November 25, 2009

Vintage Chics + Leaf

Before I head out on my Thanksgiving adventures, I will leave you with a few sketches I did this week, and a few things I am thankful for:
  • Living an easy bus ride or short drive away from my office - I got a taste of some gnarly traffic earlier in the week. 
  • Having a boss who is always sharing his chocolate.
  • The freelance work I have been getting lately - it's challenging but fun and rewarding.
  • Having my dad in California for a week; he spoils me rotten.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm for its hilarity.
I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!



Grain Edit showed some vintage photos by Tom Palumbo, and I was struck by this girl. 

I love Hot Dogs puts up screen shots from old movies. This chic from the 1975 film Maitresse needed some marker love.

I did a brush pen drawing of a leaf, scanned it in, and went nuts in Photoshop experimenting with textures.

November 24, 2009

Tuesday Coolsday - Orba Squara

Do you like great music?  Does photography tickle your pickle?  Do you get goosebumps at the thought of a road trip?  Is a hand-lettered and illustrated journal your idea of a good time?  Are you into funky graphic design? Are you bored at work?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, then this website is for you!  Turn up your speakers, lean back (with your hand on the mouse/wacom pen), and spend a good hour or two cruising through this beautiful Flashumentary* of a band, Orba Squara, promoting their album, The Trouble with Flying.

This is quite possibly one of the most beautiful, creative, and inspiring websites I have ever....visited experienced.

* Did I just invent a word?

Found via Doodler's Anonymous.

November 19, 2009


I'm in the middle of a crazy complicated illustration assignment with a whole bunch of spots (sketch for one above).  I think I understand why they call it moonlighting - you see a lot of moonlight when you do this stuff.  But I'm not complaining!  Bring it on!

November 17, 2009

Tuesday Coolsday - Mary GrandPrè

images courtesy of

Apologies for the absense, I was back in my hometown of Louisville last week celebrating my mother's birthday.  Now I'm back to it.

I've mentioned in the past that I'm reading the Harry Potter series, and I have to admit I'm enjoying the nightly escape into the magical world of Hogwarts, Muggles, and Quidditch. I'm five books into the series and am looking forward to seeing how everything wraps up in the end.

One thing I love about these books are the illustrations by Mary GrandPr√®.  Most people will recognize her vibrant cover illustrations, and I urge you to look at them closely.  There's a lot going on, and the attention to detail is impeccable.

As cool as the cover illos are, I have to give props to the beautiful chapter illustrations.  These tiny drawings (that most people don't give a second thought) are like mini masterpieces.  The compositions are balanced yet dynamic, the values are spot on, and careful attention is paid to every millimeter of the small artwork.  Brilliant.

Thirty (30) of these mini masterpieces are completed in a timespan of only 3 weeks, according to this great interview about her work on the Harry Potter series.

All of her illustrations (which can be seen on her website) have vibrant color, interesting shapes, and strong value, all of which I strive for in my own work.  She is a new addition to my list of inspirational female illustrators.

I have another assignment for Better RVing Magazine in the works; hopefully I can summon her creativity for my own piece!


November 6, 2009

Ocean Ave

Ocean Ave, originally uploaded by Gato81.

A lunch break sketch, view of Ocean Ave. Done in my mini Moleskin with a brush pen and Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pens, which I'm completely addicted to lately.

Have a great weekend!

November 4, 2009

Tuesday Coolsday

If you like artists like Norman Rockwell and Bernie Fuchs, or any other illustrator working in the middle of the 20th century, Today's Inspiration is the blog for you.  Authored and maintained by cartoonist Leif Peng, the site pays tribute to American illustrators of the era, ranging from the Greats to the lesser known.  He goes into great detail about the artists' careers and usually scans original ads and magazines from his own collection or the collections of an artists' family members.

Having never had proper Illustration History lessons, this site has been a great resource for me.  Every day, I'm exposed to new paintings and artists, and am often treated with analysis of their work.  It's like having a daily art history class delivered right in my Google Reader.  Occasionally Mr. Peng brings in guest bloggers to discuss their areas of expertise. For example, I really enjoyed the week dedicated to Norman Rockwell (who wouldn't?), during which we get this close-up detail of one of his illustrations for Huck Finn.  I recommend you check out the archives and check it regularly!