Thursday, April 22, 2010

Halloween, maybe 1972

Well, "Furious George Goes Bananas" will be out in a few weeks. It seems like just yesterday that I was drawing it, but it was really this time last year. I'm swamped with work right now, moving along on a 112 page Graphic Novel dummy, and wrapping up my Grad School thesis. They're both due on the same day. Anyway, here's a picture of me dressed up for Halloween. Like the title said, it might have been '72. I really don't remember.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Astronaut #6

I'm not too sure what this guy's all about, but I'm happy with some of the murky, layered colors.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Great Escape

Here's the last piece from my 1995 portfolio. I've put up all of this work because I never am able to see the work that gets an illustrator his or her first professional job. Once someone has publsihed a book or two, that becomes the current portfolio. I hope that these drawings will be helpful for someone who is just starting out.

The train in this drawing is based on a steam engine that had been abandoned on waterside of Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was there in 1988 when I moved there, and was dismantled and carted away a few years later.

Someone's behind you...

Here's a lesser work from the 1995 portfolio. Funny enough, but not laugh out loud. I'm not sure why this one feels off to me, perhaps it's that the bear doesn't look very bearish. Anyway, you can't win them all.

Up All Night

This was the proposed cover of the first book that I ALMOST sold. It was called "Up All Night" and was about a young boy who stays up all night and finds out that it's kind of boring late at night. He finally falls asleep and misses all of the excitement of the next day, even the martians landing. Like all of these pieces, I really like the very limted color scheme.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alien with glasses

Now here's one that works! Great gag, good composition, nice atmosphere. While the joke may be a bit subtle for children, I felt that editors would find it funny, so I went with it. I wish I had found a story for this one.

Mummy Snake

Here's a piece from my 1995 portfolio that I consider a total failure. Sure the pith helmet on the camel is cute, and I like the mummy snake, but the drawing is a bore. If the camel had been running, or even walking, this image would have been 10 times better. Or maybe 12 time better. I'm not sure. I've never been good at math.

Astronaut #5

I've been reading books about the Royal Geographical Society lately. This guy is a David Livingstone/Percy Fawcett type. I really like the porter.

Astronaut #4

Again, this one started with a giant shape, with the concept for the details added later. I really like the texture on the suit, and the movement. He's my favorite so far.

Astronaut #3

This one was started with a very bold shape, which worked out well, but I don't like the lack of movement.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Astronaut #2

The "astronaut" series quickly turned into "Astronauts and Aliens" with my second drawing. But he/she/it could be an astronaut too, right? Markers and colored pencil.

Astronaut #1

It seems that most of my drawing is geared toward stuff that gets published, and I don't really ever have time to draw for myself. That being said, I've actually been finding a bit of time lately, and have started doing a series of Astronauts. I'd like to do 50 of them, as a lesson in creativity and idea-generation. However, I don't think that I'll be too hard on myslef if I don't do that many. Either way, I'm having fun trying out new materials and trying to work more freely. This is done with markers and colored pencil.

Space Whale!

This is the image that actually got me my first book illustration job in 1995. While I don't think it's the best of the bunch, the art directors were looking for someone who could illustrate a book about the space shuttle, and bring a bit of humor to it. Somehow they saw my work as being appropriate for their book, which had many elements of non-fiction. I remember that day vividly. At the time I had never even had a full color drawing published, and here I was being asked to do a 40 page picture book.

The book, "Floating Home" was written by David Getz, and publsihed in 1997 by Henry Holt. It is still in print.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Dog Jack is Done

While I'm sure there will be changes, because there are always changes, I've completed the drawings for My Dog Jack is Fat, written by Eve Bunting. It will be published in 2011.

Squid and treasure

Here's a good one, dramatic and immediate. When I look at this one I instantly feel that it's part of a story, and not just a nice drawing. I'm amused at how crooked my boarders were in 1995, but I like them.