Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Water Taxi

Here's a sketch I started a while ago between projects and just recently finished up:

This is one of those images that just 'popped' into my head one day, but I have no doubt there's some very heavy influence from two of my favorite artists P.A. Lewis and Jean Baptiste Monge in there. The bird is an egret and the bird's saddle is based on a camel saddle - like this one for example. They are beautifully vibrant in their patterning and colors and I'm not quite sure how to approach the color for the saddle in my sketch since I was picturing a rather pastel-y color scheme for this piece. I'd thought I could possibly use this image for a promo card once it's finished, but looking at it I realized it's awfully similar in terms of setting to one of my recent promo cards, so I think this sketch will have to be put aside for the time being while I dream up another image to use as a postcard. Hope that I'll be able to get back to it soon...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Around the Campfire

Here I am again posting winter-themed paintings in the middle of the summer. Perhaps it's more wishful thinking on my part. I'll have to see if this trend continues over the next few years...
This piece was another private commission which came together in an interesting way. We started with about five loose thumbnail sketches all quite similar and based on the idea of a winter campfire. My client picked out the characters she liked best and then we arranged them into one cohesive scene. Amazingly, all the chosen characters fit together quite easily and required only minimal adjust to make the scene work.

I really enjoyed painting the snowy background in this painting. One thing I especially like to paint is moonlit clouds. Somewhere along the way I began referring to moonlit clouds, both real-life and painted, as "Buehner clouds" as I think illustrator Mark Buehner is the master of moonlit clouds.

Getting back to summer and a brief update on our swallow neighbors (see previous post) - the pair successfully raised five baby birds all of whom have since left the nest. We feel so privileged that we got to watch them grow up:What's really surprising to us is that almost as soon as the babies left the nest, the mating pair started on a new family. The nest is up too high for us to peek into, but with the use of a mirror we could see the new eggs:
Looking forward to watching the new family grow up!