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51. for Brian Tappin ~ joy and sparrows, seagulls and sky and hope and… ~ part one

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to fleetingly meet a someone who changes us, bursts heart open, adds three feet to your height and shows you where your forgotten wings are buried. And it’s mutual. The following (and the rest of the song which I need to illustrate) are for you Brian Tappin ~ roaring lion, gentle angel, boy I miss you right now, dude! xx

for brian - july 29 2015


Filed under: Brian Tappin, flying, journeys, love, sea, songs

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52. Oculus Creative Director Saschka Unseld: “It Feels Like We’re in Film School Again”

After directing Pixar's "Blue Umbrella," Saschka Unseld has moved into the world of VR filmmaking.

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53. Harts Pass No. 260

It seems like my dog is constantly cleaning. Something that I usually associate with cats. Perhaps wolverines are a bit neat freakish as well (just guessing)... and I'm absolutely sure that they love ZZ Top. Anyway, I colored today's strip while waiting in a car dealership and watching some smooth sales dudes in action as well. Cheers!

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54. Open for consumption

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55. FREE Webinar: Creative Playgrounds

webinar-ad-newnewnew

While making notes for Salli’s upcoming class – BUILD A FREELANCE ILLUSTRATION BUSINESS – she realized that one topic was worthy of it’s own session: Creative Playgrounds, which Salli and her brother/business partner Nate Padavick believe can energize your career. What IS a Creative Playground and why are they so important? Join us for the FREE webinar August 10th at 4:00 EST (or watch any time after the live class).

Take it from Albert Einstein “Play is the highest form of research.”

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56. Prehistoric Times Reviews "Tyrannosaurs"

Prehistoric Times, the magazine of all things dinosaurian, reviewed my recent tutorial video Tyrannosaurs: Behind the Art. 


"Jim's new video tutorial gives you front row seats at the creation of two Tyrannosaur paintings for Scientific American magazine, including one. Super talented illustrator James Gurney fully explains his process as he reconstructs two recently discovered relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex, as if you were sitting right there with him. Working closely with scientist Stephen Brusatte, who discovered one of them, he shows his process including thumbnails and color comprehensives. He shows how he uses photos and models, as well as outdoor studies, as he moves ahead to the final oil illustration."

"He explains both his methods and his thinking with an emphasis on the techniques for portraying feather and foliage textures, thereby creating a believable reconstruction of a scene that is imagined based on scientific evidence. Jim Gurney shows how he chooses his colors, what brushes he uses at each stage, and how he prepares his board for painting. The production is packed with information that will fascinate dinosaur artists as well as all other artists. I promise you will be most impressed."

—Mike Fredericks, editor, Prehistoric Times
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Available as an HD download from Gumroad (credit cards) or Sellfy (Paypal).
and as a DVD from the manufacturer Kunaki, or on Amazon.com

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57. Through The Green Rez to Flagstaff
















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58. Diner Portrait in Gouache

This guy eats his bacon at a diner table near me. 

Gouache, 4 x 5 inches
There's a soft light from the right, and a bright edge light from behind. He has a dark mustache, dark eyebrows, graying hair, no teeth. Maybe he's on his way home from the Hemingway Lookalike Contest.

Art Sperl Disposal: "You propose it, we dispose it."
I lean over my coffee and shoot a glance from under my hat brim. This is portrait painting in the wild. The guy never looks up. He doesn't notice me painting him.
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Previously: Portrait Noir

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59. Joy Ride in a Paint Box


After leading the Allies to victory in World War II, Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) became an ardent outdoor painter. Never has painting had such an enthusiastic and eloquent champion.

"Painting is a companion with whom one may walk a great part of life's journey."

"When I die and go to heaven, I want to spend the first million years painting – so I can get to the bottom of the subject."

"We must not be too ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paint box. And, for this, Audacity is the only ticket."

"Painting is the same kind of problem as unfolding a long, sustained interlocked argument... It is a proposition commanded by a single unity of conception."

"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse."




"Armed with a paint-box, one cannot be bored, one cannot be left at a loose ends, one cannot 'have several days on one's hands.'"

