Tag Archives: Books

Summer Wonder – New art and sketchbook!

The Storm by Dani Jones danidraws.com

I’m happy to announce my latest finished personal project SUMMER WONDER. It is a series of illustrations, plus sketchbook.

The project was born during the Art of Personal Projects course that I took over the summer, put on by the Lamp Post Guild and taught by Cory Godbey. The class was a huge inspiration and fun to participate in. Thanks for the great class LPG!

I was excited to experiment with different subjects and media. I used a combination of gouache and digital techniques to do the paintings. I explained a lot of the process in my previous sneak peek blog post. I’m really pleased with the results!

Check out the project!

VIEW THE FULL SERIES

BUY THE PDF SKETCHBOOK

BUY A PRINT

P.S. I have a print book in the works. It should be available soon. If you want to be notified when it is, you can sign up for my newsletter.

UPDATE: I’ve put up a preorder link for signed copies of the paperback book here. Wide release on Amazon.com and other distributors should go up soon.

MONSTERS VS. KITTENS Now Available!

Monsters Vs. Kittens by Dani Jones

I have a new book! Monsters Vs. Kittens is now available in multiple print and digital formats.

Learn more and preview the book!

Monsters Vs. Kittens by Dani Jones

For all things monsters and/or kittens related, you can check out this page: danidraws.com/monsters-vs-kittens/

MVK Featured in USA Today

There was a nice article about the SLKU launch, and a preview of Monsters Vs. Kittens, in this USA Today article over the weekend:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2013/02/02/stan-lee-kids-universe-childrens-books-games/1885211/

Also, watch Stan Lee read my book!

Monsters Vs. Kittens read by Stan Lee!

SLKU has partnered with the makers of the A Story Before Bed app for a digital read-along version of the book. You can record yourself reading the book, or you can buy a pre-recorded version that is read by Stan the Man himself. To see it, you make an account on the A Story Before Bed website, then purchase the book from the link below. The book is then accessible both on the website and in the iPad app. I may or may not have watched this several times this past weekend. ;)

A Story Before Bed website

Buy Monsters Vs. Kittens!


Amazon.com
Kindle
iBooks
Read-along storybook app

Giveaway!

I’m going to giveaway TWO signed hardcover copies of MVK. Here’s how to enter:

UPDATE: Giveaway is done! Here are the winners.

1) Email me a drawing of a monster with a kitten. Send to dani@danijones.com with the subject “Monsters Vs. Kittens Giveaway”.
2) Include your name, age (if under 18), and website (if applicable).
3) Entries may be posted on my website later, so you have to be ok with that.
4) All ages and skill levels are eligible and encouraged. Kids, please have a parent send your entries.

I will choose two winners – one for the most creative, and one random.

You must email your pic by 11:59 PM ET on February 22, 2013.

Good luck!

Introducing iPad For Artists + a Giveaway!

I have written a new book called iPad For Artists! It has been published by Ilex Press and is available to order TODAY! The book is filled with tips and tutorials for artists who are interested in drawing and painting on the iPad. I am excited to finally share it with all of you!

As you may know if you’ve kept up with this blog, I love drawing on my iPad. You can check out some of my previous iPad art and videos that I’ve posted before. It has been a big learning experience for me, and now you can grab all my tips, tricks, and knowledge that I’ve gained in one super book.

Learn all about the book and view previews on the dedicated page I made here:

danidraws.com/ipad-for-artists

Here is a short flip-through video:


http://youtu.be/qlA9ESjKr-4

iPad For Artists includes:

  • Lots of tutorials!

  • Many styles of art, including children’s illustration, landscape painting, still lifes, comic art, and sketching.

  • A review of my favorite styluses.

  • A list of my favorite apps and the advantages/disadvantages of each.

  • Articles and interviews with guests artists of a variety of backgrounds and interests.

  • A gallery of iPad art featuring many different artists.

I would like to extend a special thank you to Will Terry, Reed Bond, Fraser Scarfe, Eric Merced, Marc Scheff, and Jorge Lacera for contributing to the book. You all blew me away with your iPad talent!

Learning how to use the iPad for sketching and illustration work has been a rewarding journey for me. I will admit, it was frustrating at first! The iPad is so much different than your typical graphics tablet, but it also has HUGE potential that you can’t get anywhere else. I’m excited that other artists might start creating art on their iPad because of this book. If you are one of those people, be sure to let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

Buy the Book!

You can purchase the book from Amazon here.

Enter my giveaway to win a free book!

Dark Mischief Volume 2

Dark Mischief, a spooky comic anthology put together by Jenni Gregory of Ka-Blam and Indyplanet, has just released its second volume which includes my short comic ZOMBIE BUNNY. Perfect for the Halloween season! You can buy a copy over at Indyplanet here (or if you prefer to read on your tablet, you can grab a digital copy).

There is a wide variety of stories and styles featured in the anthology (check out the Dark Mischief main page for previews!). Last year’s Volume 1 is also available to buy.

