This is the second finished name for my 2013 Letter Project, my daughter’s name, ‘Rhiannon’…
Done in traditional pen & ink. Click the image for a better view…
All the best, and thanks for stopping by!
I’m beginning 2013 with a new project, and I’m going to start it off with a New Year’s post.
It seems like ages since I’ve blogged, but the past few months have not been stable ones. I have about another 5 or 6 months of the same ahead of me, so I’ve decided to use the time to hack away at a project I can do in bits and pieces. It’s an idea I’ve been messing around with for a few years, starting while I was working in south-east Asia. Essentially I want to create an alphabet of buildings… I have a few ideas of what I want to do with it after that, but I’m starting with names.
The first one I put together was my son Eli’s… work in process pictures below as well as the finished piece.
All the best, thanks for stopping by and all the best in 2013!
I’ve been getting so little done lately… in a rough patch I guess, and it’s hard to get much done during those. I did however get to some inks this afternoon. I did this one in traditional pen & ink with a brush and dip pen.
All the best, and thanks for stopping by!
Also, (shameless plug) I have my shop up on Society 6 with prints, tote bags, shirts, etc, so feel free to stop by and support your local starving artist!
This is a piece for a fairytale project I’m involved in, for Hans Christian Andersen’s The Angel (1843). The wikipedia page is here, but I’ll post the short and, I think, quite beautiful story beneath the illustration.
All the best, and thanks for stopping by.
A translation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “Engelen” by Jean Hersholt.
Every time a good child dies, an angel of God comes down to earth. He takes the child in his arms, spreads out his great white wings, and flies with it all over the places the child loved on earth. The angel plucks a large handful of flowers, and they carry it with them up to God, where the flowers bloom more brightly than they ever did on earth. And God presses all the flowers to His bosom, but the flower that He loves the best of all He kisses. And then that flower receives a voice, and can join in the glorious everlasting hymn of praise.
You see, all this one of God’s angels said as he was carrying a dead child to Heaven, and the child heard it as if in a dream. As they passed over the places where the child used to play, they came through gardens with lovely flowers. “Which flowers shall we take with us to plant in Heaven?” asked the angel.
And there stood a slender beautiful rosebush. A wicked hand had broken the stem, and the branches with their large, half-opened blossoms hung down withering.
“That poor bush!” cried the child. “Let’s take it so that it may bloom again up there in God’s garden.”
So the angel plucked it, then kissed the child for its tender thought, and the little child half opened his eyes. They took others of the rich flowers, and even some of the despised marigolds and wild pansies.
“Now we have enough flowers,” said the child, and the angel nodded. But they did not yet fly upward to God.
It was night, and it was very quiet. They remained in the great city and hovered over one of the narrowest streets, which was cluttered with straw, ashes, and refuse of all kinds. It was just after moving day, and broken plates, rags, old hats, and bits of plaster, all things that didn’t look so well, lay scattered in the street.
In the rubbish the angel pointed to the pieces of a broken flowerpot and to a lump of earth which had fallen out of it. It was held together by the roots of a large withered field flower. No one could have had any more use for it, hence it had been thrown out in the street.
“We shall take that with us,” said the angel. “As we fly onward, I will tell you about it.” And as they flew the angel told the story.
“Down in that narrow alley, in a dark cellar, there once lived a poor sick boy who had been bedridden since childhood. The most he could ever do, when he was feeling his best, was hobble once or twice across the little room on crutches. For only a few days in midsummer the sunbeams could steal into his cellar for about half an hour or so. Then the little boy could warm himself and see the red blood in his thin, almost transparent fingers as he held them before his face. Then people would say, the boy has been out in the sunshine today.
“All he knew of the forests in the fresh breath of spring was when the neighbor’s son would bring him home the first beech branch. He would hold this up over his head, and pretend he was sitting in the beech woods where the sun was shining and the birds were singing.
“One spring day the neighbor’s boy brought him also some field flowers, and by chance one of them had a root to it! So it was planted in a flowerpot and placed in the window beside the little boy’s bed. And tended by a loving hand, it grew, put out new shoots, and bore lovely flowers each year. It was a beautiful garden to the little sick boy-his one treasure on earth. He watered it and tended it and saw that it received every sunbeam, down to the very last that managed to struggle through the dingy cellar window.
