Monday, February 23, 2015

Cactus Drawings

I am working on another easy reader book about animal life in the Sonoran desert. I just finished up the drawings so I thought I would show a few.

The book switches from one animal to the next and includes sound words on the right side page to introduce the next animal before you turn the page. The text blocks will go in the large open sky areas on the left hand page.

I enjoy doing these sort of nature themed projects and this one should be a lot of fun to finish up. Now I wait for approvals, hopefully with no revisions. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood- Digital by Greg Newbold
Can I tell you how much I love doing theater posters? This is one I just finished for Footlight Players in Charleston, SC, and once again I had a blast creating the art. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, is an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens that was turned into a musical play by songwriter and singer Rupert Holmes (he of Escape: The Pina Colada Song fame). Since the novel was unfinished, there have apparently been a number of possible endings proposed by various authors over the years and this play is no different. In fact, the audience gets to vote at intermission on how they want the play to end as well as "whodunit".

Inspiration for the art came from a painting by Caspar David Friedrich of a man standing over a foggy expanse. I liked the mysterious mood of the piece as well as the strong contrasts so I paid homage to it as I created my own mysterious vision for the play.

My son posed in an old overcoat to get needed information for my painting and off I went. I gathered as many photos as I could of the foggy English countryside to get a feel for what things might look like and pulled together ideas and details from many sources to create my reality. Reaction from the client has been very positive and I think that this will add nicely to the marketing of the theater's production. Once again, I took a stab at the lettering treatment and I like how it turned out. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

A House Divided

Here are a couple of illustrations I just finished up for Boys' Life Magazine. They are for an historical fiction piece about a young man that witnesses the surrender of Lee and his troops to the forces of General U.S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. In the first spread, The young man is captured by Union troops when he tries to catch a glimpse of General Grant on the eve of the surrender.

I thought the most dramatic moment of the story was when he is captured and interrogated at bayonet point. Since the moment in question takes place  in the late evening, I wanted to focus on making strong silhouettes of the figures. I proposed two options of this idea to the art director. One had a low angle and the other was slightly from above looking down. After some discussion, I was given the go ahead with the top option.

The second spot illustration depicts the young man as an eavesdropping on the moment when U.S. Grant accepts the Confederate surrender from General Lee. I wanted the composition to reflect that Lee was backed into a corner.

By placing him behind the doorway, cropping him on the left  and placing a picture frame and shadow above him, he is effectively trapped within the composition as he signs the surrender papers. Grant on the other hand is seen full figure and leans forward expectantly but respectfully. Period pieces are always a challenge, mostly on the research and costuming end of things.

I spent some time finding pictures of Lee and Grant and I also found a great Union Soldier costume I was able to rent for a few days for the reference photos on the first spread. I combined details from all of these sources to arrive at the finished piece. Unlimited time and budget would have been nice, but given the deadline and resources, I am pretty pleased with the results.