Peter Cottontail Book

Skyhorse Publishing

This was a project I did last summer for Skyhorse Publishing. This was a reprint of the classic “Peter Cottontail” stories with updated illustrations. Now available on Amazon in what looks like a handsomely bound volume (I haven’t yet received my author copies yet, so I can’t verify how it turned out). They wanted something sort of reminiscent of the classic children’s illustrator Harrison Cady, but in keeping with my style. I tried to keep it very light and colorful, and it was a fun project, allowing me lots of chances to work with Painter’s new realistic watercolor tools. 26 interior illustrations with one cover illustration (above, which I have previously posted).

One of the difficulties with maintaining a working blog like this, especially now that I do a lot more publishing work, is that much of the day to day work must wait to be shared after the book has gone to print. I’ve currently got five book projects lined up, and will likely be only sharing a sample or two over the next few weeks and months, but stay tuned, as I may post a few more of the ‘Who Was’ books from the back catalog in the coming weeks.

Is It Safe?

Skyhorse Publishing

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The publisher I am currently working for doing a ‘Peter Cottontail’ reprint, was one that I had worked with last year on a book called “Is It Safe to Kiss My Cat?”, and I realized that I had previously shared all the color spot illustrations for that project, but had not yet shared any of the many black and white spot cartoons. So, here they are. I really enjoy this sort of work, and the style is very reminiscent of work I used to do for an educational publisher back around 2000-2004.

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July Update

ChronicleHE, Skyhorse Publishing

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Been keeping busy this summer. Mostly these days, it seems to be with book projects of one sort or another. Above is a color illustration for the cover of a new reprint of the ‘Peter Cottontail’ stories, originally illustrated by Harrison Cady. I’ve been asked to ’emulate’ his style, but I’m also trying to keep it somewhat within my own sphere of styles. I’ve been experimenting with some of the more realistic looking watercolor tools, and hopefully will become somewhat proficient with them by the time I finish this collection of illustrations (which I should be finished with by the end of the month). I also recently finished up another of the ‘Who Was’ books (on ‘Hollywood’), and have just been approached to do another one on the Vietnam War. Then I’ve also been working on a series of books for MacMillan in their ‘Epic Fails’ series (just finished one on ‘Not So Great Presidents’ and will be starting soon on another one on ‘The Age of Exploration’). In the meantime, there are also a smattering of quick turnaround projects that come up, and below is an illustration I did for the Chronicle of Higher Education (a client since 1991) that I finished up over the weekend.

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Various projects in the works

MacMillan, Penguin, Skyhorse Publishing

dicknixonwebBeen a while since I’ve updated, but it isn’t because I’m slow. I’ve been working on several book projects, many of them overlapping and in various stages of completion. I finished up the Watergate book earlier this month, but the Nixon illustration above isn’t from that project, but instead is from another book I just completed yesterday. This is from the third “Epic Fails” series of books entitled “Not So Great Presidents”, and I’ll likely be starting on sketches for the fourth book in the next couple weeks. I’ll share more samples from many of these books after they have reached publication. Meanwhile I’m still working on another “Who Was” book for Penguin, this one on ‘Hollywood’ (a sample illustration from that project, a portrait of Judy Garland, pictured below). I should be finishing this project up in the next few weeks.

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And coming up in the next few months, I’ll be working on a reprint of the “Peter Cottontail” stories, and a rough sketch for the cover is pictured below:

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And one more upcoming project that I’m very excited about (but will have to wait for a while to share details here), I’ve started doing some preliminary rough concepts for. I’ll keep you posted as the details get ironed out. Looks like it is going to be a busy summer.

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Recent Developments

ABA, Skyhorse Publishing

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Above is a spot illustration I finished up this morning for the American Bar Association. I’ve been working with the ABA since 1997 (so, just a little over twenty years, right about the time I switched from traditional to digital illustration), and their projects are always interesting and challenging. This was for a story on international law as how it may apply to businesses in the heartland of the USA. Also this weekend, a chance encounter with an old client I hadn’t heard from in a while, led to another upcoming book project. This one will be a reprint of an older children’s book with several illustrations by me, somewhat imitating the style of classic illustrator Harrison Cady. I did one over the weekend as a sample (pictured below), and I’ll give you more information as it comes across the desk sometime in June and July.

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In the meantime, I’m currently working on two book projects for MacMillan, both somewhat connected to themes on the United States Presidency. I should be finishing both of those up by the end of the month, and will share some samples once they are published.

Been a busy month medically for the whole family. Our dog started us off with some veterinary surgery, then the wife had some unexpected emergency surgery, and then an extended stay at the hospital for an infection, and I finished us off last week with some hernia repair. Everybody’s starting to finally get back on the mend, and spring has arrived in Michigan with lots of rain, leaves have popped on all the trees and Summer is only a few short weeks away.