This was a coloring book that I did last year, and was published early this year from Dover / Creative Haven. I’ve shared a few samples from this book in the past, but over the next three posts I’ll be sharing all the illustrations from this project. This was a special project for me, as I’ve been a fan of Westerns all of my life, and was a particular favorite of my late Father, who I wish had hung around long enough to see this project come around. I’m sure he would have enjoyed it. I’ll be spacing these posts over the next several days, with one color plate (which were used for the front and back and inside covers) plus several of the black and white interior pages.
A few small assignments from this past week. The ‘Giant Pumpkin’ illustration is for GreenPrints and the color illustration below is for The Common Reader to accompany an article about the author and his son attending a premiere of the restored version of “The Legend of Boggy Creek”, and meeting the star outside the theater.
Been pretty busy the past two weeks. This is the big project I’ve been alluding to for the past 6-8 months. For MacMillan’s ‘First Second’ graphic novel line, I am adapting Dan Rather & Elliot Kirschner’s book ‘What Unites Us’ in graphic novel form for middle age readers (or all ages, for that matter), as part of their “World Citizen Comics” series. In May I worked up a complete rough sketch layout of the book, and a few weeks ago I got the go ahead to start the first two chapters, so that the publisher may run a sample printing on the paper stock and evaluate how it looks. Above and below are a few sample pages from the second chapter (above) and the first (below). I’ve also begun some preliminary concept work on the cover. Since I’ve never done anything of this complexity before, I was curious to see what sort of pace I would set for myself, and it looks like 3 pages a day is pretty much my maximum. There has been some talk of this possibly being released online in serial form, but I’ll hold off on additional samples until this comes to fruition. Been enjoying this project immensely so far, having been an ambition of mine to do comics since a very young age.
From two summers ago, for Penguin Young Readers, part of their “Who Was/What Was” series of books (currently I’m working on my nineteenth book for this client). This one took me back to my first two decades of freelancing, where it seemed like there wasn’t a religious client that I hadn’t worked for at one time or another. Over the years I grew quite tired of drawing “people in robes”, but I worked my way through it by telling myself that I was getting valuable practice at ‘crowd scenes’ and ‘epic adventure’. All the illustrations for the book posted here for the first time.
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.