Friday, January 31, 2014

More Butterfly Drawings

Here are the final four drawings for the butterfly book I just finished up.  The first four drawings can be seen here. The digital painting process went well and I was able to render these in full color on the schedule I hoped for which was about a day apiece. Stay tuned for the finished pieces. I will begin posting the full color paintings in the coming week.

Monday, January 27, 2014

SILA Illustration 52 Gold!

Grasshopper Hunter- 13" x 19" digital and graphite- by Greg Newbold.

I am pleased and honored to announce that my painting "Grasshopper Hunter" has been awarded a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles. It will hang in the Illustrators 52 show to be held from March 7-30 at the Center Stage Gallery in Burbank, California as well as on the SILA website. The piece was created for Boys' Life Magazine and continues to be the most awarded piece I have done to date after being accepted into the Society of Illustrators, Spectrum and 3x3 illustration annuals. This award is the first Gold Medal of my career prompting my wife to ask what it feels like to be a twenty year overnight success. Well, honestly, it feels pretty good. Thank you to
the esteemed jurors who I am sure had some pretty tough choices based on the number of extremely talented artists I know whose work was not accepted. Having been on the other side of the equation, all too often it seems, I feel for you my friends. A big thank you to Alyce Heath and everyone at SILA, I am very grateful for this honor.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Butterfly Drawings

Here are the first drawings from a new book project I am beginning. Much like the Egg Book that I did last summer, this book is an easy reader and there are only eight interior illustrations total. The book gently describes a butterfly caught in a rainstorm and how it must wait out the downpour and dry it's wings in order to once again take flight. By spending a little more time on the drawing, I hope to speed the process and cut the actual Photoshop painting time down to about a day apiece. So far so good. I started the first piece late yesterday morning and will finish it up this morning, so I am right on target. I will post the color versions as I go along.

Egg Book finished pieces start here (scroll forward to see them all)
See my Photoshop painting process here

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What To Do With Bad Thrift Store Art #1

Detail from "Ugly City" -A Reclaimed Thrift Store Painting
A few months ago we started gathering bad thrift store art. You know, the stuff you find at the Salvation Army store. The stuff painted by some one's nephew or the little blue haired lady down the street that should never hang on the wall (and it does not, which is why you find it at the thrift store). Well, our family thought it would be fun to resurrect these "gems" and have some fun along the way. This is the first of what will be sporadic posts on how to take those bad thrift store paintings and make them into good ones. First up: Ugly City.

"Ugly" City- Before
Ugly City- After- 12" x 48" Acrylic by Greg Newbold (and S. Adams)
I stumbled on this one at the local Assistance League thrift store and could not pass it up. It screamed to have something fun added to it. The good thing about thrift store paintings, especially the bad ones, is that nobody wants them and you can usually pick them up for just a couple of bucks. Since Christmas was coming, I thought I would surprise my son by adding some of his favorite Ugly Doll characters to it. We are big time Ugly Doll fans at our house. If you are not familiar with these plush characters, you can check them out at the Ugly Doll Website here.

Dave Loves Bacon
They are adopted in to our home and become part of the family as evidenced by Dave here enjoying his favorite food- Bacon. Dave is one of our favorites, so it made sense to add Dave and some flying bacon to the scene to replace a few of those lame birds (no offense to S. Adams, whoever you are).

Babo's Bird needed to join the remaining birds in the sky too.

Babo loves cookies, so he needed a nice big one to nosh on. On a technical note, painting on top of thrift store paintings poses a problem in that there is no way of knowing exactly how the original was produced or in what medium. I did a test- I cleaned it. I was pretty sure that the original medium was acrylic or acrylic based spray paint, since the water did not bead up on the surface when I washed off all the dust.  That deduced, I figured it was safe to paint the new characters with acrylic. Had it been oil, the water probably would have beaded up a bit and I would have then painted over the top with oil. Taking someone else's work and making it your own is a tricky balance. In hindsight, I shouldn't have put both green characters next to each other in the composition, but by the time I got down to the last couple of characters, it was too late to switch them. Overall, I had fun and my son was both surprised and amused. He could never guess what that long skinny gift was under the tree. Well, at least not this year anyway. Next year might be a different story. I have other thrift store "gems" in the wings that I will share whenever they happen to get the rescue treatment.