Here are a couple of tiny (4×6) watercolors I knocked out as examples for a one day lesson with 8th graders.
The hope was they could create a post card and see their artwork send through snail mail, a concept that is frighteningly alien to them.
These were done in about 3 minutes each but I was surprised by the results and was reminded again not to get too precious with my own work. Bob Ross may not have been Thomas Cole but his theory of happy accidents holds some water.
This next is a more finished piece (a view of Acadia National Park) done as a donation to Portland’s Reiche School Fundraising Auction. Notice how I tighten up when a piece is being done “for a reason”.
Hopefully. It dawned on me the other day, as much as something can “dawn” over the course of 18 hours, that I have been making more work than I thought. I was working on some sketches for the children’s book that I feel will actually happen this time and lamenting how slowly my sketchbooks fill these days. As a teenager I would blow through the pages of a sketchbook, after getting past the dreaded “page 1 freeze out”, one after another, with no hesitation or worry that I was putting down something worthwhile. It was “marks on a page” and somehow deep down I knew each mark contributed to my growing ability. Each page made me better. Of late (and by late I mean the last few years) I have been in what seemed like a constant state of pause in terms of my sketchbooks. This is not to say I haven’t been making work, I have actually had more professional jobs lately than in past years, but I have not been making art for the sake of making art, for the simple pleasure of putting marks on the page, in sometime. I could chalk that up to being a new parent, or having a job that requires a great deal of imaginative thinking and sometimes leaves me feeling artistically drained. If I’m honest with myself I will throw FaceBook and Netflix onto that pile as well. There are a lot of bad movies out there that need to be watched. As it turns out, I was wrong. Not about the bad movies, but about not making work. Daily, I create drawings, collages, sculpture, pottery and paintings. All in the name of examples for my students. While few of them are finished, many of them are pretty good because I hold my students to a very high standard and feel I can only expect their work to be high quality if I hold myself to the same standard. This was a long post, long for me anyway. Thank you for indulging me. The short version is, I am going to start posting more of the work I am doing in my classroom, as it has in some ways become my sketchbook. And like my sketchbooks of old, each example I do for my students, each mark on a page done for an audience, makes me not only a better artist, but now a better teacher as well.
It’s been a long time since my last post. Here is a new character sketch from The Cleansed.
Follow the link to see all the artwork from the series (by yours truly) on one page and maybe even by some. Most originals are available for $150.
For those who don’t know I have been doing illustrations for Final Rune Productions for several years now. Fred Greenhalgh’s latest and most ambitious endeavor is a massive, full-cast production called The Cleansed. It is a post-apocalyptic audio-drama set in the not too distant future in a world where resources have run out and much of the world has fallen apart. It is Fred’s hope that the production will draw you in as fully as any film and that my illustrations will help get you there. Here is a character sketch (not sure if this will be the final version) of an new character from Season 2.
So I was asked to donate a piece for a school auction and started thinking about the children’s book I wanted to make. It is in part inspired by my dad and the word “yegg”. He and I both agree that most children’s alphabet books tend to be trite and condescending and always use the same words. A is for apple, B is for ball, and so forth. Well lets see an alphabet book that teaches kids some more obscure words.
I started with X because I am sick of X always being for xylophone or x-ray. Turns out, ahem… those are the two best X words.
In honor of his holiness’s resignation, which even as a non-Catholic leaves me oddly questioning, my pub Trivia team decided to go with “Pope Croc II” for this year’s tourney team name. The croc thing is a very, very inside joke so don’t bother trying to make sense of it, but please enjoy the weirdness.
Here is my first real attempt at using the new Bamboo digital art pad my amazing wife gave me for Christmas. I always knew, objectively, that I was only scratching the surface of Photoshop; now I realize I haven’t even left a mark. But one has to start somewhere so here is a little drawing that grew from playing with a couple of layers and brushes.