Rock Climber – Up Close!

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Portion – “The Rock Climber” – 2019 – Digital

Hello once again and welcome back to another blog post here at Timid Lion. We are officially to Hump Day, although as a freelancer that doesn’t really mean as much to me. The way my jobs work is this: clients call me all day, every day. It gets old and I could be a little more stern with them. As of now, my work/life balance is a little all over the place.

Yesterday, I posted about the next project I wanted to work on. This would be a quick piece to transition to after my book is completed. Well, I’m happy to say that my book is about 99% finished. I’m excited to get that out there. The next project I chose to work on was a quick spot illustration called “The Rock Climber”. In yesterday’s post, I shared the full length piece. For today, I figured I would share a color sample. I’m still going to tweak this a bit more but I am getting close to finishing it. This will be another portfolio piece. It could be nice to incorporate this into a magazine article type of spread as well. Anyway, until next time… so long everybody!

The Rock Climber!

Hello once again and welcome back. Another Tuesday and we are here to talk about art! As I get close to wrapping my first children’s book, I’m looking at what project should be next. One of the problems I have always had to deal with is something I call “Project Envy”. You see, every “next” project always looks 10x better than whatever I am working on. Who knows why? It is hard for me to stay focused on the current task as I am always thinking about how much fun the other projects will be. I’ve tried to battle this by keeping a folder for “Future Projects”, as I talked about last week. Field Notes have also helped. Having a small notebook everywhere I go helps me to jot down ideas when I have them.

As I look into what the next project is, I would like to have a quicker turnaround. Creating a children’s book is an amazing experience but it does take time. Spending time creating a few single page illustrations will be great. All of this makes great new portfolio pieces. It’s always a good idea to update your portfolio as you grow as an artist. The piece I am sharing today is going to be a really fun piece to work on. It started as a sketch on a scrap piece of paper. The final piece will be rather large, 7×20″ or so. I call it “The Rock Climber”. The little man at the top of the illustration looks so happy. He knew he could make it. Of course, once this is completed, I will share it on the blog. Until next time, so long everybody!

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“The Rock Climber” – ©2019 – 7″x20″ Illustration Board

Before and After #1

Hello once again and welcome back. Monday has once again reared it’s ugly head. Hopefully you all had a fantastic weekend. I spent Saturday drawing many caricatures. Find out more info about that from our blog post last Friday. This week, I wanted to debut a new segment. I’ll look to post this every Monday. In this segment, which I am calling “Before and After”, I look at a finished piece of art as well as the sketch that inspired it.

I’ve been in the habit of always keeping a sketchbook. Sometimes, I have been disciplined enough to finish one every month. My current sketchbook has been “Live” (what I call the current book that I am trying to fill) since October 2018. I’m a little past the halfway point of filling it. Since I have gotten back into daily life drawing, it shouldn’t take long to finish it. There are many important reasons to keep a sketchbook and draw in it often. My ideals on that will come in a later blog entry.

For this first edition of “Before and After”, I pulled a piece of art that I completed back in 2017. It seems like many Moons ago. When I am doodling in my sketchbook, I often don’t think much about what will make a fun, finished piece of art. 99% of the time I am just getting ideas out of my head and onto paper. Sketchbooks can be an amazing playground for improving drawing skill as well as a place to enjoy creative freedom. This is the place to try all of the wildest ideas you can think of. The best sketchbooks are the ones filled with page after page of experimental art.

One day, while working on a tan-toned sketchbook, this gem was doodled. It was a simple piece. Just a small cartoon of a woman sipping from a cup of coffee. One of my [self-admitted] biggest flaws is my tendency to not push the animation in my characters. I’ve known this for years and it is something I try hard to work on. This piece is simple, but I loved her pose. She just seemed content. Happy with life. After the drawing was complete, I added the phrase “Pumpkin Spice is Life”. This was doodled in the fall and we were in the midst of Starbuck’s annual pumpkin spice latte craze.

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Sketch – “Pumpkin Spice is Life” – ©2017

This doodle caught my eye. As I flipped through this sketchbook, this was one that I kept returning to. Seeing as I saw something in this piece, I decided to finalize it. It was scanned and imported into Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. After several hours, I had a finished piece. It was a ton of fun adding textures and playing with colors. Once it was complete, I tweeted it to Starbucks. The hope was someone would see it and use it and pay me lots of money. That didn’t happen but I was happy with the piece nonetheless.

