My Work in Progress

A sketchblog where I post a few of my scribbles from a variety of works-in-progress, usually from my rather random personal creativity outside of the daily grind. I occasionally, but not always, post the final artwork.


Happy Halloween 2009!

Busy, busy, busy! Still keeping my head to the drawing board -- for the most part wrapping up client projects, but that doesn't mean I'm also not working to get further along on my own various story projects and the portfolio updates (yay!).

To celebrate the day, I posted a quick Halloween concept -- as always, initial sketch is below and the color version at the top. Have a hauntingly happy All Hallow's Eve! :)


Dragon in the Rough

More character sketchings. The little group below is maybe a Selkie trying to protect a trio of water nymphs...or maybe they're mermaids; I haven't decided yet. Need to fix the Selkie tail; I haven't drawn a seal in a long while (hmm...not since high school I think) and didn't have a reference when I was sketching these, obviously -- ha. And another dragon attempt. Just keeping busy between other things for work.


More Sketchings: Fearful Fairies

Here are a couple of characters from "Some of My Favorite Things": Fairies and Fairy Tales. The rough sketches are part of an illustration that I've been working on for the past week, in-between other things (as usual). However, there's a Monday deadline for this particular little project so I'll be posting more stuff from this...eventually. :)


Quirky Chameleon

A different kind of character sketch, one from a series that I'm developing. I'll post the color version once I've had a chance to finish it. I seem to be surprisingly busy this week. Probably a good thing. :)

Tomorrow will be a focused day of drawing. The weather is supposed to be a bit stormy which is when I usually keep the computer shut off, and I have enough projects going on that will keep me sharpening my pencils at the drawing board. Don't like those power surges from lightening strikes, although I love a good and noisy thunderstorm. The nearby mountains make the thunder seem even louder here than in Texas, although I miss watching the rolling clouds approaching -- too many trees here crowd the sky. But I do like listening to them whisper when the wind blows, and the shade is definitely appreciated from the hot summer sun. Interesting creatures hide there, too; I sometimes see them on my daily walks. I'll have to post a few of the sketches that I've done of day.


IF: Hollow

I'd hoped to color the above sketch that I did for this week's IF "Hollow", but unfortunately work has kept me too busy to do that. However, I plan on getting back to it as soon as I have some free time again. :)


Artist in Retreat

I moved at the end of May to a location that I am currently calling my "Artist's Retreat", and that is where I settled in as of June 1st. Everything is still very green. I'm also surrounded by trees of all sorts, mostly pine and oak with a scattering of dogwood. The new environment is already being reflected in the art that I'm doing. The digitally colored illustration I posted above was inspired by the little tree-covered court in front of my new home; and includes a glimpse of one of the white-tailed deer that I see now and then in the late afternoon, early evening. The original blue pencil sketch that I did in my little black sketchbook is posted below.


Fairy Tale Progress: Puss in Boots

Spent a few hours yesterday and today sketching up and finishing a character concept for this week's CHOW over on Below is the line-art in pencil; the above is the "final" colored in Photoshop.


Gorgon: coloring in progress

Here is an update to one of the sketches that I originally did for a conceptart CHOW topic a few months ago (see, I told you there was opportunity for inspiration). Medusa, in case you can't tell. At this stage, I'd just erased her mouth in order to fix it a bit as I thought her upper lip was too short. I'm in the process of finalizing it so this is definitely an early "progress" image. It's also been posted in my CA sketchbook to hopefully get some feedback. :)


Character Design Concepts

One of my updated portfolio sections is for character design concepts. I've been pulling together various concepts that I've worked on for CHOW over on, even if I didn't have time to participate due to other projects. There's always a nice variation of character topics to be get inspired from in the community activities over on CA. I'm also adding characters from some of the concepts developed for picture books or other stories to show a good range of my character art development.

In any case, I'll be including a selection of initial sketches and turnarounds of various characters that I post, and then the final color concepts in that section of the Concept Art portfolio category. Much like what's included for a character sheet when developing characters from a comic book script. Which reminds me...back to work!


More sketchings

Studies of a character in progress. The plan is to finish this up over the weekend and then do the final selections of images for my updated portfolio.

I'm also in search of an art agent to work with me to expand my client list in childrens book publishing, and possibly additional companies that contract for product concept art development -- need to broaden my illustration and concept art markets!


Tree Studies

Did some tree "life studies" and a few quick sketches based on photos; and then scanned the drawings and put them on various layers in Photoshop...and eventually came up with this layout. This was one of the preliminary comps I did for the illustration I'm currently working on for "Winter's Daughter".


Kitten Studies

Some sketch studies of kittens I did for an illustration that I've been working on this week. My website is almost done (yeah, when it's work for myself I seldom make my own arbitrarily set deadlines...sigh) and will still be re-launching this week, although I didn't hit Monday.


Mouse Studies

I like mice. These three sketches are from a couple sets of mouse studies I did today. Pencil and Photoshop.


Queen Titania: Bits and Pieces

Here are a few sketches of my "Queen Titania" illustration in progress for CHOW 146. I just read that there has been a one day extension -- yay! I might actually have something to post for the CHOW Final Burning rather than holding off and posting in the CA Finally Finished section.

The rough layout posted below was finally sketched on paper after much internal sketching in my head. I just quickly put it all on paper in a rather rough layout sketch so I wouldn't forget the various groupings and characters I wanted to include to tell my story of Queen Titania since I was also working on a few other things this past week.
The top drawing and the "fox and hounds" at the bottom are some of the final bits I'm still wrapping up before pulling all of the elements together and coloring them in Photoshop...

