Monday, March 25, 2013


Hey, there!
I am running out of creative titles for this blog so I'm not wasting my energy on it this week--I'll think really hard for next week, though!
  I've been working further on my "Princess and the Dragon" story (which is inspired by St. George and the Dragon, I hope know that story--it's the original and quintessential dragon-slayer story!!) and I have a good outline and some solid art for it which means I'm now ready to move on to the next story I'm developing.  Are you wondering how many stories I'm currently developing?  Well, that would be 5--omg, how did that happen??  I'm working on them very systematically so as not to become overwhelmed--it's kind of working.  You may wonder why I'm doing all this and I will say to you that this is just one of those times in life when I hold the answers to the mystery. That happens so rarely.... I kinda like it. :-)
  But I will share with you some of what I've been doing this week....I really like how these characters are looking and I'm pretty much settled on the color of the dragon, however, I'm open to your feedback so if you have a strong preference please let me know via email!  Now check it out:

Here is Helen, Adam and Rapunzel, the cat.  On a mission to slay a dragon.....

Here are some color ideas for the dragon--I'm torn between the green or the red but I've settled on the green b/c I think it works best overall and you'll see you look further on that I did try a lot of different options before settling.....

Here are just the black lines! I love just the black line....

Here is the red dragon option--I think the red is too overpowering, so I decided to try a softer color--this is a story primarily aimed at girls, after all....
I do really like how this purple looks but, as you may have noticed  above, Rapunzel the cat is also purple and therefore the dragon can NOT be purple....those are the rules!
And so here we are--ironically I started with this color, went through almost the whole spectrum and came right back this color.....SIGH....that's how it goes, sometimes.  Luckily, I'm very determined and not easily discouraged.  I'm also quite charming. ;)
 So I'm pretty happy with how that all looks and I happen to love the story so I'm at a very happy stopping point and ready to move on to the next story--which is completely different in tone and style!  It's for very young readers and it's a very simple tale of cause and effect--so obviously it's about a cat and a dog, stuck at home, alone, trying to clean up a big mess they made before their people get home--oops!  Check out my very preliminary sketches (because I literally just started working on this last night 45 minutes before bedtime)

Molly, the dog and Napolean, the 19th century European dictator--I mean the CAT--JK!!  although, FYI, he's named after the FIRST Napolean--that's very important!! (:

Well, thank you for visiting my studio--I want you to know that I'm extremely busy right now so it's a testimony to my love for you all (well.... mostly love for my art--honesty is important!!) that I'm posting right now!  So sorry that I have to hastily depart, but, like I said--busy, busy, busy little bee!!  I hope you like what I'm working on--there will be more to see very soon, I promise.
Thanks for the visit--come back next week for more art stuff that you love!
Love, Beckarooooo

Monday, March 18, 2013

3.18.13 A for a change of pace ... Dragons!

Hey Everyone!
Well, as you will see by the work I'm posting this week, my focus has changed slightly.  I'm working on  a new story--I've been doing mostly writing so I only have some sketches to show but I promise next week there will be some fun, full color pictures to look at!
  I don't want to reveal too much about the story so all I will say is there are princesses, knights, dragons AND Giraffe-icorns!  I know, I'm blowing your mind--but you love it so I won't stop!

Here are some sketches:

You can't have a fairy tale without a castle!  Here's my first attempt.
Here are the two main characters and their cat:  

A Princess, a Knight and a feline.  Watch out, world!

Check out my dragon!  It's a LADY dragon, see how graceful she is? 

 She's a komodo dragon meets a snake meets a .... lizard-bat, I guess...?

And here is the Princess and the Dragon--as you can see, this won't be your typical princess/dragon story--and it won't be your typical NOT-typical princess story, either!  

Next week in color, I swear!

Last but not least, for your pleasure, (and because I really wanted to post something in color!) here is Sayid, the side-kick with his magic flute--with it he can control you emotions so watch out, ladies!  ;)

  I think Sayid is one of my most favorite characters!  He is the most fun to draw but also very annoying because all those spots are a pain!  but they always looks good.  Giraffes always look good, don't you think?

  Well, Thanks so much for the visit but now, as usual for this time of the year, I'm getting swamped!  It's time for me to get back to work or else I will risk having nothing new to post next week!  Some things just aren't post-able, you understand.  At least, for a certain period of time they aren't.
  Luckily, today there is another blizzard which means I'll be skiing  a few more times before the end of the season, after all--thank you, Minnesota!!
Be well, my friends!
Love, Beckarooooo!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

3.11.13 three eleven three!!

Hey, guys!
So, this week I've been focused more on "Phantom of the Opera" which is always fun for me! The scene I've decided to focus on is the Masquerade on the Grand Escalier.  I'm also working on that part of the script so I will be posting some layouts of pages soon--swoon, Phantom Lovers--it's going to be amazing!  And I'm not worried at all about living up to that statement, FYI--in fact go ahead and get your hopes up--they will be rewarded.
  So this last week I've been working on a conceptual image for this scene that I will be able to use as reference as I go on to finish the pages for the graphic novel.  This image, as you can see, is really complex and, once again, I wondered if I had gotten in over my head but, as it turns out, all my obsessive drawing of the Paris Opera House pays off, again.  I am so close to being able to accurately draw that place without a reference--from multiple angles, too!  That's going to make drawing this graphic novel WAY easier.
 Now, on to the art!

