Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Charles Darwin's Around-the-World Adventure ~ Advance Copy!

























An advance copy of my next book arrived yesterday, to my total surprise! I am absolutely thrilled with the way it turned out. (Hard to see in the photo, but there's a spot varnish on the butterflies, Charles, and the title. I totally wasn't expecting such a wonderful detail. The design geek in me is very, very happy!)

I'm feeling truly fortunate and thankful to be working with such an amazing Editor, Art Director, and the whole team at Abrams!

The book will be out in October... stay tuned for some behind-the-scenes book posts in the weeks leading up to release!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Illustration and Poetry (With Cats!)

"Love is the mystery of water and a star." –Pablo Neruda 

April is National Poetry Month. Below is a new piece of art inspired by this
snippet of a poem, step-by-step, working backwards. Enjoy!

After much fussing over details... the final art!

















Building up the color.




















Another view from the drawing table.
























First pencil layer.



















Rough color thoughts and a few tweaks on a printout of the sketch.


















The original pencil sketch.


















Sketchbook thumbnails. (No wonder I can't read my own handwriting!)
















Friday, March 4, 2016

A Mappish Show-and-Tell Process Post

I was recently commissioned to do a few maps for an upcoming book* due out later this year. A few people asked to see the final art after I posted some work-in-progress details over on Instagram, so here it is, along with some process show-and-tell.

Since I'm usually asked to illustrate places that exist in reality, this project was super interesting, because these were more fantasy-based maps.

In this case, the art director sent over detailed notes about the story, along with a rough sketch of how the author visualized the world in her head. This was all extremely helpful, and gave me a great starting point, yet still left a lot of creative freedom...


























Below is the first sketch sent to the publisher. (I swear I had some tiny rough thumbnails, but they were lost in the flurry-of-paper that is my studio.)...

























Close up inking details and adding a tone wash...



























Coffee meditation break. (No worries! None was spilled! Don't try this at home, kids!!)...






















And voilá, one of the finished pieces...






































*The book is called THORNGHOST (Dial 2016), by Tone Almhjell, coming in August. Check it out!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin!

























"... There are several other sources of enjoyment in a long voyage... the map of the world ceases to be a blank; it becomes a picture full of the most varied and animated pictures." –from THE VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE

Charles Darwin was born 207 years ago today, on February 12, 1809. Today is also Darwin Day– a celebration of Darwin's life and amazing contributions to the world of science. Cake for everyone!

*Art detail from CHARLES DARWIN'S AROUND-THE-WORLD ADVENTURE (Abrams 2016), coming in October!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Map ~ The Turn of the Tide

























It's always fun to get copies of a new book with a map I've worked on inside.
This is from THE TURN OF THE TIDE, by Rosanne Parry (Random House BYR, 2016).

Yay!