Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Exhibition poster

My gallery owner has arranged for me to have an exhibition in an interior design studio in Valpariso, Indiana. He needed a poster, so I designed two versions.

This is my rough idea sketch from which I developed the design.

NorthingtonPoster 1

I used strong type and showed one of my new acrylic paintings as well as two of my wooden carved masks.

NorthingtonPoster 2

Monday, March 28, 2011

Variations in line drawings

I have been searching for more storyboard examples to post but have not had any luck. I found some ink line drawings that I did for my book DRAWING IN INK. These images illustrate the variations possible when using this medium, you can do a straight line drawing and can add blacks or gray tones to make them more detailed.



All three versions of each subject work quite well. Actually I could have even done a few more variations. when doing line art it can be fun to experiment with some of the possibilities. You can also try adding washes of gray or color tones. Another fun experiment would be to scan the art into the computer and then add gray or color tones.tones

Friday, March 25, 2011

More illustrations

I'm still searching my files for more storyboard frames, but no luck, I may be finished posting that kind of material. Here are a couple of illustrations from my book Art & Illustration Techniques.

This is an assignment from one of my New York clients. I sent the above sketch to my client for approval, the art directors often ask for a color sketch before I proceed with the finished art.

11FRI608 copy
Here is the final acrylic illustration which includes all of the changes that the art director requested.

I'm not sure who this illustration was done for, probably was an assignment from Transcontinental Travel Bureau. This art was done using markers as well as acrylic paint.

My Art & Illustration Techniques book has many more examples, it was published in 1979, but used copies are still available through Amazon and used book dealers on the internet. The cover art was done using markers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Preliminary sketches for illustrations.

When starting to do an illustration I always do several small sketches to establish the composition. Often art directors will request sketches like this to see if that artist has understood his instructions. This is a very important step in creating interesting illustrations.

Pre 1
I received an interesting assignment while living in Paris, it was an illustration of Phebus, a new French space satellite. At the first meeting with the client I was asked to submit pencil sketches, these are a couple of them.

They approved this version which gave me a clear direction to go for the final painting.

Here is a more accurate compositional sketch, it was done using black and gray markers on layout paper.

The final painting which was done in acrylic paint.

Preliminary sketches for the cover of my Drawing In Ink book.

The final cover, this is the Japanese edition. The final drawing was done in in using a pen and a brush.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pencil drawings

I have done a lot of sketching and drawings with various pencils. In 1981 I did a book on pencil drawing for Watson Guptill publications which contained a great variety of my pencil work, some shown below.

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A drawing of the Boulevard St. Germain in Paris, it's a simple sketch using only flat tones done on a textured paper.

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A portrait sketch of one of our friends in Paris, also done on a textured paper. There are a great variety of papers available, it's interesting to try the different surfaces.

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A very tight rendering done using a Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth Negro pencil. This Paris scene was drawn using a photograph as reference.

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Another quick sketch of one of our friends in Paris. Color was added by using washes of watercolor, a nice fresh technique to explore.

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Certain colored pencil brands like Stabilo and Prismalo are water soluble. Here is an example of a drawing done with water soluble pencils, after finishing the drawing I washed clear water over some areas, blending them and dissolving certain tones, a great technique to explore.

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Here is the book in which contained these and many other drawings. If you are interested, you can still find used copies at and other internet book stores.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pencil and wash illustrations

Sometime in the late 1960's I was asked to illustrate a brochure titled "When a tornado strikes" for Michigan Blue Cross and Blue Shield, instructing people on what to do in the event of a tornado warning. These illustrations were drawn with pencil on Whatman illustration board and the tones were added with ink washes. I used my wife,kids and friends as models for this assignment.







Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ink line work

A couple more ink line sketches, a medium which I specialized in for many years.

This and the drawing below were done for an article on my trip to Africa which ran in the Detroit Free Press Sunday magazine, if I remember correctly.


A drawing done for a brochure for the Premier Corporation.

A brochure cover done in the early 1970's.

Monday, March 14, 2011

More ink line sketches

Here are some more smaller ink line drawings that I did after I got back from my African trip. They were sketched from photographs that I had taken. I believe that they were done to be used as small spot illustrations for an article I wrote for the local newspaper. I was trying to simulate on the spot drawings which would have been quite difficult to do, I've tried it and it's rather difficult as the animals do not pose.





Friday, March 11, 2011

Additional sketches

Additional sketches done through the years.

The gold market in Beirut. I used to have a travel agent client that would send my wife and I to Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, a great client. He was going to open offices there but because of the constant unrest, it never happened.

A Mexican sketch that was drawn back in my studio using photographs as reference.

In the jungle village of Onekai in Surinam I did this sketch of the local chieftain and his top drum carver. They were all very friendly towards my wife and I in the village. Sketching is a great way to meet people in foreign places.

These last two watercolors were painted on the spot in Cairo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More travel sketches

Here are some more watercolor and ink sketches, some done right on the spot.

Here is how my basic line drawings look before I add washes of watercolor. This was done in Cairo and was never finished.

A scene sketched in French Guiana. Often I will just do sketches with gray washes instead of color.

Our hotel in Kyoto. I can't remember why there are two colors used here, my brown pen probably clogged and then I must have finished the sketch with the red pen.

This drawing was done at home using photographs as reference. It was actually done for my book Drawing In Ink, published by Watson Guptill.
These line sketches are very much like the drawings that I do when rendering storyboards which I color using markers.

Monday, March 7, 2011

More watercolor paintings

I've always done a lot of watercolor paintings. I started in high school, my art teacher, Margaret Stein, literally sat me down in front of the room window with paper, paint and brushes and said "Paint !". That got me started and Herb Schiebold, my good friend, and I would often go out and do watercolors on the spot.

Ravens was painted in the mid 1960's and it won first prize in the Michigan Watercolor Society Show.

In 1971 my wife and I took a trip to Africa, we visited Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and the Sudan. The above painting was done in Khartoum. When sketching outdoors I usually first do a drawing with a technical pen, then paint over it with watercolors.

Another scene painted in Khartoum along the Nile River.

Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa from my hotel window.

Ngulia Hills, Kenya
A painting of the elephants roaming in the Ngulia Hills in Kenya.