Sketches Sketches Sketches

Delaware Today, Taylor Design

Just finished up the sketch phase of an upcoming book project this morning (80 illustrations total), and also had a few sketches for upcoming projects come due the past few days, so I thought I’d post a few of them. Starting work tomorrow on another coloring book project, and have a few book projects lined up for the coming months. Still in the middle of the ‘summer doldrums’, but there are indications that work its starting to pick up again after a long dry spell. The sketch above is for a magazine assignment that I’ll be finishing up next week (sort of a ‘Hunger Games/Mad Max’ scenario with toddlers competing for pre-school admissions), and the two below are for a corporate holiday greeting card, that may or may not go to finish in the following months.

Coming Up

David Carrier Law, Dover

I’ve shared the above illustration before. It was from the first of my ‘scratchboard coloring books’ that I did for Dover last year, and the project has spawned a sequel which should be hitting the stores very soon, of a collection of ‘all animals’ illustrations in a similar scratchboard style. Meanwhile, I had proposed a third book to the publisher a couple weeks ago, doing an entire collection of ‘trees’ along similar lines. The illustration above was one of my favorites from the first collection, and I was itching to do some more. The project was given a go ahead and I’ve begun work on the next collection. This also coincides with a side project that I’d been contemplating for the past two years. I’ve been taking a lot of walks in a nearby park, and noticing how many interesting trees I pass on a daily basis, and I’ve thought many times of bringing a sketchbook down and seeing how many of the trees in the park I can draw, and perhaps fill up a sketchbook for the first time in my life (I’m not one of those artists that carry a sketchbook around with them all the time, constantly drawing, and it takes a concerted effort on my part to even fill one of the many sketchbooks I’ve got laying around). So, anyways, I’m looking forward to working on this project, and should have some samples to share with you later in the year, when the book nears publication.

I’m also currently in the early stages of another of those “Who Was” books for Penguin, and it should keep me busy for the latter half of the year.

In the meantime, I also finished up another of those ‘cartoon strips’ for a local elder care lawyer. I’ve been doing several of these throughout the year, but I don’t always post samples, since they are fairly similar to each other. This time, however, the style and subject matter was a bit different, so I thought I’d share this latest one. I had suggested that as a change of pace, they take a break from the usual ‘Mary Worth’-style comics and try a Disney/Pogo Possum-style animal scenario. These usually run in several West Michigan newspapers (in a variety of sizes and formats depending on the paper), with the ‘teaser strip’ running on a front page, and the larger ‘conclusion strip’ running somewhere inside.


Jack Davis 1924-2016

Early Influences, tribute

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Jack Davis this week. Along with Mort Drucker, he was one of my earliest art influences, mostly from the pages of Mad Magazine in the late sixties and early seventies. Only recently had I begun to discover and appreciate his work with the early EC horror and war comics, and the wonderful work he did for movie posters in the seventies, numerous covers for TV Guide and Time magazine, and some truly spectacular album cover designs for various artists in the sixties and seventies. I’ve gathered here a small tribute with some of my favorite Jack Davis images.




Hillary Clinton Coloring Book

Skyhorse Publishing

And, as promised, here’s most of the pages from the Hillary Clinton coloring book (Amazon link here), plus one page that I particularly liked, but ended up on the cutting room floor. Interestingly, I got a call from one of the Hillary Clinton Super Pacs a few days ago, wanting to order directly from me and ship them to various locations around the country (I forwarded this call on to the publisher, since I don’t handle the distribution).




As with the Donald Trump book, this one came with a cube cutout figure included on the front and back flaps (this ‘boxy’ figure is apparently a ‘thing’ that is somewhat popular online, but I was largely unaware of the phenomenon until working on this project) (Cubecraft link here).

Good Old Caduceus

Barrons, Chicago Magazine, ChronicleHE, New York Newsday, WSJ

If there this one guarantee when you enter into the freelance illustration business, it is that you will be dealing in a lot of visual cliches. Yesterday had another crack at drawing a caduceus for Barrons, and I’ve done plenty over the past 27 plus years. Like their good friends: Uncle Sam, Lady Justice, the Top Hatted Millionaire, the Cap and Gown Graduate, The Bear and the Bull, and too many others to mention, they pop up again and again. Below, I’ve collected a sampling of caduceus illustrations from other clients¬†(Wall Street Journal, Newsday, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Chicago Magazine, among others)¬†just for fun.