A few years ago, I was hired to create a portrait of Noah that was to be used as Noah’s profile picture on Facebook. Yes, you read that right. Noah was going to join Facebook.
Answers in Genesis, the organization in Kentucky behind the Creation Museum in Petersburg, had announced back then that they were going to build a full-scale replica of Noah’s ark. I was told by the ad agency hiring me that they wanted to set up a Facebook page for Noah where he could talk about the new Ark Encounter theme park, and answer questions from kids and the like. Well, tomorrow the Ark Encounter opens in Williamstown, Kentucky after all these years of planning and building. I’ve seen pictures, and think it looks pretty neat!
Sadly, I don’t think Noah ever joined Facebook. I never saw this portrait used there as it was meant to have been. So, five years after having painted him, it is time to let him “out of the ark” so to speak. His look is based on photos of Noah mannequins on display in the Creation Museum, but hopefully with a little more life and a twinkle in his eye. (Museum mannequins tend to creep me out a bit.)
This Noah was created with watercolor paint and colored pencils, just as they would have used back in Noah’s day. Well, maybe not EXACTLY like back then, but certainly no digital art methods were used back then.
Actually, come to think of it, it makes sense that they would have had WATERcolors available. (rimshot)
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Today is what we call here in the States “Good Friday.” It is traditionally the day set aside to remember the death of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. In a country that continues to turn its back on God, it is amazing that we have a national holiday for this event where banks and government offices are closed, and most people have the day off from work. It is called “Good” because the Son of God’s sacrifice for mankind, in which He took upon Himself the sins of the world, made a way for those who believe to enter into heaven one day.
Isaiah 53 predicted the coming of the Messiah and what He would do for us, and Matthew 27 gives a full account of what happened that fateful day so many years ago when the Messiah did come and fulfill the prophesy. Matthew 28 continues the history of those days by telling us of Christ’s resurrection, which is what Easter celebrates.
The particular moment of this drawing comes from Matthew 27:32 which says, “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.” Simon, a man from the crowd, was called out to carry Christ’s cross to the hill where Jesus would be crucified.
This drawing was one of a half dozen or so new drawings recently added to the Generations of Grace Sunday school curriculum for kids. It comes in black and white for the kids to color when they learn this lesson in church. To learn more about Generations of Grace and if you think it would be a good program for your church to use, feel free to CLICK HERE.
Quite a few years ago I began drawing what turned out to be over 500 coloring book style pages of accounts from the Bible that became the Generations of Grace Sunday school curriculum. They crafted a three year curriculum for kids where not a single piece of art was used twice in that time, and it was designed for several age groups in the elementary grades so that all the kids in a family would learn the same lesson on their level each Sunday. It was a pretty neat approach.
Two years ago, those behind the curriculum wanted to colorize all my drawings for a new published version of the curriculum they intended to do. Some other artists began coloring them, but with so many drawings and a tight deadline, the task was great. So, I was invited back in to color my art as well, having to now follow the coloring style established by other artists. I managed to get about 20 or so pieces colored in-between other jobs I was working on last year, but to even get those done, I was so glad to get my pal and fellow artist Andy Heckathorneto help me.
Andy would first prep the drawings to prepare them for color, then he would go in and lay in all the flat base colors in Photoshop from his studio in Pennsylvania. He would hand them off to me here in California, and I’d add in all the shading. We were a good team!
All that being said, since this week many thoughts are turned to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross with it being Easter here in the United States, I wanted to share with you the one piece Andy and I colored from that account of Christ’s life – the moment when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus in the garden that led to the Roman soldiers taking Him away to what would eventually be his crucifixion.
If you are interested in this art for your own church, or even for use in your own home, I recommend you check out all the different formats Generations of Grace has to offer for sale on their website. They have teacher lesson books, craft books, activity books, coloring books, and even a family devotional book so the whole family can keep up with the lessons together each day. CLICK HERE to go to their website.
As we enter into the Christmas week, amidst all the hustle and bustle, keep in mind the sobering thought that God came to earth as Jesus to live among men and save those who believe from our sin. Now THAT is something to celebrate! Merry Christmas indeed!
