Monday, April 30, 2007

Color Sketches

I've narrowed this week's assignment down to four sketches. I'm doing them in larger, color sketches now to see what appeals to me. I'm having a lot more trouble with this week than last week.
So far, I like the one above. Maybe because of the color combination. I thought, what if I make everything BUT the frog green so your eyes are drawn to his face.

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

Little Monkeys Gallery and Cafe at the Carnegie

This post and the next feature art from the new kids art gallery I'm working on. This is not all my art, folks. Just a few cityscapes from my O-Town series.

I spent most of Saturday haning art at the Little Monkeys Gallery and Cafe in the Carnegie Center. I've been working on this idea with Sascha Gordon-Manning since September, and we've finally got it going. We will be filling the space with art that is appealing to kids and families. The point is to make original art affordable for families, so parents can decorate their kids' rooms with original art--not mass produced stuff from Babies R Us. We've got it about 1/2 full right now. We'll be adding work throughout the month of May, and we'll have a big opening on June 9th. But you can go there now--anytime the Carnegie is open.

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

Need Some Feedback--1

This week, the assignment is to come up with 3 layouts for the same moment in a text. I have chosen "Froggie went a courtin' and he did ride." Please take a look at the 8 layouts and tell me which three you like best (or which 1 you like best).
Layout 6
Layout 7
Layout 8

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Need Some Feedback--2

Here are 5 more layouts. Please weigh in--which are your favorite?

Layout 1

Layout 2

Layout 3

Layout 4

Layout 5

Estrella in Paint

I couldn't get the whole painting scanned, so here are three different portions of it. Together, hopefully you can get the whole Estrella experience. She was well received in class, but the teacher critiqued (quite rightly) that I didn't really nail the quality of being "mischievous." I agree. She looks playful and mirthful, but not really mischievous.

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


I love my illustration class. I'm so excited about my new assignment. We each had to draw (at random) 4 slips of paper from a pile. Each slip had a different character trait or description on it. The assignment is to create a character that features each of the four traits. Here are the four I drew:



30 years old


I brainstormed quite a bit, and here's the lady I came up with:

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

Illustration Class Starts Tuesday

I've just started taking a class on illustrating children's books. The first assignment was to copy 4 characters that we like from other people's books, as well as 1 character that we don't like. Here are my offerings: Copying the baby from Binky turned out to be the hardest. I thought it would be the easiest. Getting just the right take on each black line was very difficult, and the subtleties of his body placement/gestures were very hard to capture.
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.

Friday, April 06, 2007


I am currently working on a collection of paintings inspired by my beloved Oregon City. This town is so full of quirky buildings and factories, and I've been dying to interpret them on canvas for a long time.

Pictured here are some of my favorites. I gifted them all--the big one to my dad, the smaller two to my friend April's little boy Tyler for his playroom.

Serene and Joyful

I decided to develop a collection based around the words "Serene" and "Joyful."

The collection featured natural elements, such as dogwood branches, dried berries, and fields of poppies.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I painted this mural for Duncan's room. We call the monkey Singe.

Some Pastels

Here are two of my favorite pastel drawings: Night and Planets.