Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Work - Pockets Magazine

New Illustration for Pockets Magazine.  Created with adobe illustrator, tools used where: the blob brush,    pen tool, a few custom brush stoke effects, and a custom watercolor paper texture.


Friday, October 26, 2012

KaBOOM Badges/Icons

Below is a recent set of badges/icons for KaBOOM.org's Facebook "Play Quiz" campaign.  Software used to create the images: Adobe Illustrator and Sketchbook Pro.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Read all about it! Recent interview with the Toledo Free press about the "ABC's of Public Art" book

Arts Commission uses local art highlights to teach ABCs

Written by Kyle Cappelletty | | kcappelletty@toledofreepress.com
From the arches on the Ottawa Gate to the zigzags in the Swan Waves, a new book immerses children in an A to Z tour of local art.
As a service to Toledo families, The Arts Commission has launched “The ABC’s of Public Art” alphabet book.
The publication is designed to improve literacy and foster art appreciation as children follow Artimus the Owl to many of Northwest Ohio’s artistic sites. Artimus takes photographs along the way, teaching the alphabet and broadening readers’ vocabulary.
Arts Commission Executive Director Marc Folk said, “Projects such as ‘The ABC’s of Public Art’ are a great, free and fun way for children and families to learn about our city’s remarkable collection of public artwork. A resource like this is a unique way to teach our community’s children their ABCs and to promote literacy while engaging in one of our greatest local aesthetic resources.
“The best part about this program is the fact that we can take a step toward arts education when children are young and amidst significant cuts for funding the arts in public schools. This program allows us to double dip in a sense, improving art appreciation and literacy for Toledo children.”
“F” is for the sculpture of firemen in front of Fire Station 13 (next to the original Tony Packo’s), featuring four firefighters holding a hose. Standing less than a foot tall, the sculpture is made to look life-size thanks to Artimus’ photography.
Merrill Rainey, an illustrator with more than a decade of experience, provided the artwork for the book. He said, “This was one of the favorite projects of my career because it allowed me to help children see the fantastic art that Toledo has to offer and gave me the opportunity to collaborate with The Arts Commission in a very worthwhile project.

Images from ‘The ABC’s of Public Art.’ COURTESY MERRILL RAINEY
“‘X’ was my favorite letter to illustrate because it really helped to button up the publication. With ‘X Marks the Spot,’ we were able to create a map for the adventure with Artimus the Owl and show children and their families where the photographs came from. After illustrating the artistic destinations, I notice different pieces included in the book on a regular basis while driving through Toledo. This book has helped to reinforce the fact that this city has a great collection of publicly displayed art.”
“The ABC’s of Public Art” alphabet book was created as a service of the educational component of the One Percent for Art Program, implemented by the City of Toledo, which requires that 1 percent of capital building costs for public buildings go to the acquisition and permanent installation of public artwork.
The goals behind the One Percent for Art Program are to acquire art, display it publicly and use the newest initiatives and resources as a method to solve problems.
“Since 1977, when Toledo became the first city in Ohio to adopt the One Percent for Art Program, the collection and diversity of artistic presence in the area has grown significantly,” Folk said.
The Arts Commission is making the publication available for free to interested parents, teachers and mentors of young children. The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Public Schools and The Arts Commission will be among the main distribution points for the new publication.
Kelly Garrow, director of communications at the Toledo Museum of Art, said, “The museum will be a distribution point for the publication and it will be available for free in the Family Center.”
To receive a copy, contact The Arts Commission or visit its website at www.theartscommission.org. To download a free PDF of the book visit www.littlerainey.com/books.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ABC Press Release!

Check out the press release for "The ABCs of Public Art" book below.

"ABC's of Public Art" alphabet book promotes literacy and art appreciation

For Immediate Release

For more information,

image or interview requests:

The Arts Commission
1838 Parkwood #120
Toledo, OH 43604
419-254-2787 x15

The Arts Commission is proud to announce the launch of The ABC’s of Public Art alphabet book.
The ABC’s of Public Art is an alphabet book that features the City of Toledo’s rich public art collection. This beautifully produced publication has been created as a service of the educational component of the City of Toledo’s One Percent for Art Program and is available for free to interested parents, teachers and/or mentors of young children. Anyone who is interested in receiving a copy should contact The Arts Commission for more information. Supplies are limited so requests will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. The publication will be freely distributed through a number of literacy and outreach programs including Reach out and Read, Read for Literacy, Toledo Museum of Art Family Center and Early Intervention MRDD.
In addition, illustrator Merrill Rainey has made a PDF of the book available for free download via his website at www.littlerainey.com/books.html. Students and families are encouraged to visit the site and view the book online, or print off and enjoy.
“Projects such as The ABC’s of Public Art are a great, free, and fun way for children and families to learn about our city’s remarkable collection of public artwork. A resource like this is a unique way to teach our community’s children their ABCs and to promote literacy while engaging in one of our greatest local aesthetic resources. I am proud of this project and the staff and committee members who have worked hard to make it possible,” said The Arts Commission’s Executive Director, Marc Folk.
The ABC’s of Public Art follows Artimus the Owl through a public art tour of Northwest Ohio. Artimus takes photographs of the works and learns new words along the way, working quite literally from A to Z.
This publication was funded by the City of Toledo’s One Percent for Art Program, which is administered by The Arts Commission.
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program/organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

