Monday, December 17, 2012

Illustration Friday

It's been some time since I submitted artwork to Illustration Friday so I quickly created this art piece. This weeks theme is "Snow". I wanted to do something using the Pigma Micron pens. I enjoyed creating the broken lines for textual effect.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks and Sharing

Thanksgiving Day has arrived and time to celebrate and give thanks for what we have. We may not think we have much but should appreciate what little we really do have. A special time when we get together with our love ones and share this moment together. Our immediate friends help us appreciate what we have and share this experience. Everyday should be a special day but  due to the pressures of life we sometimes forget. We are truly blessed and need to remember this. If we place our thoughts in perspective and remember who we are we can make a difference. There are many people who don't have much and barely surviving but they give what they can and share what little they have. This is because of the spirit of giving and sharing that we possess. We are all in this together and should be thankful for the special life that we live.
                                                            A Poem by Joanna Fuchs
                                                Thanksgiving is here, so our minds have turned
To what time has taught us, to what we've learned:
We often focus all our thought
On shiny things we've shopped and bought;
We take our pleasure in material things

Forgetting the pleasure that friendship brings.
If a lot of our stuff just vanished today,
We'd see the foundation of each happy day
Is special relationships, constant and true,
And that's when our thoughts go directly to you.
We wish you a Thanksgiving you'll never forget,

Full of love and joy—your best one yet!

A warm Thanksgiving to all my friends and colleagues who I shared my creativeness throughout the year.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Young Boys With Color

Some additional color sketches as I prepare my character sketches for the gaming industry. I want to keep the sketches loose and have the color add to the overall fun of these characters. And let me tell you I had my hands filled trying to get all of them to pose.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween is Approaching

             One of my best holidays is just about here. Do you have your costumes ready?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Celebrating Columbus Day

Today I took a walk over to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in celebration of Columbus Day. Boston has a neat habit of celebrating the occasion by opening it's doors to several of the the local Fenway Alliance members. This includes museums, art schools, and learning institutions.

I could not help watching one booth where Mom's and their little daughters were face painting and making magic wands. I was inspired by the moment amongst these family members and started some quick sketches based on this experience and some not related.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Illustration Friday's Illustration

Illustration Friday weekly theme for "Book"
I had some time and thought I would quickly do this week's theme for IllustrationFriday.
The work was created with pencil and sketch and finalized in Photoshop.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Selling Your Artwork Online

There are a number of ways artists can sell their artwork on the web. If you don't sell your images directly from your website you might consider having a link directly to one of these popular websites such as Cafepress, Etsy, and Imagekind. These websites make it easy for artists to display their work on a number of merchandise products and sell directly to customers. I currently have a link on my website that brings you directly to my galleries on Imagekind. It was very easy organizing my images and placing them within galleries for display. Here are some ideas to consider before you make your selling experience potentially successful.

I am not going to mention all the possible websites that you can sell your work on. I will mention just three I am familiar with. The first website is Cafepress. This is an online retailer of stock and user customized for on demand products. On this website users are able to upload their images and placed on merchandise products for sale. The second website to consider is Etsy. This commercial website focuses on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. Members setup a display where their samples are displayed for sale. Imagekind is the third commercial website that prints and sells 2 -dimensional art forms artists can upload and display within "galleries". Shoppers can buy prints from their favorite artists collections. I joined this website because I found it easy to organize and place my images within galleries for sale. This article will offer ideas predominantly for selling artwork from Imagekind. All three of these websites sell artists work but differ in the arrangement and number of merchandise products. These websites also differ in how artwork is displayed on the websites. You should consider these issues before selecting a website for selling your work.

Before you place images on websites such as CafePressEtsy, and Imagekind you should consider how you will organize your images. Place only your best work for display. Images that stand out and represent professional quality. Some thought should be given as to how you will group your images in your gallery. Give each gallery a title that describes your group of images or theme. Visitors will appreciate your organizing skills and making their shopping experience enjoyable.

Search Engine Optimization should be on your mind when placing your artwork for shoppers to find on the web. I don't mean adjusting the size of the image for easy download but allowing Google, Yahoo, and MSN to easily find you. Using tags or words to describe your artwork is important. Imagekind uses the terminology of taxonomy to setup word descriptions so search engines can find your artwork. I find Imagekind features flexible and simple to use. This website has a series of boxes and submenus for you to fill out. You are allotted a limited number of tags to use. Artist should include detailed descriptions for each image because this will increase the chance that your image will be found by the search engines. Descriptions also give shoppers a way to identify more about who you are as an artist and let's shoppers understand more about your artwork. Imagekind likes it when you mention where the artwork was created, why it was created and what inspired the creation for each artwork. 