"Painting is complete as a distraction. I know of nothing which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or the threats of the future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for them in the mental screen. They pass out into shadow and darkness. All one’s mental light, such as it is, becomes concentrated on the task. Time stands respectfully aside, and it is only after many hesitations that luncheon knocks gruffly at the door."
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Most of these quotes are from Churchill's slim but inspiring book Painting As a Pastime, and many of them can be found on the website Art Quotes

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60. ‘Seer 5: Rise of Thunder’ Is Another Animated Feature from China

It's the fifth feature in a cartoon series that you probably haven't heard about in the West.

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61. Ruth Sanderson's CASTLE FULL OF CATS - guest post!

I am thrilled, tickled, elated to have Ruth Sanderson, the Co-director of the MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating Children's Books at Hollins University and also my boss and colleague, here today to talk about her latest picture book, CASTLE FULL OF CATS. Ruth is hands down one of the best illustrators in children's literature, so read and learn!!!

I’d love to share the process for creating the cover illustration of my new book A CASTLE FULL OF CATS, released by Random House this year.
As you can see from my initial storyboard sketch, I envisioned the cover as a view looking out a window with cats watching the outdoor activities from the inside of the castle.
At the next stage, I created a more detailed cover sketch to focus on the queen's "favorite" cat. I also depicted the cats and kittens in a much more active and playful role, indicating the queen and the king outside in the garden. And, I played with how the title of the book might fit on the cover illustration.
In the final cover sketch, I brought the queen's cat closer to the center and looking directly at the reader while still allowing the queen and king to be seen through the window.
In creating the finished illustration for the cover, I wanted the window to really stand out, so I created a maroon wall in the background, actually painting it in acrylic over the watercolor painting to get a really solid effect, and because a dark, even color is so hard to create in watercolor! When I submitted the illustration, the editor and art director felt that it was too dark...
and suggested I make the wall pink…Here is the revised cover, with the pink wall painted in acrylic on top of the maroon color. Yes, it was very time-consuming to paint around all those details. But we are not done yet! After giving the art to the designer, problems arose.
      A note—The marketing folks asked that the title be changed. I coined the word "Castleful," to indicate there were a ton of cats in the castle, and am very proud of it, but apparently anyone searching for a book with "castle" in the title would not find my book, so we had to split my word to "Castle Full." Inside the book it is still "castleful," read as one word, like "spoonful."
The designer was having a very hard time making the type stand out against the background. The art directer even photoshopped the curtains to make it simpler, shown here, but it just looked too busy. In addition, she felt that the pink wall was too bright. When she and the editor approached me about making yet more changes, and major ones, to the artwork, I agreed. The cover was simply too busy, as you can see. I had to fix it! And I decided on a blue for the wall to make it recede more and focus interest on the bright center of the illustration.
I started with the full size digital image of the cover, because changing to a blue wall would not be easy. I really did not want to put a third coat of acrylic paint on that wall! SO, I started in Photoshop with my pink cover image. I duplicated the image as another layer and changed the whole picture to blue, and then painstakingly worked to combine the two layers into one.
I painted a new window with a single sheer curtain in watercolor on a separate piece of watercolor paper, no king and queen, then scanned and Photoshopped it in so the type would hopefully read nicely on top of it.
Above is the final image with the blue wall. I was a bit sad that the king and queen can't be seen outside, but feel the title reading well was the most important concern. And the cats are the stars of the book.
A week later....here was the (almost) final cover design. I loved the new typeface the art director chose. Note the kitten kicking the word "of" in the title! The type color was still under discussion, but this was VERY close to perfect! After some discussion, it was decided that the word “cats” would stand out more in a shade of red that matched the couch, and that was the color chosen for the final design. [See the very top image.] My art director Nicole de las Heras from Random House did such a marvelous job on this, and was so patient and easy to work with, through all these changes. It really helps to have a great team to work with at a publisher, to make a successful cover design.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Ruth! To see more of Ruth's amazing work, check out her blog!