I have a very limited number of copies to sell if anyone would like a signed copy by me. I will also sketch zombie bunny in the front and include some stickers. Grab it while you can!

BUY A SIGNED COPY OF DARK MISCHIEF VOL. 2

Sorry I am so late in announcing this (is Halloween a week away already?!), but even if you don’t catch this for October, it is still a great book that includes lots of great creators. Read it any time of year!

Womanthology Book Release

Womanthology, a HUGE anthology of comics written, drawn, and edited all by women, is going to be available very soon. I believe it will be in comic shops starting today and it is also up for order on Amazon.com. All proceeds from this book go to charity.

I received my copy in the mail yesterday. It is one ginormous book, and it is filled to the brim with comics, artwork, industry tips, and interviews.

I illustrated a four-page story for the book. It is called “Swimming” by Ashley Avard. It starts on page 180. I was really happy that I got to illustrate such a sweet and poignant story.

View the Process Video!

My Sister the Freak Volume 1 Books

I recently got a bunch of My Sister the Freak Volume 1 books in the mail. They look awesome! Thanks to Ka-Blam for the printing job.

This book marks a big milestone for me. It collects the first four issues of MSTF together in one volume to create one full graphic novel. It represents over a year’s worth of work and the completion of my first major writing/comic project. I’m so happy to see this story all together as it should be read.

The book is over 100 pages. Nearly half the book is bonus material, including a peek into my process, activities, and a super guest art section.

I have been slowly but surely getting all the preorders signed, sketched up, and mailed out. Thanks so much to everyone who preordered the book – I could not have gotten the printing done without you!

Every person that took advantage of the preorder is receiving a full-color watercolor sketch. Here is a sampling of some of the sketches I made for the orders already:

Thanks for waiting so patiently while I get these all done. I should have them all mailed off within the next week or so.

Here’s one book that already has a happy home!


[Captain Bacon for Mike!]

If you receive your copy, email or tweet me some pics. I love seeing ’em!

The book is still available in my store. New orders won’t receive the watercolor sketches, but I’ll include a pencil sketch (and I’ll sign the book too of course!). There is limited quantities available. Once I get all the preorders mailed out, I’ll have to figure out just how many I have left. If I run out, you can also order it from IndyPlanet, who can print it on-demand.

And if you don’t want to spend $20, you can also get the digital copy for much cheaper here.

Books to be Published by Stan Lee’s Kids Universe!

I am so thrilled to announce that two of my books will be published in 2012! MONSTERS VS. KITTENS and ONCE UPON A TIME will be the first two books to be released by the Stan Lee’s Kids Universe imprint of 1821 Comics.

Stan and 1821 announced plans for the imprint over the weekend at New York Comic Con. It got some coverage by some impressive outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Galleycat. (And who wouldn’t be tickled to see a photo of their own drawing next to Stan the Man’s head? Awesome.)

Monsters Vs. Kittens will be the first book up. I can’t share a whole lot about it just yet (but I think the title pretty much indicates its awesomeness!). Once Upon a Time started as a self-published project that I shared right here on this blog. You can check out the process posts and webpage for more info.

The website for Stan Lee’s Kids Universe is up with an article and teaser image, where you can catch the first small peek at some character art for Monsters Vs. Kittens. I’ve put up my own dedicated page for MvK here. There’s not much there yet, but you can bookmark it for future updates and images.

Can’t wait for 2012!

My Sister the Freak Volume 1 Now Available for Preorder!

[flickr id=”6025897786″ thumbnail=”large” overlay=”false” size=”small” group=”” align=”center”]

After over a year of updates and drawing pages on my webcomic My Sister the Freak, I’m finally able to print and share a complete book with all of you! Volume 1 will contain all four chapters of MSTF so far in one nice paperback edition. Right now, it is going to be about 100 pages. Nearly half of that will be bonus material like process stuff, extra images, activities, etc. The book features a GREAT collection of guest art by some very generous and talented artists. I can’t thank them enough for contributing. I will be featuring them all on the webcomic site in the coming weeks.

PREORDER HERE: http://store.danidraws.com/my-sister-the-freak-volume-1

The preorder will help greatly with printing costs, and I also want to make sure I order enough for dedicated fans and readers of the comic. As an incentive, I am including some limited-time gifts for those who take advantage of the preorder. Here’s the deal:

    All orders received by August 31 will receive an original full-color 5″x7″ painting featuring an MSTF character of your choice. They will be rendered in ink and watercolor on heavyweight bristol paper. Preorderers will also receive the ebook version of Volume 1 for FREE.

If you haven’t read My Sister the Freak yet, you can read it in its entirety online at mysisterthefreak.com.

Book of the Month: Making Comics

This book is several years old and tons of artists and websites have recommended it already, but I’m going to put in my two cents anyway in case you happened to have missed this gem.

Making Comics by Scott McCloud is just what the title suggests – a book about making comics. What makes this book especially fun is that entire book is written and drawn in a comic format.

Even if you’re not interested in drawing comics, it still has a lot to offer about storytelling and basic art principles. Any illustrator can learn a ton from this book. McCloud explains all the topics simply, yet interestingly, and includes different exercises and techniques to help the reader absorb the concepts along the way.

