Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Garlic is not just delicious, it helps keep the Vampires at bay. Try some tonight!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Portraits in the Paint Presale Ends Today!

Just a friendly reminder that the first presale for my book, Portraits in the Paint, ends when the clock strikes midnight. Or, technically, it ends as I'm sending in the order to the publisher on Monday morning, but that just doesn't sound as good.

Either way, if you're interested in ordering my book, a Limited Edition (100) 75-page, 31 portrait, 1 etching extravaganza of basketball portraits, then head on over to this page and place your order today.

To get an idea as to what portraits are in there, you can check out my Portraiture page. All of the illustrations on the first Portraiture page appear in the book, as well as a few more that can be found throughout my website.
During checkout you can choose the etching of your choice.

If you don't get a chance to order the book today, there is a second presale period starting Monday, October 27 and ending Sunday, November 23rd. The second presale period ends with enough time to ensure you get your book and etching to give as a Christmas gift (to yourself or a friend).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Winsome Portrait

I want to share a gift idea with you, especially if you have children, or a friend or relative with children.

How cool would it be to have your child illustrated within a fairytale or storybook? You can have your child become the the main character of their own fairytale.

Chantal Bennett creates custom illustrations of your child, placing them within a fantastic environment with their favorite animal, toy or flower fairies. You can also make up your own category. Maybe your child loves dancing or swimming or Halloween. Chantal can place your child at the center of an illustration that revolves around something that reflects their childhood or personality.

This is the perfect gift for a mother, a father, grandparents, aunts or uncles or fairy godmothers.
Or anyone who would love to see your child become a character in a storybook.

Visit Chantal's online store for more examples of this extremely unique gift. It is incredibly reasonably priced, especially considering you get an original illustration. With Christmas approaching, Chantal will be getting a lot of commissions , so I suggest you get your order in as soon as possible to ensure you get this special gift.

You can also visit Chantal's website to see more of her beautiful illustrations.

On Location

A little while back Chantal and I took a trip to Governors Island where I made this drawing of one of the old homes. There are some really interesting old houses there that have sat empty for years. They are currently restoring the houses, originally used by the United States Army. Governors Island was an Army post from 1783 until 1966 (Fun Fact: The Smothers Brothers were born on Governors Island!).

Last weekend we headed to Sleepy Hollow for the day where I made this sketch of Philipsburg Manor, a historic house and trading post built in 1693. We also visited Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate. There was an impressive collection of huge Picasso tapestries commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller, weaved to replicate Picasso's paintings (with his artistic input). There was also a really nice painting of John D Rockefeller by John Singer Sargent.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Illustrated Apparel Now Available!

Not only can you now buy a book of my illustrations (see this previous post, or click here) but you can now wear them on your clothing!
I opened up a small online shop with Spreadshirt recently and there are currently 6 illustrations available on a variety of t-shirts and hoodies.

I bought a couple to see how well they reproduce the image and I'm really impressed. Personal t-shirt printing has advanced to a new level. Rather than some plastic iron-on transfer, the illustration is actually printed into the fabric, resulting in a more comfortable shirt where the design isn't stiff like it would have been if it was printed with a different technique.

If you're a basketball fan and want to own some unique t-shirts, stop by the shop and pick up a shirt or two. The shop is still expanding, so check back periodically to see new designs.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Canadian Content

On the shelves right now in my native Canada are the newest issues of Ottawa magazine and Maisonneuve magazine (out of Montreal) I have an illustration in each publication, including my first piece for Maisonneuve.

The first piece, for Ottawa magazine, was for their wine column. This is the third wine column illustration I've done with Ottawa magazine and they're a lot of fun. The last one called for an illustration of Crocodile Dundee, this new one called for an illustration of The Three Musketeers. The timing was pretty perfect on this as Chantal was just finishing up some reading with a copy of Les Trois Mousquetaires.
She was able to really help me with body types, appearances (who has mustaches, who doesn't, etc...) and costumes.

The illustration below for Maisonneuve was for a piece about Israel's national bird, the Hoopoe. It's an interesting article about the bird, the country and how they decided upon the Hoopoe. I love painting birds so this was a great assignment for me.
I've wanted to work for Maisonneuve for a while and I'm glad I had the opportunity.

You can also see these pieces on the Portfolio page. And to my Canadian readers, have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Portraits in the Paint

I am happy to announce that I have a book for sale with a collection of my illustrations called Portraits in the Paint.
I've been working on it for almost a year - since last November when I started painting basketball player portraits every Friday.

The book is 75 pages long and has 31 full-page portraits displayed on 8.5" x 11" pages. Each illustration is accompanied by a write-up about each player, written by me, explaining my reasons for painting that specific player and why I painted them the way I did.

The book also includes a foreword, written by a great basketball writer, Graydon Gordian, who writes for his own blog, 48 Minutes of Hell, and is a contributing writer to the basketball site Hardwood Paroxysm.

In addition to the 75 pages, 31 portraits and some other good stuff, each book (limited to an edition of 100), comes with one original Limited Edition etching, with two illustrations to choose from (4" x 6" printed on 8" x 10" printmaking paper, 50 of each available, signed and numbered).

I had a great time working on the etchings, and this was the first time I've ever tried the process. I used a drypoint technique, using special needles to engrave my drawings into a plate. The plate is then thinly covered in ink and rolled through a press to impress the image onto the paper. I hope to do more etchings in the future.

If you're interested in a copy, Portraits in the Paint is now available to pre-order. I am taking orders until October 26th, at which time I will put in an order to the publisher for the books and head to the print lab to print off the etchings. I will personally sign, number and ship all books once they arrive from the publisher. Your order will be shipped no later than November 14th.

For more information or to purchase a copy, please follow this link or click the book button at the top right hand side of the page.
Please email me if you have any questions about the book.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Candace Parker and the WNBA

After painting more than 30 portraits of male basketball players over the last year or so, I thought it was about time I painted a portrait of a woman basketball player. Candace Parker is a member of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks and a likely candidate for winner of both the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards. I was intrigued by Parker's game and the interest she had brought to the WNBA.

A lot of people make a big deal of the fact that Parker can dunk and she has done so on a few occasions during games. I think that is less important than her all-around game which she has demonstrated in both college and in her rookie season.

Admittedly, I didn't really pay much attention to the WNBA until this year.

I had never been to a WNBA game before or even seen a full game on television before I decided to attend a game between the New York Liberty and the Los Angeles Sparks, the team that picked Parker with the number one pick in the 2008 Draft. While Parker didn't put up impressive numbers in that game I found the game extremely entertaining. The crowd was into the game from before the tip-off, ecstatically cheering the players when they were introduced and giving Parker the largest welcome of all. In an exciting game that came down to the final shot, the Liberty came away victorious, sending the crowd into pandemonium.

The WNBA gets a bad rap for supposed boring games with unexciting players, a slow pace and sloppy play (including other criticisms). If the game I saw at Madison Square Garden says anything about the league, it's anything but those things. I've watched a few games on TV since then and have come away impressed with many teams and players with jump shots as deadly accurate as a Kobe Bryant game-winner.

I think the league can only get better. With more and more marquee players like Parker in the WNBA more people are going to take notice. It's a different game than the NBA and it's on its way to developing its own identity and a larger fan base.

This piece is for sale as a Limited Edition Print in the shop. You can also see a larger version of this piece on the Portraiture page.