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61651. Armor Of God

Here's another commission based on the bible. This time, the armor of God.
Sketched on the iPad, inked with my Kuretake brush pen on paper.

iPad Sketchbook pro sketch

Kuretake brush pen inked on paper

1 Comments on Armor Of God, last added: 8/13/2010
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61652. Coming soon! Pokeweed in the making.

Been working on a little documentary on how I work on Pokeweed! Here is a teaser.

For daily fun, check out Pokeweed!

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61653. "Champ's Story" Gets 5-Star Review on Amazon.com!

Since the release of my latest book "Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too!" last week, the response has been overwhelming.  Check out this review I found today on Amazon.com.  It made my day!
________


This review is from: Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! (Hardcover)

I do wish there were more books of this ilk and this quality available for children.

For adults, "cancer" has become one of the most terrifying words in our language. Most adults have some understanding of this disease, and after the initial shock of the diagnosis, can rely on knowledge, maturity and practiced emotions to deal with it...on some level at least. Children on the other hand know from a very early age that fear is involved but so often do not know why. They not only have fear of something they know is "not good," but they also have a fear of the unknown, which is indeed just as traumatic.

The author, Sherry North has used the story of a young boy and his beloved pet dog to inform the younger set just what it is they are dealing with when cancer; either of a family member, loved one, friend or pet, enters their life.

Cody and his pet Champ are preparing for an agility show and Champ is running through her paces. While petting Champ, Cody discovers a lump on her side. Cody makes a good choice in telling Champ she needs to see a doctor. Cody knows there is something wrong.

The author and illustrator, Kathleen Rietz then take us upon a journey; a journey of a victim of cancer. From the visit to the doctor's office, testing and on to the diagnosis of cancer and the treatment, the reader follows step by step. The child learns what to expect and when to expect it. The young boy shows the typical emotions of a child in this situation; shares his thoughts with his friends, and above all, becomes Champ's caregiver. You can see the care and love radiating out form the illustrations and words.

The author has used straight forward simply language to tell a complex story. Her tone is matter of fact but extremely tender, loving and understanding throughout the entire work. There is nothing scary or heart wrenchingly sad about the story; it just explains in a very understandable way what a child might well face. Information will quite often take away a lot of fear and the author certainly supplies quite a lot of good and valid facts in a relatively short book. Truthfully, I was amazed at just how much information she was able to pack into so few pages.

The last four pages of the book are sort of a "cancer fact primer" for adults to use in teaching children of this subject. Facts are given so that the reader can understand just what cancer is, how it is treated, fa

2 Comments on "Champ's Story" Gets 5-Star Review on Amazon.com!, last added: 8/12/2010
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61654. Girls Girls Girls

The funny thing is I don't even remember drawing this....

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61655. Really trying to start the day right...

with a bowl of avocado, soy milk & sugar (my childhood breakfast), glass of lemon-ginger juice, mad men & sewing.
so much work to finish before I head south for the weekend. LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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61656. HOW-TO: Combining Handmade Models + After Effects

Tiny Inventions

Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter, the cute animation couple who runs Tiny Inventions, created this video explaining their quirky work process that combines handmade models with After Effects puppetry. They applied this technique most recently to the short film Something Left, Something Taken, which is their most elaborate work to date.

(via Motionographer)

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61657. Dog Days of Stockholm!


Rover, River, and I invite you to get around to Stockholm WI this weekend! Dog Days of Stockholm is for people who love dogs, books, and art (any or all of the above). It's a cool little town to explore, plus there will be events all day long (including writing workshops, music, and dog-related fun). You'll find me at the children's tent helping kids journal about how and where they like to get around. Come see us!

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61658. More Fabric Tags!

I can't believe I used up the 40+ I made in March!

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61659. 1 Year

img_21181

Last week my husband and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary!  It’s hard to believe that a year ago I was immersed in mini-wedding planning.  We had dinner at the very same place where my husband proposed.  I,  finally, got one of our wedding pictures properly framed.  And I even bought a beloved cookbook to honor the occasion (because paper is the traditional first anniversary gift, right?).

Anyway, I remembered that I was going to post some post-wedding, “non-reception” celebratory photos.  Looking through them, I don’t have very many with actual people; I think I was too busy having a blast to take many photos which often happens!  So, I’m just going to post some of my more craft-related ones.

