A Dozen Flowers

Occasionally, I work on little projects with the sole intention of experimenting with style, medium, and techniques. This is one such project. Each piece started off with a quick sketch, then a simple watercolor wash to identify the main colors and shadows, and finally I layered mid-tones and highlights with opaque acrylic paint.

Yay! for Wacom

I may be addicted to Adobe Photoshop and the Wacom Tablet. ‘Tiger’ is my latest piece that I worked on to fill my 2010 portfolio. My initial idea was to finish this piece traditionally with pencils and maybe a little spot coloring with prismacolor markers. However, once I scanned in my rough sketch and was playing with value studies and composition ideas I kept going until it was done. I’m having so much fun learning.

Commission of Retiree

I was commissioned by Mosaic, Co. in Florida to do a caricature illustration of one of their employees who is retiring. This was an over the weekend job with a very quick turnaround. I feel good about it but with ever thing I do,¬† I still want to tweak certain things. I’m also adding the reference photo Mosaic gave me to use.

Gary Hampel being presented the caricature illustration by my Dad. Thanks Dad!

Trixie Little and The Evil Hate Monkey

This is a poster design for Music City Burlesque that my friend Eric Denton and I collaborated on. I borrowed a Wacom tablet and played around with color over my caricature sketch of Trixie Little and The Evil Hate Monkey. It was my first time using Adobe Photoshop this way. I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go in learning Ps and Ai. Hiding layers and Apple-Z became my friend.


I find that when drawing a straight portrait, creative issues such as accuracy pose the most direct challenge especially when the subject is a child. I did this piece a week ago and when I showed it to my client she teared up. I enjoyed working on this these portraits.

If you are interested in commissioning a portrait or caricature of a loved one or celebrity contact me at righthandillustrator@gmail.com and I’ll send you prices and availability. Thanks.

Notes from the IA

These are a few notes that I took during the week Christopher Fox Payne was teaching and mentoring at the Illustration Academy.

Now that you’re an artist, you start looking at things differently. Everything you do is for a reason. Break everything down into concept. Pull from all of your resources and experiences. At any moment you must be ready to perform.

How you think, What you are trying to say, Now all of a sudden you have an Opinion? YES! Try to make things fit in an interesting way. Play to your strengths. Improve upon your weaknesses. Make your work believable. Your art needs to reflect something about you. Use your culture.’

“What the mind yearns for is not to know but to believe.”