Most of these illustrations were for my children’s magazine client, for different publications under the same parent company’s umbrella. The above map of ‘western trails’ was for one of the history publications. The two ‘bookend illustrations below were for one of their ‘black history’ publications, and dealt with songs sung by gold prospectors.
These publications were usually pretty open minded when it came to my experimenting with different styles, and it usually kept the work from getting too routine. Also this situation allowed the publication to hire me for more than one assignment per issue without it looking like they use the same illustrator all the time. One of the benefits of having a split personality I suppose.
These ‘miner’ illustrations were finished in a combination watercolor and sketchy colored pencil style. The map above was finished in a similar manner, but with a more tightly rendered linework and attention to detail.
Oddly enough I always enjoyed doing the maps the most, unless they also included a lot of little ‘vignettes’, in which case they got to be a chore. I could spend all day drawing mountain ranges and rivers and coastlines, but the ‘vignettes’ would stop me cold. I didn’t mind ‘scenes’ like the prospectors above and to the right, as long as they didn’t get too crowded, but the assignments I really didn’t care for, were the ‘collages’ like the ones below for an article on ‘freedom of religion’. I never could quite make a ‘collage’ look anything other than awkward.
The ‘pledge of allegiance’ illustration below was another for the same client, this one finished in the more traditional scratchboard style that I am used to.
The following two illustrations were for a jesuit magazine client during September. I don’t quite remember the topic of either of them. (‘bats in the belfry’ is probably the idea behind the illustration below).