Tag Archives: watercolor

Re-Seussify Seuss Challenge

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In case you missed it, this week’s results for School Library Journal’s Fuse #8 Re-Seussify Seuss challenge were in, and they were pretty spectacular! The mission, as set forth by children’s lit guru Betsy Bird, was to draw a spread from a Dr. Seuss book, but in the style of ANOTHER famous picture book artist. I was inspired by the fun mash-up idea, and pulled off the image of Yertle The Turtle in the style of Arnold Lobel, above.

The idea for the image itself came to me pretty easily. It’s no surprise that I love drawing turtles, and Yertle The Turtle is a family favorite. The reptile vs. amphibian factor – Yertle crossed with Frog and Toad – was amusing to me as well. In particular, I wanted to try my hand at Arnold Lobel’s style. I thought the limited palette with textured graphite would be fun, and his characters and watercolors lend themselves easily to my own style. Plus, he’s a fellow Pratt alum!

I learned a lot about Arnold Lobel’s creative process from this video with his daughter, Adrianne Lobel.  She sought to replicate her father’s paintings when she colored Arnold Lobel’s unfinished The Frogs and Toads All Sang:

I am very interested in Lobel’s use of color separations to make the Frog and Toad illustrations, and I wish I could find more on the subject. While Adrianne went with full-color in her recent interpretation, I wanted to imitate the 2-color (and black) separations by sticking to a green layer, a brown layer, and dark graphite.  I’m pleased with the result and think it was rather successful, if I do say so myself.

Now go check out Betsy’s post for the other mind-blowing creative Re-Seussification mash-ups!

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Calling All Interested App Folks

Things have been bustling here at the newly-founded Smart Cookie Studios, where our first app is almost ready to be revealed to the world!  We’re going to launch our website and social media soon (Twitter, Facebook), and are prepping for pre-release so we can finally show you all the final art, music and interactivity we’ve been working so much on.

That being said, I want to know – WHO should we tell about our app?? Do you want news and updates about our new venture yourself? Do you have a great app reviewer we should know about?  Know of someone in the industry we should follow on Twitter?  Are a fan of another great app studio? Or blog? Or developer?

I’m looking for any and everyone under the sun, so send me Twitter handles! Facebooks! Websites! Emails! Smoke signals!  I’ll love you forever…

 

From The Slush Pile: Great Animal Illustrators

Today was a more wackadoo day in illustrator submissions than usual, so I thought I’d give myself a pick-me-up by highlighting three great illustrators who draw some super-cute animals.  Enjoy!

1. CharrowMy first favorite recent find is Charrow, whose quirky illustrations exude a playful spirit and sense of humor.  Her light watercolor and drawing technique feels breezy, like she just jotted down some animals, and they happen to be hilariously adorable. She’s also a frequent contributor to They Draw and Cook. Her Etsy shop is down at the moment, but when I checked it out a few weeks ago, it was easily my favorite part of her portfolio… be sure to check back for it soon!

2. Stephanie GraeginProbably my all-time favorite illustrator submission ever is a little “mini portfolio” booklet from Stephanie Graegin.  Her Renata Liwska-style woodland creatures, accented by limited color and unlimited sweetness, had both design and editorial drooling. Crossing my fingers that I see a book with her name on it soon!

3. Lizzy HallmanIf illustrator David Catrow’s art proves anything, it’s that there’s a place in this business for a little ugly-cute.  And if my love of french bulldogs proves anything, it’s that I will always get behind ugly-cute!  Hallman’s characters may have wonky eyeballs, but they make their expressions unique and humorous. And her color treatment? 100% sweet!

My Bunny Valentines

My impulse to spread bunny cuteness started before Valentines’ Day, but I didn’t finish up these little spot illustrations until last night.  It’s only a week or so late, and hey, who doesn’t want a valentine all year round?

New “Ollie And Logger” Painting

Finished revising one of the color pieces for Ollie And Logger, which is the first dummy book I’m polishing up for submission (my New Years’ resolution due date: April 1st!).  And… well… it’s an improvement.  I’m happy with Logger, the brown turtle, since he’s in the style of the first color piece I revised.  But wow, painting a plastic bag floating in the ocean is CRAZY hard!!

