Sunday, December 31, 2006

Illustration Friday: Phoenix

Here is my brand new Phoenix. He's just getting a new start. Way to go little buddy. Happy New Year everybody!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

From the Sketchbook 5

Another couple pages from the old sketchbook. Just doodling with a pen, then I added a little ink wash later. A guy that was sitting next to me, who is the head honcho for our city's water department, said that he thought I could draw okay, but that it probably wasn't as much fun as drawing a sludge pump. Boy, did I show him. I can draw sludge pumps and I had fun doing it. He thought he would be even more impressive if I built it and it actually worked. I guess you just can't please everybody.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Illustration Friday: Mask

This is a little spot from my book "Mary Had a Little Ham". It is a story about a pig that leaves the farm to become an actor. It seemed to fit the topic this week. Here he is at his first cattle call.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

From the Sketchbook 4

Everyone loves the Christmas squid. Just a quick church sketch with some color slapped on. Happy squiddy holidays.

Oh, here are a couple great art blogs to check out:
Avalanche Software

Imagine Learning

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Illustration Friday: Might (Color)

Thanks for all of the nice comments on the sketch. Here it is with color.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Book!

Hyperion just sent me some copies of "Dance by the Light of the Moon", my newest picture book, and they look great. It is always cool to hold the actual book in your hands after spending months and months seeing it in different stages. It is available to pre-order (click on the link at the right) on and will be released on Jan 1. Watch for it in bookstores near you. Bummer that you couldn't get it before Christmas. It could have solved so many gift giving problems.

Illustration Friday: Might

Mighty Mite! Just a quick doodle while I was waiting for a phone call. If I can find time I might need to add color.

Monday, December 04, 2006

From the Sketchbook 3

I've been slacking on the posts so I thought I'd throw up something.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Illustration Friday: Invention

Nessie T. the mother of invention.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What's Wrong?

This is a little sketch I did for a job that, unfortunately, got cancelled. I thought you might enjoy it. See if you can find all of the things that are not right in this picture. Hours of fun!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Illustration Friday: Smoke

Before fire was discovered there was smoke. This is more of a study than a final piece. Pretty sketchy and unfinished. I was going to do a nice tight painting but, work kinda got in the way. Anyway, something is better than nothing. Enjoy

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Grim on T.V.

I was watching tv the other day and they were asking for photos of cool home made costumes. I happened to have my photo files opened at the time so I selected a few and sent them in. I thought they wanted them to show during the program. A few days later I got an email saying that I won a costume contest and they wanted me to come and appear on the show. What are the chances? This is a photo of the costume. My wife and I made it a few years ago. It has many layers of black and I stand on stilts to make me taller. I get some great looks from the kids who are trick or treating. Click here if you want to see the video.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Gallery O' Terror

My wife put up some photos of our spooky house on her blog. You can check them out here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Illustration Friday: Ghost

Mmmmm. Ghosts. A topic I really like. This is one of my favorite ghost paintings that I did a very long time ago. It is small and simple but I still like it. Strange, my mom still doesn't get it.

Also I've been lucky to be able to do a whole bunch of ghosty books with Scholastic. I've done 2 series. I just finished the 17th book of GHOSTVILLE ELEMENTARY by Marcia Thornton Jones & Debbie Dadey and I've done 4 covers for GHOSTHUNTERS by Cornelia Funke. Any job that involves ghosts and goulies is fun. Here are a few examples. You can go here to see more Ghostville Elementary or Ghosthunters.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

From the Sketchbook 2

Here are a few doodles I did at church. I can listen and draw at the same time I promise.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Gallery O' Terror- Pumpkin Portrait

And the Gallery grows. Mr. Punkin' came by for a sitting. A nice chap. He looks a bit scary but he is really kinda squishy on the inside.

Pimple boy

Julie wanted me to draw a pimple-faced boy for her smitten girl. Here you go Julie.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Illustration Friday: Smitten 2

While on his way to his appointment to smite Clyde McDeadsoon, Death passed a small yard sale and was smitten with a shiny toaster. He got a killer deal.

