Trouble’s a’comin’

Posted in Illustration on July 25, 2013 by spudaug

This is an homage to old pulp magazines and movie posters. This is digital coloring on top of a drawing I scanned in.  I was going for the feel of a sensational film noir.

Bang! Bang!

I’m not entirely satisfied with it.  I seems ham-fisted to me.  It’s the first of a series, and I’m determined to follow this up with much better work.

The inspiration was from an issue of Guy True Adventure magazine from 1959.  The original cover was actually from a WWII adventure story.  I swiped the poses, but aside from that everything is different.


Why haven’t I Posted This?

Posted in colors, Comics, Digital, Illustration on May 28, 2013 by spudaug

I finished this up with colors:

There he is!

You can find the pencils for this if you scroll down.  It sat unfinished in my sketchbook for over a year.  I finally got around to doing the coloring process just last month.  I already shared it, but I quickly moved on to other projects before I put it up on my blog.

Dino Mural

Posted in Children's, Digital, Dinosaurs, Illustration on April 25, 2013 by spudaug


This is the mural I created for the revamped dino dig pit at the Children’s Museum of Richmond.  It’s slightly over 40 feet long. You can’t tell from this web-sized version, but the finished mural is HUGE.  It’s installed on two walls as the environment for a dinosaur exhibit that involves, among other things, a dig pit where kids can uncover life-sized fossils.

Every creature in the mural is roughly life-sized.  The tyrannosaurus and lambeosaurus are on the small side, but maybe these aren’t fully mature dinosaurs. It’s a children’s museum; dinosaurs have children, too.

The dinosaurs are reasonably accurate, but not at all realistic.  I mean, come on, the audience here are kids under the age of eight.  We want them to see dinosaurs that are physiologically correct (as far as we know), but there’s no need not to make them cute, too.  Hence the coloring.  The color palette is restricted (ha!) to official colors of the museum.  There are large voids left open because the walls are not exactly square, plus there’s a window above the stegosaurus’s head.  The installed mural will have small “fun fact” panels with information for each critter in the mural.  There will also be rulers for kids to compare themselves.  I’ll post a photo of the completed installation when it’s done.

Found the tiny eomaia and epidexipterix?  They’re on the cycad tree that divides the two walls.  I was worried about that corner/column area, but I was happy to see that it looks great installed.

sneak peek

Posted in Children's, Dinosaurs, Illustration on March 18, 2013 by spudaug

"dawn mother"
These are details from a mural project that I’m in the middle of. I don’t want to show the whole thing yet, but I’m comfortable showing the first two finished bits.  The mural is a prehistoric scene of mostly dinosaurs, plus one mammal thrown in for good measure.  It’s very cartoony, which is exactly what the client needs.  It’s meant to be a piece that stands on it’s own, but rather as a backdrop for something else that is much more attention-getting.

As if dinosaurs could be background decoration.  Ha! 

Yaolong's Dragon

These are actual size, by the way.  Admittedly, the coloring and line work is rather free.  It’s suited for the installation space.  If you want hyper-detailed dinosaurs you’re just going to have to look at some of my other posts.

I’ve always felt that the smallest details were the most enticing part of large, environmental design.  As a child, whenever I saw a truly large art installation it was always the small focal points that had me enraptured.  The details are where the good bits are.  The nooks and crannies are where all the best stories are waiting.  You can’t always see them when you stand back to get the wide view.

When the mural is installed I’ll be sure to share the whole thing.  I know for a fact that some of the people reading this will stumble across it in the next month or so, anyway.  Can you guys guess what it’s for?


Posted in Drawing, graphite, Sketchdump on February 13, 2013 by spudaug

These are a few pages from my tiny sketchbook.  Nothing finished.

Dream (Daniel)
This sketchbook is for warmups or just exercising my lazy art muscles when I’ve had a day spent with dull design. Sometimes I have days that require LOTS of entries. I try to pick a theme on those days. This was from one of those days not too long ago. Catch the theme?
The first two might be tricky, but the last two are giveaways, if you’re familiar with the source material.
I’ve also got some long-form theme entries. Those are fun. Sketch-a-day type stuff. I think I’ll be posting most of what’s in this particular sketchbook, so you’ll get to see them.

New Studio

Posted in Shop Talk on February 5, 2013 by spudaug

This isn’t much to look at yet, but I thought I’d share.  Since we’ve moved into our new house (!) we’ve set up one of the bedrooms as our studio and office.

Mayline tables!

behold the new digs

We’ve got two Mayline drafting tables, and each has a pair of dual-bulb lamps (florescent and incandescent). The larger table is about 5 feet wide and is equipped with a wire-guided rule and a large flat drawer.  Between the desks is the cabinet with most of our supplies (brushes, inks, pencils, paints, that kind of thing.  On top of that are the drawers for out watercolor paint cups.  We keep the colors pre-mixed and just wet them when we need them.  Every drawer is organized by color group.

The light in this room is wonderful.  The window on the right is facing southwest, and the the whole room is bright all day long.

You can also see out matte cutter, paper cutter, and the boxes for things like my wife’s airbrush stuff.  There also a box of frames under the big desk.I could show you our computer workstations, but the room is kind of a mess.  Still a few boxes from moving, even though that was months ago.

Maybe next week.

Hibernation is Over

Posted in Acrylic, Painting on January 20, 2012 by spudaug

Well, artistically speaking.  I still have the urge to crawl into my cozy cave and stay there until…  well, just stay there, really.  It’s warm and soft in there.  And it has cable.

Peacock Brook Farm in NH

Here is a quick acrylic landscape I did of my father’s farm in New Hampshire.  It was a few weeks after a late Autumn snowfall, and there were still some leaves clinging to the trees.  I spent about an hour painting this from a photo.  It’s a passable sketch, but I don’t think I’ll ever turn it into a full-on landscape.  I was happy with the varieties of white that I achieved, but that’s about it.  There are so many things wrong with this.  It is only a sketch, though, and I was exploring possibilities, but that’s as far as this particular piece is going to go.

Not everything I post is something I’m proud of.  It doesn’t need to be great.  What I’m trying to show is how I’m actually working.  By explaining what I’m doing and how I’m working to you fine folks I get more out of the process of making art.  With that in mind, I think I’ll be posting a lot more unfinished pieces for you to see.

%d bloggers like this: