Tuesday, December 12, 2006


These are from a little ESL reader I did for Harcourt. The story is about a pig named Splash, trying to make a treat for his pal's birthday. Done all in photoshop.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


While working on some sketches for background paintings, I sort of drew a bunch of little elves (was listening to Christmas music) all over the edges of the paper. I liked this one, so decided to color it.

Below you can see the original sketch. I scanned that, and filled in solid areas of color below the lines. I did a little shading, then colored the lines a bit, and then flattened it all together. Then I did all the clean-up and details on the flattened layer. When I was done, I added a couple layers of textures over the top. Fun!

Nepotism is Fun

This is a little piece of an illustration I did for Creating Keepsakes Magazine. It will be in the upcoming January issue, so I'll wait to post the whole thing until then. Oh, and did I mention my sister happens to be the magazine's Art Director? Convenient, ain't it!

I did the illustration primarily in Flash with a little finishing up in Photoshop. When I post the whole illustration I'll do a little tutorial with it.

Yesterday I did a few sketches for my brother-in-law, for his design firm Level, Inc. They are just comp place holders for a wine label to show the client. Below is a sketch of the ruins on the client's Napa Valley vineyard.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Golden Astro

Here's something a little different - photography! I just stumbled across this picture of Astro Boy that I took earlier this summer for our big annual conference. It's Astro Boy, spray painted gold, and part of the hightly coveted Astro Award, which each department fights for every year.

So, I thought I'd post a couple pictures of stuff from my house. Can't claim to know much about photography - I just like to play with the macro button. :o)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Soup Tomato Shell Shed

Um. So nothing super spectacular this post. I've been super busy making art, but I always feel funny posting anything before it's been published, so I don't really have anything to post at the moment. I think it's a throwback to my non-disclosure days pre-freelance. Anyway, in the meantime, I thought I'd post something (anything!) so I don't go another month before posting again.

At the dayjob, we have to make lots of icons for vocab words and other things. Lots as in hundreds. They are a nice break from time to time. Nothing special. Except that the tomato is plotting to take over the world.

Done in photoshop.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Illustration Friday: Wind

done recently for a children's magazine - photoshop.

tiki two

Guess I completely missed posting anything for the month of October. Such a slacker! Crazy month - it started with Jury Duty, then add 2 children's books on top of the full-time gig, and of course - The Party. I'll post pictures of that soon.

So to get started posting again, here is some more art from the tiki game I was working on a while ago. I completely changed the monkey from the earlier version since he didn't show up at all agains the busy backgrounds.

The other thing is probably pretty self-explanatory. Drop the ball into the correct slot, and a randomly generated path lights up and animates as it falls down.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Illustration Friday: Change

This was a sample done for a possible puzzle. I wasn't sure how the whole engineering of it would work, but somehow you'd be able to change out pieces and change the doll's hair or clothes or whatever. Ended up the budget was cut, and therefore no project... This is kind of old, but I just double-checked and realized I'd never posted it here or at my regular site, so here 'tis.

Uh... let's see... technical specs: scanned pencil drawing, colored in Photoshop. Gotta love the Photoshop.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ahoy Ye Scurvy Thieves!

Arggggggggh... Just in case you forgot, a friendly reminder that today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

I gots no piratey drarwin's to be showin' ye today, but I've got a bit o' Treasure to share. (From a project I did this summer - above is just a little piece of the whole treasure chest.)

Fair winds me buckos!
-Red Mary Bonney

Friday, September 15, 2006

tiki tiki

Finished these up this morning. Spent way too much time on them. Lots of trial and error trying to figure out the style and process. Finally bagged all the imported lines from Flash, and did everything by hand in Photoshop. Sore cramped hand by the end of doing all those black and yellow lines!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Doctor Doodle

Just a random little doodle I liked, so decided to throw some color on it. Sketch and color done in photoshop, just using the standard round brushes.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Particles are your friend

To rid this blog of the bad aftertaste of the bitter disappointment, I think I'll kick off the weekend with some happy fireworks. This was a fun little project I did earlier this week. Quick background painted in Photoshop. The fireworks were made in Particle Illusion. Had to figure out how to use Particle Illusion first, but it was pretty straightforward. Then I added some sound in After Effects, and here 'tis. Happy 8th of September!

