I was going through some old drawings today when I found this:
It struck me that the original concept for my latest picture book, "Rudy and Claude Splash Into Art" actually featured a snake, not a rat, as its main character. It wasn't until I started drafting the images for the story that I realized I needed a change; I think that a rat, with its hands and feet, gave me way more options in the way of positioning Rudy and having him interact with Claude and the other props in the images.
Still though, this snake definitely would have been fun-- slipping and sliding around in the paint.
Just received a few advance copies of a work book I did for the Syriac Orthadox Church: a tool for them to use in their 4th grade religion classes. I wasn't sure how I felt about doing illustrations for any church, but illustrating bible stories is really fun: there's lots of swords and action, and the characters are great. Drawing people, especially their faces, hands, and clothing, is challenging but always rewarding.
I received a great phone call the other day from an old school friend about doing the cover of the next edition of The Golden Triangle Writer's Circle-- an online literary magazine that features amazing work from writers and poets.
In celebration of Maurice Sendak's intensely prolific career and in commemoration of his recent passing, they requested a piece that had something to do with the man's work. I was ecstatic, nervous, and optimistic. I'm a huge fan of Sendak-- his stories, his lines, his textures-- so this was a project that I decided to take very seriously.
Here are a couple of sketches I submitted for their discussion. They've already made their choice with which will go to paint, but I won't tell you quite yet. Which one yells "Sendak" to you?