This is a preliminary picture I did for the pirate book. We ended up doing something very different. I like the rocks and tree quite a bit. It really captures the feel of the shore here.
Sunday, 30 September 2007
Saturday, 29 September 2007
It rained all night. The wind shook the house. When we woke this morning the trees were all tangled up with witches. They must have blown in overnight. It took all morning for the neighborhood kids to get them free and back on their brooms.
A note about this, I did it about the same time as the Invisible Cat and I think they are visually related. One of the big things I've noticed about my work is the balancing and re-balancing of tonal naturalism, classical, geometric shapes and expressive gestural drawing.
Friday, 28 September 2007
It really rained this morning. The streets are full of wet yellow leaves. I went down town today to buy comic books and art supplies. I picked up one of the Little Lit collections and I got Princess Aasta, a picture book by Stina Langlo Ordal. It was recommended to me by Susan Mitchell ( Sweet Pea) because it has a polar bear in it. Has anyone read this? It's marvelous. I got a new contract. It's about dinosaurs, so I've been reading about dinosaurs and drawing them all day. My eleven year old self would think I grew up to be pretty cool. This is the first painting for the pirate book I'm working on right now. A special thank you to Ann Wood for inspiring me with her wonderful paper ship sculptures. Now I'm off to draw a Stegosaurus.....
Thursday, 27 September 2007
This is a sketch of a cat. It's see-through. It's interesting when you start drawing something mundane you can end up revealing the most amazing things. I like the shape of her face. I find cats hard to draw because of the shape of their faces.
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Here are some photos from the last year. The first one My studio today, the picture is the first pirate painting. The second picture is me at a The Henry House, the local pub where they brew their own beer and people play Celtic music in the corner on Wednesday nights. Next is my first signing earlier in the summer. It was at the Toronto book expo at the start of the summer. On that same trip to Toronto we visited Sesame Street, this is my wife Julie hanging out in the Street. And finally this is Julie and Esther, the glowing cat. We found her at the SPCA and we can't figure out how to turn her off. Any suggestions?
Monday, 24 September 2007
Saturday, 22 September 2007
This is one of my favorite characters. Her name is Bera. She's a troll. She lives on a tiny island off the coast of Nova Scotia. She has converted a ship wreck into a cosy home and has a thriving pumpkin patch next to it. Every night she dives into the Atlantic ocean looking for treasure, although her idea of treasure might different from yours and mine. No one is sure how trolls got here from Scandinavia, though there are a number of interesting theories. There a small number of trolls in Atlantic Canada, they are all very short and shy. All the trolls in Nova Scotia have one head.
I'd love to know if people would be interested in reading a fantasy story based in Nova Scotia. Please tell me what you think.
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Here's another pirate picture. I recently bought some books illustrated by fellow bloggers. I can't recommend these books highly enough. Christmas Lights written by Dane Bauer and illustrated by Susan Mitchell( Sweet Pea), Tales of Hans Christian Andersen illustrated by Joel Stewart( Black Carrot secret Diaries ) and Pinwheel days written by Ellen Tarlow and illustrated by Gretel Parker( All Around Us ) . Christmas is coming and these are amazing books...
P.S. I just got Shark and Lobster's Amazing Undersea Adventure written and drawn by Viviane Schwartz and coloured by Joel Stewart. This book is amazing.
Monday, 17 September 2007
This is for an upcoming book. It has a lot of elements that I think of as being typical of my style; Its detailed and dark with contrasting forms. When I did this book I tried to do what Arthur Rackham did in A Midsummer's Night Dream, He pulled a line from the play almost out of context and illustrated that line. My stuff's been too light lately I think I'll darken things up a bit.
Sunday, 16 September 2007
Here's another watercolour and ink sketch. I'm reading The BFG by Roald Dahl right now and remembering why I love his books. I got the kids I'm teaching to design spaceships this week and they came up with some great stuff. I did this drawing for my wife when she returned from Toronto where she was visiting her family.
Thursday, 13 September 2007
Sunday, 9 September 2007
This picture is from the Brothers Grimm story The Twelve Brothers. "My child what have you done? Why did you not leave the twelve white flowers growing? They were your brothers, who are now for ever more changed into ravens." The maiden said, weeping " Is there no saving them?" I'm working on the pirate book right now. Whenever I do a picture book I'm always surprised by what I draw. A really good story suggests things for the visual part of the story. It's like having a dialogue with the story and the authors.
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Baloo from the Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling is generally portrayed as a sloth bear. Sloth bears are indigenous to India. They dig for roots with their in turned claws. Baloo taught the boy Mowgli about the laws of the jungle.
Monday, 3 September 2007
Here are some colour sketches for the Robot Museum project. The two kids and the floating alien kid are the heroes. I've also included a pretty rudimentary drawing of the museum itself.
The museum displays old fashioned, obsolete robots. It's divided into different halls of specific interest, like the all of Moon Mining Robots and things like that. I based the layout loosely on a cross between the Guggenheim and the Museum of Natural History in New York, although I looked at a lot of cool museums. The Museum is located in the middle of Robot Park.
I have have to put this aside for a while to complete a pirate book I'm working on. I am excited about the pirate book though. I'm doing it in a simpler, more animated style. I wish I had time to work on a few projects at once. I'll keep working on the Robot Museum when I'm done.
On a related note I found a great Science Fiction book for kids. It's The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron. About mid way through I remembered reading an illustrated version when I was a kid. And there is also the amazing Philip Reeve, I like Larklight in particular.
Labels: robot museum
Sunday, 2 September 2007
Many of my pictures seem to be fragments of
a fairy tale. I think if you read enough fairy tales
the elements start to get mixed up and are
put back together in new ways. It's like being in
touch with generations of story tellers.
I like doing pictures in pen and ink. It's a very direct
way to explore an idea.