For the final drawings I'm working with a 2H pencil to do a quick overall layout, then go to an HB pencil for detail, and finishing up with a 4B pencil for outlining.


Extra-curricular for the Week

Here are a couple of preliminary sketch explorations for this week's creative extra-curricular activity: CHOW 146 -- Queen Titania.

Having a bit of buggy-ness with the revised code in my website update...hope to have that fixed in the next few days while I continue to work on a few other items on my studio "to-do" list.


Illustration Friday: Climbing

This past week's Illustration Friday word was "climbing".

At first I thought about sketching one of the many kinds of climbing that I've done when I was a kid (mostly trees). But likely because I did some concepts based on McCaffrey's Pern last month, I was inspired to do a quick illustration of Menolly (from the book Dragonsong)
climbing up the cliffs in order to rescue the fire lizard clutch from the sudden high tides covering the small beach below.

And here's the original sketch I did before coloring in Photoshop 7:
(sketching - about 1/2 hr.; painting - 1 hr)


Random sketchings for the New Year

I've posted a few rough sketches from my sketchbook done in the past month.

I've been in the middle of artwork for an upcoming
SCBWI local meeting to pull together a promotional dummy book for critique and review. It's been awhile since I've gone so I'm looking forward to checking it all out again and meeting some of the local childrens book writers (and hopefully, illustrators!). I've also been rather busy creating some new administrative forms for my "illustration studio" using the Art Office book as a guideline, as I've been
recreating the forms in Illustrator, with much customizing targeted to my own use and the type of projects that I currently do rather than focusing on gallery work: book illustration, product design concept art (specializing in Christmas) and so on.

Of course, I have various other creative projects going on as usual...and, once again, it's past time to update that online portfolio/website of mine -- the deadline is January 31! :)


Concept Art and Massive Black 2009 Workshop: Dallas!

I just posted this over on the Dallas Sketchgroup blog, but it's totally worth posting about twice! :) Four days of art and creativity immersion -- can't wait!! Here's the announcement that was posted yesterday over on the CA website:

ConceptArt.Org International Art and Design Workshop:
DALLAS TEXAS - March 28-31 2009

The next workshop is coming hard and fast. Are you ready? We are. and Massive Black have put together a stellar list of instructors, great sponsors, and a fresh program covering aspects from the games, toy, film, and fine art industries. The venue is beautiful. We are right next door to a gorgeous museum full of world class art, and have more planned than ever before. When I say we have more planned, I am saying we are pulling out all the stops. Art, jobs, culture, music, performers, training, and even more will be happening. We have a great list of sponsors including Google, SMU, the Guildhall, ReelFX, the prestigious AFI film festival, Corel and many others. This is going to be a big show with more art than ever before.

Time is short. Much to do. The official announcement will come this week and all info will be released then.

Tuition is 600 bucks and we will have an early bird offer which includes free downloads, cheaper tuition, and more. All the info will come this next week. Start getting ready folks...we are going to Dallas and will be shaking the art world from the top to bottom.

We chose Dallas as it is central to everyone here in the US and is a very affordable city to travel to. Of course, the local sponsors are world class too. This is going to be a great show.

The Shanghai show is still in the works but has been moved to late 2009 in order for us to find addtional sponsors. Dallas will be the only workshop we do in North America in 2009.

See you all soon!!


Figure Drawing: January Dallas Dr. Sketchy

More people showed up at the January Dallas Dr. Sketchy meeting. Yay! And, oh well, that's what I was afraid of -- I'm glad I got there early to pick my table as it was much more crowded than the last meeting I attended. It may mean a change of venue if it gets even more popular. Parking is easy to find at the current location since there's a public garage just across the street. And, it gives me the random opportunity to get to know the downtown Dallas Arts district a bit better I suppose, heh.

We had two great models again this session. "Hansel" was a particularly awesome model since he showed up costumed as "town crier" and then kept up that character the entire time with some rather hilarious poses
. There were multiple requests for Hansel to come back and model again for us, too. The other model, Ginger, a burlesque dancer, complimented Hansel's character when they shared poses for the drawing group. My only slight unhappiness with her was that she kept changing her upper body poses (tilting her head differently, repositioning her shoulders, and so on) and expression in the longer poses. Hard not to do, I know! I've posted a few of my sketches from this and a previous session. I mostly used a combination of Conte crayons and charcoal for the gestures and 10 minute sketches, adding Sharpie markers for the longer 20 minute drawings. I also took a few photos this session for my image morgue.

It was good to meet other people involved in the DFW art community, too; it was a nice mix of gallery, hobby and professional artists. Hard at times to make myself talk without stuttering since I'm rather shy, definitely introverted, and get extremely nervous in large groups. Yeah, I hate giving presentations, too; but have managed to force myself as needed. One of my ongoing resolutions, ha. In any case, I'm looking forward to attending the next sessions as my work schedule allows. Drawing from live models rather than from my own imagination or photo images is a really nice change of pace, and I can definitely see that I could use the practice!


Happy New Year -- 2009!

For some reason, this new year resonates to me as being the year of The Fool...which is why I came up with the above quick illustration (original pencil sketch posted below) based on the following fortune-telling tarot card description:

"The Fool is considered to be a card of infinite possibilities. The bag on the staff has all that is needed to do or become anything, one only has to stop and unpack. While the Fool is on the path to a brand new beginning, it also comes with a little bark of warning: stop daydreaming and watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking like a fool."

Sounds like good advice, eh? Well, we'll see how it goes...