All posts by Dennis West

Experimenting in Watercolor

Every once in a while I break out my paints and try to do something by hand. I really like the texture that painting and drawing by hand creates, but I usually feel much more confident in the results I get by completing something on the computer.

This is an illustration that I did a few years back after reading an article in Step by Step about how one of my favorite illustrators, Peter DeSeve, does his illustrations. I don’t think I quite achieved his style, but I was kind of happy with the result.

More recently, I have been working on a children’s book. I did two versions of the above illustration (the other one being my first Illustration Friday entry). This is actually my first attempt. Painting it went smoothly enough, but I just didn’t feel comfortable enough with it to think that it would really measure up as a book illustration. Hopefully with this blog/Illustration Friday avenue open, I’ll be able to practice my basic skills more. I enjoy realizing the illustrations on the computer, but there’s a certain amount of warmth that comes from painting that I’m just not getting from the computer.

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The Art of Charles Schultz

One of my favorite books that I own is Peanuts: the art of Charles Schultzstyle=border:none. Its rich, close-up photography of the yellowing newsprint pages are so warm and inviting. It also includes a biography, rare memorabilia, sketches by Shultz as well as images of the original inked artwork from the strip. Even though I’ve had the book for a few years now, I never get tired of immersing myself in the evolution of Shultz’s talent and the Peanuts characters.

There was a time in my life when I very much wanted to be a syndicated comic strip artist. Occasionally my fancies take me down that path even now and usually it’s encounters with this book that trigger such wanderings.

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