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Michael Novak Illustration

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Finished Fire Truck Art

*Update – Finally have a better image to share:

Fire Truck - Entire Image

Fire Truck

Final Fire Truck Art

Here is the final artwork in my son’s room. He helped me paint the red. When anyone comes into his room to see it, he makes sure to tell them that fact.

Fire Truck for My Little Fire Fighter


My son, who just turned 3, moved into a new bedroom in anticipation of the birth of our daughter. To celebrate I thought I would work on some artwork with him. He loves anything having to do with fire fighting and he has really enjoyed helping paint the red on the truck.

Here is a peak at the work in progress.

fire truck

Brooke Annibale

I discovered Brooke’s music today and am really impressed. Her newest album “Silence Worth Breaking” can be downloaded from Welcome to my playlist Brooke.

How to Draw the Eyes

This video series is fun and very informative. It’s by Stan Prokopenko. Thanks to the folks at Muddy Colors for keeping me updated.


Here are the other videos in the series:

Head Part 1 (Any Angle):

Head Part 2 (Front View):

Head Part 3 (Side View):

Head Part 4 (Extreme Angle):

Gary Kelley Sketch

I did this sketch from a Gary Kelley illustration. I absolutely love the emotional story telling in Gary’s original artwork, which is from the book “And the Soldier’s Sang“. I’m trying to figure out how to capture that in my own drawings.

Shelter – WIP Final

Here is the final charcoal drawing for the Shelter project. The next step is to add some color. I generally do this with watercolor because of the ability to be subtle and to rework it.

And here is a detail.

This has been a favorite project of mine. I would like to hear any thoughts that anyone might have.

Shelter – WIP Initial Drawing

Here is the initial drawing. I do this all freehand to just establish the proportions. That way I can focus on other things while doing the final drawing.

Below is a closeup.

By Michael Novak

Shelter – WIP

Here is a work in progress. I’ll start with the photo reference, as all of the ideation (sketching) was either in my head or in Photoshop. I like to work digitally in the beginning, but the final is all done with traditional materials.

The first two photos (along with many others that aren’t shown) were taken a couple of day apart.

I then used Photoshop to come up with a final reference shot. I hated to lose some of the cool things about the truck, and really went back and forth on the composition. Ultimately I decided that I shouldn’t be married to “cool things” that don’t push the idea. I wanted this picture to be an intimate view of a child who was hiding from something. So below is the final result:

I also created a version with only 4 tones of gray. There was a great post about tonal design on James Gurney’s blog. Here is my result:

Tomorrow I will post my initial drawing for the final piece.

By Michael Novak

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