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61651. Red Apple

1 Comments on Red Apple, last added: 12/9/2010
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61652. Back in 1982…no wait, 1992…

Jon Schindehette, the Creative Art Director for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast, invited me to participate in his “How I Made it” series over at his blog in hopes that my story may offer up some seeds of inspiration for up-and-coming fantasy artists. In fact, I found his blog to be INCREDIBLY informative for any who are interested in breaking into the field – where was your blog when I was getting started, Jon!?

Of course, there were no blogs in 1992 when I submit my artwork to TSR (the fine publishers of D&D back then). But you can read all about what I did do on Jon’s blog here.

As a bonus, I found a pile of my original submissions that were sent to TSR. Jon posted them on his site, but here they are bigger and with some additional comments:

Preparatory sketches of orcs drawn in the spring of 1992. These orcs were certainly inspired by Brian Froud and Alan Lee’s work as well as the goblins in Rankin & Bass’ animated movie of The Hobbit.

Finished ink drawing of an elven player-character done for my initial submission to TSR in September, 1992. I remember I was looking at a lot of Jean-Giraud Moebius’ work back then and you can see it the overabundance of tic marks done in this one.

Finished ink drawing of a trio of were-rats done for my initial submission to TSR in September, 1992. There was no color work in my submission samples because all of their gaming books were only printed in black & white throughout. It was a well-known fact that the color cover work was done by TSR’s staff artists, a highly coveted position I figured I was not worthy of.

A year later (just prior to Planescape starting) I was offered a staff position but turned it down because I was dating this really cool girl back in Florida…who I eventually married and adore more than ever. Fortunately, there were no hard feelings with the team at TSR and I continued an amazing and prosperous working relationship with them throughout most of the 1990’s.

AD&D Monster Compendium sample mock up with my artwork, done for my initial submission to TSR

5 Comments on Back in 1982…no wait, 1992…, last added: 12/11/2010
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61653. Lunar

ink & photoshop

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61654. My tweets

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61655. Lunar

ink & photoshop

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Gwen Keraval

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61658. Hansel and Gretel images are coming in!

Well today is the day - I'll be adding images as I receive them. If you haven't been following over the past few weeks I decided to post images from anyone who wanted to participate in the assignment I gave my college class. To catch up - scroll down and find the first post on November 8th. It's always very interesting to see the variation in style and concept that comes from different artists. I was going to try to finish an image for this assignment but ran out of time and got a nasty cold as well. That's my excuse - good story huh?

I'm going to give a few observations for each piece but I won't be able to give a comprehensive critique on all of these images. I think it would be great if you guys want to give your opinions as well - I only ask that you do it tastefully. Art is so subjective and I certainly don't have all the answers. Stripped of innuendo a typed comment can easily come off the wrong way and we don't want anyone to feel worse for having participated. Lets make it fun!

Really nice work Cameron - strong overall design and a fun twist on the story. The layout is easy to read and understand - I think the concept would work even better if the girl was eating closer to the boy. Hansel and Gretel are in some ways one character as far as the story goes and separating them begins to turn ambiguous. I also think it would be good to be able to tell that the house is made of ginger bread or graham cracker or something like that - perhaps icing could be seen in the seams.

This would make a nice vignette in the story. You have a nice feel for creating energy in the bird and great contrast between the bird and background. I think you could create a more subtle transition to black again or fade to white. The scratches above and behind the bird are really bold - they draw attention when they should help create relief. More detail on the feet would help to finish this into a really nice piece!

Andrew Finnie has a hauntingly beautiful style and his image for Hansel and Gretel brings us face to face with the reality of this grim tale. We are so insulated from the raw stories once told to children around the world. I really like all of the details found around the room - they add visual flavor to the concept - the cat in motion is wonderful. I'm having a hard time understanding what the old woman and girl are doing. We can clearly see the boy trapped in the cage and looking for a way out - great. I love the glowing light in front of the old woman - I just don't know why it's there.
61659. Food Network Blog

(click to see enlarged)

So excited to find out today that a recipe my son developed and that we collaborated on - and that I illustrated - is featured today on the Food Network blog. It is an entry in the theydrawandcook.com holiday recipe contest.

Wish us luck, there are some great prizes ($$$$).

2 Comments on Food Network Blog, last added: 12/9/2010
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61660. Music Jam

I illustrated the December cover of Hal Leonard’s Music Express magazine. This is in my found object style that’s completely digital.

As you can see, I was also was the “open act” for Bon Jovi (tee-hee):

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61661. #8 – Promotion

Every day in December I will be posting Illustration Business tips. Just a thank you for all your support, friendship and encouragement over the year. I also might throw in a giveaway or two! Any particular thing you want tips on? Just leave a comment. See the bottom of each post for Q&A on each topic.

