This is in response to some of the emails I have received. They have begun to repeat themselves so I thought maybe a FAQ would be helpful.
Can I use name of painting or doodle as my icon, header, whatever?
If it is a pre-existing painting or doodle that was not commissioned by someone else and if you give me credit and link to this site then absolutely, go for it. I request that you download the image and host it yourself–it kills my server when someone grabs it from here. If you do host it elsewhere please make sure to give me credit and a link where you host it (for instance, on photobucket or flickr.) If I am not getting paid for the work (and it is work) then I depend on the free advertising I get by being linked.
Can you help me draw better? How do you do what you do?
I am creating a series of art classes to better answer these questions. I am gearing them towards children (home schoolers specifically) but they will work for adults as well. Eventually I will turn them into e-books with more detailed information and help. These take a lot of work and time to produce so bear with me while I write them. I am starting with figure drawing but plan to do drawing faces and working with watercolors in the future.
If you need help sooner I will be glad to help you individually. If you just want some advice or critique send me a copy or a link to what you need help with (a digital photo is fine) and I will offer my advice. If you want ongoing tutoring email me and we will come up with a price that makes it worth my time and that you can afford. If you just need a mentor email me and I will consider.
What brushes/paints/pencils/paper do you use?
I have learned (the hard way) that having good paints and paper make a HUGE difference. That said I prefer a regular mechanical pencil (the cheap ones) for drawing but use quality drawing paper (I like Strathmore).
If I am planning on doing a painting of a doodle I use a Winsor and Newton Cotman Spiral Water Colour Pad (8″x5″) and paint directly over the drawing.
If I am doing a commissioned painting from a photo (more realistic than my doodles) then I work with a Canson cold press watercolor block. It is expensive but well worth it for the quality of the paper and how it absorbs the color.
I use tube watercolors and prefer working with them while still wet when doing a full size painting though for my doodles I use them dried on my palette. When I do use old fashioned clamshell paints I prefer Prang Professional. (I HATE Crayola watercolors and only get the kids Prang as well.)
I use fairly cheap brushes–either sable or synthetic, usually Loew-Cornell which I buy on sale. I HATE the super cheap ones but my kids borrow my brushes so I don’t get expensive ones. If you make sure not to leave the brushes loaded with paint or in the water they last pretty well.
I use a Marvy Gel Excel for inking my doodles. The tip isn’t quite thin enough but I like that it goes on smooth and doesn’t run when it gets wet–important if you get impatient and ink a wet painting.
I photograph my paintings outside on bright days in slight shade using my Canon Photoshot and brighten them in Picasa. If it is rainy I use a lamp with a full spectrum light or my lightbox (which is super easy to make).
Can you paint/draw/doodle a picture of____________ for me?
I work in two different styles at the moment–Doodles (which are more cartoon-y illustrations and cover a wide range of people and things), and real life–which I do from photos and try to accurately portray. If you are interested in a doodle you can find my prices here. If you would prefer a more traditional portrait from a photo the price can be found here. If you are looking for my house portraits the prices can be found here.
If you have a particular project you are working on that you would like my illustrations for please contact me and we can talk. I am available for illustrations for and of a variety of things.