These pics are from non-reception #1 which took place at our home last October.  Rather, they were taken during preparations before anyone showed up.

Since it was October I wanted a slightly spooky theme but not in a costume-party kind of way (see our party invitations here).  The colors were black, white, silver, pink and orange.  In the photo, above, you can see our pretty bunting crafted with paper doilies, silver glitter card stock letters and black & white striped twine.  The wee cake is pre-wedding topper, silvery glitter initials much like the ones used in the bunting.  Originally I wanted to make a larger 2-tiered cake but became petrified by the thought as I’ve never made one.  But a sweet little cake plus cupcakes galore did the trick.  (By the way, the frosting was pearly and marshmallow-y, while the cake was yellow with chocolate chips.  So good!)

My lovely friend Kara, who came down for the weekend, was very kind and totally game for any party-decorating ideas I threw her way including decorating our high ceilings with paper streamers.

img_2091

img_2105

The mantle was decorated with various pumpkins, candles and a fabric-covered accordion-style scrapbook filled with photos from the wedding, backed with craft paper I printed and designed myself.  The plastic cauldron on the coffee table was later filled with candy for the young and young at heart.  (We did have real food, I swear, like cheese and dip and charcuterie, but those things were set out just before people arrived.)

img_2111

img_2085

Kara and I spent the previous night making these fun cupcake toppers with Victorian clip art butterflies in October-ish colors.  We (and by we, I mean Kara) put that scalloped paper punch to good use!

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61660. It's a Monkey Head!

yay! haha don't mind the yoga schedule in the background.

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61661. beachfront

0 Comments on beachfront as of 8/12/2010 3:53:00 PM
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61662. "Champ's Story" gets 5-Star review on Amazon.com!

I have received such an overwhelming response ever since the release of my new book "Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too!", I can barely keep up. I wanted to share with you this customer review I saw posted at Amazon.com today. It made my day:
_______

This review is from: Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! (Hardcover)
I do wish there were more books of this ilk and this quality available for children.

For adults, "cancer" has become one of the most terrifying words in our language. Most adults have some understanding of this disease, and after the initial shock of the diagnosis, can rely on knowledge, maturity and practiced emotions to deal with it...on some level at least. Children on the other hand know from a very early age that fear is involved but so often do not know why. They not only have fear of something they know is "not good," but they also have a fear of the unknown, which is indeed just as traumatic.

The author, Sherry North has used the story of a young boy and his beloved pet dog to inform the younger set just what it is they are dealing with when cancer; either of a family member, loved one, friend or pet, enters their life.

Cody and his pet Champ are preparing for an agility show and Champ is running through her paces. While petting Champ, Cody discovers a lump on her side. Cody makes a good choice in telling Champ she needs to see a doctor. Cody knows there is something wrong.

The author and illustrator, Kathleen Rietz then take us upon a journey; a journey of a victim of cancer. From the visit to the doctor's office, testing and on to the diagnosis of cancer and the treatment, the reader follows step by step. The child learns what to expect and when to expect it. The young boy shows the typical emotions of a child in this situation; shares his thoughts with his friends, and above all, becomes Champ's caregiver. You can see the care and love radiating out form the illustrations and words.

The author has used straight forward simply language to tell a complex story. Her tone is matter of fact but extremely tender, loving and understanding throughout the entire work. There is nothing scary or heart wrenchingly sad about the story; it just explains in a very understandable way what a child might well face. Information will quite often take away a lot of fear and the author certainly supplies quite a lot of good and valid facts in a relatively short book. Truthfully, I was amazed at just how much information she was able to pack into so few pages.

The last four pages of the book are sort of a "cancer fact primer" for adults to use in teaching children of this subject. Facts are given so that the reader can understand just what cancer is, how it is treated, fact and fiction surrounding this disease, coping with cancer and chemo and a page on what you can do to prevent cancer as you grow up.

The art work in this book by Kathleen Rietz is extremely well executed. Each of the frames, which cover two pages each, are done in mellow and soothing colors. Each illustration fits the text perfectly. The artist has captured the mood of each picture perfectly on the face of the dog without overly anthropomorphizing her subject...I like this...it adds much to the overall message of the book. This is a very skillful writer and skillful artist that have teamed up here!