“The flower wove itself into his dreams; for him it flowered; it spread its fragrance, and cheered his eyes, and toward it he turned his face for a last look when his Heavenly Father called him.
“He has been with God now for a year, and for a year the flower stood withered and forgotten in the window until on moving day it was thrown out on the rubbish heap in the street. That is the flower-the poor withered flower-we have added to our bouquet, for it has given more happiness than the richest flower in the Queen’s garden.”
The child looked up at the angel who was carrying him. “But how do you know all this?” he asked.
“I know it,” said the angel, “because I myself was the sick little boy who hobbled on crutches. I know my own flower very well.”
Then the child opened his eyes wide and looked up into the angel’s beautiful happy face, and at that moment they found themselves in God’s Heaven where there was everlasting joy and happiness. And God pressed the child to His bosom, and he received glorious white wings like the angel’s, so they flew together, hand in hand. Then God pressed all the flowers to His heart, but the poor withered field flower He kissed, and it received a voice and joined the choir of the angels who floated about God’s throne. Some were near, some farther out in great circles that swept to infinity, but all were supremely happy. And they all sang, the great and the small, the good blessed child and the withered field flower that had lain so long in the rubbish heap in the dark narrow alley.
done in pen and ink
This is another I’ve been wanting to get the inks done on for a while…
Another non-illustration post today…
My family and I just moved into our new apartment (yay) but I am now without a scanner for a few days (booooo). So, I’m taking the time to do a few things I’ve been meaning to get done for, oh, years. One is getting a shop with my illustrations in it up and running. I’ve been looking around for ages, and have not cared for most of the options out there, but I settled today on Society 6. It’s a clean site, not too many bells and whistles, just a place to order a print if one was so inclined.
Also, thank you to all my readers– I’ve said this before, but as I head into the end of the Summer with a new job in a new country, looking back a little, this blog has been a great experience. It’s pushed me & motivated me to get out of my shell and get working.
Thanks to all of you for being out there.
Well, my wife, children and I have all made the move to Poland… I’m beginning to get things back in some order, drawing wise at least. I brought a good quantity of black ink & pen nibs with me from Asia, so I’m set on those… I found (with the help of my wonderful Polish wife) an art supply store. It’s not huge (we’re in a small city for now) but it carried some nice 240 g/m² card-stock paper that’s been working out well with the pen and inks… Her uncle had a scanner-copier I can use, and I found a piece of press-board to use as a drawing board at the local home and garden store… so I’m pretty well set up.
This b&w piece started out as a small pencil sketch, trying out the new paper while I was having some vodka & tomato juice with my wife the other night. I liked it, so I inked it.
It’s good to be blogging again, I hope to really forge ahead with my inks in the remainder of the year…
All the best & thanks for stopping by!
My friend Joe’s long-poem, which I’ve been illustrating in a sort of long image running along the bottom, page by page, ends with the Harrowing of Hell. In Christian tradition, after the Crucifixion, Christ descended to hell, broke open the gates, and freed the worthy souls.
There’s a far more in depth look at the whole thing on wikipedia here —–> the Harrowing of Hell
So, this section of the poem, with space at the bottom for the illustrations, runs to 16 pages. I used a fan brush to put down the initial layers of ink, getting lighter with added water as I went along. The final illustration is Christ busting down the door to hell, so it’s the lightest. I then added in figures, sort of looking ‘towards’ (or away from) page 16.
This wraps up a long, long project. It clocks in at 331 ink and wash paintings, about 10 pounds of paper…
This brings the 300+ project to a near close. There is still the Appendix, which I’ve finished the illustrations for, but this finishes the illustrations for the main body of the text. There are 286 stanzas in my friend Joe’s long-poem (based on the Gospels), however a decent number of those stanzas run over a page, so it’s in reality more than 286 illustrations… In my folder, it gives me a count of 314 images, so well past the 300 mark today.
I’ve also hit the 300 with followers mark on my blog! Many thanks to everyone who stops by, clicks like, comments, drifts by, it’s all truly appreciated. Many, many thanks…
So, here are the 17 newest pieces, which cover the Resurrection through the founding of the early Church. Again, I’ve avoided a lot of ‘hand-waving’ illustrations in favor of a more subtle approach. Trees in the cities…
Still getting over this flu which has left me far more tired than I’d want to be, but I got myself together enough over the weekend to clock in another 14 images for my friend Joe’s project, which I really want to have finished by week’s end. I also re-did no. 258, simply because I wasn’t pleased with my first piece.
