Arianna's Baseball Catch - the cover

Got in the proof from the printer – looks even better than I was expecting. Usually when I do the kids' Christmas books, I just go down to the local print shop and have them staple it or at most spiral bind it. This is the first time I've gone with an actual printer (Walch Printing, to give them a shout out), and so these things look like actual books.

I'll be getting the batch of them in before long, so this post is also to let people know that I'll be selling them soon. Several people have already asked me to let them know when they're ready, and I'll be emailing them to let them know, but for anyone else, you could let me know via the comments section. The price will be $9.95 (which is also a testament for going with a good printer. The local place I usually use would have been about three times that). with an additional $2.50 for postage if you need me to mail it.

I have a paypal account set up, which hopefully will make things easier all around. Here's the link:

Thanks to all the people who have been keeping up with the progress of the book, from the first sketches to the finish!


Little Chef

I don't usually do computer art when I'm doing illustration for myself, but this was so graphic that I couldn't resist.

It all started with a drawing by my four-year-old son, Gavin:

This is actually a drawing of Thomas the Tank Engine. The top is the funnel, the two circles under the face are the buffers, with the wheels below that. You can tell it's a train because of the tracks that come out from behind him.

But I thought it looked like a cute little chef. So I did my version:
And, because I can't leave well enough alone, I also had to do some action shots:
Up next – the cover! For real, this time. Mainly because if I do any artwork between now and when the book proof comes in, it means I'm not spending enough time eating holiday dinner. Happy Thanksgiving!


The Monster King

Up in his treetop fortress, the evil Monster King taunts Piggie, sure that his mighty bulwarks will keep out all heroes. But is his security real or hubris?

The funky shape of the overall painting just came about all by itself. This was originally going to be a spot illustration, with just a hint of the wall. Then I got into making all the brickwork. And since it was that bottom heavy, I needed to add something on top. The Chinese-brushwork-inspired clouds just seemed to fit right in with the drawing style, rather than fluffy clouds. I like them so much, they'll be cropping up any other time that clouds figure into the picture.

Along the lines of illustration for books, I just sent off Arianna's Baseball Catch to the printer today. A couple of people have asked to buy copies, and I'll let them know when they come in. But this is my official pre-book notice that it's coming!

Up next: Arianna's Baseball Catch - the cover! (unless I manage to squeak another illustration out before the print run finishes)



Here Piggie confronts his nemesis, the Monster King, from beneath impregnable castle walls. Frustrated but undaunted, he considers his next move!

This is from a fairy tale I wrote for my children. I plan to submit the story for publication, so I wanted to do a finished painting to go with it. Up next – the Monster King!


Happy ABC - the Cover

I had to do at least one painting of Arianna for her own book, so she made it onto the cover. With any luck I'll have it printed and bound tomorrow. I'll be interested to see her reaction!
I gave her the book, and she loved it! And there was no guarantee of that (after all, if the kids hadn't reacted so indifferently to the last Christmas book, I'd never have tried to make the Gingerbread Policeman to make up for it). She did dub all of them "HAP-eeee!" but what she really liked were their tongues. Every time she turned a page to a letter with a tongue, she'd say "Tung!" and stick hers out.
And she does take the book to bed.