Digital illustration of a few samples of north american wildlife created for Red Wolf Sanctuary. This art will be produced as wine labels for bottles of wine which will be sold and the proceeds used to benefit the sanctuary. This has been one of my favorite projects to work on. I appreciate the work the sanctuary does to preserve and protect our North American wildlife.
An illustration I created for Jack and Jill magazine for their “Pen in Hand” department while I worked as their art director. This was a reader-submitted story that we illustrated and published in the November/December 2013 issue.
One of the requirements was to incorporate some kind of activity into the illustration. For this one, we asked that the reader find the six hidden hockey stick shapes within the illustration. Can you find them?
We finally got Kash the kangaroo fleshed out and finalized. This is the mascot for a local bank who wanted to use Kash on their promotional and marketing materials. This is a good demonstration of character consistency and action poses for character development and illustration.
As most freelance artists do, I sometimes find it necessary to take work that’s off the beaten path (in terms of my normal subject matter and style) in order to help make ends meet. The house rendering below is one of those jobs, and one that I hope will become fairly regular.
I’ve been working with house designer Dan Jones, of Dan R Jones Design, to develop a style for rendering his custom house designs for presentation to his clients. He provides the elevation drawings, and I add the fluff.
If things go well, this could turn into repeat business, which is good. I’ve developed a digital but artistic style that I think works well for this application. I’m working in Adobe Photoshop, and I’ve created multiple custom brushes and stock landscaping elements to help expedite the process. I’m also working on multiple layers so that I can make color changes and other modifications without too much trouble.
You saw the sketch of this in my last post, so here is the full-color version. I illustrated this for a children’s book spread with an 8 x 10 inch page size. I’ve also included a version with the text mocked up so you can see how the composition has to allow for narrative text.
The creative process differs somewhat from artist to artist, but here is an example of mine. I’ve chosen the story of Little Red Riding Hood to work with to demonstrate my abilities in conveying narrative, action, emotion, and consistent character development in my illustrations.
These are different from some of my other sketches as these have been created digitally in Adobe Photoshop. So far, I think I like the digital process in my sketch work. I notice that as I go along, the sketches are getting tighter and tighter. That is fine for me for now as I don’t answer to a client on this one. Generally, of course, I would submit rougher sketches, much like the second image with Red and the wolf in the woods. I would get approval on that before moving forward with tighter sketches.
The VERY rough sketch below is an example of the first step in my creative process, using traditional pencil and paper. I scribble out these just to get a basic idea of what I might want the characters to look like and what scenes I might want to include. These are so rough that they would never be seen by a client.
Keep tuned in to see how the work progresses from here.
If you have been following my blog, you know that I’ve succeeded in getting my website up and going, and I’ve also developed tearsheets and a beginning marketing campaign to send out for initial publishing contacts. I feel good about what I’ve accomplished, and while I think my portfolio is pretty strong, all this time, there’s been this niggly little feeling that it could be stronger.
Now that things have slowed down just a bit, I’ve had a chance to re-evaluate my work and see where it could use some improvement–particularly in the children’s book department.
In my research, I’ve found that children’s book publishers want to see four main elements in an illustrator’s portfolio:
While I have illustrated children’s books before, and I accomplished those four goals in one style, I haven’t quite had the opportunity to demonstrate my narrative skill in the style that I’m currently pushing. In order to show narrative, you have to show you can illustrate a storyline. I don’t have a current “storyline” in the works, so I’ve decided to work with a traditional “Little Red Riding Hood” narrative.
Everyone knows the story of “Little Red Riding Hood,” so any publisher should be able to tell how well I can illustrate that narrative. There’s also plenty of opportunity for action and expression. I don’t plan on illustrating the whole story but maybe three or four action scenes. That should show my consistency in character, expression, action, and narrative.
Here is the first rough sketch. (I usually do my initial sketches with traditional pencil and paper, but this time I’m experimenting with creating my rough sketches digitally. This is my first shot at it. It’s taking some getting used to, but all-in-all, I think I’ll like the process.)
I’m going to add some more little animals showing alarm and fear, and I’ve also left room at the lower left to insert text for the story. This will be a two-page spread.
I just received the printed samples of Life+Dog Magazine published this month. I’m so pleased with the results! For an illustrator or graphic designer, there’s really nothing more fulfilling than seeing your own work in print, especially in such a nice publication. The printing, photography, and layout are exceptional. (My photos don’t do the magazine justice as I’m not a professional photographer.)
In any case, thank you to publisher Brett Chisholm and the rest of the staff for their hard work!