Thursday, March 26, 2015

Assignment I gave my UVU Illustration Class

The assignment was to illustrate a Rat Wizard in an alley BUT, they had to maintain one main focal point and include at least 25 objects not including clothing or structural items that are attached to buildings. I love working along with them each semester!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

SCBWI Webinar


We just finished a webinar sponsored by SCBWI Wisconsin chapter - thank you Deb Gross for organizing it and helping make it a success! Jake Parker, Lee White, and I all gave demos and taught principles of design, how to create convincing characters, fixing compositions in drawings, and how to keep a traditional look in your digital painting. If you'd like to organize an event through your chapter contact your RA to discuss options - svslearninfo@gmail.com

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Got A Nice Feature In Illustrator's Magazine!

I got a very nice feature/write up in "Illustrators" magazine in issue #9! Thank you Peter Richardson - this is a must have magazine for illustrators - you can pick up a copy here http://www.illustratorsquarterly.com/



Saturday, February 21, 2015


We just wrapped up our last class for "Illustrating Children's Books" at SVS! We covered a lot of ground in our 13 class sessions which started in January 2015. If you missed our LIVE class you can still get the videos of our class and see every lesson and presentation. You'll see all aspects of what it takes to illustrate artwork for all kinds of children's books. The art of visual storytelling is complex but anyone with the passion and dedication can master it with the right information. We do not have plans for our next LIVE session for this class but you can always check our site for new classes. 

We are giving free critiques to any group of ten people who buy this class and join together. Critiques for groups are held using GoToMeeting software online. We provide the forum and will draw over your work and tell you exactly what you need to do to move forward. If you have a group of 10 people interested in this class email us at svslearninfo@gmail.com to schedule your critique session. 

Here are a few emails we received after the class: 

I also wanted to let you and Jake know how much I am enjoying the course. You guys have really exceeded my expectations with the amount of information you’ve given us in the pdfs and all the critiques have been so helpful. You guys make it look so easy!   - Melissa

I love how you guys present the information on the courses. The interview with Stephen Fraser was so good. One of my favourite lessons.   -Judy

Thanks again to you and Jake for a really really great class.  I was an art major for just one year and it was awhile ago, but I cannot think of one class that was as substantive and well-organized or the instructors as prepared, interesting and fun as you & Jake.  I couldn't wait for that year to be over, but I definitely did NOT want this class to end  - Patty 

The price for this class will increase after we launch our new website in a month or two - stay on top of all our progress on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/schoolofvisualstorytelling You can also sign up for our email list from the facebook page.

- HD video recordings from each class
- 100 Page PDF download for Part 1
- 100 Page PDF download for Part 2
- 20 assignment workbook PDF
- Children's Book Art Checklist PDF
- Assignment Checklist 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Finished With My Movie Characters


This little personal challenge was harder than I thought it would be. I thought I had enough time but then other work demands seemed like they began spawning out of control. I wish I wasn't so glad that it's over but I am. I will definitely re-visit this idea again as it really was fun coming up with these. You can get prints or even a T-Shirt of all of them right here! http://society6.com/willterryart



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day 4 Of My Fanart Project


Having more fun with these that should be allowed by law...what's that?...it's illegal? shhh

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Starting A Little Fan Art Series


I started doodling some of my favorite characters from movies. I'm starting off by showing you this one...each day for the next 9 days I'll upload a new one. I wanted to do something in the fan art space for a long time but I just didn't know what to do - the answer was right in front of me. Just make them cute kids.

This fits in with my style of art and can even attract a few people to perhaps venture over to my print shop at Society6 and maybe pick one up? Doodling like this is therapeutic for me - I don't have to think too much - just tinker when I'm in a meeting or waiting at the doctor's office, etc. Check it out in the print shop.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Time Management Tips For Illustrators

In this video I share my strategies for getting it all done! I hope some of it might help you in your quest to take over the world with your art...or at least get more finished.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Doodles For My UVU Class


I gave the assignment to my Imagination & Visual Literacy class at UVU to create a lizard character. But before they started drawing they had to answer as many questions about their character as time permitted. I posted this list as a starting point. In order to draw your character you need to know your character.

My character is an old gecko tax collector from the 20's who really likes his job.

How old am I?
What gender am I?
What am I wearing? Why am I wearing it?
Am I well kept or unkempt?
Am I fat/skinny? Small, med, large, XL?
What time of year is it?
What era am I from?
What temperature?
What clothing is appropriate?
What is my occupation or responsibility?
What clothing and/or props will make my job easier?
What has happened to me?
Do I have any injuries or scars?
Have I developed any special abilities or powers?
What are my weaknesses?
Am I good, Bad, Neutral?
Am I healthy or sick?
Do I carry any weapons or tools?

Monday, January 12, 2015

I Love Drawing Cute...Sometimes...

I was trying to analyze why I like to draw cute things...I think it was that I really enjoyed my kids when they were babies - I used to love to kiss those fat cheeks...I was thinking about that yesterday after beating my youngest at ping pong and he was somewhat frustrated...and then I remembered him when he was a baby...and so I drew this.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Why I'm Glad I Didn't Get Free Money!


