Tag Archive for 'Present'

Nice Day For A White Wedding

Several years ago when two of my friends got married, Ron and Emily, I draw and painted for them a wedding portrait for their gift. I drew the whole thing in pencil and then decided that I would paint it in water color and accent it with color pencils for some of the details. But before I put brush to paper, I did a small little Color  Concept Sketch to work out the color, just in case I didn’t like the colors that I had chosen in my mind. He is the comparison of one of my Color Concept Sketches that I did and the Final painted piece.

So there you go, I stick pretty closely to what I had established in the Color Sketch. It was definitely my guide when executing the Final Portrait. I was invaluable when it came to doing this piece because I was going for controlled chaos, and being the perfectionist that I tend to be, I wanted to keep unhappy accidents down to a minimum.

By the way, just a reminder, I am a Freelance Illustrator/Graphic Designer…which means that if anyone out there that would like me to illustrate a portrait for them, I can be commissioned to do so. First, head over to my Gallery and check out my other portraits I’ve done, then contact me to discuss me taking on the project. Just thought I’d mention it.

Post It Posts R Back!

That’s right folks…read it and rejoice…just as it states above…Post It Posts are back! Now even though I’ve been posting lately, the Post It Note drawings have been MIA. Below are the first of many to come so prepare for the onslaught.

So one of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to draw and create more personal artwork for myself. I want to up my production and be the Stephen King of the art world when it comes to prolificness that is. So far I’ve been pretty successful, but there’s still more that I could be doing. This past Christmas and as well as my Birthday, I received a number of pre-made blank canvases as presents. People were trying to tell me something…don’t you think. However, approaching a painting can be daunting to say the least. The glaring white void of a blank canvas screams to have pigment smeared and lathered on it’s surface…that I have yet to accomplish this year. I will definitely have completed a painting, at least one, by the time 2010 comes screaming into existence…FO SHO! Painting is time consuming for me, but it’s worth it when I’ve finish covering my massive canvas and stand back to take admire my handy work. It’s at that point that I realize that I’ve just created something, no matter how good it is, that will out live me long after I am simply dust in the wind.

So my “Artzee Fartzee” Post It Note drawings today are about just that, putting my nose to the grindstone, buckling down, (insert your own cliched phrase here), and just get at it while the getting’s good! So until next time, I’m back off to my art table to bang out another drawing.

Quantum Leap Accelerator

Two years ago I designed a “Quantum Leap” T-Shirt for my brother-in-law Cary for his Birthday. Why “Quantum Leap” you might be asking yourself? Well, when I was younger and Cary was merely dating my sister, it became our weekly ritual. He’d come over to my parent’s house, sometimes with a package of Twizzlers in hand and we’d sit back and enjoy the time traveling escapades of everyone’s favorite Quantum Leaper…Dr. Sam Beckett and Holographic pal Admiral Al Calavicci. So it sort of became our thing. Hell, he even gave me a pair of “Quantum Leap” underwear for Christmas one year…okay…they weren’t really officially licensed “QL” wear, they weren’t “Quantum Leap” in any sort of way.  Rather it was an incredibly nasty gag gift of pseudo-stained underwear that he had taken from his dad’s underwear draw and wrapped very festively for me. So there’s a history of each of us giving each other “QL” merchandise, even when there was no merchandise out there to give. So a couple of years ago for his birthday I decided to design a T-Shirt for him with our favorite subject matter.

Above is a photo of Cary opening said Birthday T-Shirt and grinning from ear to ear.

The story doesn’t end there…fast forward….um, I mean…Quantum Leap forward to a little over two years and here is where the saga resumes.

I was contacted by an individual named Tom Soliva through my Flicker account where I load a majority of my artwork…and one piece of that portfolio is this design. He simply asked, “Is there anyway someone could buy one or more of these shirts?” He explained that there was going to be a 20th Anniversary “Quantum Leap” convention coming up in Los Angeles at the end of March and that he was sure that many fans would love to get a shirt with my design on it. I thanked him for his kind words and interest in my artwork but informed him that “unfortunately, the design was done solely for my own pleasure and not for profit. I do not own the rights to the photographs used in my design and therefore can not profit from them.”  With that he informed me that he would bring my T-Shirt design to the attention of the Convention planning committee.

A couple of days later I was contacted by Brian Greene from “The Leap Back,” the official “Quantum Leap” 20th Anniversary Convention.

He informed me that they had gotten permission to use the photos that I used in my design and would love to be able to use the design on T-Shirts for the convention. After working out the details with Brian, I decided to allow the design to be used because all the profits made from the shirt as well as from the convention itself were going to be going to charity, The Starlight Children’s Foundation.

So if you’d like to purchase a T-Shirt with my design and also help out charity, below is the link that will take you there. Not only has the design been applied to T-Shirts but it has been placed on almost every type of apparel imaginable as well as Mugs, Clocks, Aprons, Bibs, Teddy Bears, Etc…Oh, Boy! So there’s something for every “Quantum Leap” Fan.

