Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Clearing Old Drawings

Found a bunch of old newsprint pads full of bad drawings. Time to clear out the bad drawings. My dog, Dragon helped.


So I am writing/illustrating a children's book! It's about a monkey and a parade.

I consider these two double page spreads to be about 90% done. 

Sweet, Sweet Robot Love

 I'm selling prints, cards and tees at: http://www.zazzle.com/mfirebaughart

A Witchy Tribute to Rockwell

In illustrating this poem, I was heavily influenced by Rockwell's Thanksgiving dinner painting. 

Donkey and Lion Skin Aesop's Fables

This is an Aesop's Fable. 

One day a silly donkey found a lion skin. He put it on and scared a whole bunch of animals..


But then Donkey Hee Hawed at a fox.

And then fox made fun of Donkey because, lions don't bray, they roar.

Yosemite Evergreens

Spend a few days in Yosemite. I felt like I didn't paint enough at all! I want to go back when it's not so cold! And when not so many roads are closed due to snow. I went along the Tioga road over the summer and the views were amazing! Too bad that road was closed. Although painting snow was a fun new challenge!

Bridalveil Falls, painted while
 getting misted on by the falls

View from the Swinging Bridge,
Painted with some fresh Yosemite snowmelt!

View from our condo rental at
Yosemite West

Angel Island

Spent a lovely day on Angel Island painting

Ardenwood Revisited

I remember going to Ardenwood Victorian farm when I was little. It was a charming (albeit contrived) step in to the past.  It was also always thriving. So I went there fully expecting to see the same thing. Unfortunately I always went in the summer or early autumn. In winter many of the attractions are closed.

But anyways this little shack made for a nice painting.

Dr. Sketchy Dorian Faust

Went to SF Dr. Sketchy's the other night and had fun drawing the lovely Dorian Faust.

Zazzle Shop Now Open!

I just opened a Zazzle shop! http://www.zazzle.com/mfirebaughart

I'm selling iphone 5 & 4 cases with this new design!

And prints of Marie Antoinette riding a manatee in various sizes!

More designs coming soon! All proceeds go to paying for my art school debts :)

Point Lobos

Quick little sketch from Point Lobos right next to Sutro Baths

Head in the Clouds

Quick watercolor cloud studies

Stinson Beach and Muir Woods

Painted 3 landscapes today. But one was a total bomb. These are on location paintings done in the brisk cold air.

Seafoam = hard to paint

Painted Gifts

The best gifts are handmade!

2 piece set for my dirt biking twin nephews 

And for my sister. It's for a phone case!

Big Hair 18th Century

Baba Yaga's Looking at You

This is a companion piece to girl and the chicken legged house (Baba Yaga & Vasilissa). Where as the other piece is a two-page spread this on was to be a book cover. Watercolor painting edited in photoshop. 

Prep work:
Took a while to get to the illustration I actually did. These are two sketches that almost were. But I like the one I colored better than these two. 

Pencil sketch

Color sketches. 

 Progress pics:
I started and failed already once with this illustration by messing up the background's wash so when I started a new version I frisket-ed the heck out of the painting. All that orange is frisket.  

It's kind of terrifying to continue painting when she's looking at you like this...

And the final again..

Baba Yaga & Vasilissa

Baba Yaga is a character from Russian fairy tales. She is an old witch (sometimes nice and sometimes canabalistic) who lives deep in the forest in a hut with chicken feet. At night the hut is lit by the light of glowing skulls. In the particular story I'm illustrating, a girl by the name of Vasilissa is sent to Baba Yaga's house by her evil stepmother; the stepmother hopes Baba Yaga will kill Vasilissa. But Vasilissa has a magic doll to help her.

And here's my process, if you're interested :P

I played around with lots of different ideas but this is the thumbnail I decided on.

Thumbnail to rough pencil sketch. Lots of photoshop tweeking to get everything just right.

Some designing sketches...

Costumes based on traditional Russian folkware

And here's the value and color studies. Played with different light temperatures. I switched the figure a bit from these studies...

Just a small note on reference. I built a diorama to see how candlelit would play out in this scene. It was a simple one though, some colored paper, cardboard and a few candles, oh and a doll. It really helped by clarifying issues with the lighting. I also burned a bit of my plaster skull figuring out how skulls would glow. Oops. And I posed for the little girl. Good reference is a pain to get but it helps so much.

Started with the big gradients to make sure I got them right. If I messed up on them, it meant starting a whole new painting. Progress pics are courtesy of my phone, so excuse their darkness and bad quality.

Next another hard task: painting Vasilissa. Again if I messed up here it was time to start over......

Almost done........

And just a refresher of what the final is...