Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday Cards 2010

These are the holiday cards I created this year. I'm not above offing Frosty. :)

Have a wonderful New Year, everyone!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Miss Sassy.

Hope everyone had a great holiday! ....looks like I missed a fun Illustrator Party :~/

These are sketches of one of my roommates' cats, Miss Sassy. AKA: Sassafras. She only looks drugged and cranky, she's actually quite happy and sweet. ;~)

Friday, December 24, 2010

"Sister of the Sword"

Pastel on toned Canson paper

A present for my step-sister.

Christmas Cards 2010

Three this year, one old, one new and one of the cat (not posted here but here). Have a safe and fun celebration this year and post your cards!

Now it is time to get ready for the teens and leave the naughts.

As I mentioned, Winter is part of a four season series. I have Spring sketched and will hopefully have it done by then.

Spring teaser: Stay Tuned!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Mom's House

This is a picture I did for my mom, for her birthday that, back in ...ahemOctober. I finished it just in time but then had it printed on gallery wrapped canvas by Harlan Graphics (excellent printer in town that I have experience with) and that took a bit of time. However, now it is finished! I just have to deliver it when we see my folks after Christmas.

After printing, the colors are a little more muted, which was what I was hoping for. It's a bit of an experiment for me, this new style that I seem to be digging. This is the first architectural-ish of drawing I've attempted. I honestly think it just looks kind of weird. I think I would have added some other things into the picture if I could do it again. At the end of the day, my mom likes it and that's all that matters. It is from a recent picture of the house that she was literally born in and then lived in until she was about 5 or 6. The fire hydrant in the foreground is significant because that is nearly the only memory she has from the house: playing around it. I wanted it to feel like a portrait, but also include that hydrant as an important item.

Hope everyone is having a good holiday season. Looks like the Christmas party was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"The White Hart"

Pastel on toned Canson paper
This piece is dedicated to Gary at the Celtic Myth Podshow. Please check them out at:

9 months in the making! And not because it took that long :P I was on the verge of giving it up after a huge mistake. But, after some cropping and a little time (an hour :P), I finished it :P Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Party 2010 Pictures Part Duex

OK, I do not know how I missed 6 pictures that Jerry sent me but enjoy!

The Big Picture

Mary Jo and Tom

Tom and Woody

Tom, Linda and Troy

 Tom, Woody, Viki and Tim

Dawna Got This Great Photo of a Gift from the Exchange

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Party 2010 Pictures!

Of course what do you expect at an illustrators party?Jerry started drawing people. I have to admit my favorite is curly Justin.

Great turnout this year!  Hopefully next year will be even better though we were busting at the seems. We may need to look at a bigger room next year. Slatt's is always really good to us and let us stay waaaaaay after close.

I have no idea who got my sketch in the exchange either. Could someone tell me?

Anyway, pictures by me and Jerry. Enjoy!

I hope everyone had a fab time.

Brian and Natalia
Carol, Justin, Linda and Pam

Brennan, Craig, and Gerry

Craig, Jerry, Woody, Gerry, Viki
Justin, Mary, Patrick, Meredith

Troy, Daryll, Dawna, Tom

Tom, Paula, Chris, Dawna

Steve, Mark, Mary, Linda, Patrick, Meredith, Woody, Viki, Tim's Head

N.C. Wyeth Study

Here's a study/re-envisioning of one of my favourite N.C. Wyeth pieces. The original is posted here, too. This is my brother's Christmas present this year :) When I was thinking of what to get my brother, I was reading a book by Andre Norton, called "Quag Keep." I had only to read the first 20 or so pages before I was struck by the description of one of the characters, Naile fangtooth. He's a wereboar, with a frightening boar crest on his helm and a huge battle axe only he can wield. In human form he has large tusks that jut past his lips. The character reminded me so much of my brother, right down to temperament. I wanted to draw this guy so badly. The image I had was of a Celtic, tribal warrior, especially in regards to the helm and axe. I also thought of this Wyeth piece from "Legends of Charlemagne". For some reason right at that moment the two concepts just merged together. I'd been wanting to do a value study of Wyeth work for a while. And this gave me the perfect opportunity to both feature Naile Fangtooth and copy a master work :)

This piece was very much the struggle you see pictured. It was tough, but extremely fun :) It was awesome spending so much time looking at one piece. I got a chance to spend some quality time with Mr. Wyeth and deconstruct some of what he was doing in terms of Value. He uses the light and ark method Mr. Gurney described in "Imaginative Realism" (the same technique used by Rembrandt-another favourite of mine). That has been something I've been wanting to explore lately. Planning out every piece, making them work in terms of classical ideals of symmetry and balance. I'm fascinated by the Golden Mean and the way the Renaissance Masters labouriously (and thoughtfully) planned out their work.

