The Ice Cream Man

Sometimes Corgan and I will sit down with an iPad in each of our laps and she will decide what we paint (she loves to be in charge). So we’ll paint for a while and maybe pick it up in a day or so (together or on our own) to finish. Anyhow a few weeks ago we had another one of these sessions and this time she decided we would draw an ice cream man on a bridge in a city … so that was where this one originated. Since I took this one farther than I normally do I figured I’d post it … because who doesn’t like the ice cream man, right?

Here’s Corgan’s final version btw ūüôā

Bear Catches Fish

Man I go from nothing for months to 4 posts within 2 weeks?! Anyhow – here’s another sketch-to-iPad painting that had been sitting around for a while that I’m calling done today. Fortunately¬†I didn’t lose the original this time so here’s the starting point sketch.

¬†The final painted version lost some of the charm of the original sketch I think – but who doesn’t like a sunset by a pond right? I attempted to include the decorative illustration framing in the iPad version but it just didn’t look right so I tossed it.¬†Also for the record this one ended up too dark on computer screens so I had to fuss w/the color in Photoshop so the gradients and color is a bit messy.

PS: This is not that Little Bear character on Nickelodeon … the character voices on that show creep me out!

Owls and Pals

Here’s a new iPad painting I’ve been kicking around a while that I’m finally calling done so I can move on. As with the last one, I started this one from a sketch I did while drawing w/the kids.

I had fun with this one but it definitely reminded me how hard it is to make realistic water – let alone with reflections, shadow and stuff! But I gave it my best shot.

Original Sketch



Odd Scenes of Animals III

The year is starting off a bit off-schedule w/the painting but I am working on a few paintings this month. Maybe I’ll just post a couple a month – to give myself some breathing room. I should have one more done by the end of the month. In any case – here’s another weird one for the “Odd Scenes” series.

For the trivia books, this one was partially inspired by my recent discovery of Bert Monroy – one of the best digital painters I’ve ever come across and one of the pioneers of Photoshop (he wrote the first book on Photoshop!). I would love to own a poster or two of his work but sadly he only sells them directly for $250 (and up) so I’ll have to wait till I have some spare cash to burn. Anyhow, one of the things Bert excels at is making life-like scenes – particularly with still life scenes, shadows, reflections etc. I am not great at those things but I tried a few new things in this piece after checking out Bert’s work. If you consider yourself a fan of art/painting you should definitely check out his stuff!…

Odd Scenes of Animals III

Here are the final two entries for my 2011 365 project. They’re both a bit weak imho but I was running low on free time/brain power these last couple weeks of the year.

The weird pink donut thing was my initial idea for my Dribbble invite contest entry. I ended up going vector for that (here) but I figured I’d finish it (ish) and save it for old time’s sake.

For anyone interested, here’s a link to all the paintings from 2011:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-emerson/collections/72157628671395099/

I still don’t know what kind of painting I’ll be doing in 2012 yet – but I guess we’ll see in a week or two…

Polar Bears and Penguins I

Ok so I’ve done a dozen or so paintings with polar bears and penguins but I’m calling this the 1st in the series … mainly because the alternative is to come up with a name for what’s happening in this scene – and I have no idea what that would be!¬†This painting took me a couple weeks (again) – once again due to being pretty busy w/work and family stuff – but also because I’m still getting the hang of painting w/this “new” app (procreate). Also, my main gripe about this one is that it came out way too pastel once it left the iPad – it was not so saturated on the iPad itself – but whateva.

FYI – I think I will soon hunker down and start using my daily painting time to begin working on this year’s Christmas card – so if ¬†I don’t post for a while that may be why.

Underwater Adventures I

This took me 2 weeks to put together – but a large reason for the long time investment is just the fact that it’s getting harder to sneak in that 15-30 minutes a night. I hope to keep things to 1 week max though.
I think I’ve done an underwater scene or two already (one, two) so I figured I should start a series for it. I used a giant squid in the “Space Adventures” series as well … no doubt due to my fascination with those creatures – every few months I spend an hour or so on YouTube watching videos of research on the hunt for the “giant squid“. This is the first real painting from that new iPad app I started playing with a few weeks ago (procreate) – so the full size is a whopping 1920×1408. My last painting was done with the same app but for some reason I don’t feel like my landscapes are “real” paintings.

