Several months ago I drew this happy little puppy while doing some warm up sketching:
I liked his head-to-body ratio, his flapping ears, and his determined expression, and decided to turn him into a watercolor painting. As it turned out, I wound up doing six versions of this painting because each time there were things I liked and things I didn’t like. Here are some of the versions:
Eventually I was able to take all the things I liked from all the various versions, and put them together into a final version of this painting. I’m pleased with how it turned out. Thanks for reading!
A friend of mine pointed out to me that I should have more images of groups of people in my portfolio, which is largely images of one or two figures. He also suggested that I should look at the portfolios of other illustrators and find an image to sort of recreate in my style while keeping the general content and feeling of the original image. I chose an image of a very chaotic birthday party with lots of kids running around doing stuff, a dog, a toddler, and a slightly overwhelmed parent. Here is my first sketch:
I felt like this conveyed the action and feeling I wanted, so I tightened up the pencils and in the process, made a few changes. I added a couple more kids to the background, sort of reposed the Mom so that it seemed like she was in danger of being tripped as she moved through the kids with the cake, and I decided that the kids would be playing with balloon animals and objects. Here is my tightened pencil sketch:
I then made a few more changes after looking at the image with fresh eyes, such as changing the position of the Mom’s legs, the position of the baby, making the pairs of balloons asymmetrical in relation to each other, and making some of the balloon strings more curly, which added even more to the feeling of movement and chaos.
I inked this image traditionally, scanned the inks, and added colors in Photoshop using a brush that simulates the look of traditional watercolors. I think this image turned out very well, and was a good exercise for me.
This image was originally done as a black and white illustration for a book of short stories about a very precocious basset hound. In this story, the dog makes friends with a duck, and they would often fall asleep snuggled together. I thought that my drawing of them turned out very sweet, and after turning in the finished illustration, decided that I wanted to do a watercolor version based on my pencil sketch. Here is my pencil drawing:
This is the vector line art of this image that was printed in the book:
I did three versions of the watercolor version, trying to get the gradient of the sky and the shadows on the dog and on the ground to look right. I used some masking fluid create the moon and stars. This third attempt felt pretty good, and I’m pleased with the result.
This playful basset hound illustration was finished a couple of months ago and comes from a desire to draw an image with a bit of action in it. I love basset hounds, partly because they have a very funny look to them with their long, floppy ears, long bodies and short legs, and because their faces with all the wrinkles provide great expression. Once I had settled on the image of a basset hound running, I wanted to try to tell a little story with the image, so I needed a reason for him to be running. My parents’ dog, Dixie Belle, loves to play keep-away with objects she finds, so I decided that this dog was playing keep-away as well. A ribbon provided a nice visual element to emphasize the action and movement of the image. Here is my final pencil sketch:
Once I had inked this image and done a bit of Google research on the specifics of basset hound coloration, I used a little wet-on-wet technique to blend some gray into the various brown spots. I’m still experimenting with how best to do this, but I like the results this time around. Here are my inks for this image (you’ll notice that I changed the position of the left eye in the final image using photoshop to make him look less googly-eyed):