This is an ideal work to be used in a classroom. Giving children knowledge of this disease before he or she has to actually face it, as many, many will, gives them a bit of a head start in the process of learning to deal with the many issues they will be faced.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

2 Comments on "Champ's Story" gets 5-Star review on Amazon.com!, last added: 8/12/2010
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61663. I


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61664. EYEWITNESS REPORTS at NUCLEUS Saturday August 14th @7PM

So I hope to see you at the show on Saturday. Unfortunately, I have to admit I will be there an hour late because I have to attend a 4 year olds birthday party but I will be there and I hope you folks stick around or plan accordingly so I can see your faces. 

I'm framing prints that I have made as well as digging up old sketches from my sketchbook to sell at the show. This piece for example was a sketch I rejected for the line in the book, "I should have taught it how to read."

On1
More on all the artwork for sale tomorrow. I think you'll like the story about how I came up with the look for the girl. I think it will melt your heart as it did my wife's. At least, I hope you'll enjoy it...

... Just check back tomorrow will ya?

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61665. Report from Disney Feature studio: “Grim”

According to Local 839 business rep Steve Hulett, who visited Disney Feature Animation a few hours ago, “morale is lower than a dachshund’s belly, since most of the artists and technicians were given their notices in July, and layoffs now loom.” He also writes on the union blog that “Disney Feature Animation’s atmosphere, in fact, is a lot like it was in 2001, when hand-drawn animation was imploding and everybody working on Home on the Range knew they had four months before they got to go stand in the unemployment line: Grim.”

Tangled will surely turn things around.

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61666. WriteOnCon

WriteOnCon's Schedule of Events

(Tons of great information here.)

1 Comments on WriteOnCon, last added: 8/15/2010
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61667. Two caramels done

4 x 4 inches, Polychromos on Stonehenge


This is an espresso caramel. The one in the last post is a ginger caramel - I had it wrong before. Hence the difference in colors. They're by the same company, and come in the same little package, but are different. (and they're both really yummy!)

I'm having as much fun with the shadows on these as I am with the candy itself. My original plan was to do some unwrapped, then just the wrappers - now I'm not sure. I may just keep going with the candies like this. I have some that are plain ordinary caramels in a different sort of wrapper - may do one of those next.

I will put these up for sale at some point. I would love to do one a day, and would, if I didn't have anything else to do!

Right now I'm going to go look at my yarn - the knitting bug has hit me again after a long hiatus. Have to keep my hands busy while I watch Project Runway so I don't feel quite so couch-potato-like.

4 Comments on Two caramels done, last added: 8/14/2010
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61668. EYEWITNESS REPORTS at NUCLEUS Saturday August 14th @7PM

So I hope to see you at the show on Saturday. Unfortunately, I have to admit I will be there an hour late because I have to attend a 4 year olds birthday party but I will be there and I hope you folks stick around or plan accordingly so I can see your faces. 

I'm framing prints that I have made as well as digging up old sketches from my sketchbook to sell at the show. This piece for example was a sketch I rejected for the line in the book, "I should have taught it how to read."

On1
More on all the artwork for sale tomorrow. I think you'll like the story about how I came up with the look for the girl. I think it will melt your heart as it did my wife's. At least, I hope you'll enjoy it...

... Just check back tomorrow will ya?

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61669. A Stinky Old Man

old-man-cartoon
there certainly are no shortage of colorful characters that live in my apartment complex and good old Alfred is definitely one of them. there are those that age gracefully, who are quick as a whip, and still shower regularly as they reach those golden years...sadly Alfred has missed the boat on all three and more. u can accuse me of being insensitive to what is clearly a few screws missing, but because he has crossed the line to full on creeper status on more than one occasion i don't feel any guilt at poking fun. to get back to the cartoon, Alfred does in fact sit on the stoop of the main complex building in full on suit attire, (gloves, hat, and all) day in and day out. why the gloves? why the hat? and why does he pair the 'classy' suit with a cotton purple turtle neck? these are all questions to ponder, as well as when was the last time he actually took a shower and laundered said clothes? i've tallied him wearing the same duds for well over a month and it is a fact he's been asked on more than one occasion to take a shower by the management for the simple reason that he smells. oh Alfred.


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61670. Scart Road

Yesterday we set up our folding stools at the top of Scart Road looking down into Bantry, Ireland. Occasional sprinkles of rain and gusts of wind gave us some trouble: At one point the wind knocked over my water cup and dumped three ounces of water all over the half-finished watercolor.

