Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I'm taking a break from my San Fran piece and have been finishing my Thesis project for grad school. Over the past two and a half years, I have been developing a children's book based on The Ballad of Casey Jones. It has been an exciting project - and it is nearing it's first phase of completion. I will hang the show (8 finished pieces) and defend it this July in Hartford, CT at The University of Hartford. After I graduate, I will start sending it out to publishers and hopefully get it published as a 32-page children's book.

This is the first image, and what will hopefully be the cover of the book.

An interesting fact about this piece is it is the first piece since undergrad (class of 2000) that I used black paint on! Somewhere in school, someone told me that black paint was "the absence of all color" and I felt like it would only muddy up my work. So instead, I started creating my dark values using built up layers of colored paint and Payne's Gray. I've always been happy with my process... until I used actual black paint in this illustration. I loved the richness that was created when I put black paint down next to the vibrant colors. It was a mini-break through that has taken my work to a new level.


  1. I always thought white was the absence of all color and black was a the mixture of all color? What do I know though. Somewhere (at the same school I think) I heard the same thing. I mix black the same way as you. Don't know if I'm ready to take the plunge yet on the premixed :D

    Best wishes on your book Josh. Your work is amazing. You really have a love for what you do and it shows because of the time you put into each piece.

  2. Beautiful work! congratulations on finishing this monumental body of work!

  3. Sean, You could be right. Maybe it's that black absorbs all color and white reflects all color. I know we see "blue" because that pigments absorbs all of the light rays except blue. Blue is then reflected to our eyes and we see it as the color "blue." Does that sound right?
    Thanks for your comments everyone.

  4. Congratulations, Josh. Can't wait to see the work!

  5. How was your thesis? I bet you were able to complete it and a big clap for that when a lot are still working on finding and selecting good thesis ideas. And I hope I would be able to grab a copy once your book has been published and give it to my favorite niece one of these days.