Tuesday, February 2

My little 15 minutes of fame...

For years I used to look at that great blog for children's books - Kathy Temean's 'Writing and Illustrating' and hope someday to be featured on it. So I guess it was my lucky day - because I finally made it

This is probably as close as I'll ever get to having a retrospective of my diminutive career.


Friday, January 29

How do you make your illustrations?

Often I am asked: 'How do you make your illustrations?' 

Naturally people want to study a step by step method - to figure out how artwork is created.

Well I use photoshop and a wacom and pens and brushes. But very often I don't even know myself.  I know, that sounds mysterious... but it's true.

One very odd thing about working in a complicated digital method is that it becomes unthinkingly second nature.  Sometimes I can work the most complicated procedures with little conscious effort. I remember one project that required multiple groups of linked layers in folders all set to unusual masking characteristics - and I did it all more with intuition than with planning. I'm sure I could never explain how to anyone... including myself. It is mysterious.

I just click the keys without looking mostly - and when someone needs tech help I have to go back and look at the keys to remember which ones I used.

So it's largely intuitive... which I like.  And usually in Photoshop there are 3 different ways to achieve the same result, so really the medium is quite organic.

It's a little like how when Mozart was asked where the music came from, he would say he didn't know - it just appeared out of thin air. But I think it requires one to imbue the language of keyboarding into your thinking... learning everything about layers, masks, linking and artistry before that's possible. I know many people hate photoshop, which is understandable I guess. But this is the computer age and I find it a helpful skill to acquire.

Wednesday, January 27

Nature just keeps going...

On this afternoon's walk in the rain I saw my first crocus. Isn't it fitting how Nature just keeps going - despite all the misgivings of we striving people lost in the all the awful news of the moment. It's nice to just be painting, painting, painting - without scarcely thinking about it.

Tuesday, January 12

And after Winter, Spring springs forth...

And after Winter, Spring springs forth... 

It was fun to find a way to paint the backgrounds simply and mixing abstraction and detail.

Thursday, January 7

Friday, January 1

A winter day in the life...

The Olympics with a fresh dusting of powdered sugar.

My ducks waiting for their 'duck feeder' to arrive.

A trip to Hogwarts...

I always wanted to be a mouse who lived in the library here, assuming it was a mouse that could read.

Wednesday, December 30

If you want to make an artist happy...

If you want to make an artist happy, just ask them to paint flowers. It works for me.

Sunday, December 27

Artist paints Christmas ship with plywood...

Artist paints Christmas ship with plywood - that's just what I did. After trying umpteen different methods of painting the water and none were working. This is from my book 'The 12 Days of Christmas in Washington' - I finally tried plywood. And viola! It was just right. I figure this is as a meaningful connection of nature and art. And the pages were the editor's favorite.

Thursday, December 17

On Fluffy, on Snoozer, on Meowser, on Pixin....

Dash on Fluffy, on Snuggles, on Meowser, on Pixin.... on Fluffy, on Snoozer, on Scratchy & Licksin ... Glad Tidings & Happy Holidays to All!

Monday, December 14

Line - Color - Action!

 Line - Color - Action! 

Photoshop enriches the color choice for an artist - but sometimes it seems there are too many choices.

But it's all good.

Friday, December 11

Frosty in color

First comes the brush pen line - and suddenly Frosty is ready for his screen closeup!