Presidents Day (a day late)


Portrait of Lincoln at his desk, an assignment from the American Bar Association. Been reading the Lincoln biography by David Herbert Donald, and last night we watched the D.W. Griffith 1930 Abraham Lincoln biopic starring Walter Huston (very corny, and not very kind to Mary Todd).

ABA Assignment Breakdown


Finished up an ABA illustration this morning. While working on it, I saved various ‘in progress’ versions to share here, and give a little insight into my working methods. Below is step one, the rough sketch (after showing it to the AD, she suggested making some of the ‘arms’ clad in orange prison garb, which I did in the final version)

The first step I usually take is drawing the entire thing as a black and white scratchboard, and then the next step is coloring and texturizing some of the solid black lines (which helps to soften up the hard edges and gives a little more depth). Then the final step is the actual coloring of the piece, which I usually do on a separate layer, usually in watercolor, or something similar. I usually leave any lettering until last, and in this case, added the wording “Habeas Corpus” using photoshop.


ABA, AHMM, rough sketches

Working on rough sketches today. Above is an upcoming illustration for the ABA, and below are some revisions to the AHMM cover that I submitted earlier in the week, after some comments from the editors. Will be going to finish on probably both of these next week.

Salem Witch Trials


An illustration I did this morning for the American Bar Association. Been doing work for this client since 1995, and their jobs always keep me on my toes with their wide range of possible subject matter.

Back to Work


After a month hiking in the John Muir Wilderness in California, I’m back at the drawing board and catching up with work. Above is a scene from our adventures (with my brother in law John in the foreground), this was along the Pacific Crest Trail around day 6 of our hike, heading for our first hotel reservation and resupply stop. It was a wonderful time and I’m already missing the scenery (but not the mosquitos).

Below is an illustration I did this week for the American Bar Association. Both of my ‘book projects’ are temporarily in a holding pattern, and I’m clearing the late August calendar early in anticipation of a coming busy period.