I recently had the opportunity to do an assignment for an illustration workshop run by Random House art director, Maria Middleton, at the Houston SCBWI regional conference. The focus was on character development and the subject was to do our version of The Wizard of Oz. I chose to do a middle grade book cover … More El Mago de OZ, my twist on a classic
I was recently notified that Wiener Wolf was awarded the Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award! That means that all of the kinder to third graders in the state voted for it as their favorite book of the year. Hooray!!! I will be traveling to Little Rock in November to receive the award at the annual … More Wiener Wolf Goes To Arkansas
I recently created these four illustrations for Faces magazine. They are all Aesop’s Fables with a modern twist in the imagery. This first one is City Mouse and Country Mouse. I am continuing with my experimentation with watercolors and colored pencils and am pretty happy with the results for this piece. Up till this illustration, … More Watercolors and color pencils
The following illustrations were done for a manuscript called Winny the Princess Playing Pony that I have written and created a dummy book for . I’ve been experimenting with different styles and media trying to create art that fits the story. It needs to be something young and playful. The above art is done with … More A new style with mixed results
Now that I have the underpainting completed, it is time to get to the good stuff. Color! I work from background to foreground and put in a layer at a time, as opposed to working all the way to finish on each element. Here, I have laid in the sky and far landscape. The next … More Return of the Jackelope – Step 4 – The Painting!
To transfer my sketch to the six foot tall canvas, I enlarged the drawing in Photoshop to the right dimensions and then divided it up and printed it in 11″ x 17″ panels. I taped them all together and then to the canvas. Next, using old fashioned carbon paper placed underneath the sketch, I traced … More Return of the Jackelope – Step 3 – Transferring the Drawing and Underpainting
This is the tight sketch I created for The Return of the Jackelope. I scanned into my computer the thumbnail sketch I thought worked best (as seen in the previous post) and enlarged it in Photoshop. I then reduced the output levels using the Levels adjustment, so that when I printed it out, the sketch … More Return of the Jackelope – Step 2 – The Sketches
I have never really documented my creative process before, so it’s about time I tried it. And the project I chose to show the steps of is a doozie. I am creating a 38″ x 72″ painting on canvas, which is roughly the size of me. I have painted on large canvases before, but it … More Return of the Jackelope – Step 1 – Thumbnails
This past Saturday, Tom McDermott and I had a book release party for Otis Steele and the Taileebone: A Southern Tall Tale. Tom is a traveling storyteller and has been telling this tall tale for many years. Finally, he put it down on paper and got Pelican Publishing Company to publish it. He asked if … More Otis Steele and the Taileebone book launch
One of my favorite types of illustration jobs is book covers. I’ve done several over the years and found them to be great gigs in several ways. At four to six weeks, the deadlines aren’t as frantic as the two to three day newspaper deadline, or as plodding as the children’s book six to nine … More I Got It Covered
A really great aspect of making children’s books is getting to occasionally interact with the kids. This usually takes place in the form of a school visit. Shelley and I had started doing several school visits in Colorado, talking about our book Little Lions, Bull Baiters & Hunting Hounds. Then, once we moved to Austin, … More Wiener Wolf Goes to School – The Author/Illustrator and School Visits
This past weekend, I participated in my first comic con. I had a table in the artists’ alley where I displayed not only my children’s books, but also my fantasy work that I’ve done over the years. I even had a few originals on exhibit that caught conventioneers’ interests. I thought I would share some … More Fantasy Illustrations and the Austin Comic Con
I have written and created sample illustrations for a new picture book called The Rockabilly Goats Gruff. It’s the story of three southern, rock’n roll goats trying to get across the bayou to a gig they’re playing at the Shimmy Shack. However, under the bridge lurks a grumpy old troll who doesn’t like the ruckus … More Evolution of Goats – A New Illustration Style
This past weekend was my first Texas Book Festival and it was smashing! I did a reading of WIENER WOLF in the Storytime Tent on Saturday and then a “Making Stories With Authors” children’s activity on Sunday, both followed by book signings. The rest of the time, I ran around trying to see as many … More Wiener Wolf Has a Howling Good Time at the Texas Book Festival
This past weekend, Shelley and I celebrated the release of our latest book, Harness Horses, Bucking Broncos, and Pit Ponies: A History of Horse Breeds. We held a launch party in south Austin at Bethany Hegedus’s Writing Barn on Sunday afternoon. We had a great turnout and sold and signed many prints and books. There … More Harness Horses, Bucking Broncos & Pit Ponies launch party!
I had my second bookstore booksigning and it was at Hill Country Book Store in Georgetown a couple of weekends ago. It was for a National Dog Day event to raise money for the Georgetown Animal Shelter. Sarah and Preston, the store proprietors, were lovely hosts and did a great job promoting the event. I … More Wiener Wolf runs wild at Georgetown book signing
The book release party at BookPeople was a smashing success. There was an amazing turnout for the reading and all of the store copies sold out. True, I had many family and friends there (some buying multiple copies) and there were all of the Austin SCBWI and Inklings members showing their wonderful support, but there … More WIENER WOLF release party!
In less than two weeks is the book release party for my new picture book, WIENER WOLF! It’s going to be held at Austin’s fabulous independent bookseller, BookPeople, on Saturday, July 2nd. At 11:30 a.m. I’ll start with reading my book as part of their weekly storytime and then I’ll sign books and we’ll celebrate! … More Wiener Wolf book release party checklist
I just got back from the International Reading Association conference in Orlando, FL. I went there as a guest of Highlights, who flew me out and put me up in a hotel so that I could sign copies of the poster I illustrated for them. Every year, especially for the IRA annual gathering, they commission … More TLA vs. IRA
I was surprised to find this review of my latest picture book, Wiener Wolf. For one thing, I didn’t know the advance copies were out there circulating already and for another, I wasn’t expecting such a nice review. I believe it is the first time a book of mine has been reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly. … More Publisher’s Weekly Review of Wiener Wolf