, paints, inks, pens, pencils, etc., since last November and have yet to use any of them. Gotta sit down with a sketch pad and some of the new stuff.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Work in the studio is picking up, knock on wood. It occurred to me this morning that illustration students are always taught to pick a style and go with it. I've never been able to do that. I find the challenge of trying different styles irresistible. I mean, I wouldn't eat the same thing every day, so why do the same art every day?  Anyway, to illustrate that, so to speak, these pieces were all done this week:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

So, this painting won the Painting Award at the Westmoreland Art Nationals this weekend. Which is very confusing because I'd already won that award at that show for this painting -

Turns out, the same collection of artwork is displayed in two different venues and they do a different judging with different judges at each one. Weird, right?

Anyway, I'm very proud of the awards. I guess since I keep winning awards at it I should do more of this painting thing.

What I'm working on now is an experiment. I haven't used gouache paint since art school, where I remember being frustrated by it. So, I'm going to try a gouache painting of this sketch to see if I'm any better at it 45 years later. Also, why is gouache so damned hard to spell?

Keep your fingers crossed. It's too hard for me to paint with mine crossed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Had a blast turning out this new poster for Eat n Park Hospitality Group. I sure wish another client would pick up on this style so I can have even more fun.

Back in the day, when I was rendering these with fountain pens and ink, I did a ton of this pseudo woodcut look. It was big fun to draw, kind of like solving a puzzle.

This was the first product from Alcoa, an aluminum tea kettle.

And I'm entering this 2'x2' oil on panel painting into a show today. Gonna leave a big empty space on the diningroom wall.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wow, I went from being so slammed with work I couldn't sleep to having so little work I can't sleep. You'd think after 40 years of this I'd be used to the ups and downs, but, sadly, no.

Anyway, I have had some work in the studio to keep me out of mischief.

I got to do another in the series of posters for Eat N Park Hospitality Group. These are in-house safety posters using the department head VPs as the subjects. My client said they're so popular that people are vying to be on the next one each month.

This is a vector logo I drew for my friends' series of how-to classes. They make the best stuff out of what you would think is junk. Very cool stuff.

Capitalizing on the new technique I'm using for the safety posters, I drew (painted?) this sample to send to my publisher, Penguin Random House, to try to get to do the covers for the books I illustrate the interiors of. No dice. I've never seen anything as compartmentalized as the publishing world.

And, lastly, these are some of the finished illustrations for the bio of Nikola Tesla I'm working on. Can you tell I'm having big fun?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Busy busy busy

Wow, another unintentionally long hiatus from posting. Until recently, it has been chaos in the studio working as fast as I could on all kinds of fun, interesting projects. Now, it's quiet again and I'll have a few days before the panic sets in that I don't have any work. "Gee, that looks like a good dumpster to live out of."

Four months ago I was approached by Eat n Park Hospitality Group to do some safety posters for in-house use. They sent me some samples of the style they were looking for and asked if I could do it. The pieces they sent were all 80s airbrush work and it took me a while to figure out how to pull them off in Photoshop. The fun twist is that they wanted the faces of their various VPs on the posters. It's a fun series to work on and I can't wait to start the next one. They are so popular amongst their people that VPs are vying for their own poster.

Another fun project I'm still working on is another book for Penguin Random House, Who Was Nikola Tesla. Who doesn't love Nikola Tesla?

This comic book project was insanely fun. A lot of it had to be drawn so as to be animated, which made for quite a chore keeping layers labeled. Can't wait to see the animations and printed comic.

This was an oil painting commission for Christmas. The client wanted a portrait of their deceased dog in a copy of Wyeth's Christine's World. Quite a challenge since Christine's World is a very large egg-tempera painting and this is an 11x14" oil on paper. Still, I'm very happy with the finished painting. And so is the client, which is what matters.

I somehow found time to squeeze in this full-page illustration for a gardening magazine. Some stuff is just too fun to pass up.

And, finally, I attended a WPaSCBWI event on picture books and spent the day listening to interesting lectures and doodling. It's what I do.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Yikes, it's been a long time since I've been here. It's been slow in the studio so I've been working on some personal projects. Take a look:

An oil on canvas painting of my wife in her happy place.

An oil on paper painting of Edward Pigford, Pittsburgh resident and survivor of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Her returned to Pittsburgh after the battle and spent his later years trading his story for drinks in taverns. Unfortunately, I was too busy in the studio to get this done for the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators show in time. Oh well, at least it's a good sample.

I've always loved drawing with pen and ink. I have a HUGE collection of fountain pens from when I used to draw on paper. I wanted to see if I could get the same feel digitally and I'm pretty happy with how this Photoshop rendering came out.

Of course, I couldn't resist adding color to my line art. The color was done in ArtRage5. If you haven't tried that program you don't know what you're missing.

This painting of Puddles Pity Party was started before he wound up on America's Got Talent. BTW, why isn't it called America Has Talent? Wouldn't that be easier on the tongue? Anyway, it's oil on paper, which is a technique I'm really enjoying.