Monday, March 31, 2014

Adjusting Photoshop Curve's To Alter My Sketches

Created some amusing sketches and used Photoshop's curve feature to adjust the
colors within the RGB channels. You can view my video process Youtube at

Monday, March 17, 2014

Uri Shulevitz Offers His Insight Into The Picture Book Dummy process


Creating a picture book dummy is no easy task especially without adequate information and experience. There are a series of steps required before anyone present there book dummy before the eyes of any children's book publisher. I discovered this when I decided to participate in the Picture Book Challenge sponsored by the web group Kitlitart. This great group of writers and illustrators meet to discuss their love for children's picture books. They meet on Thursday evening at 9pm using Twitter with the hashtag #kitlitart, (https://twitter.com/kidlitart). I needed some information as to how to put my picture book dummy together. I am a member of kidlitart and quickly discovered what other  kitlitart members have used to create their very own picture book dummies. There are many very good reference books that describe how to put a book dummies together. This blog article will discuss one of my favorite books by Uri Shulevitz. His book "Writing With Pictures" published by Watson-Guptill Publications. My idea was to start my book dummy creating the text and gradually adding the pictures. I decided instead to try Mr. Shulevitz's idea of imagining my book dummy with pictures in sequence and gradually adding text. He mentions in his book what an effective picture book should be, "Picture books communicate through pictures and words or just words." In order for pictures books to be understood by children you need to communicate clearly and know how to use your pictures properly. Reading his book gave me several good ideas for putting together an effective picture book dummy. Mr Stulvitz's adds that a lot of thought goes into putting a book dummy together. He offers some very good information into the process so that I felt more confident tackling the picture book dummy challenge. 

I like how Mr. Shulevitz offers his information methodically about creating a picture book dummy. This includes his years of experience in the publishing industry. He tackles the picture book process concisely with plenty of examples so that any illustrator or writer will enjoy reading his book. One of my favorite chapters in his book is Part One, Telling the story. He starts this chapter by explaining the difference between a story book and picture book. Mr Shulevitz breaks down the individual steps or picture sequence so that the child will understand what you need to communicate. He gradually shows more involved picture sequences to add interest to your story and explains why some picture sequences succeed and some don't. 


Another favorite book section I enjoyed is titled Picture Book Characteristics. In this chapter he writes "Pictures do much more than illustrate text. They expand upon the words and provide information essential to the story." Pictures should say what words do not. This is so true, why reiterate pictures and words when they should complement each other. Mr. Shulevitz book includes suggested Book Characteristics explaining his use of Direct Approach, Lively Hero (develop a character with a beginning, middle and end or resolution), Visible Action, and a number of other important characteristics any good children's picture book should have. I have only touched upon a few of Mr. Shulevitz's books ideas. I suggest looking at his book and purchase a copy if you are considering writing and illustrating your own children's picture book. This book is on my reference book shelf and I am off to a great start with my picture book challenge. You can purchase this book at Amazon's website by visiting Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/1e83R61

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Amusing Spring Illustration

Boston is receiving it's share of winter snow this year. I created this spring illustration to start thinking about what is about to arrive after mother nature changes it's tune and spring begins to arrive. Once again exploring some of the possibilities with different brushes using Photoshop.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wednesday Evening Sketching At The Museum

Took another visit to the  Museum of Fine Arts on Wednesday for Drawing in the Galleries. I always find my visits exciting and challenging. It was the third Wednesday of the month and this means no model but sketching any objects within the different galleries. I decided to visit the  Roman gallery section and try my hand at drawing Roman busts. This can be very challenging since I have not sketched in a few weeks. My first thoughts begin by comparing positive and negative spaces that define the shape of each Roman head. How does the nose, with the Augustus(Roman) bust compare to the eyes or for that matter the mouth. Are the eyes situated to the right just above the ears correctly? All of the individual parts of the head must be placed just right otherwise the head does not look what it should like. I am continuously comparing areas of each part of the head before I place my pencil marks. I believe it took me about and hour and fifteen minutes before I started to warm up to the sketching process. Take a look at the sketches above to view my results. Sketching is a great way to train the mind and eye to see, observe and draw. This reminds me of a thought by Walt Stanchfield (well know Disney artist) said "Sketching is a way of awakening and sharpening our awareness. If our awareness is sluggish, some of the impressions we receive through our senses, which are so important to drawing, will be overlooked. My next visit to the Wednesday sketching session will involve the figure. When I have some samples to show I will post them .

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Do You Have What It Takes To Freelance?


How well do you know yourself because freelancing will require dealing with your work when you are alone for long periods of time. This means whether work is coming in or not and delaying your social life.

You Are The Boss:
You will decide when to work or take a break. Decisions are made as you see fit as long as you complete your projects by the deadline. There are moments for personal freedom to do errands or take a casual walk around the block when everyone else is at work. You are not constrained by working in a cubicle 9 to 5. You are able to decide what needs to be accomplished each work day. You better be an organized and get things done type of person.

Stress And Tension:
There is a price to pay for this freedom and dealing with stress and tension exist. There will be times when you wonder when the next project arrives. You learn very quickly how to budget and allocate funds as needed. Do you have enough funds to market and create an effective marketing program?
When working on a project how many late nights or days do you have to work until the work is completed. You wear many hats to accomplish your tasks. You are a skilled psychologist dealing with many professionals (designers, editors, writers, etc.) negotiating to make sure the project runs as smoothly as possible. Are you able to tie all loose ends that need to be accomplished and complete your work day. 
There are undefined boundaries between work and personal life that you need to deal with. Since your home may be your studio, you will need a separate space to work on projects and not be disturbed by family members.

Unlimited Growth Potential:
There is a lot of pressure you face as a freelancer but there is also a lot of opportunity if you create quality work, succeed with marketing, develop effective business skills and treat your peers professionally. Your job opportunities should increase as well as your income. You can take on different projects that you feel offer an avenue for personal growth and potential for increased income. These are just some thoughts to think about if you want to freelance in the New Year.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Not My Favorite Season


The Winter time is not my favorite time of the year. I am glad that it only last about three months, that is long enough. There is less sunny and warm temperatures and my body always tells me so with stiff limbs and soreness. I haven't even mentioned the psychological affect of the bleak surroundings and little green in the trees and shrubs. I decided that rather than become frustrated I would create this winter sketch to keep my thoughts positive. I look forward to the warm days when I am able to once again roam the outdoors and enjoy the weather.