30 March 2013

RIF’s “Where the Wild Things Are” Gala

Next month, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) will be celebrating Maurice Sendak’s controversial classic, Where the Wild Things Are .


I was asked to donate a Wild Things homage to be auctioned off with all proceeds benefiting RIF, an organization I am proud to be affiliated with. In fact, some years ago I contributed a short recollection of my mom reading young Tony House at Pooh Corner for RIF’s anniversary book, The Art of Reading.


Maurice’s legacy in words and pictures has inspired me since I first lay eyes on In the Night Kitchen and Higglety Pigglety Pop! 1980′s The Art of Maurice Sendak had a tremendous influence on my journey to become a children’s book creator. In fact, I quoted from it last year when I spoke at the SCBWI’s annual conference. Like many, I was saddened to hear of his passing last year. I honored Maurice by reading Wild Things before beginning my first event in Los Angeles for the Hero for WondLa tour.


Needless to say, I was nervous and excited to “cover” Maurice’s most beloved characters. I’d seen some lovely tributes before and knew I had my work cut out for me. I came across a little drawing of Max, likely done back in 1999 or so.


…and since Max is who I associate with most, I started with him for my new rendition.


I returned to my dog-eared (signed!) copy of the book looking for inspiration. I really liked the wild rumpus scene where Max is riding the minotaur as king; however, I worried that my version would look really minotaur-y (yes, its a word). So, I swapped out the minotaur for the bearded Wild Thing (with the striped shirt) as he seemed the most iconic of all the monsters.


In drawing the Wild Thing, I realized what an influence their design must have had on Jim Henson when he was creating his more monsterly Muppets – especially Sweetums. (In addition, I once read that Maurice’s Outside Over There was the inspiration for Labyrinth .)


As I refined my sketch, I remembered an interview where Maurice said that the Wild Things were inspired by his aunts and uncles. With that in mind, I put a little of Maurice in the monster. (Or did I just show a little of the monster that was in Maurice?)


I’d like to think Maurice would have liked this. I sure hope you enjoy the final result. I’ll post news on the auction once it goes live.

via Tony DiTerlizzi, Never Abandon Imagination Tony D http://diterlizzi.com/home/rifs-where-the-wild-things-are-gala/

28 March 2013

mulan findings 5

here is some more visual development artwork for disney’s MULAN. it was done sometime early 1994 before I joined the team












© disney enterprises, inc

via One1more2time3's Weblog one1more2time3 http://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/mulan-findings-5/

Sneak Peak of my latest piece.

via Emergent Ideas Sneak Peak of my latest piece.

Final drawing for a frontispiece.

3 Old Man Heads Character Sketches

“Mummies tomb”; local values Setting up a local...

Calendar Tetris

“Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.”

--Someone of questionable internet provenance

I keep digital calendars, including a couple that I need synced with others. Life gets like that. But when life gets truly hectic, I go old-skool. I print out a few months of calendars, and work them out in pencil.

My wife calls this practice "Calendar Tetris," which is funny because I don't know if she's ever played a single game of Tetris in her life. She's just grokked the concept from culture. In Calendar Tetris, you break up your calendar boxes into larger shapes, by project or appointment, and they end up looking like Tetris pieces: straight lines, L-bends, rectangles and so on. Then you try to fit them all together with no gaps.

Once printed, there were some items that were already on the calendar from prior scheduling: appointments, meetings, and so on. From there I start penciling in. There are projects which I have either currently or need to start working on. A couple are recurring projects. These are the tricky parts. Deadlines overlap both which each other as well as with trips, like my upcoming weekend at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. Reference photos need to be taken, convention supplies ordered, convention prep done. And that takes me only to the end of May. But existing projects continue, others begin after--having been commissioned in advance with long deadlines, for instance. A couple others are more speculative but seemingly require my starting for them to commence, and have fuzzier windows of time when they are due.

All in all, these are good problems to have. The past 6 months have been incredibly busy. It's looking like the next 4 at least won't let up. I'm extraordinarily grateful for the work and the opportunities. It just makes for a professional headache trying to manage everything without letting any balls drop. But, I am a professional....

Chief among the balls not to drop is my domestic life. Being an illustrator who works at home, sharing life with a spouse is always tricky. When you're not busy enough, you feel very accountable, whether it's because you're getting pressure or just have it internally (for me, it's mostly internal). When you are busy, you have to (and want to) maintain domestic tranquility. For instance, as I was sitting there diligently filling out boxes, placing projects into them, I realized I was filling in all my Saturdays. With few exceptions, I take Sundays off. I need a day to recharge, and will work round-the-clock the rest of the week, if necessary, to maintain it. I don't think it's wise, healthy, or sane to burn through my life 7 days a week. And yet, I am always extremely responsible with my deadlines.

