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August 29, 2012

100 Watercolors #41 - Teamwork

I had a lot of fun working on this week's theme.  One of my favorite things about illustration is that it gives you a chance to research specific things and figure out how they work.  I now fully understand how a mousetrap works!

I feel like I've reached a point with these watercolors where I'm not stressing out about the technique as much anymore, so I'm able to just have fun and focus on the color choices and values.  I'm excited to keep cranking through the last 59 of these!

August 22, 2012

100 Watercolors #40 - Rated

It's strange how the timing of these themes are working out.   Once again, I came up with this idea months ago, but it ties in nicely with the olympics, which just wrapped up a few weeks ago.

I'm still neck deep in Basewood corrections but I've got some cool illustration projects coming down the pipeline, so I should have some new stuff to share in a few weeks.  For now I'll keep plugging away at the watercolors.  Only 60 left to go!

Next week's theme: Teamwork!

August 15, 2012

Basewood Back Cover and Endpapers

When we last left the Basewood cover design process, I had finished drawing the front cover.  All the art for the book is due by the end of the month, so I have been working like crazy to draw the remaining elements.  Since you all joined me for the front cover design process, I thought this week I would show you how the back cover turned out:

Max likes to put one line from the book on the back cover, to help draw in the reader, and since L'employ√© du Moi is a small press publisher, they don't force me to put a bunch of sales quotes on the back.  I chose what I consider to be the most important line in Basewood.  Can you read the French?  :)  There will be a barcode and the price in euros on the bottom left, where the copyright notice currently sits.  You can click on the image to make it bigger!

I also drew the endpapers this week, which will be a one-color print, using a one dark brown Pantone ink.  I recycled an unused cover design, which felt good.  All those preparatory sketches were not for naught!

You can also click on this one to see it bigger.  And in case you are wondering, no, I did not redraw all of those elements.  I used Photoshop to grab them from various pages throughout the story, and then masked them to fit inside the wooden frames, which I drew specifically for the endpapers.

All that remains is to draw the art corrections.  There are a few continuity problems throughout the book (did you spot them?) and various panels need to be cleaned up, or redrawn to make things more consistent.  Also, Argus's face changed a lot over the course of the 204 pages / eight years that it took me to draw Basewood, so I'm going back through the first chapter and giving him a facelift.  I better get back to it!  Next week I'll jump back in on the 100 Watercolors project.

August 8, 2012

100 Watercolors #39 - Dreams

I came up with the idea for this week's theme months ago, but the fact that I'm posting it this week seems very poignant to me...

I grew up with a golden retriever named Sunday, who died when I was 17.  I convinced my parents to adopt another dog during my senior year in high school; a mutt who we named Ferris.  I left for college a year later, so I only got to see Ferris on my infrequent trips home.  I was not allowed to have a dog in the dorms and my post-college lifestyle did not allow me to get a dog.  As I moved from city to city, there was a dog-sized hole in my heart.

In 2003 I was living in Portland, Oregon where I met Aaron Renier and his wonderful dog Beluga.  My friendship with Aaron turned out to be a lasting one, and over the years I have had the honor of dog sitting Beluga in many different cities and settings.  He was everything a dog should be: loyal, fun, energetic, silly and caring.  Whenever I spent time with him, that hole in my heart was filled.

Two days ago, Beluga sadly passed away.  He was one of the greatest dogs ever to have lived, and those of us who were lucky enough to have known him will miss him dearly, but Aaron most of all.  I hope wherever he is now, there is at least a pool full of bones, though I believe tennis balls were his favorite thing to chew into oblivion.  Rest in peace, Beluga!  We will miss you.

August 1, 2012

100 Watercolors #38 - Abandoned

I'm not going to lie, this week's theme is kind of a bummer.  As some of you might know, I am a pretty big pinball nut, so when I started sketching out ideas for the idea of "abandoned," pinball came to mind. It used to be at the forefront of entertainment, but has since taken a back seat.  I tried to capture our culture's "abandonment" in this illustration:

1980 seemed like a good year to depict, because of the introduction of Pac-Man, which was a real turning point in arcade culture.  Black Knight was also released in that year.  Like I said, this image is kind of a bummer, but I would just like to go on record to say that those kids are making a huge mistake!  Black Knight is an awesome pinball machine, designed by the great Steve Ritchie, and it is a thousand times more fun to play than Pac-Man... at least for me!

Next week's theme: Dreams!