14 September 2003

The Children's Hour

Another favorite piece that I did in '03 was this pair of illustrations for Cricket magazine. This was a story about a female native american scout who rescues another woman and her child (from what, I don't quite remember). I used a technique that I don't quite remember where I picked up from (probably saw it being used by another illustrator in a book somewhere), where I put a subtle yellow glow around the outside of the scratchboard boundary (when the background is 'white') as a way of helping 'pop' the illustration out of the page. I particularly liked how the horse turned out in this opening illustration. Horses are not my strong suit, and I always consider them a challenge whenever I'm asked to draw them. I'm not quite as familiar with their anatomy, and it takes a bit more research than normal to get them to turn out right.

I also had a chance to pull the 'digital pastels' out of mothballs this month for an assignment for Christian Home & School magazine. This story was about a 'guitar' given as a gift at christmas (I don't remember why there is another one hidden under the couch). This was a fun one to do, on a personal level, because my favorite gift I received when I was a kid, was a 'harmony sovereign' guitar from my Uncle that was a big influence on my life. So I used that guitar as the model for the guitar in the picture, and also included some other personal touches, like the color of the couch and shag carpeting, which was the color scheme in our 1970s ranch house living room where I grew up (the living room/dining room layout that we see is also quite similar to how our house was arranged). Looking back at this illustration now, however, I am struck by how much love and attention I paid to the guitar, and probably skimped a little on the shadows underneath the case and wrapping paper, and the background details.

And then, for Oddysey magazine (Cobblestone), I had my regular 'puzzle page' assignment. This was a story problem involving a mouse detective.

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