Bitter Disappointment

I really haven't started planning yet for this year's Halloween festivities, but I had stumbled across this test tube thing online, and thought - that would be so cool. It arrived today, and I've been whining to everyone who has had the bad fortune to get within conversation distance to me. It really isn't all that cool after all - no actual rising bubbles, no moving dials, and lots of cheap looking plastic. Although, I do commend the photographer for making me want to buy it. Guess I'm just gonna have to figure out how to build the real thing....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Monkey Time

Hey! Two posts in a day! Since I apparently was sucked into a black hole for the month of August, I figure I should try to make up for it. Here's a quick little character I drew for a design meeting. My next game is all about the Tiki. It's gonna be fun. So naturally, gotta have a monkey in it.

I drew him in Flash, and then exported the solid shapes as .pngs. Once he was reassembled in Photoshop, I turned on the Preserve transparency, and did some quick shading using a dry brush sort of brush I made from one of the Spatter brushes. You just need to adjust the spacing and the angle jitter in the brush palette.

Unfortunately he didn't pass muster - "too young looking" - since it's a game for tweens. I'm not sure I quite agree, but I might tweak his face a little so he's not so "sweet."

"Inking" in Flash

More Decodables! Here are a few pages from my latest little book - The Toy Robot. These things are all about trying to get something half-way decent-looking in as little time as possible. The finals for this one were done in Flash.

The process is pretty straightforward. I have a sketch imported from Photoshop to use as reference, and draw all the lines using the pencil tool. Then with the little ink pot tool I go and change all the line widths for thick and thins. Then I convert the whole thing from Lines to Fills (you can do this in the Modify menu), and I clean up corners and edges to make the transitions between line widths nice and smooth. Then I used the paint bucket for fills, and the paint brush for the little highlights (the robot is supposed to be Gold Foil.)

This next book is done in a similar way, but there's some photoshop work at the end. After cleaning up the black lines in Flash, I export the lines as a .png at 300dpi and open that up in Photoshop.

Since the lines are so nice and clean, I can use the magic wand tool and select the areas I want to fill in with color, then I go up to the select menu and choose expand, and expand the selection by 2 pixels, and then on a layer below the lines, I hit alt+del to fill in the color.

I wanted to spice it up a little bit without having to do much shading so I brought in some patterns I got from wallpaper samples. After making a selection (and expanding it) I go to the layer with the wallpaper, and hit the mask button (it's at the bottom of the layers palette - it's a little gray box with a white circle.) I suppose you could just reverse your selection and delete the extra wallpaper, but this way, you can unlock the mask and move the pattern around and make adjustments.

I only have these two done so far. The rest I've sort of been stalling on because it means I have to try to draw a fishing boat. Ugh.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Shiny Happy Faces

Just thought I'd post what I've been doing for the past couple days. These are from a little computer activity. I drew everything in Flash first, then exported the lines to Photoshop to do all the coloring and shading. I'll put together a better tutorial later... I had lots of fun making everything as shiny and obnoxious as possible!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Illustration Friday: Sacrifice

Um, okay, maybe a stretch for the theme, but look at the people willing to sacrifice all their monetary assets for the chance to have that really cool bike. Or maybe... it's the girl, sacrificing the possibility of having all that cash for the sake of loyalty to that crazy red bike. Or maybe it's all about the fountain pen the monocle guy is holding: giving up its lifeblood, its very ink, so the man can write a check.

But ultimately I think it's all about me: because I had to sacrifice some good sleeping time to get this done!

I've already posted some other pages from this same little book: What a Bike! I didn't explain much by way of a tutorial, but I illustrated The Crook Book in much the same way, if you're interested in tips and tricks.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What A Bike!