Have you ever had a situation where you desperately needed money but didn't know how you were going to get it or where it was going to come from? I did. In this video I explain why I needed it and why I'm glad I NEVER got it!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Just A Little Doodle Today


With all the work that I've been putting into our children's book class I haven't had time to write extensive blog posts. I love blogging but there's only so much time in a day. Looking forward to having my 200 page PDF manual finished!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Answers To Illustration Questions From Other Artists



I get a lot of questions from fellow artists. Sometimes I answer them with a short message. Sometimes I send them a link to a video I already made covering the topic they asked about - And sometimes I save their questions in a word doc and answer them in video form - like this one...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Get "Posing Characters" class FREE - with our upcoming children's book class


Jake and I didn't have room to include the material for this new class in our upcoming "Illustrating Children's Books" class at www.svslearn.com - so we recorded it separately last night and put it in our store. As a bonus to those who already bought any version of the Children's book class - Live or Video only - we'll send out the links to you for this new class for free today! It's our way of saying thanks for trusting us! Thank you for sharing our website and thank you for your enthusiasm for what we're trying to do! It's time to level up your skills for 2015!

For anyone thinking about buying "Illustrating Children's Books" before Dec 31 we'll also send you the links to this class for FREE!

Check out the details on this new class or the children's book class here.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Interview with William Joyce - Children's Book Illustrator

Pinching myself this week! I got to interview THE William Joyce along with Jake Parker about his career. William Joyce is an Emmy and Oscar winning children's book illustrator, character designer, feature film producer, Story app creator, and Co-founder of Moonbot studios. In this podcast episode we discuss his career, many projects, and life filled with passion and creation for children's stories. What an inspiration! I've followed his career for many years.

Monday, December 1, 2014

What Is It Like To Attend CTNx?



A few weeks ago I snuck away to CTNx in LA...this is a small portion of what it was like. I met so many amazing artists - the talent rich environment is almost overwhelming...it's at least whelming!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Few Sketches From CTN


I'm at CTNx right now in Burbank and what a weekend! Aside from total retina melt down from seeing so many of my hero's artwork and hanging out with legends in the business I got to co-teach a class with Jake Parker for SVS - How to get a traditional look in your digital work.  It's so important to hide some or all of your process. Your "paint alchemy" fosters curiosity and intrigue...being multi faceted keeps your audience tuned in and guessing.

I watched a bunch of panel discussions and talks by animation pros - the Reel FX team that produced THE BOOK OF LIFE was the highlight for me - what a charismatic group! Great movie too! Here are some of my doodles...can't wait for next year!



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Using Different Light Sources In Your Illustrations


Creating strong light sources can add interest and drama to your images. When I critique illustration work I often notice the lack of a planned light source(s). Understanding light and how it behaves is one of the first steps in creating powerful illustrations.

I created this image as a solution to an assignment I gave my UVU illustration class a few weeks ago but that's another story.


It's important to remember that illustration isn't photography. We don't have to play by all the rules of the natural world. We are creating an illusion. Our job is to communicate an idea -so bending and/or breaking rules is ok as long as it works and as long as we have a good reason. We can add atmosphere and lighting where we need it to set up a shot - similar to how it would be done in film. Have you ever noticed that night scenes in motion pictures often seem much lighter than they normally would? That's because it would be really boring to only hear sound while watching a dark, almost black night scene. Directors bend the rule of darkness by adding light from places where often there wouldn't be any light. Cheating? Of course!

I decided to use the 3 types of light sources you can have in an image. 1) On camera 2) On camera hidden 3) Off camera.

You can see below that using the candle alone creates a very dark mood. I wanted this illustration to be playful so one light source wasn't going to be enough. I wanted my viewers to see lots of items in the cave.


Adding a second light source behind the pirate helps by illuminating the right side of the cave. I envisioned this as perhaps a lantern that is below the pirate and objects in the foreground (on camera hidden.) These two light sources just aren't enough however to define the cave opening.


I had to add a third light source (the moon - off camera) that would shine down and reveal the cave entrance and the pirate ship on the horizon.


And this is what it would look like with only the two lesser light sources - moon and lantern. You have to have a primary light that helps create your focal point(s).


It's much easier to use one light source in your illustrations but in certain situations you can achieve the results you're looking for by adding multiple light sources as long as you make one your primary and the others secondary.

If you're looking for more instruction on Painting Color and Light we have a video course at www.svslearn.com that might be what you're looking for.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Which Tablet Monitor Should You Buy? Cintiq vs Yiynova

Have you thought about jumping to lightspeed from a drawing tablet like Bamboo or Intuos to a pressure sensitive drawing monitor like Monoprice, Yiynova, or the king of all monitors - Cintiq by Wacom? In this video I make the comparison to help you decide which is right for you.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Am I good enough to make it as an illustrator?

I get asked this question so often I finally decided to do my best in answering it. There are so many factors involved from what kind of illustration you want to do? what markets? what kinds of clients? how long you like to work on an illustration? Style? etc....

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Illustrating Children's Books - New Class at SVS


Jake Parker and I are very excited to finally announce our new class! We gave our first online children's book class about 18 months ago when we started www.svslearn.com. We were happy with that class but realized that we needed to take some time to create support classes before we could run it again. We knew that there were many people who wanted to buy that class but we took it down for a handful of reasons.

The biggest reason was that we wanted to create a more complete class that focused on the storytelling aspects of children's book illustration instead of all of the support material we had to include. In the past 18 months we have created a foundation series of fundamental classes that will support our NEW children's book class. In short there will be about 10 times the information in this new class - including business and marketing.

If you're interested please see the listings in our online store to see the details - if you still have questions please ask.

This class has been so fun to work on and we really feel that with the over 200 pages of PDF manuals and workbook - our students will feel that they received a lot of value.


***Update as of Nov 8th - we still have 7 out of 25 spots left for our live class - I'll continue to update here...