Friday, April 19, 2013

Illustration Friday~Train

In the land of Whimsy where life is so strange...people and animals like to ride trains...bad, really bad!

This comes from a line in my first "Whimsy poem" In a series of poems that began with "In the land of  Whimsy..." On the other hand, along with that line came one of my all time favorite illustrations.
The completed pic with the help of Photoshop

I searched around to see if I could find a hard copy of that poem, but no such luck. I know it lives on my old mac, but I didn't really feel the need to boot that up since it takes forever and a day to get it up and running.

The original with the fish
There's another line in the poem that goes something like..."Children wear rainbows and fish like to run" That line I kinda like.
A couple of roughs

Writing poems has always been something I've enjoyed.  In high school creative writing was one of my favorite classes, and one of the few that I did really well in.

I remember when I did this illustration, Annie (my daughter) kept asking me "When is it gonna be done!" And it did take a while. I really worked at it!
The original line work on the train

I think about the process in writing my poems, compared to doing an illustration. When I get an idea, or an opening line stirs about. I can't let it go! I can't relax and just let it come to me. It keeps gnawing at me, and I stay obsessed until the last line.

There's a different kind of obsession with illustrating, it's quieter, more of a slow burn. I find myself purposely letting it ride out longer, in order to see it better. I've learned that if I rush an illustration, more than likely I will over-work it, or miss something.

Having kids has slowed me down, whether I want to be or not. Yet all the stops and goes can help the process too. Looking at a piece with "fresh eyes" usually works to my advantage. I might look at the art one day and think this looks great! Only to come back to it again, and see it might need more contrast, a color might be off,  or maybe there's two elements sharing the same space? Whatever it is, seeing it with fresh eyes never hurts.

As for the poem...for now it will remain on my old mac, maybe someday I'll rework it?  As for the illustration, well you can see the original never was completed. The train itself did get new life in Photoshop and turned out to be a nice addition to my portfolio and website.

Just a little side note on trains: I've been reading "The Road to Grace" by Richard Paul Evans. In it he talks about the difference between Hobos and Tramps. Hobos panhandle and ride trains, Tramps do not panhandle and they hitchhike. Apparently Hobos give Tramps a bad name.

I thought that was kinda funny~

So long for now...Make art, have fun :)


  1. That looks like a wonderful place to be. I'd really love to go there :) Great picture and background story!

    1. Thank you Tony--I think I'd like to go too. Let's take ride :)

  2. I like the photoshopped version, but what about the fish?!

  3. HYa that line work in the pencil image is so strong. Very clean and yet you have ramped it up beautifully in photoshop. Great to see digital and traditional working together so well :) Oh and I like that strong whimsical diagonal.!

  4. Thank You Andrew! I do appreciate the a detailed comment! And such a nice complement too! You can stop back any old time you want :D