Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Boo Radley

So this is a portrait of Boo Radley from "To Kill A Mockingbird". I know it's probably a little too old for Boo Radley's character but I just had too much fun with his multiple chins and gummy grin. The intention was to make it look like an old Rembrandt oil painting. Of course it's got nothing on Rembrandt but I thought it was a fun exercise and returned some good results. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014


So the new fall semester has begun and I've enrolled in a digital painting class taught by Jim Madsen. It's been really great so far. We're cranking out one digital painting per week. It's hard to keep up but it's a great way to increase my efficiency in painting.  This weeks subject word was Novelty, based on the "illustration friday" webpage. So novelty... hmm. Anything new and unique right? Well the first thing that came to my mind was novelty gift stores, that sell gag gifts and trick toys. But then I thought, why not one of those creepy trench coat street vendors? So that's what I did. Jim instructed us this week to choose an illustrator that we really admire and mimic their style with this next piece. Lately I've really like Denis Zilber. He's a great digital painter with great character designs and great story telling. So I chose a painting of his to choose my color palet and worked from that. I've created a thumbnail page that shows my progress on this piece. You can see each of the different steps that I take in completing this.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Elvis Presley

About 3 years ago I changed jobs. I worked as a server for 5 years and finally made my way into an office job. Now I'm an in house graphic designer for a company in Provo, and about 20 pounds heavier than I was when I was serving tables (the only thing I miss is the calories I used to burn during work). Since I started working in an office I found that my music preference changed quite a bit from what I usually would listen to in the car. To explain further, I love music like Radiohead, Bright Eyes, Broken Social Scene ... that's a small list but it represents my taste pretty well. When I would play that music at work it just seemed to demand too much of my attention and I found myself really enjoying simpler music such as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Van Morrison, and Elvis. My brother is always so weirded out by me when i say how much I've come to enjoy listening to Elvis. My favorite song is Jailhouse Rock. There's this amazing combination of restraint and explosiveness that makes me want to jump up and rock out as would any Rage Against the Machine song. Merely the unexpected affect of the song is enough to excite me. As a side note, Patsy Cline has the most beautifully lonely sound on earth and Van Morrison is one of the greatest lyricist of all time (listen to "The Lion this Time").
This evolution in my music taste has inspired my latest piece that was required for my advanced figure drawing class this past semester. We were required to illustrate a caricature of a celebrity of any kind historical or fictional. I hope you enjoy it!

Digital Painting, Photoshop, Caricature, Elvis

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Adventures of Alice & Max

Here's a recent piece that I did for one of my classes. The assignment was to include two children, an animal, architecture and a landscape. It had to have flat shapes, reverse perspective (things get bigger the further away they are) and it had to narrate a story. That's a lot of specific features that had to be applied to one piece. We looked at a lot of old retro children's book illustration to help us understand elements like "reverse perspective" and how to design with flat shapes. I really loved some of the old artwork that I found. Artwork by people like Marie Blair, Richard Scary, and Elizabeth Brosowska. Most people that know me, know that I have a taste for things that are old. So these old retro children's books really appealed to me. I had a lot of fun with it and though I'll be making some slight changes and improvements, I'm happy with how it turned out.

I titled this story "The Adventures of Alice & Max". My wife and I have had so much fun the past two years with our little girl Alice. We now are expecting our second baby next month. It's a boy and his name is Max, and the best way to describe these past two semesters is an Adventure. My wife Brooke has been a champion this whole time. First of all she's been pregnant obviously, but on top of that she's been going to school full time at BYU while I've been at school as well. When you throw a 2 year old in the mix of that, life starts to feel pretty exhausting.  We frequently imagine "how great" it will all be when we're done with school, but at times when I think in a larger perspective I feel very happy for where we are right now in our lives. I'm not sure if there will be a time of more rapid growth and learning than what we're experiencing right now, and I really am loving it. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Personal Projects

This semester has been absolutely crazy so far. This weekend I was supposed to be studying for a test on monday that is on Ancient Non-Western Art History (that's a mouth full). Instead of studying for that I decided to work on something i've wanted to do for a few weeks. A few weeks ago I went skiing with my brother in law Jeremy and his 3 kids. We went to Sundance, and it was so much fun even though it hadn't snowed for weeks at that point and the slopes were pretty icy.  While I was there I noticed something that I've seen at various ski resorts before, that is the "underwear tree". I'm not sure where this all started, but it's a fun tradition and I thought it would make for a fun illustration. Now I need to find some time to study for my test. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fall Semester

The ship was tossed about as the crew fought hard against the crashing waves. “Land! I see land,” yelled Peter from the crows nest.

“What a beautiful Island”, said Paula. “There’s plenty of food and lots of trees to build a shelter”, said Dexter. “Let’s get to work”, said Peter.

“I never want to leave!”, said Dexter. “Delicious”, said Paula. “Please pass the fruit salad”, said Peter. As the crew enjoyed their feast they laughed into the evening as a cool breeze blew across the island.

These three pieces were done for my Children's Book Illustration class taught by Will Terry. He's an incredible instructor and I encourage anyone who is considering doing anything in Illustration to learn from him first. He teaches online classes or has instructional youtube videos that you can find through his blog. Or you can join me at UVU and take classes from Will there.

Last fall, of 2012, I chose to go back to school and finish a degree in Illustration. The year previous to that decision I worked full time as an in-house graphic designer for a company in Provo called Rimports (they make candle warmers). I still work there part time and I'm very grateful for that job. It's a growing company and there has been lots of room for growth and promotion even in just the past two and half years I've worked there. The reason I tell you this is because there has been a battle in my mind over my dedication toward finishing school or seizing the available career opportunities at my current job. I have turned down promotional opportunities for the sake of staying in school and finishing my degree. Each time that a semester ends and a new one begins I feel tempted to say, "I've learned enough and I can move on at this point." 
HOWEVER, at the end of each semester I look over the work that I've accomplished and everything that I've learned and I know that my dedication to staying in school and finishing is paying off. I'm at the point where I'm excited to see what I can accomplish next semester. My work is far beyond perfect, but it's getting better.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Birthday Cake Disaster!

Sooooo this past week I've completed an assignment for my Children's book illustration class. We were given a short paragraph from a children's story that we were assigned to illustrate.

Jamie’s mom helped her put the finishing touches on her birthday cake and the house was all set for the party as Oscar slept on the window sill. Suddenly Timmy let the dog out of the basement and the chase was on! Around the living room and under the couch they ran and as Jamie began to cry Oscar leaped right off the cake splattering it everywhere!

 I've posted the development of this piece. I've started to feel a lot more confident about my process this semester. I start with a small thumbnail, I then blow it up and print it out at %50 transparency and then reprint it. I then redraw with more detail over the top of the print out. I do this over and over again, this enables me to make subtle changes each time I redraw my sketch.
In this instance I decided that I wanted to have some fun with the background. So using a sheet of transparency paper, I laid it over my sketch and drew the back ground by itself. When i was finished I scanned it in and laid it into the back ground in photoshop. 

I've been having a lot of fun this semester with my Children's Book Illustration class. I'm enjoying feeling like I'm starting to develop a kind of style.