30 July 1999

Colored Pencils


Around the time that Stephen King got hit by a car when he was out walking, I got an assignment from an east coast newspaper client to portray the sort of dangerous situation that casual walkers face on a regular basis. I've been working in a rather loose sketchy colored pencil/watercolor style on a few other projects this month, and decided to approach this one in the same manner. I'm not all that crazy about the purple/pink color scheme, but I still kind of like how this one turned out.

The 'pueblo' series of illustrations pictured to the left were all for a children's magazine this month (as well as a few other related images that can be found in another posting). The idea was to show how a single pueblo dwelling would grow over time as the family and community grew. This one I also finished in the same colored pencil/watercolor medium, although this one is considerably less 'sketchy'. I do like how I finished up the edges of these spots, a little different than the usual 'fade out'.

I did a slight bit of cheating on this project. I started with the 'single dwelling' and then copied and pasted that illustration onto the second drawing, reducing it and putting in the additions on each subsequent illustration (and doing some subtle shading to hide the fact that the original brush strokes were shrinking each time), and you'll also notice that some of the characters got reused and moved around from drawing to drawing.

I also used the colored pencils/watercolor combo this month for an illustration on 'plate tectonics' for the same children's magazine client (pictured below). Below that is a black and white colored pencil/watercolor illustration that I did for an educational publication (on motion picture ratings).

I don't know why I rarely do this style anymore. I really liked how all of these turned out. Perhaps it was how time consuming the layering and overlapping of brushstrokes was. I should try going back to this style again for a future project, when time isn't such an issue.

29 July 1999

Children's Book Project


This month I had a children's book project for a local publisher. This was one of two 'full color' titles that I worked on for this client in '99 (the other being 'Imagine That' finished later in the year). This one was entitled 'Mother Goose News' and the first part of the book (the lead story) was about Goldilocks and the Three Bears (all done as two page spreads), and the second half was taken up with various short rhymes about other nursery characters (Red Riding Hood, Three Pigs, etc), and each occupied a single page. The whole book was tied together by a 'newscast theme' and the beginning and end of the book featured the 'mother goose narrator and her film crew'. The book is out of print, but several used copies are still available through Amazon here (while 'Imagine That' is priced quite low, this book seems to garner a higher 'used' price, oddly enough). While it is fun once in a while to tackle a project of this size, I still prefer to work on two or three small rush projects over the course of a week, as it is easier on my sanity.
I've included a sampling of illustrations from this book here in this posting.






15 July 1999

Cartoon Work in July


The above cartoon was for a new client in July, an east coast magazine, and concerned the 'health care burden' weighing down the U.S. citizenry. A bit time consuming, but I usually like the challenge of trying to fit in a lot of elements into an illustration.

The 'church spots' to the left and below were all for a midwest evangelical publication. The 'checkup' illustration was a bit larger than the rest, but I've made them all the same size here for this posting.


I also had a caricature this month for the newsletter of a local christian musician. I had done another one for a previous issue, and also had done some artwork for a cd cover for this same client. I wasn't crazy about how this one turned out. I'm never very comfortable working in this extreme 'big head' style of caricature. It seems cliched and goofy to me, and always feels very awkward while I'm working on it.

Below is a 'puzzle illustration' that I did this month for one of my children's magazine clients. This one probably had a series of garbled communications going into the 'speech balloons' that the reader is supposed to decifer.


The above illustration was another 'pueblo' drawing for the same issue of a children's magazine that featured some other illustrations pictured in other postings this month. They were all done in different styles since they would appear in various places throughout the magazine and they didn't want it to look like they used the same illustrator for all the assignments.

To the right and below are a few cartoons for a local regional magazine (I believe my wife was still working at this publication around this time). I was regularly contributing to a humor column in the 'city magazine' and assorted columns in the same company's 'parenting' magazine.


Above is another 'puzzle page' illustration for the same children's magazine as the 'phone conversation' puzzle. This one you were supposed to figure out who the folders belonged to based on clues pasted to each. I'll be darned if I can remember the answers to any of them.

14 July 1999

Some Experiments


In these early years of playing around with my new 'digital tools', I would frequently try out different combinations and experiment with different styles if the client was up for it. Not all of them were entirely successful. This was probably one of the ones that didn't work out so well. This was for a west coast magazine client, and a regular assignment I was doing monthly around this time. These involved a single larger sized color cover illustration and a series of smaller black and white spots on a similar them for the inside. This one had something to do with a persons' 'inner light', and I tried doing something with a 'stylized figure' so I wouldn't have to mess with race/gender/age/etc and concentrate on the 'light'. The cover illustration turned out much better than the inside spots, but even the cover illustration didn't turn out all that well.


An experiment that worked out a little better was the quickie black and white illustration above that I did this month for a jesuit publication. This concerned 'gays in the church', and I decided to try a soft charcoal approach, working on textured paper.

05 July 1999

Scratchin in July


The illustration above was a page and a half spread for a midwest legal magazine. The illustration to the left was a rather simple caricature of Al Gore for an east coast jewish publication.

As I'm working my way backwards through these archives, I am struck by how little of a percentage the 'scratchboard' style was for me at this midpoint in my career. Nowadays ('08) I seem to do little else. Probably due to my marketing efforts. I've noticed that only one out of the last 8 or 9 postcards has featured the 'cartoon' style while all the rest were 'scratchboard samples'. If I want more work in other styles I should push them harder I suppose.

The 'stock market' illustration and the 'college funding' illustration below were both for an east coast legal newspaper this month, and the 'trampoline' illustration below that was for an educational publication.


I also had another 'pueblo' illustration for my children's magazine client. This was one of three different assignments for the same magazine, but they were all done in different styles so as to make it look like the publication hired a few different illustrators rather than the same guy for all of them. (the other assignments can be seen in other postings this month - all on the same 'pueblo' theme).