Archive | Illustration


When my friends Joan Berkwitz and Addi Hude began planning a true convention for the ceramic horse community, I knew I wanted to be involved. Joan had mentioned that they would be looking for donations for the “swag bag” that entrants received, and to be thinking of something I might want to do. I decided that we needed name badges. It seemed appropriate, because I’m a big believer in the idea that no one should feel like a stranger at a model horse gathering. But they couldn’t be just any name tags. We needed artwork! And of course, if we were going to have artwork, all the horses needed to be cool colors. Lots of different colors.

I decided I would use lineart, which is common among those that enjoy two-dimensional horse art games. For the mock-up, I used Jacqueline Ferrigno’s coloring book pages. For those that never outgrew coloring books, I highly recommend her site. That’s him sporting leopard spots in the first photo.

That first badge was done last year, before I had the lineart prepared for the upcoming horse color book. Unfortunately my own artistic style isn’t quite as romantic as Jacqueline’s, but they do tie in with the presentation I will be giving at the convention. (The presentation is partially based on the contents of the book.)

When I did my sample, and the first few badges, the holders fit a 3 x 4 badge. That’s the larger one at the bottom. Then when I returned to get more holders, the only kind available were smaller. I didn’t realize this until I got them home, but they have the advantage of holding a card the same size as an Artist Trading Card. As a collector of those, I liked that idea so I decided to make the rest smaller. The top card is the smaller size. Hopefully no one will mind the inconsistency.

Here are some of the in-progress horses. They get cut out and pasted on the patterned paper backgrounds. It has been fun working with color again after months of focus on black and white book pages.

Here is a scan of one of the horses. No effort goes to waste around here; he’s also an illustration in the upcoming book. I originally planned to color the book images digitally, but I found that the time saved on the repetitive parts was offset by how much longer it took me to do things. I suppose I am still a traditional artist at heart.

The horses were colored with Copic Sketch markers. I’ve always liked them, and for my last birthday my mother gave me this colorful box filled with them. I love their vibrant colors, and the brush tip (see the bottom marker) feels more like painting than coloring with a marker. And unlike my Intuos tablet, I can bring them with me to the beach next week. That’s how I plan to spend Spring Break – sitting under the Spanish moss coloring little horse faces for my friends at BOYCC!

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Pretending to be a graphic artist again

This past week I had to temporarily trade in my clay for the graphics tablet, dust off my rusty rendering skills and catch up on some promised drawings. This little trotting guy is supposed to get transferred to some tiles for my friend Addi Velasquez and her all-china show “Mud Day“. I’ve never used the transfer technique before, so I’m curious to see how they come out.

In the meantime, my youngest son asked if I would print him out so he could color him. I guess he does look a bit like a page from a coloring book. I recently took a class on coloring prayer mandalas, and had a great time coloring intricate horse patterns on one of those Celtic horse circles. Maybe I should print two copies out and color with him!

I also had to design the t-shirts for the Science Olympiad team I help coach. We agreed that we would just use some simple text since time (and money) were short. But the school’s mascot, a cartoon Viking, was just too tempting. He needed to become a mad scientist! Don’t all fur vests come with pocket protectors and pens these days?

It has been a fun change of pace, and just what I needed to break my obsession with the horse color book. I have never been a great multi-tasker, so it is easy for something to take over my time to the exclusion of all else. These projects had immovable deadlines, so I had to set the manuscript down. Now I am all charged to get back in the studio and work in the mud!

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