Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

Thanks for visiting the blog over this past year!
Have an enjoyable and safe transition into the New Year!

Fox with Chicken

This is just a drawing I did while literally waiting for paint to dry.
This may be my last drawing of 2007.
If so, I'm happy with this little feller.

Watercolor and ink on bristol board


Today marks eleven years that I've been married to the most wonderful girl in the world. Happy Anniversary to us!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Favorite Picture Books of 2007

Here's my list of my favorite picture books that I bought this past year, NOT necessarily published in 2007.

In no particular order ....

  • "Miss Nelson is Missing" by Harry Allard and illustrated by James Marshall
    I just came across this book over the holidays and I did not see the ending coming at all, which is why it made my list. Great story, superb ending. I want to be able to make books like this.

  • "The Land of Lost Things" by Mort Walker and Dik Browne
    A picture book by Mort Walker, creator of "Beetle Bailey" and Dik Browne, creator of "Hagar the Horrible." This is my favorite picture book that I bought this year, though it was published in 1972. The artwork makes me drool. I was lucky enough to meet Mort Walker this year, talk about the book and sign the book for me. I had to buy it via eBay, but it was worth all the searching. I LOVE THIS BOOK.

  • "Russell's Christmas Magic" by Rob Scotton
    I love the artwork in Rob Scotton's Russell the Sheep series! This is a great book and I'd recommend the other two Russell the Sheep books as well!

  • "Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book" by Dr. Seuss
    I came across this book earlier this year while perusing the bookstore and saw a spread in it that knocked my socks off! The creativity behind one spread caused me to buy the entire book. I'm not going to tell you what that spread is. Maybe you'll know once you see the book. It's a great read!

  • "Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest" by John Lechner
    I became familiar with John Lechner's work this year and it's delightful stuff! Check out this book and another great book of his is "A Froggy Fable."

  • "I'd Really Like to Eat a Child" by Sylviane Donnio, Illustrated by Dorothee de Monfreid
    I would've bought this book on the title alone! One of my favs!

  • "Timmy and Tammy's Train of Thought" by Oliver Chin, Illustrated by Heath McPherson
    Delicious artwork and a great book for any child who likes trains. The artwork caught my attention and I'm glad I bought it.

  • "Ghost Gets Dressed" by Janee Trasler
    This is a fun follow-up book to Janee's "Ghost Eats It All!" book. It's got a Glow-In-The-Dark cover! OOooooooo......

  • "Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich" by Adam Rex
    Adam Rex is a GREAT illustrator. He's got fans over here on Three Men in a Tub! I love this book, in addition to the two books he had in 2007: "Pssst!" and "The True Meaning of Smekday." Awesome artwork with fun stories!

  • "Bossy Bear" by David Horvath
    From the co-creator of Uglydolls, this book is terrific! I love the story and the artwork made me pick it up.

  • "13 Ghosts of Halloween" by Robin Muller and illustrated by Patricia Storms
    Wonderful is all you can say about this book. I love, love, love the artwork by Patricia Storms!

    And last, but definitely not least ...

  • A Do-It-Yourself Little Golden Book
    Ted Dawson pointed me towards these and it took me forever to get one on eBay. The front cover and inside pages are blank, draw your own book! I'm told you can get them individually or in as a bonus book in a six book box set of Little Golden Books. Either way, they're fun to play with and would make a terrific project for any kid or adult!
  • Thursday, December 27, 2007


    This is very cool... ran across a detail of Michelangelo's God painting. You can see the brush strokes and a level of detail that could never be appreciated from an observer on the floor of the chapel, yet it is still there.

    Second Cartoon

    This is the second cartoon I ever sold to a magazine. And the last, I believe.


    I had fun throwing mud on these three. This was watercolor on my imperial 500 strath. There is a bit of goache and the white lines are acrylic.

    Monday, December 24, 2007

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Once Upon a Bedtime, Part 4 of 4

    Here's the finale, I know you've been on the edge of your seats!
    Have yourself a merry one, since Christmas has been saved!

    Cheers! And to all a good night!


    Once Upon a Bedtime, Part 3 of 4

    Sistine Santa

    I really don't know what to say about this one...

    Dracorex hogwartsia

    I saw a very cool dinosaur on the cover of the latest National Geographic. Its name is Dracorex hogwartsia. Under the brush of a good illustrator (like on the NG cover) it looks uber-cool and resembles a dragon.

