One of my favorite 'busy cartoons' of the year is pictured at left. This was one of the images that I did for an article in one of my children's magazines this month. A multi-illustration assignment on 'living in ancient Babylon'. This particular one was of a royal banquet, and I had a lot of fun filling it with lots of color and detail. It took forever to do, but it was worth the time (I don't know how that 'where's waldo' guy does book after book of these things). Now just for fun, 1. find the dog, 2. find the spilled wine jug, 3. find the ham, 4. find the musicians, 5. find a guy eating a turkey leg.
Other illustrations in the series had to wrap around text blocks, so there are a few blank white areas in the illustrations below. After spending all my time and energy on the 'banquet scene', I made the rest of these not quite so busy. First, a typical street scene with fruit market. Below that an image depicting the 'making of bricks'. Below that, a 'doctor's visit' with various pest infestations typical of the Babylonian home.
Also for the same magazine, but in a different section, I was asked to do a 'view of the city' which nearly took as much time as the 'banquet scene' but with different challenges. I've never been very good at architecture, but I thought this one turned out fairly nice.
Next this month, we travelled to Ancient Rome to take a look at daily life of the average Roman citizen (not sure if this was all for the same magazine, or if there was a common theme running through a series of publications for this issue). The above illustration was of a street scene, and I also had a 'cutaway' illustration below showing a typical 'domus' or roman house. (more architecture - ug - and another one that took a long time to complete).
I also had a series of small spots to go with these, but I've decided to include them in the 'color scratchboard' posting for this month.
20 August 2000
One of my favorite paintings of the year is pictured above. This was for a children's magazine client in August to accompany an article about the 'causes of war', and also included a portrait of James K. Polk, and another 'scene' involving the president addressing congress (which didn't turn out quite so nice). I remember taking some inspiration for the clouds here from Maxfield Parrish, and a little bit of N.C. Wyeth, and even though it had to be designed in such a way that text had to overlap certain parts of the drawing, it still stands up pretty good as a stand alone image, which is pretty rare in my experience.
I also had a few maps for the same client this month (a busy month for this client, considering the above paintings, and the time intensive 'history cartoons' chronicled in another posting this month), A detailed map of a region in northern India, plus a few small 'locator' maps (one of which I've posted here, the other can be found in the 'maps' archive. I also had another 'roman empire' map, pictured below.
15 August 2000
I had another large workbook project this month from a local children's publisher. This assignment consisted of about 60 small black and white spot cartoons, of which I've chosen a sampling of them to post here. The sizes and subject matter varied widely, as usual with these projects, and they continued to be good practice on refining my cartoon skills. (pictured above and below)
I also had a series of color spots this month from my college lifestyle magazine. The larger one to the left and the three small 'hair raising' icons were for an article about 'stress levels', and the small spots below were for a series of small 'factoid' articles that I regularly illustrate for this client.
The illustration to the left was for a local religious organization. I don't quite remember what the story behind it was, but I have a few other 'flashlight' illustrations along similar lines from around the same time for the same client.
05 August 2000
I had the usual smattering of black and white scratchboard assignments this month. Most of them were for the same national newspaper client, with occasional assignments elsewhere. The one above was about conflicting poll numbers over the summer regarding the upcoming elections. The illustration to the left was regarding tax inequities. Below is another illustration for the same client, this one another 'investor testing the waters' type concept, and below that, an investor out cruising the water (I don't quite remember the stories behind either of these too well - seems to be conflicting messages)
Above is an illustration for my east coast newspaper client. This was one of the last 'Bill Clintons' I did while he was still in office. Amazing how I never really got very good at drawing this guy, that is, until a couple years after he was replaced in the White House. The illustration below, was for the same client, and had something to do with 'fantasy baseball leagues'.
Then, finally, I had a small spot for my educational publication client. I don't quite remember the story behind this one.
02 August 2000
Not too much color scratchboard this month, but one of the few that I did have was a doozy. This illustration above of Putin was entitled 'Putin on the Fritz', and I liked this one so much that I ended up recycling it as a postcard later in the year.
Below is an illustration for an east coast legal publication, something to do with unwed mothers looking for work. Below that is a series of small icons that I did for a series of 'history' illustrations on Ancient Babylon (see another posting this month for details and more illustrations along these lines).