Saturday, February 17, 2007

Gravity #2 (and Ian Sands old school style)

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This is an old illustration I did for a SCBWI contest two Octobers ago. Wow, that's a long time ago! My style has changed a bit, eh?

This was the assignment:

Illustrate a scene showing a child or teen getting ready for the new school year.

I came in second place, over taken by Jennifer Morris.

I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids!

Friday, February 16, 2007


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Could I have gotten a better word? At first, I overlooked the obvious. I thought, hmmm, I painted another water tower. What does gravity have to do with water towers??

Then it hit me. Derr! Water towers never fail because they work off gravity.

Water towers are very simple. A pump pressurizes water and pushes it into the water tower. Gravity forces the water back down the pipes every time you turn on your facet.

The gravity causes the pressure. Water towers are tall to provide pressure. Each foot of height provides 0.43 PSI (pounds per square Inch) of pressure (I had to look that up :).

You can view this painting of The Tipper Tie Water Tower Step by Step.

Or view the sketches.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Tipper Tie Water Tower

OK, I got the cartoon water towers out of my head. It’s like my head was blocked and until it was cleared of goofy water towers, I couldn’t get back to painting. But that was this morning. This evening I couldn’t wait to start this painting.

So here it is step by step.

First, I start by laying down some paint. I use a brush for a little while. Then I get bored and start slapping it around with my hand. This stage used to scare me. Like I thought maybe I couldn’t pull it back together. But now I slap paint, fearless.

Next, I scrub in the large areas with chalk and oil pastels. It’s a quick, easy way to bring the image back to the paper after my hands have walked all over it.

Finally, I work the paper over with the colored pencils. I also use a paper clip to scrape away areas of color. I don’t care where the pencils go. I just start scribbling. They know what to do.

I started the weekend with every intent of completing a large mixed media painting of the Tipper Tie water tower from sketches Grayson and I drew two weeks ago. But for some reason, I couldn't get it together.

I kept coming back to this silly idea of an animated water tower that I sketched. Every time I looked at the sketch, I smiled so I finally decided to sit down and color it.

The water tower is standing by a road and judging by the look in his eyes, he has either just witnessed a crash or is about too.

The guy on the left is the Tipper Tie water tower. I think he crashed into the Apex tower (guy on the right) causing him to spill his water.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

First Sale (Update)

After visiting my studio (the room above the garage), the owner of Salem Street Reality (Kim) offered to purchase (take off my wall and give me no money) two of my Apex pieces.

The pieces selected each contain two studies of the downtown area of Apex and will be matted and framed for the office in downtown Apex.

While it’s true I know the owner (Kim), I still felt pretty good about selling (without getting any money) the pieces, especially since it was a total surprise.
Winter Tower Sprouts

click for larger image

We had a storm, if you can call a half-inch of snow a storm, Thursday morning. Driving past the water tower, I couldn’t help but snap a few photos.

The tower reminded me of crocus sprouting though the snow in early spring. And since the groundhog saw his shadow and spring is only moments away, I thought it was fitting. (or am I really stretching the IF idea?)

detail of the snow tower

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bella Italia in Wake Forest

Last night my hockey team, the Jackals, lost 5-4. Our opponent’s fifth goal slid right past me because I popped my knee only moments before they took the shot. Last night I slept terribly and this morning I have a brace on my leg. So you might say that was a pretty bad night for hockey. But not so because our team is sponsored by Bella Italia in Wake Forest.

Bella Italia in Wake Forest makes the best NY style pizza in NC. We stopped by after the game last night and Mike, our sponsor, cooked us up a few pizzas.

This pizza is sooooo good! It’s the crust. They use “real” pizza ovens and I guess sometimes a little dough sticks to the oven. So the bottom of the pizza is crispy and has a few little black specks on it. Those specs are burnt pizza crust which I guess might not sound to appealing but it’s a good thing. It gives just a hint of flavor to the crust sort of like what an outdoor grill can do for steak or chicken. This flavor, in association with the crispy crust, just makes this pizza incredible!