So, I’m sure you’ve gotten all you names and dream client together since last Wednesday right? Well, hopefully you’ve been able to flush out part of your list. If you can’t find an AD’s and editor’s name for a company after looking on LinkedIn or google, either email their main customer service email address from their website, call them and just ask who their AD is over the area you want to illustrate for or just send your mailer to “Art Director” and specify the department (like children’s publishing, etc.).

Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’ve already talked a good bit about promotion here.

Snail mail mailings:

A few things have changed since then though. I haven’t done regular mailings in a while. Mainly because of time so I’ve made up for it with email newsletters and updating my online portfolio sites regularly. When I do postcards mailings now, I’ve opted to go with overnight prints for the printing and then I stamp and label them myself (for my illustration group mailers, we still prefer and use USPS/Premium Postcards though). It comes out a little cheaper, but I’ve found that I like to have some extras on hand to mail out after I’ve done my full mailing. You never know what prospect clients you’ll find after the fact.

Also, just a tip on overnight prints, their “value cards” and “premium cards” look “almost” identical so you can save a little money there without your quality suffering much. Also it’s tempting to get rounded corners on your postcards, but USPS won’t mail them like that. Their machines need a hard angle end to grab.

I no longer have portfolios on folioplant.com or theispot.com. Recently they weren’t yeilding enough work for the price so I’ve just decided to stick with childrensillustrators.com and signed-up for hireanillustrator.com. their weekly payment plan make it easier to swallow, plus, Darren Di Lieto (the owner) does a whole lot of promotion with it.

I’ve done some packets in the past that contain several samples and a letter but those didn’t really do that good for me. I’ve always heard to send in a little self addresses stamped postcard for them to return so they can let you know if they liked your work, had a need for it, etc. I did this a couple of times and out of all the ones I sent out, I got one back so I quit doing it.


I still use Your Mailing List Provider for my emails newsletters. I don’t think I’ve ever shown a sample of how mine looks so here’s a screenshot of it:

I always have a consistent header and main images, along with smaller images in a di

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61662. Website Update - Jannie

I recently updated my website by switching over to WordPress. There are new art in the portfolio and an up-to-date list of books I've done. Please go and take a look!

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61663. Marshall Vandruff Tells You How To Get Hired In The Arts

Contributed by Melissa Kojima

If you're new to an illustration career, or even if you're not, you may be wondering how you can get hired in the arts or where you can find more work. Well, Marshall Vandruff (illustrator and teacher) dispels the mystery with a one day workshop called, HOW TO GET HIRED IN THE ARTS. Does it have to do with networking? Does it have to do with having a good portfolio? Well, yes, but it's a lot more too.

He'll tell you the trade secrets and how to survive until you've landed your dream job. I've taken this course and found it very insightful and it helped ground me and give me a clear path to follow. If you're in the Southern California area, you might want to check it out. It's Sunday, January 2, 2011 and only $30.00.

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61664. Mermaids by Arwassa

Mermiads is my new illustration series, six new works where I do my own interpretation of these popular creatures.

“I like to collect seashells!

I wonder what we have today for lunch, maybe we go down to the darkest depths to looking for something to eat.

Don’t mistake me for my sisters they are all like me, they are the only friends I’ve had, I will never ever leave them, they make me feel so blue and immense.

We like to play between the sea currents, swim beside the young whales, we hide among the corals, go to hunt to the marshes or recover lost treasures.

Tiny traveler,
are we going to appear in your dreams or in your nightmares?”


1 Comments on Mermaids by Arwassa, last added: 12/10/2010
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61665. Offhand Flourishing

Humans are capable of amazing things when a cool mind is connected to nimble fingers. Here are a couple of mind-boggling examples from YouTube:

World championship yo-yo tricks.

Radio control helicopter aerobatics.

In the art of penmanship, the ultimate showcase of skill is called offhand flourishing. This combination of drawing and calligraphy was a natural outgrowth of decorations in pointed pen lettering. It was created at one shot without much in the way of preliminary drawing, which is where we get the figurative sense of the word “offhand.”

(Click to enlarge the picture above, which is from an 1880 penmanship manual called “Real Penwork Compendium of Penmanship.”)

It may not look like anything more than squiggly doodles to the uninitiated, but pictures made from flourishes are incredible difficult. It takes deep practice, good breathing, perfect posture, and a clear mind.

