Darwin and the Dust Bowl

America, Carus Publishing, ChronicleHE, Newsday

The piece above was for an educational publication client of mine, and went with an article about ‘intelligent design’, talking about these veiled efforts by creationists to drive a wedge under the teaching of evolution in our schools. It was a nice portrait of Darwin, but I’m not sure I was entirely successful in making it look like a ‘sculpture/bust’ of Darwin – too much detail probably.

More portraits came my way in November, this rather convoluted concept above being for an east coast newspaper, and featuring various NY area politicos. The boat is filled with various local landmarks, which was a little tricky, as they were mostly unfamiliar to me (except as photos off the internet). I thought the clouds turned out nice on this one. I’m always trying out new and different ‘cloud techniques’ and watch the sky carefully for inspiration.

I also received another couple of ‘priest face’ assignments from my jesuit magazine client this month. I had done a few the month before, and he liked them so much he wanted a few others along similar lines. The method here was pretty straightforward; pick a few random faces off the internet, change them slightly, and give them a priest collar, keeping the colors loose and playful. I like the more ‘chubby’ priest below best of these last two. I was starting to get into a bit of a routine with these, and that’s always dangerous, because they start losing their spontenaety and become a bit formulaic.

I also had an assignment this month from one of my children’s magazine clients. This one was a map depicting the route westward for many refugees of the great ‘dust bowl’ migration of the 30s. They wanted a few small vignettes added to the map, so I kept them mostly sepia toned in color, drew a little abandoned shack and ‘Joad family car’ from ‘Grapes of Wrath’. I’ve enlarged the car below to show the details.

Also this month, for my east coast newspaper client, was the ‘water purity’ illustration pictured below. I don’t quite remember the exact topic, other than ‘drinking water’, although I think the clouds below were supposed to look all dirty and smoggy perhaps, either that, or I just did a poor job of depicting them.