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 done 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).
Since 2013, I’ve been illustrating a series of young adult biographies for Penguin Young Readers. I’m currently working on my 13th title for this publisher, and, in the past, I’ve held back posting the illustrations until after publication per contractual obligations. In previous posts, I’ve shared a sampling of the illustrations from each project, but I thought I’d start sharing the entire 80 or so illustrations from each book, once a month for the coming year. The style for these books is a little different from my usual ‘scratchboard’ style, more along the lines of a pen and ink crosshatch technique. The usual working method for these books, is that I am provided with a list of ‘scenes’ that the publisher would like illustrated (and sometimes the size of each illustration, sometimes that is determined after they see the rough sketches). I do a round of rough sketches (usually in about a month, I try to shoot for three or four sketches a day to keep things fresh and also to fit in other work on the docket), and once approved, I usually have about a month or so for the finishes (with the same schedule, about three or four a day, depending on size and complexity). The first book in this series, from back in 2013 was ‘Who Was Laura Ingalls Wilder?’, and here are (almost) all of the 80 or so illustrations from the book (a few were omitted for space restrictions, and several were revised for one reason or another in the final printed version, which I didn’t bother to include here). Next month: I’ll be sharing the entire illustration collection from “What Was the Lewis and Clark Expedition?” (and my only cover illustration from this book series).
I haven’t updated this blog in quite some time, but this has been one of the busiest years I’ve had in a long time, and, since so much of it is book publishing projects, I haven’t had much to show as a result. I’m going to post a lot of random samples today, both from quick turnaround projects that I’ve done over the past month or so, plus some teaser images from some of the various books I’ve been working on this year. Above is one from an upcoming scratchboard color book project that I did a few months ago (one of about 50 illustrations I did for this project). Below is a quick turnaround map illustration I did for Barrons a few weeks back.
The next three images were for an upcoming issue of River Styx.
I also recently completed a series of three paper doll books, which should be hitting the market any day now. Above are a sampling of costumes for these three books (16 illustrations per book). Below are a few illustrations I recently did for Green Prints (along with the usual tiny spot illustrations and drop cap letter illustrations, which I haven’t bothered to include here).
The baseball illustration above was for the University of Virgina, and below are a few sample illustrations from two ‘Who Was’ books that I completed over the past several months (each book was approximately 80 illustrations).
The illustration of the students climbing a wall was for the Chronicle of Higher Education several weeks ago. Below is a sample from one of two coloring books I am currently finishing up (30 illustrations each, plus some additional color pieces), and below that, a sample illustration for an upcoming book project that I did yesterday afternoon.
Whew! That’s enough of an update for now. I’ll post some more when I get a chance to resurface again.
Over the past two years, my posting to this blog has slowed down considerably, as the nature of my clients changes. In the past, I’ve done a lot of work for periodical publication, many with short deadlines and quick turnarounds, so I’ve been able to post examples of work nearly as fast as I could churn it out. With my work turning more toward the book publishing industry in recent years, contractual obligations have kept work under wraps until the books have seen print (and usually, by the time they see print, I forget to go back and post many, if any examples of the work). Since 2013, I’ve been working with a few designers at Penguin on their ‘Who Was’ series of young adult biographies. Someone else usually does the cover art, and I contribute 80 or so black and white line art illustrations to the interior. I did one cover assignment near the beginning (the ‘Lewis and Clark’ book above), but I think was clear from the start that I was uncomfortable and awkward with the whole ‘big head’ style that they used on the covers. Now it is nine books later, and approximately 720 illustrations, and I am currently working on another in the series for a release next spring. I will endeavor to post a sampling of illustrations from the various books over the next couple weeks, and in the meantime, you can find amazon links to the various titles on my bibliography page.