    I really wanted to try drawing one. I used a photo of a fossilized skull to work from. I don't really like to make dinosaurs look mean, especially since this one was an herbivore, but when I showed it to my daughter she said it looked cute, so I guess I didn't make it look too ferocious.

    I wasn't really happy with how it was turning out, so I started fiddling around with levels and contrast and saturation in Photoshop. With this I achieved a darker, shadowy look that gave it a bit more realism and feeling of foreboding. I'm not sure what foreboding means, but it sounds right.

    I'm not sure of the history of the dinosaur's name but it was done in honor of billionaire Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. I don't think she looks anything like a dinosaur, but...

    Dracorex lived about 80 million years ago during the late Cretaceous in South Dakota.

    Can you see it? It's a rough. (roughly)

    It's there somewhere. I promise.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    Spooner Christmas - Week Three

    Santy Claus.

    St. Nick came early this year for me in the form of a beautiful little Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. First one I've ever seen and it's mine now. I've been doodling more in more places and it's been good for my mental health.

    Thanks Stac- I mean Santa. !

    Friday, December 14, 2007

    Online Card

    Every year, I create a quick online card for our friends and family with e-mail.
    This is this year's card. I had to create it quick, I have muchos deadlines to deal with before Santa arrives.

    For the full effect, click here.

    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    The Blight Before Christmas

    I was all dressed for Christmas
    And ready to go,
    When it came to my attention
    That I had to Go.

    I pulled off my hat and my coat,
    And away I did run
    To the end of the hall.

    I was feeling much better
    And loading my sled,
    When again came the feeling
    And I ran to the head.

    "This ain't good,"
    said I to the missus.
    "I've got the runs and
    I've got to run!"

    "Tonight's Christmas Eve!
    The biggest night ever!
    I'll never eat jalepeno peppers with raisins and rum-cake chocolate-chip ice cream again!
    No, never!"

    "You're lactose-intolerant!"
    said Mrs. Claus tartly,
    "You know ice cream makes you
    gassy and farty!"

    Then what to my watering eyes
    Should I see,
    But eight tiny reindeer with
    Imodium A-D.

    "Take this," said Dasher,
    "And you'll be fine in a flush!"
    I just ignored the pun, because
    I was in a rush.

    I downed the whole bottle
    And chased it with a cookie,
    I hoped that for now
    There would be no more dookie.

    My reindeer were all hitched,
    And the sleigh was all loaded.
    I had to admit
    I was feeling less bloated!

    With no time to spare,
    We were up in the air.
    Children's homes everywhere!

    And I had to exclaim
    As I shifted in my seat,
    "Happy Christmas to all!
    And watch what you eat!"

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Smokey Miranda - Bear in Ill-fitting Hat

    I was perusing Drawn! and ran across a group on Flickr with the theme Bears in Ill-fitting Hats. I felt compelled to contribute.

    Richie Rich Cover

    Just for fun. Started sketching in ArtRage and couldn't stop. Finished up in Photoshop.

    Mary Christmas 2

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    Once Upon a Bedtime, Part 2 of 4

    Here's this Monday's installment. Enjoy!

    Little Toot

    About two years ago I was at the library with my kids (no, that's not the last time I visited the library). I showed my 4-year-old daughter a copy they had of the classic children's book, Little Toot. She looked at me with a shocked expression of disbelief. Then it dawned on me: In our household, "toot" was the word we used for "fart."

    The book is being re-issued, using the full-color originally intended by the illustrator.

    Sunday, December 9, 2007

    Friday, December 7, 2007

    Odds and ends

    Sometimes these are my favorite illustrations to do. it's hard to mess up, and if you do you just chuck it.

    Thursday, December 6, 2007

    Christmas Comics

    Here's a photo of my son reading the Christmas comics supplement we did.

    Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    Spooner Christmas - Week 1

    Part One of the Spooner Christmas comics .

    Get Out pt. 2

    I may tweak a few things. The guy lighting the rocket is a little too "cool". I might silly him up a bit.-Wes

    Monday, December 3, 2007

    Once Upon a Bedtime, Part 1 of 4

    This is Part 1 of 4 of a special Christmas-themed episode of my comic, "Once Upon a Bedtime."
    I will post each part every Monday.

    Get out of town!.

    I'm watercoloring a rough tonight for a favorite weekly of mine. It's nice to have something to chew on before I dive into the book. -Wes