CLICK on me to view “Quantum Leap” items

All merchandise is being printed through Cafepress and remember, not only do you get a cool design, you’re helping out Charity.

One of the coolest thing about this situation is the possibility that “Quantum Leap” stars Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell, and show creator Donald P. Bellisario might see and appreciate my design. Being that I’m such a big fan of the show and it’s special place in my childhood memories, it’s an honor to be able to come full circle and in my way, take part in the monumential 20th Anniversary Celebration. I will not be attending the convention and will not personally be able to meet and greet with the stars and creators, but knowing that my artwork will be there is enough.

If anyone out there that is reading this and is going to attend “The Leap Back,” I would love to hear about your experience and whatever comments anyone involved with the show had to say about my design. If you wanna send me any photos from the convention of Scott, Dean, or Donald wearing or simply you wearing the shirt with them, I’d appreciate and love it. I’d post a follow-up story and post your photos detailing your experience. Also…if you feel compelled and wanna send me an Autographed Photo by any of the individuals attending the convention…that would be super. Hey, you can’t blame a fan for trying.

I hope you enjoy the design and hope to hear back from you.

2008 Christmas Card

Each year I Design and Illustrate a new Christmas Card to send out to a majority of my friends and family to celebrate the Holiday Season. The last couple of card designs I’ve done have featured my “Artzee Fartzee” characters based on my wife and me, so this past Christmas I ran with that idea again. The card’s final layout differed from the original concept that my wife and I discussed. She said, “Hey why don’t we make a card this year that’s shaped like an ornament and it opens to reveal the card.” So with my wife’s suggestion in mind, I did just that and began drawing our new card.

I wanted the gag to be that when the card is folded you think that Troy is holding the Mistletoe over the head of the character based off of my wife, but when you open the card…SURPRISE! So the punchline is revealed when you open the card. After I finished the pencil drawing I took it into the computer and colored it in Photoshop. I stuck to the original Ornament design and worked it up that way initially.

However, after I had printed and mocked a version up…it didn’t fold and stay closed the way that I had intended. That, and the cut and folding time was a bit more than I wanted to spend on it. Christmas was fast approaching so my deadline to get all of our cards printed, addressed, and sent out via the United Postal Service was looming. Below is a video of how the card was to look and be opened. Click on the video below and enjoy!

So with the layout of the card not working exactly as I had envisioned it, I quickly decided to go with a much simpler square design. Not only was it easier to cut, but it also had less fold line to have to deal with. I think the Final layout works much better, even though the original concept was a bit more fun. I may revisit the ornament design in a future Christmas Card but I’ll have to tweak it to make it work a bit better than it did. Below is the Final layout.

I also did an alternative “Happy Holidays” version to send to our Jewish friends. They were the only ones who got this version, so they should consider it a Collector’s Item. One day…some day…maybe…possibly…it might just be worth something on eBay.

Below is a video of how the Final card looked when it was opened. Click on the video below and enjoy!

So there you go, that was my Christmas Card this past Holiday Season. Now I’ve only got less then 365 days until I’ve got to come up with yet another one drawn, printed, cut, folded, signed, stuffed, addressed, stamped, and sent out. I could start now planning for it or…put it off ’til this November…I’ll see what I can do, but until then…Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Megan’s Christmas Present

As a Christmas Gift this year, I finally drew my niece Megan a drawing of herself in my “Artzee Fartzee” style. I’ve meant to for some time, but never really found the time to do so..until now. Since she had been salivating for what in her mind must have felt like eons for me to Doodle her, Sketch her, and Draw her on up, I knew I had to do her justice. So with pad in hand and my trusty mechanical pencil, I began to work out the drawing. While sitting in front of the TV watching one of many 007 flicks over the Holiday break with my Father-In-Law…I etched out a concept sketch for the piece. I usually start off by first trying to capture the individual’s likeness as best I can…my cartoon style can have it’s limitations but in Megan’s case, I think I succeeded…especially with her personality. And the drawing oozes with her personality. So with her likeness captured, I move directly into thumbnails. I don’t tend to do as many thumbnail sketches as I use to, now I tend to do a couple at most and pretty much leave it at that. With Megan, I only did two and really only explored the one Posted below. My thumbnails are usually quite small and tight, I like to work out the flow of things that way and then translate that almost verbatim into the final drawing…which is what I did in this case.  There are slight variations, but what was mapped out in the concept sketch is for the most part represented in the completed drawing.

I had planned to add color to the drawing, a few accent reds and grays in her clothing and skulls and such, but in the end I felt like the pencil stood on it’s own. I may go back and color it in the computer later for my own personal use. I also threw in a word bubble with a completely random phrase, ’cause my niece…if anything, is completely random.

Just thought I’d toss up here a couple of pics I took of her opening the gift. By the way, I know she dug it, ’cause immediately after opening it, she magically produced her cell out of thin air like she was Criss Angel and began pounding away at the key pad texting her friends about it. I guess I could call the gift a success.

I hope you enjoy it Megan.