These illustrations cover the road to the cross, crucifixion, death and burial of Christ. Instead of going for a more ‘serene’ style, i went at the pieces with the crucifixion scenes from the Medieval period in mind. Very harsh, none of the poetry of the Romantic era. I used a number 3 round on all the pieces, then went in at the end with my nib to feel out a few details.
As these images are rather representative of the verses they illustrate, I’m including the references below each image. The scenes during Christ’s trial I did in trees, usually withering or rotten, to represent the decayed and corrupt system of his time. That seemed more interesting than a bunch of “talking with their hands” scenes.
All the best and thanks for stopping by!
Click on any image for a larger view…
A while ago I dropped the FB, and then a while later I picked it back up. I admit it was just easier to talk to the people I needed to about this and that via the FB than e-mail and whatnot… whatever, but I swore when I got back on, no politics, more creative use of my FB time.
So, this week I had a few sleepless nights and I did a couple thoroughly non-digital pieces for my FB cover, plus a profile pic that would work with them both in some way… straight pen, brush and ink. I want to do more, have wanted to do so much more lately, but I got a nasty flu from a week of driving through the rain, so nada. Oh, and before that — the rain, the rain which falleth so hard and so often that it maketh my paper damp and poor to work upon. Blegh. I’m ready for my move…
BUT, this is an illustration blog, so illustration it is…
Click any image for a larger view, the view is always small in the actual post.
I’ve wanted to do a triptych for ages. Ye olde dictionary.com defines a triptych as follows:
noun1. Fine Arts . a set of three panels or compartments side by side, bearing pictures, carvings, or the like.2. a hinged, three-leaved tablet, written on, in ancient times, with a stylus.
1725–35; < Greek tríptychos of three plates, equivalent to tri- tri- + ptych- (stem of ptýx ) plate + -os adj. suffix
pen & ink
I haven’t been illustrating or blogging due to my coming move to Poland… I haven’t had near the kind of time I’d hoped I would have in the month before leaving, but that’s life…
I got this done over the past couple days.
The inspiration is my wife. I wanted to do it solely in pen and ink, focus on the details… I’ve never tried to draw her before because, well, my meager talents always seem to fail me when trying to capture her. I spent about 7 hours on this, though, and I’m fairly happy with it. It was a great way to spend 7 hours, and it gave me the notion to do a tryptic of sorts. I think I may just settle into doing that for the next couple weeks…
Anyway, here it is.
All the best, and thanks for stopping by!
Heavy rain all night kept me up, out of bed and at the drawing desk.
A while ago I did a very rough pen sketch of a piece I want to do of Saint Michael (click here), and tonight I did a few pencil sketches for it, none of which worked visually. Everything was too rigid. Later, at around 3am, I started working on a pencil sketch that I liked, so I did rough washes and pen & ink over it to flush out the idea. I hope to do a final version this week or next…
I finally finished the pieces for the Alice project I’m involved in the other day. Below is my working copy of the chapter. There will be a cleaner version (text-placement wise) later this month after the project coordinator gets everything together, but I wanted to post them with the appropriate text within.
For colors, I tried to stick to the black, red and yellows of the Bicycle playing cards. I felt those tones focused the scope of the illustrations, as well.
They were all done in pen and ink and water with watercolor washes, mainly in Indian Red and Yellow Ochre.
I feel like I got something out of this project. Don’t draw angry is one of them. I did a lot of the first series of images after work, and I ended up re-doing about half of them as they were too dark and heavy and Alice’s form and figure didn’t really come through the darkness.
So, lesson learned, project finished. I’ll put up links to the finished project once the coordinator has more up on the website.
Anyway, here they are, click on any for a larger view and there’s a gallery to scroll through at the bottom.
All the best, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy them.
I’ve working on the final scans for the Alice project the past few days, along with re-doing a few pieces I wasn’t happy with. I hope to do a real post soon, but till then, some Tom Waits…
… there’s only Alice…