Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tomorrow, December 28th, is the last day to vote for the No Name Art Group Grant.  Take a minute and hop on by.  It won't take long at all, I promise.  You'll see that the image above is a bit different than my original entry.  Comment if you like one better than the other.


Monday, December 5, 2011

NoName Art Group Grant Competition

 (No Name) Art Group Grant Competition

(No Name) Art Group Wine Labels from October's fundraiser for Philabundance.

(No Name) Art Group has been mentioned before but it is well worth mentioning again.  This is an organization that was put together by designer/artist extrodinare, Sherry Berger.  Sherry puts a lot of time and effort in helping those who are most unfortunate.  She has traveled the world to assist in building orphanages in Africa to raising awareness in her own backyard for Philabundance.  She pulls from local artists willing to give some time and skill to help her raise money for those who need it most.

Currently she is sponsoring a grant for some of those artists.  There are currently six of us up for the grant however a little more money is needed to satisfy the grant requirement.  If you have an extra minute and extra $10 stop on by and chip in.

If you don't have the $10 but have the minute stop on by anyway and place a vote.  Although I want you to click my name...please click who you really want to win.

In addition, if you do come into some money No Name Art Group is always accepting donations as well as selling beautiful artworks from local artists.  Check out this link for more information on buying and donating.

Thanks for your time and please vote.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Whoopie Pies and Illuxcon

Acrylic on Masonite

Illuxcon was a great experience.  It was my first time exhibiting at a convention and I received very positive feedback.  I sold a few original drawings which was a plus and I got to reconnect with some amazing fellow artists as well as meet a few new people.  A wonderful time to say the least.  I have some "scores" from some fellow artists but my studio is in disarray and I must post those finds at a later time.

The above piece has nothing to do with Illuxcon but I thought I'd post it anyway.  I have some new pieces to share but I want to take another few hours to tweak them so they're perfect.  Unfortunately, those few hours are really hard to come by.  Instead I am showing you a demo I did for one of my many classes.  This is a 15 minute study in acrylics.  You'll see by the upper left hand corner that there is a little crackling.  My study gladly became the guinea pig for a student's crackle medium experiment.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Illuxcon 2011

My Illuxcon Showcase Sign

This weekend the Willshire's will be hosting Illuxcon4 in Altoona PA.  The event has workshops, demos, traditional art, digital art and so much more.  I'm excited to be part of the showcase this year.  It will be my first time taking part in a convention.  I will be underprepared and overwhelmed but that's what it's about.  Learning as you go!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grandma's Story

I know.  I haven't been updating my blog.  A lot has been going on and once I have time I'll fill you in.  But for now here are some interiors I just finished up for GreenPrints mag.  All in Corel Painter with the exception of the last drawing which is a plain old graphite comp.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I was always terrified of spiders.

When I was a kid my uncle owned a tarantula. My dad and his siblings thought it would be funny to pass around the molted skin of that tarantula in order to scare the daylights out of all the kids. So one day I walk to the sink to get some water and I see this thing sitting by the drain. That didn't help me get over my fear.

Parents can be so cruel.

That story has nothing to do with this painting. I just wanted to share some of my trials and tribulations of childhood with you. This is a cropped version of a wine label I created for No Name Art Group's charity drive for Philabundance. I used reference of a grape for the body and branches for the legs. Can you see it?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

S is for Spider

It's been a long time since I have done a drawing for my alphabet series. This is based off of the idea of organic gardening. We visited Ravenswood winery a few years ago and they told us that instead of using pesticides they introduce bugs, birds and other animals to assist in protecting the harvest. Spiders are just one of the beneficial residents of a vineyard.

If I take this to color I plan on rendering the body as a dusty looking black grape.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Watercolor Pencils

Watercolor Pencil

We were visiting Dom's parents farm in the mountains of New Jersey and I saw these cool funky flowers. It gave me an excuse to try out a watercolor pencil that was given to me. They are pretty awesome. I'm looking forward to working on them some more.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goddess Aurora

The Goddess Aurora

This is a project I just finished up for "Blue Moon Aurora". The instructions were to make the goddess Aurora pointing toward an overgrown cave/tree structure with her rainbow scimitar. The knight is holding a torch and entering the cave with trepidation but gaining strength from the goddess. There were some requirements with her coloring and attire as well.

I imagined this scene very vibrant and colorful. With her red hair, blue twilight and rainbow scimitar it chanced being too vibrant. I was afraid with all the color the viewer's eyes would be bouncing around and not landing on anything in particular. I researched a piece by Arthur Rackham that was soft in color while depicting a rainbow. I used that painting as a palette based inspiration to direct the viewer's eyes to the knight while trying to keep true to the goddess's illuminating presence.

