Saturday, July 9, 2016

Follow me...

Thanks for stopping by. I am no longer updating this blog. Updates on my artistic endeavors can be found by following me on Instagram at @tombarrettillustration or on my website at

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

From the sketchbook...

An un-impressed "Red"...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


If you are like me, you enjoy experimenting with different mediums. I decided to try using soft pastels after watching Lynn Chapman create one of her illustrations. Since I am just practicing and on a budget, I get most of my supplies at Michaels using a coupon. That limits my selection quite a bit, I know, as all they had on my trip was Artist Studio (which I read are not very good), and Faber-Castell, so I bought the FC pastels. Go to an online outlet like, and you will find an overwhelming selection of pastels (their catalog has a whole section devoted to them).

Above is my first illustration with the pastels. Not bad for a first try, though, never having used them, I was a bit unprepared for the dust and mess. Not necessarily a bad thing, but you do have to be careful as the colors spread easily, as you can see on the sides (I used my fingers to blend). Another thing is you have to be really careful with the black. After I added the mouth and eyes, I dumped the dust in the trash, only to find some of it attached itself to the flesh color. My attempts to remove or blend it in only provide futile, much like cleaning up an oil spill with water. Will need some pastel pencils for the details. Also, have to research on how to get clean lines between colors without them smudging together.

All in all it was quite enjoyable, and I plan to do more in the future.

Below is the video of Lynn creating an illustration in pastels.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

IF - Outside

Another one of my many Photoshop experiments as I attempt to tackle this digital illustration thing. Too bad the word of the week is not "Stubborn", as that is how I am right now, determined to get the look I want with my digital illustrations. Each time I think I am giving up, I am right back in Photoshop trying again. I thought the above test was it, but I do not like the blurriness so common with digital illustration (looking at the wing feathers...). I may have a winner yet, but further testing is needed...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

IF - Ruckus

Done in Photoshop

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Setbacks and steps forward

When you set goals for yourself, it is almost impossible to foresee the challenges that are presented along the road to success. I am no different of course. As much as I wanted to submit a portfolio for the Don Freeman grant, it is pretty clear at this time that I am not going to make it, and that is OK, because, honestly, I am not ready. I still have a ways to go before I would be comfortable presenting my work as "finished". Definitely want to make the right first impression, and rushing myself to meet that deadline will not do that.

That being said, I have learned quite a bit about the direction I would like to take my art, and my drawing has improved greatly, if I do say so myself.

So, onward... good things to come ahead!

Friday, March 6, 2015

In the details...

It amazes me sometimes how much of a difference the smallest change can make to an illustration, like adding eyebrows to your characters. May seem obvious, but it is these little details that each person must discover for themselves, I guess, in order to grow as an artist. Not sure if that makes sense, but there it is...

Below are a couple of boys I painted, one of which you have seen before.