Forthcoming publication – Mortal Coil

 

DSCN3549[sqr-tilt-dallas]

Received notification earlier this month that a piece I wrote earned second place in a writing contest. It will be published in the August 2015 issue.

The contest judge is a faculty member at Columbia College Chicago. So, the acceptance of the prose piece submitted seems to have some merit. Or at least that is what I try to convince myself, because all month I have received notification of other submissions that have all been rejected.

Much gratitude goes to the members of the writers group that meets at the Graham Public Library who saw the first handwritten draft of the story. Their support has been amazing. And special thanks to novelist Justin Grimbol, for encouraging me in the craft of fiction.

Book cover illustration – update

Fear motivates. The paralyzing fear that if I mess up the coloring of this book cover art, I will have to start the whole process over again. And the completion date is fast approaching. But the task needs to be done. So, onward.

DSCN3428[sqr-tilt-dallas]

Watercolor washes begin the color process for the book cover illustration.

DSCN3427[sqr-tilt-dallas]

Paint to the edges and then let the colors bleed. The basic color palette had already been determined weeks prior to the final execution of the cover art. But once the water and pigment are activated on the surface of the paper, the color palette organically builds to its own organized spontaneity.

DSCN3434[sqr-tilt-dallas]

Details. There are always small details that many casual observers may not detect at first glance. For example, the color for the shotgun shell includes multiple wash layers of different pigments — each layer pulling or pushing color from previous layer.

HardCover

Once the final art is approved, I finished the design with title bar and a map overlay to texture the collage art.

The pleasure of drawing

DSCN3386[sqr-tilt-dallas]

Nearly done with the back cover illustration. A brush is often forgotten in the process of keeping a clean drawing surface.

DSCN3396[sqr-tilt-dallas]

Detail of the back cover illustration — a catfish. I have to admit — besides the firewheel flower blossom on the front cover — drawing the catfish was a pleasure.

DSCN3400[sqr--dallas]

Front and back cover pen and ink collage drawing completed. Ready for the next phase — watercolor.

The purpose of drawing

The foundation of a great painting is a solid drawing. At least that was my goal when I worked on this book cover illustration for Orison Books. The collage features a firewheel — sometimes called Indian blanket — blossom, shotgun shell and expansive Texas landscape.

DSCN3395[sqr-tilt-dallas]
Nearly completed pen and ink work on the cover.

DSCN3390[sqr--dallas]

Detail of the firewheel flower blossom.

 

 

 

The purpose of thumbnail illustration

The purpose of thumbnail sketches is to advance the concept of artist, art director and editor to a final product. It seems like a lot of busy work, but three elements are essential: brainstorming, mind-mapping and closing the gap. The following images illustrate the process of thumbnail sketches as it relates to a book cover illustration. DSCN3558[sqr-tilt] Three thumbnail cover comps presented to the publisher a couple months back. DSCN3560[sqr-tilt] Full-size book cover sketch to gauge color temperature and composition of elements.

Fourth of July

Fourth of July

Memories and images from Fourth of July 2015 swim in my mind as the day comes to a close. Some of the photos I posted to my Instagram feed. Memories of a parade, a cook out, a game of croquet, … Continue reading

A sneak peek at the office

A sneak peek at the office

The challenge with working outdoors is no internet connectivity and barely a mobile device signal. It makes checking emails and updating social media status and blog posts nearly impossible. But, really, the technological detox is quite rewarding. The contract job orders are … Continue reading

Another day at the office

Another day at the office

The office. Outdoors. Clear skies. For the last couple weeks I’ve been contracted to paint… well, I cannot disclose what I paint at this point. Not where. But it is a beautiful day to paint some art.

How to write a book in 15 minutes

DSCN3180web

“Give me I subject to write about,” I challenged the oldest kindlinger. It was lunch break and I was home for tea and toast.

After a few moments, the kidlinger offered a subject — a writing prompt, if you will.

DSCN3177webGrabbing a sheet of paper from the recycled bin, I feed the sheet into an old manual typewriter and began composing a manuscript on the spot. The kidlingers watched at a distance and then approached to watch the keys striking the paper. Their amusement fueled the writing and from time to time I would ask them for a color or word choice.

Within fifteen minutes I had composed a draft of a book custom tailored to the chosen subject. There is no trick here. No spell check. No slight of hand. No editing. And no kidding. Handmade mini-books are very easy to manufacture [see my post on the topic here]. Writing a handmade mini book may be more of a challenge. But for writers and parents, it is a lovely experience.

The oldest kidlinger was dubious of the handmade mini-book. The younger kidlinger was all smiles. Their mother read it aloud. The request to sign and date it was meet and the book was carefully examined by the kidlingers as I returned to the afternoon’s labors.

Have it your way — music playlist

The Burger King of my hometown has an in store playlist that hasn’t changed since my high school days. Really. And truly. It is an unique time capsule.