Saturday, August 11, 2012

Out on a Linseed Oil Bender

So yes, I'm finishing up work on a book project for a sizable non-profit public outreach organization. The deadline has been a little tight; from initial pagination, sketches and on to finished oils the turnaround will top out at around a month and a half. Just for comparison, the usual time frame for a project of this scale (33 illustrations total, including spots, full pagers, spreads and cover) would be between 6 and 9 months.

It's been a bit of an adventure, but aside from the time constraints, said client has been among my most relaxed and trusting. And, as I mentioned before, they let me paint mismatched Lego people doing battle. So really, no complaints.

It's also led me to a rumination or two on some of the artistic challenges of illustration. Namely, aside from its end goal of communication of some point, concept, narrative or all of the above (as opposed to obfuscation, of course), illustration requires one to find imagery where one might not have otherwise looked or found inspiration, and to compose it in way that is compelling while still serving its source material, in this case a manuscript with a clearly defined philanthropic goal.

That, and in a forty page book, one has to thoughtfully pick out clothes for everyone.

Needless to say, while working on this, I've made little or no effort to pick out clothes for my own children. I should probably go make sure they've changed out of their pajamas.

Maybe Wednesday.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Upcoming from Christy Ottaviano Books

Here's a small peak into the project I've been working on for most of the year, Rock and Roll Highway: the Robbie Robertson Story, by Sebastian Robertson.  It's due out from Christy Ottaviano Books (an imprint of Holt) in Fall of 2013.

Oil on Paper, 2012.  19 in. x 27.5 in.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Summer in (mostly) Mass Transit Sketches

Maybe it's worth noting that I'm left handed.  I bring this up only as a bit of clarification; to avoid perching my drawing hand on a metal spiral, my sketchbooks are all backwards. I've been using the same brand and scale since Fall of 1997 with only a few exceptions. The covers all look sort of like this:

The insides often look like this. I do an awful lot of my sketching in places where people are happy to ignore their close neighbors.


pen on recycled paper, 5" x 7"