Workhorse 2017

My very first project when I began this freelance art business a few years ago was to create a horse design for a patch that would be awarded to the youth hockey player by the coach for being the "work horse" of the team each week.  They earned this by putting in the work at practice or being exceptional in a game and so on. 

That project led to my connection with author Amy Logan so each year when the project comes up it reminds me how lucky I am to have such great people I get to work with and how connections and doing good work are what matters most.

Below are the previous years designs.  I was so proud of that original horse patch (in the circle) and I look back at it now and realize just how far my own work has come. I really enjoyed last years, it was fun and I heard the kids really loved it.

This year the coach is part of a new team once again, the Chicago Hawks.  Team colors are red/white/blue.  But we still wanted to go with a horse character.  Since the age group he coaches increases each year I know the the design for the horse needs to evolve as well. So here is the sketch and color process of this years Work Horse.

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Pencil Sketch

After drawing and redrawing and pulling up countless hockey action shot references I finally had an energy I liked.

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Ink lines

Then I work on creating clean inked lines for bringing into Adobe Illustrator..

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Once I have the outlines created in Illustrator I then work on adding in the solid local colors

Once I have the local colors all worked on, I then go in and start adding shadows or highlighting as desired to really bring this character to life.  Files are saved off and sent to the happy client who then has this put onto a black jersey that the weekly workhorse gets to wear to show of his/her accomplishments.

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Inktober 2017 - Let's Do This!

For the past few years I have sat on the sidelines watching others participate in Inktober.  Might have been a bit of fear that I would not do very good with this challenge that was holing me back.

But this year I decided it would good for me to commit to drawing for fun daily and see what kind of improvements or breakthroughs I may have using ink. 

I will be following the #Inktober2017 prompts shown here:

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Here goes nothing:

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Day 1 - Swiftly

Batty Bella flew swiftly past the other Trick or Treater's on her hover board.

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Day 2 - Divided

Klyde and Dale, brothers who usually agreed on everything, seemed a bit divided about their choice of costume this year.

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Day 3 - Poison

Nicki and her Mom love to sing "That girl is Poison-nnnnn" in the car. So it should come as no surprise that together they made her into a scorpion for Halloween. "She's dan-ger-ous" they giggled.

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Day 4 - Underwater

Marie loved her Under The Sea Antoinette costume but it was her Let Them Eat Crab Cake wrist corsage she was most fond of.

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Day 5 - Long

Little Kevin was looking so fly this Halloween that he even had Daddy Long Legs fooled.

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Day 6 - Sword

 "Why don't you stop playing Fruit Ninja on the iPad and go outside and play" said Brody's mom. "Good idea Mom!" he replied as he grabbed his sword and headed out.

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Day 7 - Shy

Approaching her very first door this little tricker or treater was as shy as a mouse.

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Day 8 - Crooked

Not all pumpkins get to fullfill their dreams of someday being carved by experts. Instead many pumpkins have to accept their fate of being carved by a first timer and everything being a little crooked.

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Day 9 - Screech

Day 9 - "Screech": While out Trick or Treating, Mom and the kids came to a screeching hault when they saw it.

Chicago Lighthouse Clocks in Target Stores!

Wow so much excitement last week.  Two of the illustrated scenes that I created for Larry Broutman's upcoming Chicago Treasure book project were turned into clocks as part of a new line of Chicago Lighthouse fashion clocks now available at select Targets!

I knew they were considering a few illustrations to feature on the clocks as I had to go in and make some adjustments to the artwork in order to make key elements fit properly into a round clock face. 

Here you can see the original art - along the the revised art that was used for the clocks.

So I knew clocks were in the works but I had no idea they would be going into Target and certainly that they were already in stores!

I first found out the clocks were in stores when I saw this article being shared online:

n a Wheaton Target store, Pam Tully, the chief operating officer for The Chicago Lighthouse, shows off a new collection of clocks made by employees who are blind or visually impaired.

n a Wheaton Target store, Pam Tully, the chief operating officer for The Chicago Lighthouse, shows off a new collection of clocks made by employees who are blind or visually impaired.

Pam is holding up one of the clocks with my illustration (Pinocchio) and the other one is the Woman Who Lived In A Shoe up on the top shelf middle.   When I saw this I nearly jumped outof my skin with excitement that my work was now featured on products at Target!

Then there was this featured story on the Fox 32 Chicago news where once again you will see those clocks with my art on the table in front of the ladies during the interview.

So of course I had to take a trip out to the Wheaton Target myself!

Being a part of something so wonderful has been such an amazing experience.  I feel very fortunate and know how lucky I am! 

I can not thank Larry Broutman, The Chicago Lighthouse and Target for this incredible opportunity!

Second session of figure drawing with a dancer model

Another really fun night of figure drawing at The Flower of Life Art Gallery! Once again poses started at 2 minutes each and progressively got longer up to 20 minutes.

I probably need to get a stand up easel or tripod so that I can work a bit larger and more freed up. Right now I seem to hunch over my sketchbook quite a bit and do lots of little jagged lines instead of nice smooth lines/curves to get the gestures going.

But regardless of how good/bad these all are - its fun to draw with friends and keep trying to get better and better!

A special thanks to the wonderful dancer/model who posed for us this evening