Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of the Year Clean Up

Watercolor on Bristol

It's amazing how teaching at three different colleges can put me in a tail spin during the span of one semester. Once I finish with a lesson I dump the bag filled with whatever material I was using in my studio until I can find time to clean it out. Well, I just did one of five totes tonight and found this watercolor study. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to finish it. I would like to say that I'll work on the chipmunk and spider but in all honesty that probably won't happen. Watercolors are fun but by no means are they my forte.

This will end up in my file of misfits. Unloved and unfinished. But I at least grabbed one swatch to use in a pattern repeat for your viewing pleasure.

Happy new year to all and may you find organization and cleanliness in your studio.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Watercolor Letters

Watercolor on Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

I rarely work in watercolor but I decided to play around a little bit with some old letter drawings. They measure a whopping 2.5 inches.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Holidays

The end of fall semester wrapped up this past Friday and my list of duties for Christmas break has grown enormously in the last month. I must say that some of the projects I will be working on are very exciting and I am looking forward to the process as well as the results.

In addition to GreenPrints interiors, a memory portrait, self promotion and learning a new program (yikes) I will be designing a small book on last year's "Krampus Challenge" for Jon Schindehette's ArtOrder blog.

For those illustrators who are not aware of ArtOrder I highly suggest you check it out. It's an insight into the world of an art director. Jon offers great advice for illustrators and introduces illustration challenges. It has become a great community to be part of.

The image above is the holiday card I designed for Dominick and I. We only had a few prints to send out and just dropped them in the mail today. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and a whole lot of snow to play in!

Monday, December 6, 2010

5 Days on Ebay

I'm cleaning out my studio and am putting up an ebay store for 5 days of bidding. All small oils going for under $100. Go ahead....get a present for your mom.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cat Queen WIP

Detail of commission for a cat in Queen Elizabeth dress. Working on it. Almost finished.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Sale

I just updated my etsy shop to include some pendants and chains featuring my artwork. In addition to some glass jewelry I also have some new prints and small oils for sale including a framed print of "White Sangria".

For a SUPER discount you can plug in HESSBLOG1 for 25% off of any and all orders. This will only last until 11:59PM Cyber Monday. A special discount for my special readers!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Patterns and Stuff

I'm slowly branching out my portfolio to include pattern and ornamental illustrations/designs to target the licensing industry. This is only a very small beginning. These patterns were based off of my previous post on the "White Sangria" wine label. I created the blue bird afterwards but thought it fit the theme.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

B is for Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica

This is part of my alphabet series. An ode to "The Office".

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Return to Happiness"

I have been super crazy busy this past month so I haven't been able to post. The good news is that I have a lot of content just very little time to showcase it!

GreenPrints hired me to create several illustrations for the upcoming winter issue. This one is a black and white interior for a love story entitled "Return to Happiness".

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

IMC New Year!

Rebecca just posted the new registration for IMC 2011. In addition she showcased some of the student work from this past summer. Above is a small extraction from the fantastic selection of artists. The themes you see illustrated are "Beauty and the Beast" and "Joan of Arc".

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Now I Remember...

Pattern for WIP commission
Corel Painter and Photoshop

Copy. Paste. Rotate. Select. Group.
Copy. Paste. Rotate. Select. Group.
Copy. Paste. Rotate. Select. Group.

I am a big advocate of illustrating in oils but if I had to paint this traditionally I would have thrown myself out the window. Thank you computer.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wine Label for Philabundance

"White Sangria"
Corel Painter and Photoshop

This is a label created for Sherry Berger who runs the "No-Name Art Group". Sherry sends out a call for entries for local painters, designers, illustrators, craftsman and many other disciplines every year or so for charity events. In the past she has traveled to VietNam, Africa and South America to help in orphanages and community projects. After her return to the states she then organizes charity events dedicating all proceeds to the groups she took precious time to help.

This year she's keeping it local and all the money is being donated to Philadelphia's own Philabundance. This year's theme was wine, one of my favorite things!

If you like art, wine and friendly faces I highly recommend attending the opening on Saturday November 6 at the B Square Gallery. Click here for all the info...

Thank you Sherry and Philabundance for all of your generosity and selflessness!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Flower 1

Fall classes are about to start and I thought it would be a good idea to post some in progress works before the flurry of faculty meetings and syllabi touch ups hit me. After the first week I usually have a little over a month before I go MIA. So in light of my slow building of yet another new portfolio.......I now unleash my flower. This guy will be part of a collection to pitch to the licensing industry. As for now...he's just a lonely gerber daisy. His girlfriend is red and is 75% done. This was done in Corel Painter.

