June 21, 2009

GC&SU Alumni Exhibit

Several months back, my wife Erin and I were invited to participate in an alumni art exhibit at our Alma mater Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville. Thought I'd share some of the pics on the ole' blog! It was really great getting to see our professors again, and the new college art gallery is so cool. I chose to exhibit one of my illustrations, and Erin selected Brushy Mini.

Southern Breeze Illustration Contest

It's finally finished! I've been working hard for the past three weeks or so on my submission for the Southern Breeze 2009 Illustration Contest. We were given the prompt, "PJ reached in and..." and were asked to finish the sentence with a creative illustration. I wrote out a TON of ideas for how to complete the prompt, but I decided to go with an idea that my wife really loved:

"PJ reached in and thought he saw something hiding behind the baseball."

The idea is that PJ is out playing a game of baseball with some friends, and the kid at bat hits a good one way out of the park. PJ, who's playing in the outfield, has to then search through the woods to find the ball. He comes across a fallen tree, and something draws him closer to look there for the ball. When he looks down a hollow branch, he sees the ball... and something else hiding behind it!

Once I got the idea together, I started the painting process. First, I drew out the illustration on acrylic paper, traced the lines with a Sharpee, then taped the paper to a board on my easel:

Next, I covered the whole image with a layer of gel medium, and then a dark brown glaze layer for my underpainting. Once both dried, I started blocking in the painting with basic colors:

From there, I built up the painting in layers, adding more details to give form to the figures, working with highlights and shadows, etc:

I reworked PJ's facial expression and the shadow on his hand a few times as well as the color of the little critter's fur and cape before I felt satisfied with the piece. Here's the final product!

Click here to see last year's winners!

June 8, 2009

New Project

I've been working on a new illustration project. I just finished this sketch last night:

SCBWI Bulletin - May/June 2009

It's here!! The article I wrote for the SCBWI Bulletin is now in print, and I finally received a copy!

Here's the backstory on how it all came to be...

I was about to leave the SCBWI National Conference in NYC this past January when Aaron Hartzler (director of communications and design/webmaster for SCBWI) approached me out of the blue. He asked if I would be interested in writing a short article for the SCBWI Bulletin about my first conference experience, and of course I said yes! I came home, wrote the article, and sent it in to Aaron. And a few months later, there it is in print! Hope it encourages others to take the leap of faith and get involved with the SCBWI.