About the Art in Public Places program:
Toledo, Ohio has an impressive collection of public art, with large-scale sculptures, murals, and functional structures by more than 40 noted local, national, and international artists. Many of these pieces were acquired through the pioneering 1977 ordinance that set aside one percent of Toledo's Capital Improvement Budget for the purchase, conservation, and public education of art.
The program is administered by The Arts Commission through its Art in Public Places Program, which acquires, conserves and restores the collection. This administration also includes the education of the community related to the understanding and enjoyment of public art.
Toledo was the first city in Ohio to adopt a One Percent for Art program. The 1977 ordinance served as a model for Ohio's Percent for Art program, administered by the Ohio Arts Council, which began in 1990, and has served as inspiration for other regional programs since.

The Arts Commission is the longest standing arts commission in the state of Ohio that develops and promotes the arts in the community, serving Northwest Ohio since 1959. 
www.theartscommission.org. 419-254-ARTS

New book! "The ABCs of Public Art"

Join Artimus the Owl as he learns many new words while taking pictures of the Public Art in Northwest Ohio. "The ABCs of Public Art" book is brought to you by The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo in conjunction with The City of Toledo and the Ohio Arts Council. 
Those interested in obtaining a book, please contact The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo (see contact information below).
© THE ARTS COMMISSION OF GREATER TOLEDO • theartscommission.org • (419) 254-2787
1838 Parkwood Avenue, Ste. 120, Toledo, Ohio 43604
To view more of the book please visit my book page at http://bit.ly/PokHml

September/October issue of the Jack & Jill Gang

Find out what the future hold for the Jack & Jill Gang in the current issue of Jack & Jill magazine.

Adobe Illustrator Painting Experiment - Gone Fishing

Lately I've been experimenting with different drawing techniques within Adobe Illustrator to create traditional looking vector art.  This piece "Gone Fishing" is the first of a series of digital paintings I am currently working on. My process on how I created the illustration is roughly detailed out below.

Any questions on how I created any part of this illustration, please let me know.

Adobe Illustrator tools used where the blob paint brush tool, and the paint brush tool with the charcoal brush effect.

Step 1: Sketch.

 Step 2: I then placed the sketch into Adobe Illustrator and started to detail out the background art with the blob paint brush tool, and the paint brush tool with the charcoal brush effect.

Step 3: To give the illustration a hand painted feel, I then masked off the background art and added a few textures.

 Step 4: Once I finished the background art. I then used the same two tools to start on the foreground art.

Completed foreground art.

Step 5: Once I finished the foreground and background art. Using my initial sketch (step 1), I then illustrated the fish and boy characters.

Final: Once the illustration is finished, I then add some hand lettered text using the same two tools.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Making a Jack & Jill Comic - Sept/Oct issue

Have you ever wondered how the Jack and Jill comic is made?  Well.... here's your chance! 

And be sure to pick up the Sept./Oct. issue of Jack and Jill magazine to find out what the future holds for the Jack and Jill Gang!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Digital Garage Sale!

Wish you had a piece of art from the You Are Here Toledo project (www.youareheretoledo.com) hanging in your living room, office, or lobby?  

Now you can!!  

"a new era dawns on the horizon" is now for sale!!

Digital ink jet print mounted on 1/8" white sintra 
size: 40"x40"
You are here dot location: Craig Bridge & Veterans' Glass City Skyway, Toledo Ohio
Mounting hardware already installed :-)

Cost: $65.00 US

Must be willing to pickup, or pay for shipping & handling.

If interested, send an email to Merrill at - merrillr@littlerainey.com

© Merrill Rainey - LittleRainey Illustration & Design LLC 

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Long overdue for sketching: Sketch Card Project

Over the last few days/weeks I've been taking a minute to sketch out some new characters on Bristol sketch cards.

The cards where a gift awhile back and are way overdue for some intense penciling!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Top Secret Project revealed! New Jack & Jill Characters & Comic

A few months back I was approached by Jack & Jill magazine, and I was asked if I would be interested in helping them rebrand their core set of characters as well as illustrate their bi-monthly comic.

With out hesitation, I of course said "yes", I mean how could you pass up an opportunity like this :-) and without further ado…I would like to present to you the first appearance of the new Jack & Jill gang.

Below you will find the new character studies as well as the release of the first comic staring the new Gang.

I would love to hear what you all think, and of course to find out more about Jack & Jill magazine or to sign up for a subscription check out their web-site here.