I believe the book will be out as a pdf and then hard copy at some point soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jamie of the Jungle and Big Cat Rescue

Jamie of the Jungle

This was a private commission I finished in July. I was contacted by the owner of Big Cat Rescue to illustrate a fantasy portrait of her daughter. It was a dream job involving a beautiful young woman, wild cats and a whole lot of creative freedom. The client gave me a lot of information and photos to use as inspiration and reference. The main goal was to create a fantasy portrait of Jamie accompanied by icons of her life. She is surrounded by wild cats that she has rescued, nursed and raised, orchids which she grows in her backyard and a swan staff which is her totem animal.

If you like wild cats, rescue stories and wine visit their site.....they now have bottles of wine for sale!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lily Study

I had a crazy summer and am only now getting back onto my blog. My schedule is still filled but I at least have a few weeks of catch up before the fall starts. This is a study of lilies for a GreenPrints piece I did.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Phillustration! 2011

From left to right: Dave Palumbo, Christina Hess, Eric Braddock

Phillustration was a great time this year and it was a pleasure to talk to some fantastic illustrators! It was a mixture of seasoned professionals to fresh graduates entering the field and I had the great opportunity to speak with a lot of folks. If you haven't gotten a chance to walk this gallery make sure to stop by before July 17. You can see originals by Charles Santore, Joe Devito, Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo, Matt Stewart, Dominick Saponaro, Dave Palumbo who was this year's juror and so many more.

In addition to the fun, my Cat Queen was awarded first place in the self promo category!

Phillustration is located in center city Philadelphia at the Sketch Club on Camac Street between Locust and Spruce. Thanks to Rich Harrington for making it all happen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Teaser - Details

Serval Detail

Swan Staff Detail

Orchid Detail

These are some details of a painting I am working on. It's almost complete. After it is sent off to the client I'll post the full image for your review. I'll talk a bit about my process as well.

Monday, June 13, 2011

King of Diamonds


I working on several deadlines right now but wanted to take a few hours to hash out something that has been in my mind. I wanted to create a spin off of my previous cat piece. I used Jennifer Oliver's Maine Coon cat, Oberon, for the subject. There is a lot that has to be worked out but it's a beginning. I'll revisit it again when I have more time. Until then I have some serious painting to do!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Phillustration-Call for Entries!

Every year the Philadelphia Sketch Club hosts a competition of illustration. This is the fourth year running. This is also the first year that their registration is online. Those who do not live in the Philly area need not worry....you can participate as well! Just check the prospectus out at phillustration2011.blogspot.com/for details.

This year's juror is Dave Palumbo. Deadline for registration is June 12 midnight. 1,2 or 3 pieces for the flat fee of $35.00.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Good and Evil - Weekly Theme No. 6

I always wanted to paint a really cool jacket similar to Jamie Wyeth's "Lighthouse". I could get all crazy ornamental on it. I feel this crop and comp has been done a thousand times by everyone but I still want to do it.

Drawn Today Blog

Steve Anderson - Entry on Drawn Today

Drawn Today is a blog that was started by IMC alumni. I am fortunate enough to be part of this community. The group offers critiques, weekly sketch themes, networking as well as podcasts about the industry. Recently I took part in my first podcast with a Mark Harchar, Marc Scheff and special guest Cynthia Sheppard. For a listen go to the blog and subscribe to the show.

In addition, Drawn Today just put up a page on facebook letting the world know when new podcasts come out. Also, you can vote on what you might want to hear more of. So stop on by our page. You can like us by visiting the blog and clicking on the right hand like button.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fold Study - John William Godward

John William Godward is a source of great inspiration for me. This is an unfinished study I did in about 45 minutes to understand the way he painted folds. I am currently working on a commission that has similar folds and color scheme and I found it extremely helpful to practice from a master before tackling it myself. This was done in Corel Painter with a Wacom Intuos 4.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sphinx Character Design

Meet Zaphe. She's a sphinx I created for Blue Moon Aurora. I really enjoyed this project. It was fun working with the wings. I also enjoyed the black and gold requested palette.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rock and a Hard Place

Small little drawing I did for Drawn Today's Weekly Theme. It measures a super tiny 3.5" x 4".

