Friday, October 12, 2012

Release the Kraken -- I mean Cetus!

This beasty is the mighty sea monster Cetus. I had the opportunity to draw this mythological beast – along with Pegasus, Neptune and even the head of Medusa – for The Story of Cassiopeia, a book written by Thomas Kingsley Troupe and published by Picture Window Books.

The books is based on a Roman constellation myth that tells the story of Cassiopeia, the vain queen that dares to think she is more beautiful than than Neptune's daughters, the sea nymphs. When word of Cassiopeia's boast reaches Jupiter, he becomes furious and sets out to destroy Cassiopeia's kingdom. What happens next? Well, you'll have to buy the book! Or you can look it up the ancient myth on Wikipedia...

I had a blast illustrating this book. The story is full of action, angst and MONSTERS! The ten-year-old in me was thrilled to be designing and drawing my very own Cetus!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cappy Hampers

These happy campers appeared in Highlights for Children magazine earlier this year. The "Campfire Bait" rebus was written by Aline Alexander Newman and illustrated by yours truly.

High priced, big-time professional modeling types.
Generally, when I start a drawing I work from my imagination. But there's usually a point where I feel I need to look at some reference. For this illustration I borrowed my brother and my nephew. My goal wasn't to create a likeness of this dynamic duo; rather, I used their photos to help me draw more convincing poses, camp chairs, and folds in clothing.

It's been a while, but I'd guess I also looked at photos of bark, pine needles on a branch, fishing poles, tackle boxes, raccoons and probably even hot dogs!

I've done some camping in my day and my experiences crept into this illustration. That's my tent and my cooler in the background. There is one camping detail that I left out of this illustration – mosquitoes!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Highlights Hidden Pictures Spring Cover

Can you find the bumble bee hidden in this illustration? What about the duck? The frog? The butterfly? The rabbit? And the turtle? The turtle is a real tough one…

Scott and Wendy: Hidden Pictures addicts.
It takes a keen eye to find Hidden Pictures, but trust me, it takes an even keener eye to draw them! That's why I'm grateful to my optometrist, Sheila M. White, for setting me up with some stylish drawing glasses. I stopped by The Eyeglass Shop recently to give them a copy of the Spring Highlights Hidden Pictures, which features this illustration on the cover.  

The folks at the shop are long-time fans of Highlights, and Hidden Pictures in particular. They actually have contests to see who can find all the hidden objects first! I was proud to supply them with a Hidden Pictures puzzle of my own, and I thank them for keeping my drawing eyes in decent shape.

The Spring Highlights Hidden Pictures is in stores now through May 22nd!

Preliminary sketches.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I created this leprechaun for a group mailing my agent, Portfolio Solutions, put together. Each artist had to illustrate a leprechaun with a pot of gold and a rainbow.  I first tried to make the leprechaun look like he was hot tubbing in his pot of gold, but he just looked naked – and creepy. See sketch below…

Sorta like a white-trash leprechaun.

I experimented a bit with this project: there's a lot more texture than I usually use and the leprechaun is more cartoony and stylized. I think it's fun – and a style I want to explore.

And why the snake? I don't know. I think I was going for irony but, really, it's inexplicable.

If this is what's waiting for me at the end of rainbow, I'm not interested.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Prehistoric Poultry

I illustrated this crazy dinosaur for Highlights Magazine (March 2012). Gigantoraptor was sorta like a big turkey – it stood 12 feet tall! More Gigantoraptor facts (and loads of additional Fun with a Purpose) in the March 2012 issue.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Year in Pictures 2011

This collage represents my illustration output in 2011. Each thumbnail is taken from a different project. Some projects were small and personal, others professional and far-flung. Third row, fourth square is an experiment with a new medium (new for me): gouache.  First row, second square represents a six-book series of of Bible parables.

I do this exercise mostly for myself – a way of  assessing my progress as an artist. I have a variety of thoughts and emotions as I see a year's work in chronological order.  Here are some of the thoughts that crossed my mind:

I rock!

I suck!

I'm my own worst critic (and best cheerleader), and as I saw these illustrations again, I was judging each of them with "fresh" eyes. They're all successful illustrations – but I find some more appealing than others… Suffice to say – this exercise helps me track my strengths, my weakness and the evolution of my style.

Now on to 2012!