Project Complete! The Neighborhood’s Night

I just finished illustrating a graded reader from Learning A-Z. The Neighborhood’s Night by Juliana Catherine. It’s about a family who has to evacuate their home due to forest fires near their neighborhood. Here’s a mock-up of the cover. It was work-for-hire, so it’s copyright Learning A-Z.

A mock-up of the cover of the book The Neighborhood's Night by Juliana Catherine Illustrated by Karen B. Jones.  The image includes text over an illustration of people and vehicles on a street during an evacuation due to a nighttime forest fire.

I sure got practice drawing vehicles on this one and the changing perspective along the curve was challenging, but the most important part of this illustration was the lighting. I wanted it bright enough to show what was going on and all the people and such, but still look like it’s actually nighttime. An argument could be made that maybe it should have been more smoky, but the haze would have obscured more of the background details, so I went light on the smoke. This image took longer than all the rest of the images in the book.

The full cover image actually wraps around the back. I’ll share that later.

I’m going to dole out the interior illustrations over the next few days here, so keep an eye out if that interests you.

Safety Book – Cover Image 1

I recently completed another coloring book for Positive Promotions.  This one is about teaching safety to kids.  I think it’s supposed to be handed out by the police and firefighters and such.  It’s about when to call 911, anti-bullying, crossing the street safely, anti-drug… things like that.

The cover has three color images showing different safety situations.  This first one shows a boy calling 911 for a house fire.

Safety Book - Cover Image 1

Recycling Book – Cover Art

I recently completed an educational coloring book project for Positive Promotions to be printed in time for Earth Day 2020.  This was an unusual project in two ways.

First, it was not a new work, but a reillustration of an existing book originally illustrated 25 years ago.  The previous illustrations were perfectly nice, but in a somewhat dated style.  They wanted to update it.  So, in many scenes, I was more-or-less copying a previous illustrator’s work, but in a modern style.  A few elements were even just tracework, merely updating the line style to match my illustrations.  There are no copyright or plagiarism issues because the publisher owned full rights to the previous work and instructed me to copy it.  However, I have excluded the most direct copies from what I’m sharing here because I feel weird claiming that as my work.  The samples I’ll share here for this project will only be the work that’s completely original or significantly different from the source material.

The second unusual part of this project was that it was a rush job.  The project was one color cover image and 15 pages of black and white illustrations, usually several illustrations per page, all work to be done in two weeks, start to finish.  So, this job was completed at top speed, working weekends and way more hours per day than I want to admit.  Then, on top of that, there was a miscommunication on the ages of the characters that caused me to have to go back and redraw parts of most of the sketches before I could move on to the finals.  Whew!  This was a stressful project.  But I got it done!

Anyhow, here’s the first image.  This was for the cover and is the only color illustration in the project.

Three children toss recyclables into a divided bin