Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Secret Forest Studio

Deep inside an ancient forest in the Pacific Northwest is my secret forest studio, where I go to get away from civilization and work on my projects. Above is a river in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Just off the river bank  is my forest studio. I have everything I need here, except Internet access. I'm off the grid while I'm here.

Today the conditions are perfect. It's about 80 degrees, and it's pleasant and cool in the rain forest. I'm sitting on my seat cushion on a thick floor of sphagnum moss. The big nurse log behind me has a thick layer of moss, which makes a perfect natural back rest. I prop my feet up on the log in front of me and bury myself in my work. Just to my left is my beverage of choice, which rests comfortably on a shelf fungus (Basidiomycoda). Behind me is a giant Western Red cedar tree.

I often look up and remind myself of where I'm at. I wonder why it doesn't seem to occur to other artists that they can escape the confines of their studios. I spend enough time in my studio as it is. It's always wonderful to get away and hide in the deep Northwest forest while I do my work.

My drawing board is a sheet of Plexiglas, so it doubles as a light table. Today I'm working on my Oakdale, California cartoon map. I need to trace images from my pencil layout onto my Strathmore Paper. So I simply tilt my Plexiglas board until it's vertical, and the rays of the sun come shining through to illuminate my pencil sketch.

I will return soon to my secret spot. I hope you find a secret spot of your own.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Monster Safari How-to-Draw Book is out!

Add caption
Here's the cover art for my new kids' book. It took me over a year to write and draw the book. It's almost entirely hand-lettered to give it more of a sketchbook feel. Only the last page is typeset.

Young readers follow me on a make-believe expedition to a remote, unexplored island in the South Seas, known as Monster Island. Each page in the book shows a sketch of one of the crazy creatures that we encountered on the island, as well as a page that shows, step-by-step, how to draw the monster. Also included are shading and other drawing tips. You can order the book from the side panel.

Have you seen my other blog, The Trowbridge Chronicles?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sky Fishing

Here's the final Sky Fishing painting. Below you can see the two pencil layouts that lead to the final painting. The fish is a grouper. It's painted digitally with a Wacom Cintiq on top of the pencil layout that you see below, with some tweaking. Check back soon to see the Sky Fishing book cover. 

Have you seen my other blog? The Trowbridge Chronicles