In addition to these types of illustrations I am also in the process of painting a commission of a cat dressed as Queen Elizabeth I. That is the mental image I choose to leave you with today;)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Butterfly and Branch

Graphite on Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

Inspired by the extremely cool dead wood in Yellowstone and the Rockies I decided to do a little drawing to pay homage to the beauty of gnarled wood sculpted by time and nature.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ferns and Lilies

Graphite on Hot Pressed Watercolor

This is a little guy measuring about 4 1/2" square.

Friday, August 6, 2010

D is for Dunce

D is for Dunce. It started as another idea involving a lightbulb...then into a girl with a beehive hairdo....then a girl with a dunce hat.....then a ramped up dunce hat.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

O is for Octopus...Sleepy Octopus

The alphabet series is back! I started this last year and went on a serious hiatus with it. I figure I can get a few more in before the craziness that is Autumn hits.

This is a sketch I was working on before I vacationed. It's a sleepy octopus. And it has 9 tentacles so it was born abnormal. So be it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Autumn Cover

This is a cover illustration for GreenPrints Autumn 2010 issue.

I just got back from a terrific vacation in Colorado and Wyoming. While trying to get out of campfire and hiking mode I'm recharging and planning my August schedule. There may be some wildlife posts so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Drop Caps Autumn

These are some drop caps I just finished for a job. They will be printed in black and white but I wanted to create them in color for my own amusement. The story starts out pleasant, moves into sadness and then ends on a happy flourishing note. I made sure to correspond the letters with the part of the story. I being the beginning, A the end and J & T in the middle.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mini Tree Study

Oil on Illustration Board

I did this awhile back on a plein air excursion with my PCAD students. It was a really quick study. I had fun with it but I was only using a four color palette and it felt limited to me. Normally I like that challenge but I was getting frustrated with it.

In a few weeks we will be in Colorado. We will be doing some plein air painting with Will Spear who graduated with us from Uarts. His paintings are amazing and I'm looking forward to setting up shop a few times in Yellowstone and possibly the Tetons!

His wife Shelly is extremely knowledgeable on the plants and flowers in the area so I may be picking her brain for names. If I don't get too carried away with all the hiking and sight seeing I may be able to create a good sketch book from this trip. We'll see....I will at least come back with a great farmers tan!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Surtex 2010

Cindy Ann setting up her booth.

Side angle

Product corner...birdhouses!

In May Dominick and I traveled north to New York to assist our good friend Cindy Ann Ganaden set up her booth for the Surtex licensing show. While there, I planned to do some research in the market. Licensing is an area of illustration that I never really looked at. It is a very lucrative market and has a diverse amount of artwork that can be used on products from paper plates to curtains. This was a convention for artists to show their designs to companies who produce products. So think Target. A large portion of the art you see on gift, bath, bedding, baby products comes from freelance artists.

Cindy flew in from Oakland and carted all her materials with her. Printouts to wall fabric she decked out the booth with flip flops, binders and mobiles. To my surprise we were located catty corner to Megan Halsey. It was quite a wonderful experience and a great avenue of illustration to pursue.

Cindy recently contacted me to fill me in on some of the contacts she made and jobs she got. It seems like it was well worth the travel and I wish her the best of luck with the rest of the year. Although, I don't think she'll need it!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

IMC 2010 Final

Joan of Arc

This is the final for Joan of Arc created for IMC. Rebecca Guay runs the IMC and is submitting entries to Imagine FX for possible publication. Ten pieces will be chosen by the Imagine FX staff as to what will appear in the next issue. In a group of over 80 students and awesome work it's gonna be a tough call for judging!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Phillustrtion 2010!!

Illustration by Dominick and Design by Dominick and myself.

An overview of the front wall. That's Rich in the left corner.

Dom judging. This photo was taken by our good friend and fellow illustrator Glenn Zimmer. Thanks Glenn!

This is one of the interns at the Sketch Club and a participant of the show. Alicia Padron is also one of my students at Moore.

I am really behind in posts so please forgive me. These are some pics of the Phillustration Show drop off in May. Phillustration is held at the Philadelphia Sketch Club every year. It was started three years ago by Rich Harrington who is a colleague of mine in academia. Dominick won best of show the first year so he was asked to come back as a juror this time around. I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along and watch the progress of judging. Above are some photos of the process and the pre-set up. The show has been extended to July 16th so if your in Philly stop on by. You can get the Sketch Club's info here.

