Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Fhew!  Well that was fun!  I just finished working on a piece for a contest that the School of Visual storytelling is holding.  I've been working in small chunks on the project for weeks, but decided I needed to put some time in to finish it.  Since I am always looking for posts on people process, I thought I'd share mine with you for this piece.

We were given a prompt which was to create a scene based on the line

...and Bernie escaped the zoo.

When I read this the first thing I thought of was a rat.  A rat that escaped the zoo with a bag of all the animal's food.  Often times I am at work or in meetings when I come up with an idea (I have a day job.  You gotta pay the bills).  These were my original sketches.  I wanted the rat running away but wanted the action to be towards the reader and not to the side.  I also knew that I wanted to have some pissed off zoo animals in the background and started sketching out ideas for them as well.

Later I was able to look up some visual references of the action I was looking for.  I really liked the look of the rat at the bottom of the page.

Happy with the sketch idea for the rat and with a basic framing idea for the zoo animals, I transferred Bernie to some watercolor paper since I knew that I wanted to use gouache to paint with.  After a few hours I was finished with Bernie.

But I wasn't happy with it.  Sure it looked cute and it followed my sketch, but I didn't like my framing.  The rat was small or at least equal in size as the zoo animals and felt that It didn't emphasize Bernie enough.  So it was back to the yellow notepad!

 This time I felt like I got what I wanted.  I used some brushes and some black ink to paint the outlines of Bernie so that I had a good sense of what I wanted him to look like.
 I didn't have space on the original page to work on Bernie, so I decided that I would create him on a separate page and use Photoshop to marry him to the zoo animals.  


In Photoshop, I was able to touch up my paintings, merge the two images, and add some background detail.  After an hour or so of tweaking, I felt like I was finished.
 It was a really fun project to work on and I was glad that I was able to not only work with traditional paint but also work some digital in there as well.    As for the contest, we'll see how the voting goes.  I'm just happy with the work.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gert Dancing

Here's a little process on a drawing I did the other day.

I've found that I really love working in colored pencil just because of the lack of smearing by my being left handed.  I've also discovered how much I like to ink with a brush.
I then used colored pencil.
Then onto photoshop and wacom.  One of the reasons I wanted to share this was to show that those doodles and sketches you might line the sides of your paper with that you might throw away or think you need to redo on a sheet or real drawing paper can actually turn into something pretty nice.