Monday, January 30, 2017

Little Orange Guys...

Here are a few recent pages from my sketchbook, these drawings go along with the story idea from my last post.  These are ink and markers, and a bit of pencil.  I like all these little guys in their “Ned Kelly” helmets, but also worried that they might end up looking too much like Bender from Futurama.

Little Battlefield Guys...

I was going to make this a “Happy New Year” post, but it’s already January 30, so I guess that boat has sailed.

Here are a few drawings that I did recently.  I was having a hard time of getting back into drawing everyday, so someone suggested that I do one “finished” piece of art each day.  Right now, I’m doing sketches for two picture books, and outlines and notes for new graphic novel projects, but these daily drawings gave me the satisfaction of actually completing something.  Each was done in one sitting that usually lasted about an hour and a half.  They are either pencil and watercolor, or ink and watercolor.  There is nothing digital in them.

The images are from a concept I’ve been thinking about a while…but I often lose enthusiasm for it.  I think it’s an interesting idea, and could make a great story and a good book, but it’s so different from everything that’s out there, I often wonder, “why bother?”

I just can’t go through all of the work of developing it, figuring it out, and writing it, only to have editors look at it and say they don’t know what to do with it.  Or worse---find an editor who loves it, spend a year on it, then have a marketing department look at it and say THEY don’t know what to do with it.  I feel like I’m entering into a lose/lose situation.

So, over the last few months I’ve become paralyzed while developing new concepts.  Believe me, I have plenty of ideas, but they are all being shut down by doubt and second-guessing.

Happy New Year! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Color choices...

A few color variations of the same drawing.  Like many others, I feel that the hardest part about working 100% digitally is that the options are limitless.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

More monsters...

Like I said, I'm going to try everything I can come up with.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Trying everything...

I'm working on a new book that has a monster in it.  I would really like to try to find a style that is different, bolder, and more exciting than what I currently do.  Here's a few different approaches.  I'm not sure if any of them work, but I'm trying...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Textures and colors...

I spent some time today looking at Jon Klasson's work trying to figure out what he does with layers, colors and textures.  I had this simple sketch in one of my books, and added some color to it using some notions inspired by Klasson.  I don't want to learn, or copy, his style, but I want to push my coloring, and I thought his work might lead me in some new directions.  Just a note, I did not have any of his work in front of me while doing this, I just went by what I remembered.

And here's the unedited sketch from my book. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Another New Idea...

The other project I've been working on the last few months or so is a large, stand-alone graphic novel about a bunch of kids who drop out of society and set up camp at the town dump.  Honest.  I'm actually pretty excited about it, as it is the sort of "could happen in the real world" type story that I really enjoy.  There's no magic or fantasy elements.  It's as realistic fictiony as I get.

Here are a few pages from my sketchbook.  The color was added digitally at a later date.  I could decipher the text in the sketches, but I think I'll leave it up to you.  Most of the writing in my notebooks and sketchbooks is as sloppy and messy as this. I think, in a way, I need to really commit to an idea before I write more carefully.  At this stage, the dialog itself is a sketch.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

More Sci-Fi stuff...

I spent most of the summer working on a big, odd, sci-fi story that, while I'm excited by it, I'm also unsure about it. After slowly developing it for a few months, it occurred to me that it might not really be for kids.  It's not that it's too heady or violent, but I'm just not sure what it says to kids about the lives they live.  While it is a story that is meaningful to me, I simply don't know if a young audience would relate to it.  And truthfully, I'm not really interested in aiming at at adults.  This is a hard one.  I'm not sure if I'm going to go forward with it.

These were two sketches I put together.  In the top one I'm really trying to figure out how simple I could go with colors and solid blacks.

This one is a colored sketchbook page.  Some of the stuff, such as the lederhosen dude, just kinda snuck onto the page.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

FANGBONE! is Here!

Finally!  Fangbone! premiered today on Disney XD across the US.  It will be on every day at 12:30 and 4:30 for the next few weeks.  Please take some time and check it out.  I'm very proud of it, and I'm thrilled to be able to share it with everyone.

Fangbone! Making of Video #1

Thursday, June 23, 2016

With Any Luck I'll Drive a Truck

My latest book, "With Any Luck, I'll Drive a Truck" is finally out, and it's getting great reviews.  It was written by David Friend and published by Nancy Paulsen Books.  It's the first book that I've illustrated for another author since 2011.

Here are four of my favorite drawings from the book. Eventually, I will post some pictures of the process behind them. I'm posting them without the text, so if you want to know what each page says, you'll have to read the book!

Here are some of the reviews, Kirkus,  Publisher's Weekly,  and the New York Times.

I hope you take the time to find a copy of this book for all the little drivers in your life!


Monday, April 4, 2016

Animation concept update...

Here are the previous two images updated with the second main character dropped in.  I've included a close-up of the two of them together as well.