Saturday, October 9, 2010



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two Portraits

I love figure drawing. As a result, I tore through my program's life drawing classes in record time, finishing Life IV last year with four semesters to go. Luckily, Doctor Sketchy's and open life at Kendall soothe my hunger. These portraits are experiments with compressed charcoal.

I like the younger man's portrait for its expression, but prefer the second in terms of execution. Both are 18x24, from March-April 2009.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Here are three watercolor-based illustrations from the last year or so. The first is watercolor and mixed media on watercolor paper, entitled "Mother of Compassion." Special activity for you kids out there: locate and identify ten religious symbols and win a theology decoder ring!

The second is a portrait of Alyosha from The Brothers Karamazov, fresh from the monastery. Surrounding him is a chotki, similar to a rosary or mala.

The third is an illustration from Hansel and Gretel, painted during breaks from reimagining the classic fairy tale for a creative writing class. This illustration, "Gingerbread," is based more on the classic children's version than my own retelling, which came out rather scary. And that's all for now!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nimble Toad banner design part II

My vacation wound up being very busy! I took a week off work and visited my parents and kid sister and lots of other nice people besides. I did and accomplished a lot in the tiny portion of my life that doesn't revolve around art, and returned home refreshed. I packed my files and laptop along with the swim fins and zinc oxide, and borrowed my parents' dining room table to work on the NimbleToad banner. Here's how it's looking:

Pretty good! I'm happy with the crisper colors, and the toad is much more limber. Let's see him a little bigger:

Aw yis. I feel like this is in the final stage of poking and prodding -- time to clean up the details and make sure it reads perfectly at the intended size. Once the banner is all set, I'll be modifying it to make an icon-type image for business cards, etc., and possibly a more spacious banner for the NimbleToad Blog.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nimble Toad banner design part I

My brother's lady companion has begun a crafting collective with several other artsy types - they have a blog and a newborn Etsy shop. What they do not have is a logo, which I'm excited to take a crack at. Somewhere along the line I was shanghaied into designing banners for the aforementioned sites as well, which pleases me because I get to work in Illustrator. Thus far I have the rough ink sketches I auditioned with, and a rudimentary Illustrator mockup of the Etsy banner, both seen below:

I will unnecessarily point out that the name is a pun: the little toad is knitting with his toes. He's Nimble-"Toed." I think this is delightful.

Monday, December 8, 2008


This image is a relic of the distant past: I started this portrait of my roommate and her cat over a year ago. I am attempting to create a classic, highly realistic look. It is on my to-do list for winter break, as it really is lovely. 16x20, many hours.

This painting was completed a week ago. My reference was a very lucky shot of some light construction going on here in downtown Grand Rapids on one of the last really warm days of the year. It is about 20x30 and also took many hours.

Life Drawing III work

Three items from my spring 2008 Life drawing class, which was a fantastic experience. The first is a drawing from my sketchbook. I occasionally become consumed by doodles of this nature: this must have taken several hours, because I remember my CD kept repeating.
This next is an outside assignment for the class. Three portraits expressing three emotions: aloofness, jealousy, and exhaustion. This is about 19x25, and was completed over several days including preliminary work.
This last is an illustration drawn from a nude model over the course of about an hour, on an 8.5x11 page. We love this model at KCAD, because he is capable of standing completely still for an hour or more (he is known to abstain from blinking to the point of tears). I surprised my instructor with the costuming choice, and this remains one of his favorite pieces of mine.