Tag Archives: illustrations

Monster Prints- Series 6 Dark Fairy Tales

I’ve just gotten my prints for Dark Fairy Tales series of Monster Prints. So excited to see these new ones printed for the first time! For those of you keeping track this is the 6th year in the series. I can’t believe it’s been 6 years since I’ve started these, and my overall 7th at Fan Expo Canada. They will be available for purchase at Fan Expo at $15 each. If you aren’t going and are interested in purchasing them, please email me at kgrachow@jnkimagery.com

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Aceyus- A prelude to what’s coming

I did a series of illustrations for Aceyus, a company that was in need of art for a few trade shows. They released one of the images, so I can now post it on the interwebs. Once all of them have been released I’ll do a full blog post on my process for the different pieces which presented some new challenges.

 

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The Business of Being an Artist – Baba Yaga

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

I am finally finished with Series 5 Monster prints. Baba Yaga was the character I had the least knowledge of and is probably the less well known of the three. I had really no idea about her other than she was a witch of Eastern European decent. The only time I’d ever seen her was in a Mike Mignola Hellboy story. What I wanted to do was something different from the other two monster prints, story-wise. The Invisible Man as I interpreted him was driven mad by his formula of invisibility and as a result attacked the woman he loved. The Phantom is again a mad character, but this time driven to take the woman he desires by destroying the man that is in his way. With Baba Yaga, she is a character that straddles good and evil. Sometimes she guides those in the forest that are lost, and at other times guides them to their destruction. With this illustration I wanted to capture that feeling that Baba Yaga may or may not be your friend. Continue reading

Up-In-The-Sky Cut Outs

Today I officially start pages on my next children’s book Above a Planet Named Up-In-The-Sky. I can’t believe this is the third book in the series! Here’s a little art to whet your appetite. It comes from a cut out series of characters we plan on putting on our convention tables starting in October.  The cutouts will be about a foot by a foot and be present on tables where we are selling our book series Up-In-The-Sky. Here are the roughs to the cutouts.                                        character-cut-outs-roughs-web

Here is the finished piece.

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Monster Series 5- Phantom of the Opera- Roughs

Having a grand old time working on these prints. While I’m familiar with the Phantom from movies and Broadway, I wanted to do something with my own spin, so I  mashed up the Lon Chaney character with the Andrew Lloyd Webber version. Here are the roughs with full colour to follow soon.

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The Business of Being an Artist – The Invisible Man

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

Here is the finished illustration for The Invisible Man, my series 5 Monster Print. A fair bit of prep work goes into the illustration before the actual finished illustration. A lot of it is visualizing what you want and working out solutions to possible problems that might arise. And going back to basics always helps. One of the first steps is thinking about the composition, and how line and colour moves the eye around. I also try to create a story so that also helps dictates what is happening in the illustration.

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So once I figured those things out, a lot of the illustration kind of falls into place. You can also see that while most of the major decisions for composition were made in the rough pencil stage, I did make some adjustments once I got to the colours. The biggest being that I added a bit more story to the part where The Invisible Man is carrying his wife. I wanted to also have the composition coming off of the print as well, to hint at a larger world and to give the eye a bit more secondary interest from the main elements. The most technically difficult aspect was figuring out how to make the Invisible Man invisible, while still being able to see him. Continue reading

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The Business of Being an Artist – New Website

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

I’ll make this short and sweet. My website is finished! My website is finished! Well, the infrastructure is all done. Now it’s time for me to add content, go through the existing content and update it, or just get rid of content that doesn’t represent me any more. It’s always a work in progress, but now I can officially show it off to the world in all of its glory!

 

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The Business of Being an Artist – Collaboration

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

I get asked often enough by writers to collaborate that I thought I’d write a post on my thoughts on this. I’ve actually written about this in my FAQ section of the website, but I thought it’s important enough to talk about in a blog post. What is the significance of NFCC2015-Howardtheduck-WIPHoward the Duck in this post? Nothing, other than I just drew it at the Niagara Falls Comic Con and really thought it came out well. Here’s the information I give from my FAQ page.

Do you want to collaborate on a comic book or children’s book? Can I send you my pitch?

I’m going to ask you a few questions first, which may help answer the questions-

Are you an established writer or just beginning your craft?

Is this a work for hire project or a 50/50 collaboration?

Do you have a budget and is it one where you can pay someone a liveable wage?

Now if you have a budget but no experience or very little, then we may be able to start on something. However be aware that you are also hiring me as a consultant and as such you need to trust I know what I’m doing and give me the lee-way to do it. All of these things cost money, so make sure you have a reasonable budget. To give you an idea, it may take me a couple of days to create a single page of art. I am flexible in regards to pay, but it needs to be something that I can live off of. So think of what you would want to make in a full day of work, and then figure out the amount of pages that you want to have created. Add in the time that it takes to put the book together, as well as consulting which may be a couple of extra weeks time. That may give you an idea of how much budget you have to have to get your story created. It can get very expensive!

Continue reading

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The Business of Being an Artist – Toronto Comiccon and ECCC 2015

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

Whew! Wow! Those are the words that pretty much some up the last few weeks of going to cons. Both Toronto Comic Con and Emerald City Comic Con were successful and exhausting both in it’s own right. I’m happy to be on the other side of them, so that I can focus on Arcane Awakening for the next month, and so that I can gear up for the next wave of cons in May and June. But I’m also still absorbing the lessons learned from each one, and that’s what I want to go over in this post. Continue reading

Keith Grachow's Biography

The Business of Being an Artist – Toronto Comic Con 2015

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.
Convention season is starting up for me, so what that means is that I will be on the road for the next several months, meeting lots of new artists and fans as well as selling my wares. First stop is Toronto, which is my old haunting ground. It’s always fun to do a show in T.O. because I get to see friends I haven’t seen since the last Toronto comic con. I also get to apply some of the tweaks to my table presentation, as well as try out elevator pitches on new products. It’s all around exciting and scary, even though I’ve been doing this for half a dozen years now. For next week’s blog I will report on how Toronto went, the trials and tribulations of the show as well as my take a ways to apply for the next con. Hope to see you all there!

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