Thursday, August 29, 2013

River Dreams

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speech this week, I thought I'd show a little illustration I recently finished. This piece will accompany a poem by another famous African American author Langston Hughes. The text of the poem will be printed in the golden waters of the winding river. It's always a little tricky to allow space for text in situations like these, but I think I solved the problem well and have created a nice mood. It will run in a prominent children's magazine in the next few months.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

by Langston Hughes
I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Secret of Grady House- Finished

Digital over graphite - 11" x 17" by Greg Newbold
Here is the final painting for the Secret of Grady House fiction I am doing for Boys' Life Magazine. Who knows what they will find hidden inside this creepy old house?  I posted the sketch earlier here. I had a lot of fun with the characters and also the fun little details like the splintered steps and the cobwebs.
Detail at full resolution
Here's a little detail of the main face. Of all my digital paintings, I think the rendering on these faces most closely approach my traditional painting style.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

IF Pick of the Week!

I was wondering why I had a significant uptick in page views for the chicks illustration I posted last week. Well it turns out I was selected as pick of the week on the the Illustration Friday Blog. I have posted my work on their blog on and off for some time, depending on the week's theme. This is the first time my piece has been selected as pick of the week. I know it's randomly selected, but still cool and I appreciate the extra eyeballs. If you have never participated on Illustration Friday, you should check it out. There are usually some pretty cool illustrations posted each week. It will only be there on the front page for a couple more days, so check it out

It's a Deal

It's a Deal- digital over graphite by Greg Newbold
Another spot for the "Secret of Grady House" fiction story for Boys' Life Magazine. This one falls at the end of the story as our young protagonist makes a deal to help old man Grady with his research. I enjoy doing hands and this one gave an opportunity to convey a bit of the story through gesture and the contrast between old and youthful hands. The hospital bracelet and the equipment in the background provide the setting. Sometimes just a few bits of information such as this are just enough to tell the story, so it's important not to gloss over these small but significant details.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mystery Creature

In the Mystery of Grady House story I am illustrating for Boys' Life Magazine, young Evan is asked to care for his injured neighbor's Capuchin monkey while he recuperates in the hospital. In the story there is a buildup to the revelation as to what the creature making noises in the back really is. The AD and I did not want to give this reveal away in the illustration feeling that the power of suggestion should override literal depiction. I decided a long, somewhat threatening cast shadow would do the trick. Once again, I am painting digitally over the top of a full value graphite drawing.

The opening spread sketch is posted here
A more lengthy description of this process is posted here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Daylight's Last Breath

Daylight's Last Breath - Mt. Olympus; 24" x 20" oil on canvas by Greg Newbold
I just finished this painting of Mount Olympus that I started a couple of months back. It's always a breath of fresh air to have this same view out my front door, but until now, I had never painted it. It was so much fun painting the slopes and crevices of this mountain face, that I have another view of this slope in the planning. Rest assured that it will find it's way onto the blog as it happens. This painting will be showing at the grand opening of the new Alderwood Fine Art gallery space (Formerly Williams Fine Art) this weekend on Friday evening during the gallery stroll. If you get a chance to check it out, I have been informed that there will be substantial munchies provided. The gallery is now located at 641 East, South Temple St. in Salt Lake City. There is free parking and an entrance in the back if you enter off of H street.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Boys' Life Sketches

"You know the Grady house is haunted, right, Evan?" This Boys' Life fiction story opens with young Evan being scared by the boys in his neighborhood. He turns the tables on the bullies and discovers that the sound they heard was just Mr. Grady's pet monkey which needed care after the old man's accident. Evan also figures out that Mr. Grady is an interesting person and worthy of his friendship. For the opening spread, I wanted to portray the moment when the two wanna be bullies are taunting Evan to enter the house.

I came up with several idea sketches and proposed my three favorite ones to nBoys' Life art director, Scott Feaster. I usually will only present my favorite idea and then show others if the preferred one does not fly, but in this case, I was intrigued with all three and would have been fine if any of the three had been selected. The final drawing needed a little more width and more of a  dilapidated feeling was given to the house. I enlisted my son and a couple of family friends to pose for reference and then I finished up the drawing. As soon as it is approved, I will render it in color using Photoshop.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cottonwoods at Big Bend- Zion Canyon

Cottonwoods at Big Bend - Zion Canyon; Oil on panel- 9" x 12" by Greg Newbold
Here is another little painting I just delivered to my gallery Williams Fine Art. Once again, I took my field study into the studio and finished it up. Whenever I dig into these paintings, I notice tendencies that I want to correct in the field so that my plein air paintings end up more like finish paintings while on location. On thing I noticed with this one was that my sky was too dark. Not excessively, but enough that the correction made a difference. I really enjoy the silhouette of the back lit tree against the shadowy canyon wall. This one needed much less to finish it up than I anticipated. Once I had glazed over it to oil up the surface, everything popped and came back to life. The freshness of the field study was once again apparent and it came together pretty quickly from there.

Here is what the painting looked like after the field session

Saturday, August 3, 2013

We Passed 300,000+ Page Views!

Sometime this week when I wasn't looking, the blog passed 300,000 page views. I had no expectations from this blog when I began it three years ago. I just wanted to have place to post my work, Share the things I have learned about art and ramble on about this creative journey I am on. Thank you to all who have followed, added their insights and questions to the blog. I hope you have enjoyed the things I have posted here, but I'd like to make this thing even bigger. If you enjoy Life Needs Art please share with your friends and invite them to be a part of this artistic adventure! Follow and share buttons are on the blog sidebar- thanks everyone!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gray Morning - Provo Bay

Gray Morning - Provo Bay 8" x 6" oil by Greg Newbold
I generally have a stack of plein air studies sitting around the studio. Some I never finish, but most of them will see a few more strokes and a finish varnish at some point. A few get a serious rework before I let them out the door. I am still trying to reach the point where the effort I make in the field is the result I am happy wit and feel no need to improve. This one was a particularly successful field study and it didn't need too much more to make it sparkle. It is now hanging at my gallery Williams Fine Art. At a cozy 6" x 8" I think this one is particularly affordable if you are wanting to own one of my works. Check out my other paintings being offered by Williams.

See the progression of this painting in the field session here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bird of the Day- Chicks

Baby Chicks - 6" x 8" - Digital over Graphite, by Greg Newbold
The ending page for the Egg book shows the freshly hatched chicks. This one was the only one in the series that I had to revise at all. In the original sketch, I had some eggshells as well as a couple of unhatched eggs. The client asked that I have all the shells hatched so that there would be no confusion as to the number of eggs which needed to match the text. I was happy to oblige. Overall, this project went as smoothly as any I have ever done, including speedy payment. Thanks Dinardo Design! The shadows were created the same way as I did on the Hen piece I posted yesterday. The drawing is posted here.