Artists should also consider writing a bio. This creates a sense of shoppers connecting with the artist and establishing a human side that shoppers can identify with. Shoppers enjoy connecting with artists who describe something about their personality. What inspired the creation of the image, where the artist lives and maybe the reason for the creation of the image. These are some ideas you should consider.

When your gallery of samples are setup your should start thinking about your marketing strategies. Imagekind provides a variety of tools artists can use. Some of these tools provided include your unique URL supplied by Imagekind. You should consider making this a text link placed on your website or blog. This is exactly what I have done placing a link on my website. When the link is selected you are taken directly to my Imagekind galleries.

Another strategy is placing customized Imagekind banners or buttons on your website. I prefer creating my own text link from my website rather than using advertising banners or buttons from other websites. I prefer to keep ads from other websites to a minimum or not at all on my website. 

Placing links on your blog is another possibility. I use my blog not just for relevant illustration articles but advertising new additions to my galleries on Imagekind. This adds another dimension to my blog.

There is so much networking going on and if you are part of this scene why not consider using FacebookTwitter and Myspace to promote your artwork. Look for new shoppers or fans who may be interested in your style of work.

Newsletters are another vehicle for keeping your clients up to date with your artwork. Imagekind occasionally offers promotional discounts. This is something where you can pass these special deals on to your friends, family and shoppers to take advantage of. 

Finally, being part of the artist community on Cafepress, Etsy and Imagekind allows artists to learn some of the tricks of the trade from other artists. Imagekind offers several ways for artists to connect, share and learn from each other. This goes without saying since artists should be aware of the benefits connecting with your art communities and sharing ideas. In the long run you become more effective reaching out and connecting with your shoppers.

I have mentioned three possible websites such as Cafepress, Etsy and Imagekind for artists to consider when branching out and distributing their artwork. You should explore these websites and discover what works for you. It has been said "There is little or no rewards for those who don't put in the effort". Feel free to explore and view how my galleries are setup on Imagekind.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Folio Academy's New Face Lift

That's right if you are not familiar with Folio Academy check out the website for artists who want to brush up with their craft or maybe learn a new one. All kinds of goodies such as books on how to paint and draw, perspective, landscape painting, illustrating for children's books and more. There are even videos for those who wish to learn a new craft or improve your skills at your leisure. One of my favorite video's is "Digital Painting in Photoshop" by Will Terry. There are all kinds of videos depending on your preferences.

Amazing talented professionals such as Will Terry, Paul Mann, Peter Wood, Danni Jones, Provo Creative, Suzanne McNeil,Jake Wyatt,Bob Obstrom, Jean Clay and many more.

The holidays are just around the corner so this may be a fine time to pick-up some creative books and materials at reasonable prices from Foilo Academy. Check it out at

Monday, September 17, 2012

Exploring Photoshop's Brush Features

Working with some of the brush features in Photoshop to find out what are the possibilities. Really enjoying creating new brushes and finding out what are the possibities. This cat illustration uses some of my exploring.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Children Doodles With Color

  During my weekly doodle session created some new children images. This was 
   one of several warm-up exercises to practice my speed with drawing and adding color.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Experiment Coloring Some Sketches

I gathered several of my sketches and decided to handle the finished artwork differently. The grayscale image above shows what I came up with. After organizing several sketches I scanned the final collaged image into Photoshop and placed it on a separate layer. I continued cleaning up the image and named this layer "Sketch". I created another layer on tofrom the "Sketch" layer for coloring and selected the "Multiply" mode. This gives me the ability to color on top of the "Sketch" layer while the sketch appears underneath the coloring. When I complete the coloring I selected "Image" from the menu above. I selected "Adjustment" and "Vibrance" from the drop down menu within Photoshop. I played with the "Vibrance" and "Saturation" levels on the coloring layer. I made a final test print. When satisfied with the final print the image is saved in a web format. I placed the final image on my blog for viewers to look over and comment. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More Doodles From My Doodling

Adding more doodles from the previous week. The weather has been marvelous in Boston so I had a chance to roam around and collect my thoughts. Here are some of my inspiring sketches from my leisurely moments.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Is It Time To Reinvent Your Career?

