Inktober in October

inky-handTomorrow is the first day on Inktober and it looks like a great opportunity to work on a new daily exercise. I spent 2 months at the end of the summer drawing mazes every day and it turned out to be very rewarding. I was able to explore a variety of different ways to make mazes and developed some new techniques for drawing, digitizing and coloring that will prove valuable in all my drawings.
 
Inktober is an annual exercise in daily discipline during the month of October. Created as an informal challenge by illustrator Jake Parker in 2009, artists around the world will make an ink drawing every day for 31 days and post it with the hashtag #inktober on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, or wherever. I have an upcoming magazine commission to create illustrations of beer, wine and restaurants so for Inktober I’ll be drawing whatever food and drink I can find around my apartment. My plan is to use a brush pen and sumi ink wash and I’ll be posting work-in-progress on my Instagram and finished drawings on my Tumblr. Let the inking begin!

UPDATE: I’m posting the full set on my Flickr account.

Pixel Art with Edge Touch

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I made the above drawing of my daughters while we were hanging out at the playground next to their school. I created it in Edge Touch on my iPhone and I’m really impressed with this app. I’ve tried a few other pixel art apps but this one had all the features I could hope for: an HLS slider to fine tune colors, customizable color palettes, and GIF export. Add to that layers, animation and even onion skinning and I’ve finally found an app for my phone that I’m excited to draw with. Color me impressed… and a bit confused. All those features packed on a tiny touch screen can be daunting. Luckily there’s an online manual.

hobokenlibraryI sat in Church Square Park today and drew the Hoboken Library, then animated the GIF later in Adobe Fireworks.

BONUS:

Christopher Yabsley has a great series of pixel art tutorials on YouTube, as well as a few covering the software Pyxel Edit, which is great for making 2d game sprites.

Here’s a great run down on what pixel art is (and isn’t) and explains concepts like anti-aliasing, dithering, banding, jaggies and more.

Digital Painting and the Hudson River School

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Chris Oatley has a wonderful blog post about how to create realistic texture in digital painting by examining the techniques of the 19th century Hudson River School of painters. It’s really important to open our eyes to history and see how past artists have tackled issues in visual image making and Chris has done a great job analyzing this particular period of realistic artists.

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Peanuts in 3D

Charles Schulz ink drawings of good ol’ Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang are a joyful display of jiggly, wiggly lines and anxious slashes of ink. It looks like some of those lines are finding their way in the new Peanuts movie. Even though the movie is in 3D the film makers managed to kept the personality of the characters and gave them some dimension. It looks like a great way to respect the original artwork so we don’t get a creepy 3D reboot like Yogi Bear or Garfield.

George Washington’s Dentures

George Washington's Dentures
George Washington's PistolGeorge Washington's
Buy the above prints in my shop on Society 6.

I visited Mount Vernon a few weeks ago with my family and was immersed in the world of George Washington. Located near Alexandria, Virginia, Mount Vernon was the plantation home of the Washington family from as early as 1674 and was handed down through successive generations, including that of the first president of the United States of America. The estate is maintained well and includes the president’s home and gardens, as well as the tomb of George and Martha Washington. There is a museum on the grounds which includes a historical survey of the president’s life and artifacts from the estate.

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Drawing a Basket of Bread

bread 3-small

Buy the print at my shop on Society 6.

I drew this bread basket while having a coffee at Choc-O-Pain cafe in Hoboken. It’s a simple picture but I’m really excited about it because I was able to really nail a technique I’ve been working on the past few months. The picture incorporates a combination of ink line and sumi brush work with color in Photoshop. Below are some of the steps I went through.

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