About Me

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Indiana, United States
I have done pictures since I can remember. I took all the art classes in junior high and high school I could and naturally became an art major in college. I graduated with a BFA in art and writing and marry the two by writing and illustrating children's books.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Illustration Underdrawing of Old King Cole at Final Charcoal Stage

When last we left OKC, he was just line work. I think after today, I'll say the black and white work is done.
   Next, I'll apply oil tints. The grasshopper and 2 crickets are not very visible at this point, but I'll bring them back out in opaque color. The background colonnade will drop way back after it gets it oil washes.
   Now, for some candlelight.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Southern Kentucky (SOKY) Book Fest

I haven't said anything about it on my blog, but since I spent the weekend in Bowling Green at this nice book fest, I'll say something now. 9—4 on Sat. Sat between two very nice gentlemen: Marvin Jarboe, illustrator of several books including My Sailor Dad; and, another gentleman whose name's escaping me now. He was a sub-in so he's not in the program. But, he introduced me to everyone he knew.
   I was also on an illustrator's panel with Indianapolis illustrator Adam Seif (no link yet), Susan Eaddy, clay illustrator (who sold out), and Dennis Calero, X Men comic book artist (follows me on twitter). That was fun. Answered a few questions. Short.
   Chuck Barris was there. Yes, the gong show host. I met Gaby Triana (bestselling YA author) who follows my twitter, chatted with Marlis Day of Indianapolis (twitter), Dana Canedy, A Journal for Jordan was there. She was on Oprah a few weeks ago. Can't forget Janice Ian, Society's Child and singer songwriter of that 60s Seventeen song.
   Glad I went. Forgot my camera.

Java Programming and Duke

What does an illustrator know about Java Programming? Only that "Duke" this teardrop shaped dude is their mascot. And, I've done 5—I think—illustrations for Java book covers. Here are 5 sketches I did for this cover and the final. Here's the book cover. The art right now is from a previous title.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rikki Line Art

Here's a peek at the line art for the illustration Rikki Tikki Tavi. I left the original art at Kinko's—of all things. I have to use their large format scanner to bring it down in size for these postings. I think the father's arm looks too wooden. But, that whole area will be almost totally in shadow—will try to fix, though. The final will be in charcoal.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Step 2 in OKC Illustration

Old King Cole is lined-out and ready for charcoal fill to develop the shadows and highlights. Then, I plan on a method I haven't used in about 6 years and hope I can pull it off: oil tints. First, the charcoal drawing will be sealed and then thin tints of oil paint will be applied; I'll lift out the areas of light with a kneaded eraser, building up, up, up. Hopefully, OKC will emerge very dimensional from a deep, warm, dark backdrop.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Illustrating Old King Cole

Old King Cole was not only a merry old soul, but he was also a toad…
   …in my world, at least. 
   His fiddlers? crickets and a grasshopper. A snail balances his bowl and a frog-in-waiting has brought a selection of his pipes--oh, and these aren't specifically p.c., non-smoking pipes. I found on Wikipedia, an interpretation that since OCK was so merry, that it stood to reason that "pipe" could have meant a recorder or flute, which he played along with his fiddlers three.
   These are the initial thumbnails.

I'm Blue. Are You?

Recommended Reading in Indiana!

I just finished the last few pages of Blue by Joyce Moyer Hostetter.
   Now, I'm not going to pretend to be a book reviewer. Even though I majored in writing along with art, I've never been very good at picking out 
the literary stuff. I just know what I like, and I loved Blue.
   If I had never heard Joyce read aloud from her book at our Highlights Foundation workshop, I would have still found the narrator's voice in my head drift into that easy North Carolinian accent crafted by Joyce's own southern perspectives.
  Bravo: writing an entirely character-driven story. This is truly a gift. There's no hint of  a struggle to stay in the "showing" mode and avoid the "telling" mode in this book.
   I was swept into the story by Ann Fay's honesty with herself, and challenge to be the "man of the house" while her father was away to war and polio overtook her town of Hickory, NC.
   To me, the book was about growing up, and having to grow up way too fast; learning that adults don't always get it right, and that even your mom and dad aren't always as strong as you may need them to be.
 Comfort, the sequel to Blue, is now out. Live more through the life of Ann Fay.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Putting Rikki Into My Portfolio

I've loved Rikki-tikki-tavi (Rudyard Kipling) since I was a kid. I never read it or had it read to me but watched the animation on TV (1975, Directed by Chuck Jones).
   So, I've decided to do three black and white (charcoal) versions to put in my portfolio. Yes. Others have created art for this story, including Jerry Pinkney, but I'm going to do it too. Here, you see three thumbnails for my first frame. This part in the story takes place after the family in the bungalow has saved Rikki from the torrent and now he's sleeping (to his mother's horror), right on the pillow with little Teddy.
   I usually say that no one can understand my thumbnails but me. I call it, drawing ugly. I'm going with the one to the farthest left.
   Watch for progress updates.

Twitter Feed

This is a third test to see if it shows up on my Twitter Feed.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Get Comfort (right after you get Blue)

Joyce Moyer Hostetter, author of Blue (reading now--almost done, Joyce!) and it's sequel, Comfort, is getting all comfy with her review at http://www.newpages.com/bookreviews/ near the bottom.