Carus Publishing, ChronicleHE, Cobblestone, TeriO

One of the benefits (or drawbacks, depending on how you look at it) of this new digital style, was the ability to try out new techniques and styles that I had previously steered clear of. More often than not I was fairly green to the use of these techniques (like airbrush above, or oils below), but I am always eager to try something new, even if I fall flat on my face. Thankfully, there are clients who are willing to fall with you.

The above illustration was for my agent, for the Amway Corporation. One of the rare occasions where I’ve ever tried something approaching airbrushed realism. I did pretty good on the ‘smooth and juicy bits’, but wasn’t so good on the other textures, like the pineapple skin and the kiwi hulls.

I also had an assignment this month for the Chronicle of Higher Education on the subject of ‘human cloning’. I thought it only fitting that I used a lot of cloning techniques in creating the image.

Another map for Cobblestone, this one a lot of fun with lots of mountains and rivers. This is only my third or fourth map for this client so far since going digital, and it looks like I’m still working some of the bugs out of my technique.

For the same client, I had a series of illustrations for a story about the ‘orphan trains’ of the thirties. I liked how the first ilustration came out, but the other two were a little ‘iffy’ both in layout and execution.

Early Digital Color

Legal Times, TeriO

The switchover to digital color wasn’t nearly so smooth and instantaneous as the black and white line work. I had a lot to learn about tones and values and how to turn what I see on my screen into something that will show up the same way once it sees print. The first few forays into the world of digital color work were a bit of a mess in some respects, but with each job, new learning opportunities arose. The above illustration was one of the first tries at a color assignment on the computer and was for Legal Times. I tried to emulate a Japanese watercolor for this story about legal warfare with the orient. Some of the Japanese details turned out quite nice, but it was a bad mix with my standard scratchboard characters. I would have been better off to try and keep the same style throughout. I had another color assignment for the same client this month, and I chose to try and do this one in a painterly style. This one was even more of a mess. Poor color choices, poor grasp of the techniques involved, and hampered by another bad concept and layout dictated by the client’s need to save money by incorporating all the stories in one particular issue into one cover illustration (and then pull out individual portions for reuse on the inside).

I also had a first map assignment this month, this one for my agent (I forget the local client), and for this one I chose to experiment with the ‘watercolor’ tools, and also trying out a few ‘masking’ techniques to mixed results.

Portrait Assignment


In February of ’92 I started a long work association with a local representative (she covered mostly the Western Michigan, Detroit and Chicago markets). I don’t have very good records for the jobs that I did for her, so most of the samples that I post will be pure guesswork. This pastel portrait was possibly an agent commision sometime in the early 90s (or it could very well have been for one of my ‘religious clients’ as it was found among other samples of that sort).

Mystery Agent Assignment


This rather involved scratchboard illustration was another agent assignment, possibly for a local advertising agency. Records are sketchy at best regarding work for my agent, so, I have no idea of the exact date or client for this particular piece. I’m guessing it was sometime in ’92 or ’93.