There are some really unbelievable pieces in this show. Some of the participants are Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo, Dave Palumbo, Matt Stewart and Eric Braddock. There are so many more terrific artists here so take advantage of the extended time slot!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

IMC Progress

This is my progress at IMC. It's the end of the 4th day (2am) and I'm beat. Many things to do and lectures to hear. I changed quite a bit to benefit the piece thanks to the crits of Greg, Julie, Boris, Scott, Irene and Dan. I did not intentionally eliminate some of the elements from my sketch....I just didn't get to them yet. Ready to sleep!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

IMC Joan Value Comp

Here is my value comp for Joan of Arc. Tomorrow I will be packing, cleaning, prepping for the dog sitter and running errands so this is pretty much it until my crit. I need to fill in the pattern on her skirt and the crosses on the sword but I figured I'd wait until my application of color.

On Saturday I get input from the big guys at IMC. I'll let you know who I have as my 2 critique instructors and what they recommend. Until then......

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

IMC 2010 - Line Drawing

This is my line drawing for IMC. I am going to be starting the value comp shortly. I'll post the progress and suggested changes in the upcoming week.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

IMC 2010 - Gearing Up

IMC is coming up next Friday! I'm very excited and a bit stressed. I have a lot to do before then including my sketch! This is my fantastical rendition of Joan of Arc. It's just a thumbnail so I will be shooting reference and drawing it out next week.

I'll update on the progress and the shenanigans at IMC! I'm looking forward to being encompassed in a studio of over 75 illustrators working until 3am and starting the day over again at 8am. It's an intense time but well worth the lack of zzzzz's. Dom and I will also be reconnecting with some folks from last year's IMC and members of Drawn Today's blog and podcast.

Drawing update next week. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 31, 2010



This is the final for Urania. I made several changes from the original sketch for simplicity's sake. Next step is to start my sketches for IMC. It's almost here and I need to get moving so I probably won't be posting for a little while. I do have so much to talk about so stay tuned. Some things on the summer blog agenda are Surtex, Graduating Seniors, IMC, Art Order, DVS, Colorado plein aire, Etsy new arrivals and much much more!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Muse Challenge

Graphite on Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

This is the preliminary for ArtOrder's Muse Challenge. Jon Schindehette is an art director for Wizards of the Coast and runs some pretty fantastic challenges that are a great way to build a portfolio. Click here to check out the specifics.

There are nine muses in greek mythology and I chose to illustrate Urania who is the muse of astrology. She is often depicted looking up at the heavens holding a globe in her left hand and a staff in the other. I was working with taken reference of Veronika, a professional model, so I chose an image showing the direct look at the viewer for a more captivating immediacy. The deadline is June it goes!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shoo-Fly Pie

Another Etsy Treasury featuring the theme Shoo Fly Pie. Deeelish.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Color Themed Free Advertising

As a seller on once in awhile I will get an email informing me of a treasury featuring my artwork. A treasury is a page put together by a member of the Etsy community featuring a link between several pieces of art. Sometimes it's a meaningful theme and other times is simply by color. This time my avocado painting has been featured. It's a great way to stay involved with an artistic online community as well as utilize for promotion. The link is only active for seven days so you have to act fast to spread the word.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Color Study Follow Up

Watercolor and Oil Glaze on Canson Watercolor paper

For the last week I have been discussing thematic palettes and atmospheric perspective in my classes. I assigned a project where the students have to find one landscape photo that demonstrates clear atmospheric perspective. They then will create three different color schemes for the one landscape. Nathan Fowkes has a wonderful post on his blog showing the many thematic color renditions of the view out his office window. This above photo shows the final version of my three color scheme demos. View the previous post for the earlier palettes.

This painting was done with walnut oil rather than liquin or galkyd so it is still very wet. I took a pic with my iphone and will update a better image when it dries and I can scan it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Color Studies

Oil on Illustration Board

Oil on Watercolor Paper

This was a quick class demo on painting the same scene with different color palettes. These are bastardized versions of the beautiful Yosemite park. The original pic is a mixture of bright and soft blues.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Eye, Aye, Yi

Oil on Illustration board

This was a demo I did in oils. I wanted my students to work with oils in an anatomical study concentrating on hard and soft edges. I often see eyes painted and drawn flat, losing the roundness of the orb of the eyeball. This single study allowed them time to create and understand the structure.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Egg Day

I'd like to wish everyone a happy egg day. These photos are of an egg that one of my Moore students, Elise Anzini, was gracious enough to give to me. It must have been all of the egg studies I made her was brainwash!

This is a real egg that has been hollowed out. She then used a batik method by adding hot wax in a design and then dipping the egg into dye. After the egg had been pretty much covered in dye and wax she then baked it.

Thank you, Elise. And also thank you to the mystery person who gifted me a Klimpt tea canister as seen in the background of the first pic. Nimble students, huh?!