Illustration Friday: Smitten

This started out as a scribble on a piece of paper that was sitting around and it turned into this. I wasn't thinking "smitten", but it kinda turned out that way. It must have been somewhere in the back of my head. Smite on! Ink wash on paper.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

Illustration Friday: Trouble

I've missed a couple of weeks and thought I'd better do something about it. This was a really quick one. I figured I'd stick with a Halloween theme and do something that would go along with IF topic and also the Gallery O' Terror. Acrylic on paper.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Gallery O' Terror- Frank (update)

I finished my Frankenstien painting. It turned out better than I thought it would. There was a time during the "ugly" stage that Frank about got trashed, but he pulled through. Why is he holding a piece of chicken? Beats me. It just happened to show up in the drawing. Everybody loves fried chicken, right? Anyway, the painting looks even better in my Frankenstien frame. I took a new frame and broke it into pieces. Then I bolted, screwed, nailed, wired the thing back together. It turned out pretty cool. If I can figure out where my camera went I'll take some pictures of it to post. Enjoy.

Okay, I found the camera. These aren't the best photos, but I think you get the idea. It looks better in person.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gallery O' Terror- Witch

This was a morning sketch I did the other day that I liked, so I had to paint it up. I'm thinking I might need to do a whole series of witches, but first I need to finish painting Frankenstien, but first I better do my real jobs. Bummer. I'm running out of spare time. Gotta work faster.

Saturday, September 30, 2006


This is a recent painting I did for a good friend who asked me to do a t-shirt design. He owns the local Harley-Davidson dealership. It was a fun project to work on. Acrylic on paper.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sketchin' 2

Here are a few recent pages from my new little sketchbook.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Illustration Friday: Phobia

Waytoosweetcritterophobia- Fear of little those overly-sweet little critters with the big, wet, dewey eyes.

Come on, there is something seriously freaky about those things.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Halloween Time

It's getting close. Time to get some Gallery of Terror stuff going. Here is a sketch I did this morning. I'll paint it up when I get a chance.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A pirates life for me!

So, we went to Disneyland last week. That's a long time away from the the studio and the blogs. It was loads of fun. My wife and I didn't tell the kids about it until they were already packed and headed to school. We just got in the car and left. They were sooooo excited. And, to make it even better, Grandma and Grandpa flew out to California to join us for a couple days. I did take my sketchbook with me, but with all of the Princesses and rides, I didn't get much drawn. Here are two pages.
You can never go wrong with pirates especially on International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrrgh! We got to ride on the revamped Pirates of the Carribean ride. Very cool, but maybe not the best thing to take the two youngest on first. My daughter was kinda freaked to go on anything after that. And while we are at it, here is our run in with Jack Sparrow. Shiver me timbers!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


People used to tell me "You should always keep a sketch book!". My problem was that I hated sketchbooks. Not the idea of keeping one-- I like the idea. I think every artist should have one. I just hated the book itself. Problem #1: The stupid gutter. I don't know if it's because I'm a lefty and my hand always gets in the way or because it's just really inconvienent to have that big crack down the middle of the page. You can't even get a decent scan. They are just dumb. Problem #2: Putting that first doodle in the book. Do you know what I mean? You open a fresh, clean, new book with a big white page staring back at you and you think you're going to screw it up by putting a dorky drawing right there on the first page. Then you have to look at the same dorky drawing everytime you open the book. Pretty intimidating if you ask me.

My solution was to not have a "sketchbook" in the traditional sense. Instead, I just draw on flat 8 1/5 x 11 copy paper. My hand isn't getting in the way of nuthin. It's not just any old copy paper ether. I found some great paper that is heavy and very white and a dream to draw on called Cougar Opaque. It's the best! You'd love it, trust me. I never feel like bad about about sketching like this. If I screw up I can just throw it away and start again. No pressure. I sit at my desk all day and when I get the urge to sketch I just pull out a sheet and draw. Then at the end of the year I take my stack o' sketches and get them spiral bound. It works great for me. And for portability I also have this little aluminum clipboard (see photo) that I carry around. It holds a stack of my paper inside as well as pencils and an eraser. It's nice and works great but, I don't always carry it with me because of it's size.
I decided I'd better get me a pocket sized one. I've heard a lot of artists raving about these Moleskine sketchbooks. They sounded kinda cool so I went to get one the other day. I didn't find the Moleskine ones, but I found one called Modeskin. They seemed kinda similar and much cheaper. I got mine for under $4. Not too bad. Anyway, I'm converted. It's nice to have a sketchbook that is pocket sized, compact, and convienent for when you have a new idea or if you see some freak who is just begging to be drawn. Here are my first couple pages. I hope they aren't too dorky.

There you go folks. That's my stand on sketchbooks. I'm not saying it's the only way to go, but it works for me. If you're not keeping a sketchbook, you should. It is a great way to track your progress and improvement and to keep a journal of your ideas.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Digital doodling

Just playing around in Photoshop with the ole' Wacom tablet. Kinda fun. I might have to do this some more.