The Coffee Queen

A perfect match! The Donut King and the Coffee Queen.

I based her on my wife, which may be one reason why the kids think that I'm the Donut King. This is pretty much how I react to her. Initially I was just going to do a drawing of the Queen's portrait, but thoughts of my wife inspired me to draw it the way I really feel.

Although if I ever grew facial hair like the King, I'd find myself sleeping in the bathtub. And shaved when I woke up.


Christmas Book 2012 - the Donut King

Yet again, it was time for the kids' Christmas book! Was initially planning the pirate story, but wanted to get back to some watercoloring roots after all the computer art I'd been doing lately. So I did The Donut King instead.

Here's the man himself, looking all round. His title isn't a misnomer. I'll put up more pictures in future posts.

The kids liked the book! I got a few comments that are either praise or slights, depending on how you take them. One was that the Donut King is supposed to be me. I think that's because of the facial expressions, since I'm not round (although my wife, with her great cooking, is working on it) and I don't have facial hair. In addition, I've been known to eat things other than donuts.

Second, my oldest daughter said, "You wrote this? Really? It seems like a real book!" I'll take that as a compliment and not a reflection on previous books. Although to be fair, my then 4-year-old wrote last year's. But to me it seemed like a real book, from a clever and precocious young author.

But I may be biased.


Lowe's TV commercial

I got to do artwork for a Lowe's commercial! Worked with the great guys at Fogomotion who took the flowers I illustrated and animated them. Above are some screen shots, but you can see the complete commercial here.


The Battle of the Five Armies - take 2

Here's another version of this one - some comments from people were that it was too bright and cheery for an epic battle. So I grimmed it up a bit, and added some details to the main figures' shield and axe.

As you can see, I've got all The Hobbit trailers on my mind, I keep going back to this book! Can't wait for December.


Hobbit Day Birthday Cards

This Saturday (September 22nd) is Hobbit Day, because that's Frodo and Bilbo's birthday in the books. So I got it in mind to make a birthday card. Then I began wondering where you would get birthday cards in Middle Earth. Then (in another free-associative leap) I wondered if you did have, say, Hallmark Cards in the Shire, what kind of cards would they sell? So I went from thinking of doing a drawing for Hobbit Day to designing a selection of birthday cards for an imaginary card shop:

(click on image to enlarge)

And then (I couldn't stop) I went on to look up how card sellers show their cards online, and how they show the inside message. Once I looked that up, I had to follow suit:

(click on images to enlarge) 

Happy Hobbit Day!


Even Gooder Good Guys

Back to the Pirates... and, of course, the kids have to be on the crew. But as usual, they're very inspiring, so when I first saw them on a blank white page I knew that it wasn't quite there yet. So, to make a page worthy of these swashbucklers, I decided to put it on paper the like of Old Flint's map.


My first animated gif

A gateway into animation! A very cheesy gateway, from my pretty basic pig, but animation nonetheless. Pixar be warned, I'm up and coming.


The Good Guy Pirates

Beginning a new book! Most likely another Christmas book, at the rate this one is going, but finally glad to get it started. It's another book that my youngest daughter "wrote" (or rather dictated). And I'm glad to start it because every day she asks if I have! So now I can say yes.

The art style will be the same as The Jungle Explorers, but the format will be a little different. This story is a lot longer, or at least it is if I make one page per scene like the last one. So this one may end up looking more like a graphic novel. Not bad for a budding writer all of four years old!

(erratum: she's actually five now. But she made up this story, as well as another one I have to draw as well, last year. At this rate, she'll get the second one when she's six, and may have come up with many more in the meantime.)


VBS murals

That time of year again, and the theme was under the sea. Had six murals to paint, none of which would have been completed were it not for the wonderful assistance of my very talented wife (good thing I married a fellow artist!) We got so into it, in fact, that the production of these demanded a sushi dinner. Demanded, I say.


Curse the Pre-Raphaelites!

For being so inspirational. I had planned on doing this as a pen and ink. A pen and ink, I tell you! And then I started reading about the PRB again and it turned into a painting. Not exactly a Pre-Raphaelite painting, true, but the fact that I went the watercolor route is entirely due to seeing really good artwork.



An 11th anniversary card I drew for my wife.



Some days, you just need to paint a pirate.


The Jungle Explorers - the book

I finished this book a while ago, and always wanted to put the whole thing up. And now I can! The blog won't let me post a multiple-page PDF, but another site, called Dribbble, will. Here is the book in its entirety! Just click on the attachment below the picture.


The Evil Queen (Once Upon a Time)

Done done donnnnnne! My goal was to get it finished before the show got to how the Queen actually prepares the apple. I'd have hated to have come this far, and then find out I'd totally gotten it wrong. But as long as they haven't shown it, I still had the excuse to go classic like this.


The Evil Queen

Got to ink it in at last! Here she is, the Evil Queen, in this particular instance inspired by the self-same villain from ABC's "Once Upon a Time."

Ultimately, I want to add color, but I'm not averse to line art fairy tale illustrations. Like those by H. J. Ford, who did the drawings for Andrew Lang's Fairy Tale books. H. J. is a big inspiration to me. As is Franklin Booth, who may not have done fairy tale art but is just plain incredibly amazing.



A cover illustration for the program of a Saint Patrick's Day auction.


Work in Progress: the Gingerbread Thark

Another fairy-tale inspired piece of art, but this time with Edgar Rice Burroughs thrown in as well. What with John Carter coming out in theaters, I thought I'd put this up today instead of waiting to finish the whole piece.

Tharks are 4-armed green men from Burroughs' Martian series (and the best part about the movie being made. While I hope like the movie is good, as long as I see these guys big screen I'll be happy). They're horrible creatures that consider cruelty the height of hilarity, but are awfully fun to read about in their cheesy pulp-fiction form.

They're so warlike and hyper-violent, that somehow I wondered what Martian fairy tales would be like (don't ask, I don't remember what prompted that connection either). Then my free-associating brain came up with the Gingerbread Thark. No "run run run" for him - Tharks don't run from anything. Ultimately he will go on to conquer the bakers, along with everyone else, and establish himself as king. If this were a real fairy tale, that is, but at least it's fun to draw.

Up next are the bakers that he's attacking, along with some text. And taking it into PhotoShop for some texture. But in the meantime - hey, Andrew Stanton, if you need a movie tie-in for the kids too little to see the movie, I got some Martian fairy tales for ya...


Valentine's Day 2012

A picture of me singing is infinitely preferable to me actually singing.