This is the first time I've had the pleasure to submit to Jim Burke's Frog Calendar. I would wait a bit longer as the calendar is just about to be released, but the image has already been in a show, shown on Facebook etc. Jim gave me his blessing. I ran into Jim at ICON in Providence, in the bar, where art directors and illustrators should meet. He asked me then if I would like to contribute, I had seen great work done in years past by many of my friends and so of course I would like to be a part.
This year, or I should say the past ten to twelve months have been I think more about personal work, pro bono work. I have commercial work, and I enjoy it, but personal work has been more a laboratory of sorts, a place to try new things.
With the frog piece I went to a process that I had played with a bit but wanted to do more of, actual hand drawing as opposed to my direct vector approach. All of my illustrations are drawn directly on screen, no sketch, I just start to connect dots. But what I've found is that for the more organic shapes I need to go back to hand drawing, more fluid, working out problems, then using that sketch as a base.
So I simply drew a few frogs (that looked more like toads) directly on tracing paper, picked the one I liked and scanned it. As you can see from the sketch there is a lot more detail in the final. The sketch was basically just to get the frog shape down. I still like winging details straight in vector.
Once scanned I can begin to draw in vector, but at some point I just hide the sketch and begin going about what I usually do, direct line, no guide.
I was happy that the piece was selected for best of show at the Illustrator's Club of D.C. And many thanks to Jim for inviting me to participate.
I added these two other pieces that I did for SooJin at Plan Sponsor because they kind of demonstrate a similar approach, more organic, that color masking on black, etc. Thanks to SooJin for letting me play, I always come away with something new to take forward.