Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Illustration Friday: Canned

I have not posted a circus image in a while so I couldn't resist showing an illustration of the man who truly knew how to get out of a can. This picture is from Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo? and depicts Houdini's Chinese Water Torture Cell. Read more about other escapes from tight places like the infamous Milk Can Escape.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Raucous Royals Book Trailer

Vote for your favorite book trailer.

Serious and Dramatic Version with Bad Accent

More Playful Version with Bad Accent:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sketch Theatre

Visit Sketch Theatre to see artists create their illustrations under a high speed camera. I thought it was especially interesting that Michael Broom creates this spooky character UP SIDE DOWN.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some of my Favorite Art Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things

La La La. My daughter has a music box that plays this song. She recently has decided that sleep is overrated and the purpose of a crib is to repeatedly bang your head against its wooden sides. So I have been playing this song constantly in the hopes of brainwashing her into believing Julie Andrews is just over the hilltop beckoning her into naptime. I have really only succeeded in getting this song stuck in my head all day long.

Hopefully, this list of my favorite art things can reprogram my brain…

Wacom Cintiq Tablet
I have been using the Cintiq since 2005 and I don’t know how I ever got by without it. If you are a digital artist, it really will change your life. ok I might be being a bit dramatic. It might not change your life, but it will change the way you paint. Wacom tablets are ok but nothing beats painting directly on the screen. I found my art started to look less digital after I made the switch. And if you are worried about the cost then you can always justify it by remembering how much faster you can paint on the screen.

Crumble, Crackle and Burn: 60 Stunning Textures for Design & Illustration
by Von Glitschka
Yes, I know we all are getting a little sick of the texture overload on graphics. But you know clients tend to be behind the design curve so someone is bound to ask you to put a little texture in your art. With this book you can tell your clients that you slaved away for hours and hours taking photo shoots of perfectly weathered concrete and the bark of a 300 year old birch tree when all you really did was drag and drop from Crumble, Crackle and Burn’s collection of scanned textures.

Facial Expressions Babies to Teens and Facial Expressions by Mark Simon
These two books are a must have for anyone trying to capture that perfect 10- year old supercilious disdain. Maybe over-the-top fear is what you are after. Mark Simon’s book has you covered with every possible facial expression. He gives different rotated views of the same character too so you can illustrate a wide spectrum of facial expressions using the same faces.

Corel Painter Magazine
I have heard from many artists that the reason they don’t use Painter is because they find it too complicated. Come now. The real reason is that we are a bunch of die-hard, Photoshop dogs afraid to learn some new tricks. Learning a new program is always tough and those software textbooks are b o r I n g. Corel Painter Magazine makes it easy to pick up tips and tricks by focusing on a different brush tool in Painter each month. They also offer tons of inspirational paintings done by leading Painter artists.

Marie Antoinette Action Figure with Removable Head
Everyone should have at least one toy in their office that counts as a stress reliever. Mine is my Marie Antoinette action figure. With just a push of a button….off pops her head. Mad at a client? Marie had suddenly morphed into that dreaded client and…dang, “oh dear...where did my head go? I can’t make stupid comments without my head.”

Boxing Gloves, punching bags, stress balls, dart boards can also work wonders.

That’s all I can think of for now. Feel free to share some of your favorite art things or any advice for sleep-deprived new parents.