Danger Zone



Normally, I enjoy the experience of ‘dropping into the zone’ when illustrating. (you lose track of time, become engrossed in the act of drawing, almost a zen-like out of body experience) Unfortunately, what happened today, was that I had a particularly challenging cityscape illustration to draw for an upcoming book project, and at the outset, picked the wrong file for a ‘size template’ and ended up drawing the entire thing at 600 dpi instead of my usual 300 dpi (like the rest of the 30 or so illustrations in this project). It never occurred to me during the hours I spent working on this one that it was taking twice as long as usual. I realized my mistake only at the end, and then I had to go back and redraw the entire illustration at the correct size. I hate to waste the effort, so here’s the ‘extra detailed version’, and I’ll be posting more samples from this book next week, along with the ‘redo’.

Living in The Donald’s World

ChronicleHE, Dover, Hudson Valley

It’s Donald’s World now, and we’re all just living in it. Can’t even look at Facebook anymore without his face leering out at me constantly. Only four more years to go. Anyhow, here’s the first assignment (with more to come), a presidential coloring book for Dover that has existing artwork and I was asked to ‘match’ as best as possible the style of the other pages.

Below are a few assignments from last week, an illustration for the Chronicle of Higher Education and another for Hudson Valley Magazine.

Directory of Illustration 33

Self Promotion

Well, the big advertising experiment of 2016-2017 is about to begin. I received my copy of the Directory of Illustration 33 in the mail yesterday, and my page looks about as I expected. The actual art buyers won’t be receiving their copies until January of 2017 (about two months away), so I am still reserving judgement on the effectiveness of this method of advertising. I received an email from theispot.com last month, and I am seriously thinking of going back to them in the coming year, but as far as this directory, I’ll wait until the end of next year before weighing an opinion. (I am on page 458)

What Was the Lewis & Clark Expedition? (all the illustrations)


Skipping ahead (sort of) here. The next assignment from Penguin Young Readers after the ‘Laura Ingalls Wilder’ book (see earlier post) was a cover assignment for an upcoming book on the Lewis & Clark Expedition (2013), but I ended up completing three additional ‘interior illustration’ assignments for this book series (The Wright Brothers, Panama Canal & Julius Caesar) before I was given the assignment for the interior of the Lewis & Clark book (2014). This was the one and only time that I’ve doneĀ a cover illustration for one of these ‘Who Was’ books. I was unfamiliar with the series at the time, and I was unaware that the covers all had a specific ‘look’ to them (i.e.: big bobble head characters as opposed to proportional realistic depictions, a curious attention to detail in even the most distant tiny object). My first rough sketch was a rather straightforward adventure scene of Lewis and Clark crossing a snowy mountain pass, but then when it was explained to me about the ‘bobble heads’, I found myself really struggling with the style. I wasn’t entirely happy with the finished product, and I suspect the publishers weren’t either, as I never got another assignment for a cover illustration. Just as well, because I found the style very awkward to execute.

In the meantime, here are all the interior illustrations posted here for the first time (I have posted one or two samples in the past, but never the entire collection), plus the artwork for the cover (minus all the type, which you can see if you check out the Amazon link). Next month, I’ll be sharing all the illustrations from the ‘Wright Brothers’ book).

Snails, Roses and the Never Ending Election Cycle

Green Prints, Uncle Goose Toys

The above photo was courtesy of the Uncle Goose Instagram feed. This is a picture of the two portraits I did in anticipation of the coming election, as they will be updating their ‘Presidential Wooden Blocks’ set with whomever wins. Since I had done a Mitt Romney portrait for them four years ago, I had jokingly suggested that they start a collection of ‘Presidential Losers’ (McCain, Kerry, Gore, Dole, Dukakis, Mondale, McGovern, Goldwater, etc etc) printed on recycled and reclaimed wood, and it got a laugh, but I don’t think it will be happening anytime soon.

Below we have a recent assignment for GreenPrints, including the rough sketch for each illustration, and the usual dingbats and drop cap letters and small spot illustrations that go with each.