Odd Scenes by Moonlight II

This painting is not as horrific as it might seem. I really did imagine the train in a stopped position here – so to all the folks claiming I kill bunnies for sport… untrue! This is another one that looks best on the iPad so the contrast/color is slightly off for PC/Mac screen viewing (all 3 of you with iPads enjoy the knowledge that you’re seeing it as it should be!). I actually have been spending some of my painting-a-day time practicing with another iPad painting app I found recently – but don’t have anything to show from that yet… soon though – stay tuned.

A Bug’s Strife

Here’s another left field one – no idea where this came from. The kids watched bits of “A Bug’s Life” for the first time this past week so maybe this was a subconscious thing. This is a fairly dark scene (brightness-wise) so it doesn’t translate perfectly to a computer screen (compared to the gloriously crisp and bright iPad) – but hopefully you can get the jist of it!

Mouse Balloon Ride in Italy

I’m not an expert in Italy, mice or hot air balloons but that didn’t stop me from spending 7 days on a scene covering all three! The first two days of this was pure line drawing – and it wasn’t until ~Thursday where I got the guts to delete the lines and rely strictly on colors to define the scene. I should have saved the lines for reference but sadly I didn’t. This piece also was a painful reminder that I suck at realistic rock and water – so I’ll try to work on that in the future.

It’s nowhere near what I’d like it to be – this past week was pretty hard to get a good solid chunk of time in each day – but as usual I’m calling it done and moving on to something new tomorrow. It was fun doing though and the kids had a good laugh when they peeked at it during the week.

Crab and a Praying Mantis I

There are only two paintings from this past week – but I spent seven nights on them so they add up to another week for the 365 project. The first one took 5 days and the second (probably obviously) took only 2. My original intentions for this week were to learn to paint a crab – or at least taking a first stab at it. The praying mantis/beach thing was just something that popped into my head so I went with it. Maybe these guys will come back in a future episode if I can think of a storyline around them… for now here’s their debut appearance!

Odd Scenes by Moonlight

I was running on fumes most of last week so I had to take the “multi-day-per-painting” approach again. I really had no theme but after a three were done I realized they were all moonlight-type scenes so I’ll pretend that was my plan all along :). The deer were a stretch (really tricky for me) but I think they came out at least halfway resembling a mammal in the deer family.


Odd Scenes of Animals – 2011/04/17


This week I experimented with giving each painting 2-3 days of time. Technically this was my way of spreading out hour+ paintings across multiple days since this week was so busy. I was pretty dry on ideas as well – so giving each painting two or so days allowed me extra time to think of what to actually include in each scene. Once again I realized this week that I need to do some “studies” eventually on painting general objects – from trucks and cars to animals – because I still have to revert to smoke and mirrors to pretend like I know what I’m painting. The dark one is probably my favorite this week – but sadly it really has to be viewed on an iPad to see the colors/contrast properly.

Hopefully I’ll have more ideas next week so I won’t have to cop out like this again!

The iPad painting era begins!


As some of you already know last week I finally got an iPad! I wasn’t sure if I’d immediately stop painting on the iPhone or not… But after 6 days it seems pretty clear that I’ll probably never go back (unless I’m in a situation where I have no choice for whatever reason).¬†

As things went when the 365 project started in a January it appears that I’ll need a few weeks to get my bearings with the differences with painting on the iPad vs. the iPhone so please cut me some slack if my topics, style and skill are all over the place for a bit. ¬†In any case, I’m very excited to now be able to continue exploring the joy of digital painting on a much larger canvas!¬†

Weird Creatures (365 2011.02.13)

I’m not sure what this past week’s theme was – it started out as weird portraits of animals and insects – but eventually just became “anything weird with some kind of animal in it“. The problem with sticking to a theme is that the first few are spontaneous and fun but the rest of the week turns into a battle to force more paintings to fit into the theme – and ideas don’t always flow that easily at the end of the day at 7:30 PM after the kid’s bath time!
But – as always I had fun – although a couple of them took up more than an hour each(!!) – not because I was striving for perfection but because I kept changing the scenes. I would insert one of my usual disclaimers/apologies here on how badly I painted [X] – but I’ll assume you’ve all read at least one of those by now so hopefully it’s understood. On that note – I hope it’s also understood that I still cringe every time I call each one “finished” because I’d always prefer to spend more time on them all!

Ok – that’s all I’ve got for this week – see you all next week with hopefully some paintings under 20 minutes for once!