Thursday, December 20, 2012

Magic Train Ride a.k.a. Illustration Friday: SNOW or As I Call this one, December.

     It is almost Christmas and to day is yeah… Illustration Friday.  As much as I truly love Illustration Fridays, I am utterly exhausted.  I'm almost falling asleep at the er….. just kidding haven't done that tonight, but I admit it has happened in the past, falling asleep at the computer. 

     After a hectic week of candy making, pralines in particular (they are really the only candy i know how to make… other than covering things in chocolate,) and running around with last minute gift shopping, I am about to fall out.

     Needless to say today's post will be short, SWEET and to the point….

     This weeks topic is SNOW.  I chose to share another piece from my calendar portfolio, December.  I have to say I did put in a great effort trying to find my development sketches for this illustration, but all I managed to scrounge up was my final sketched composition before I inked it and took it to digital paint.   I am unsure as to what happened to the rest of the development sketches… my only guess is that they are in a VERY SAFE Place (as my friend Lou likes to say.)

     Again, as with November, I had the three main conceptual elements for this illustration:
1.)  You must illustrate a potential future vocation a child could choose.
2.)  You must include the major Holiday for that month.
3.)  Each illustration must include an element of fantasy and whimsy.

     As you may have already guessed, December is about Train conducting.  It is a real and very rewarding profession.  I have met a few real life conductors, in my time, and they seem very satisfied with their career choice. :0)  Obviously, I have included the Christmas Holiday and our elements of fun and fantasy are explored through our little conductor flying through the building tops Christmas Eve night delivering gifts to all the good boys and girls of the world from his magical flying train.  You may remember this particular train from a previous illustration I have blogged about…  That's right, the very same Juliet Express with a little bit of a paint job.
You might call this a shout out, but I just call it responsible recycling. ;0)

     Well, folks, as I stated above, I am VERY VERY VERY VERY VEYRVYERYVYEYRYVYERY… Sleepy.  I will leave you all to your hot cocoa, your cold weather, your long johns, your prety sparkly Christmas Trees or Whatever Holiday Decoration adorns your decked halls, chill mac (my favorite), your pralines (if you have them) and your Christmas dreams of Sugar Plums (though I have never really dreamt of a sugar plum, nor seen one in real life.)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. :0)

Till next time…    
Keep sketching, keep thinking, keep laughing and most important of all, keep making art. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Illustration Friday: EXPLORE. The Best Use for a Broken TV Set, Ever.

     It's Illustration Friday! Yeah!  I am growing fond of these weekly challenges.  I get 100% freedom on a random topic.  I get to EXPLORE something new and fun every week outside of everything else.  This really appeals to an artistic hermit.  Traveling afar in one's imagination; very fun.

     This week's topic is "Explore."  I decided to explore an old piece that I had been thinking about revisiting and re-working.  Illustration Friday gave me an excuse to do so. :0)    

     The concept was originally used to meet an editorial need for an illustration to promote "unplugging" to the next generation.  I created a scenario where a young boy takes a junkyard television into his bedroom and converts it to his own little reading space.  A place where he can travel into the depths of his imagination and he escapes into a good book.  I decided that this young boy would be interested in Adventure and Travel books.  He is imaginative, obviously, but also resourceful and has ingenuity.  I also thought it would be cute and fun to draw giraffes.  I had originally played with the idea of other animals and children (I have included shots of the old sketches.)

    I had first rendered the image back in college day.  Though I had taken the image all the way to finish using acrylic, I still preferred it's "prelim" or preliminary state.  I liked the monochromatic sepia tones of the paint.  I felt that the prelim was actually superior to the finished illustration.  Even so, after all these years, I have toyed with the idea of revisiting the illustration and improving it.  Finishing it in another medium, possibly watercolor or ink and digital paint, as I so often do these days.  When I read the email disclosing the "explore" topic for Illustration Friday, I knew that I needed to pull this old friend out of the closet and re-work him.

     One issue I did run into was that I did not have the original sketch anymore.  For whatever reason over the years, it disappeared from closet or sketchbook.  I, fortunately, had a "cleaned up" version of it on tracing paper that survived.  I used this as a base to rework that final you see submitted here for Illustration Friday.  Besides my obvious abandonment of using a monochromatic color scheme, you will see that I added very few new colors to the mix... just enough to make it work, though overall there is still a very strong foundation of color based in brown or sepia, like the original illustration.  I also took this opportunity to develop the map that is taped to the back "wall" of the television and also the photographs.  These were originally planned for the first illustration but, again, for whatever reason were cut. 

    The collage medium has never occurred to me previously before last Friday when I was reading my emails and decided that I would not just re-post the old version of this image, but "EXPLORE" it again and recreate it new and improved.   I hope you enjoy it and perhaps are inspired to curl up with a good book on one of these Very Cold Holidays. :0)

Until then, as always...
Keep sketching, keep thinking, keep laughing and most important of all, keep making art. 

thumbnail ideas for original editorial piece.

possible adventurer. 

My first crack at the concept and composition. 


Tigers, Oh My. 
Tigers were originally the animal
our little adventurer would imagine.