Archive for book cover

Solo Art Show at the Aar Gallery!

For the entire month of October, I will be having a solo show at the Aar River Gallery in Westminster. Primarily I will be showcasing the art from the upcoming children’s book “Lights On!” to be official published October 1. Come, stop by, and see the originals.

  • There will be a First Friday Reception
    on Oct. 6, from 6 to 9.
  • Hear me talk about the process of creating the illustrations for the book during the Second Saturday Art Walk on Oct. 14 from 1 to 5:00.
  • Also showing will be moderately priced originals, books, and prints. Please stop by and support this wonderful gallery and this great event.

Up, Up, and Away!

Move over, Superman, you’ve got nothing on these guys!

These two images of Daedalus and Icarus I recently completed for Robert Case, who has published his take of the original story in his book Icarus and the Wing Builder. Told in first person, it gives the account of Daedalus as he travels across the Aegean region, eventually taking on Icarus as an adoptive son. It’s a fascinating tale, full of adventure and intrigue, danger and politics, but most importantly, it’s about the relational bound between the two–father and son, as they become the first humans to take flight.

daedalus icarus

The way Robert Case tells the story, it’s convincing enough to make one wonder if the legend really did indeed happen.

While I had illustrated the hardcover version of the book with a simple Aegean landscape, for the e-book, we decided to add the two characters in the sky.

Having been bombarded with images of the upcoming Superman vs Batman movie, I decided to piggyback on that theme and pose our two Greek legends in those iconic superhero poses–Daedalus taking on the form of Superman and Icarus taking on the form of Batman.

I decided to experiment and paint on a brown parchment type paper, almost the surface of a paper bag. This proved to be a bit odd to work with, the colors bled a lot and it was hard to control my vibrancy. I played around with back lighting effects, and I was influenced heavily by both Art Deco and a little Steampunk. While the final application of both men was very small in the title area of the e-book, I chose to take the time to render them out with a little more detail and attention, allowing them to work as stand alone images. Final images were clipped from their backgrounds and layered into the background image with the text.

Now if you notice that a few of my illustrations lately have dealt with the topic of flying…

 

purely coincidental.

WingBuilder-ebook-final

 

A Girl, A Horse, and Her Dog

AGirlAHorseAndHerDog_web-watermark

For the past three months, I have been secretly working on illustrations for a children’s chapter book with the tentative title as seen above. Yesterday, I put the final touch of pencil down on the last illustration, finally concluding the project. One color cover and twelve grayscale interior illustrations are now finished and ready for publication.

This project was a challenge for me. It involved drawing children with horses and a border collie, nothing I am familiar with or comfortable drawing. Some of the pieces required intense perspective grids (which I am familiar with, but it does take time). In order to get myself into illustration shape, I did what any illustrator would do, I filled sketchbooks full of studies of horses, border collies and children, until I had figured out a look and feel in which to work.

I also procured my own photo reference, setting up photoshoots with a friend who had a border collie and another friend who had a daughter who just happened to be the right age, plus several other children who helped out for some of the crowd scenes.

christmas pageant-web pageant perspective

I’m still not ready to show all of the illustrations yet, not until the book is published, but I wanted to show off the cover and the last interior illustration I worked on: Christmas Pageant. In order to create visual interest with this piece and the rest of the book, I decided that this would be a great place to set up a bird’s view perspective. Doing so properly would require perspective.

The different squared shapes (the stable and the inn flat) are not parallel to each other, thereby requiring their own set of vanishing points. Add to that, I decided to make this a three point perspective grid, so the vertical lines drop to a point beneath the action. Because of this, the characters also had to be subjected to three point perspective, and I tried to emphasize this as I could when rendering them. You can see a copy of the perspective grid I created. I usually create my perspective grids in Adobe Illustrator, that way I can set my vanishing points as far off the paper as I need to and be able to access them quickly and conveniently. Illustrator also allows me to draw vanishing lines rapidly. Since Illustrator is very technical, I’ll print out the grid, place it under my sheet of Bristol, and then render the scene with its nuances using a light table.

So, the next time you see an illustration of mine that has a lot of perspective, that’s how I do it. As soon as the book is published, I’ll update this blog and provide links for you to acquire a signed copy.