Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"less is more" (but "way more" is fun!)

I do my best doodling when I am on the phone, or watching TV. Relative to drawing, I think sometimes the mind is less inhibited to conjure up fresh and unique visions when it is being distracted. By being on the phone or watching TV as your pen moves across the paper, you kind of fall into a "drawing auto-pilot" mode, wherein you begin spontaneously creating an image that you are not actually consciously aware of making... it just kind of appears. (case in point: visit the "other world sketches" portfolio section on my web site, to see all the "alien" doodles I created in this same manner.)

The other day I quickly made a little ball point pen doodle of a man smoking a pipe, riding atop a curly, fantastical bicycle contraption. And like most of the doodles I make, they are done on scraps of paper and on the backs of envelopes, so inevitably they get thrown in the trash... But I remembered making the "bicycle" doodle, and liked it, so a couple days later I then used a red crayon and a ball point pen to quickly recreate the original doodle, and again drew a man with the pipe riding the fantastical bicycle. I was careful to keep it as crude and "un-rendered" as possible, to imbue this new image with a doodle-like sensibility. I then scanned the drawing into Photoshop, and added in the texture of the ground beneath the bicycle by grabbing a section from a previous illustration of mine which consisted of greenish-brown brush strokes with gouache, plus I also digitally drew in the thin looping line of the pipe smoke. Viola! (click on the image above to see the full view of it)

Visit my web site to view all my illustration samples, and make sure to see my recent works in the new stuff portfolio section.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What's Old is New Again... (with a twist)

Q: How many years have I been an illustrator?

Hint: A lot! I started my career as an illustrator before there were cell phones, the internet, fax machines, and personal computers... and it also was slightly before Ronald Reagan first became President!

A: 2012 will be my 30th year in the illustration biz! Actually I first started my illustration career 33 years ago, but I dropped out for a few years when I was in my late twenties to work in the golf business. (It's a long story... but it ultimately resulted in my other web site, which was launched in 2010, Take a look!)

Very early in my illustration career, the images I created were psychologically darker and more reality-based in execution compared to the lighter and more whimsical illustration style I am known for today, especially with all the children's picture books I do. (visit my web site and click on the "old is new" tab in the bottom menu bar, to see a few samples of work from very early in my career)

Just recently I started creating some new illustration imagery that stylistically looks much more like the works I created very early in my career... meaning that these new images are also darker in mood and more reality-based in execution. Posted here are some of these new images of mine... from the new portfolio section on my web site named: new stuff, highlighted by one image which is for the February 2012 cover of Harper's magazine, done through famed industry designer Roger Black. (see previous post on the creation of this cover assignment project.) It's the image of the corporate giant devouring his competition.

So, what's old can be new again, in the sense that I am beginning to develop new horizons with my illustration work by using similar style techniques I first used many years ago. The difference? These new illustrations are better looking, smarter and more colorful! The great thing about being an artist, is that you actually do get better with age... Thank goodness I was not a professional basketball player making millions upon millions of dollars whose career ended at age 35! (I wish!)

Visit to view all my portfolios, and see a sneak peek at my latest illustrated children's picture book, Brothers At Bat (to be released in spring 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by clicking on the featured book section within the kids' books portfolio.

The Airship Designer    visit
The Monopoly   visit
The Match   visit

Abe Lincoln was a Biker   visit

  Sherlock Holmes using an iPad   visit

Mr. Tommy Gun   visit
The Setback   visit
Left Brain, Right Brain   visit