Sunday, December 13, 2009

Missed Halloween...missed Thanksgiving...Happy Channuka.

I know I have been away from the blog for far too long. I wish I could blame it on having too many illustration commissions, but they have been few and far between. I am posting the logo design I did for "Amphibious Medics," a California based company that provides medical services for filmings on land and sea. I also created a t-shirt design based on the logo, which I'll post later.
Thanks for your patience. I'll try not to wait so many months again.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Same picture? No, wait...

About a week ago, I watched a video demo from an artist named Bao Pham. The demo was on a dvd-rom that came with a British magazine, ImagineFX, which I bought a couple of years ago but never got around to looking at the disc. My mistake, because Bao is an amazing digital painter. I spent nearly eight hours watching his computer monitor. If I looked quickly, I could see which brush he used and what lighting effect, but there was no sound in the files, no explanation for why he made the choices he made nor what he was doing with different colors. Still, I learned a great deal from the experience and wanted to show the latest look of my Jack and the Beanstalk to all of you. Despite appearances, I did not use the Dodge or Burn tool for any of this image, a statement that will not be understood by many visitors, but fellow Ringling students and alumni may remember teachers frowning on such Photoshop tools. Anyway, I hope it meets everyone's approval.

Friday, August 7, 2009

More Photoshop fun.

Once again, I'm going back over some of my old illustrations and seeing what I can do with a little more practice under my belt. In the original black and white version of Jack and the Giant, I was trying to convey atmospheric perspective through a limited value range on the giant. This time, I'm using that idea along with fading the giant towards blue and partially erasing the line work. Also, since I just learned how to turn a photograph of a cloud into a brush, of course I over used it. No matter. It still feels good to put some work up here again. New stuff will be coming soon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where's the ART?

Sorry, but there's no art ready for posting today. Shortly after my last post, the motherboard in my HP died. The Geek Squad said it would cost over $777 to fix it, which is more than I spent for the computer just under two years ago. Instead of going that route, I invested in a new Gateway. I just finished installing my Adobe software, but it'll be some time before I can pick up Corel Painter 11. As much as I learned to love Painter since graduation, it was a student version and I don't have permission to download it again. *sigh*

Oh well. I hope to get some more things finished for everyone to enjoy very soon.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Middle of July? Wait, what happened to June?

I know I haven't updated in a while. That may be normal for many bloggers, but I had hoped to break free from that crowd and be more consistent. *sigh*

Anyway, I just got home from a wonderful vacation in Arizona with my family. It was a rare gathering of Sweetmans, considering that only Mom lives in Arizona. The rest of us are spread across the Eastern Seaboard, but the lure of seeing each other and all exhibiting in the Art in the Orchard show in Pinetop, Az, encouraged us to unite.

Instead of doing caricatures like I did last year, I opted for
face painting. It's easy,
fast, and fun to do, plus the low costs make it ideal for a quick purchase from parents. The weather in the White Mountains was in my favor as well, since
kids weren't sweating off the colors while I was painting as they are prone to in Orlando.
Along with the faces, I offered greeting cards featuring the colored versions of
the illustrations from the Pinocchio's book. I had Pinocchio, Cinderella, and Hansel & Gretel available, and I worked on this image of Oz while there. For the future, I would like to have more prints and greeting cards ready so parents could buy more stuff while I paint their children. Overall, I did comfortably well, even after taxes, and was able to start on several repairs for my car (battery, brakes, tires...). I need to work more art fairs.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009, where were we?

Back on May 2nd, I went to my favorite comic book store here in Orlando, Comic Connection, for the industry event "Free Comic Book Day."  To those not immersed in geek culture the idea of giving away the very things you're trying to make money on seems insane, but the marketing strategy often plays out.  A free book will get even the most narrow minded fan to give it a look, and if the quality meets the fan's standard, the publisher has a new steady reader.  Also, offering kid-oriented books for free encourages parents to let their children read comics.  The important part is that the kids read, but if they get caught up in the art and the fun of comic books, it's a win for everybody.

Anyway, my part in this marketing event was to facepaint.  Yes, all that expensive Ringling schooling going to good use.  The thing is that I actually enjoy painting faces.  It's easy, I'm very fast, I'm good at it, and little kids get such a kick out of seeing the end result.  I'm posting a couple of photos taken by Chris Melvin.  In them, Brian, a huge Green Lantern fan, is getting a mask painted.  I surprised him by painting the ring afterwards.  Okay, so big kids get a kick, too.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Monsterpiece Copy

Hey there.  Sorry I've taken so much time to update.  I've been far too busy with things of little consequence that are necessary only to pay bills, but offer little more.  Worse still, so much of my time is absorbed with the "day job" that I have less to create my own art.  However, I have scrounged enough time to continue my new series of "Monster Copies."

As most art students know, a great way to learn how to apply paint is to look at other paintings and try to copy what the artists did.  I've done studies of Waterhouse, Caravaggio, and Hopper before, but only tried to match colors or compositions.  In my earlier post of "Yellow and Blue Boy," I adapted the Gainsborough painting, "Blue Boy," to feature my brother's puppet character.  In the current post, I chose to place a very similar fuzzy puppet (still under construction by my brother) into Rembrandt's "Self-Portrait at Age 34," one of my favorite portraits.

This is only the first pass at the painting.  I plan on doing some glazing once I get another day off, but I like it for just 3 hours of work.  With luck, I can post a final image, as well as some process work, before the end of the month.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Here's a little something that makes me smile.  All Adobe Illustrator.  A little different in style than my usual, but maybe a book will come out of the idea.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Doodle time!

After work today, I was feeling very sick. Bad headache, nausea, dizziness, the whole shebang. Fortunately, after taking a five hour nap, I'm feeling a little more human. Not perfect, but human. The problem with the nap is that I'm not ready to actually sleep quite yet. So I doodled.

Every single artist that I admire recommends drawing something everyday. I don't always succeed in doing that, but Jason Seiler suggests daily sketching and at least one finished piece per month (No, he didn't tell me this personally; I got the advice from his blog). Since I've wanted to draw our president for a while, here's the perfect opportunity. I used Corel Painter X's colored pencils and digital watercolor. I'll revisit this subject later, but I wanted to post something.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The book is at!

I'm thrilled to announce that "Stories and Shows from Pinocchio's" has finally been listed at I'll put up a link somewhere on this blog, but if you type my name into amazon's search window, it will turn up. I think that's kinda cool. If you'd like to order a copy from me, it may take longer for you to get it, but I could always draw a little something inside to make up for the time. Many thanks to David Eaton and Luman Coad for wanting to do this and for letting me be part of it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009 far, so good!

Welcome to a new year, new post, and slightly new direction for at least one painting. I've been doing an ever increasing amount of digital illustration lately. However, this image is more classical in style and technique. An obvious homage to Thomas Gainsborough's (1727 - 1788) Blue Boy, I used only oil paint and Liquin on canvas.   The effort only took three and a half hours, which surprised even me.  I'm interested in exploring the concept of "Monster Master Copies," but I may have to think up a story that would justify publication.  Probably needs something more than "pictures I made for Christmas presents."  Although, my brother really did enjoy it as his Christmas present.

As you can see, my palette was a bit brighter than the original, which fits with the furry blue monster approach.  Several years ago, the Henson's produced a calendar featuring photographic parodies of famous art, including Kermit the Frog as "Green Boy."  While that "Kermitage Collection" was inspiring to me, I wanted to see how using the same media as the original art affected the way the art was received.  I believe the response would have been different if I painted with watercolors or rendered the image in pen & ink.  Any thoughts?