[Wilderness] is good for us when we are young, because of the incomparable sanity it can bring briefly, as vacation and rest, into our insane lives. It is important to us when we are old simply because it is there—important, that is, simply as an idea.

— From “Wilderness Letter,” Wallace Stegner, 1960


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Filed under Bandlands, Photography, Wilderness

Traditional Illustration

In my last post I scanned my pencil drawing of a purebred cattleman with his prize herd sire. I enhanced it with Photoshop. Since then I took a mix of cadmium orange and burnt amber and did a wash over the drawing to create a monochromatic painting (above). I’m still a traditionalist. I like the wash better than the digital color. The wash does a better job of creating a look and feel and maintaining subtle tones and detail. However, putting a wet brush to a completed drawing is not for the faint of heart. I understand why many artist are finishing their art with Photoshop, because you can’t undo (cmd + Z) a bad paint job.

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Prize Hereford Bull

9×6, graphite on watercolor paper. Color changed in Photoshop.

My uncle with his herd sire. A registered Hereford bull. This was back in the day when purebreds were vertically challenged (short legs).

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Adding Color

22 x 9 inch graphite on heavy watercolor paper.

I’m working on some agriculturally related illustrations for an up coming publication. When I started the illustration above I kept anding texture and value. I got way more detailed than I intended. I liked the way it looked. When I showed it to the client they said , “add color.” So I did. Adding color for me is dipping a brush in water and paint and going for it. A lot of color these days are added digitally. I still can’t duplicate what I can do with a brush. I can’t undo it, but hey, that’s half the fun. Below are the results.

22 x9 inches, Watercolor washes over graphite on watercolor paper.



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Spring Time Illustration

Working on an illustration to show spring time on the great plains. Black fields are replaced with stubble to catch moister as no-till is common now. Spring planting  is just around the corner. The geese are already passing over us on their northward journey.

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Filed under Illustrations, North Dakota, Painting

VP #85: Holy Mackerel

I just did a version of this one for science. This one’s for faith. I’m sure this pun has been done many times, but this is my version.

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Iditarod 2018: Vet Book

The 46th running of the Iditarod kicked off in earnest on Sunday with its 2:00 pm restart in Willow, AK yesterday (3/4/2018). Above is a spread lifted from my Iditarod journal. It shows the “Vet Book” that all mushers are required to carry from checkpoint to checkpoint. The bright yellow covers make these little, waterproof notebooks easy to spot in the pocket of a sled when the head checkpoint vet needs to sign off on the mandatory vet checks.

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Filed under Iditarod, Sketch Book