Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recent Art

I have not posted for awhile and for that I apologize. I recently committed to remaking a design by an artist on Threadless. I respect the artist Isaboa (Joe) and I thought his design had some potential. Here is my version.

Below is Joe's original design. I took his concept, added my style, and subdued the color. I also kept the dynamic composition.

I was late submitting a design for an Indian Pale Ale design for Finch's Beer Company. It was an open competition and I drew this picture the day it was due. Needless to say it was not going to get finished for the competition.

I also had the opportunity to create a design for the band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Most of their merchandise was pretty strange looking hand drawn art and I tried to push the envelope in that direction. I was going for bazaar but drawn well; I really liked my final product. They ended up going with designs that were more solid graphically speaking.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Literacy Head: Comparison 2 (Somehing Different)

Here is a couple samples from the most recent Literacyhead issue. They are in the "Tools-You- Can-Use" section and are a continuation of the Comparison tools (or Venns). This time around I used burlap and fabric as inspiration. Actually Mollie, my wife, has been making art in this style recently and I sampled her style for this series. Below are my favorite finished pieces.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kids Tee

Or Goat Tee. I had this odd idea of making a shirt that was a play on words or Double meaning. The Goat Tee is a shirt for a goat with a goat on it. And each successive goat would be wearing the shirt; so there would be a shirt within a shirt within a shirt, etc.

On my blog here I want to describe he process of the execution of this design. First I new I wanted a decent photo of a goat. When I was at a petting-zoo with my kids I took some photos of small goats from multiple angles. I found this front angle to work best in the end. I had to do some photo editing to contrast and make the lit-up area on the right-side of the next have lighting consistent with the rest of the goat.

Next I had my son pose in a couple different ways so I could use the best pose for the design. I stuck with this pose that looks like he is showing of the design of his shirt. The hardest part of using photo was erasing (or rubber-stamping) the actual shirt's design off of the shirt.

Once both photos were prepped I combined them and maticulously erased the background of the final result. Once this was compete, before I flattened the image, I made solid underlays of the shirt and the rest of the body so I could change the shirt color and the rest of the body color.

Then I flattened the color version, skewed it to look right on the odd shirt angle, and the duplicated and shrank the image over and over again to get the shirt within a shirt affect. See top version for final color test.

I also made single color versions and tested them on multiple shirt colors.


Friday, October 21, 2011

IF: Fuel

Fossil Fuel's Revenge: 16 x 10 (Click to see detail)

I am glad the prompt for Illustration Friday was "Fuel." I have been messing with this art for a while and the prompt got me off my duff to finish it. I had to shrink it to make it look good online, hence the more obvious bitmapping. It is great to do something for IF again; it had been too long.

Monday, October 17, 2011

College Designs (Threadless)

I am posting some designs I did for a Threadless Challenge to redesign 12 college mascots. I only got around to 2 but I like how they turned out.

I have always been bothered by the commonly seen Georgia Bulldog mascot I see around town in Athens, GA. I wanted to make a cool and aggressive bulldog to contrast the poorly drawn goblin-looking mascot. I used actual bulldog images, the idea of a full-bodied mascot (which many other colleges embrace), a ready to pounce football player, and the Rancor creature (from Star Wars) as inspiration for my design.

Georgia Design Link

For Auburn I strove to use the concept of their established logo/mascot and take it to the next level. Their logo is circular and I used angles to create more aggression. I also used more of the tigers face to further intensify that aggression. For this design I used actual Tiger images, super hero emblems, an almost symmetrical triangle (and the space it creates), and the current Auburn logo/mascot for my inspiration.

Auburn Design Link

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Literacy Head: Comparison

The newest addition to is a lesson on comparing. We decided to make Venn Diagrams so kids could find similarities and difference between objects; mostly animals. Pictured below are pages where kids could compare a T-Rex and a Dragon, a Frog and a Toad, a Dolphin and a Shark, & a Pizza and a Pie. I had to abstract the figures a little, in most cases, to make the Venn's more usable (see example of Shark and Dolphin for most obvious stretch. Overall I am pretty happy with the way they turned out.

I have an exciting illustration project that is coming up that I will show you soon. The entire project is due by October 1st, so wish me luck in it's timely, stress free, completion.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fun in the Sun

This is an illustration that shows that Humans have a place among color changing animals. Everyone knows that chameleons can change color with mood or environmental influences, but not everyone knows that frogs, cephalopods, and sea horses also change color; most usually have a brown phase and a bright phase. I also wanted to show a group that enjoys the beach in different ways. I have the process listed below.

First is a rough sketch. I wanted to figure out the order of the animals and how they would fit together in a composition. I also started some loose character design.

Next I drew the line work with pencil. Then I redrew each character, on separate layers in PhotoShop, with my Wacom tablet. I did this so I could easily alter or switch each characters position.

