Friday, March 25, 2016

Project: Design 100 Kindergarteners

Last year, Jake Parker issued a challenge to Design 100 Somethings (here's his youtube video: I am intrigued. My illustrator friend, Jill Bergman, designed 100 trees in 100 days (find them here: She may or may not have heard about Jake's challenge, but regardless, her collection is impressive.

Since I've thought about experimenting stylistically anyway, here goes. Jake encourages specificity to push creativity, and suggested we use a medium we're less comfortable with. My subject is 100 Kindergarteners. (It might not be as specific as Jake asks, but I love the idea and I'm gonna do it since kids are my favorite thing to draw.) I'll be using a quill pen and watercolor. Long ago before one of our many moves, I purchased a quill pen set and ink for experimentation. Now it's high time to actually use the stuff. And once upon a time, I only painted with watercolor - but that was once upon a time and the disuse is highly evident! But I'm in love with how watercolor mingles and pools, so here we go with #1. Also, I don't plan on one a day; just when I have some time.

My goal is to be messy and less precise. Today I achieved this in some ways more than I hoped for. But I plan to showcase this project without altering it in Painter to show my progression.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sweet Love

Here's an illustration I started back in February and finished today. (Maybe.) It was intended for the 3rd Thursday competition, but a few complications deterred me and I opted for the blue lovesick pig I posted earlier. Now that I've fixed most of the complications, I unveil the illustration for your notice.

This color palette feels luxurious to work with and all that candy was a treat to paint. It was tricky  making sure it didn't overwhelm the pig, since he is the focal point. The tree was similar - making sure it looked like a tree at night without stealing attention away from her. I'm mostly happy with how it turned out. The only concern I have is about the perspective. Technically it works in my thumbnails, but I still feel like something isn't quite right. If you have any ideas, my ears are open!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mischief at Show & Tell

Will there be an end to the mischief this naughty bear can make? And how long can his little friend work with it?

This was created for March's SVS challenge: Haven brought it to Show & Tell . . . even though she never got permission. I hope you like it!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Trip to the Movies

I've added a trip to the movies to my girl and bear collection. It still has a few things that need work, but I'm going to let the illustration germinate to help me better isolate what really needs doing. My biggest problem was that I'd made it really dark (almost twice as dark as what you see). Since Will Terry warns that a lot of editors get scared by anything too dark, I lightened the whole thing. Now it might be too washed out. Do you have an opinion?

And here's an earlier version of the same idea. I liked where it was headed but wasn't satisfied with certain aspects - especially that the girl didn't look enough like the original girl playing hangman. After working it to what you see below, I took my crash course and began trying a lot of new ideas. Which led me to create the illustration where they read together (see a few blog posts down). I liked its more subdued feeling, and it led me to rework the movies (and hangman) to fit.