Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Reworking an Illustration: B is for... and some thoughts on failure

A few years ago I created an illustration that was visual failure. It haunted me. There were so many problems with it. I loved the concept and the idea, but the execution was pathetic. A lot of the mistakes were due to lack of planning and lack of a proper amount of time to really do it justice.

Luckily, it was for a personal project, It hung in a gallery exhibit and was posted as one of my failures on-line. It still haunted me. 


Over the past year or so I have gained a greater appreciation for failing. Although I still fear certain aspects of it, the fear of failure does not plague me like it has in the past. I have started approaching it with a more positive perspective and an understanding that failure is inevitable. I will fail. I will fail often, I have failed and will continue to do so. How I approach each failure is more important that failing. My failures are now strengthening me and helping me to get better. This one thought has freed me in so many ways. It is liberating. I am ok with messing up now.
The last few months, I made time in-between projects to rework it. Slowly, I tweaked the composition, redrew each aspect, and lightened it up. In the end it is much stronger. 



This is from my personal project “A is For Alliteration” and is for the latter B. The title is “B is for a bevy of beatnik blue footed boobies boogieing to the bodacious blues beat of The Baby Blues Brothers, a blue whale bleating on the bassoon, a blue lobster banging on the bongos, a blaring bagpipe, a blue agama on the base, a boar on a banjo, and a blue jay belting the ballad, is the bee's knees.”

Friday, June 21, 2019

Busy Week! Newsies Illustration


It's been a busy week. This is the second of two illustrations finished for The Vermont Children's Theater. For Newsies, I struggled with how to present the show in a different way. Most of the posters either had characters dancing, holding a newspaper and yelling or fists in the air with newspapers. I took a more subtle approach by demonstrating the aspect of a strike with the newsboy hat off and a stack of papers left alone. The energy of the musical comes in with the frenetic line work and the prominent “STRIKE!” on the front of the paper. I kept with a warm pallet to also denote the energy.

This was a huge win for me. I struggle with doing illustrations that do not play to my strengths. I took the challenge and found away to make it work.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Finished Elf!


Just finished the illustration for The Vermont Children's Theater's poster for Elf jr. The Musical! I captured the magical, energetic feel of the show by placing the main character in a New York snow globe. The musical's Logo will be on the base of the globe. As I could not alter the logo, I needed to keep the base light.

The idea came from a scene where Buddy shreds a manuscript to make snow.

The performances are July 18, 19, and 20th at 7 pm. There is also a Sunday matinee at 2 pm on the 21st.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Latest Project


In between family time, I have been working on the illustration forThe Vermont Children’s Theater production of Elf Jr.

Still struggling with the hands.

Monday, June 3, 2019

More trees

More practicing drawing trees. I wanted to try to capture the apple blossoms on our small tree in our yard.
For the summer I have set a goal to draw more.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Sketching again!

Spent the weekend camping at Camp Joseph in South Royalton, VT. I had a great urge to study trees. I think I will be doing more of this over the summer. I am still being inspired by E. H. Shephard’s work.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Creative Challenges



Yesterday, a student of mine turned in a creative game she created for a class assignment. It’s called “Noun Verb Noun.” Today, during my free draw time, I created a page of drawings inspired by bag joins feather. 

One of the ideas I have been trying to instill in my students is the idea of having a project mean more than the assignment. Make it something others will want and or use. This is a great example of someone being creative and using their art for a product. They went beyond the assignment and made it personal and potentially something that can help them make a living. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Daily Drawings


I took some time out of my busy day to draw a murder of crows. I think I still need to work on these. Birds are still a challenge for me.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Trying something new



On Thursday I had the opportunity to try a different form of print making, cyanotypes. I have a few extra treated sheets so I will be hopefully playing with this a little. more.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

New Bow Tie Guy: Quetzalcoatl


I have been working on a lot of projects. It was nice to spend some time working on a new one.
Here is Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent.

Monday, April 22, 2019

A few Pages from my new sketch book!



I spent Saturday at a youth conference and took some time to draw the people that I saw. I am working on capturing peoples likeness.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Finishing one Sketchbook and Looking Forward to Starting a New One


Finished the last page of my latest sketchbook with a new favorite bird, the Guinea Fowl. I love the small head and the large body of this bird. 
I have enjoyed focusing on a specific animal a day lately. This allows me to focus on a page at a time with a clear end in mind. It is relaxing and rewarding.
I’ll be starting a new sketchbook latter today!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

More Sketches


Spent the morning practicing drawing Eastern Painted Turtles, the Vermont State Reptile as part of my State animal series. So many projects on my mind. So many wonderful creatures to draw!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Drawing Practice


I am working on a personal project and spent a few hours practicing drawing blue-footed Boobies today. The more I draw, the more I realize the importance of these preliminary drawings. As I work on these, I find the final image is stronger. I come up with stronger ideas and compositions.

You just can't rush things and have quality work. It may be good, but there is so much more richness to the final piece when you put the time up front.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Town Meeting Day

Every first Tuesday f the year we have Town Meeting day, where the residents of the Township of Lyndon Vermont can come to vote on budgets and other issues. I have come to love this day. I love seeing people involved in the government. I love hearing the discussions and the arguments. I love the sense of community. I love drawing the people present.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Beautie for Valentines Day


Happy Valentines day from Barclay-Studio!

