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Sketch-A-Day #2

Sketch-a-Day #2

Kobold rides his pet owlbear into town. Wish I had a pet owlbear…

Here’s sketch #2:


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Sketch-a-Day #1

I’ve decided to attempt a sketch-a-day for 2013, at least until I get bored or distracted, and probably just on weekdays, probably 3 – 5 a week. Most will probably be pen and marker and all will be fairly random – part of a cohesive theme.

I used to sketch all the time, but I haven’t been doing it as often as I used to. I figure this will get me motivated to do it more regularly. Hope you enjoy!

Here’s sketch #1: 


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New Pieces for Ltd. Gallery show happening April 2013

I thought I’d give a sneakpeak of what I’ve been working on. These paintings are for a show happening in April 2013 at the Ltd. Gallery in Seattle, WA. Ltd is a pop art gallery and so all the pieces I will be showing there will be tributes and parodies. (Some of these aren’t even titled yet). I’ve always enjoyed painting tributes of my favorite things, so I’m thrilled to be working on an entire body of work based on some of my artistic influences, favorite characters, stories, etc. Anyways, hope you like…

Here’s the show info:



“Icons & Influences” at Ltd. Gallery
Group show with Mike Capp – April 2013

30 – 40 new paintings by Justin Hillgrove and Mike Capp. All of the pieces will feature favorite pop/cult icons with the usual Hillgrove or Capp spin.

Peanuts / Army of Darkness (Evil Dead III) tribute (©2012 Justin Hillgrove)

Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki) / Where The Wild Things Are tribute (Maurice Sendak)

Left to Right: Princess Mononoke, Totoro, the Deer God (from Princess Mononoke), No Face (Spirited Away), Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle), Automaton (Laputa: Castle in the Sky) (©2012 Justin Hillgrove)

Where The Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak) / The Usual Supects tribute (©2012 Justin Hillgrove)

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Crossing Wonderland

It has been awhile since I’ve posted anything here, so I figured I’d throw up a few progress shots of “Crossing Wonderland”. I wish I had taken a few more, but I didn’t…
It has been some time since I painted anything Alice-related so I was itching to do a new one. Originally I was going to have Alice riding the white rabbit – I painted a little watercolor piece awhile back that I was going to base it on but as I started to sketch, the idea of her riding the Cheshire cat seemed so much more interesting to me. Blame all those early years spent watching He-Man ride BattleCat into the fray. 
I still wanted to include the white rabbit though and so turning him into her stuffed companion just seemed to fit. I think it gives her a more youthful, innocent feel – more in need of the Cheshire cat’s protection. Though by the cat’s grin its hard to say what his intentions are.
I wanted to make the woods menacing, or at least inhabited and I toyed with the idea of populating it with some denizens of Wonderland. In the end I decided on a tribe of native cards (wild cards) that the Queen of Hearts had not indentured.
I was happy with how this piece turned out. My favorite part of the painting is the caterpillar sitting on the mushroom. I like to think he is whispering some advice to her as she passes. Something like, “You probably shouldn’t ride cats – they’re trouble.”
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Painting Demo – Bat

People often ask me about my painting process, so I decided to set up a camera in my studio and video an entire painting session. The bat I painted in this demo is acrylics on a 5″ x 7″ canvas. He took just around 4 hours to complete, though for the video I sped it up 800% and clipped out a few lulls, bringing the video to about 12 total minutes in length. That seems a bit long to me still, but I get bored watching myself paint – maybe you’ll like it more than I do…

A quick plug for Justin Bergevin, a fellow artist (and my brother-in-law) – Thanks for letting me use some of your music for the video!

This is my first video of this kind, so any comments and suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

Justin Hillgrove

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First post – New pieces for the March 2012 Greenwood/PhinneyWood Artwalk

Well, here’s my first attempt at a blog post. I’ll try to keep this blog packed with sneak peaks and exclusive stuff that will not be posted elsewhere. Enjoy!

Looks like I’ll have a piece at three separate galleries during the Greenwood Artwalk – March 9th 2012 6p – 9p. Here’s a sneak peak at the pieces that’ll be hanging: “We Have Ways Of Making You Talk” (the hydra torturing the teddy bear) will be at Bherd Gallery for their 5th Anniversary show, “Walking The OwlBear” (the kobold-guy walking the owlbear on leash) will be at Urban Light Studio for an owl-themed show curated by Henry, and the 2 smallish green pieces will be at Tasty for the A Strange Life show.

That’ll be a fun night. My friend Mike Capp (also has a piece at the Bherd show) and I will be around all night hanging out and causing trouble. I am excited to see the many friends and artists there that I have not seen in a long time.