This looks better in real life--it's a two-page spread in my sketchbook.  At first this was going to be very centered on Raoul and Christine but then I decided the focus more on the vastness of the space around them and the craziness of the crowd.

As you can see I decided to make this a taller format--have you taken a close look at the paintings on the ceiling? There is some crazy stuff going on up there!
The final black lines.  I gotta be honest, I hate how this looks right now.  I can't put any value in the image at this point because the color is going to doing all of that but the value is a really important part of the composition so it's just not working for me right now--it's just a jumble of lines!! I will get to coloring ASAP--I can't live like this!!!
SO!  I have a lot of work ahead of me and I'm going to take my time on this--but hey!  did you notice I threw a little self-portrait in there--"Where's Waldo style?"  I posed myself like how I always pose in photos--so happy hunting!

This is a fun thing I did a couple of weeks ago:  a commission for a portrait of a fabulous doggy who died not too long ago.  He loved the water the most so I put him in the water--he was a really good dog!  At first I was worried about capturing the right feeling because he was such a good and special doggy but when I sat down to draw, the final image came immediately and felt perfect right away--just like it was always meant to be!  It's such an amazing experience when it isn't at all a struggle, you know what I mean?  (:

Awwww!!!  Kirby!!  what a cutie!

Why don't I do things like this for my own pets??  Next on the  to-do list!
I'm so pleased with this image and FYI, Kirby's people loved it, too--I believe there were some tears, even!  That's the best reaction you can get so I'm very pleased.  I think I get to have an extra treat this week as a reward.  That would be a fun day of skiing, normally, but, alas!  the snow is already on it's way out. :-(  I don't think anything it quite as much fun as skiing...maybe I should take up sky-diving??  I obviously need to move to either Colorado or Switzerland.

Well, now, I am going to get back to work--then I'm going to do some yoga--I can do a head-stand now and I find that being upside-down as much as possible seems to be the key to happiness--at least for weirdo artsy types like myself--but I'm sure it's true for everyone, even the left-brained people!
TRY IT--you'll be like, "thanks for telling me about that, Beckaroo, my life is so much happier now!"
You are so welcome, as always!
Till next time, internet friends!

Monday, March 4, 2013

03.04.13 More Phantom Art!

Hello, there, internet friends!
Welcome back to my (Beckaroo's) studio and I'm so happy you are here because I just finished this illustration of Christine Daae, from "The Phantom of the Opera," singing on stage at the Paris Opera House and I love Love LOVE it!  This image has been in my head for years--I drew the first really solid sketch of it over a year ago.  I did a ton of sketching since then of the space and of course, designing Christine and her dress.   And it was so smart that I did all that because when I sat down to finally produce this image it didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would! I found that I knew every little detail already and it was a little like putting together a puzzle I had already put together many times.
 So Satisfying! (so much so it got a capital 'S')
On to the art!!

An extremely small sampling of sketches.

The final sketch.  I LOVE this drawing.  I gets to live and not be recycled.

Here are the final black lines.  With this image what I'm really trying to say is:  I am REALLY good at drawing.   I hope that's coming across clearly...?  (:

Here is the image with only the color and no lines on top.  I'm so pleased with how this looks that I could  just leave it but the lines add that little bit of detail that I love so much.

"The Chandelier"  The final image.  LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.  that's the only word I have for this image.  That's mostly because the  English Language is very limited in that way.  

Here are some practice images of Christine Daae.  Someday I'll have a dress like that.  Someday.  (:

   I titled this image "The Chandelier" but that is only temporary.  I'm open to more poetic suggestions but that has never been my thing.  Poetry, I mean. The title suggests, as I'm sure you are also made aware by the compositional elements that draw your eye upward, that this picture is really about the chandelier and less about Christine.  As anyone who knows the story of "The Phantom of the Opera" knows, the chandelier incident is one of the bigger parts of the story.  YOu also may have noticed (if you know the Paris Opera House) that that is NOT the Marc Chagall painting up there.  That's because Chagall was a 20th century artist and this stroy takes place in 1881.  I have tried and tried and failed to find any reference to what the painting was that used to be there so I finally decided to just make it the heavens with angels and stuff because that's what is in the Foyer.  Consistency, anyway.  Plus it goes along with the story. you know, "Angels of Music" and whatnot.

This actually isn't the only thing I've done this week but the other image I did was a commission so I will be posting it next week, after I present it.  It's pretty freaking cute, just FYI.

  Well, I hope you've enjoyed this week's peek into my studio!  As always, questions and comments are welcome via email and I have a new email address so be sure to double check!!
Thanks for the visit and thanks for all the Phantom love that's been coming my way!  Is there any better kind of love??
Love, Beckarooooo!!!