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62. Retro Inspired Illustrations by Jennifer Dionisio

judy-garland-A3-jennifer-dionisio-illustration_670

fruit-dove-jungle-revised-low-res_670 Jennifer-Dionisio-High-res-One-Thing-I-Know-copy-illustration Ann-Francis-Jennifer-Dionisio-2015_670 Tomorrowland-Jennifer-Dionisio-Low-res_670

Jennifero Dionisio Website >>

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63. A natural high

Yes, some of it is green and leafy, but it's not that!



I think my best days in the studio start when I allow myself the opportunity to go on a nice walk or bike ride in the morning. I am really lucky to live in an area that's so beautiful. I'm surrounded by wineries and horse farms and there are several trails for me to go and enjoy nearby. Since I usually go alone I try to go at times when I know that there will be other people on the trails. Not that I live in an unsafe area but you just never know.



  A beautiful day never fails to disappoint. There usually are an assortment of runners, joggers, bike riders and walkers out but not to the point of ever being crowded.  One of my favorite spots is White Clay Creek preserve which sprawls across both Pennsylvania and Delaware. There is a parking area on the Pennsylvania side where I live where I can park and avoid the 8$ out of state usage fee if I wanted to start from a different point in Delaware. From my starting point in Pa a walk to the Delaware line on the trail is only about 1 mile. 






The creek is a beautiful site on those God given sunny mornings. I really get inspired by the glistening water and the leaves on the trees and even the shapes of rocks and small plants




 I don't go out and paint them in landscape form the way some artist do but the leaves and flowers and branches and even the people walking turn up in my paintings and pottery sometimes as a motif, sometimes as a realistic design and sometimes as dream like imaginings of exploding flowers all around happy couples in the trail.





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64. AW15 PREVIW - paperchase : vision

My final day for previewing Paperchase's Autumn Winter collections has arrived and we finish with a more grown up collection called 'Vision'. This sophisticated range featuring lots of gold has a Peacock with floral and birdcage motifs as it's main print and includes a peacock feather repeat for gift bags and boxes. Designed for more grown up gifting it features on more feminine products such

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65. Charming Greeting Card Illustrations by Natalie Adkins

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4-baubles_8003-mistletoe_800 2-carcker_800 5-prsent_800

Natalie Adkins Website >>

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66. Charlotte Day

PlantHunters_Hooker

Blackbirds_Charlotte_Day_Illustration_Crop 

 1200_CharlotteDay_1

 A2_crop

 BC_5

Charlotte Day specialises in creating botanical inspired illustrations, she combines an historical interest in botany with the decorative arts. Charlottes work has featured on editorials and on products such as tents and teapots! Her clients include Random House, Penguin, Liberty and Anthropologie to name a few. 

To see more fantastic work from Charlotte Day visit her website 

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67. Oculus Debuts ‘Henry,’ An Immersive Virtual Reality Short

Interactive, immersive animation experiences are now a reality.

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68. AW15 - paperchase : notebooks

And we end the round-up of what we can expect from Paperchase next season with some of their new notebook designs. I snapped these at their Autumn Winter 2015 press show a couple of weeks ago so apologies for some of the low light. Good things to look out for included colourful mice and sausage dogs, cute woodland characters, and a dark mystic rose.

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69. AW15 PREVIEW - paperchase : let's face it

All this week we have been getting a sneak peak preview of the upcoming designs from Paperchase for their Autumn Winter 2015 collections.  Today we have a Japanese style collection for kids and the young at heart called 'Let's Face It'. This fun print merges quirky characters with fruit and foods for a Kawaii effect. Expect to see lots of lunch products such as water bottles, snack boxes, cups,

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70. Patrick Osborne, Director of ‘Feast,’ Will Direct ‘Battling Boy’

It's the second high-profile feature directing gig for Patrick Osborne this year.

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71. Illustration Friday: Nature


Liana the Siren
Music was in her nature.  Just like drawing things in groups of three seems to be in my nature.  I just noticed that.



Here's something I drew for last week's prompt (Treasure) but never got around to posting:



How was your All or Nothing Day???  I hope you were able to accomplish, or at least start, something wonderful.  Thank you so so SO much for sharing my enthusiasm for the book project.  Jeepers, I guess I'm committed now.  I can't very well go back on my word.  We had a health scare in our family last week (all is well now), so I was unable to make huge strides on it.  But here are a few WIP pages to start.  