   I took a break from my work early this evening and headed over to Mass College of Art in Boston. There was an illustration event moderated by Ed Shems titled "Reinventing the Illustrator." The three other participants were Donna Berger, LIsa Graves, and Lauren Scheuer. The four creatives were offering their insights as to reinventing their careers so they could continue pursue their creative interests. I think we can all agreed that there is less illustration assignments in such areas as editorial, magazine and children publishing. So what does one do besides scratch their heads? There are still illustrations being commissioned but these avenues are probably unavailable or in different directions such as video game, animation and multimedia video fields. The four moderators started the discussion by offering there own interests and new projects they are working on. Once the moderators described their projects the discussion was opened to the audience for there own input. This is where the event became very exciting because everybody was offering ideas freely. The audience members mentioned how the illustration field has challenged them and what they were doing to meet this challenge. All kinds of professional levels were in the audience so new ideas were discussed such as connecting with friends and creating work for their bands, working on free samples for start-up businesses or just posting samples on websites such as CafePress or Etsy.
  My commissions are not what they have been in the past so I have personally been giving some thought to new directions worth pursuing. Where does one start? First of all I have considered artwork created in the past such as posters, different editorial work maybe more animation work. Some of my other interests include comics. I like the idea of creating a portfolio of character designs. I am also seriously considering writing and creating a new children's picturebook. Nothing is really stopping me except the idea I have not attempted this sort of project before. What the heck nothing is really stopping me except making the time and doing it. 
  Ed Shems offered a number of creative ideas such as creating posters, books, advertising, stickers, character design, art prints, cartoons, t-shirts, web comics, greeting cards, licensing,self-publish, video games, tattoos, packaging. These are just some ideas that were mentioned throughout the evening. Lauren Scheuer mentioned her new found interest with starting a chicken blog. She has been amazed with the response from bloggers and is actively coming up with new characters and new found stories, possibly for a children's book. Donna Berger is actively pursuing her interest with new portraits and receiving an interest from potential clients. She has noticed a drop off from her children's work and feels that her portraits offer an exciting new direction for her. Lisa Graves main interest has been design work. Some of her clients feel confident with her professionalism and offered her new assignments in new directions. Lisa mentioned she has no experience with some projects but has the opportunity to try something new and challenging. Lisa brought one of her printed cook books that she illustrated.

  I am glad that I stepped out this evening because it was worth the time and effort. Many new ideas were generated from tonights illustration event. I feel so much more excited about returning to my studio and pursuing my creative projects. I met some really nice people who were very open about their own creative interests and I offered to stay in touch. I would like to hear from you about your new directions.  What are you pursuing that that you feel will make a difference with your illustration career. Send me a message and lets talk about it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Color Sketch Study

Working on a new art piece and at a point creating layers in photoshop and adding some color for atmosphere. Playing with the Hue/Saturation from the Image menu. My next step is to start coloring 
the individual elements such as the alien, astronaut panda and the flying vessel in the distance. I will create some layers above the bottom layers and start coloring. The paint layer I am working on I will change to multiply so the color will blend from underneath. The individual elements will be painted with my brushes I created in Photoshop CS5. I will keep you posted as I complete more of this painting.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Strive for New Challenges

                                  You should seek out new challenges and opportunities that will enrich your creative
                                  development. This will probably involve taking on risks but should not be a reckless 
                                  gamble placing you in desperate straights. 

                                  The object to challenging yourself is to move out of your comfort zone. This will no
                                  doubt create unpleasant feelings. Learn to overcome what is holding you back.
                                  You will become a stronger and more confident person striving to taking on new 
                                  challenges. Those creative projects you never thought possible will become 
                                  exciting and give you the confidence as your career moves forward.

                                  Here is a list of reasons why you should leave your comfort zone.

                                  1) You won't discover what you are truly capable of unless you take on new

                                  2) There are sides of your personality that are worth exploring.

                                  3) Risk is worth it especially if you want to grow.

                                  4) Your comfort zone is hindering your real development.

                                  5) Clients will appreciate what you have to offer.

                                  6) You will have more to offer and your artwork will improve.

                                  7) The creative possibilities are limitless.

                                  8) Your leadership qualities will be recognized.

                                  9) You owe it to yourself to expand the possibilities.

                                10) This may turn out to be more fun than you thought possible.

Friday, June 29, 2012

More Sketches From The Doodler

It's been kind of busy these past few weeks working on client projects and making time for my own work. The summer has arrived in Boston and a great time to roam around and look for places to doodle and feel inspired. A lot of inspiration from just watching people rushing to wherever they need to go. The noise and visual stimulation assisted me in my current sketches.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sketches From Workshop At ICON7

An assortment of sketches while listening to a demonstration at a children's book workshop.
Rachel Cole offered an exciting demonstration about what is involved with creating a children's
picture book. While listening to her demonstration my hand was sketching away from her
inspiring presentation.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Flashcards for Children

The flashcard alphabet samples above were created for young children. Palm Beach Software 
Design, Inc. commissioned me to create an alphabet and number series. The creative director, 
Mark is a great guy, who gave me free range when creating his vector images. All he requested 
was that whatever I came up with was appealing to young children. 

