December 26, 2011
December 23, 2011
December 20, 2011
December 15, 2011
It's always flattering to be a 'Cover Boy'. And it's always a guarantee that anything I get to do with High 5 will be fun, fun, fun. A great magazine with a great purpose.
Thanks, High 5!
December 12, 2011
I said,"Have you seen my new book?". Of course it sounded crazy. New book? Here in the cheese aisle? I left her dazed and strode over to grab a copy. I opened it up showing her my name on the title page... along with the dazzling full color artwork.
December 9, 2011
Here's a snowy holiday scene from Leavenworth... the alpine village of Washington.
I turned down an offer to driver over the snow covered 5,400 foot Steven's pass to do a book signing. I guess my author's vanity is not large enough to brave driving 150 miles over a slippery mountain pass.
I'm a prairie chicken.
December 5, 2011
December 2, 2011
November 29, 2011
November 26, 2011
November 17, 2011
I'm very much looking forward to my book signing at Costco on Dec. 3rd... not sure which store. I'm just thrilled that my Christmas book will be in 27 Costos. Finally... a book out where the shoppers can see it!
They're letting me wear a beret because I'm an artist and I'll sign books instead of handing out samples. And I'll go shopping afterwards... at which point I might almost feel famous.
Let the shopping season begin!
November 13, 2011
November 11, 2011
November 10, 2011
November 9, 2011
November 7, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 28, 2011
October 19, 2011
I've been waiting 3 years for a letter like this. Actually when I wrote 'Cromwell Dixon's Sky-Cycle' I just hoped that kids would say... 'Coooool!' when they saw a book about a flying bicycle.
From a reader:
My boys and I are huge fans of Cromwell Dixon’s Sky Cycle. Last year we purchased your book and it was love at first read. My boys were on the edge of their seats and continue to ask for it to be read. They have repeatedly poured over your illustrations studying the details of his invention.
I am always on the lookout for books that allow a child to dream big and Cromwell Dixon does just that. My boys, age 6 and 4, repeatedly ask: "Is this true, did a little boy like us really fly on his bike all by himself? That is so coooool"
September 13, 2011
This book will no doubt be appearing beneath many an Evergreen State evergreen tree this Holiday season!
September 9, 2011
August 18, 2011
July 27, 2011
In the real magazine there are lots of great little details. Every little duckling and bug's wing... all in colorful photoshop rendering.
It was all done in pencil line mostly... with some scanned splotches of real paint and scanned textures.
July 25, 2011
July 18, 2011
July 14, 2011
July 7, 2011
June 27, 2011
I was pleased with how this image turned out.
Part of it is in line and part of it is without line, and flattened into just shapes. I always struggle between the two.
Maybe I'd be better off just going back to old fashioned pencil and watercolor... and old fashioned drawings. I never can decide.
June 21, 2011
June 14, 2011
Just like making a cake... artistry is easily accomplished with a step by step method.
I find it's the singing of 'Happy Birthday!' that's the hard part. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to hit the right note from the start?
But even with the discordant singing, there are few sounds likely to elicit sentiment as 'Happy Birthday', even when warbled and off key.
June 1, 2011
I find there are few things nicer than escaping into a picturebook... especially a picturebook you yourself have made. So I indulged myself and opened the box on the porch.
I was delighted, I have to say... once again the printed digital book seemed to fulfill every expectation. In fact I might even go so far as to say my expectations were exceeded. And that's a good thing.
While creating the illustrations to 'The Dancing Clock' I was curious how the retro-1950's effects might come out in print.
I have this thing about a crumbling brushed line that fades away into textures. I also have this thing about textures... and I daresay, I think they both worked.
I used a brush pen on watercolor paper for the lines... along with digital finishing, of course.
Because the dimensions of this book were large, it is a pleasure to dive into details with the finished book. That's one thing an e-book will never be able to do. And it has a nice booky smell... something no e-book will ever accomplish.
I'm also pleased with how the retro 1950's style turned out... I think the casual brushed line and loose bright colors and patterns came out with a terrific effect.
Thanks, Tiger Tales!
May 30, 2011
My jellicle kitty meowed her last today. She was the best cat ever, as they say. She had a fabulous long life, so it came as no surprise.
She was a true gift to us all since she was our family cat. We chose her from the pet store 19 years ago and I remember it like yesterday. My boys were in just starting school so there was a lot of life we shared. School trips, pet's day, birthday parties, christmas trees and everyday life.
She had a great life... sharing summer gardens and Halloween nights. She never failed to amuse us hopping down snowy steps on a winter morning. Like any cat, she always had to be in the middle of every thing... when she wasn't busy sleeping.
She was deaf for the last 4 years, but she coped with that by just meowing louder. She was active up until today, in fact... a remarkable life.
Over the years I painted her picture in books and magazines. When I think about how long she's been in our family it about makes me cry. All the things lost to time.
Now she's fast asleep beneath a big lovely rock in the back garden where she liked to curl up on hot summer afternoons.
I'll have to write up some of the stories she inspired from our life together.
May 26, 2011
I think its got some nice pages and the design was fun. I remember how I first drew the shapes on paper, then scanned and converted it into an Illustrator vector file. Then finished it in Photoshop.
The colors still look deep and fresh... probably the lack of any line helps. I think I sent it in on a Iomega zip disk.
May 22, 2011
May 17, 2011
Well it's happened again, only this time it was the delivery of the actual proofs from the publisher. Happily, I'm thrilled with the outcome... which as anyone who's been disappointed in color reproductions knows, is saying a lot.
It is a joy to spend hours just soaking up the details of every digital brushstroke which previously had only existed only on the computer screen.
I often wondered if the print outcome would work with the many new techniques I tried. At times making the paintings seemed almost symphonic, the colors obtained seemed so rich, deep and textured.
But I'm happy to report that the printed colors were exactly as I'd hoped. Even details the size of a dandruff speck were matched on paper.
May 13, 2011
This is a once in a lifetime event!
On another subject, I like my new website logo, based on an old vintage motoring sign. Now I just have to relearn how to do rollovers.
April 29, 2011
I've been looking into some new directions for different markets besides traditional publishers. Pop-Surrealism seems especially appealing, but I'm trying to focus on traditional children's book themes.
This particular image has gone through many variations. It's interesting to change things around so completely and quickly with photoshop.
The texture is derived from a photo of my back porch stairs... of all the unlikely places!