Monday, November 18, 2013

The journey so far...

So it has definitely been a while since my last post and my poor blog has been somewhat neglected. A lot has changed and I feel this is as good as place as any to update everyone on how things have been. In short, things couldn't be better! I left my life of leasing apartments behind and moved to New York to pursue my dream of becoming an illustrator.

Now as great as that is, its not without its challenges. Work being the forerunner in aches and pains these days. Hence the new blog and website which I will do my best to update reguarly in the hopes someone in need of my skill set will come along and say "Thats the guy I want to paint for me!". Who knows right?

At the moment I feel as though my whole life is laid out in front of me. I have dedicated myself to the pursuit of my art, and I know that big break is right around the corner. The Hudson valley is absolutely gorgeous and I feel surrounded by art at all times. There are so many museums within a short drive to fuel my inspiration. In short, Im happy. I do miss home, my family and my friends. But everyday I use that to remind myself why Im here.

That being said here is a preview of what has been occupying my time as of late...

She's coming along pretty good but I still have several hours to go. BTW I am LOVING oils now and I don't think I will will be going back to acrylics any time soon. I hope to have this one done by the weekend so I can move on to the next painting.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and I hope to update you again real soon!

Oh and be sure to check out my new site at

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My first step down a long road.

So this Thursday held some significance for me. One, it was my birthday and two, it was the day of the auction where my Tiger painting would (hopefully) be auctioned off. Even though this painting was donated to the zoo, and I will never see any money from the sell, the event was both exciting and a little stressful. Why stressful you ask? Well, I kinda had it in my head that if this piece sold it would serve as some type of validation that I was on the right track with my art. That if someone, anyone in this economy felt compelled to throw down their hard earned dollars on something I created than I must be doing it right.

Once the auction began, the butterflies in my stomach started working overtime. I was watching the crowd and auctioneer like a hawk. Listening to people talk, watching the trends of the gallery as they bid on every piece of art that was up for auction. It seemed like it took an eternity before my piece was displayed. The potential buyers were thinning after each sale and each piece sold with prices ranging from $25- $250. My friends that were with me offered words of encouragement and made the event less stressful. But my external calm belied the hurricane of emotion that was swelling inside of me.

After about 20 pieces or so were gone it was time for the moment of truth. The auctioneer grabbed my piece from the table, announced my name and title of the art, and with that, my professional art career began with a $25 bid. This was the eye opener I needed, the shot in the arm of public opinion. There was no fan fair over my art, no "oooing and awing". Just the silent raising of a few hands of people that cared to own something I put so much into creating. And after a 90 second adrenaline ride of expectations it was over. Final bid, $75.

Once it was over I found out who bought my art, greeted them, shook their hand and thanked them for their interest. It felt good to know that someone out there felt my art was worth their money. And now after a couple days and the memories are still fresh I have gained a perspective on this event. This was not a validation of my talent at all, but a stepping stone on the path to my art career. I will continue to develop and improve and I will be successful. And hopefully, some day this will be a story told from another perspective. The perspective of an art patron that bought one of my original paintings for the unheard of low price of $75. I am thankful and honored to have shared the auction floor with some of the finest artists and designers Nashville has to offer. I wish all that participated the very best! As for me, its time to take that next step.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Step by Step Tiger Illustration

Hello Everyone... and by looking at the amount of followers I have I do mean ONE. LOL

So its been a while since I have posted a blog partly to being busy, partly because of chronic laziness, and partly because of constant alien invasions. I assure you I'm doing every thing in my power to battle the latter.

So, here I am in front of my screen, once again eager to share my life with the few of you goodly enough to stumble upon my little world here. And what am I sharing with you today you ask? (As if the title or banner for that matter hasn't given it away.) You guessed it, my step by step approach to my latest illustration! (For anyone that desires a more in depth tutorial I encourage you to buy Drew Struzan's "Conceiving and Creating The Hellboy Movie Poster" found at as that is where I got this technique from.) I have to give credit where credit is due!

Now that being said, watching this DVD alone was not enough. I was fortunate enough to have Jeff Preston as my illustration professor in school. (you can follow him here: / Between Jeff's instruction, the encouragement of classmates, and a LOT of practice, I feel like Im really on my way to becoming a successful illustrator. I have followed Drew's work since before I even knew his name. As I'm sure is the case with anyone that went to the movies between the 70's and now. When I first saw his DVD advertised on his page I freaked out, no really, I freaked! I had to have it! I cant tell you how many times I have watched it, I REALLY enjoy his technique, which is why I prefer to work the way I do. That being said, lets get on with it shall we. The following images were shot with my cell phone with the exception of the final art (its a hi res scan).

First I start with a illustration board that I tone grey with Gesso mixed with payne's grey or black. Once that dries I draw the illustration with a 6H pencil. I then add little black splatters for texture to the illustration with acrylic paint on a tooth brush. And once thats done then anywhere that is going to be black, I brush that in with black acrylic paint. Also for this composition I wanted to give the leaves a thick black outlining to help them stand out. This is also due to my taste and how I like things to look, I think a lot of this is due to being a avid comic book fan and EVERYTHING in a comic is outlined.

So next, I thin some acrylic paint down with water for use with my airbrush and begin adding the color. You can see I wanted a little different look from your typical setting for a tiger. I added maple leaves with fall colors for the tiger to peer from instead of the typical jungle scene. The white in the tigers face is still just the toned board showing through, I haven't added any color to those areas yet.

Next, I really start to give the tiger shape by adding shadows. This was achieved by adding small amounts of black to burnt umber and using the airbrush to paint on transparently over the existing color. I've found this allows me to add shading quickly without making the image look flat or muddy, or lose any color. I chose burnt umber because of the color pallet I used for this illustration. There are a lot of oranges, yellows, and browns already so I just wanted a darker brown for the shadows.

Lastly, I added detail with color pencils, reestablishing lines, helping the color transition from one to the next a little better and gives the art texture. This is also how I added some detail to the fur and the whiskers. I added a few color "splatters" to the leaves to give them a little more texture and interest. Once this was finished it was signed and sprayed with crystal clear to seal the art and really darken up the blacks. Done and done. : )

Well, there you have it. Thank you for stopping by and hopefully it wont be so long between posts next time. If you want to see this illustration and many others from local artists like myself in person. Feel free to attend the Ads to Art charity Auction at the Nashville Zoo on June 3rd 2010, the event will run from 6:30 till 9:30. I hope everyone out there has a great Memorial day, remember our soldiers and stay safe!