Monday, November 25, 2013

Drawing the Sword Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Hi Everybody!

In celebration of my newly opened Etsy shop, and in honor of the Thanksgiving
holiday, I'm holding a giveaway!

Prizes include:
Hand-signed copy of my new sketchbook 
Set of (6) Christmas Cards
(1) Hand-signed Pilgrim Girl print 

Feel free to enter any of the listed ways!

Also, now until Nov. 30th you can get free shipping on any order of $15 or more in my Etsy Shop by using promo code:


Good luck, Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for your support!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Directions: Part I

Here's a quick painting I did this afternoon. It took me around 2 hours. 

Lately, I've been very inspired by illustrators like Chuck Groenink, Meg Hunt, and Jon Klassen who create very texture-driven, more simplistic illustrations. This method of creating an image is really interesting to me, and I am really eager to explore the relationship between simple drawings and hand-painted textures and the final Photoshop image.

Overall, I'm pleased with the direction this image took. It's got a little more playfulness, color and texture, and that's what I'm aiming for. I think it's good to try to stretch yourself in new directions in your own work, and that's what I hope to do with the next several pieces. I hope to post more of these in the next week or so as I continue to explore new methods of working.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Drawing the Sword: A Collection of Drawings by Will Kelly

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present to you my 2013 Sketchbook!

After many long months of planning, work and preparation, I'm pleased to announce that my newest personal project Drawing the Sword: A Collection of Drawings is now available on Etsy!

I am so thrilled to be able to offer you this small glimpse into my creative world, and my imagination. It has been a fantastic project, and I'm so excited that I have achieved this creative milestone. And I'm equally thrilled to see where my work will go from here!

A brief description from Etsy:

"Drawing the Sword" is the first-ever printed collection of work by illustrator Will Kelly. Part I is a series of 4 brand-new drawings created specifically for this book. Part II is filled with drawings from 2012 and 2013. This 32-page sketchbook is filled with things Will loves to draw - animals, knights, castles, forests. He hopes you enjoy this peek into his imagination!

Drawing the Sword: A Collection of Drawings by Will Kelly

32 pages, perfect-bound soft cover.

NOTE: The first 10 books sold will include a numbered, hand-signed sketch in the front!

All books are hand signed by Will. 

Get your copy here, along with other original drawings, paintings, and other cool stuff!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Sketchbook: News Update and WIP!

Because it is mere days until I hope to offer my new 2013 sketchbook (and due to the fact that I simply cannot wait!) I wanted to drop in a little sneak peek of a WIP painting I've been working on the last several days.

This piece entitled "Fisherman's Song" will be included in its black and white form in my forthcoming sketchbook. A color version (which you see above) will be included in a digital version of the sketchbook, which will include some bonus content, and will be available for download on Etsy. The plan is to offer the physical sketchbook, as well as a digital version which will include a few color paintings. The above painting will also serve as a promotional postcard, which I plan on sending to art directors, etc.

The above piece was created to be a part of a series of 4 new drawings that I created specifically for this personal project. I did them all over the course of The Lamp Post Guild's "Art of Personal Work" with Cory Godbey. I would strongly recommend you take this class if you're interested in building your portfolio, getting the attention of potential clients, or just interested in developing your voice as an artist in general. I cannot stress enough how beneficial this class was in my pursuit of illustration as a career, and I hope some of you will find it to be helpful as well!

Our Fall Class begins on Nov. 18th, 2013, and registration is open! You can sign up at

and you can find an article by Cory on the importance of personal work (and a discount code!) here:

Thanks for reading, and I will be posting more soon!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Photoshop Character Study: Professor

Decided to go in a bit of a different direction with this one.

Photoshop allows me to really play around with shapes - I can endlessly create shapes on separate layers, then pose and adjust them until I get a finished product I'm pleased with. 
I'm always really nervous when the topic of "style" comes up, but I really have a huge interest in doing kid's books, so this particular "style" is something I'm toying around with. I'll do a super fast sketch in my sketchbook to get the basic feel of the character, then start immediately composing on the computer. It's a fast and fun process...

Also, I'm interested in playing with color more lately, and Photoshop offers great tools for that. You may be seeing a lot more of this type of work in the future. Stay tuned!

P. S. : ALSO! Sketchbooks have been ordered! Watch this space for more information on getting yours in the next week or so!