You can get a good idea of the format of the book on Scott’s website where he has posted a small sample, called Chapter 5 1/2. It expands upon Chapter 5 in his book “Tools, Techniques, and Technology”. It includes a tutorial and notes that cover optimizing color art for the web.

Continue reading

Book of the Month: Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel

Drseussmrgeisel

In 1936, Ted Geisel wrote his first children’s story, called A Story That No One Can Beat. But he had trouble getting it published.

Twenty-seven publishing houses rejected Geisel’s story, deemed “too different” for children’s books. Frustrated and fed up, Ted started walking back to his New York apartment and decided to return to his career as a magazine humorist and cartoonist. He planned to burn the manuscript when he got home.

That’s when he ran into an old colleague from school who just got hired as a juvenile editor three hours earlier.

A Story That No One Can Beat was subsequently published as And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, the first in a long list of children’s titles from the legendary Geisel – aka Dr. Seuss – a list that includes The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears A Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Along the way, he completely transformed the face of children’s publishing and became the best-selling author in the field ever.

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Book of the Month: The Art of Kung Fu Panda

Artofkungfupanda

This month’s recommendation is The Art of Kung Fu Panda because I am so excited to see the movie this summer. I don’t really have a lot more to say except nerdy stuff like the character design is really cool and the animation looks awesome – two good reasons to look into getting this book, which is set to be released on May 13.

The movie itself comes out on June 6, and you can be sure I will be there opening weekend – hopefully in an IMAX theater. I haven’t been a fan of some of the recent Dreamworks movies, but my hopes were kindled by early praise from animation expert Jerry Beck, who shares some of my opinions.

Links:

“Prepare for awesomeness!”

Book of the Month: Creating Characters with Personality


Like last month’s recommendation, this is one of the few books that have caught my eye in the sea of art books that are available. This book is unique because it features not only sketches from the author, but also interviews and images from other artists from a variety of fields. You will find snippets from such people as Glen Keane, Peter de Seve, and Jack Davis.

The author Tom Bancroft works in the animation industry and founded Funnypages Productions along with Rob Corley. He is most known for his work in Disney’s films Mulan and Brother Bear, and the Veggie Tales. You can see examples of his artwork and sketches at the Funnypages Productions Blog.

View Creating Characters with Personality on Amazon.com.

Book of the Month: How to Draw and Paint Crazy Cartoon Characters

Crazycartooncharacters

There are tons of drawing, painting, and cartooning books out there, and only a handful of them really capture my attention.

Well, I just ordered How to Draw and Paint Crazy Cartoon Characters. It contains tons of great artwork and includes tips, history, and advice that will truly help all you animators, children’s book illustrators, comic book artists, and caricaturists out there.

The author Vincent Woodcock has worked in the animation business as an animator, director, and character designer. His credits include films such as Space Jam and The Tigger Movie.

Buy on Amazon.com

Book of the Month: 100 Days of Monsters

Dailymonster

I just ran across Stefan Bucher’s 100 Days Of Monsters. Stefan runs a popular blog called Daily Monster where he draws, you guessed it, a monster a day. The best part is he records the making of each one in a series of very well-done and fascinating videos.

Along the way, the Daily Monster started to attract fans and many of them created backstories and histories to go along with his monsters. The extra participation has made Stefan’s little project widely popular. Now, his book featuring 100 of these creations and their stories is being released at the end of the month. Included is a DVD with all of the corresponding videos, plus some cool extras.

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Book of the Month: Dream Worlds

Dreamworlds

When my sister was looking for a Christmas present for my other sister on Amazon.com, she ran across Hans Bacher’s Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation. Neither of us had heard of it before, but upon reading the description we decided it would be a good present for our sister, who is a big animation art fan.

Hans Bacher works as a professional artist and production designer. He had a major influence in such films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Mulan. The book spans his work in these films and more.

When I finally got to look at a copy of this book, I wasn’t disappointed. I’m a big fan of “Art of” books, and it was great to see great artwork from a variety of different films in one volume. And in the text, Bacher delves into the role of a production designer specifically, which you can’t really find in any other book out there. You don’t have to be an animator to appreciate this stuff either — his views on color, design, decision-making, and research are useful for anyone loves to draw, paint, and sketch.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the “Unproductive” section near the end, which highlights a bunch of funny doodles that he and his co-workers made during boring meetings. What artist can’t relate to that?

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Book of the Month: Elfis

Elfis

Looking for a great holiday gift? Try Elfis, a great Christmas picture book that was digitally illustrated using many of the techniques outlined on this website.

Yes, this book was illustrated by me. But it is the holiday season, this is a holiday book, and this is my website, so I think I’m entitled to some shameless self-promotion every once in awhile.

I really appreciate everyone who decides to buy this book, so to show my gratitude, I’m going to be offering a special gift this month only. If you buy a copy anytime in December (or if you’ve already bought the book), I’ll send you a signed bookplate for free. Please read on for full details.

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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

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