I am still grateful for the opportunity to design this and other bow ties for Beauties Ltd. of Vermont. I had an infinity scarf made for my wife with this pattern on it as well. We match today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Reworking a past personal project and other thoughts on productivity



I have set some goals again to do more art work. Overall, I have been good about making time to draw on a daily basis. The next step is to complete more illustrations. This is proving to be more difficult as my day gets away from me often because of other responsibilities. I find that scheduling an hour or so a day to work is really helpful.

Today I started to rework one of the “A is for Alliteration” illustrations as it was just not working. This one is for the letter B. The first time I worked on it, it was too rushed. Now I am spending time making sure I am happy with how I am depicting different characters. Trying to get the positioning of the elephant with the bagpipes was proving to be rather difficult. The best way to solve it is through multiple sketches. Trying different things.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

More from my sketch book


A few more sketches of people. This was while I was at Positive Pie in Montpelier, Vermont. It is a great Pizza Place.

My go to pencil it a 3H. The latest leads that I got are harder than they have been in the past. It feels more like a 4H. I am wondering if I got a mixed batch.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The shop across the street


While waiting for my children to finish their dentist appointment, I made sure to make time to do some drawing. This is the small bookstore across the street from our dentist's office. It had always struck me as a delightful little store. I particularly loved the snow cover and how it effected the overall quaintness. It gave it the quintessential Vermont look.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Bow Tie Guy of the Week: The Questing Beast

Questing Beast (kwest-iNG b─ôst)

A mythological creature originating from Arthurian Legend. This beast has the head and neck of a snake, the body of a leopard, and the feet of a hart (I included the haunches of a hart and a snake like tail as well). The name questing is based on the sound the beast makes, which is the sound of barking that comes form the belly. It is said to sound like a pack of hounds questing.

Friday, January 25, 2019

More Sketches


Here are a few more recent sketches from my sketch book. One from the December graduation at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon and the others from a restaurant.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Some thoughts on illustration


A few months ago as I was teaching the Introduction to Illustration at Northern Vermont University, I realized that the use of design principles plus how one composes an image equals the feeling and story. In essence Principle + Composition = Feeling/Narrative.

I am sure I read it somewhere, but it finally hit me in a way that it never has before. It seems simple and yet there is so much in it.

The image is the randomness of my writing on the board during class.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Various Sketches


I am pretty good about bringing my sketch book everywhere I go. I have also started doing random sketch book checks with my students. I don't think they appreciate it when I see them at a movie theater and ask if they have their sketch book.

It is still a challenge for me to draw people from life, but as I do it daily it gets easier. I find that when I stop for a given amount of time my ability to draw and capture likenesses diminishes faster than it takes to build it up again.

Lately, I have been making a conscious effort to draw where ever I am. These are mostly random people from restaurants and community events. My daughter is in the bottom left corner.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Final 5 Plus 1 of my 100 Blue Logos


Here is the last of my 100 Blue Logos Plus 1. This has been another incredible project. I am learning more and more about the vast number of possibilities. Since I have finished, I have thought of even more options. 

I started to do more abstract marks with two of these and some other variations. The 101st was what ended up being a delightful mashing of the letters together.

My next 100 somethings is 100 different grilled cheese sandwiches. I am posting those on my Instagram page on a regular basis. I do not have a deadline for this. The premise is that it needs to have cheese, bread and be grilled. Everything else is up in the air as to variations. It has been wonderfully delicious. I might post some of them here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019

89-93 of 100 Blue Logos

Here is the last variation of the bowler hat blue logo. I then started looking at options with an elephant icon and finally created odd juxtapositions of ideas like a pineapple with blue.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bow Tie Guy of the Week: The Barclayic Spider-Man!


Over the past few years, I have been working on re-imagining popular characters as if I had designed them. I have struggled with Spiderman and Bat Man a bit. After watching Into the Spiderverse last month, I was inspired to re-approach Spiderman again. I found a great solution in keeping his identity with the scarf. Now I need to tackle Bat Man again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

79-83 of 100 Blue Logos

Here are a few more variations. I am realizing that I could go well beyond 100 as ideas come to me faster. AS I am looking at them now, I am seeing even more possibilities.

At 82, I thought of switching from the idea of feeling blue to the positive idea of a bright blue sky. The shift to a warmer blue helped.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

74-78 of 100 Blue Logos

Here I tried something different with the diamond. I was not happy with it. I then started playing with spacing between the letters (tracking) and then coming up with the idea of spelling blue backwards.

While working on these 100 something projects, I am constantly amazed at how long it takes me to come up with a simple variation like spelling the word backwards.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Thursday, January 3, 2019

#59-63 of 100 Blue Logos and an announcement.


It took over half of the 100 logos before I submitted to putting a bow tie on the logo. I took inspiration from Number 58 to create a face with the “L.”

Also, over the past few months, I have been working on marketing for my illustration business. My work can now be seen on the Directory of Illustration. Over the next year there will be more to come.