Friday, May 27, 2005


A 5-10 minute digital chalk sketch. I used to do these shadowy face drawings all the time for practice. Just kind of fun to see who emerges from the dark.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Black Angus calf named Baby -- a quick character sketch done this morning for a picture book I'm working on for Boyds Mills Press.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

This is how I work

I'm completely addicted to digital drawing. I buy new watercolor paper and traditional paints and pristine sketchbooks at The Art Store, but they gather dust beside my desk. I feel less worthy somehow when I sketch using my computer. Ridiculous, I tell myself -- it's really just like choosing a mechanical pencil over a Berol 2B, or a Rapidograph over a quill pen. No digital god steers my fingers when I sit at my computer. I know that, but somehow I keep planning to get back to "real drawing" someday, where my mistakes aren't permanently erased by a simple "Ctrl-Z" command.

There was that day years ago when a Lt. Gov of Texas stood over my shoulder as I worked inhouse at an educational software company. He watched me maneuver my mouse (yes, we drew with a mouse back then,) coaxing the pixels into the running figure of a child. I was proud and excited as he stood behind me, obviously transfixed at the illustration appearing on the 16 color Tandy monitor. Finally he announced, "I didn't know computers could draw like that!" I guess I still carry that scar.

But. This is how I work.

Here is an example of a sketch for a picture book I wrote (and my literary agent is about to peddle) "Tea with Mrs. Rosenberg." I drew the sketch freehand, directly with my Wacom and stylus. I used Corel Painter. The brown digital pencil was done on a layer floating above the tan-colored canvas. I have always lamented the loss of that loose, original pencil sketch we artists do before committing it to a final painting surface. The ability to keep and use that sketch as the base of my finished art is for me, the number one advantage of using the computer as a medium.

The finished color piece for "Tea With Mrs. Rosenberg." The painting was done in digital watercolor on tan colored canvas layer. In between the canvas and the top pencil drawing, I inserted another floating layer. On that middle layer I used digital pastel to give some opaque color. The brown pencil layer was kept separate and available for refinement or tweaking, and also allowed the original pencil drawing to be on "top" of any coloring underneath.

Jr. High. What can I say? Trying to go a little edgier for the middle grade audience.

Welcome to the Digital Pencil!

All of the drawings here were created completely online, using a Wacom tablet and Corel's Painter IX. While I hope you enjoy looking at my work, please remember that every image on here is copyrighted and cannot be used for any reason without written permission from me.