Blue crab with arms outstretched

Crab

His flailing claws were either exclaiming, “Hug me!” or “Get off my lawn!”

From my daily drawings
Crab – pen and inkwash. Drawn with a TWSBI Mini fountain pen (extra fine nib) using Platinum Carbon Ink and shaded with a Kuretake no. 8 fountain brush pen filled with Noodler’s Lexington Gray ink (diluted 4 parts water to 1 part ink). Digital scan adjusted and edited in Photoshop. Color applied in Illustrator.

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Visit my artist shop at Redbubble to purchase this design as a art board, throw pillow or studio pouch.

Crab design decorating a Redbubble art board
Crab design decorating a Redbubble throw pillow
Crab design decorating a Redbubble studio pouch
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Portrait of Linwood

High-Contrast Portrait

In the past month, something has “clicked” for me with my drawings in Illustrator. I’m not sure why it took this long, but I’ve finally graduated from visualizing my drawings primarily as contours/outlines (think of the black outline around most comic and cartoon art), and have shifted to looking at the shapes and contrasts between light and shadow.

This portrait of my wife is based on a photo from our 2014 trip to Toronto. Drawing faces is a big challenge for me (need to spend more time with the sketchbook), but I’m pleased with the way my first Illustrator portrait turned out.

Learn how to create this style of vector portrait by reading my tutorial: How to Create a Vector Portrait

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tuxedo cat illustration

Regal Tuxedo Kitty

Our now departed Kordell Kitty (2014) was a handsome cat. He had tuxedo markings, which brought to mind high social standing, secret agent espionage and royalty. What a nice way to remember him.

In truth, Kordell was not a cat about town. He rarely left the house and was scared of his own shadow. Here’s the source photo for Kordell’s portrait. I think he’d just woken up from a nap, so he looks pretty alert for a cat who spent most of the day in a “coma.”

photo of Kordell sitting on couch

Visit my artist shop at Redbubble to purchase this design as a print, phone case, t-shirt, sticker or throw pillow.

Regal Tuxedo Kitty printed on a throw pillow

Learn how to create this style of vector portrait by reading my tutorial: How to Create a Vector Portrait

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How to Use Opacity Masks in Adobe Illustrator

Opacity masks offer a easy-to-edit, non-destructive way to change the transparency of your Illustrator artwork by creating shapes through which the underlying artwork is revealed and concealed.

So, when might you want to use an opacity mask?

Here are two practical examples that were adapted from questions asked on the graphic design question-and-answer site Graphic Design Stack Exchange. Continue reading “How to Use Opacity Masks in Adobe Illustrator”

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Low Poly Chihuahua illustration

Low Poly Chihuahua

I decided to give our little dog Mouse the low poly treatment. He’s a “bit” smaller than his cousin. Also, Mouse gets an orange background, since his “mom” attended Clemson University.

Learn how to create low poly art by reading my tutorial: How to Create a Low Poly Dog in Adobe Illustrator

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