I heard a quote recently of an artist who wouldn’t accept any manuscripts that contained “horses or bicycles” (smart move).  Well, from now on, no more stories about amorphous objects in water, either.  Just say no.

BRR. It’s Cold In Here!

Happy Winter!

Just a note to say that cold is here, and it’s time to make like a polar bear and hibernate/snuggle.  I’ve actually been doing a lot of drawing-painting-crafting these days, but as they’re presents… it’s mostly TOP SECRET ’til after Christmas (except for a sneak peek of this little watercolor, above).

That’s all the news that’s fit to print – for the moment!

New Artist Showcase: Chris Harrington

Chris Harrington

blog: http://chrishillustration.blogspot.com

Christopher Scott Harrington graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 2010 earning a BFA in Communications Design with a concentration in Illustration. He primarily works in watercolor, ink, and colored pencil to create humorous, fun, illustrations that are narrative in nature. When he’s not at his desk sketching and painting he enjoys juggling, unicycling and having a good time.

What kind of projects have you been working on lately?

Personal projects, I’ve been working on drawing kids, kids are a bit of a weak point for me but not going to shy away from them, they are a work in progress as is everything. But whether it’s a job or just for fun I approach it the same way…It’s all fun. As far as freelancing goes I’ve been doing mostly some animal character designs here and there…A lot of fun!

What do you do to keep new ideas flowing and stay fresh creatively?

I am constantly on the look out for new ideas, I can’t stand when I get “artist block” so to fix that I sometimes take day trips to a park, or to the mall, sketchbook in hand and jotting down notes and crude looking doodles of the things I see or hear. My mind is always thinking in narrative although sometimes my ideas are just babble that doesn’t make any sense what so ever, and wouldn’t be a successful illustration conceptually…But I’ve found that real life is a good source of inspiration. Hearing or seeing something tweaking the story making it your own creation. What comes next? Who are these people, animals or things? When asking myself those type of questions it keeps me fresh because the possibilities of what actually could come next are endless…And up to you.

How do you go about promoting your work?

I try and target certain places where I think my work could fit. Researching the client first and foremost finding out what they publish, what they want and look for. Depending who the client is, some prefer e-mails, or snail-mail, and sending a postcard every 3-6 months. Although I bug them a little more then they might like with postcard samples…They can either give me a job or a restraining order. But I’ve found the internet is the way I like to promote myself, although I do enjoy sending postcards with my illustration on the front and contact info on the back. I enjoy getting mail…Do they?

Anyways the internet, it’s easy, it’s accessible to many, and don’t bother finding a postage stamp. Although it’s easy to send it’s also easy for art directors to click delete. Regardless you never know who may come across your website, blog, youtube account, or that cute picture you took of your dog sleeping. You never know if the right person is viewing your work and say your perfect for this type of job. I try and display my art wherever I can, in public places I’ll be sketching and someone might come from behind and watch me for awhile ask me a few questions, I also try and carry business cards or some kind of sample to give out.

I think of it this way, it’s like planting seeds unsure if it will grow but you plant them anyway.

What has your involvement been like in the online community?  How is having an internet presence been helpful or inspiring to you? Why?

I keep and maintain a personal illustration blog, been familiarizing myself with YouTube and numerous social networking sites mainly to prompt my illustration work online. As well as joining a couple illustration blogs all similar but slightly different they all have the same basic idea or objective. Each week they list a topic that you will have to interpret through illustration means. Being active in a few of them and given a week for each illustration is kind of equivalent to a illustration/freelance job. You have to budget your time and meet a deadline. It’s been helpful in numerous ways, such as beefing up my portfolio, getting helpful advice from fellow artists and illustrators some published some not. Also a great creative outlet to explore and experiment.

An art director calls you up and offers you the ultimate “dream job/assignment”.  What is it?

Good question! I really enjoy drawing animals, they are my favorite. If an art director called me up one day and asked I need a cover illustration with a variety of animals as if they were posing for a “family portrait” and a wee bit dysfunctional. Actually I take that back not a cover illustration, make it like a movie poster? I would start that project even before the conversation was over. I would be so happy!