Boot

I sketched this today because I broke my foot last week. This is the boot I’m now wearing. Apparently, they don’t put you in a cast for a broken foot anymore. Instead, you wear this thing.

(I’m fine. It only hurts if I bump it. I’ll probably be able to walk on it in a couple of days. I fell because my foot went sideways when stepping in a pothole in a patio at a local restaurant. Apparently even outdoor dining is dangerous.)



Bass Reeves

Here’s an illustration of Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves riding out of Fort Smith, Arkansas with a warrant in hand. Bass Reeves was the first black Deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi. He is thought to be the real-life inspiration for The Lone Ranger. He did not have an Indian sidekick named Tonto (which is offensive on a couple of levels) but he did have friends among the indigenous tribes living in the Oklahoma and Indian Territories. The story is that he fled to Oklahoma Territory after he learned about his emancipation from slavery after the Civil War. There he learned several native languages and how to shoot and track. Those skills and contacts, along with his own ingenuity, later helped him track down the outlaws he was charged with capturing as a Deputy US Marshal. Upon his retirement, he had over 3,000 arrests of felons on his record and had killed 14 outlaws, an impressive tally which inspired many stories.

I used some artistic license to give him a white horse, like The Lone Ranger, and the traditional white hat of the western hero. The Fort Smith courthouse is drawn how it looked sometime in the 1870s. I used several reference photos for both the courthouse and Bass Reeves himself.

The font I used on the bottom is named Nashville and designed by Disturbed Type. I like the eroded look to it. I hand drew the letters for his name using the font Tagwood by Intellecta Design as a guide.

An illustration of Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves riding out of Fort Smith, Arkansas with a warrant in hand.  Bass Reeves was the first black Deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi.

Website Updates

I’ve been working on the office parts of my job for the last couple weeks, which is why I haven’t really been posting anything here on the blog. I have a whole list of things I want to draw, but I can’t start on it until I get through the neglected administrative tasks. So, anyway, I’ve been spending time updating my mailing lists and updating things here on the website,

But now I think I’m done with the website, and I thought I’d share and ask for feedback. Please take a look around and let me know if anything needs changing. (Especially if you find a typo!)

I completely changed the portfolio section based partly on advice I received at a recent portfolio review. I came up with a “Top 10” selection of images, then linked to additional, targeted portfolios in text links under that main portfolio. (Also accessible through the menu bar.) I did it that way because it I was really putting way too many images on my portfolio page. I mean, I love sharing all my work because I figure you never know what sort of images a client might be looking for. But it was just too much for one page. Anyway, this new way I still get to share all my best work for people who are interested in it all, but I’m not overwhelming art directors who just want a summary of my work. It also lets me point specific art directors to particular targeted portfolios if I think that will fit better with what they’re looking for. Or, that’s the intent anyway. I’ll see how it works when I start sending out my promo emails on, probably, Friday

I also drastically slashed my super-wordy Intro page to just the bare bones. And I added some new graphics that I thought were fun.

I’d love it if you’d go take a look at both pages and let me know what you think.

Oh, and here’s one thing I did make today. A drawing of the wacom stylus that I use with my cintiq.

SCBWI Illustrator Day

I just finished attending a webinar hosted by the KS/MO chapter of the SCBWI. I have been doing illustration long enough now that a lot of these seminars (in person and online) are sort of reviewing things I’ve already picked up. But I did get a few points that were sort of new, or at least good to be reminded of. And it’s always good to get out there (metaphorically because it was on zoom) and actually discuss things.

The subjects were picture book dummies and working with art departments.

There was a lot of information, but the advice I took away was:

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The Neighborhood’s Night – Page 15

Page 14 doesn’t have an image, so we skip on to page 15 from The Neighborhood’s Night by Juliana Catherine. This is the last illustration and the end of the book.

It’s not a completely happy ending because, even though Leena’s back in her own home, Amaya’s family lost their house. This is supposed to be a “tough subjects” series, so a not entirely happy ending is appropriate. But it’s not all bad because Amaya has sent Leena a letter saying how they found a place to live and are doing okay. They even sent pictures.

I made sure it’s the same couch and wall as page 4 so it’s definitely the same house. It comes full circle.

An illustration for page 15 of The Neighborhood's Night by Juliana Catherine.  A girl curled up on her couch leans back against her mother who is sitting beside her.  The girl is reading a letter and the mother is looking at some photo prints.  They are both smiling.