Since this round of Chocolate Frog cards was supposed to feature Order of the Phoenix members, I decided to show some scenes from their greatest battle, against Voldemort and the Death Eaters in book seven.
I was having trouble thinking of a good scene for Professor McGonnagall, when Paul DeGeorge suggested the scene where she magically activates all of the armor in Hogwarts Castle to fight. Good call!
Whoa, last week when I posted about these new Chocolate Frog cards, I somehow forgot to mention that these are once again available in the Harry Potter Alliance shop! You can get milk or dark chocolate, and you'll get one wizarding card from my new set of illustrations. Maybe you'll get Fred and George!
If you can't tell, this one was a lot of fun to draw. Professor Umbridge is probably my least favorite character in the Harry Potter series, so it was fun getting to draw Fred and George wreaking havoc during the O.W.L.s!
The HPA asked me to focus specifically on members of the Order of the Phoenix this time around, so I started off with one of my favorite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood! This is the scene where the new issue of the Quibbler comes out, with Harry's cover story. I tried to load this image with as much detail as possible.
I don't think my family ever had a subscription to Highlights Magazine when I was a kid, but I definitely remember reading it at every single one of my dentist appointments growing up. My favorite feature was always the "Hidden Picture" challenge, where you'd look through a large illustration to find lots of little drawings hidden inside.
Well, imagine my delight, earlier this year, when Highlights got in touch and asked me to draw some hidden pictures for them! I did five of these before things got hectic with my big book project, and the first one arrived in the mail the other day. It's always a thrill to see my work in print!
This Highlights: Eagle-Eye Hidden Pictures book is cover-to-cover hidden pictures, so if that is your kind of thing, than this book is for you! My drawing was for the "Gaby's Journal" feature, in which a little girl named Gaby travels around the USA with her family, seeing cool landmarks and roadside attractions.
If you see one of these magazines, pick it up! The next string of issues should have some illustrations by yours truly, and hopefully I'll do some more of these in the future!
Tonight I finished up the big illustration project that I have been working on for the last four months. On the day I started it, I made this chart, which is something I always do for my comics projects. It helps me keep track of how much work there is left to do and makes it easy for me to see whether or not I'm going to finish on time. For this chart I had to pencil all 210 illustrations (the steep line on the left) and then ink all of them (the steep line on the right). Luckily, it all worked out and I finished exactly on time. My comics charts almost never look this tidy.
Anyway, now that it's all over, I'm looking forward to my life getting back to normal. I've got a pile of neglected projects that need some attention, including this blog! I'm going to try and finish off 2013 with some weekly posts about the various illustration projects I did this year which I have not shared with you guys yet. I'm not allowed to talk about the top secret project shown in the chart above, but as soon as I'm allowed to, I will!
Hello, illustration friends! I thought I'd quickly check in to explain the lack of recent updates on this site. Ironically, I am working harder than I ever have before on illustration. I'm currently working on my biggest project yet, but it is top secret (literally! I had to sign a big scary "non disclosure agreement") so I can't tell you guys about it just yet. As soon as I can, I will!
For the final project in our Children's Book class at Pratt, we had to take the text from an existing book and then illustrate it in our own style. After a whole day at the library, I decided to use The Hunter: A Chinese Folktale retold by Mary Casanova. It was a great story, and my illustration style was so different from Ed Young's beautifully understated ink drawings, that I knew I wouldn't be tempted to copy anything he had done in the real book.
We started out by thumbnailing the entire book. I then redrew these compositions at a slightly more detailed stage so that I could create a full-sized dummy of the book. You can click the image below to see these images at a larger size:
Right during this assignment I saw a Pixar show at the Museum of Modern Art and I was really amazed by the color scripts that they created for each of their movies. I loved the idea of being able to see the colors for each scene all on one page, so that you can make sure each setting feels unique. I made a very simple color script using my thumbnails:
I then drew a cover and two interior illustrations. Again, you can click on any of these to see larger versions.
The other children's book that we tackled as an assignment for my "Illustration IV" class at Pratt was Alice in Wonderland. This has always been one of my favorite stories, so it was great to reread it and pick out some scenes to illustrate. We had to draw a spot illustration, a full page illustration and a two-page spread. Click on any of the images below to see larger versions of them.
During my last semester at Pratt, our "Illustration IV" class did a series of children's book illustrations, even though we also had a specific Children's Book Illustration class that semester. I was pumped about this because I have always wanted to illustrate picture books. Our first assignment was to create an illustration for Snow White. This piece was a big turning point for me, because it was during the critique process for this piece that I really began to understand the importance of value.
The class I was most excited to take at Pratt was the Children's Book Illustration class. For our first assignment we had to do two illustrations to accompany some non-fiction text. There were four or five texts to choose from, and I selected one about the Egyptian mummification process. It was super interesting to research this process and I tried to cram in as many historically accurate details into each drawing.
