Monday, February 9, 2015

Latest Book, "Emiline"

Man its been a long time since I posted anything here, with Facebook, instagram and all the other social media sites its hard to stay on track and keep those who might be interested up to date with what I am up to. 2014 was a very busy year, too many projects, too little time.
I finally finished my latest book, "Emiline" a great story about a black woman from the 1800's who despite being born a free woman, had to sue for her freedom in Texas. This painting will grace the cover of the book.
I really wanted to illustrate this book, I almost didn't get to do it, hard negotiations finally worked out and I got the go ahead to do the paintings, the models are local friends and neighbors who willingly agreed to give their time for the project.
The story is very touching, from a 10 yr old girls perspective dealing with a serious subject. The paintings, looking back now, turned out well for the most part, like always I suppose I would change a few things or recompose this and that but... I won't be afforded that opportunity for now, such is the life of the illustrator and his deadline...

I'll let you know when it comes out but for now, enjoy the cover...


Friday, June 6, 2014

Rainbow Trout

I've been working on a series of trout in the net paintings, not for anything special but just because I really like they way they look, a few years ago we fished all summer for a really big cutthroat trout on the Teton River, one afternoon my son and I were floating and we stopped where this big fish liked to hang out, well long story short, I caught him... I took a photo of the fish laying in the net. The photo turned out really great and I thought at the time, "this would make great reference for an interesting painting" so I painted it and if you follow me you probably saw the painting, well here is the next painting in the series, a rainbow trout in the net, this fish my brother in law caught while fishing the South Fork of the Snake river. The next painting will be of a brown trout my son caught on the Henry's fork of the Snake river. Anyway, the paintings are great fun to make, the net is particularly challenging to paint, and I really I like how it turned out, I hope you agree. I'm going to sell prints of these paintings due to some interest, I'll post the details if you are interested.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sketch for painting

I do a fair amount of illustrations for Pheasants Forever magazine, this is a sketch for a painting for an upcoming story about hunting in Iowa, its a great story and was fun to come up with the sketches for the story. I use a fun process in Photoshop to do my sketches, I use an overlay layer filled with the color of my choice on a separate layer above the drawing layer, it gives the drawing this nice color that you can't get by just changing the color your drawing with. Anyway, just mixing it up a bit.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sams Secret Christmas, (my latest book)

On friday I finished my latest book, I have been working on this one day and night for a while now, I don't know why but deadlines seem to creep up before you know it and then... a disaster happens. Fortunately this one I was able to pull off, I only had to ask for a few extra days to finish it. Its another Christmas story written by the great author George Durrant. The story is a touching one that will pull at your heart strings, (It did mine) the characters were fun to try to capture and make feel like they fit the part of the book, the main character, Sam, takes a big jump in time so I had to find two models that I could use to try to make the jump. I really enjoyed illustrating this book, it seems that most of the paintings turned out good, I remember reading some thoughts that NC Wyeth wrote when he  finished painting the images for Treasure Island, he seemed to be satisfied with the work he had done on the project, I sort of feel the same way on this book, the paintings turned out good for all the right reasons. I am satisfied. Of course if I had time to make changes I'm sure I would find something to fix or change, but alas the deadline has come and gone and I am on to the next project, actually I'm going to take a few days off and do some yard work and boat work. The book will be out for Christmas of 2014, I hope it does well, it was like I said, very satisfying to work on. Here is one of the illustrations of the angry Sam. He eventually comes around to grateful, happy Sam.

One Little Match

One little match,(my latest book) came out in March, the designers did a great job putting the book together and the publishers did a great job with the printing, all in all the book looks great. I was glad to be part of such a great book by such a great author. You should all run right out and buy several dozen copies for all your friends and family. Here is a link to buy it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Newest book finally done

I finally finished the illustrations for my latest book, sorry for not posting for a while, I have been up to eyeballs with this project, short deadline, 15 paintings, mix in classes twice a week and you have a very busy schedule. I ended up doing two paintings a week for the book and fitting in the odd projects that came as well, I always say I do my best work when I am swamped and under tons of pressure and I am happy to say that the paintings turned out well, I still think if I had more time that I would make a few changes here and there, maybe work on the color or complete the environments a bit more, I guess that part of being an illustrator never goes away. I suppose that is a good thing to constantly want to make your work better but there comes a time when you have to say its done and send it off. Here is one of the paintings from the book, its the last scene, when the boys learn a hard lesson. I don't want to give up the story. The book comes out in the spring, its titled "One little match", I really had a great time working on it, great story, good characters…
anyway, hope you enjoy the painting.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eagle Paintings

Quite a while ago I posted a painting of an eagle, I have committed to paint 4 paintings for nephews earning their eagle award from the BSA. Here are paintings 2 and 3, one more to go... the paintings are small, 9x12 so in this smallish format I wanted to have fun with the brushes and marks that describe the form of the bird and environments. The colors were fun to play with here and there, the more I study about color the more fun I have just trying new things and trying to make progress as a painter, still my color has much room for improvement but every once in a while I paint something that makes me smile, not because it is a great painting but because I learned something and feel myself growing. This year I am 52 years old, I have been working as an illustrator for nearly 25 years, some days I feel like I have arrived and some days I feel irrelevant. I wish this roller coaster of emotion would smooth out and not be so dramatic, I still need to feel relevant and I still need to provide for a family, so that means I need to work for many more years, maybe not as long of hours but work none the less. I guess this process is called life, we learn, grow, increase, do, rinse and repeat, everyday  until we die. Sounds good to me as long as there is fishing mixed in here and there.
Here are the paintings.