Friday, November 30, 2007

Lone wolf

This is a painting I did for a series on various wildlife in Long Island. It's painted traditionally with acrylic. To get the soft haze around the wolf's head, I painted water around it, then lightly dipped the color along the edges, allowing it to bleed out. It's a beautiful effect. For texture, you can toss salt on it. Excellent backgrounds for digital paintings too- do it on a blank board, save, and drop in as a layer in photoshop.
Recently I went from working in a group environment back to a solo studio. With the internet you're not really working in a vacuum anymore- there are tons of tools, visual inspiration, links and connections. Here is a site a friend of mine who used to teach at Dreamworks sent me- a portal to several tutorials and notable sites:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hail Caesar

Here are some samples of sketch-to-finish work I did for a book on Julius Caesar. I used a combination of traditional materials on the first one, and the figure on the horse was painted digitally - the focus being that the style remained true.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tangled up

This is an illustration I did with Pete Santilli on how new regulations for hair braiders were going to make it hard for those in the profession. Pete came up with this great idea of 'red tape' tangled in the braids - and this is the result of our collaboration.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

From the heart

This piece is on AIDS and health clinics in Africa. People will travel for miles, often waiting in long lines. In this case the space I had to work with was very defined, so I had to come up with a composition that would show that line but also keep the clinic as a focal point; I think I succeeded to a degree here. Suggested reading: 'What is the What' edited by Dave Eggers. Check it out:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Twixt and Twain

Here is a piece I did that ran this past weekend, about the lost works of Mark Twain making it to Broadway, hence the spotlight on stage. I painted this traditionally and then digitally dodged and burned to push and pull areas. The shading was created on a separate layer in photoshop choosing the layer style 'multiply' which makes that layer transparent. This allowed some of the texture from the background to show faintly. The other option is a normal layer, adjusting the opacity- sometimes you end up with a 'fogged' effect as opposed to a completely clear layer. Upon finishing, layer should be flattened and saved as tiff or jpg.
If any of this is unclear (no pun intended) feel free to post me for clarification. Happy Monday, all!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

To the birds

Due the holiday, I fell off a bit and let this blog go to the birds... could'nt help myself.
I'll be back in full force on Monday. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy holiday

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Creative process

Here is another example of sketching through ideas until you find the one that works best for you and the client. In this case, I started with a couple; and then we decided a person of color, centered and running, would be the perfect dynamic for a heart-healthy focus. I found a palette of colors that I thought would work well for a winter-health topic. This particular piece was part of a series I did for the New York Times- health insert in the magazine called 'Cause to Cure'.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

An inside day

Today is a perfect inside day, cold and rainy, Thanksgiving around the corner. This is a time when I find myself reflecting on friends, family and life.. a melancholy and positive frame of mind. This sketch reflects that perfectly. Be checking in tomorrow!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sketching ideas

This illustration accompanied and Op-ed article about the freedom to display religion publicly. In this case, the story cited the example of a Buddhist mediation walk that took place in several street locations in NYC. Immediately I imagined the scene of bustling NY pedestrians like a river swirling around this lone figure. Other ideas were to show religious symbols, not quite as strong visually but still something to explore. The top image is the final, and sketch ideas run below.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Barry Bonds

I did both of these Barry Bonds illustrations for the Associated Press; when he surpassed The Babe's and Hank Aaron's records. Hallmark efforts cautiously celebrated. Bonds is an easy mark for an illustrator to run with visually. It will be interesting to see if he'll end up behind the bat- or the bars.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Winter wonderland

Here's an image I did for the Associated Press, Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. I did the whole series- it was a fun job, capturing the motion and feeling of each sport with room to add text and information or as a stand-alone. I worked with Pete Santilli, an excellent graphic artist at The AP. When you work with a great team it just does not get any better.
Winter is here!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Here's an illustration I did a few years ago for the Hartford Courant, on international business and terrorism. It got a good response. The red sky and bright traditional map colors add to the message. Oh, and the little Acme sizzling briefcase.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Some spots I did for the New York Times, a series called 'Cause to Cure', all about keeping healthy in this day and age of business that can often become 24/7.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Here's an illustration I did of Goldfrapp and the cities in which she performed. It was my homage to Xanadu visually, and felt like it fit.
Great music, check it out:
Her site is under re-construction but keep it bookmarked, it was amazing last time I checked- won some awards.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Ariel Sharon

Here is an illustration I did for the Associated Press of Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister of Israel. He was known as "The Bulldozer", with a legacy of reacting to violence with brutality. Currently Sharon's state of health is dire; he has been in a vegetative state since suffering a massive stroke.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Health and hope

An illustration I did for a story on how a positive attitude and hopefullness can really affect the healing process. Open heart, open mind, and serenity reflected in open line, washes and transparency. Keep it simple; not always easy in some cases, with chaotic things happening worldwide, or jobs that can stress us out- one can find such advice irritating. But taking a 5 minute break, or doing something just for you each day, can make the world of difference. Here's to hope and a good day for you all!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Blowin' in the wind

Bob Dylan still holds his place in the media mainstream, with a recent movie release and a notable birthday. Here's the link to the movie trailer of 'I'm Not There Yet', in which several very different actors portray Dylan at pivotal points in his life:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

GTMO sketchbook

I've been to Guantanamo Bay as an artist a few times. While there I kept a sketchbook to warm up and also to capture some of the beauty of the area, which felt like the land that time forgot.
Keep an eye on the news, you'll be hearing about GTMO later this week. Unfortunately, an artist was not sent this time, though there is sure to be some interesting news with newly written tribunal laws going into effect once again-and what kind of movement there will be on the Omar Khadr case being brought up.

Monday, November 5, 2007

'Tis the season

Halloween has barely left the building and before the last spider web is pulled off one hears the faint jingle of holiday music playing on radios and mall speakers. That said, it is a time when a chill is in the air and many of us begin to prepare for our family feasts and gatherings. It may be a month early but that month goes fast; a Partridge and a pear tree..

Friday, November 2, 2007

Finally, Fall

Welcome to November! Where I live, the leaves are finally breaking out in color and it is stunning. Here is my homage to nature's beauty. Remember this sunday to turn your clocks back- fall back! Have a good weekend, all. See you monday!