Posted on

“We’re All Mad Here”

Were All Mad Here

“We’re All Mad Here” (Steam Punk Alice in Wonderland). 18″ x 36″ Acrylics on canvas.

About once a year I like to do a new Alice in Wonderland painting and I decided awhile back that this year I’d like to tackle a steam punk version of the story. “We’re All Mad Here” started out as a REALLY rough sketch on part of an old mailing label during a frenzied moment of inspiration. I spent a couple hours doodling different layouts and then spent the entire next day fleshing out a good, tight sketch (pictured below):

I almost always struggle with what colors to use so I decided to do a rough color study in PhotoShop so I could at least get an idea of what values and colors to use in the painting. (pictured below). I tried a variety of different color schemes like desaturated siennas and browns and then a black, white and red scheme. They all looked okay, but not great. Finally I tried the variation below and felt really good about but I had been staring at it so long that I showed it to a few people first to make sure I hadn’t gone mad.
sketch0204 color FLAT_800

From there the actual painting on canvas progressed smoothly. Here are some work in progress shots (click on them to make them bigger) and the finished image is at the beginning of this post. I mostly kept to the sketch just deviating on the details. My favorite detail are the tea bags sticking out of the Hatter’s suit pocket. Anyways, hope you like it and thanks for reading…

Alice WIP_800 IMG_4370 AliceWIP2 AliceWIP3 IMG_4375 AliceWIP4


Posted on

“Afternoon Tea With The Neighbors”

Afternoon Tea With Neighbors

Afternoon Tea With The Neighbors

30″ x 48″ acrylics on canvas. 2013. ORIGINAL SOLD. Prints available here:

A tribute mashing up the mad tea party from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” and some of my favorite Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki) characters: Howl as the Mad Hatter, accompanied by Calcifer; Totoro as the March Hare; Ponyo as the Dormouse; No Face as the Caterpillar; Kiki as Alice, accompanied by jiji; Yubaba as the Queen of Hearts; Chibi Totoro as the White Rabbit; a Cheshire Catbus; And a few other characters and a bunch of references hidden throughout the painting.

Posted on 3 Comments

Sketch-A-Day #148

Sketch-A-Day #148

Sketch-A-Day #148

Sketch-A-Day #148 © Justin Hillgrove

This sketch is a tribute to two of my favorite things, Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Tea Party and Studio Ghibli /Hayao Miyazaki’s (My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke)

The painting for this sketch is currently in the works! In fact, I spend last weekend in Issaquah Salmon Days working on it so keep your eyes peeled for progress pictures!