Category Archives: Miscellaneous

A Few Notes and an Anniversary

DaniDraws.com launched in November of 2006. Since then, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of feedback and support I’ve gotten from all you readers. So…

THANK YOU. :)

I’ve been slow to post stuff recently because the holidays have been kinda hectic, but I have more great articles, tutorials, and other ideas in store for the site, so stay tuned!

And if you have any specific questions or suggestions for articles, be sure to send them in (contact@danidraws.com). A lot of you have already done so in the comments sections, so be patient with me as I sort through them…

And to all you American readers out there, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Dani

Book of the Month: Spiderwick’s Field Guide

Goodblogs

This month’s featured book is Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You. (I also noticed there is a new edition, to tie-in with the upcoming movie, available to pre-order here.) I’ve chosen it because I just went to go see Tony DiTerlizzi’s show at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and it was absolutely amazing!

Tony DiTerlizzi is the wonderful illustrator of The Spiderwick Chronicles, a popular children’s book series. The Field Guide is a reference to an Audobon-like book that the main character uses in the story. It features illustrations and notes about such creatures as sprites, fairies, trolls, and brownies. The level of skill and detail that DiTerlizzi puts into the illustrations is sure to inspire you. And this book is chock-full of them, featuring pencil sketches, full color paintings, big fold-out pages, and more.

The Spiderwick Chronicles are being made into a movie that will be released next February. The Eric Carle Museum is showcasing the books’ journey “from page to screen,” featuring lots of great original illustrations, concept artwork, and movie props. It was a big treat for me, because I’m a huge movie fan also. The show runs until the end of January 2008, so if you are near Amherst, Massachusetts at all, you MUST go check it out!

Related Links:

Book of the Month: Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer by Michael Fleishman

As artists, we work hard every day to sketch and draw and paint so we become better at our craft. Sometimes, though, you forget that there is a whole different side to the illustration world called business.

That’s why you need books like Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer by Michael Fleishman. I bought myself a copy a while ago, and I’ve been pleased with it overall.

The book discusses different subjects, such as:

  • Is art school necessary?

  • How to find potential clients

  • Creating a business plan

  • Organizing your finances

  • Choosing the right equipment

It’s hard to find really good books that delve into this creative business, but this is probably one of them.

Book of the Month: Spectrum

Spectrum is actually a series of publications that come out every year. I am taking a moment to highlight them because I just noticed that the latest edition, Spectrum 14, is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

If you are interested in science fiction, fantasy, or concept art and are not familiar with this annual, you are seriously deprived! Described as “The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art,” each issue is filled with work from the most elite artists and illustrators of the year. If you want to work in these genres, these are the people whose work you have to keep track of and live up to.

It is also a great opportunity to get recognition and exposure for your work. There is a Call for Entries every year if you want to submit your own work to be considered for the next annual. Submissions are usually taken starting at the beginning of October.

Links:

http://www.spectrumfantasticart.com/
Order Spectrum 14
Spectrum on Amazon

Link Love

Linklove

Either I’ve been neglecting my RSS reader for too long, or some of my favorite bloggers have been particularly inspired over the past week. Whatever the case, I’ve recently noticed some great stuff coming from some of the websites that I read regularly. Check ’em out!

Book of the Month: The Art of Animal Character Design

Book of hte Month: The Art of Animal Character Design

David Coleman is one of my favorite artists that I’ve come across in the blogosphere. I absolutely love his animal sketches, and his book The Art of Animal Character Design is a must-have for your bookshelf.

David works mainly in the animation industry and currently works for Sony Pictures Animation. He has designed characters for major films such as Open Season and Surf’s Up.

One quick browse through his blog, and you will agree that he is a master at sketching and design. Check it out at davidcolman.blogspot.com. You can also find his portfolio website at www.davidsdoodles.com.

If that’s not enough for you, there is a wonderful in-depth interview with David featuring plenty of images courtesy of the Character Design blog. Read it here: david-colman-interview.blogspot.com.

David Colman - McSquizzy sketch

Book of the Month: Wreck This Journal

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith

This month’s book recommendation, Wreck This Journal, is less of a book and more of a blank journal/activity book. Creator Keri Smith’s concept is quite unique — each page tells you to do something specific, like “Burn this page”, “Draw with your left hand”, or “Poke holes here.” The book encourages you to deface it in many strange and wonderful ways, sparking your creative process along the way.

So, instead of putting your cash down on a dreadfully expensive, hardbound treasure that you’re afraid to make the slightest mark in, give this sketchbook a spin. Do your best to destroy it — and create something beautiful.

