Thursday, September 27, 2012

People Picture

I need to add more "people" to my portfolio. What? you mean squirrels, rabbits, and crocodiles don't count as people? Ah, yes, that's what they tell me. In this vein, I have a new painting in progress; one with people (of the homo sapien persuasion) in it.  . . . And . . . here's a sketch:
Mad scientists count as people, right?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Meeting James Gurney

The small group poses with James Gurney (center). Brandon and I are second and third to the right.

 I grew up loving the story and illustrations of "Dinotopia," so it was a no-brainer when I was asked if I wanted to attend a James Gurney Workshop and lecture. Ok, let me back up for a second. My husband, Brandon, is studying at GHSU (formerly MCG) for his Masters degree in Medical Illustration. The University was able to snag Mr Gurney as he and his wife traveled through the vicinity to attend a wedding. The Medical Illustration department was invited to the small group . . and yay! me too!

Unfortunately, it was unclear until it was too late, that this was a workshop, so none of us came prepared. Ah well. Better luck next time, Batman.

Mr. Gurney turns out to be a very friendly, sorta silly, down-to-earth kind of guy despite his amazing skill and success.

He spoke about and demonstrated using water color pencils along with re-fillable water brushes for on-the-go sketching. I had always considered anything more than pencils or pens too much trouble for travel, but his methods seem very enticing.

Here you can catch a glimpse of his tools and process:


He did pass around a couple of his in-progress water-color moleskins. Here he has painted "Skizzenbuck," German for "sketchbook," on the cover of one moleskin, because--well, hell, why not?

It's hard not to drool . . .

He also talked about composition and line of sight with lots of references to John Singer SargentHoward Pyle, Andrew Wyeth, and J.M.W. turner, among others. 

Brandon got his copy of "Light and Color" signed.  It now has a T-Rex on the cover page, courtesy of Mr. Gurney. Here's one of his classmates showing off the sketch Mr. Gurney obligingly doodled in her sketchbook. 

My childhood copy of "Dinotopia," sadly, is currently residing in Iowa, so I had to be satisfied with a new--and yes, you guessed it--signed, copy of "The World Beneath".

And . . . a doodle.

By the way, In Chinese, "Dinotopia" translates literally to "Terrible Lizard Happy Dream Kingdom". I knew you would want to know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Birthday Squirrels Process Video

For a while now, I've had the notion that it would be a lot of fun to put together a little flash animation showing the general steps in my illustration process. Well, this is general if it's anything, and you'll have to pardon the quality, as I'm still a novice when it comes to dealing with youtube. But, I think it gets the idea across. Anyhoo, have a look-see. It's entirely painless, I promise. 

And . . . here's a copy of the final image from my website so you can see it a little more clearly.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Southern Breeze SCBWI Illustrator's Day!

Last Friday, August 31st, I attended the Southern Breeze SCBWI Illustrator's Day event in Decatur, GA.
I got to meet:
Peter Brown's Chowder illustrations have been on my favorite list for a while now, so I was thrilled to meet him. He was busily promoting his newest book, Creepy Carrots (written by Aaron Renolds). So, yes, of course, I purchased it and had it signed. "geeeh!" (girlish giggle).

It has happily joined the rest of my children's books (of which there are many). I also got a signed copy of Gregory Christie's Bad News For Outlaws (written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson). Somehow, a signed book just feels so . . . well . . . signed! Deep thought for the day, I guess.

Overall, It was a great event. We were all presented with lots of new information to process and faces to match with names. The speakers were great, the atmosphere was friendly and enthusiastic, and the portfolio reviews were quick and to the point. I received a pretty positive review, which I must say, was lovely to hear. 

Elizabeth Dulemba, Illustrator Coordinator for the Southern Breeze region of SCBWI, has a great post about the event on her blog. You can even see me wearing a bright yellow sweater in one of the photos. Check it out Here.