Paris Hilton Angel
Monday, December 31, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I just completed a new painting for a group show with the Three Rivers Artist Guild. The show is entitled The Art of Food, and I've been chairing the committee to get the show organized. I had ambitious ideas about a painting of a sushi chef I know who works at the local Market of Choice, but in a pinch, I ended up doing this variation on a still life. I am intrigued with bentos in general because they are, inherently, works of art. This is a fantasy bento--rather than painting one from real life, I looked at hundreds of photos of bentos and chose the contents I thought were most beautiful in combination with each other. The painting is acrylic on canvas board, 12 x 9 inches unframed. A painting like this takes me at least 20 hours, not including the time spent researching/referencing and composing the sketch. I'm quite happy with the finished painting.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
You can see Barb's awesome paintings at http://www.barbarahallblumer.blogspot.com/
I've been busy working on my book of poems, as well as getting a new wall and flooring put in to make my studio fabulous. I'll post pictures when the work's all done.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Stage 1 (above) was the thumbnail sketch. Here you see the main elements--the three cats peering into the hollow tree. This thumbnail was done with tracing paper and a pencil, then marker over top that.
Above, you see a more finished sketch. Here we have all of the characters taking shape. This sketch was created on a large sketchpad with colored pencil, then revised several times with tracing paper.
Above is the value study. This was completed with color pencil on white paper. I had a really tough time with this stage.
Finally, the finished art begins to emerge. Painted on Bristol Board using acrylics. The light still isn't quite right, and the highlights need to be put in on the cats, but I like the way the scene has come together. Also, you can see the color palate I would work with for the entire book. Will this ever be a book? Depends on my ability to pitch it to a publisher. I think I'll have an easier time with it if I already have a few books under my belt.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
I need to make the wedding party smaller to increase the sense of height in the room and not make the bugs seem out of proportion with the cats. I like how one of the cats is looking at the reader. I learned this is called a "cheat." I wanted to make sure the reader understood these figures as cats.
The next scene I am definitely doing is the proposal scene. I started by creating the finished sketch/value study for the protrait of Uncle Rat. Then I will do the scene with Froggy and Miss Mousie. One of the things this stage requires is fully developing the characters. I had to think about Uncle Rat. I want him to look stern and vaguely threatening in the portrait, yet still a bit comical, so he isn't terrifying. I'm pretty happy with this drawing:
I like how Uncle Rat is holding sheaves of wheat. I have decided he is a miller. Portraits done in the 1700s often showed a clue about the person's profession. I based this portrait on a few done in the late 1700s. I'll scan them in later to show here on the blog.
Next stage will be to do the scene with Froggy and Miss Mousie (see post below for explanation of how this spread will be laid out).
The text for this sketch was: "He took Miss Mousie on his knee and said Miss Mousie will you marry me. Without my uncle Rat's consent, I wouldn't marry the president."
This was the only one of my three sketches that was really well-received. I had to agree, because the other two were just causing me all kinds of problems (as you will see later). The guys thought this sketch was good "storytelling," and they liked how I introduced Uncle Rat in the scene by way of the portrait. Their main suggestions were: crop the image to get closer, have the portrait spotlighted on the facing page, and only show a portion of it in the larger image. Here is the sketch the guys suggested:
The next scene I chose was: "Where should the wedding supper be, way down yonder in the hollow tree." I didn't hate this sketch--it has a nice layout, I think. The guys, however, felt it missed the main point of the text, which was to introduce the Hollow Tree--the scene for most of the action in the story. Here's the layout they suggested, which really shows the tree as a destination. One of the amazing things about my teachers is that they can come up with amazing visual problem solving on the spot.
I'm not even going to show the third scene because the issues are so similar to what I just showed in the Hollow Tree scene. I need to focus on the storytelling a little more and think about what I really want to say with layout.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Rojankovsky was a Russian who was obviously influenced by folk art. I believe my tastes were influenced by him at an early age, both directly and indirectly. Many of the books I loved that were published in the 70s took their cue from his line-heavy work; loose, rangy rendering; and flat perspective. Other books that came after that rely on this style include Just Right by Lilian Moore with illustrations by Aldren Watson and The Fox illustrated by Peter Spier (also a Caldecott winner). Rojankovsky also reminds me of the work of Roger DuVoisin, but DuVoisin worked earlier and contemporaneously with Rojankovsky, and the two must have been aware of each other.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
In this version, the cat and his two cronies watch the procedings from outside. They are strategizing their attack. I like this version because it emphasizes their role as soldiers.
This version of before is probably better. The composition is more interesting. It emphasizes the "catness" of the villains rather than the "soldierness."
In this sketch, Mrs. Cow flees in horror as the old gray cat eats Miss Mousie (left), and the cat cronies hold Froggy pinned by their bayonets.
Froggy, having escaped, is running away, while one cat tries to shoot him with a musket.
Monday, April 30, 2007
I'm setting the story in Revolutionary War America. The frog's outfit is supposed to look like Paul Revere. I didn't really like this layout, but every single person I asked picked it.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
This may be crazy, but we are hanging work at eye-level for kids, so they can actually get up close and see the work (a few exceptions--ceramics, textiles). I want this to be a place designed for kids.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
This is Picolo, her little frog. One person said, "Alligators eat frogs." I think Estrella may be a vegetarian, possibly an activist on behalf of PETA. I mean, she must be opposed to using Alligator skin for clothes, shoes, bags.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Inspirations for Estrella include Peggy Guggenheim, Kelly Osbourne, Paris Hilton, Marjorie Meriweather Post, and Lili Pulitzer.
Her little frog is her vanity pet. I'm thinking his name is Picolo. I'm working on painting them in acrylic right now to work out some of the details and colors. One thing I'm thinking about is whether I want to do my illustrations in ink or in paint. I will have to try both f0r a while to see what I like best.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I thought the Forest Princess would be the hardest. She was actually one of the easier characters to render, but the medium, pure pen and ink, was brutal. I had no way to cover up my mistakes.
Sendrak the sorcerer was the most fun character. His whimsical hat and shoes and the little stars on his coat really appealed to me.
Stamp-collecting trollusk makes me laugh just looking at him. Working on this drawing, I felt Mercer Mayer is probably the best illustrator of all that I picked because his line-work is so precise. My version is much sloppier than his because I don't have the practice/patience to make mine line up just so.
This is the character I don't like--Critter from Mercer Mayer's Little Critter series. After drawing him, I decided he's really not so bad, but I really don't like the overall art in the books. Maybe it's too cartoonish, too bland, to representational.
What I learned: In every single case, the quality/style of the black outlines was the number one most important element. For the Stamp Collecting Trollusk, I had to try three different black pens to get it right. You can see where I started with too thick of a pen on the trollusk's ear. Yet that same thick pen was perfect for Mayer's Critter.
I also learned that I'm a better renderer than I thought. The more I did, the faster it went and the more confident I became. This was a valuable exercise.