Sunday, May 22, 2011


This was a weekly sketch done for Drawn Today. I had a whole lot of fun with this guy. In the future I may try to explore drawing dinosaurs.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lightbulb Plant

This is a lightbulb plant.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Commission WIP

This is for a private commission. I'm still working some things out. Long story short. Strong, independent woman. One with the wild cats. Savior of stranded young cats. Swan is her totem animal.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Character Design

This is a character design I created for Blue Moon Aurora, LLC. This was a fun project to work on and a pretty cool gaming company. I enjoyed working in the gold and red color palette along with the spin of natural elements. And of course...sparkly glowey things.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Greenhouse Effect

I am a member of Drawn Today and we decided to institute an optional weekly sketch theme. I volunteered to organize it with Mark Harchar. Every Monday I'll pick a submitted topic from a jar. This is the first drawing I created for the first theme which was "The Greenhouse Effect".

If you visit Drawn Today you'll see some great interpretations of the theme!

The members podcast as well which I highly recommend checking out!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Serval Study

This is a study of a serval which is an African wild cat. I am working on a private commission that deals with several wild cats and a beautiful lady. I have just started the sketching process and will be creating many studies of the cats as well as some other elements including a staff with a totem twist.

This is a really great project and I have been anxious to start it! I'll be posting the bits and pieces of process as I go. The deadline is in early/mid summer.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spectrum 18

Late last week I received a letter in the mail with congratulations on my inclusion in Spectrum 18. This is my first acceptance into Spectrum Annual and I am very excited. Above is the accepted full piece with details underneath. Thank you to the Fenners and the Spectrum judges!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ode to Students

I want to take a break from my work and pay homage to some of my students, past and present.

Once in awhile I receive little gems of appreciation that rejuvenates my inspiration as both an illustrator and instructor. These are completely unnecessary but greatly appreciated, especially because I am fully aware of the insane schedules these students have. The fact that they take the time to create something out of want rather than obligation is heartwarming to say the least.

So I decided to feature a few of these small tokens that I hang in my studio.

Me and my dog. You know what they say about owners looking like their dogs. Uncanny.

Left to Right: Sam Cox, Laura Bushinski. Moore College of Art and Design.

Maybe I was a basset hound in my past life...it's the hair/ears.

Audrey Fatula. University of the Arts.

Audrey created this beautiful little wallet. Hand crafted and sewed. It's almost too beautiful to use!

A big thank you to my students and the fresh inspiration they bring.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Black and White Interior for GreenPrints Magazine

I have been neglecting my blog due to some crazy deadlines. Bad blogger. Bad.

Anyway, this is one piece I just finished up as part of a quick deadline. I just finished several interior black and whites for GreenPrints magazine. This one was for a story of a papa bluebird taking over feeding his only offspring after the poisoning of mom and babies.

I would also like to take this opportunity to mention some terrific news. I have been selected for Spectrum 18 and am really excited! I'm not sure what piece got in yet but I will post when I find out.

Some really great assignments are coming up and plan to post some studies and sketches so stay tuned!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Memory Portrait

So this is it. I'm calling it quits. I could go in and rework some of the areas but it's time to move on. I had a lot of fun with this and opened up a new color palette to my portfolio which was needed. The first image is the cropped version that she will be receiving at 9x12 which is the requested dimension. I have yet to decide which one I want to put into my portfolio.

Now.....arrowheads and wild cats.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Springtime for Illustrators

Once January disappears all sorts of things happen. Snow melts, birds chirp and illustrators start to come out of the studio and pop up in venues all around.

This spring I had the great fortune of having Matt Stewart visit the illustration department at Moore. My students and co-workers were elated to have him there and his presentation was truly inspiring. Among original oils he also brought in sketches and showed his process. He was a great inspiration to listen to and a super nice guy too!

Joe DeVito will be speaking in Doyelstown. He is an amazing person with a rich history in the industry. Among his numerous accomplishments you may know his illustration of Superman and Lois as Spectrum's logo. Oh, and he had a monster marathon party at Harryhausen's for cryling out loud! The man is insane awesome. Thanks to Glenn Zimmer for putting this together.
Among lectures and visits there are also gallery shows featuring stellar work. Gallery Provocateur in Chicago is featuring a collection of illustrators inspired by Frank Frazetta. Dominick Saponaro and some of the Drawn Today gang are involved. You may notice Dom's piece in this collection...wink, wink.

Since I'm on a roll........The University of the Arts in Philly will be showing Leo and Diane Dillon's work for a few months. You can check out the exact dates by visiting uarts.edu.

I will be traveling to the Society of Illustrators this week to see the Advertising and Institutional show as well. The fun never stops.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Memory Portrait WIP - Details

I'm still working on this portrait but I haven't posted in awhile so I thought I'd throw a few details up for your viewing pleasure. These are very small areas of the illustration. I'm having a whole lot of fun with these decorative elements!