September 29, 2015

What have you published.... lately?

I guess one of the hazards of being a children's book maker is having to always answer questions from people who you haven't seen in a long while. "Are you still doing that children's book thing?".  To which I say Ah... why yes!  As a matter of fact that's been my chosen profession for many decades now and I still do, yes thank you very much.  The other dreaded question is "What have you published.... lately?"  With the emphasis being on the 'lately'.  That one can be a bit trickier.  

My feeling is like isn't it enough that one has published more than 50 books - but you have to answer to the 'lately' question also? 

Usually I just say 'Oh I'm working on some illustrations about a rabbit or a fox' - which applies to a large portion of my working life.  But really I mostly squirm at the question. Maybe I need a license plate that says 'CHLDNSBKART' or something.  Or a theme Tee shirt to the same effect. But alas, I have neither.

September 22, 2015

Spontaneity of the sketch

Here's a fun new sketch to start the week. In my mind I imagined all kinds of different line qualities - pencil, pen, brushed pen - but when I started drawing the final, I stumbled on this digital brush that I tweaked and liked it just fine the first try.

Of course keeping the spontaneity of the sketch in the finish is always the challenge.

September 20, 2015

It was an ordinary Sunday afternoon...

It was an ordinary Sunday afternoon... when the phone rang and it was my oldest son Arthur calling from Hawaii to say he and Ivy (his girlfriend of the last 5 years) were getting married in an hour! Whew! Congratulations Arthur & Ivy!.. they wanted to avoid all the complications of formality. And they just bought a house last month in West Seattle. Those two are way ahead of me... how wonderful for them! Golly... now I've got some new in-laws.

And they told us last Friday that they were going camping this weekend!

They are way smarter than me - they went into business and I.T. instead of drawing bunnies... 

September 18, 2015

Try things out...

Digital layers makes it quick and painless to try things out. Here's a history of a two page spread that was a work in progress. Lots of changes in the layout, drawing and color.

September 16, 2015

Digital art - before and after

Here's a before and after - I'll let you guess which is which. My feeling is that one advantage to digital art is I can revise any aspect of the art without having to tear it up and start over completely... and that saves time & stress!

September 10, 2015

My New York Times editorial illustration...

And then there's my New York Times editorial illustration. 

There's a story behind that that I'll have to write someday. My first and last debut in the NY Times. But it was all fun.. .. it all started when I showed my portfolio to Steve Heller of the NYT. He seemed to appreciate my work, which was flattering since he's kind of legendary. 

Then one day the regular artist for Craig Claiborne's column was out, so I was invited to fill in. I had to rush it all in 2 days and take the art down by train & subway to drop off in person. It was fun going downtown like that. Those were the days.