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“Pumpkin Spice is Life” – ©2017 – Timid Lion Digital – 8×10

For me, sketchbook art is hugely important to the artist. Not only is it a place to practice your craft, it is a place to experiment. You can do no wrong in the pages of your sketchbook and you shouldn’t be afraid to try anything. Lining the shelves in my studio are dozens of art books. What I have found is that my own sketchbooks bring me as much inspiration as any of the other art books that I own. You never know which of your ideas will spark something in you. Doodle. Have fun. Draw. Write. Even if you don’t fancy yourself an artist, go grab a cheap sketchbook and put something in it everyday. You won’t regret it. Until next time. So long everybody.

Caricatures of the Week!

Hello once again and welcome back! It’s time for the first edition of “Caricatures of the Week”! Each week I draw dozens of caricatures, be it through our Etsy page or at live events. We sell caricatures through our Etsy site and they start at just $10! You send us the photos, we draw the art and mail it to your house. It has been a ton of fun. Since we have so much content in that area, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites each Friday. It should be a fun way to end the week. You can always purchase a caricature of your own by using the links at the top of our page. Of course, we are always open for commission as well. Send us a ROAR! to get started. In the meantime, please enjoy some of the fun caricatures that were produced in the past 7 days! Until next time, so long everybody!

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Let’s Go Blues!

Hello once again everyone and welcome back! Last night was the start of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. My beloved St. Louis Blues are back in this year after a miraculous turnaround. At the end of December, the Blues sat in last place in the entire NHL. Most of us were expecting to be high in the draft lottery and were looking at that #1 pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. However, they turned it around and collected 60+ points in the second half and almost won the division.

Game 1 against the Winnipeg Jets kicked off the playoffs last night and what a game it was. I’ve always enjoyed playoff hockey as I don’t think there is anything like it. The Jets home crowd was fired up and in the classic “White Out” attire. The Blues gave up a goal in the first but climbed back, scoring 2 goals in the third period to win the game. It was a fun one to watch. Maybe I wouldn’t have thought so if the Blues lost, but they played a great game.

Here is a print that I created back in 2017. It’s called “Let’s Go Blues”. The idea is that Blues have just scored a goal and everyone is excited, except for three Blackhawks fans who are upset. I inked this on an 18×24 sheet of paper that comes in a frame that you buy from the store. As I was halfway through the inking process, my mother suddently (and unexpectedly) passed away. So this one was placed on the back burner for a while. I did eventually finish it and have slowly been finalizing it with color. So, I figured I would share the progress. There is still quite a bit to color. There are two more rows of people that I cropped out at the top of the print. Here is to another Blues win tomorrow night. Let’s Go Blues and until next time, so long everybody!

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“Let’s Go Blues” – Digital – 2017 – 18×24

We Can Always Be Better!

Hello once again everybody and welcome back! I’m still not sure what to do with this blog. Long interactive posts are probably the way to go, with a ton of detailed information on the creative process and what is going on with Timid Lion. Ideally, I’d be typing up a few posts days in advance of them being posted. Anyhoo. I’ve been staying busy with caricatures recently. Our Etsy store has been on fire since Christmas and it has really helped. Of course, we encourage you to head over and grab yourself a custom caricature as they make great gifts and start at just $10 😀

I’ve also been busy working on my first children’s book. Recently, I’ve shared a few pieces from it. It’s been a really fun project to work on and I’m really excited to debut it. There are only a few pieces posted here on the blog as I don’t want to give the whole book away. Today’s piece is of a Fairy that visits. I’ve really developed a nice style over the past several years. It definitely hasn’t happened overnight. From trial and error, I’ve found a really fun way to combine traditional and digital art. The finished product is insanely colorful and visually interesting. I’d like to think that this style will become what Timid Lion is known for. I’m putting together this book more as a portfolio piece that can be shown to illustrator reps. I’ve got several other projects in my “Future Projects File”, which I discussed on my blog yesterday, that will utilize this style.

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Portion of art from upcoming book. “Untitled, 2019”.

As I continue to try to find myself as an artist, I think finding something that I can claim as my style… my calling card, is hugely beneficial. There are so many talented artists in this world. Finding a way to create art that is uniquely yours and stands out above the crowd is an increasingly difficult thing to do. Practice makes perfect and I feel that is imperative to work on projects that further your skills. You can always learn and you can always improve. This goes not just for our artwork but our lives in general. We can always be better. Until next time, so long everybody.