Friday, August 31, 2012

Work in progress. Page 18 of "Gaijin- American Prisoner of War", a graphic novel written and illustrated by me, publ. by Disney, 2014. It's December 8th, 1941, the day after Koji's 13th birthday and, coincidentally the day after the raid on Pearl Harbor. Koji didn't sleep well the night before. His dad is still stuck in Japan and they haven't heard from him in months. Like so many other Japanese Americans, Koji was just the wrong color at the wrong time in the wrong place. And his U.S. citizenship didn't make a difference. Pencil, water color, gouache, 2012.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A color/character study done for my Academy of Art/San Francisco students. I focused on several water based material techniques- masking, lift off, dry brush, applying salt for texture etc.. Water color, gouache, pencil on 140 lb. Arches cold press, 2008. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

15 minute 9" x 12" water color study done for my Academy of Art Students/San Francisco.  The study is done with some dry brush but mostly wet on wet technique and was done to show them how to build a painting through warm/cool (raw umber/ultramarine blue) layering. Towards the end I also tossed in some cadmium red and viridian green. And, yup, it's supposed to be a self portrait.  There are some (and I won't name names but my bonus son Joe is standing nearby) who don't think it looks like me! I'm outwaged, I tell you! Outwaged!! ;) Water color, 2009.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2nd Thumbnail sketch for the cover of "You're On Your Way Teddy Roosevelt" by Judith St. George and illustrated by me, publ.d by Phylomel/Penguin&Putnam, 2003. Thumbnail sketching is a process which I rarely share with my editor or art director. At this stage I've already got an idea of what my characters look like so I'm mostly discovering the layout design of the illustration. Any applied tone or detail (clothing, hair, etc.) is very simplified. Once I've figured out the underlying theme and design in the thumbnail sketch, I'll make a bigger, more detailed drawing, which I call the intermediate sketch and shows much more detail and value application, and  this what I'll eventually show the publisher. Pencil, 2002.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Having a little difficulty remembering where I did this. Either I was in a chapel in Dublin listening to a lecture during a conference I attended at the Irish Reading Association of Ireland or I was in Chautauqua, NY at the Highlights summer picture book conference listening to a lecture in a lovely little church. Either way, I dug the big organ in the back and decided to add Mr. Handel to the sketch.
Pencil, white chalk on brown paper, Summer 2001.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Title page sketch for "The Return of Fletcher Leadbelly", a sequel to the first book I wrote and illustrated- "The Amazing Voyage of Jackie Grace", publ.d by Scholastic Inc. 1985. Pencil, 2006.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.
W.B. Yeats
Pen&Ink, 2005 and 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Dragon Boat time on Lake Orion! Pen&ink, 2003.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Aeronautical design that fits my sketch page. Don't worry, it'll fly.  Pen&ink, 2009.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Illustration for "Thank You Sarah, The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving" by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by me, publ.d by Simon&Schuster, 2003. Sarah Hale, born 1788, a widower who raised 5 children, a published author and publisher of America's first magazine for women- petitioned for abolishing slavery, equal education for girls and boys, ending corporal punishment for children and saved Thanksgiving for us all! Watercolor, pen&ink, 2002.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Intermediate sketch for "Gaijin-American Prisoner of War", a graphic novel written and illustrated by me, to be publ.d by Disney/Hyperion 2014. Based on the true story of my Aunt Adeline, my cousin Mary and her babies- imprisoned by our gov
ernment during WWII for being the wrong color in the wrong place at the wrong time. The basic story elements of this sketch remain in the final telling, however some things have changed- eg. the narrative is now in the third person, Karl is now Koji etc.. Also, the text will be digitally produced and not hand drawn. Pencil, 2008.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dust cover flap art for "You're On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt" by Judith St. George and illustrated by me, publ.d by Phylomel/Penguin&Putnam.  On the left- little Teddy. On the right- big Teddy. Big Teddy is a little scary to me. That's ok 'cause I think he was a little scary to just about everybody. Water color, gouache, 2003.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sketch from the Detroit Metropolitan Opera's dress rehearsal of Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutti". When I taught at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit every semester I'd take a group to the opera for sketching. We'd get a tour backstage, meet a performer or two and sit right down front for the performance, sketching all the while. What a great time that was. For some of my students it was their first viewing of a  professional theater production, much less the opera. Pencil, 11/9/2001.