Saturday, October 28, 2017

HAPPY HALLOWEEN This is this year's image for the Dawson County Library Campfire Storytelling Festival, traditionally held every time this year. However, after this image was completed & submitted, the festival was moved to the spring of 2018. The theme for the festival will still revolve around scary stories told round the campfire, but will be in the spring, sometime in March. I am really looking forward to creating another image that will better reflect the new springtime setting for this event.
Should be loads of fun and I will definitely post how that progresses.
In the meantime . . . a big BOO to you and yours!

original art 16" x 22", pastel on strathmore bristol, 400 series 4-ply, with some minor digital touches

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Just some fun.
This was a piece I did during my visit to Hollins University last summer while teaching a pastels course.
The assignment was to create an image to communicate a message using a bird and two unrelated objects. One organic, one not.
This one addresses the problem, "How does one manage the challenge of eating while maintaining a roof over their head".

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Last summer I had the privilege of being on the faculty at Hollins University for their graduate program for children's literature and was asked to do demonstration session creating an illustration in pastel. It only seemed appropriate to create a piece that had some relevance to their program based on their famous alum Margaret Wise Brown, the well-known children's book author. It was also appropriate because I thought I could complete the piece in the hour and a half allotted for the demonstration and that their would be ample information there for all the reference needed.

The first step was to do some research regarding Ms.Brown gathering information on her life and career. Like most assignments, I knew very little, beyond the obvious about her.
She led a fascinating and exciting (although short) socialite sort of life, and a very successful professional career as an author, with the highlight authoring, Goodnight Moon.

Co-Chair of the program, Elizabeth Dulemba was present and did a write-up with some photos of the session and posted it on her blog. These are really fun sessions and I hope those present had as much fun as I did.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Interview with Elizabeth Dulemba. 

The last number of weeks I've been in Roanoke, Virginia teaching at Hollins University in their MFA & Certificate programs for Children's Book Writing and illustration. It was a wonderful experience, and I will share much of that in the near future. but in the meantime, fellow faculty member, the wonderfully talented, Elizabeth Dulemba interviewed members of the faculty for her blog. This link will take you to the interview she did with me

While you're there you should really take a spin through her site. It is full of wonderful work, informational things. other interviews as well other KidLit tidbits! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Just in time for the Holidays!
 My latest, a new childrens' book for the fine folks from Deeds Publishing and author Rosalind Bunn.
A fun story about the imagination of a young boy and what he sees before he goes to sleep.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Campfire Storytelling poster


Recently I completed a commission from the fine folks at the Dawson Library in Georgia for their storytelling concert in October of this year. This annual event entails an evening spent outside by a campfire listening to a number of storytellers sharing spooky tales to a young audience. They requested an emphasis on "scary" as their previous years' posters were a bit too "friendly". This presented a wonderful opportunity. Scary, but for a young audience.

The client graciously gave me complete creative freedom to pursue any solution of my choice. In the initial sketches included woodland critters, scared kids, witches, pumpkins and other Halloween characters. All too busy.Finally, I focused on the character from a classic fireside story, the man with the hook hand.To complete the concept, a campfire, a book, and the outdoors were included. The essentials.

This is the initial rough sketch. And like most initial things,
I thought it would be "great" if the character would appear to be reading from a book to the audience (to emphasis the library connection). Too much, and off target. It was distracting the viewer from the fact the man with the hook hand was menacing, and more importantly, looking at you.
This decision was made during the reference photo session with the model. He just seemed more menacing looking directly at you with book by his side.

With some additional reference gathered for the fire, the trees and the moon I transferred the finished composition to the final working surface (Strathmore Bristol series 400 paper) using charcoal and a bit of workable fix to keep in in place to begin the color work. The type was very roughly placed to help with the placement of the moon, that was to be integrated into the final type solution. The final type was done separately and placed digitally into the final painting.

b/w charcoal underpainting
painting in progress

To address the issue that this event was for a young audience it seemed appropriate to create a more playful type solution.
This type was created using a black pastel and done separately from the painting and applied digitally to allow greater freedom in choosing the right colors and position for the final poster.

final art

Through the process of working on the poster, I departed from my reference and eliminated much of the information in the face and jacket of the character to help emphasize just how scary this guy was
and create a focal point around the eyes. Back to that "less is more" thing.

final poster with type in place

Monday, June 29, 2015

I've been tucked away illustrating a children's book the last few months for Deeds Publishing and can finally show a bit of what's to come. This is the cover. In the next few weeks, I'll post some the process work and the finished art.