Christmas creeped up on me this year. I would love to share with you a brand new Christmas card, check but alas, life and work prevented me from being able to sit down and create a painting this year. These past few months have provided some freelance work, a vacation to Eastern Europe, long hours at the animation studio, and trying to prepare my home for a parental Christmas visit. So, for the first time in almost twenty years, a new card is not to be.
However, I would like to dust off one of my previous cards created before this blog ever existed. This is one of my favorites first seen in 2001 by maybe only 200 families. It really gets to the essence of what Christmas is all about – that God willingly came to earth in the form of a man ready to save mankind from our sins if we let Him.
I know not everyone celebrates Christmas for one reason or another, but I do. Christmas is a holiday that means very much to me as one who believes the words of John 3:16-17. It is sobering to truly realize that Christ was born for us. From the bottom of my heart, I hope that wherever you may be in this world, and wherever you may be in this life, the reality of Christ will be yours. Merry Christmas.
While most of what I draw and paint skews mostly to the cartoony side of life, now and then projects arise that just deal with type. I actually was trained in school as a graphic designer where dealing with type is VERY common, but I never worked as one. My focus was always illustration and cartooning, so it is interesting when illustration projects come up that deal with typography.
A few weeks ago I was approached with a project to help out my Sunday school class. The class name is called GraceLife, and they already had a logo designed years ago that they used for everything. For this piece, they wanted the logo given a handmade treatment. It was to be used on the cover of a keepsake book for one of our class’ pastors who was leaving us to pastor a church in Ohio.
So, it was drawn on a beige piece of Canson paper, given an ink wash, some red watercolor paint, and a dash of white highlights. It was then finished up with colored pencils and a spritz of ink from a toothbrush.
Earlier this week I had a little fun with the secular side to what many people call Easter, but to the Jews this is the Passover celebration, and to those who follow the New Testament of the Bible, this is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Born of Jewish lineage (traceable to Israel’s second king, David, and earlier), Christ was celebrating Passover with His twelve apostles at the beginning of the events that this weekend celebrates. He had spent the past few years fulfilling Old Testament prophecy as the Messiah which many rejected in Israel. That night after the Passover supper, Christ was betrayed by one of His apostles, Judas Iscariot, into the hands of Roman soldiers and was ultimately slain on a wooden cross. As the Bible states in the books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Jesus was buried, and then raised Himself back to life three days later. The purpose of these actions was that, following the Jewish tradition of killing an animal as a sacrifice for sin, Christ’s death was an act of the ultimate sacrifice to take upon Himself the sins of mankind past, present and future – something that could only truly be taken on by the Creator himself. Death wouldn’t have been enough. His resurrection proved His authority as God. That, in a nutshell, is what Easter is all about to true Christians.
A few years back I drew over 500 coloring book style pictures for a Sunday school curriculum called Generations of Grace. In 2009 I shared with you here on the blog many drawings from the Resurrection series of events, with a much more detailed biblical account of the meaning of Easter. If you would like to see those, feel free to CLICK HERE.
Today’s drawing is a part of that series not shared before. These are some stand alone figures from Christ’s death that Sunday school teachers could use with the kids to color and cut out to create their own Mt. Calvary (Golgotha) scene. These figures are a companion drawing to the bigger coloring page that you can see HERE.
So why is Good Friday good? Because it represents Christ giving up His life for me. Sunday represents His power over death which shows his authority to die for me in the first place! It is humbling thought.
I know that not everyone will enjoy today’s post, but I didn’t make up the events of which I speak. While I may not be the most eloquent at explaining them, they are the foundation of my faith and can all be found in the Bible both in Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfillment. They are events for which I am literally eternally grateful.
From time to time, folks write for permission to use my Bible coloring sheet pictures, but please note that their use is currently limited to the Generations of Grace Bible curriculum for which they were drawn. There are three years worth of children’s Sunday lessons broken up into various categories such as the Resurrection, so feel free to CLICK HERE to learn more about that.
As you are able to settle down and lay aside the worries and angst of your daily lives, take a moment to pause and reflect on the truly wondrous thought that during this season we are celebrating a holy God’s willingness to have once walked among us for a brief 33 years, then voluntarily suffer through the human experience of pain and humiliation of false accusation, torture, and death so that we don’t have to face even worse in eternity if we put our trust and faith in Him. Merry Christmas my friends. Merry Christmas indeed.