Thursday, December 12, 2013

CHRISTMAS GHOSTS















I just made prints of Scrooge and the Christmas ghosts from my edition of "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" A little late I know, but if you're still shopping for Christmas gifts They are available now in the SHOP.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

THE LEAGUE OF SEVEN























Here's some new cover art for a new series of books by Alan Gratz. It's a fantastic book. Also, check out Alan's blog post on Tor.com

Monday, December 2, 2013

THE MARVELOUS MARRIAGE

I've had many requests to turn this image into a print. It's available now in the SHOP


Thursday, October 31, 2013

HOW TO DRAW WITCHES AND GHOSTS


A Halloween treat from my kids:

How to Draw a Witch by Frances.
















How to Draw a Ghost by Henry











HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

DRAWING LESSON: HOW TO DRAW A FACE IN PROFILE

In a previous DRAWING LESSON I showed you a simple way to construct a face. Today I want to continue with a lesson using the same ideas to draw a face in profile.

Again, We begin with simple shapes. Start with a circle.























Next add the jaw line and chin.
























Now add some construction lines. First draw a horizontal line to divide the head in half, this is the eye line. Next make a small mark half way between that line and the chin, this marks the placement of the nose. Finally, Make  one more mark half way between the nose and the chin.
























Use these construction lines to place some simple features.















































Finally, a page from my sketch book to give you some ideas on how you can use this construction. Give it a try and have fun!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

SKETCHBOOK

Just playing around with a character for a new picture book idea.





Saturday, September 28, 2013

FAIRY TALE COMICS EVENT

I'll be at Community Bookstore in Park Slope tomorrow.  The address is 143 7th Avenue.  The details are below. I hope to see you there.

Fairy Tale Comics with Charise Mericle Harper, Brett Helquist, & Raina Telgemeier

Sunday, September 29 at11am

Meet three of the talented cartoonist contributors to the new comic anthology Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists. Each cartoonist will introduce their fairy tale adaptation and kids will have the opportunity to participate in a brief drawing workshop. Ages four and up.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

FAIRY TALE COMICS























I'm very excited to announce the publication of FAIRY TALE COMICS. I've always loved comics, but even though I've used comic elements in books like BEDTIME FOR BEAR I've never done an actual comic, until now.

Fairy Tale comics is a collections of fairy tales adapted by 17 different artists. My kids and I love reading NURSERY RHYME COMICS (also edited by Chris Duffy) it's one of our favorite books. I was thrilled last year when Chris asked me to be a part of the new Fairy Tale Comics project. The book is finally here, available on September 24th. Here's a sample page of my adaptation of Rumpelstiltskin.
























My first comic, I can't wait to do another.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

FAVORITE ILLUSTRATIONS























I took this book by Jon McNaught with me on vacation in Utah. I was unfamiliar with Jon's work when I bought this but I thought the cover was amazing. I couldn't resist. Sometimes you can judge a book by it's cover. Dockwood is beautiful book. Below is a spread that I thought was especially good.



If you haven't seen this book you should give it a look. Great work.

Monday, August 26, 2013

SKETCHBOOK























This is a character sketch for a new book.

Friday, August 23, 2013

NEW PRINT























Hello, Everybody. I've been gone for a few weeks, enjoying some time off in Utah. I'm back now. I've added a new print to the Shop. It's a drawing from the paperback edition of "The Bad Beginning." Check it out.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

COVER ART























A few weeks ago I posted the cover art for "The Vengekeep Prophecies" by Brian farrey. Here is the cover for the second book in this series, "the Shadowhand Covenant". I have really enjoyed these books. I just got the manuscript for the third and I am looking forward to working on it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

DRAWING LESSON: HOW TO DRAW EYES

In a previous DRAWING LESSON I taught you how to construct a basic face. Today I want to add a little to that lesson and give you some thoughts on drawing eyes. Eyes can add a lot of life to a face, in fact they're probably the most important feature. The difference between a drawing that is dynamic and full of life and one that is cold and lifeless is often in the eyes. I constantly struggle with this myself. Below are some examples of how I draw eyes.




















The top right shows a standard rendering. I usually draw my eyes more simply, like the one on the top left. The bottom left shows an even simpler method, a circle with a dot in the middle. Finally, the bottom right is the simplest of all, just a dot. If you think you need more than a dot to bring a drawing to life, just look at the drawing by Hank Ketcham below.






















I encourage you to study the work of some of the great cartoonists to learn how they use the simplest lines to bring characters to life.

Practice drawing some eyes of your own, don't worry about how to draw them too much, just play. Play with where you put the eyebrows in relation to the eyes and see the range of emotions you can portray. Below is a page from my sketchbook doing just that. Go ahead and use these ideas if you like but I encourage to try some of your own. You might be surprised what you can come up with. This is how you begin to develop a visual language of your own. Try it.






















