Good News

Hey there blog readers,

Like most folks, I have doubts now and then. It's all too easy succumb to the worry and anxiety, but every once in a while, someone or something reminds me that it's all going to work out fine.

And today, dear blog readers, today I have some brand-spanking-new, career-affirming news.

 I just signed on to my VERY FIRST official FOR-REAL-DEAL picture book project!! (Weeeee!!! Jumping up and down in the studio!) I'm illustrating a manuscript for Sleeping Bear Press. While I can't say much more about the project yet, I wanted to share the news with a handful of sketches. Because you may be seeing many more like these...

SVA, Pinocchio, and new work!

Hey there everyone,

Exciting things afoot. The School of Visual Arts' Illustration as Visual Essay program is turning 30 this year, and the department is celebrating with a massive exhibition this fall. Alums of the program were recently asked to send in all of the things we've been working on since graduation - tear sheets from newspaper and magazine illustrations, published or self-published books and comics, products, fine art, etc., so I popped into the department yesterday to say hi and drop off a few small things.

In addition to asking for published work, the department put out a call for anyone who wanted to play. One of our fab faculty members (and local italophile), Carl Titolo, brought 100 small wooden Pinocchios back from Italy. Using the Pinocchio as reference, we were challenged to create a drawing, painting, or story in an 8"x8" piece.

If you'd like to see for scale, here's Pinocchio hanging out in my studio.

Usually I play around for a while with compositions and scenes, but for this project, I had an idea immediately. As soon as I saw the little Pinocchio, I knew what I wanted to do. 

I started out with a few warm-up sketches of Pinocchio. 

And then moved on to a marionette character that I actually came up with years ago. I refreshed my memory of her proportions and updated her a bit.

I did a few rough thumbnails and sketches.

And came up with this sketch...

...which after a bit of tweaking and cropping to make it more dynamic, finished up like so:

In the fall, the department will post all of the submitted pieces on their blog and Facbeook page. I can't wait to see what fellow alums came up with!

The exhibit opens in November, and I'll update with dates and more info later in the year. Stay tuned!

New Year, New Materials

Hey blog readers,

In the spirit of the new year, I thought I'd share some new materials I've been playing around with. At Lost Weekend this year, illustrator friend Brooke demoed some excellent water soluble graphite. I haven't been able to find it locally, but I did find something called "Liquid Pencil" on the shelf.

Lately I've been experimenting with black and white illustrations and spots for chapter books/middle grade novels. I decided to give the Liquid Pencil a test run. It was a little goopy, but when thinned out, it made some great textured washes.

After playing with different types of strokes and washes, I did a couple of loose character sketches in my sketchbook.