Friday, January 31, 2014

New Work

Friday, October 18, 2013

This might be a little late, though you'd never know it with the crazy weather we've been having. Anyway, Happy Fall!

Monday, September 30, 2013

the banana peel

Just a random sample I worked up recently...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Some sketches

I had some time this morning to sit outside, enjoy the fall air, and do a bit of sketching. I don't get to do this nearly as much as I'd like. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Good-bye, Summer!

Summer's drawing to an end. The leaves will soon fall, the kids will go back to school, and I need to send out some postcards. This is from a sketch I recently did and posted here a couple weeks ago.

I'm hoping to get a laugh from anyone who might see it, so I added some text:

I had them printed and after an evening of sticking on address labels and stamps, they're ready to go!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

From the sketchbook...

I don't have any deep thoughts to share at the moment, but I do have some silly stuff from my current sketchbook. My sketchbook is filled with drawings for book ideas, drawings from real life, and drawings that serve no purpose other than to amuse me. I'll make it a point to post stuff from it on a regular basis.

This is me food shopping:

This is me mowing the lawn:

I saw this guy on the road:

A cat reading the morning paper over breakfast:

The next two are from a new book idea I'm developing. I don't want to give anything away just yet; the book is still in its infancy. I will say, however, that it involves a pig who can't stop laughing.

And there's also a sheep.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

While the Artist's Away

While the Artist's Away came out this week, and it was a long time coming. I first had the idea several years ago. Here's a spread from an earlier version:

Back then the dog was sort of in cahoots with the cat:

The problem was I couldn't figure out a good way to fit the story into a 32-page picture book without it feeling rushed. So the project spent many years sleeping soundly in a folder on my computer. Then came e-publishing. Unlike physical books, which are constrained by how they're bound and what they cost, eBooks can have as many pages as you like. I couldn't tell this story in 32 pages, but 80 pages? No problem!

Like any illustrated book, this one began as a bunch of rough sketches. Making the final art, however, involved more than just my usual watercolor painting; I needed a whole bunch of things.

First I took multiple photos of the workspace itself, to be used in different spreads. Here's one of those photos:

Next I made all of my illustrations. There were cats...

...various watercolor splotches and splatters...

...and mice. In this instance, I made a small group and then copied and pasted them repeatedly to create the illusion of an army.

I also needed a paintbrush... 

...a dog...

...and "Portrait of a Child" by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. I've always loved this painting and have a postcard of it, which I planned to use. Of course, when it came time to take some photos of the workspace, the postcard was nowhere to be found. So the kid had to be downloaded and then photoshopped into each spread. And yes, the postcard was found shortly after I did all that. I'm not kidding.

Here's the finished spread:

Since this book contains illustrations illustrating each other, I wanted to give each character a different level of drawing ability. For me painting the cat, it was no problem since I had a photo of my hand and an illustration. It's just me painting a cat. Pretty straightforward.

The cat's drawing style needed to be distinct from mine. You can see he draws a bit more crudely than I do. He's happy with stick arms and dots for eyes.

And the mouse, poor guy. He can barely draw at all.

For more information about While the Artist's Away, go to
Watch the trailer while you're there. It's really awesome.