Coolidge & College

Barrons, ChronicleHE

My postings here have slowed down a bit this month, but it doesn’t mean I’m any less busy. Been working on rough sketches for a book project that will be remaining under wraps for the duration, but in the meantime, I’m also doing the regular short deadline work in the margins. The illustration above was one for Barrons I did this morning, and for those keeping a scorecard, this is only my third ‘Calvin Coolidge’ I’ve done in the past 25 years, and (I think) my 11th Obama. Below, is an illustration I did for the Chronicle earlier this week on University Presidents.

Oscar Poster 2013

Oscar Poster

Another Oscar Poster in the can, and like the last few years, I’ve gotten it done closer and closer to the finish line. I managed to find a few spare hours this afternoon to finish it up, just in time to get it printed tomorrow and given to my brother for his party on Sunday (he’ll be in town anyway, helping us move my Dad into his new apartment tomorrow). The layout on this one felt a little cramped (especially in the upper left corner, where I ended up putting most of the nominees I’m less familiar with), and I was thinking of giving this one the title of “I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat”. (click on the image above to see a larger version).

Link to all the posters in the series.

Busy Week

AHMM, Barrons, Farm Futures, US Catholic, WSJ

It’s been a while since I last posted, but it has been mainly because I’ve been too busy to post, which is a nice situation to be in for a change. I started work this week on a series of 90 illustrations for a book project (that will have to remain under wraps for the time being), plus I had a fair share of short deadline pieces come due, and on top of that, had to take a couple days off to drive my Father to a few medical appointments (and in fact, I’ll be leaving in a few moments for another one today). So let’s get the ball rolling here. Above was a piece for Barrons, and below are the two rough sketches for this project.

Next, a fiction piece for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and the rough sketch for that one:

And a piece for US Catholic, and the corresponding rough sketch:

And a cover illustration for Farm Futures Magazine, and the rough sketch for that one (also, you can click on the color image below to see a larger version):

And then to finish out the week, an unusual one for the WSJ, in which I provided three roughs, and then they decided they wanted an actual ‘charlie brown and lucy’, for which the editors needed to contact the Charles Schultz people for permission and approval. I’ve been asked on occasion in the past to emulate certain artists’ styles, but this is my first time doing the Peanuts characters, and it was an honor, since some of the earliest artwork I was ever exposed to were the Peanuts daily strips in paperback book form.

Deep Freeze

AHMM, Baker Book House, ChronicleHE, Self Promotion

After a January of unseasonably warm temperatures here in Michigan, we’ve been plunged into the teens and single digits, and been dumped on with about a foot of snow, but that’s Michigan, more than likely it will be back in the 60s to 80s next week. Been busy working over the past week, whilst taking care of my Dad, over for a visit from his current home in Lansing. I’m only now getting a chance to catch up on posting my latest work.

Above is a light hearted piece I finished up for the Chronicle this morning (you can click on the small image above to see a larger one). Yesterday I managed to finish up the ‘Amish Girl’ project (although there are a few additional ‘coloring pages’ I need to work on later this week), and below are the remaining chapter illustrations for this collection.

Plus, somewhere in the past week, I finished up another fiction illustration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Oddly enough, I also got a sample copy in the mail yesterday, and didn’t realize that I had used a similar ‘flashlight from behind’ concept for an illustration for this same client on the last one. I suppose I need to pay closer attention to the back catalog when I am conceptualizing.

And, in ‘self promotion news’, my latest postcard should be hitting the mailboxes today or tomorrow. I chose to promote my portraits, after spending most of last summer drawing those 200 facebook illustrations.
Coming up next: I just received the contracts for a rather large book illustration project for this spring, but it looks as though the contract stipulates that I shouldn’t share the work in progress, so I’ll likely be keeping that job under wraps until a later date.

iPhone Art


Well, got my first iPhone this week, and have been playing around with the drawing capabilities of the thing, in addition to the usual ‘phone’, ‘camera’, ‘pda’ and other usages more commonly associated with cell phones. Probably not going to replace my wacom tablet anytime soon, and the interface is clunky to say the least, drawing with the tip of my finger on a screen the size of a postage stamp with little or no control over line thickness or expression, but I can see it being a useful tool for sketching thumbnails and quick ideas. Here’s the first three things I’ve drawn on it, using two different drawing apps I’ve downloaded.

And here’s a portrait of my Dad while he is in his chair getting a chemo dose (and trying to figure out his Nook tablet).