Thursday, August 28, 2014

Murder on the Bucket List

Murder On The Bucket List- Digital by Greg Newbold
I just finished this piece for a mystery novel cover. It's a bit it's a mystery novel with a bit of a light hearted twist in that the team of protagonists are all older ladies. The publisher wanted a less serious tone to the cover, so I went for a little stylization in the characters without falling too far into caricature. The opening scenes happen at night as the group gets together at a member's backyard pool to scratch another item off their bucket lists, namely to go skinny dipping. That would be why they are all clad in bathrobes, but it all turns south when someone notices a smell and they subsequently find the body.

I wanted to capture a mood of mystery by using the glow of the pool to silhouette the women. Also created a warm under light with the citronella candle. It's tricky to create these types of lighting situations and I took some small liberties but overall, it fits in with the stylized nature of the piece.
I think it's pretty successful and the client was thrilled with the result. This book is earmarked to become an ongoing series if the first volume pans out. That would be fun since it has been a bit since I got the chance to do a series of covers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Book Report

Just finished this little piece for the Friend Magazine for accompany a poem called The Book Report. It was a fun little piece to create. I focused most of my interest on the colors and shapes. I'm pretty pleased with the transitions between warm and cool. The light area on the banner is where the poem will print, so I had to leave it a little lighter than I normally would. This piece is digital over a graphite drawing.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lehman Creek Plein Air

Lehman Creek- Watercolor sketch by Greg Newbold
A couple of weeks ago, we spent the weekend camping at Great Basin National Park in Eastern Nevada. Many people have asked blankly where Great Basin is. Well, I say, you make your way to Delta, Utah and hang a right.

A hundred miles out west in the middle of the desert you will find one of our nation's youngest National Parks. Great Basin is actually much more than I envisioned with it's eleven thousand plus foot Wheeler Peak, boasting one of the oldest bristle cone pine groves in the country as well as the spectacular Lehman cave.
The "Parachutes" inside Lehman Cave
We camped at about eight thousand feet elevation in a nice pine forest setting. A few steps from our tent site trickled Lehman Creek and I took an hour on two consecutive days to sketch it in watercolor. The first day's effort was cut short by intermittent cloudbursts, so I finished up the next afternoon. We also hiked to two alpine lakes and visited the bristle cone pine grove.

Stella Lake, Great Basin National Park
 These amazing centuries old trees are survivors. Some are estimated to have lived over three thousand years and because their resinous wood resists rot, they remain for a Millennium or more after their demise. Some portions of the trees cling to life long after large segments  have given up the ghost.

Bristlecone Pine, Great Basin National park
The wind and sun burnish their bark stripped carcasses But they stubbornly continue to stand as sentinels above the frost line where little else can survive. I took quite a few photos and hope to paint these majestic beauties as well.

More about our trip at Artwife Needs A Life

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Palm Island Poster Finished

Palm Island- 18x24- digital by Greg Newbold
A while back I showed sketches for a game project I was working on. I finally finished the first phase of the project and we are now planning for the next round which will include a Kickstarter campaign to fund what's coming next.

The Connection hero has plenty of options to make eye contact with you
This poster will play part in both the board game as well as a counseling program that helps children build life skills such as gratitude, courage, generosity and personal connection. The game will be able to be played independently from the program and will be a lot of fun. When I was first approached to do this project, The initial idea was to have kids as the characters on the poster and the in the game.

The Generosity hero helps you out and cheers you on
I asked how open was the client to other ideas and she said I had plenty of latitude as long as the concepts were clear. I came up with the idea of making the super hero monster characters to embody each of the concepts in a fun way. Each finger of the hand shaped island represents one concept and the goal of the game will be to make it to the top of your chosen character's finger by successfully completing challenges and and answering questions. You can also progress by helping other players reach their goals.

This guy is actually the bad guy albeit not too scary of one
This game aims to be family oriented fun while subtly teaching life skills that kids need to succeed. There will be additional elements for me to illustrate as we get closer to making the full fledged board game a reality and as the program and games expand on the idea of these new heroes.
I am excited to see where we go from here.