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I know. It feels good knowing that you're not the only one who talks to trees. Pencil, 2001.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Illustration for "Independent Dames- What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution", written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by me. Very happy to find this piece because I've been hearing so much nasty political garbage flying back and forth between our respective parties- name calling, slander, calling each other traitors, un-American. Such childish stuff. Remembering Maggie Morris and her nonpartisan efforts to bring healing to both the Continental and British injured, without prejudice or judgement. I guess folks (or at least Maggie) were just a little more mature back then. The art for this book was created in two pieces- pen and ink on one and water color on the other, then scanned together. I built a large light table to deal with all the tracing for the big art (10" x 22"). Pen and ink, water color, 2007.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Opening page to "Blackbelt", a book I wrote and illustrated. Publ.d by Knopf. Had a lot of fun warping the perspective grid in this book. Water color, gouache, 1998.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"This willow don't weep!", pen and ink, 2004.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Preliminary sketch and final art for "Scatterbrain Sam", written by Ellen Jackson, illus. by me, publ.d by Charlesbridge. The character with Sam is called "The Widder Woman". When I presented her character sketches I mentioned that I wanted her to be a mix of Oprah Winfrey and Rosie the Riveter. This was the result. Pencil and watercolor/pen&ink, 1998.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A few years back I was given the opportunity to do some sketches for a Daniel Pinkwater manuscript. Mice and chihuahuas the performers in the stories traveling circus. Great story. Hope to get a contract for it soon. Pencil, 2009. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Double page spread intermediate sketch for "Because I Could Not Stop My Bike", written by and illustrated by me, published by Charlesbridge. I used to show the editor and art director all my sketches, including the thumbnails- such as the one you see on the bottom here. However, I found that led to too much discussion at a stage where I need to do my own editing. Now I only show the intermediate sketches such as the one on the top. Pencil, 2002.
Three years ago the first Latina was sworn into the Supreme Court. ¡Felicidades Justice Sotomayor!
Thank you Pres. Obama!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Whenever the social structuring of the unconscious is dissolved, the individual has to take a heroic journey and go within to find new forms. The biblical tradition, which provided the structuring myth for Western culture, is largely ineffective. Its pretentions to revelation are refuted. So there must be a new quest."
Joseph Campbell
Psychology Today, 1971
Who doesn't like a nice hug? Final illustration for "Scatterbrain Sam" written by Ellen Jackson and illustrated by me. The models for Scatterbrain Sam and his girl friend (the test pilot) Maizie Mae were two students of mine from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit back in 1999. Water color, pen and ink, 1999.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Character study for a revamped folk tale called "Scatterbrain Sam", written by Ellen Jackson & illustrated by me, published by Charlesbridge. These versions of "Sam" weren't what we were looking for. See the final version of "Sam" tomorrow. Pencil, 1998.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two spot illustrations for a Hallmark Cards publication of "Black Beauty". Balck and white gouache and pencil 2003.

Sikh rights groups have reported a rise in bias attacks since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with more than 700 reported incidents in the United States. Sikhs are not Muslims, but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say.

Friday, August 3, 2012

‎"Avatar Abraham", watercolor on 140 lb. Arches cold press. Work in progress, 2012.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"American Saint BigBoy #1" I drew this sketch just after Pres. Bush made his fateful speech after 9/11 which included the following:

"They have attacked America because we are freedom's home and defender; This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while, but we will rid the world of the evil-doers."  I was afraid then that the aggressive conservative element now holding the reigns would take this opportunity to harness the nation's anger over the attacks and get busy making money while building an empire.  Considering all that has happened over these past 11 years I'd say my fears were justified. Pencil, white charcoal on tinted paper. 10/1/01.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A child with her pacifier and character sketches for "You're On Your Way Teddy Roosevelt" by Judith St. George and illustrated by yours truly. Pencil, 2003.
 Character study for text book assignment for MacMillan publishing. Text book assignments are nice. Decent money, fast turn around and interesting story lines. And usually pretty decent money. This story is about a Grandma who must stay in bed but lives a very dynamic life none the less. Pencil, 2005.