Friday, June 29, 2012

A Face a Day #3 - Self Portrait

I was listening to a podcast on today with an AD at the NY Times.  I was wondering if I could draw something non-kid related.  My daughter said I have to make another, happier, version. :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A face a day #2 - the salon

My daughter got her hair cut really short today. I don't know who was more nervous at first, her or the stylist. But it turned out great.

Sheep Dog Character Studies

Here are some recent canine character studies.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A face a day #1 - Abe

My challenge to myself is a face a day. Today I started with a scribble...

which ended up looking sort of like Abe Vigoda...

Monday, June 25, 2012


When I was working on the illustrations for "It's Halloween Night" we were dog sitting our buddy Brody. I could resist putting the little sausage in the book.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Charcter Design Warmup Exercise

On Tuesday, I posted a new warm up exercise that I did.  I wanted to use a photo of fluffy clouds but I couldn't find one.  So I used this photo of a sandy beach. 

These are the characters that I found in the photo...

And when I rotated it, I found this guy...

 And this weird yeti alien thing...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Halloween in June!

When I finish the illustrations for a book, it can be close to year before I get to see the finished product. So I was super excited when I found a box on my doorstep yesterday.

Jennifer O'Connell's story "It's Halloween Night" was really fun to illustrate. I can't wait to read it to some little ghosts and goblins this October.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Character Warmup Exercise

Everyone had so much fun with the last warmup exercise, I thought I'd post another.  For this warmup, start with this photo of the beach (click on image to enlarge).  Create characters based on the shapes you see in the photo.

I brought the image into Photoshop and traced around the shapes but do what ever works for you.  You can turn it, flip it, do what ever you want.

I'm sorry, I don't have time to create a post of everyone's creations this week.  But feel free to put a link to your site in the comments section.  I'll post my characters on Thursday.

Ready... Set...  Go!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Origami Frogs #Icon7

At the Icon conference last week I thought it would be fun to hand out frogs instead of business cards.  So I folded about 50 little green frogs.  I wished I would have folded more because I ran out on Friday.

They look funny before you fold them.  Sort of like froggy road kill...

 If you want to make some of your own there are directions for them here and here.  Wouldn't it be fun to make a whole bunch in two different colors and play checkers with them?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

#Icon7 Inspired Comic

I got back from Icon7 last night. It was such a great opportunity to recharge my batteries and to see other humans. I met so many great and talented folks. I hope you all keep in touch.

I was so inspired to create something that I got up extra early yesterday morning and created a special Icon7 edition Steve and Wessley comic. I inked it in this morning so you can actually read it this time. Hope you like it. (Click on each page to enlarge.)

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Check out Everyone's Character Studies

On Thursday I did a warm up exercise that I learned from Kelly Light's Character Design 101 workshop and the 2012 New England SCBWI conference. The exercise was the take a bunch of random shapes and try to form characters based on those shapes. I thought it would be fun to do the exercise again, only this time let my illustrator friends do it along with me. We have all been having so much fun with it. Thanks Kelly! If you want to try it yourself then STOP! Go back to the original post. It's more fun if you don't peek at the other solutions until you've already done the exercise yourself.

I don't know what's better, doing the exercise or seeing what everyone else did. I love seeing what other people came up with! If you happen across this post after 6/8/2012 and still want to join in, post a link to your characters below in the comments section.

Here are the shapes everyone started with...

And (drum roll please) here are the "answers"...

From Russ Cox. They are all awesome, I especially like the squeezy head guy on the bottom left.

Some fabulous characters from Laura Zarin.

Below is a submission from Tracy Bishop. Love the chef. What a clever idea!

The next one is from an up and coming artist, Robin (age 14). I'm really liking the guy in the top middle box. Can someone explain that Me Gusta face thing to me? I don't get it.

Hazel Mitchell came up with some very clever characters.

Roberta Baird not only restricted herself to only using these shapes but she also restricted her drawing time to 6 minutes. Very impressive!

Sherry Rogers came up with a super cute dog. And of course that last one looks like a pirate hat, why didn't I see it?

Michelle Henninger's contribution is next. The moustache guy looks like he's in an old fashion bathing suit, love it!

Andy Smith was very clever and made a whole cast of dinosaurs. The little guy in the middle is so cute!

Here's one from the person that started it all... Kelly Light. This was just one of the great exercises that she put forth in her Characters 101 talk at SCBWI. Super Squirrel is awesome!

Oh, I almost forgot, here's mine. Funny how so many people saw the 2nd row left-hand side as pretty much the same girl with a bob.

Friday, June 08, 2012

"Old School" Promotional Postcards

I sent out new postcards this week. Here's the back...

1956 is a little before my time but I do remember those purple mimeographed worksheets.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Today's Warmup Exercise

I learned this exercise from a terrific workshop lead by the insanely talented Kelly Light at NE SCBWI. Not only did Kelly run a great workshop - she also baked everyone chocolate chip cookies. You gotta love this girl!

For this exercise, make a grid and draw a random shape in each box, then see if you can make characters out of each one. I thought it would be fun if two people did this together and they swapped shapes. Or if a group of people all started with the same shapes and see what different characters emerge from the same shapes. If anyone wants to do it, here's another page of shapes to start with. I'll post mine tomorrow. If anyone else wants a go at it, I can post yours too.