The thing I found the most challenging was the perspective drawing. Here’s the scene as it looked to the camera. I knew all those buildings have different vanishing points from each other. And the road has its own set of vanishing points below eye level. And I expected I would be tricked by those building fronts, which were extremely foreshortened.

But even knowing all that, I still had to erase and redraw the pencil drawing three times until I was convinced I had it right.

Here’s how the line drawing looked after about three hours of measuring, erasing, and redrawing. I used a regular #2 pencil and I didn’t use straightedges. I tried to pin down some measurements using the central pole as a fixed unit of length.

Just to remind myself how much I need to improve, here’s the line drawing superimposed over the photo, after the fact. I made the yellow building on the right too big, and misplaced the windows and doors on the gray building on the far left. What would have cured a lot of these errors would be to measure across the scene, holding up a level pencil in front of me to judge relative heights—and I’ll do that next time.

Here’s the final painting, after two sittings on location, and about five hours work. I did make a few conscious changes, such as eliminating the wires, and raising the value of the illuminated roof on the red building in the middle distance.

And I regrettably left out of the drawing the wonderful people of Bantry, who passed by with a friendly hello while we were working—especially Brendy, who lives in the house at the far left.

“I like to say hi to me neighbors,” he said to us. “Me neighbors is mankind of every description.”

61671. hypercomics at battersea park

Here's Sean Azzopardi and me taking in the wonder of the new comics exhibition at the Pumphouse Gallery. (Sean's posted a bunch of photos here.)



A whole bunch of comic artists got together to put on this fab show in a gorgeous location in a beautifully restored pumphouse overlooking a pond, curated by Paul Gravett. Here's the floor featuring Dave McKean's very site-specific work. He arranged it so there were lots of places you could see something cool just if you looked at it from an exact perspective. One view was through this mask:



Here's the dude wot made it:




And one of the window views where, if I bend my knees quite a lot and pretend I'm Dave's height, the trees in the picture exactly line up with the trees I see through the window.



Speaking of site specific, I've been invited to lead a HyperComics family workshop right there in the gallery space! It's on Sunday, 19 Aug from 1:30-3:30, and booking details are here.

Masked Adventures in Comics!
Draw inspiration from the Hypercomic exhibition and Dave McKean's masked characters to design your own story's masked heroes and villains. Get behind their masks to discover your characters' unique personalities, then use the Pumphouse setting to bring them to life in a gripping story. At the end, you'll come away with your own self-published comic book!
Suitable for both children and adults.


I told Dave McKean we'd be very careful while we run around his artwork and stab pencils into the air.
This comic panel reads, He seemed nervous.



Multi-directional comics by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey:



The ever-marvelous John Miers and Megan Donnolley:



A red-lined mask really begs to be looked through.





I actually missed a lot of the exhibition because it does demand a bit of concentration and quiet contemplation. I was riding a weird wave of being buzzed and knackered by a full day in Birmingham at the the Peters Bookselling Services. Basically it's this massive storeroom full of children's and young adult books that sell to libraries in vast quantities. All three of my publishers were there, but I was officially with Oxford University Press and doing my shpeil for my upcoming adventure picture book When Titus Took the Train. It was such a funny format... Librarian Speed Dating! The two OUP publicists and I had five minutes at our booth to say our bit to a group of about five librarians. At the end of the time, The Archers theme tune would play and the next group of librarians would pile in and we'd do it all over again. Fortunately we also got a nice lunch and I got to meet Facebo

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61672. Irish Signs

Most shop fronts in Ireland still have hand-painted signs.

John Herrick’s sign shop in Galway is down an alley next door to an instrument maker. Like most sign painters, he is also an artist and he offers art lessons.

Ma Murphy’s pub in Bantry shows the architectural setting—a fairly typical Irish facade, framed with pilasters, scroll corbels, and a dentillated cornice.

Curving baselines, shadow lettering, and Nouveau flourishes give distinctive touches set this sign apart from cheap computer-generated plastic signs.

The illusion of dimensional lettering on a flat surface is often created with five premixed tones: light side, shadow side, dark accent, highlight, and cast shadow. Such work takes specialized brushes and brush skills, and it’s a dying art in many other countries.
---------
Previously: Hand-Painted Signs (mostly North African).
There are several Flickr groups devoted to this subject:
“Hand-Painted Signs of the World.”
“Folk Typography”
“Signpaintr,” dedicated to the lost art of hand-lettering
“Hand-Painted Signs of Cambodia.”