I moved to New York City and worked as an office temp for a year before I started attending Pratt Institute in the fall of 2005. During that time I was trying to figure out how the illustration world worked. Somehow I came up with the crazy scheme to send in an unsolicited cover idea to The New Yorker, fully illustrated!
I'm pretty sure this was my first ever published illustration. It was drawn for The Zinester's Guide to Portland. I was living in Portland at the time, and I remember I biked down to draw this sculpture in person. I had a horrible bike wreck on my way there - flipped over my handlebars, bent my front wheel in half - so this was drawn while I was bloody and bruised. That might be why it never occurred to me that Joan of Arc is supposed to be carrying a flag in this sculpture. I guess it was being repaired or something on the day that I drew it. Oh well, what you see here is what made it into the book!
Back in 2006 I was asked to create some clip-art for the now defunct zine distributor Fall of Autumn. I created a bunch of tiny spot illustrations trying to focus on various aspects of the zinester lifestyle. There are a lot of little nods to some of my zinester friends hidden in these images. Click on any of the images below to see a bigger version.
One of my illustration assignments at Pratt was to draw an imaginary album cover for a band. I chose Harry and the Potters, because I had just found out about them a year or two before and was kind of obsessed with them at the time. I sent this image to Harry and the Potters, and although it was never used for an album cover, they have used it a few times on flyers or things like that.
Back in 2005 my friend Bob hired me to draw his portrait. If memory serves, he super-imposed a red "NO" symbol over it (like a "NO SMOKING" sign) and put it on a T-Shirt. I can't remember exactly why he needed a "NO BOB" shirt... Anyway, it was fun to draw!
For the final project of my Professional Practices class at Pratt I built the first version of this illustration website. Version 1.0 had one background illustration for each of the four sections, which were split up my medium: Digital, Acrylic, Watercolor and Pen & Ink. Below you can see those images (click on any of them to make them bigger):
I also made this background for the initial splash page. It was also used on the back of my business card for years. I thought the image of a rooster, getting up at the crack of dawn to greet the day was a good representation of my work ethic and attitude.
The site was later updated to have just one portfolio section, and then eventually it morphed into its current illustration blog format. I wonder what it'll look like next!
This was another illustration assignment from my Pratt days. If memory serves, we were supposed to select one of the plays that was currently running in New York and make a poster for it. I chose Evil Dead: The Musical because I thought it would provide some interesting imagery. Ironically, I have never seen any of the Evil Dead movies (or the play) because I can't handle horror movies.
Back in 2006 I was asked to illustrate a poster for the Beg Yr Pardon concert series in New York City. It was a lot of fun to try and get all of this information onto a single sheet of 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Hand lettering all the way!
My last semester at Pratt we had a Professional Practices class which was supposed to prepare us for working out in the real world. One of our assignments was to make a self-promotional mailer to send out to clients. I decided to turn mine into a little picture book that explored a lot of different cool locations.
This was a lot of fun to draw, but ironically it was super expensive to print (full color!) so I never mailed it out to anyone. Here it is in it's entirety; click on any image to see it bigger.
Back in 2006 my buddy Aaron Renier gave me one of the most amazing birthday gifts I have ever received: an original drawing by Carson Ellis (who is one of my favorite illustrators). This was very cool of Aaron, because he had had to trade Carson one of his original drawings to get the piece in question, but it was also very cool of Carson, because she had no idea who I was. I decided to send her a little painting as a thank-you present:
Okay, let's jump back into our time machine to take a look at some of my older illustrations that were never posted on this site, but used to be in my Flickr account.
Last week I posted the book cover for my most recent collection of Phase Seven Comics, so I thought this week I would post the book cover of my first collection of Phase Seven Comics. It was called, appropriately enough, Phase 7 #001-#004. Click on the image below to see a larger version of the cover.
The idea on this one was to mashup as many elements from the first four issues of Phase 7 as I possibly could. This was a lot of fun. You can still order this book from Lulu.com,Amazon.com or from your local bookstore. You can also order it as an eBook.
While we are still looking at some of my recent work, I thought I would show a book cover that I drew this year for the most recent collection of my comics, which is called B-Sides: Phase 7 #012-#016.
The idea here is that this book collects five "B-Side" issues of Phase 7 that I released while I was working on my first graphic novel Basewood. So the front cover shows me slaving away at Basewood, while the back cover has a visual element or two from each of the issues. Click on the image below to see it bigger.
I wanted the whole back cover to be very muted and dark, but unfortunately there are very strict rules for print on demand distribution which specify that the ISBN number must be printed black on white. Thus I added the additional "spotlight" on the back cover, which I'm not sure makes total sense, but it gets the job done.
This book is available through Lulu.com or on Amazon.com or you can ask your local bookshop to order a copy!
Okay, I hope everyone enjoyed revisiting those Animal Alphabet paintings and had a great Fourth of July weekend. I thought we could take a short break to look at a few NEW illustrations, before we dive back into reposting some of my older work that used to be up on Flickr.