Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm on Staycation!

...minus the "-cation" bit. I've taken a week off from work to do some major painting for Bea Rocks the Flock.  I am trying to inject an air of fun to this week (even though, in all honesty, this is kinda my dream vacation anyway). So come! Take a look at what I've packed  in my rucksack for my staycation:


I've treated myself to 2 audiobooks for this week. Normally I limit
 myself to the usual NPR podcast suspects, but hey! I'm on staycation!

(I've got marathons on the brain, what can I say! 15 miles yesterday, baby!)


And I'm all set. Hey, I can indulge, I'm on staycation!


Not. I wear the same thing every day when I paint: paint-splattered tee (I rotate these), old jean skirt that doesn't button (nice), and the ugliest reindeer slippers you'll ever want to see. I didn't take a picture of them because I don't want to embarrass myself too much.

And that's all I need for a fun week at home! Maybe I'll hang some posters of Tahiti & Hawaii in the studio to trick myself.

So, see you in a week, everybody!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Heart Fictional NY

So, my fiance and I are heading out yesterday to grab some lunch, and we find this outside our door:

Thinly veiled threat? Ransom note? Cryptic anagram? Who knows? I felt better when I realized these were directions for a Nerf gun, and not a semi-automatic rifle, but still. Coupled with this sign from our lobby (which I posted a few months ago):

... and you get a pretty good idea of what living in New York has meant to me, personally. And I haven't even shown you pictures of the 9-year old with the platinum mullet next door, the super's kids crouching under the stairs near the mailboxes, or the Little Mermaid-themed faux sitting room someone set up near the trash cans a few weeks back.

Ahh, if only I could live in Fictional New York, where the sheep roam free, and people eat ice cream and hang out by the library all the live-long day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I DO have a day job, you know!

And it's a pretty great one, at that. Especially at times like this, when I learn that Greenwillow has had five books accepted into the Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators!

For two of these titles, I had the great pleasure of working as the designer. The Umbrella Queen was illustrated by the talented and oh-so-nice Taeeun Yoo. She also won the Founder's Award at the show last year! Talent.

I also worked on The Pet Dragon, by the also supremely talented and oh-so-nice Christoph Niemann.

If you missed his wonderful New York Times... art piece? Opinion blog? Really, it defies definition- please see it here. It's fantastic.

(it makes me want to enjoy riding the subway. Alas, I have the jaded heart of a 30-year-old, not the fresh young eyes of the under-5 set!)

Other winning titles from Greenwillow include:

Congratulations to everybody!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You're the meaning in my life, you're the inspiration

...Richard Scarry. Ok, maybe not "the meaning in my life". But certainly an inspiration that oddly enough, I hadn't realized until I stumbled upon one of his titles while searching for something on Amazon the other day.

I used to LOVE these books as a kid, poring over all of the details in the town. In the same way, I loved Where's Waldo, too. Not so much the actual searching for Waldo, but just reading the stories in the illustrations.

As I was scanning some of the pieces for Bea Rocks the Flock, I said to myself, "Hmm. Many of these pieces are very highly populated. That's odd." Not so odd anymore.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Progress Report

6 weeks to go until final art for Bea Rocks the Flock is due! I'm feeling pretty good about this deadline. I am, however, making deep sacrifices to keep myself on schedule, such as missing a rollerskating party last weekend, and HOW am I going to balance my painting schedule with my Olympics-watching schedule?!

On another type of progress report, I thought I'd document the different stages of the last spread that I painted. It is, of course, Bea's joyful return to the flock after her outrageous adventures.

DAY 1:

I start by transferring my sketch to my ready-and-waiting paper. I color in (old school) the back of the sketch with an orangey Prismacolor pencil, then flip it over and re-trace the drawing to transfer it. I like the orangey color- it gives a warmth to the final piece.

DAY 2:

Do my first light color washes. I use all types of things in my paintings- acrylic paint for the large stretches, and marker, pens, and Prismacolors for les details.

DAY 3:

Doesn't look too different from Day 2, does it?!? It's rather frustrating- after laying in the basic colors, I always think to myself, "Ooh, almost done!". I'm always surprised by how long the actual layering & defining takes. There's a bit more contrast & definition in this one, though.

Oh, and when I say "Day"- I'm not usually working from 9-5 on these. My painting "days" usually last between, oh, 7 or 8 pm to midnight or 1 (depending on my schedule/sleepiness factors)

DAY 4:

Almost there! I'm getting heavier & more saturated colors on the grass, & a bit more definition on those otherwise pudgy sheep.


All done! It's not really a fair comparison, color-wise, because I scanned the final piece on our nice scanner at work, compared to the crappy photos taken by my equally crappy camera. But still, you get the idea!