Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Imagination & Visual Literacy Class

I'm teaching a class called "Imagination & Visual Literacy" at UVU right now. I love this class. It's all the good stuff. I think I learned more than my students in developing the curriculum.

This was yesterdays in-class assignment. Draw a cat looking out of a bedroom window and include 25 items in the room but put all of the emphasis on the cat in 45 min. Since it was a drawing - students couldn't use color for emphasis which is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this task. High contrast and crisp lines were all they could use.

I drew the above image along with them on my iPad hooked to the LCD projector. I like creating problems that I would also like to solve - why should they have all the fun?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Online Story Art Class Coming!

Today's post is a teaser! Personally I hate teasers - please don't tease me! :)

In the next 4-6 weeks I will be announcing my new Online Story Art Class! It looks like I'll be teaching it with a rock star in the animation/comics/children's book industry! Not final yet so I guess that's another teaser! The class will be limited to about 15 students so we're thinking it might fill up fast but if there's enough demand we might offer a second section. We're still hammering out all the details but it will have assignments, critiques, instruction, - things we can't put in a video due to copyright/permission issues which are protected under the "fair use" doctrine.

I use my personal FACEBOOK account as my professional connection account on FB so if you want to send me a friend request I'll add you so you can get the announcement there. I'll also tweet it and of course post it here on my blog. Following my blog will allow you to get it in your google feed.

We'll price it very reasonably stripping out all the overhead that you pay for a University class since we won't be renting space. So excited to be able to do this! Stay tuned!

 Oh yeah - this was my demo last night in Digital Painting class.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Photoshop Demo For My Class

I painted this for my class at UVU for our next assignment. I don't work in this style so I wanted to work up a little example of what I'm looking for. I can't tell you how much fun I have playing with different brushes and settings in Photoshop - it truly is an amazing program!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Working With Children's Book Editors

I've been working on one of the funnest books I've ever had the privilege to illustrate. "Skeleton For Dinner" by Margery Cuyler is due out this coming fall by Albert Whitman - and is a very cute story about miscommunication among friends. The image above is just a mock up - the real type treatments to come.

My advice when working with editors and art directors:

1) Seek after the advice of your editor. It's a collaboration. The publisher is paying the bills. They are risking their money to make the dream happen. You and I are risking our time. We all have risk but I often hear about illustrators who feel that art decisions should be their call alone. Many of my books have been greatly enhanced by the discretion, suggestions, and requests of my employers and this cover is no exception. I had to completely re-do this cover because I broke some of my own design rules - I cut corners. I am so much happier with this current version and the input from my editors Nick Tiermersma and Wendy McClure.

2) Get to know your editors with good back and forth communication. Be clear in what your expectations, aspirations, intentions, plans, goals, etc are. Let them know how passionate you are - they want to know. Don't make it a secret that you're tickled to work on their project. Don't hide the fact that you're trying to do your best work ever. Let them understand that you value their opinion and input. After all you're a team even though you may be many miles apart geographically. If you're not a team player...good luck.

Monday, March 11, 2013

How I Use Procreate To Draw On My iPad

In the video below I show how I'm using Procreate to make drawings for my children's books, iPad apps, personal and freelance work. I love the Procreate app! It allows me to make high resolution drawings that I can email to my desktop and paint in photoshop. No more running out of paper. No more pens, pencils, not having a pen, running out of lead, etc. I can take my work anywhere and I can go through the entire drawing/refinement process without the use of a scanner or tracing paper. It has made me much more productive in that I can do finish work anywhere - doctor's office, meetings, waiting in the car, airplanes, conferences - you name it. The only thing I have to remember to do is take enough work with me before I leave the studio. I hope you enjoy the video...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Copy Your Mentors Work To Improve!

In this video I discuss the fact that public schools didn't prepare us to learn art (big surprise right?). The fact that there are rules in every creative field like writing, dance, music and yes - even sports...why then do we often fail to apply the same rules to the visual arts? From public school through college many students report that they were never taught concrete rules to help them find the boundaries that focus their creative energy into successful drawings and paintings. In the video I give advice on what I think you should do to improve the quality of your visual art.