Sunday, December 19, 2010
My actual dogs, in festive finery. This was a Photoshop job, of course - time was short in 2006, no time to render! That is handsome Louie on the left, and soulful Moose on the right.
No card in 2007. I had a big job due and not even enough time to slap together a Photoshop job!
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
For ten years now I have done dachshund-themed Christmas cards. I'm smitten with the little weiner dogs, and have enjoyed designing something every year that demanded no consistency of style or materials.
So here's a little trip down memory lane, starting with the first card.
This one was an unholy medieval/photo mashup. That's an ox and ass in the stable. Baby Jesus is represented by the yellow glow, in the same way that he's represented by a lightbulb in many Christmas pageants. This design was a combination of photography and some work in the late, lamented FreeHand, assembled in Photoshop.The following year I was still doing a sacred/secular mix. Here we have the Adoration of the Wiener Dogs, with the happy dogs bounding in to greet the Holy Family with the shepherds.. I'm not sure whose image I borrowed for the base. I do apologize; this probably doesn't constitute "fair use" and I promise not to do it again. Next time I'll have to paint my own Renaissance master-esque scene. I dropped my dogs in with Photoshop.
Have you ever enjoyed a December afternoon wrapping presents and listening to the Wiener Knabenchor (Vienna Boys' Choir)? How about shattering the peace with the Howleluja Chorus and the Wiener Hundenchor? This year's card was rendered in watercolor.
More to come!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Alvin Langdon Coburn, 1904
Last week the spouse & I travelled to San Antonio to visit friends & family, and to take in a couple of exhibits at the McNay. TruthBeauty was a collection of photographic pictorialist work, and Impressionist Sensibility featured American impressionist painters. This was supposed to be a “something for everyone” trip, since the spouse is a photographer.
While the painting show was most definitely worth the visit, it was the photography that taught me the best lessons that day.
Pictorialist photographers were active in relatively early times for that medium. They sought to elevate photography from a mechanical, documentary form to art. To do this, they turned away from sharp focus, suggesting atmosphere and mood more than recording particulars. With such a lack of detail, shape and value become the important elements in their compositions.
This is a worthy goal for me, too. Much contemporary illustration seems to be heavily influenced by animation. Not just cinematic compositional sensibilities, but the hyper-realistic detail that’s made possible by digital processes. Yes, the look is new and (sometimes quite literally) shiny, but say an illustrator wants to stand out from the trend, and produce something that the digirati do not. Maybe said illustrator could take a look at the pictorialists.
Alfred Stieglitz, 1901
"Kelmscott Manor: Attics"
Frederick H. Evans, 1898
Saturday, March 06, 2010
In my book, the Emperor has a costume change for every scene. And yes, I'm thinking of this as a staged piece. In this scene, I was inspired by some particularly aesthetic photos of Oscar Wilde
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Even though it's been a long time since I've posted here, I have been working. I did another job for the Nazarene Publishing House, and a spread for a story in Red River Kids magazine.
For the New York trip, I wanted to take a book dummy, so I firmed up some ideas for The Emperor's New Clothes that I had been kicking around for awhile. I rewrote the story, laid out all the spreads, and did a finished painting for a couple of the pages.
This one here shows the rascally weavers whispering to the Emperor, "We weave a cloth so light, so fine, so incomparably delicate, that no one has ever seen anything like it." No one has ever seen anything like it, indeed!
Long time...no blog.
There's nothing like winning an award to make you want to brag, or blog, or get the word out to people who really should be informed. Yeah, that's the ticket!
I won an award. At the local SCBWI conference, my portfolio was judged the best from among a bunch of other excellent portfolios. This was a huge thrill and honor. My prize was this lovely statuette and "tuition" to the big SCBWI conference in New York.
The trip to New York was exhausting yet energizing. Time to start blogging and posting new work again!