Here’s how master penman W.E. Dennis, in his 1914 book Studies in Pen Art, describes the challenge:

“It is doubtful if anything in penwork requires more real skill, sureness of stroke, delicacy of touch and absolute freedom of arm and hand than Off-hand Flourishing. Certainly none of the other work in this book offers the technical difficulties found in the flourished designs, the most difficult of all being the two swans facing each other. Lettering is more or less mechanical, but flourishing is quite the opposite. In this work the mind must conceive quickly the arrangement of harmonious, well-balanced curves, and the hand must reproduce them without hesitation. In addition to this, the penman should have in mind some harmonious design, pleasing in effect as a whole.”
Studies in Pen Art, by W.E. Dennis, available as a free PDF download.
Collection of free PDFs from IAMPETH (International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting)

4 Comments on Offhand Flourishing, last added: 12/9/2010
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61666. Animal Wednesday : Part two...sketchbook project

I went to an old friend's house today for homemade soup and a play day.
It was so good for me to get out of my own space and just DRAW.

It didn't hurt that she has an adorable, loveable dog named Harry who is enamored with me.
The feeling is mutual.

This drawing is in my sketchbook project moleskine: "It's Raining Cats and Dogs."
Plain old Bic pencil as my tool, image inspired by the latest L.L.Bean catalog.
I made up the mistletoe-hangy-thingy.

Who doesn't love a puppy?


20 Comments on Animal Wednesday : Part two...sketchbook project, last added: 12/11/2010
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61668. Pink Monsters Glass Pendant

Pink Monsters Glass Pendant
Pink Monsters Glass Pendant Pink Monsters Glass Pendant Pink Monsters Glass Pendant Pink Monsters Glass Pendant Pink Monsters Glass Pendant
Pink Monsters Pendant is based on my Pink Monster digital print. It’s the perfect gift for yourself or for someone you care about. If you love pink and you love monsters, this necklace is definitely for you.

Glass Tile Pendant is 1 1/4″ tall by 7/8″ wide.

It comes with an ultra Fine 1.2mm Silver Plated Snake Chain Necklace with Lobster Clasps. 16″ and 18″ chains are available. Send me a message specifying whether you want 16″ or 18″.
Only $13. Buy Now

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61669. Feeling slow?

I was driving in a hurry out my Sister in Law's house a couple of days ago when I spotted a slow moving something on the road. I stopped the car to take a better look and saw this cute sloth. How about that?!

He was - ok, don't know if it was a "he" but it somehow reminded me of Beau Bridges so a he it is.. ;o) - so adorable and looked so in peace. He looked at me, looked at the kids, looked both ways and continued walking. Lazily stretching his front paws one after the other on the pavement.

It got me thinking that he looked so content and unaware of the fast moving/crazy world around him. I could swear he was smiling. Little things like this always make me think twice about what's important.

I took a couple of pictures with my iphone and then decided to skip the errands I was supposed to do and instead slowly drove home, played some music and talked with the kids about silly stuff and life.

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61670. 2011 Illustrated Calendar


I've been working on an Illustrated Calendar with a few other female Illustrators. Currently, it's off to the printers. We'll be sending a few out as self promotion, but I will also be selling 25 of them personally.

Here is more information and above are a few sneak peek images.

Up, Down, and All Around 2011 Illustrated Calendar

Featuring Illustrations by:

Angela Dominguez
Angela Willetts
Kellie Charlton
Lindsey Manwell
Linda Olafsdottir
Sun Young Yang

4.5" x 9.25" Calendar printed # 100 Cardstock (Imagination Paper Cover White)
Professional Designed by Helga Theodors

Each Calendar is enclosed in a clear envelope, and sealed. Note Calendars will be shipped after December 15th.

If you are interested in purchasing, please email me or visit my etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/listing/63901598/2011-illustrated-calendar

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Two red birds who forgot to head south for the winter, decided to build a nest on the sill of the Marblehead Lighthouse located on the shores of Lake Erie.

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61672. day 343: spruce goose

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61673. School again.



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61674. Winter Wildlife

I'm not sure this is the kind of "Winter Wildlife" you were talking about!

5 Comments on Winter Wildlife, last added: 12/12/2010
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61675. BRR. It’s Cold In Here!

Happy Winter!

Just a note to say that cold is here, and it’s time to make like a polar bear and hibernate/snuggle.  I’ve actually been doing a lot of drawing-painting-crafting these days, but as they’re presents… it’s mostly TOP SECRET ’til after Christmas (except for a sneak peek of this little watercolor, above).

That’s all the news that’s fit to print – for the moment!

Filed under: paintings Tagged: christmas, holidays, polar bears, top secret, watercolor

1 Comments on BRR. It’s Cold In Here!, last added: 12/8/2010
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