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Archive for June, 2010

A little jump

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work and paint a lot these past few days. I’ve finished the 3rd Fleck painting and I’m happy to have a little series added to my portfolio and painting the pony has been a ray of sunshine added to my early summer. “The Squeakers” dummy is also coming along great! She’s a real cutie-patootie!

Today I made a fun discovery while walking around Rockport’s Bearskin Neck. While going into a new used bookstore I found an entire treasure chest of old issues of Horizon Magazine. These hard covered beauties were being sold at 3 bucks a pop and so I had to pick one up.

I grabbed the September 1958 issue. (Holy smokes, that’s over 50 years old!) It’s in such amazing conditions. In fact they all were and it was very tempting to grab a lot more. They had a whole bunch! This issue stuck out to me though as it had these fantastic Victorian illustrations of hot air balloons. Very cool! The magazine brushes on all types of art from clasical sculpture to modern art  (of the time of course), music, writing, and photography are also present, but the illustrations are my favorite.

Horizon Magazine interiorThe issue I purchased features portraits from Igor Stravinsky and a poster by Rombola but while flipping through the other editions I saw some great ink drawings of Sempe and Hershfeld. The interior says that an annual subscription (an issue was released every 2 months) was a steel at 18 dollars. I wonder how the mail men got these rather large hard covers into mailboxes.

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“Hi my name is Tiffany..”
‘Hi Tiffany’
“And I’m a compulsive doodler.”

Post It Doodle

Over the years I’ve commandeered bit’s of bobs of paper and doodled on them. The back of receipts a were popular when I worked at Borders as ‘Ms. Tiffany’ – Story time Lady. I keep a scrapbook of them and they go all the way back to my college years. Lately it’s been Post Its that get the most attention. They’re everywhere and they’re easy to hold onto (stick inside my wallet). You can usually see the beginnings of sketches that led to paintings when flipping through the books of them. I remember when I got my New Moon Cover it started as a doodle on the back on a Borders schedule. I went home and that same day re-drew and sent

in the cover idea to the New Moon Girl Editorial Bored. When I know I want to paint but I can’t think of anything in-particular I flip through the book and photo copy one to transfer into a little painting.

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One of my illustration instructors from Montserrat, Fred Lynch, posted this comment in his blog Picture It and I just have to share:

In a conversation last year at Rhode Island School of Design, a newly-hired school administrator asked a few illustration professors how she could easily recognize the difference between illustration art and fine art.
“Dragons,” I said, half kidding. “Illustrators draw dragons, but fine artists don’t.”
“And robots,” added another professor.’

Fred Lynch goes on to break down the percentage of subject matter in the 319 Illustrations in the 2010 Communication Arts Illustration Ann. Guess what percentage were dragons? Read the rest here.

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So I have a few illustrations that are just a bit too large to scan with a regular desktop scanner. I’ve tried sectioning off bitts, scanning them and putting them together in Photoshop. Sometimes it works just fine and they come out great, but I have a few paintings that no matter what I do they won’t come out true to the painting. One painting in particular is driving me crazy because it’s a great painting with a lot of atmosphere and a real sense of setting. Exactly what I need in my portfolio! But I’ve tried everything… and it just won’t reproduce. I even took it to a place that specializes in photographing and color matching paintings. I dropped of the painting on Thursday and picked it up on Tuesday (longer then I thought.) It cost me about 11 bucks (okay.. not bad considering the hours I’ve already spent trying to do it myself.) It came out worse then anything I’ve seen… The light brown in the painting is hot pink in the tif file they provided me. Really??? Really??!! You didn’t think that looked a little off? Sigh…

My kingdom for a drum scanner!!!

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My trip to New York is looming. Drop-offs… I can’t stand the thought of dropping off a cliché, pleather portfolio, so I’ve been making handmade boxes out of bookbinding material (similar to how Kelly Murphy taught me in my Senior year at Montserrat).
Illustration Portfolio
I’m almost done a new one for original paintings that I’ll be bringing with me. I splurged on some great details and a phthallo blue satin ribbon as a closure.  I’m such a geek, I’ve already got routes mapped out and a schedule synchronized. I’ll be bringing 3 portfolios with me, although I only have 2 stops each morning (’cause you never know, right?) Once the portfolios are done I’ll move onto assembling my new dummy books. On the lighter, more recreational side, I’m so going horseback riding in central park while I’m there. That’s right, I’m leaving Essex, MA to go horseback riding in NY city.
Ryan Pancoast’s blog has some great foreshadowing about the drop-off routine and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who holds onto every rejection letter. I don’t have a wall like Ryan, but I do have a folder.

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When I’m feeling particularly lazy, or I’m short on time, I still know better than to not keep moving, so I’ll try and improve a piece I feel disappointing in. I was working on this character a few weeks ago but while working on this painting I decided to experiment and veer from the original sketch.

The result was a great painting of a character, however I couldn’t really show it as it never felt finished. The rest of the painting had been neglected as I concentrated on the character features and hands. Today I revisited it. I cleaned it up, added some cute hand-painted words and now I’m rather pleased with the result. I think I’ll try and hand paint text into my teen pieces more often. It will be important to not rush the text and make it sloppy. I digitally placed a few different fonts over the piece before settling on a rendition and I think that technique helped keep it clean and purposeful.

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So why do i not have any character studies in my portfolio?  Why?  Because I never even noticed!  Here I doodle and paint all day and I never even noticed that I don’t have the single most important thing to show in a children’s book illustration portfolio.  Talk about overlooking a detail.  I listened to an interview with Scott Magoon and he really stressed the importance of unique characters in sequential art.  Two spots complete and now I’m getting ready to start this last painting of this character study featuring the pony Fleck.
sketch
I’m not too sure what the girl’s name is yet. You can see one of the spot illustrations come to life here:
Sketch to Finish

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