January 18, 2006

Is it Real or is it Digital?

Is it Real or is it Digital? Not to worry... it's a little bit of both.

Nowadays the artist has so many choices as to how to make an image, it's easy to pick the best features of both real and digital media to make the final artwork.

It's possible to start with real, dive into digital... print it back out to real... add some paint... scan it and then dive back into digital. Any number of permutations available along the way.

I much prefer real paint and real paper. I think it's easier and more expressive and basically that digital has to play catchup to the long tradiion of real mediums.

BUT there's always exceptions... and at times it really can seem like Photoshop is the most wonderful invention of all time for the artist. And there's always something new to try.

January 14, 2006

The Dragon Painter

Here's a fun book that ought to be out before too long, 'The Dragon Painter'. It's about an ancient Chinese painter who paints dragons that come to life. I'd never done a folk tale book before. It was fun to research the costumes and details for the patterns. Very pictuaresque buildings and architectural styles throughout.

I found this chinese emperor in a book about chinese gardening. He was originally a stone carving done almost 1000 years ago. I thought he'd appreciate it that I brought him back to life to play the role of the emperor in this book. I knew he was perfect the instant I saw him. Too bad he's not around to reward me with a bag of gold coins and jade carvings.

January 9, 2006

A Vacation Artist...

One always has to wonder about the paths not taken. I think any career in art is a cumulative, self learning venture.

I've lately been pining that I didn't become a 'Vacation Artist'. What is a Vacation Artist?... you might well ask.

The category of 'Vacation Artist' applies to those clever artists who reside in resort towns and spend their creative energy working the local vacation attractions into their art... which is then sold to rich tourists looking for a memento of their trip.

Usually every vacation spot has at least a half dozen such artists all working away... Port Townsend, Martha's Vineyard, Aspen, Jackson Hole, Taos, Key West. These same 'vacation artists' are often smart enough to also open an art gallery and make money hand over fist... all without any deadlines!

Must be sweet....
I wonder if it's too late to start?
Or maybe I just need a vacation...

I did this painting after discovering the work of Monty Dolack, a Montana artist who does wonderful paintings with a surrealist twist.


January 8, 2006

The Grandma Cure

Here's the cover and some interior art from a recent book... 'The Grandma Cure'.
It's a fun story about two grandmothers who both want to babysit and keep getting in each other's way.
It's a cleverly constructed story... and was a real challenge to illustrate considering that 80% of the book takes place in the same room, by the bedside of the sick grandchild.

Trying to find new ways to show the same scene was a challenge. But the fun part of illustrating any story is to find lots of interesting things to add. It always helps to include a family pet to add a new dimension.

January 7, 2006

Some Recent Artwork...

It's wisely said that a picture is worth 1,000 words. So at that rate, I guess illustrators are a verbose bunch. At least this illustrator is.

This is a fun little picture I did up as a sample to a storybook I'm sending around. Done up in my special hybrid technique that uses both real and digital mediums... and is fairly quick. Got to be quick as an illustrator, that's for sure!