But Saturdays are days most of you take for granted as days off (or you at least get 2 days off per week, typically). It is very, very easy for Saturdays to become another weekday for me. Left to my own, maybe that would be ok, although it can certainly get tiring. But with a spouse--shoot, with friends and family alone, even--Saturdays are not to be given over by default to work, either. If it can be helped.

So as I caught myself, I began to erase and reconfigure, trying to leave Saturdays as either open or as float days: if I don't meet my weekday goals, Saturday can be a clean-up day, catching me up. If that happens, hopefully I haven't scheduled so poorly as to have to work a long day. Maybe a few hours might be all that's needed to put me back on the rails.

It's tricky business, and as the calendar got further out, I had to double-up some days depending on which project was a go at the time. Though I could probably already fill out August by now, even July was getting way too tentative to be very reliable, except to tell me I would be able to handle some projects I'd be working on in June.

It was sad to see my hopes dashed about getting in another 2x3' personal piece done before Spectrum Live. In the back of my mind, I've known for a few weeks that it was probably impossible. It took just beginning to pencil in boxes to quickly see that yes, I wouldn't even begin before August, most likely.

The last variable, of course, is new work. Some of these scheduled projects have been accepted, and once accepted I don't back out if something good comes along. A couple, however, haven't yet been formalized, or are part of regularly-scheduled assignments that I could put a hold on with some forewarning. Because you never know when some awesome commission will show up. It's good to be booked ahead of time, but can also lead to the largest tears if you don't have the room to maneuver and you get asked to paint a dream commission. So there is some flexibility like that built in. But barring any surprises, it'll be a very busy few months, and this is a peek into how I manage it.

Included in the calendar, dear reader, is you. I have indicated there the order in which certain art posts will appear. I've kinda got a bi-monthly rhythm for new art reveals, and I'd like to keep that up for the foreseeable future. Not that I only do 2 pieces a month, but those posts take more work and I'd rather have a little backlog than not, in case I go months on work I can't show and need art to show.

via Exit Within: the Gallegos Blog Randy Gallegos http://blog.gallegosart.com/2013/03/calendar-tetris.html

26 March 2013

Ed Binkley (update)

Ed Binkley

It’s been a while since I checked in on fantasy and concept artist Ed Binkley, so I thought I’d pull back the deep forest undergrowth and see what’s happening under the leaves.

The good news is that Binkley has posted additional images to his blog and his Holy-Men and Monsters gallery.

Binkley’s wonderfully textural evocations of fantasy subjects may carry echoes of Golden Age illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Victorian faerie artists like Richard Dadd and John Anster Fitzgerald, and perhaps a touch of contemporaries like Jean-Baptiste Monge, but Binkley is, if you’ll excuse the expression, in his own world.

I consistently admire his ability to balance intricate detail with atmospheric open passages, as well as his striking use of value and texture contrasts to lead the eye and suggest layers of depth.

via lines and colors :: a blog about drawing, painting, illustration, comics, concept art and other visual arts Charley Parker http://www.linesandcolors.com/2013/03/26/ed-binkley-update/


Much of what I have been working on for the last year or so has been protected by NDA's which means I can't share any of it with you. This fellow was protected by just such a contract but the publisher is allowing me to post him. He is an Arctic Dwarf and will be part of an Arctic Myths field guide we are putting together. A lot of work has gone into the field guide and there is yet more to do but this is a little peek at what we've been up to. I was given permission to put up one or two more so stay tuned.

More soon.

via Mythwood - The Art of Larry MacDougall Larry MacDougall http://mythwood.blogspot.com/2013/03/dwarf.html

24 March 2013

via don kenn gallery john kenn http://johnkenn.blogspot.com/2013/03/blog-post_22.html

18 March 2013

Final drawing for a frontispiece.

10+ Hours of Watercolor Painting in an 8 Minute Video

Summary: 10+ hours of painting in an 8 minute video? I share watercolor painting tips and concepts in a time lapse painting of three storybook characters. Check it out, and share it with your friends.

via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://studiobowesart.com/2013/03/18/10-hours-of-watercolor-painting-in-an-8-minute-video/

17 March 2013

New song sketches/Sketch Book selections

via Sketch Blog Michael Bierek http://mikebierek.blogspot.com/2013/03/new-song-sketchessketch-book-selections.html

*N. C. WYETH* Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving Published by


Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving

Published by David McKay Co ~ 1921

via The Golden Age Mr. Door Tree http://thegoldenagesite.blogspot.com/2013/03/n_17.html