Thursday, July 02, 2015

Birds We've Seen With our Oculars and Binoculars - Volume 1 - Some of North America

Yoooo! We’ve finally collected a bunch of illustrations and felt works of birds Sarah and I have seen together with our own eyeballs in to one book. Over 60 species of birds we’ve seen from the backyards of Chicagoland to State and National Parks across the United States. Part art book. Part field guide. Part travel journal. This is a personal project we’ve been chipping away at for years now and to see it finally completed and in print beyond fun for us.
It’s 144 pages in a 5” x 7.5” perfect bound softcover packed with sketches, paintings, needle felted adorableness, photos, facts and tidbits.

Copies can be purchased at our NEW ETSY SHOP!

They will also be available for purchase in person at this years San Diego Comic-Con 

We seriously hope people enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Thanks bunches everyone and enjoy the day!

For the latest art updates you can follow me on instagram @thehorsepuppy

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wolverine and Nightcrawler

I've been slacking on the posts lately. Been busy busy working and drawing for sure, but have really fallen behind on keeping the blog updated.  Here are my takes on two of my childhood favorite Marvel characters! I drew these specifically for this years comic-con and had a blast creating them. 

On a side note, I finally jumped on board and created an Instagram account. I'm "thehorsepuppy" on Instagram.  While I will definitely continue to update artwork here, I might be a touch quicker posting stuff to Instagram. Hit me up on Instagram if you want to see the latest.

Enjoy the day,

Friday, August 01, 2014


I got a chance to visit the San Diego Zoo while I was attending Comic-con this year.  The Koala exhibit they had was absolutely spectacular. It looked like each Koala had his own little tree top condo with all the eucalyptus they could ever want along with some nice comfy resting spots (they sleepytime Champions!). They even had cooling mist stations to beat the heat. Super cool and a well thought out exhibit.

Koalas are one of those animals where it's understood that they are cute and fuzzy, but man I haven't seen a koala in person for a while now. They are RIDICULOUS cute. Covered in fuzz and sleeeeepy little tufts of straight eucalyptus nibbling adorableness. I HAD to sketch these guys. I didn't get to do these at the zoo but went to town at a friends house this week drawing Koalas!

*The black rhino was the zoo's re-entry stamp for the day. 

Thanks for taking a peek and enjoy the day,

Monday, July 28, 2014

Comic-Con 2014

Comic-Con 2014 has wrapped up and what a blast it was. Great times with great friends old and new. Back home and fully recharged and inspired to the MAX! To all who stopped by to check out my art, buy a print/bird or to just say hello... THANK YOU! It's such a treat to meet so many people and share what I enjoy. If you missed out on a print or just wanna drop a line and say hi, don't hesitate to contact me at If you missed out on one of Sarah's needle felted birds you can thumb through them at and send her an e-mail with any requests. Again a huge thank you everyone who stopped by and shared in the fun. Keep being awesome! Now I'm off to get cranking on that bird book. LET'S DO THIS! 


Friday, June 20, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lovely Day for a Stroll

Finished up this piece over the weekend. Super fun working large for a change. Making art is always fun, but making art for conservation purposes is the ultimate combo for me.  Had an ear to ear grin the entire time I was painting this. This going to be available for silent auction at "Longnecks for Longnecks" a Giraffe Conservation Foundation fundraising event this week. More information about the event below.  If you're in the area come on down, raise a couple brewskies for the giraffeskies and help raise some dough for a great foundation. 

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
6:00 pm
Irish Times Pub & Restaurant 
8869 Burlington Ave, Brookfield, IL 60513
Donations benefit the Giraffe Conservation Foundation

In lieu of the 25% discount on food (for zoo staff and volunteers only) at Irish Time Pub and Restaurant, the 25% will be donated to Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

Non zoo crew members can also show their support! Just let the good people at Irish Times know you're there for the event and 15% of your tab will be donated for the cause!

There will also be a silent auction with giraffe themed art.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Giant Salamander (Andrias japonicus)

Watched a neat show about these guys at friends house a bit ago. Finally got around to tossing him in to the sketchbook this week. 