I had a lot of fun deciding what images to use and draw for each letter. Projects like this one 
require several sketches before scanning them into Photoshop CS5. After scanning I take the
tiff scans and bring them into Illustrator CS5 to create the final vector images. 

Submitting my images for approval required very few revisions. The creative director will 
eventually give the work to his programmers who will create the App for tablets and cell
phones. When I receive this information I will post the url so you can view the alphabet and 
number flashcards. I would like hear what you think of my samples.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Are You A Linchpin?

Here is a book that is worth reading. "Linchpin" by Seth Godin discusses how you can make a difference with the choices you make and decide about your future. These choices will have an effect on those around you. This book is worth your time and I strongly suggest that you buy a copy and read it. Mr Godin offers some powerful ideas as well why you should strive to make remarkable products. His ideas are not just for artists but for anyone who wants to make a difference with their life. To purchase a copy of this book visit or just select this link

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Weekly Sketches

An assortment of sketches created during the week to keep the pencil and eraser working. Sketching can  be so much fun because I am not sure what will appear. The mystery in the process always fascinates me. Stay tuned for more surprises.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This Chilli Pepper is Hot with Rhythm for Cinco De Mayo

Exploring some of the features for my latest illustration with Illustrator CS5. I especially like the bristle 
brushes for achieving brush strokes with Illustrator's vector tools. You can notice the strokes on the desert landscape with sweeping brush motions. I achieved the chilli pepper character using general brushes for 
defined shapes and the blend tool. There are so many neat tools in Illustrator CS5 worth exploring. Contact
me and tell me what you think about Adobe Illustrator.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Illustration Friday Weekly Topic

Created an illustration for this weeks Illustration Friday's word. The word selected was "Jump". This is a great way to keep the creative process active by challenging one's self to a weekly activity. My main idea
was to depict a young girl jumping like a frog.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Illustration Exhibit at New England School of Art & Design

The New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University has a small fabulous illustration exhibit that is worth
a visit. Many of the exhibitors are still around and well known such as Bob Ostrom, Prescott Hill and many more. It
sounds like the NESAD is beginning an illustration department at the school and celebrating the work of past alumnus.

I enjoyed what I saw and always excited to view original illustrations. Some of the illustrators I especially enjoyed were 
Joe Farnham's "The Wind-Up" (a) a delightful and amusing cartoon illustration created with water color and color pencil. 
You can feel the amusing tension as he depicts the pitcher's attempt to throw the ball to the catcher.

I found Bruce Ozella's "Popeye"(c), for Features syndicate lots of fun because of his cartoon style and bright colors. Who cannot like "Popeye" and his friends? This was illustration was created with brush and ink.

Another illustration that caught my eye was created by Gary Destramp"Cafe"(b). A bold and colorful graphic art piece
that depicts shapes with bold black lines and bright watercolors. He has his own way of depicting a cafe from his

There are many more illustrators I haven't mentioned and don't mean to slight.  If you have the time and visiting the 
Boston area I strongly suggest that you move your body over to 75 Arlington St., Boston, Ma and enjoy this stunning illustration exhibit. For more information go to

Monday, April 16, 2012

Missed Easter With A Color Sketch Study

I was hoping to finish my Easter illustration for the holiday but it was not to be. Decided to finish the color sketch and post anyway. Maybe I will finish this illustration before next Easter. No time for a finish piece now, because Cinco De Mayo is almost here and I would rather create an illustration for one of my favorite days.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Changing My Landline To A Smartphone

Purchasing my first smartphone and discarding my RadioShack landline was an exciting change for me. My Samsung smartphone has more features than my landline ever had. I am still evaluating the differences and offer my observations.

I will miss the quality and tone that my landline has when I was speaking with friends or clients. It is true that the vehicles used by the landline and smartphone are totally different. My landline uses telephone wires while my smartphone uses signals sent out from phone towers. My landline was low maintenance meaning all I had to do  was place it on it's base in the corner and that was about it. I am now developing an attitude requiring me to constantly recharge the smartphone. Using my landline I discovered I shouldn't be very close to operating microwave ovens or a fair distance from the handset base because the sound quality does fade. Smartphones have either poor signals or dropped calls. 