Next I finished some line work and added texture. I framed everything with a oval vignette to give it an old time feel. I also made the texture and line one color so it could be screen-printed. My intention, if this went onto a t-shirt, is that the color would be UV ink that would be invisible indoors but bright and vibrant outdoors. Hence the title, Fun in the Sun. This image (above) is how it would look indoors and the top image is how it would look outside.

On a side note, the chameleon has the Hemingway book The Sun Also Rises. Also I submitted this design as part of a Threadless challenge called "Threadwars," and I was not aloud to promote it on my blog until the round was over. I am happy to report this was my highest scoring submission on Threadless to date.

Fun in the Sun - <span class=

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All Is Not Lost! More 8tracks

It has been a while and I have neglected this piece of the inter-web's grid. Here is a couple new mixes to occupy ears:

I will post some new art soon, I swear.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Flight of the Concords

Not to be confused with The Flight of the Conchords.

Yet another design with intentions of becoming a shirt. I tried a little different technique on this one; I drew each screen, except the green, in pencil. So even the white screen was drawn in black. It was a little confusing at first but I liked the results. I found it gave everything a cool texture that would be hard to reproduce using any other technique.

Here is a link, pending approval:

Flight of the Concords - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Recent Literacyhead Piece

This is my favorite tool, out of six, I created for the current issue of Literacyhead. The issue is about testing but this Tool could be used for any topic. I wanted to put a twist on the idea of feelings by showing animals that have unusual ways of feeling their way around.

This is another tool for the Test issue that I could relate to. I experienced all these feelings at different times and for different tests throughout my time as a student. I tried to channel my experience of the feelings into the facial expressions.

On another note here is a really cool musical tool/toy I found on the web today. It is a web-page that is interesting to fool around with. Have fun.

Monday, March 14, 2011


This year, for my 10 year anniversary of marriage, we are going to Bonnoroo. Here is a mix of songs from 22 of the bands playing this year.

So many great bands it will be hard to see everyone.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fearless: Final

I created the lamb and the wolf in conflict a few months back and I really liked the way they turned out. I went ahead and created a background to finish this illustration. It was a lot of work but I am satisfied with the results. I hope you all enjoy it too.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tea/Tee Serpents (Process)

I recently completed some art for a challenge on Threadless called the Thermos Loves Design Challenge. I have always been intrigued by designs that wrap around cylinders, so I decided to take a stab it with the Tea/Tee Serpents design. I decided to make a design with no end. It does this fusing at a seem and wrapping around the cylinder.

I was inspired by pottery designs of ancient civilizations. The scale motifs were inspired by North-African art and the water swirls where inspired by Ancient Greek art. The idea of using a snake was influenced by the importance of snakes in the Ancient Mayan culture. I wanted to use the circle, of the Thermos, to represent infinity. As you may have guessed, each character represents the four-senses: Visual, Auditory, Smell, and Taste. The sense of touch is activated by touching the Thermos.

The design process is demonstrated below:

The red box shows the first sketch of the concept. The little faces represented possible faces for the serpents.

This a sketch demonstrated how the Thermos would look. This also shows the idea of using swirls for the liquid in the art.

I downloaded the measurements for the Thermos and created a template to follow to make sure the serpents fused seamlessly.

I drew each serpent and the swirls on separate sheets of paper. I used the previously mentioned template to place the serpents and swirls in the composition. I was also extremely careful to cut and place the fuse making serpent, and swirls, in the perfect position. I printed a copy and taped the paper together at the fuse location to be sure the serpent and the swirls lined up correctly.

Then I experimented with color and came up with a cool palette. I also inserted a water droplet texture behind the serpents; I had to use the rubber-stamp tool in Photoshop to make the droplets repeat exactly along the seem.

I put the placed the design in a t-shirt and Thermos template for the world to see.

It is a three-color print on a light blue shirt or a three-color blueish gray brushed steel Thermos.

Here is a link to it on Threadless, pending approval of course:

Tea/Tee Serpents - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

APPsolutely inGENIOUS!

Anyone who follows this blog probably remembers that I do work for an online magazine called Literacyhead. Last week I was contacted and asked to create 6 logos/identities in 24 hours; and yes, my jaw dropped with a deadline like that. It turned I actually had a weekend to complete the project for an education competition but that is still not a lot of time.

The identities were for a Suite of APPs called APPsolutely inGENIOUS! Each App uses art in different ways to teach story comprehension. The mix of Literacyhead being good about letting me be creative and clear communication, about the project, made these identities a success.

Art Starts uses art that relates to a particular story to help kids understand the story.

The Build App asks the readers to build a building, house, or room based on their level of comprehension of the story.

This one uses art to make analogies to help with reading comprehension.

Picture Problems uses Math to help with the comprehension of stories. Don't ask me how this works, I am terrible at math.

This App uses the different substance of cooked egg textures to demonstrate levels comprehension: Hard-boiled (understand clearly), Fried (kind of understand), and Scrambled (don't understand).