I also included some of the additional reference I used for this piece.

Mark Willenbrink: Sketchbook Confidential

Saw this great book at the Christmas party last night. It goes throught the thought process of 40+ artists including Mark Willenbrink.

Just released and a great gift for your illustrator friend!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dino Cartoons

Trying to think..."what would Chuck do?" for these. Livetraced in illustrator from Cintiq line drawings. Will hopefully be bicycle helmet stickers.

UC RWC Professor on USA Fire Sculpture Team Competing in Tallinn, Estonia

David Hartz, Associate Professor in Electronic Media Communications at the University of Cincinnati Raymond Walters College, will represent the United States in the World Fire Sculpture Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. Hartz will be joined by two Seattle fire sculptors, Chuck Nafziger and Jonathon Zucker, to form the United States team. The competition will take place January, 2011. Hartz and the United States team will compete against teams from Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea and Estonia.

The competition will take place as part of the Tallin Light Festival. The participants to the World Fire Sculpture Championship were chosen based on the candidate teams’ sculpture designs and proposals. The semi-final round of completion will be held on January 16 and six teams will advance to the finals on January 22. The first-place team will be awarded 2500 euros, the second-place team 1500 euros and the third-place team 1000 euros.

Hartz; who teaches animation, photography and media design courses at UC Raymond Walters College; describes fire sculpture saying, “I find it an all encompassing medium using the senses of sight, hearing, smell and motion. Fire sculpture is much more complicated than an ordinary bonfire. My experience has taught me to respect fire like a creature I’ve brought to life, choreographed to perform in specific ways and then allowed to die out.” Hartz speaks of a correlation between animation and fire sculpture, “There is a direct relationship between the two [disciplines]. Fire incorporates light, sound, space, and change over time in a real world environment much the way animation works in a 2-D or virtual space.”

The sculpture competition and the festivities in Tallinn will be documented on video by Hartz for a program to be broadcast on UCTV, the University of Cincinnati television station operated by Electronic Media Communication at UC Raymond Walters College. He also plans to share this experience with his students and the college community.

Hartz has used his fire-creating talent in Electronic Media Communications director H. Michael Sanders’ art films. “I turn to David whenever I use fire or pyrotechnics in one of my video projects. His study of fire allows him to build a fire that is consistent over the course of a prolonged shoot. This is essential for continuity and I appreciate his expertise,” relates Sanders.

Jared Lee: Tribute To Mike Thaler and Jared Lee at the USA Film Festival

Mike and Jared
During the next USA Film Festival in Dallas (which is the 27th annual Kid Film Festival, oldest and largest children's film festival in the USA) they will present A Tribute to Mike Thaler and Jared Lee on January 22nd.

Local illustrator Jared Lee and writer Mike Thaler have done 81 books together!  (Here are some of them: Their first book was published in 1981, 30 years ago!

The tribute will include a compilations of short films based on their books, Q & A, signing and reception.

Hopefully, Jared will send us pictures of the event. Congratulations to them both!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Article About the local Toy Design Community

A lot of people on the lunch list and that read this blog have either worked or done illustrations for Kenner/Hasbro and other toy companies over the years.

The Sunday Cincinnati Enquirer had a great article written by Laura Baverman about several companies in the area that still do toy design.

Here is a link:
We're still creating kids' favorite toys

As a segue, I recently did some Crayola Game package art for Wild Planet Toys. Here is a link to my post about it:

I know a couple other people on the blog have done game and toy package illustration. Post some!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Illustrators Lunch Christmas Party

Don't forget to RSVP by Monday the 13th!