They are super neat GINOURMOUS nocturnal amphibians. Totally a  living relic form the Upper Jurassic period that can grow up to 5 feet in length. They are born with gills, and as they mature the gills disappear.  The rest of their adult life is spent gill-less and breathing through their skin. Apparently when these guys get spooked they excrete a super stinky milky substance that smells like pepper. Wow! Describing them sounds like a series of insults. You aint nothin but a big, beady-eyed, slimy, skin breathin', night walkin', pepper smellin' chump! hahaha. 

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Speed Painting

Tried my hand at speed painting last night. Lately I've been kind of getting down on myself with how slow I can be when working on seemingly simple pieces. I tend to overthink things waaaay to much and constantly find myself wrapped up in limitations either prescribed by work/clients or myself. While I do enjoy problem solving, I'm finding I need some sort of mental rinse before I crash out for the night. Otherwise I'll just end up staring at the black ceiling stewing about how much work I have ahead of me or how I could of done things differently. 

Enter Speed Painting. I've been eyeballing a bunch of amazingly talented artists throw down some digital pieces crazy quick to either warm up, do some value studies, or just blow my mind with how awesome they are. It was super intimidating to me. Time limits!!! Out of my comfort zone looking stuff!!! No Plan???  NO GRACIAS!...buuuut I figured why not at least give it a try. 

I gave myself 20 minutes with some photo reference and gave it a go.  This is what I got done. While I can come up with a million things I did wrong with this piece I'm not sweating it. 
This was crazy satisfying! It served its purpose of letting me cut loose, zone out for 20 minutes and not obsess over the decisions or process. Just make marks and move on making changes, adding stuff, reworking areas on the fly. It felt really organic and way more fluid than I expected. I really enjoyed doing this and it got the rendering bug out of my system for sure. As an added bonus I slept like a baby last night. While I wont be giving up my sketchbook any time soon...this was a welcome break and help me tackle some fears for sure. Fun times!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sketches from the Prairie

Sketched these up a couple weeks ago during an afternoon trip the Wolf Road Prairie. Have no clue as to what species of plants these are, but I visited the same spot this past weekend and the plants have quadrupled in size. The purpley plant actually developed broad green leaves as it matured. The Wolf Road Prairie is a real neat little pocket of preserved prairie nestled in suburbia. Great spot to catch spot some wildlife and see some gorgeous wildflowers. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Godzilla Sketches

Saw Godzilla this week so I figured I'd share some sketches I did of the big green city stomping machine. Totally going to flesh one out and toss some color at it once I get on the other side of some projects. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Morel Mushrooms from my yard!

This week I found some wild Morel mushrooms growing right out my front door. If mushrooms are your thing, these guys are crazy delicious. I drew the pair up in my new sketchbook. They are gnarly, wrinkled kinda gross looking mushrooms so I tried my best to paint up a softer cuter version. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)

Cracked open a brand new sketchbook this week. Still getting the feel for the paper in here and how it takes to watercolor. Gonna take a bit of getting used to, but colors really do seem to pop on it.

Saw my first Scarlet Tanager of the season on a lunchtime walk at work this week. They are crazy bright and an awesome summertime bird to try and spot. Figured this guy was worthy of the first page of the new sketchbook. The first page is always the most intimidating for me but with this guy out of the way, hopefully I can fill this book with drawings that are actually good.

Friday, May 02, 2014


Finally hit the last page of my toned paper sketchbook. Sarah has been referring to this as potato paper since I bought the book. When she asked what I was going to draw in this thing, all I could answer with was. "I dunno...Potatoes or somethin'? (in my best Sylvester Stallone voice) Boom! Last page gets loaded with potatoes. haha. From left to right Idaho Burbank, Red Russet, Yukon Gold, Sweetie Potato, and Purple Fingerling. It's been awesome sketching in this thing and I'm excited to move on to another book! Game on!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Allosaurus fragilis

Nearing the end of this toned paper sketchbook and I'm still on a naturalist painting kick. It's been a long time since I've watercolored dino bones. Soooo much fun.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona crucifera)

Felt crazy inspired by some wonderful naturalist painting prints I picked up last weekend. Me and a friend sketched some spiders over lunch off of some photos I had taken in West Virginia a few years back. These guys would creep out nightly and make webs in between the cross beams of the porch. We'd sit for hours, chill, laugh, enjoy the night sky and maybe even feed a couple of a stray moth or two. Great memories from those trips. The raccoon vertebrae I sketched up at another friends house that evening.