Montessori Children

I got the chance to sit in on a Montessori class the other day, and enjoyed drawing the toddlers pouring water all over the place. When they focus their faces become limp and their bodies move with a determination that is unlike their movements otherwise. It is darling to watch, may we all have that concentration!

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Paris Rooftop Adventure Sketches

Charles Marville photographed Paris as it was converting to boulevards and grand buildings, and the photos he took show us what was left of a ancient city turned medieval city turned modern city…breathtakingly romantic and festering at the same time.

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The drawing above was from one of his photographs that I can’t seem to find now, but you get the idea of the light and darks of the narrow streets, and the deteriorating buildings. You’ll find such narrow streets in the Marais area of Paris still, but the rest of the city has wide streets with grand buildings which replace what would have been many streets back in the day.

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It was this setting whose rooftops were the initial inspiration for all those rooftop rabbit paintings!

Heart Attack

One week to the day after returning from a month-long trip to the west coast my fiancee suffered a heart attack. Luckily he was at work where many people were near and able to help him; not out on his own on a run, like I had suggested he take the night before. What followed was a series of events so large that my small, scattered brain is still trying to fully comprehend. By the time I dropped off our daughter with a friend and made it to the hospital, he had already come out of surgery that removed the block in the artery and placed a stint. He transferred to the ICU and was weak, but recovering, when I left again to take our daughter home to meet the babysitter…this is when inexplicably he went into cardiac arrest and needed resuscitation.

That night was the most scary, he had so much trouble breathing.

Feeling so much better the following day, he was able to sit up and take liquids. The next day he transferred to the recovery floor in Cardiology and was able to get stronger over two days. That’s when I was able to draw him, which was a welcome calm in the middle of a storm of stress, confusion, and activity.

He was fitted with an external defibrillator and was able to go home for real rest…he’s much stronger now but still needs to take it easy. A few weeks from now we’ll be able to get test results back that will tell us of his heart condition, cholesterol and artery health, and we can consider rehab and next steps.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement while we worked through this!

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Commission for Karen

Karen contacted me for a very special Father’s Day commission for a trio of lovely individuals: her husband, son, and their beagle. Her son adores his daddy, and loves the romping outdoorsy aspect of summer. I think we have a farmer on our hands with his love for daddy’s ‘tractor’ (Lawnmower) and barns! I produced 3 roughs for Karen to choose from, below.

Click on images to enlarge.

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She went with one of the more fantastical ones, much to my delight!

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Here are a few close-ups:

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Thank you, Karen! What a wonderful family you have!

Snow White Illustration: SCBWI Winter Conference 2014

I really enjoyed SCBWI Winter conference 2014! Informative, inspiring, and fun. Will do again! Below is my illustration for the Illustrators Intensive on Friday, a ‘fresh, personal take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”.

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The feedback I got was that the left and right edges were a missed opportunity to make it more interesting. In addition, the anatomy needs to be improved on the huntsman’s left arm, wrist, and hand. I also completely missed the shadow on all of that area; compare it to the rifle and whoa, what was I thinking? Lastly, I need to work some other aspects of the story in to make sure it reads ‘Snow White’, as opposed to ‘Young girl with black hair sitting in a field looking worried at a tall guy with a rifle’. Any suggestions you’d like to add? You are quite welcome! Please note in the comments.

Below are some close-ups. Click on the image above to see a larger version.

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SCBWI 2014

I will be spending this weekend at SCBWI’s Winter conference here in NYC.

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As part of the Illustrator’s Intensive on Friday, I’ve brought a personal rendition of a scene from Snow White. Here is one of my roughs, please click to enlarge.

Bucharest, Romania

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Bucharest, Romania, for Oryx magazine September 2013 Edition. Thanks to Steve Peaple, Lindy Polmeer, and Rachel Smith!
Featuring Ion Voicu park, many Belle Epoque villas, neo Romanian house, Gradina Icoanei park, Romana square, the French Institute, the Anglican church, Ion Mincu house, and Carturesti bookshop–which looks like a book-and tea-lovers heaven.

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Process sketch, where for the first time I get to experiment with some lettering. Fun! AgencyFish decided on the more decorative look. I am excited to improve my hand-lettering. Please click on any of the images to enlarge.