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jury duty sketching

November 9th, 2009

I told Jon Keegan on Facebook the other day that I wouldn’t be drawing while in jury duty on Friday. He was right, I was wrong.

jury duty

astronauts in peril

August 12th, 2009

I’m working on a new puzzle for MudPuppy that involves space: UFOs, aliens, comets, etc. These guys are outtakes from the sketches I’ve been working on. Nothing better than an astronaut in danger.
astronauts in peril


June 16th, 2009

I’ve spent a little time drawing in my sketchbook this week. I don’t paint in it much so this was a little bit funnish.
sketchbook and paint: two little robots
sketchbook and paint: sneakers
sketchbook and paint: walkers

I’m a T. Rex! sketches

May 26th, 2009

Back in February I was in the middle of reading Leonard Marcus’ book Golden Legacy, How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became An American Icon Along the Way when I was asked to actually illustrate a Golden Book. I jumped at the chance. This one is to be called I’m a T. Rex and it’s written by Dennis Shealy. The book is about a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex and everybody knows that I like to draw baby Tyrannosaurus Rexeses. I was giddy when I read in the contract, surrounded by all kinds of goofy legal language, this:

“The Work shall be about a cute baby dinosaur who talks about himself and his Cretaceous life.”

The sketches were completed a couple of weeks ago and I’ll be starting on the final art soon, working on it over the summer. Here is the sketch for the cover and a couple of the interior illustrations. Stay tuned for more.

I'm a T.Rex! cover sketch

sketch for "I'm a T-Rex!"

sketch for "I'm a T-Rex!"

little help here

March 24th, 2009

I’m asking for a favor with this post. I would like to know if anyone can think of a kind of truck that begins with the letters K, Q or N. For instance, a Firetruck would be a letter F, a Moving truck is M, Elephant truck would be E. You get the idea. I need K, Q and N trucks. This can be a type of truck, like Pick-up truck. Or it can be what the truck transports, like Milk.
Just leave your idea in the comments. Much appreciated. You shall be thanked heartily.

a little fish truck

a fish truck

trucks, vans and RVs

March 13th, 2009

Some sketches from a book I’m working on. I love drawing these things.
recreational vehicle
abe's fish truck
vacation van

Big and humongous

May 22nd, 2008

This is sort of a tease. It’s a just-approved sketch for a job in which the final inked original art is 30 inches wide by 40 inches tall (76cm by 102cm — really — take a tape measure and see how big that is). When it’s done it’s going to take up to 18 passes on my scanner to get it into Photoshop. It’s by far the biggest, most complicated illustration I’ve ever done. That’s all I can say about it right now. When it’s done I’ll post more. (And yes, I know this is a 500-pixel low-res image. That’s the tease.)

secret sketch

sketchbook 2006

September 4th, 2007

I found this today and liked the maniacal look. I feel like that.

Dear Julia, sketchbook

August 23rd, 2007

Dear Julia, sketchbook page

A friend of mine who is editing a book on comics recently asked if I might contribute a couple of panels and sketchbook pages from my graphic novel Dear Julia, for consideration in his book. Happy to comply, I spent an hour or so going through these two sketchbooks that I filled with everything that became Dear Julia, from October 1993 to July 1997 (can it really be ten years?). I haven’t looked at this stuff since probably 1998, and in-between now and then I’ve become a dad twice, began and ended a marriage, moved from San Francisco to Philadelphia, had a career as a college professor, and entered the world of childrens book illustration. What I haven’t done in this time is much writing and much less writing and drawing for comics.
Looking at these sketches kind of kicked me, making me realize how much fun and crazy it is to be involved engulfed in the lives of characters and events entirely of one’s own creation. That is, to write.
Anyway these sketchbook pages are about 8×7 inches so as you can see, the thumbnails are about the size of postage stamps. Typically my process was I’d write story and draw thumbs at the same time, then, using tracing paper and a tiny-nibbed rapidograph pen, then refine the thumbnail sketch. That would then get enlarged via photocopy to the size of the actual panel and get traced via lightbox to the illustration board with a light pencil (typically 2H for you nerds). This would sometimes be quite detailed or sometimes fairly loose. The drawing would then get redrawn in ink with a crowquill, then painted with black/grey watercolor. I still work basically the same way, though with a big fat brush now rather than a crowquill. My initial sketches are still the size of postage stamps no matter the size of the final work. I always figured my eyes or my back would give out working this way, but here I am at 39 still with 20/20 vision and strong as an ox.
You can read more about Dear Julia, here. Click on the appropriate link on the right. Hope you like.