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May 28, 2015

100 Watercolors #84 - Out Cold

This painting provides a quick visual explanation of why I did not follow my father into medicine.  Needles?  Not my thing!

It took a lot of willpower for me to not put any paint on those white jackets, but I'm glad I didn't.  I want to start using the white of the page more in these non-comics illustrations.

The next theme: Spiral!

May 26, 2015

100 Watercolors #83 - Heal

I tried out dozens of ideas for the theme of "Heal" but in the end, I decided to go with the healing power of a mother's kiss.  I have been thinking about motherhood a lot lately, since my sister Galen just became a Mom.  While I painted this one, I thought about Galen and her daughter Wren, who will have her bumps and bruises healed with a kiss someday soon.  I guess it's a bit sentimental... oh well!

The next theme: Out Cold

May 21, 2015

100 Watercolors #82 - Can You Hear Me?

I know I've got another eighteen of these left to paint, but I'm pretty sure this is going to be my favorite one.  The rooster crowing at the rising sun references the original background to this website (and the background of my illustration business cards for many years), I managed to sneak in a Norman Rockwell reference, and I was very pleased how the sun highlights turned out.  Let's see if I can top it!

The next theme: Heal!

May 19, 2015

100 Watercolors #81 - Pen and Paper

I try not to post comics on this blog, but I couldn't help splitting this theme into two panels.  It depicts my wife, Claire Sanders, and myself writing letters to each other, circa 2009.  We wrote letters to each other for about a year before we started dating, using good old Pen and Paper!  You can read all the mushy details over on my other site.

The next theme: Can You Hear Me?

May 14, 2015

100 Watercolors #80 - Words

When the theme "Words" popped up, the first idea that I got excited about was reading.  I immediately thought of Aaron Renier's amazing poster No Book Ever Ends, which proudly hangs on the wall in my house that faces all of my bookshelves.  Then, somehow, that triggered a memory of an old Norman Rockwell cover for the Saturday Evening post, of a nerdy little kid reading a book, but in his imagination he's the brave knight from his story.  A quick image search turned up a few such images by Rockwell.  I really liked all these illustrations, but I was worried maybe I wouldn't be able to come up with something new for this idea, since it had been done (well!) a few times before.

leftmost image ©Aaron Renier - right two images ©Norman Rockwell

Then it struck me that all the readers in these illustrations were boys!  As soon as I decided on a little girl reading, the rest fell into place pretty quickly.  I tried to pick a few cool fictional characters and a few inspiring real-life ladies and then I used some reference from old Nancy Drew covers and a particularly blatant swipe of The Accolade by Edmund Leighton to finish things off.  I had a lot of fun building up the top half of the composition with successive layers of the same blue.  I'm pretty happy with the end result!

The next theme: Pen and Paper!

May 12, 2015

100 Watercolors #79 - Starvation

For this one, I reused an old gag that I pitched back to Nickelodeon Magazine back in the day.  It's actually my favorite "desert island" gag that I ever came up with.  I tried it out for a number of these themes, but it finally ended up here.  Poor little guy!

The next theme: Words!

May 5, 2015

100 Watercolors #77 - Test

Once I landed on this idea, I was very excited to have an opportunity to pull Giraffes? Giraffes! off my shelf for reference.  I love that book.  Don't let giraffes cheat off of your test!

The next theme: Drink