Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Frankenstein says 'Watch all the classic horror movies- moooo aah aahh AHHH......!' I recommend these tried and true favorites: Young Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Halloween (the original), Nosferatu, Dracula, The Hills Have Eyes, Friday the 13th, When a Stranger Calls, Rear Window, Nightmare on Elm Street, Incredible Shrinking Man, SSSsss!, Chainsaw Massacre, Scream, The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, IT, Alien, Aliens, Planet of the Apes 1 and 2. Trick or treat!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Illustrating a dream

Last year I was asked to bring to life a firefighter's experience of surviving the World Trade Center tragedy mixed with a recurring dream of his. I did not want it to appear corny or push it to overly tragic. Here is the comp, which ended up being the finish- the sketchy quality and loose feel helped convey the moment better.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A real trip

A good concept is half the battle. Sometimes the ideas just flow, they are obvious, and other times you have to brainstorm, research, look up words and phrases in the dictionary or call on a fellow artist and hash it out. In this case a cousin of mine was talking about how a crack in the sidewalk can spell big money in an injury lawsuit- and this image popped into my mind.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nature's designs

I was asked to draw a bee in a way you might see it on a blueprint. Nature's patterns are so
intricate and amazing- graceful curves, amazing patterns, in the tiniest of objects.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

First take

Here's a few illustrations I did that literally were just starting out as idea doodles and became the finals because they just nailed the essence. The freshness of the line and spontaneous quality of a first take is often the way to go, and one of the best reasons to sketch. And, of course, to have fun with it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Drawing from reality

Occasionally I've gone on assignment as a court artist. I admit I love CSI and anything to do with forensics, law, and crime, so when I was asked to work on a trial that I had ironically just finished reading about I was thrilled.
In this case, it involved Michael Skakel, a Kennedy relative, and a murder from over two decades ago. He was found guilty
after a month of testimony, and is still fighting the sentence and trying to get a new trial over 4 years later, pleading innocence.

Holding court

Recently I had the good fortune to go to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and draw the tribunal for David Hicks, the ony detainee so far to have gotten a sentence and moved through a tribunal as of now. It was the first time any of the media- or outside world- had seen Hicks in 5 years. My job as the only court artist there was to capture how he looked. There were no cameras nor other artists allowed; whatever I produced was all that could go out.
It turned out to be quite dramatic. Hicks had gone from a militant and fit person to the opposite. Then, to the surprise of all, this turned into a case that would be heard and finished, so the media all stayed on for a week while waiting for a military jury to be flown in. The next time we saw Hicks he'd gotten a haircut and wore a suit- quite a change. Working alongside the media and the military was tremendous to say the least.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Having fun

Here's a portrait I did of Woody Allen that brought out a free-flowing light caricature. Sometimes the subject just tugs you along in the current; in this case I could not imagine portraying him any other way. I really enjoy being open to interpreting the subject and letting that inform how I approach it stylistically, unless otherwise directed. It's so much fun to free up!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


It's been awhile since posting- I moved, so it was chaotic for awhile. I have returned to the drawing board- or monitor, so to speak. Leaves are changing and Halloween is around the corner, so what better image to post than our old favorite Frankenstein?
This piece was done for Universal Studios as they were developing what became 'Van Helsing'. I was chosen to do the style guide with a Goth twist to the characters. Needless to say, it was a joy to work on, the kind of assignment you can't get enough of.
The media I used was traditional; I do a charcoal value drawing on Crescent cold press illustration board, fix it with workable fixative (krylon brand). Note: fix artwork outside or in a well-ventilated area, the stuff is really toxic! After letting the fix air out, I then used acrylic washes, building up color, and sometimes using rubbing alcohol to 'pull out' texture. Rubbing alcohol melts acrylic paint so you can remove, or smudge it. Very handy and gorgeous results. After the piece is done, sometimes I'll add Crystal Clear spray (again, toxic, so well-ventilated area when spraying)- it adds a nice sparkle and shine to the finish, but that's mostly if you plan to display the art.
If you have questions or comments I'm all ears. Thanks for stopping by!