I haven't done much by way of any illustration the past couple of weeks. I work inhouse at an educational software place, and I was the chair of this year's committee for the annual Vision Conference. Tons of work, never done anything like that before, but lots of fun in the end. My favorite part was the Urban Challenge - a big kind of Amazing Race/Scavenger Hunt/GeoCache monstrosity we put together. I kinda want to do it again next year.

But I digress, I try not to ramble on too much about non-illustration stuff in this blog, cause really, who is really all that interested! ;-) I'm trying to get myself back into a illustration frame of mind, so I thought I'd post a couple pages from my most recent Decodable. This one is called "What A Bike!"

This one was done basically the same as the Crook Book - done almost to completion in Flash, then imported in to Photoshop. I did a little bit more fussing in Photoshop with this one, which meant I imported layers so I could do a little shading on each of the sections. Like with the one above, the flowers and the girl-on-bike have a bit of Drop Shadow added from the Layers Options. And then there is a texture over the top of the whole thing, again, just like the crook book.

These books are all about shortcuts, so it was pretty handy to be able to just copy/paste and transform the girl and bike for this book. Only had to draw the bike once, and for the girl I think I ended up with two poses (a side view and a front view) that I tweaked for each page. Another fun little project. And it made me unreasonably happy to have lederhosen and a Kaiser helmet in there... heh...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Illustration Friday: Rain

Nothing too exciting, just a little spot I had to do at work. This is from a little adjective type activity - wet and dry. I have to do little spots like this all the time. Done in photoshop. And so you get the matching set: Dry!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Crook Book

bigger version

So have I mentioned lately how much I like Flash? Here are a few illos from a little book I recently finished. All the drawing and color was done in Flash. (It is so fast and slick to draw in there.) I basically drew everything with the pencil tool, did some flat fill style coloring, deleted all the outlines, and then exported the finished pic to Photoshop. (Export image as a .png)

Here's what it looked like coming out of Flash:

Once in Photoshop, all I did was add a few layers of textures, just to spice it up a little. A long time ago I had used a toothbrush to splatter india ink all over a piece of paper. This scan has come in pretty handy over the years. The first layer of texture is of the black splatters, and the layer property is set to Overlay. Then a second layer, in which I've changed the black splatters to white splatters, is set to Soft Light. The third layer is from a scan of a piece of fake black velvet paper - I think it's for scrapbooking or something. I increased the contrast, created a channel that got rid of the white, and changed the black to a nice tangeriney orange color. This layer is set to Soft Light as well, and all the blues change into these nifty purples and raspberry colors.

Close-up of the textures:

And a couple other pages from the book:
(d'oh! I just noticed his hand is backwards in the second one down - I'll fix it later... heh... or maybe it's a special crook lock-picking tool attached to his wrist. Yeah! That works!)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chicken ball

I was looking for some files, and stumbled across this on my hard drive. Whatever this was supposed to be for, guess I never finished it. Anyway, thought it was funny in its randomness, and so I'm posting it in celebration of the World Cup. Here's to hoping the ol' US team steps it up a bit this weekend. :-)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pop-Up Book

About a year ago I did two flap/pop-up books for Reader's Digest. Looks like Simon & Schuster is selling the Backpack one, can't find the Closet one anywhere... Anyway, I kind of forgot about them, and when I got an email from the art director about another possible project, they were surprised I'd never seen the final product. It took some digging, but my copies were found with my rep, and now I've finally seen what they look like all put together with the pop-ups and flaps working. Kind of fun.

This project was a little different. The art director had made really tight comps for me to follow since there was all that die-cut business to worry about. The final spreads were the most fun - the paper engineer sent me a template with all the pieces already figured out, I basically just had to draw inside the die-cut lines.

Sorry about the bad photos, but those are supposed to be little happy maggots on the chocolate bar. That was a fun project - got to draw stinky fish heads, maggots, slugs, moldy sandwiches, slime and lots of other gross things.