May 23rd, 2013
Illustration Friday — “liquid”
(watercolor and ink)
Re-designing humans. It sounds so daunting when you say it like that. One of my take-aways from the SCBWI Midwest conference was to update my human characters. While this painting is not a huge departure from my previous work, there are a few tweaks based on some of the more radical changes that I have tried in my sketchbook. I also had a chance to fiddle with some of my painting practices (for better or worse!). I.F. is a great chance to experiment — I will see where things lead…
May 16th, 2013
Illustration Friday — “future”
(watercolor and ink)
In the future, height won’t matter so much.
May 14th, 2013
“Are you a Good Listener?”
(watercolor, gouache and ink on bristol)
I painted the illustrations for the “Are you a Good Listener?” quiz in the June 2013 issue of Highlights for Children. Here’s one of the spots — grab a copy of the magazine to check out the rest!
May 9th, 2013
“Hat Shop” Hidden Picture
I received two 2013 Hidden Picture books in the mail from Highlights for Children. Each one contains one of my Hidden Picture puzzles. The detail below is from one called “Hat Shop.” Not only does it include the raccoon below (a little disturbing, don’t you think?), it also included my first Hidden-Pictures-bunny (looking into a magician’s top hat). The bunnies have appeared in many more puzzles.
May 6th, 2013
I attended the SCBWI “Wild, Wild Midwest Conference” this past weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I had a great time, the faculty and programs were outstanding, and I met so many nice (and talented) artists and writers.
There was a juried art show, and the winning artwork was an adorable picture by Debbie Palen. I am proud to say that my illustration (below) was tied for runner-up with artworks by Sheralyn Barnes and Troy Cummings (check out their fabulous work too!)
The SCBWI Advisors and volunteers who organized the event deserve accolades for a wonderful conference and many thanks for the time and effort it took to coordinate!
April 25th, 2013
Cowboy Belt Buckle
(cardboard, macaroni, beans, Elmer’s glue, gold paint)
The following conversation could have occurred in our house, but it did not.
Very Understanding Wife: “Why do we have so many types of pasta?”
Mike: “I dunno.”
V.U.W.: “Why are all of the boxes open?”
Mike: “I dunno.”
V.U.W.: “Did you make a cowboy belt buckle out of macaroni and dried beans?”
April 14th, 2013
Relax!(watercolor, ink and gouache on bristol)
I did the spot illustrations for an article called “Relax!” in the May issue of Highlights for Children magazine. Here’s a detail:
March 14th, 2013
Check…and Double-Check Puzzle
(pen and ink with digital color)
I created this picture for the April 2013 issue of Highlights for Children magazine. If you aren’t familiar with the title, the premise is “what’s different between these two pictures?” You’ll need to grab a copy of the magazine to see the other pic!
This is the first puzzle of this type that I have done for the magazine. In addition, it is the first digitally-colored picture I have published — ever! (Everything else to date has been watercolor). Something new for the bag-of-tricks!
January 13th, 2013
I received copies of the February issue of Highlights for Children magazine, and they included one of Hidden Pictures that I created. If you’d like to see more but don’t have your issue handy, check out the Highlights web site:
Here’s a detail of the puzzle (yes, those are chocolate chips in the cookies).
December 14th, 2012
Excerpt from Tom Sawyer
(pen and ink)
This is my entry for SCBWI’s 2013 Tomie dePaola contest. The guidelines are to create a black and white illustration from one of three classic childrens’ books in a “spread” format. I chose a short passage from Tom Sawyer, shown on the left. ALL of the shading in the picture was created by writing that phrase with different size pens — yes, I wrote that phrase quite a few times! To meet the guidelines for the contest, there are only words to the left of the mid-line on the image.
Here’s a detail from the picture: