Kelly (23) Pete (22) Walter (21)

Facebook Faces


Today’s portrait is of a friend of my wife’s, Kelly, who’s son was good friends with our son since about pre-school. I decided to do today’s piece in a pastel style that I used to do quite a bit of back when I was first starting out (but gave up on due to the problems in shipping artwork to clients — one good thing about digital pastels, they don’t often accidentally smear, and there is much less dust to breath into your lungs)


Today’s portrait is of one of the founding members of the ‘Guy’s Movie Club’ (an informal group of guys who get together to see movies, generally the type the wives aren’t interested in, that involve lots of violence, guns, car chases, things blowing up, scantily clad women, and barely articulate beefy action stars). Pete is the brother-in-law of one of my music buddies and is a living walking breathing movie trivia encylopedia.
Today’s portrait I tried to keep as loose as possible (the photo it was based on was pretty poorly lit) almost as if I were doing a rough preliminary sketch. The main difficulty is knowing when to quit before it gets overworked.

And since I had a little extra time today, I did another one. This one is of a client of mine from way back in the days when I was working for a graphics shop in the mid-eighties, Walter. This one I did in a mixture of mediums, but mostly in colored pencil in the final stages.

Catholic concerns + Lori (20) + Jana (19)

Facebook Faces, US Catholic


Not much on the work docket today. Spent some time making corrections/revisions to a cd package design project, and in doing some marketing for my band’s upcoming cd release. Didn’t feel like making much of a stretch with today’s portrait, so I did today’s in my ‘old standby’ scratchboard (although I took some extra time and experimented with the color treatment a bit). This one is of an old ‘Art Buddy’ from high school, Lori.


Had a couple of US Catholic illustrations to finish up today, both for the same issue, and in cases like this, the editors prefer if I do each illustration in a different style. The one above was a commentary piece on the shooting in Florida, which I did in a sort of pen & ink/color wash style, and the one below was more of a mixed paint/colored pencil treatment. (since these are both horizontal pieces, you can click on the image to see a larger version)

And, thanks to a morning band concert at a local grade school (where my upright bass elicited a bit of excitement by the pee wee crowd — “whoa! look at that huge guitar!”), and some blustery weather leading to a power outage for part of the afternoon, plus another minor alteration to a job I did last week, I didn’t manage to find time to do my self imposed portrait assignment today. But I might find some time this evening to squeeze in a quick one.

As promised, later in the evening, I went back out and did a quick study of another of my facebook friends. This is one is a cousin of my Mothers’, Jana. Did this one in a combination of watercolors and colored pencil (not too much different from the style I used on the paper doll books this spring — and speaking of which, since Mitt seems to have all but secured the nomination, I may have another book coming out soon, details to come as soon as I hear something)

Dan (18) Kimmo (17) Kelly (16), Blown Covers, etc

Blown Covers, Business North Carolina, Facebook Faces, WSJ


This weekend’s portraits: #17 is of a guitar playing buddy from one of the bands that I’m involved with. We went down to Otsego on Friday night to watch him perform in one of his other groups. I decided to do this one (based on a photo I found on his page), in the same style that I did ‘Gary’ with several days ago, but in color this time. #18 is of a client of mine, Kimmo from Helsinki (from several years back) with whom I did several board game designs. Did this one in a mixture of watercolor, colored pencil and a blending tool. (not much of a stretch, stylewise, but I thought I’d take the approach that I used on several of the games, which seemed fitting).


Today’s portrait is of one of the daughters of our next door neighbor from where we grew up in Durand, Michigan – Kelly. I purposefully gave myself a very limited palette today, in what I hoped to be unusual ‘facial’ colors.

I also had a revision on an illustration from a couple weeks ago. The editors wanted to add a crowd of cowering businessmen to the background of my ‘bomb’ illustration about ‘tax reform’ (pictured below). In addition, I had a small simple spot illustration to accompany the WSJ illustration I completed yesterday.


And here’s my weekly Blown Covers sketch. This week’s theme: “Love in the Big City”.

Annette (15) and WSJ work

Facebook Faces, WSJ


Today’s portrait is of one of my more recent facebook friend acquisitions. Annette was an art director for one of the local children’s publishing companies that I did work for back in the early part of the last decade (I gather that she is still working in the same capacity these days, but in more of a freelance capacity). Did this one using charcoal tools on a black background, and it was rather hard to find many good photo references, so this one was a bit tricky.

I snuck this portrait in between a rather large project this afternoon for the Wall Street Journal (which needed to be put together in layers just in case some ‘shifting around’ was called for late in the process, plus they wanted portions of it early to use as a ‘teaser’ art in an earlier edition – ie: the standing figure, which will be cut off at the knees in the final layout). You can click on the small version below to see a larger more detailed view.


a bit sketchy

ChronicleHE, Facebook Faces, US Catholic, WSJ


Today was a rather ‘sketch heavy’ day on the work docket, so after I got my day’s workload done, I chose another face from the ‘facebook friends’ list and decided to try a more ‘sketch-like’ approach to the portrait. Above is a portrait of Gary, a local actor and law school teacher. I did this one in pencil and blender, but started with a black background much like doing a scratchboard illustration.

Below are several of today’s sketches for various upcoming projects, and a collection of sketches for projects over the past few weeks, both prelims for finished work and rejected ideas that I dug out of the trash.