Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ahoy Matey!

That's right tomorrow is the official 'talk like a pirate day'! So if you're looking to add more pirate to you day check out Victrica's site for lots of fun activities.  You can also view a good portion of the book here. Aaaarg!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Great Deal on Victricia Malicia

The perfect gift for the little lady in your life! For the month of July while supplies last you can get 'Victricia Malicia', 'Silly Frilly Grandma Tilly', and 'The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister' all for $25.  You can find the deal here.
 97819362611239780979974687 9780979974694 

Monday, May 19, 2014


A few months back I did a painting for an SCWBI event that I ended up not being able to attend.  They had an illustration challenge to do an image from Aesop's fable, 'The Tortoise and the hare'.  I had done an illustration early on in college on the same story and I thought it would be fun to do another and see how they compare.  I hadn't looked at the painting I did in school at least five years.  My concept was to use the same basic idea and to incorporate some of the details I could remember without actually looking at the painting.
So today I dug out the old painting and scanned it in.   The class I did this in was illustration 2 and was probably the first children book type of illustration that I had done.  At the time I was really proud of this one but it is pretty rough.  Looks like I did it in watercolor, colored pencil, and ink.  About this time I thought I would always work in watercolor, but I was really struggling with the medium.  My problem with watercolor is that when I paint I'm not very direct and I like to feel out the color.  I like to work up to it and to be able to make mistakes.  So eventually I went to acrylic because acrylic allows you to rework until you get what you want without it turning into mud. (click image to enlarge)
From that original painting I remembered the main ideas.  I knew it was landscape crop, the tortoise had a rocket on his back, the rabbit was burnt in the background, and I could remember a few other minor details.  With those things in mind I was off to make the new illustration.  This time I switched to a portrait layout and changed quite a few things.  I painted it in acrylic on watercolor paper with a digital underpainting and a small amount of other mixed media.  The values are a little weak but it was a super rushed painting.  It's interesting to see them side by side. The way I work has totally changed.  Normally I wouldn't want to do the same idea twice but it was fun to see the outcome. (click image to enlarge)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Highlights Pewter Plate Award

Earlier this month I received a package that I wasn't expecting.  Inside was a letter from Highlights magazine and an award for illustrator of the month for the April issue!   There is so much great artwork in each issue that I was both honored and surprised to have gotten the award.  The artwork was for the poem, "For Rent: One Moon Snail Shell".  So pick up the April issue and check it out!
Here's my scan of the artwork.
 The original, printed form, and Pewter Plate.
snail shell promo

Friday, April 18, 2014

Artful Orchestra

A few months back I was asked to paint a violin to help raise money for Gateway Preparatory Academy.  It was fun to do something a little different, and painting on an object adds a fun twist.  You can go here to look at all the instruments and to bid.  The artwork is very impressive and I'm flattered to have mine alongside some other great artist!

ARTFUL-4134b ARTFUL-4134

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ballpark Mysteries

I was looking back over my old posts and I realized it's time for some updates on the Ballpark Mysteries series by Random House.  David Kelly has done a great job on these books and they just keep getting better and better.  For more information on the series check out the blog here.
'The Astro Outlaw' - Houston, we have a problem! Before a game at the Astros' ballpark, Mike and Kate get to meet astronaut commander Nick Rice at the nearby Houston Space Center. He's planning to display a very rare moonrock at an autographing event later. But just before the event, a nefarious outlaw knocks out the commander and steals the moonrock! Can Mike and Kate figure out who did it . . . when their only clue is a broken green feather?

'The L.A. Dodger' - It's spring break and Kate and Mike are off to Los Angeles to visit Kate's dad, a scout for the Dodgers. But all is not sunny in L.A.—strange things have been happening to Kate's dad. Pages have gone missing from his clipboard. He's gotten threatening phone calls. And he thinks he's being followed! Is someone after Mr. Hopkins's top secret scouting reports?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stories To Make You Dream

I had the opportunity to illustrate the book 'Stories To Make You Dream' by John Roozen.  The book has seven different stories all of which John told as bedtime stories.  There's a lot of fun, adventure, and excitement to be had in this book.  You can get a printed or digital version here.

Here is the painting I did for the cover, it has a combination of different elements from the stories.
stories to make

A couple of the interiors:
Dawn, the Flying Girl
flying dawn
An Adventurous Bug

adventerous bug