Friday, January 30, 2009

Illustration Friday: Flawed

There is a serious flaw in this sketch. Can you see it? I didn't notice my faux pas until a friend pointed it out to me; I felt like a dope when I saw what I had done. 

Don't see it? The flaw is revealed below... 

The boy has six fingers

When I was a kid I would often draw hands with too many (or too few) fingers, or I'd put the thumb on the wrong side. I thought I had outgrown this type of mistake – apparently, I was wrong. 

This sketch became the cover of an educational book about Independence Day. Thank goodness the extra digit was caught early – that's not the sort of mistake you want to discover after a book has been published!

Final (5-fingered) art below. Thanks to Teri Weidner for her ability to count fingers correctly!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Illustration Friday: Climbing

This climbing chameleon graced my holiday card a few years back. Below you'll see some of the preliminary work that led to the final illustration. From top to bottom: an early color sketch, the final pencil drawing and some practice tree branches.

FYI: The final illustration is a mix of watercolor and colored pencil and maybe a little India Ink(?).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dino Project Sketches

I've been neglecting this blog recently because I am working tirelessly on a series of dinosaur books! The project is a lot of fun and I'm eager to show my new work.  Unfortunately (for me) I feel it's best to keep this project under wraps until the books are published. But, I'll share a few details...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Holiday Card Sketches (Start to Finish!)

This ugly blue thumbnail sketch was created in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet. 

I then used black to draw on top of the blue. My goal here was to find the best lines from that blue mess above.  

Next, I printed out the digital sketch and traced it on my light-box. The characters continue to evolve. I like my Wacom but it can't beat pencil and paper at this stage.  

I rescanned the image and traced it again in Photoshop. At each step I continue to hone the characters, background and details.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Geeking Out With Dinosaurs

I was fortunate that my recent trip to California coincided with the San Jose stop of Walking With Dinosaurs: The Live Experience! The 90 minute show consists of life-sized animatronic dinosaur puppets that, if I were 5 years old, would have BLOWN MY MIND!

And considering I'm currently illustrating a series of dinosaur books, I could rationalize my attendance without feeling too geeky.

The puppets are a marvel to behold. They moved with near biological accuracy and when combined with smoke, lights and a deafening roar, well, they're pretty awesome!

Not everyone was impressed; my wife fell asleep.