My RadioShack landline had other features that it offered but I didn't find  a use for. The landline does have an extension placement feature allowing me to place accessory handsets up to four in total anywhere I had an AC outlet, regardless of phone jack location. Having an extra handset I could perform three-way conference intercom calls between handsets even while the third handset was on the outside line, monitor the room where the other handset was placed and using the landline as a pair of walkie-talkies. This is similar in making multi-party calls with my smartphone.

The smartphone is a totally new ballgame adding features my landline doesn't have when communicating with the outside world. When I dial a number on my Samsung smartphone keypad I will see three-on-screen options. I can call the entered number, delete digits from the current number or access the phone's voicemail system. I can pause dialing or save phone numbers with pauses for use with automated systems such as voicemail or business phone numbers. Wait dialing is another feature that can be used in the dialing sequence. This means that the telephone waits until it hears a dial tone before proceeding with the next sequence of numbers. My smartphone can redial stored numbers of calls dialed, received, or missed if the caller is identified. Speed dialing is a similar feature that my landline and smartphone offer. I love this feature quickly dialing friends or clients.

My smartphone offers features such as adjusting the volume, placing a call on hold, turning the speakerphone on and off, muting a call or setting up a multi-party call. Multi-party calling is similar to my landline making it possible to configure my smartphone for multi-party calls allowing up to six people to participate in a multi-party or conference call.

My t-mobile sevice makes it possible to use Wi-Fi with my smartphone. My Verizon landline certainly did not offer this feature. This is an excellent solution for coverage issues in and around my home or wherever cellular coverage is limited. Texting is an option landlines never offered and my smartphone takes advantage of. My Samsung smartphone has a Qwerty on-screen keypad. Using the swype method is so fast because rather than typing individual letters or numbers you swype your finger across the keypad to create individual words. Very cool. Learning to type on a smartphone keypad takes some practice because of the size of the Qwery keypad. I was trained in the proper way to type on a typewriter but the letters and numbers placement on a Qwerty keypad are different.         

The technology on a smartphone enables you to communicate in a variety of ways that is not possible on my landline. Comcast does offer a landline setup but you need to be connected to their internet service. I am now able to text message with my smartphone with all sorts of attachments. Multimedia messages makes it possible to send and receive messages(such as pictures, video, and audio messages) to and from other mobile phones or e-mail addresses.

The last feature that alters my telephone calling is the smartphone's direct connection to the internet. This is an amazing feature my landline never had. Of course, the technology was not in place for my landline to take advantage of. Some landline packages are starting to offer these features but the smartphone still has the convenience of size. I am able to connect to the internet with a number of browsers and configure my email to my web host. I can login to my news updates on MSNBC or view movies from Hulu. Check out my social media contacts or read what is happening in the illustration field. My smartphone or small computer keeps me up-to-date with friends and contacts. I don't know where this telephone technology is going but I do enjoy the features  part of my smartphone. 

Let me know what you think about all this and how it affects you. What do you like about this technology or dislike? Send me a response.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Imaginative World

Dwelling on the world of imaginative fantasy I quickly created this delightful fairy. The figure evolved after viewing illustration samples by Chris McEwan, Wayne Anderson and Brian Froud's work.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Drawing from Live Models

          It has been some time since sketching from live models. I was so pleased to discover that the Museum of Fine Arts offers free Wednesday evening 6-9pm drawing sessions. I quickly went to Utrecht's and purchased a new drawing pad and assorted prisma pencils. Utrecht's sketchpad 50 lb. acid free 11"X14" satisfies my drawing needs. A few sharpened prisma pencils and a bottle of Snapple ice tea for breaks between sketching.
       The drawing session started promptly on time located in one of many old antiquity exhibition rooms at the museum. Such a classical feel to the whole drawing session. I really enjoy drawing from life because so much of my work is created on the computer. The feel of prisma pencil contacting paper sketching out parts of the figure. I can tell right away that I am out of practice and need some quick five minute poses to bring back the magic. I am constantly judging positive and negative space between the models body and areas where the model stands. I try to limit my erasing because, time is at a commodity with five minute poses. I start drawing quickly lightly adding darken strokes here and there for emphasis as I complete each sketch. Sometimes I bring assorted dry markers to explore other drawing mediums and experiment. I am already having flashbacks from reading one of Walt Stanchfield's two volume set of books on sketching called "Drawn to Life". These books are available at (Volume 1) and (Volume 2).
         Drawing sessions can be a hit or miss event for me and it depends on the models mood and how challenging they create their poses. Tonights model was a petite asian girl who was very good with her poses and strived to bring out the sketching ability from those drawing. I was pleased with my efforts and look forward to my next drawing session. 
I strongly suggest in-between assignments  gather your drawing pad and tools and look for the nearest location to sharpen up your sketching skills.