Monday, December 29, 2008

Found art

I was looking through an old CD of past work and personal projects, and found these illustrations I did years ago.

My first job out of college was as the graphic designer for GATX Logistics. Don't know if I can really call it a job since I was only there for about three weeks! (The girl I replaced decided she didn't like her new job, wanted her old one back, and they gave it to her.)

Anyway, there wasn't much work for me during that time, and my boss didn't check in on me too much, so I had a lot of time to kill, thus the drawing of the semi truck above. I don't remember how long it took to create, but I was quite proud (and surprised) that it came out so well, especially since I drew it by hand (with a mouse) in Illustrator from several photos of the GATX fleet.

I am not sure what the motivation for the next two was, or when and where I did them.

This got me thinking about sharing some of my art from when I was a kid. I just have to find it!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you, and may you be richly blessed in 2009! Thanks to everyone who has visited and commented and been a part of this wonderful journey.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Close up views

©Tom Barrett

©Tom Barrett

©Tom Barrett

What I love most about macro photography is it allows you to capture the inherent beauty of subjects that normally appear mundane. With our naked eyes, we are unable to see all the details that make that item beautiful. I guess it I the old "can't see the forest for the trees" kind of mentality. The two top photos are essentially weeds, and the other is a dead leaf, all of which we either spray, cut, or rake away. With macro photography, we are able to appreciate the fine lines in the veins of a leaf, and the delicate fingers in the dandelion seeds.

I took the above photos yesterday while playing with a camera my boss has loaned me to take photos for the magazine I design. It Minolta DiMage 7i 5 megapixel camera. What's cool is it takes RAW images. Any of you with any digital photography knowledge know that RAW images contain much more information in the file than the typical JPEG that most digital cameras take. This in turn allows MUCH more freedom in the editing process to correct possible flaws or mistakes.

The dandelion came out great, and I thought the details in the other two were nice.

I really like nature photography, and coupling that with macro, you get some really cool images. I hope to one day some have the ability to get a dSLR so I can swap lenses and get a nice telephoto so I can do more shots of animals, especially birds. We have so many around here since we have bird feeders in the front and back yards.

Anyway, nothing to do with illustration, but I wanted to share.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Card colored

Well, I finally got this colored! Nothing like waiting to the last minute!

I made myself sit down yesterday and paint it. I hate it because I get so intimidated about painting... afraid I am going to mess up, or worried about "wasting" the paper (I bought some nice Arches for this).

But, as usual, it came out pretty good. I had to do a bit of cleaning in Photoshop to fix the places where I was going to fast. I bought some blank cards and envelopes today, so I hope to get them all printed and in the mail tomorrow.

In light of this, I think I will be challenging myself to do a drawing and painting a day for 21 days to get myself over this self-inflicted hurdle.

And, unfortunately, I won't be able to get to the SCBWI Regional this Jan. Bad timing with Christmas here, and I won't have a decent portfolio ready. Hopefully I can hit the summer one.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU! Have a safe holiday and a great New Year!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cold Snowman?

We have neighbors who go all out in decorating their home for Christmas. We drove passed on the way home from church last night, and we noticed a lighted snowman warming himself by an accompanying fire. Thus the drawing above. I was going to leave it at the snowman, but added the reindeer for some additional humor and "story."

I don't like the way his arm and hand came out, so I will have to work on that.

Another one to color. Now if I can just stop drawing long enough to color some of my previous works!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Card rough

Here is a sketch of the idea I have for our family Christmas cards. I am very pleased with it, but am stumped on one aspect. I wanted to add a little dynamic to it by having the last child doing something other than just looking forward, so I added the dove flying overhead for him to look at. I would love to hear any suggestions you might have to offer on this, or anything else you think might improve the illustration.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

IF – Balloon

Here is my entry for this weeks IF. It is Templeton after his feast at the fair. Have to settle for a sketch again as I have a lot going on this month. (The notes were there before the drawing. I knew I'd draw it over, so I didn't bother to erase them.)

I am working on an illustration for our Christmas cards that I hope to have done by this weekend. And I am really going to try to get some sort of portfolio done by the first of the new year, with the hopes of taking it down to the SCBWI Regional in Miami this January. Tall order to fill, but I am a "glass-half-full" kind of guy, so we'll see what happens.

Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions! They are greatly appreciated.

On a side note, if you have not yet seen Bolt, the new movie from Walt Disney, you have to go see it. We went this last weekend, and it was great! The pigeons were classic! They are as cleverly done as the seagulls from Nemo!