And finally, a few faces to help you see how it all fits together. Have fun. If you like this lesson check out some of the other drawing lessons, like HOW TO DRAW A GRUMPY GOAT

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

COVER ART























I'm sorry I haven't posted anything in a few days, I've been without a computer (I spilled a Coke on my laptop). I know, not too smart. Anyway, this is the cover art from The Vengekeep Prophecies. This is the first in a series of three. I really enjoyed this book.

Below I've added a simple color sketch for this painting.


































I don't always make a color sketch, but when I do I just print the sketch on card stock and color it with pastels. I don't spend much time with it, just enough to make sure what I have in my head is going to work.

I hope everybody has a great long weekend. Happy 4th.

Monday, June 17, 2013

COVER ART














































I did these two covers last year, but I never posted them.

Friday, June 14, 2013

HOW TO DRAW LIKE HOWARD PYLE, SOME THOUGHTS ON THE CREATIVE PROCESS























This illustration, "The Coming of Lancaster" by Howard Pyle, was a very important part of my education as an illustrator.  It taught me one of the most valuable lessons I would learn, a lesson that was key to almost everything I learned afterword.

I started my illustration education after two years in the Engineering program at Brigham Young University. I had never had any formal art education but I knew that I wanted to make pictures.

In my second year I was taking a History of Illustration class taught by Robert Barrett. I loved this class. I was inspired by all the great work but I was also a little discouraged. I began to doubt my abilities and wonder if I would ever learn how to make pictures like the ones I was seeing.

The day I saw "The Coming of Lancaster" projected on the screen I remember being especially discouraged. I saw it and thought, How can I ever learn to make a picture like that?" It just didn't seem possible to me. Thankfully, before the despair set in, Bob showed us the next slide.























This one of Howard Pyle's early rough sketches for "The Coming of Lancaster". I saw this and thought, "THAT I CAN DO!" What an epiphany, I finally understood that great works don't begin as great works. They begin as rough ideas. I realized that creation is a process. I thought if I can understand the first step I can learn the next step. I was fully aware that I had much to learn, but I was confident that I could learn it.

Here's a rough sketch of my own. This is the sketch that later became the cover for "the Bad Beginning"























Today, I'm still learning and I still can't draw like Howard Pyle. Even after illustrating many books, whenever I start a new picture, I still get anxious and doubt my abilities. When this happens I just remember to start scribbling.

Monday, June 10, 2013

SKETCHBOOK





















A character study from my sketchbook.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

DRAWING LESSON























In the last DRAWING LESSON I showed you how to construct a simple face. Above is a page from my sketchbook. I want you to see the variety of characters that you can achieve using this construction. Give it a try and see what you can come up with.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

FAVORITE ILLUSTRATIONS























My daughter recently brought this book home from the library. It is written and illustrated by Luke Pearson. I was not familiar with his work, but I am a fan now. If you haven't seen this book, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

NEW PRINT AVAILABLE


















I've added a new print to my shop. This is an image from my book "Grumpy Goat".
Also, if you haven't seen it, check out HOW TO DRAW A GRUMPY GOAT.

Monday, May 20, 2013

DRAWING LESSON

I hope that you enjoyed the "How to Draw a Grumpy Goat" lessons. Today I want to show you how to construct a simple drawing of a face. These are the basic steps to construct any face, in the future I'll show you how to adjust the shapes and proportions to create different faces.

Again, we will start with basic shapes. Begin by drawing a simple circle.





















Next, add a shape like this at the bottom of the circle.


Next draw a construction line vertically through the center of the shape and another horizontally dividing the shape into quarters.The exact placement of the horizontal line will vary depending on the age and look of the character, I'll talk in more detail about this in future posts. For now, place it in the center. Next, place a small mark to divide the lower segment of the vertical line in half and then, another mark half way between that mark and the chin. These are the lines on which we will hang all the features.
Next add some very simple features as shown below.























On this simple drawing you can add any details you like. Here's an example below. These are the steps that I use to create any character I draw, in future posts I'll show you how to vary the details to make a variety of characters. In he meantime just play around and see what you can do.








Thursday, May 16, 2013

FAVORITE ILLUSTRATIONS























I love the work of Russell Patterson. Beautiful compositions and simple elegant lines. I found this image in  a book called "Top hats and Flappers, the art of Russell Patterson." I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK EVENT

Celebrate Children's Book Week in Park Slope, Brooklyn! Arts at Old First is pleased to present a Children’s Book Week event featuring local authors and musicians. 

Children of all ages (and their grownups) are invited to come and enjoy this wonderful family event, which will encompass the books, movies, costumes and cookies into one magical afternoon. Two concurrent events will run twice, allowing families to enjoy an hour-long program of authors and illustrators reading their books (upstairs) followed by an hour-long program of beloved movie themes performed by local brass quintet (downstairs). Or music followed by storytime... take your pick!
I hope to see you there. Here a link for more details.Children's Book Week