Before I got the reputation around the offices of this one particular children’s magazine as the ‘historical/nautical’ artist, I was frequently given assignments for a while that had a ‘boy’s adventure’ feel to them. This was another of those assignments, and concerned a pair of young boys trapped in an old mine as their candles are snuffed out mysteriously one by one (turns out the rats are eating the wax). I experimented with a different technique this time around, starting with a rough pastel background and then carving out my usual scratchboard technique in the rough background. It worked nicely for the moody ‘dark scenes’, but was less successful in the final illustration where the boys escape the mineshaft and head out into the sunshine. My favorite piece of the series was the rat illustration above.
The two illustrations below were for the same story, but had unusual shapes that wrapped around the text. This was a challenging piece all around, because most of the action of the story takes place in the dark, and the time and date was rather vague, so that I was worried about period costumes, and used the darkness to hide my ignorance for the most part.
For a children’s history magazine this month, I also had a series of illustrations about the framing of the declaration of independence. I don’t remember if the map and the illustrations below were for the same publication/story or not, but they seem to be connected in some way. The map above was of the state of Maryland and the surrounding region, and I’ve enlarged one of the small vignettes on the map to show the detail.
I also had to provide a series of three portraits of some of the lesser known signers of the Declaration (if I remember this assignment correctly). Plus a full page image of the three of them together (text would be superimposed over the lighter area in the middle of the illustration).