Party is at Slatt's Pub 

Sunday, December 19th at 6PM

4858 Cooper Road

(513) 791-2223

We will be in the big room this year so there will be not booths, just long tables and we can set up art after.

To those that have already responded, looks like a GREAT turnout so far!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Clarice Moore: Dilly The Violin and New Website

Dilly the Violin by Clarice Moore
I met Clarice Moore at a book fair in Dayton and picked up her really sweet book Dilly the Violin.

She just launched a website:

Check it out!

There is a nice bio of her here:

She is also a violin teacher!

NKU Looking for Illustration Teacher

Northern Kentucky is looking for a teacher in the Cincinnati Area for a class or two on Illustration.

Tobias Brauer

Associate Professor, Graphic Design

Northern Kentucky University

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

City Beat

Thanks for the reminder Christina!

Hey everyone, be sure to grab City Beat this week and check out the cover work I did. Also, Matt Hamby has a piece on page 22, so go grab yourself one before every single one flies off all the shelves in town!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Goya at Taft Museum: Los Caprichos

Just found out that "The full set of Francisco Goya’s 80 haunting images from Los Caprichos (“The Whims” or “The Fantasies,” published in 1799) confront human hypocrisy, pretense, fear, and irrationality, picturing them in every conceivable form." is on display at the Cincinnati Taft Museum this month.

It is a must see! I have always been facinated by Goya. He did a lot of art about the hypocrocy he saw around him which he concealed for fear of being arrested but made a lot of money painting portraits of rich people.

He is well known for his Disasters of War series published after his death showing his reaction of the wars between Napoleon and Spain.

By the way, check out this documentary on Goya by Robert Hughes: Goya: Crazy Like a Genius

The show is at the Taft December 4, 2010–January 30, 2011

Interesting factoid about war and artists: When I was in Prague, I found out at the Alphonse Mucha museum that Mucha was tortured by the SS when Germany invaded what is now the Czech Republic because he was a known Czech nationalist. He died a couple weeks after being released.

"Bramble Jack's Repose"

Here it is, folks! I hope you all have a Merry Holiday! And thank you, Paula, for suggesting the snow flakes. I didn't look at any reference for them except to pull the impressions of them from my mind after seeing them the other day. I felt like they should be floating memories than tightly rendered objects.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Book signing December 5th

Our book signing celebration for the release of the second book in the Shaker adventure novels will be Sunday, December 5th, from 1:30 till 2:30 PM, at the Blue Marble Bookstore, 1356
S. Ft. Thomas Ave. in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky. Directions to the Blue Marble are posted on our website for the books:

By the way, for the the cover illustration I used the new "open" acrylics from Golden. I'd never tried them before, and I was pleased with the blendability and the delayed drying time (around 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, usually.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Special Edition Illustrators Lunch: Le Boxx and Charles Schulz

Next Wednesday the 8th, we will be going to see the Charles Schulz exhibit at the downtown library and have lunch at Le Boxx Cafe first.

Thanks Brian for the heads up!

I have always wanted to describe something as a special or limited edition. The latest buzz words in marketing.

It will be EPIC!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Recent Map Work

These are the pieces that led me to the mouse piece. These are new explorations in inking techniques for maps. I made some personal explorations that led to new milestones. All of these are ink washes and linework on Bristol paper. The biggest breakthrough for me, here, was the fact that I got the values I wanted on the originals and didn't have to do any manipulation in the computer. I hated the fact that I was missing the mark on the value structures in the original work in some of my former commissions for these people. Plus, the last map I made was the one with the decorative border. I had this idea at the beginning of the project, but saved it till the end for the 3d map. I wanted to experiment with some Art Nouveau techniques and explore some ideas I'd had from looking at Stephen Fabian's work. I didn't use a perspective grid on the 3d map, either. A choice I somewhat regret. It's a subjective map from a pre-medieval time, but I still think it could have benefited from some perspective. Let me know what you guys think. Chuck, be honest :P

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Illuxcon 3 Short Review

Illuxcon 3

Holiday Card, 2010, "Bramble Jack's Repose"

Here is a piece I am working on for my holiday card, this year. I'm nearly done. I just need to clean it up a bit and add the text at the bottom. Working and finished size is 4.25"x6". The process is included here, along with one of my reference shots.