Archive for October, 2010

“Red Fern” Color Comps

Posted by: Israel Sanchez

Book: Where The Red Fern Grows


Oh no, it happened again.  I couldn’t get an illustration done this month so I decided to post some of the color comps that I do before I start the final painting.  To save some time I figure out the basic color in Photoshop, then I do these small color comps in paint, they help me to figure out what paints I’m actually going to use and let me anticipate any problems that might come up in the final. I used a my cheap home scanner for these so unfortunately they don’t match up exactly to the finals.

I’ll be back next month with a raccoon hunt painting!



October 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment

“The Giver,” Chapter 8

Book: The Giver, by Lois Lowry

Illustrated by: Lucy Knisley

In this chapter, the Community’s Cheif Elder explains that Jonas has been selected as the new “Reciever of Memory.” This assignment sets him apart from his peers– his assignment will involve suffering and pain. His training will be secret and mysterious. There is only one Reciever, so he is alone. The elder mentions that the last selected Reciever was a “failure,” and that this new choice was not made lightly. The Community reveres this title, strange as it is, so Jonas is flooded with approval from the gathered community.

Naturally, Jonas is totally scared out of his mind, and has no idea why he was picked for this job, but the approval of the Community is clearly the most important thing here.

I was struck by the act of leaving Jonas on the stage in his trepidation to face the community that he is now bound to serve. Truly, he is alone and operating outside of the parameters of the Sameness he has always lived by. As he looks at them, that “thing that had happened with the apple” occurs again, and Jonas begins to understand that this strange occurrence is why he is fit for this appointment.

Crazy scary.

October 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm 4 comments

Nate Warren Arrives

This is me returning to Picture Book Report with my tail very much between my legs and a very sheepish look on my face. I have not done one of these in months. Months! I am incredibly sorry to Meg and all the other (infinitely more) talented folk involved that I’ve lagged behind so much. The past four months on I’ve had the biggest and most complicated job to work on (book related, maybe i’ll post about it here when its done) and that coupled with other smaller illustration jobs have left me with no time at all (also I am terrible at time management and i like not to spend all my time at my desk…so sometimes my excuse has just been that i wanted to go outside).

ANYWAY I’m back with the wholehearted intention of getting back on track. ‘Cept I’ve failed already as this is only 1/3 finished (due to afore mentioned big commission finishing this very week).  So this is the beginning of a drawing of Nate Warren, an american visiting the island of Nollop being met by the statue of Nevin Nollop and it’s missing tiles. By this point three letter tiles have fallen and thus three letters have been eradicated from the islanders’ language. Nate is a young academic from mainland America (the fictional island of Nollop is counted as a part of the USA but is many many years behind in every possible way and has little contact with it whatsoever) who has studied Nollop and requests to stay with Ella’s cousin so that he can get first hand experience of the lexicographical dilemma. Perhaps romance will blossom. Perhaps. Maybe?

So the picture isn’t really done but I thought that posting something was better than another month of radio silence. I’ll try and get it finished by next month so then I can post two pictures in further attempt to get back in your good books!

October 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm 3 comments

Melt in the music of the drums!

Posted by: Emily Carroll
Book: Brave New World (purchase on Amazon)

(click to enlarge!)

Feeling that it was time for him to do something, Bernard also jumped up and shouted: ‘I hear him; he’s coming!’.  But it wasn’t true.  He heard nothing and, for him, nobody was coming.  Nobody – in spite of the music, in spite of the mounting excitement.  But he waved his arms, he shouted with the best of them; and when the others began to jig and stamp and shuffle, he also jigged and shuffled.

Such are Bernard’s woes at the Solidarity Service he attends (which is essentially a socially mandated drug orgy meant to promote unity).  While the others in the conference room become more and more euphoric after drinking/swallowing/and eating (via laced strawberry ice cream) the state drug soma, Bernard becomes increasingly agitated and forlorn, fixating — as he always does — on his own perceived inadequacies (his size), as well as those he perceives in others (the girl beside him has a unibrow; the other is just ‘too pneumatic’.).

The dancers are supposed to be in a continuous circle around the table (twelve in total), but I wanted to leave the area around Bernard blank to really leave him isolated (because, despite his troubles, his general air of superiority, plus disdain for those things he secretly desires, makes him a not exactly likable person anyway).   And while it’s not mentioned in the scene, I’ve also given all the ladies their own Malthusian “belts” (or armbands, or garters), the items that store a young lady’s supply of contraceptives.

Hope you enjoy!

October 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm 6 comments

The Hobbit, part six

Posted by: Sam Bosma

Book: The Hobbit

“Farewell!” they cried. “wherever you fare, till your eyries receive you at the journey’s end!”

Chapter VII: Queer Lodgings

After escaping the from the tunnels of the goblins and besting Gollum in a riddle contest, Bilbo and the dwarves arrive on the other side of the Misty Mountains. They are chased up some trees by a new troop of goblins, who then set the trees aflame. Just as the fire is about to consume the party, the lord of the eagles and his flock swoop down and save them. The eagles deposit Bilbo and the dwarves in their mountaintop eyrie before winging them away to the border of Mirkwood forest.

For me, this is one of the stranger parts of the story. In both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, the eagles sort of show up and then are gone. They seem a lot like deus ex machina in both stories, arriving at the nick of time to save our heroes when nothing else can. They rescue the party from a flaming copse of trees in this story and then pluck Frodo and Sam from the bowels of an erupting volcano at the end of Lord of the Rings. I have heard that Tolkien wrote these stories chapter to chapter without a real outline, and the inclusion of the eagles makes me wonder if that’s not true. It seems like in both instances he sort of wrote himself into a corner (or up a tree or into a volcano) with no way out but to fly.

Despite all that, I like the eagles a lot. They only do good in the stories but Tolkien is very careful to not make them cute. They are still giant raptors that steal livestock and might hunger for a hobbit-sized snack at any time. Bird of prey of any size are frightening

As always, visit my blog at for more information about this piece and this project in general, as well as detail shots and notes about the process.

October 12, 2010 at 7:09 am 7 comments

‘Rather a handsome pig, I think.’

Posted by: Meg Hunt
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(purchase on Amazon)

[Hopping around a bit here– the next scene I intended to share was with the Pigeon, but due to some computer woes and my move this week, I went a little out of order and am sharing a little scene this time. Next month we ought to be all sorted out with a hopeful bonanza of illustrations, so thanks for bearing with me!]

Alice was just beginning to think to herself, `Now, what am I to do with this creature when I get it home?’ when it grunted again, so violently, that she looked down into its face in some alarm. This time there could be no mistake about it: it was neither more nor less than a pig, and she felt that it would be quite absurd for her to carry it further.

So she set the little creature down, and felt quite relieved to see it trot away quietly into the wood. `If it had grown up,’ she said to herself, `it would have made a dreadfully ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.’

The trouble with Alice is that there are just so many scenes I would like to illustrate; I could draw her all day! This scene with the Duchess’ baby was not one of my original line-up, but I just couldn’t resist. Alice encounters the home of the Duchess, populated by frog and fish footmen, an especially violent cook who uses far too much pepper, and a certain Cheshire Cat who will show up again soon.  She winds up taking the baby out of the peppery household to do it some good and hopefully stop its snorting, only to start noticing it has become awfully porcine in the process!
Such is the strangeness of Wonderland; but of course there are still disappearing cats, flamingo croquet and mad parties to encounter. How far-fetched could  a shape-changing infant be in this situation?

October 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm 4 comments


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