MontanaFair 2021 Poster Commission

I'm a Perfessional Sometimes

A commission inquiry came out of left field recently, for a project that I couldn’t resist taking on. How often do you get paid to draw dinosaurs enjoying a traveling carnival?? Thomas Carnival has been in business since 1928, so it’s pretty amazing to have been given an opportunity to add some posters to their lineup. Thanks, Andrew!

I burned a few weeks stressing over wanting to ink it with real pens on paper, but my test attempts were all turning out awful (because have I mentioned I’m rusty from taking a year off??) so I switched back to what has apparently become “old faithful” after working on Delegates for 18 months…. digital ink brushes in Paint Tool SAI. The familiarity was a comforting relief. I also got to channel two massive childhood inspirations: James Gurney and his iconic Dinotopia books, as well as Bill Watterson’s comical but expertly-rendered dinosaurs from the Calvin and Hobbes strips. Oh and I guess Jurassic Park too. And a little Land Before Time. My childhood was apparently 100% dinosaurs haha.

Colors from My Illustrations

Art Resources, Color Palettes

This is a bit of a random post, but while I was working on a poster commission recently, I got a little overwhelmed with picking a color palette that was harmonious while still suiting the project. I ended up using to help generate some possible ideas. Since then I’ve also created a whole bunch by color picking from previous illustrations of mine, it was interesting to see what color families I tend to favor! Lots of ruddy earths, turquoises, mosses and olives, peaches, dusty roses, and lavenders and lilacs. I seem to avoid strident blues even though they’re growing on me recently, but I always love powdery soft ones or if they’re dark and moody like Indanthrone or a bluish Payne’s Gray.

A lot of them are taken from marker drawings, and since I have some go-to colors there’s some overlap but still nice variation. Some are from watercolor or colored ink, and some pure digital. I thought I’d share them here just because they’re pretty. If you’re looking for some color inspo for your own art, maybe they’ll come in handy?

Old Habits Die Easy

Just Blogging, Markers

Hey all, long time no post! Here or anywhere else on the internet. I needed some quiet time to myself, after getting so sick from overwork and not knowing how to truly switch off and recover properly. It means I haven’t been drawing much at all the past year… I’ve been learning to look after myself instead. It’s a little sad that the two weren’t syncing at all together, but it seems that too much of my self-worth was invested in whether I succeeded at jobs or personal projects, or generally made other people happy with my art. I didn’t want to let anyone down, and I had so many different projects and plans, but the fear of failing at everything — at my entire life — dominated every waking moment so much, that it has made me repeatedly let people down anyway, despite the good intentions. Intentions that nobody truly benefits from unless I actually manage to make the gifts to give them at all. I felt I was becoming nothing but talk and disappointment more and more as time went on, as I let these fears destroy all motivation.

October’s Progress

Just Blogging

The equinox has passed, and Fall is officially in the air, even though in Texas you can’t really tell just by looking out the window. It’s mostly just shorter days, and am I getting blasted by furnace-air as I open my car door? Y/N, and if No you know the season has changed at long last. It was strange for the summer to sort of just disappear with everything going on, but to be quite honest, I’m not always the type to get all that much done outside during the scorching months anyway. Bring on the autumn leaves and cooler weather.

Drawing Exercise: Blobs to Figures

Fun With A Pencil

Here’s a fun little exercise I’ve been playing around with lately. I started out doing the “draw random shapes and draw faces on them” thing, but thought it might be interesting to see how well it worked for figure drawing at large. I don’t find myself filling up the entire shape too often, and sometimes body parts escape the boundaries of the blobs. But it’s neat as a type of gesture drawing exercise. It seems to give the compositional side of my brain a good workout, and some interesting poses can be “found” within them.