How Refreshing!

After paying $50 or so to keep my website up and running for another year, I decided to give it a facelift. To justify spending the money on it, I suppose. What’s the point of keeping a website if it’s out of date?

After a few hours of tweaking, I’m loving how it looks.

Before:

And after:

It’s very similar (I said facelift, not an overhaul), but I think it looks much nicer. It’s easier to read my name up at the top, and I have a functional header for the first time in forever, which opens up space in the nav. And I think the black and white is a bit more sleek and grown-up looking than the blue. There are also three new images in the gallery (nothing that hasn’t been featured already on the blog, sorry!).

All that’s left to do is make up some better looking type down in the navigation. I like the plants down at the bottom, but it makes the type a little hard to read. But that’s a project for another day.

Go check it out for yourself if you’re interested!

THE BIRDS

Painting birds is pretty relaxing. I love details, and with their patterns and feathers, birds are basically made out of details. So- one down, eight to go!

I’ve been meaning to do a painting like this for a while, just a big collection of some of my favorite birds. So I’m glad I’ve finally gotten around to it!

THE ANIBET IS COMPLETE!

I finally finished!


I was worried that U-Z would be difficult, but I actually really enjoyed doing those letters! I think the fact that there are fewer popular animal names that begin with those letters made things a bit freer.

So here they all are! You can see them in detail at my website.

Update: due to a certain amount of interest, I’ve started to make prints available. If there’s any work you’re interested in that you don’t see available, please let me know!

THE ANIBET: N

I took a break from the Anibet; and that’s okay, I’ve had other projects that required more immediate attention.

But I’ve gotten back into the swing of things by painting a super special version of one of my favorite animals, the narwhal.

I love these guys! I’ve met people who never realized that they were real, or that they even existed at all. They exist! Hardly anyone knows that their horns are in fact not horns, but actually very, very long teeth. That is how some very few narwhals end up with two “horns”; they just happened to have two teeth that would grow so long!

There are pictures on the internet of these fabulous two toothed narwhals, but beware- the first few pictures that pop up on Google are, sadly, of narwhals killed for their fantastic teeth.

For a closer view of my narwhal, and the rest of the Anibet, please visit my website.

LEARNING TO LOVE PORTRAITS

I’ve never been very good at portraits. For a while, I told myself that painting portraits was like playing sports; you either had a knack for it, or you didn’t. I’ve been fortunate enough to be friends with several other artists who do have the portrait knack- friends like Yina Kim, Alek Morawski, and Benjamin Wheatley.

But if I want to be an illustrator, I figure I have to work at doing portraits. Maybe I’ll never find any joy in doing them, but at least I’ll be able to do them.

To make practicing a little less painful, I decided to do a portrait of someone I greatly admire- Orson Welles. I feel like not a lot of people know this, but he was pretty handsome back in the late 1940s/early 1950s. At least, I think so.

I wanted there to be some sort of theme to the portrait based of Welles’ own work. Instead of going with the obvious (War of the Worlds), I went with the delightfully confusing noir-murder mystery The Lady from Shanghai. Welles wrote the screenplay, directed, and starred in the film alongside his then-wife Rita Hayworth.

Because I’m such a big Welles fan, I had no problem with staring at his face and trying to get the details just right. And it was an absolute joy to paint a tiny Rita Hayworth as a literal dragon lady.

While it’s not spot on, I can say with confidence that this is one of by better attempts at portraiture (the best still being my portrait of the aforementioned Yina Kim). To see a larger version of the image, please go here.

THE ANIBET IS HALFWAY COMPLETE!

You heard it here first!

In a little over a month, I have completed the first half of my current project, The Anibet (Animal Alphabet, to those of you who are new around here). It’s been a learning process, and a good one. I’ve had to start considering the pieces as part of a collection, not just individuals; this has had a generally positive effect on both my animal and color choices (otherwise these would all end up being red and turquoise fish. Which, now that I think about it, may be a good next project…). 

The collection can be viewed at letterPLAYGROUND, as well as in their full-sized glory at my website.