Friday, May 30, 2008


Visitors to this site have seen me working on an illustration featuring kids in an attic being startled by squirrels (just scroll down to see what I'm talking about). At some point I decided that the illustration would make a good postcard. And that got me thinking about a spot illustration for the address side. But what?

I thought about the "story"and what might happen next...

The kids run from the attic in a panic and drop their book of ghost stories. And then the squirrels find the book and spook themselves!

I was happy to work on a spot illustration. To be honest, the attic scene is a little intimidating and this spot is a good warm up. When I painted this, I started by covering the drawing with a dark layer of burnt umber and then worked from dark to light - an effective approach for nighttime scenes!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Work in Progress: Attic Scene

When I'm confronted with a complex scene (like a group of kids in an attic being scared by squirrels), I'll start with a rough sketch to find a composition that has a clear narrative and is (hopefully) dynamic. Once I have the basic composition, I develop the illustration in pieces. I start with the characters and work to make their gestures lively and their expressions clear. Then I tackle the background without the characters. If I don't draw the background separately, I'll be tempted to squeeze the setting in around them - and that tends to look forced and disjointed. Unfortunately, I sometimes draw a background that ends up obscured by a squirrel!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kennedy Studios Show

Last Friday was the opening reception at Kennedy Studios and despite threatening skies, the event was well attended. It was fun to come out of my cave and be sociable for an evening. All the artists in the show made an appearance. From left to right: Gina Perry, Me, Tess Feltes and Teri Weidner. David McPhail escaped before the picture was taken. The show will be up until early June. Ok, back to drawing raccoons!

Monday, May 5, 2008


I'll be taking part in a group exhibit of children's book illustrators at Kennedy Studios in my hometown, Portsmouth, NH. The opening reception is Friday, May 9th, from 5-8pm. I'll be showing alongside the very talented David McPhail, Gina Perry, Teri Weidner and Tess Feltes.

Stop in and say hello if you're in the area! The reception is part of Art About Town, an evening of gallery openings all over town. A great excuse to walk around a beautiful city and take in some art.

Illustration Friday: Seed

I have a couple illustrations in my archive that were suitable for this week's Illustration Friday topic, "seed," but this one seemed to fit best. It was for a sci-fi story that appeared in a home and garden magazine... wha?