Category Archives: Graphic Design

The Devil Gets His Brew

The Devil Gets His Brew

Summary: A brief discussion of diabolical draftsmanship and details discovered during the creation of this devilish illustration. 

Ok, truth time.

I listen to the Grateful Dead… a lot.

I know a lot of you might be stunned, but I feel like I just need to come clean on this one.

Anyway… this project starts with the Grateful Dead song, “Friend of the Devil.” The refrain goes, “a friend of the Devil is a friend of mine.” Without going too far off the deep end here, part of what I draw from these lyrics is that we we are better served by befriending all the aspects of ourselves.

With this thought in mind, I started a series of sketches about the Devil. I wanted my devil to be impish, but not to go as far as one might imagine. I wanted him to be tricky, and maybe a little gullible too. Eventually, I invented this scene where an old Hag was slipping him some of the ol’ Love Potion #9. She tricked the Devil into falling in love!

A side note here, I’m interested in advertising characters, and want to point out the 9 volt Rayovac Cat on the love potion. The connection began with the number 9, and it seemed natural, or even super-natural, to include the iconic cat on the witch’s potion.

I solved a few unique problems for this illustration. One was that I had to really spend some time understanding the light and shadow shapes of the under-lit imaginary faces

The next challenge was how to go about painting a strong pink light on yellow and green skin.

“What color is that!” I thought.

The final challenge was how to create the holding line that goes around the outside of the design? To solve this problem, I cobbled together different pieces of a compass set to create this new tool. I used a small piece of an eraser to keep from poking a hole in the watercolor paper. #protip

Overall, my process for creating the final art is consistent with what I’ve posted in other blog posts. To summarize, starting with the sketch from my book, I made numerous drawings adjusting the composition, and used photo reference. Once I had a clean line drawing, I scanned it, and printed it very lightly onto watercolor paper. Next, using a red pencil I drew in the final line work, and built my painting from there. I used colored pencils to finish off the last details.

As ever, thank you for reading. I respond well to enthusiasm, so feel free to leave a comment here, drop me a line, or follow me on the Insta-tweet-a-books.

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Drawing to a Beautiful Conclusion

Summary: In the previous post I talked about the beginnings and the initial thoughts and concepts behind this illustration. We left off in that post at the first round of thumbnails. This post will follow up by talking about revisions, rough comps, and the resulting phases of this process, ending with the exciting final product!Continue Reading

A Curious Introduction; a Story of Self Promotion

A Curious Introduction; a Story of Self Promotion

“A Curious Introduction” represents the first promo created specifically for a targeted audience of Art Directors working in the field of Middle Reader/ Children’s Book publishing. I wanted this first card to present a clear message and to show that I can tell a story with images. The message that it is intended to communicate is simply one of introduction. Which seems appropriate as I introduce my work to a group of people who most likely will be hearing about me for the first time through this piece.Continue Reading

Perceptions: Finding Value in Mood and Tone

Perceptions: Finding Value in Mood and Tone

Summary: This in depth blog post is about the connection and implications of using values to affect the mood of an illustration. The images created by Jon Jude Palencar are used here with permission from the artist. This post is the result of two different conversations with two different friends that I’ve had in theContinue Reading

Rush Job

Rush Job

Yippee! 2010 is starting off wonderfully. A good client of mine contacted me for a rush job to spruce up their product information page. I had about 1 day to work on it. Everything went very smoothly, and I was especially grateful for the new brush pen that my sister gave to me for ChristmasContinue Reading

A quick fling

A quick fling

One can never tell where things are going to go next! A friend of mine has a mother whose something of an entrepreneur. We were introduced to each other last year and she hired me to do some simple story boards for a PSA for her company No Kiddin’ Condoms. This year, she was onContinue Reading

Watercolor Process