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Book of the Month: Too Many Cooks

Ratatouille - Too Many Cooks illustrated by Nate Wragg

On June 29th, Pixar will release its latest motion picture, Ratatouille. Tons of promotional material are being put out as a result. This book, called Too Many Cooks, especially caught my eye.

I am a children’s illustrator, so children’s books always draw my attention. Plus I’m a big animation fan. Unfortunately, most books and promotional material that come out for animated movies are often less-than-stellar and feature mediocre illustration. Much to my delight, the makers behind Ratatouille seem to be taking a bit more care in this regard.

Too Many Cooks is a children’s counting book and is illustrated by Nate Wragg, who works as an artist for Pixar. I am a big fan of his work. Nate recently put out another book along with some fellow Pixar artists called The Ancient Book Of Myth And War. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I would suggest that you do. I recently bought myself a copy and can tell you personally that it is a great art book.

If its advertisements, art, and studio’s past success are any indication, Ratatouille is set to be a great movie. You can be sure that I will be in a theater somewhere on opening day later this month.

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Illustration Link Feast

Links

This is a collection of my favorite art tutorials, resources, and advice that I have found around the web…with a little bit of silliness thrown in.

Some of these links have been around awhile, and some of them are pretty new, but they are all enlightening nonetheless. I’ve tried to target specific pages or sections, as opposed to entire websites, so each will bring you straight to some source of learning, inspiration, or fun. Enjoy, and click away!

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Book of the Month: Crumble Crackle Burn

Crumble, Crackle, Burn by Von Glitschka

Crumble, Crackle, Burn by Von Glitschka is set to be released later this month. I am so looking forward to getting my hands on this book. I love the idea behind it…Von has put together a team of artists and given them each a different texture. Each “spread” in the book features a picture of the texture, and the illustration that utilizes it. As a bonus, the book will also come with a DVD of the texture files in high resolution so you can use them in your own work.

Recently, Von featured some sample spreads on his blog, which has got me even more excited. So, mark your calendars for May 16, or go ahead and pre-order it on Amazon.com.

To feed your appetite until then, here are some great texture links for you:

Update: Von has emailed me to let me know that those who purchase the book and email him a copy of the receipt can also receive a DVD with 30 additional textures! Also, keep an eye on texturebook.com, which will soon have more information about the book.

Cool Books, Recommended By YOU

Amazon.com Books

What kinds of resources are your fellow DaniDraws.com readers using? Well, thanks to my Amazon Associates account, I have a little bit of a clue. Through Amazon Associates, when anyone clicks on one of the Amazon.com links on my site and buys a product, I receive a commission. I receive a report every month, part of which includes which products were bought.

Sure, this list includes some random things like music CD’s and novels, but because of the nature of this site, many of my readers are buying some pretty interesting art books. Some of these items I have never heard of, but upon looking at their description seem really interesting. So, don’t take my word for it — take a clue from your friends and peers…

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DaniDraws.com Five-Month Review

DaniDraws.com Five-Month Review

This week marks the 5-month anniversary of my first post here at DaniDraws.com. In that short time, this site has grown steadily in both readers and content, and I am very pleased with how it is going. Many of you have written comments and emails, which I’m very grateful for.

In honor of the occasion, here is a special post where I review the best of what has been covered so far, give you a tour of some special features on the website, and let you know how YOU can help the site live on for months to come…

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Dan Draws, too: EmptyEasel.com

EmptyEasel.com

I would like to take a moment to highlight another great blog. Dan, the owner, says this about his site: “EmptyEasel.com isn’t really about me or my art. Instead, it’s a place where I hope to help everyone who visits here understand art better. Whether you’re a new artist, just interested in art, or even an established art professional, my goal is for you to make EmptyEasel.com your daily resource for art information.”

Like DaniDraws.com, EmptyEasel features articles and tutorials for artists, but it has its own flavor that many of you might be interested in. As an oil painter, Dan has more tips and tricks for traditional artists. Some topics he has covered include Color Mixing Tips, Oils vs. Acrylics, and Making Canvases. You will still find plenty of digital tricks also.

The content on EmptyEasel.com doesn’t end there. You will also find artist reviews, website suggestions, and a web comic, Bachelor of Arts. You can also submit your own art if you would like to be highlighted on the site.

I like how this site tries to both help artists and educate people about art. The variety of content and good design made it stand out from other art blogs that I’ve come across. Be sure to take a visit, and subscribe to the blog if you like what you see.

DI Award: Crash and Sprout

Here is the winner of this week’s Dani Jones DI Award. It comes from Brittany Whited. It looks like she had a lot of fun with this one. And you gotta love the cows.

Also, I skipped last week’s award, so I thought I would include it here also. This image is by Becca Scholes.

I’ve featured both of these artists here before. They both do excellent work. Be sure to check out their blogs.