9 Comments on Irish Signs, last added: 8/13/2010
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61673. EXPOSICIÓN: Tres Pintores [Lima]

PEDRO-DE-..[1]

Exposición "Tres Pintiores"
Juan Carlos Zeballos, José Luis Carranza y Guillermo Chávez Arroyo
Galería de Arte temporal del Museo Pedro de Osma
(Av. Pedro de Osma 423, Barranco. Lima)
Del 19 de agosto al 20 de septiembre del 2010
INGRESO LIBRE


A continuación copiamos un extracto de la entrevista que realizaron a Miriam Mainardi consultora y curadora de esta muestra. El artículo titulado "Jóvenes maestros" pertenece al espacio de Cultura del diario Expreso de Lima.


–¿Qué es lo que se viene presentando en la muestra “Tres pintores”?
Se presentan los trabajos de tres artistas con estilos marcadamente diferentes y de primera línea en la calidad de su pintura, cuyo denominador común es su juventud. Estos tres artistas son José Luis Carranza, pintor limeño, cuyo trabajo se ubica en el expresionismo; Guillermo Chávez, chiclayano, en el surrealismo, y Juan Carlos Zeballos, pintor arequipeño, en el plano abstracto.

–¿Cuáles son las características de estos pintores?
Son pintores exponentes de la vanguardia de la pintura peruana. Todos ellos egresaron de sus centros de estudios con las mejores notas. El empuje mostrado desde el comienzo y la fuerza con la que han entrado al mercado de arte en Lima me hizo notar que eran serios artistas y que estaban seguros que esta es su carrera.

–¿Cómo fue el proceso de selección? ¿Cuánto tiempo le llevó realizarlo?
Yo conocía la pintura de estos jóvenes desde hace doce o catorce años atrás y, desde allí, he visto el proceso de su ingreso al mercado del arte y el avance que han tenido en cuanto a su evolución como artistas. La idea de juntarlos surgió en mi cabeza hace diez años atrás, pero empezó a concretarse en setiembre del año pasado, momento en el que nos juntamos a trabajar para sacar adelante esta muestra con lo mejor de su pintura. Realizar esto no ha sido un proceso difícil y la elección de los trabajos me parece estupenda, lo cual puede es evidente si uno visita la galería.

–¿Qué le pareció la experiencia en esta curaduría?

Como nos conocemos desde hace bastante tiempo, ellos han colaborado conmigo y todo ha fluido perfectamente. Incluso, Eduardo Moll ha visitado esta muestra y los ha calificado de “jóvenes maestros”. Justamente fue que, trabajando con Moll, llegué a conocer la obra de estos muchachos, cuya juventud y fuerza con la que llegaban al público me hizo sentir que debía hacerse una muestra de estos tres buenos pintores. Luego de casi diez años, este es el resultado.


Para leer el artículo entero, dirigirse a esta dirección:
http://www.expreso.com.pe/

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61674. A Stinky Old Man

old-man-cartoonthere certainly are no shortage of colorful characters that live in my apartment complex and good old Alfred is definitely one of them. there are those that age gracefully, who are quick as a whip, and still shower regularly as they reach those golden years...sadly Alfred has missed the boat on all three and more. u can accuse me of being insensitive to what is clearly a few screws missing, but because he has crossed the line to full on creeper status on more than one occasion i don't feel any guilt at poking fun. to get back to the cartoon, Alfred does in fact sit on the stoop of the main complex building in full on suit attire, (gloves, hat, and all) day in and day out. why the gloves? why the hat? and why does he pair the 'classy' suit with a cotton purple turtle neck? these are all questions to ponder, as well as when was the last time he actually took a shower and laundered said clothes? i've tallied him wearing the same duds for well over a month and it is a fact he's been asked on more than one occasion to take a shower by the management for the simple reason that he smells. oh Alfred.

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61675.

Critter Book at the Publishers

Critter Book

Critter Book, an interactive book that let's you write the story, is at the publisher and we are awaiting our proof copy!

How does it work? I drew the pictures, you write the story. Each page of Critter Book contains a brief writing prompt to offer some direction. You can deviate from the prompt as little or as much as you want... After all, it's your story.

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