August 14, 2019 § Leave a comment
From my archives on Whidbey Island, WA…(click HERE to ‘listen’ to the American Goldfinch sing for you). Have a brilliant week! ~ xo Pierr
July 26, 2019 § 2 Comments
Been looking through old sketchbooks. I’m really glad I was encouraged to keep one. When I was very young I thought it was cheating. I thought real artists knew how to draw anything out of their head, without looking. Over the last thirty-five years they have served me well, both for developing larger projects, and for doodling and having fun. Here’s a little tour:
Starting from the left in this top photo: I was at the dentist and had just gotten a job to illustrate Rich Latta’s Mother Goose Puzzles for Price Stern Sloan (then in LA). A full color cover and 22 inside black & white spots. I worked out the cover in the waiting room using a black marker line and colored pencils.
The sailboats are Prismacolor art markers on a rice paper sketchbook from China. The markers bleed into this paper and look like watercolor. I like sketching with them because of this – and they’re quick and travel well.
The man reading began as a pen line then colored pencil and a few strokes of a gray marker for shadowing on his jacket. Same with the child in the yellow jacket on the toned paper sketchbook. I like toned paper for how it makes white ‘pop’ off the page. The shadowing on her pants is an 80% cool gray marker, the ground shadow, 40%.
The abstract doodle on the far right is a black pen line and gouache (“goo-wash“ – opaque watercolor). I don’t remember which I did first. I do remember how fun it was to paint.
The sketchbook at the top of this photo is filled with oil pastel designs quickly drawn within a circle. First I went through the sketchbook tracing a paper plate on each of the 80 pages, then whenever I felt like expressing myself (often some emotion), I grabbed a color and started filling in the circle, not thinking about anything. Each took no more than 5 minutes to complete. Great fun.
The bottom sketchbook I used as a catch-all for classes when I attended Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, CA. back in the mid ’80’s. A painting instructor had us keep a couple pages of randomly drawn empty squares and rectangles in our sketchbook, and at odd moments during a week, fill in a few with something. Anything. This is a cool exercise. Over a period of time you begin to see patterns, things you’re most interested in, and some you might want to make into large paintings. These are small, 1 1/2 x 2″ rectangles and squares.
The last sketchbook was for doodles. I held a black and a red pen in my hand and scribbled around the large page with them, then spent time filling in some of the shapes with detailed designs. Also great fun. I do like detailing…
Here’s to a week of sketching and doodling! xo – Pierr
July 12, 2019 § 2 Comments
The cover for a children’s book is often the last piece of art to illustrate, but the first one shown around by the marketing folks, to sell the book before it’s actually released in stores. I sketch three or four ideas to expand on one with more sketches. These are only 3×4 inches.I showed these to lots of kids for their favorite. Hands down was the first one, the kid in the wheel barrow. To them it promised a book full of fun. The girl with the rake was my favorite element, so I used her to round out the composition. I like to draw on tracing paper to trace my own drawings and cut and tape them like puppets or paper dolls, figuring out where I want arms and legs to bend, or using the best head from another drawing. I’m really making puzzle pieces.I move them around until they fit together nicely within the set cover dimensions……adding more elements with suggestions from the art director and managing editor at the publishing house. I was so focused on the kids, thinking they should be the most prominent part of the cover, that I’d forgotten all about their garden – which they grow themselves in the book.Eventually I switched my brain on to a “LUSH” garden. Then took time to decide which plants to feature. The titling text was only a place holder I made for the real thing, which was being designed in-house. I had no idea of the title’s size or style being planned. And they didn’t know for sure until my final art came in. Yay RED!
Check it out! The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City, by Carole Lexa Schaefer , published Spring 2017 by Little Bigfoot, the children’s division of Sasquatch Books in Seattle. Ask for it at your public library or favorite Indie bookstore. You can see covers of the 22 other books I’ve illustrated on my website by clicking “Gallery” : pierrmorgan.com Thanks so much for reading! and clicking! on the teensy bold italics ~ Have a lush week ~ xo Pierr
June 26, 2019 § 4 Comments
First, the shiny brand new sign……then the ducklings already grown into teens……and last but not least – a bullfrog (you have to trust me though he’s a blur). Here’s to a week of surprises! ~ xo Pierr