28 September 2009

Illustration Friday: Pattern

I hope this fits into this weeks IF theme. Ever since they asked that we strictly follow the rules (something I am all for) I have second guessed every submission. My point is that I'm not too sure if this one fits, but it does have a good amount of pattern to it. I know we may be looking for something deeper but this is all I've got.

I did this back in 1993 for one of my Junior classes at Hussian. We had to design a Marathon poster for the city of our choosing. Since Jerusalem is home to our world's three major religions I thought I'd incorporate them in as the pattern.

24 September 2009


I did this years ago for the Philadelphia Zoo. It was the second job I completed for them I think. Anyway, enjoy it's grossness. I had fun researching the bugs and worms that lived in a compost heap. It's good that we have them around or we would all be up to our eyeballs in filth. Food for thought!

23 September 2009

Boys will be boys.

This is one of my favorite Inside Dirt comics from 1993. Every so often I would make a comic in which the main characters would be their younger selves. Doing so would allow me to illustrate some memories from my childhood. In this case it was based on my two older brothers, Mike and Dan, who would spend hours building intricate models and soon thereafter would go find something flammable in the garage and set it on fire. Our unsupervised single Mom lifestyle taught us many things about combustibles and I'm sure it brought much joy to the hearts of our neighbors.

20 September 2009

Vincent VanGroening.

Just to warn you I am probably going to be uploading a lot of my old stuff on the blog here. This week I started the process of moving my studio to the third floor to make room for our baby. With any move I usually take it as an opportunity to purge some unwanted art (mostly unworthy sketches) and along the way I discover some stuff that I forgot about or simply haven't looked at in years.

In this case, in what has become a very common art school assignment, I took the VanGogh painting, Portrait of Madame Augustine Roulin and Baby Marcelle and turned it into a portrait of Madame Marge Simpson and Baby Maggie. The idea was to copy the style of an accomplished painter in order to learn about their technique and color sense. For what ever reason we were instructed to add some pop culture into the mix.

The original Van Gogh painting is below. I felt like I never really got the technique down since VanGogh worked in oils and I had to work in acrylics.

PS: My wife hates both of these paintings and I am a little tired of holding on to mine. The first person to contact me gets it for free so long as you agree to pay postage and handling or you can come to my house and pick it up. If you come to pick it up I'll throw in a house tour and we can take my dog for a walk. I live in East Philadelphia, also known as Southern New Jersey.

14 September 2009

Morning Exercise.

Our little dog Charlotte just graduated to being let loose from her leash occasionally and we're really enjoying it.

11 September 2009

Illustration Friday: Welcome

I did this colored pencil piece back in 1993 for our Media Techniques class taught by the great Jim Souder.

My thoughts behind this were that while it is truly wonderful to be outside playing in the snow all day, there is also nothing quite like returning to the warmth of your home where Mom was usually making tomato soup and grilled cheese.

I remember at the time of making this illustration that I was experimenting with the coloring pencil technique of self taught illustrator and Caldecott Winner, Stephen Gammell.

10 September 2009

The best part of my job.

The best part of my job is learning about how things work. It's not often I get jobs like this but when I do I always try to go on location and see the machinery (or animals as well) in motion. In this case I had to go to the local Occupational Training Center's recyling plant and see how recycling is sorted. Besides the melodious smell I found the trip to be very educational and downright fun.

Below is the trammel screen that sorts out the broken glass.

This next one fascinated me. The spinning drum puts out a charge that repels the aluminum but magnetizes the steel/tin while leaving the trash to fall straight down. Brilliant. It was fun to watch the aluminum "jump."

This high velocity fan blows the light plastic and aluminum while the heavy glass drops down.

And of course, here is the aluminum compactor. It was fun to paint all of those cans.

All of these were used as signage in the plant (with some text) to help explain to tour groups how everything worked.

08 September 2009

Little Bird

I recently finished this Hidden Picture for Highlights High Five. It will be featured in the February issue's "My First Hidden Pictures" which are hidden pictures designed to be easier for younger kids and they are also accompanied with a poem. This was my first time coloring one of my hidden pictures. I have been experimenting with a colored pencil Photoshop technique and decided to try it out for this illustration.

Look for the following objects:
Magic wand, birthday cake, mitten, spool of thread, ruler, pencil, eyeglasses, and a tea cup.

There were many changes to the original sketch (the one posted above is actually the second revision). You can see in the sketch how the window was changed to make it easier for the younger kids to "read." My technique in making a hidden picture is usually to make a purposefully busy composition and then find the objects in the sketch with some manipulation. With this one I felt I really had to pull back and simplify which was much easier on my brain.

Below is the line art minus the bird. The bird was done separately so I could control the depth/color of the line in the finish.

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