Several years ago, my kid discovered a glass doorknob in my purse.  (I was renovating a closet door and was intending to take it to a store to find a match.)  She asked me why I kept a doorknob in my purse.  And I replied that it was to open doors, of course.

And that is the start of an adventure....




Because as it so happens, this doorknob has special powers.  It can open doors anywhere.  Even if there is no door there at all.




To be continued.

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72. Ottawa 2015 Selections Announced

Seventy-nine animated films were selected for competition at Ottawa this year.

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73. Oculus TD Max Planck: “We Want to Inspire the Virtual Reality ‘Citizen Kane’”

Challenges and lessons learned from interactive animation storytelling.

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74. Picture Book Summit 2015

Picture Book Summit FB post

Have you heard? There’s a new online conference in town.

I’d pull up a chair with any of these three authors and illustrators, and so I expect this to be a rich day of learning and creating and basking in the beauty of picture books.

From the Picture Book Summit’s press release:

Three of today’s most beloved and honored picture book authors will headline the inaugural Picture Book Summit, an all-day online writing conference that will take place Saturday, October 3.

Peter Brown (Creepy Carrots, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild), Andrea Davis Pinkney (Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Songs, Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down), and Mac Barnett (Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Extra Yarn) will be the featured speakers at the virtual conference. The event is the result of a collaboration between longtime industry mainstays Children’s Book Insider, Just Write for Kids, 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge, and the Institute of Children’s Literature.

A portion of all proceeds will benefit the literary advocacy group We Need Diverse Books.

In addition to live presentations from the superstar picture book authors, Picture Book Summit will also include full, live sessions from four of children’s writing’s most respected educators:

Children’s author, editor, and educator Emma Walton Hamilton will lead Is Your Manuscript Truly Submission Ready? Emma will give attendees the tools to polish their manuscripts until they sparkle, empowering authors to submit (or self-publish) with confidence.

Children’s Book Insider publisher and longtime editor Laura Backes will teach How to Write the 500 Word Picture Book. Laura will show how to write a story in this hot market— complete with fully developed characters, a plot with a beginning, middle and end, and page- turning action — in 500 words.

Picture book author and 12 X 12 Picture Book Challenge founder Julie Hedlund will present Publishing Picture Books in the 21st Century. Julie will help attendees navigate the many publishing choices presented today, including traditional, indie, electronic and hybrid.

 Picture book author and creator of the #1 Amazon Bestseller How to Promote Your Children’s Book Katie Davis will lead How to Get Your First 1000 Followers. Katie will help Picture Book Summit attendees build an effective author platform that sells books.

Picture Book Summit attendees will also enjoy exclusive agent and editor interviews and learn about breaking opportunities in the picture book field.

“This is the biggest day in the history of picture book writing instruction,” said Jon Bard, Children’s Book Insider’s managing editor and emcee for the virtual event. “To have this much talent and knowledge presented in one day is simply mind-blowing. That writers can attend from the comfort of their own homes, with no travel, hotels or time away from family and writing, makes it even more remarkable.”

Picture Book Summit will take place October 3 from 11 am to 7 pm Eastern Time (8 am – 4 pm Pacific). The interactive event (question and answer opportunities will take place throughout the day) will be accessible from any computer, tablet or smart device. A full recording will be available to attendees immediately after the event.

Full details, including instant registration, are available at http://picturebooksummit.com.

And a note: Early Bird pricing ends on August 15th.

ch

PS: Sounds incredible, right? I’ll be back next week with your regularly scheduled picture-book-goodness. Thank you!

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75. "Sunset in Paradise" by Linda T Snider-Ward, Louisiana artist

Sunset in Paradise, a whimsical little watercolor painting, sold a few months ago, so it found a good home. I always love that. More of my artwork can be seen on my website and my Etsy shop

If you're a watercolorist or just someone who likes dappling in watercolor, and you would like to join this site and share your work, send me a link to your blog or website in a comment, and I'll add you to the site.

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