Monday, December 16, 2013

Amy's Art Show December 2013

I have set up a retrospective art show at Amy's on Sixth. It runs through the end of December.

I am selling prints of the pieces in the show. They are printed with archival inks on Epson art paper (also archival).

The prices for the sizes are as follows:

8.5x11- $20
11x14 - $25
13x19 - $35

Multiple prints, take $5 off for each ordered.

Add $5 for shipping.

* All pieces in the show are either 11x14 or 13x19.

If you are interested in a piece, email me the name of the piece and the size at art(at) I accept Paypal, or Square, for in-person transactions.



Saving the City One Tank at a Time

Sumo, Sushi, Soy.

Comedians 1

Comedians 2

Comedians 3

Comedians 4

Lupine Dandy

Mr Bones Plays the Blues

Bat. Boy.

Circus Bear

Poe's Hat

Monkey Ninja Go!
Mechanical Man

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Ghost I am Thinking Of (Sketches)

Sometimes, I just see a character in my head. This ghost bobbed around my brain for about an hour and then I let him out. (Hence his name.)


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Twoodle: Sloth, Wings, Tea.

It's a shame sloths don't dress up for air travel like they used to.

Monday, August 19, 2013

THE Alamo

I pulled up my site on my iPhone.

"Oh my gosh! You wrote that?" she said, "I bought your book at the Alamo!"

(That's THE Alamo--not Alamo Draft House, Austinites--the most sacred of Texas landmarks.) 


This might be the proudest moment of my life. (Certainly my proudest one as a Texan.)

Twoodle : Mammoth, hat, boots.

Mammoth. Hat. Boots.

Twoodle : Elephant, Tutu, Turtle.

The moment I read "turtle, tutu, elephant"
I saw this in my head. I wanted "warm" & "friends."

This is the next scene with some
characterization added.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Race : Twoodle

  "The Race" Words: Fox. Pig. Skunk. Platypus. Unicycle.
Umbrella. Skateboard. Balloon. Dragonfly. Fish.
(click to embiggen)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Twoodle do Tweedle Dee

Artist-block my friends. Threw together  Twoodle words. (The second sketch was the first.)
(click image to embiggen)

Hat. Eyeball. Walrus. Bulldog.

Walrus. Hat. Eyeball. Spoon. Baked beans.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gone Twoodlin

Below, this week's Twoodle.*

(As always, click to embiggen.)

Gibbon. Mini-car

* #Twoodle is a Twitter hashtag. The game goes like this. On Tuesday you post two words to the hashtag, then you pick from the list people have submitted to create an illustration. Then you post your illustration using the #Twoodle hashtag.

Gone Twoodlin

#Twoodle is a Twitter hashtag. The game goes like this. On Tuesday you post two words to the hashtag, then you pick from the list people have submitted to create an illustration. Then you post your illustration using the #Twoodle hashtag.

Below are two Twoodles I have contributed thus far. (As always, click to embiggen.)

Guinea Pig. Guitar. Horse. Cowboy.

Knight. Egg. Baseball. Pangolin.
(This one is a shout out to a Twain book.)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What if I'd drawn ... Paddington?

Alternate Title 2: Icons of My Childhood
Alternate Title 3: Score, Paddington-1, Illustrator-0.
Alternate Title 4: A Journey in Character Development 

The idea for this project, when I began with Babar, was to play with character development. I wanted to approach the titans of my childhood as I would a book project I'd received. A bit of description from the publisher, a raw manuscript, and Go! Develop our character! 

April was my last post--there were things happening in May I knew would keep me from posting--but in the time passed I've been sketching Paddington. Roughing him. Playing with him. What would my Paddington look like? (As always, click the images to see them bigger.)

The final version.

I tackled him after Babar because I figured he'd be easy (easier than, say, a Pooh, or a Cat in the Hat). Turns out, he meant a LOT to me as a kid, was there in a time I needed him, and so--not to drag it out--I found myself pushing aside the cobwebs of memory and experience to forge my version of him. Here's who the character is to me.

He's a mess. His big hat and coat surround him, creating a physical barrier to protect this kind hearted fellow who is finding family after losing his own.

My style is a little more angular than I felt appropriate, so I rounded out the corners a bit to carry his personality.

I saw something I was looking for here.

This is the sort of journey in character development some characters take me on. Many times, the primary character gets the attention from the development team at the publishing house. Jacob Wonderbar went through a few versions, as did the main character, Chip, in The Incredible Rockhead. Secondary characters get love, but they will generally only go through a couple of approvals. Paddington took me for a ride.

Really, really soft style.

The back story of the creation of Michael Bond's brilliant character adds extra layers to the him. (He wrote the first book in ten days!?) I read it again during while working on it. It is still something special. (It is out of print now?)

This guy. I like him. But you put a hat on him...

... he looks like a panda.

Character development is following paths, grabbing the hand of an idea and seeing where it takes you. Sometimes you end up at a dead end and you have to turn around. I step away and take a day or two, let my brain percolate on it. I will often then push the character through extremes.

Taller, sporting a more "Peru" hat.
(For the record, bears from Peru are mostly black.)

Polar opposite of above : simplified "barrel shape."

Simplified cuteness.

Thumbnails of a couple of compositions.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

2 Minute Sketch : Hawk Hood

The illustration that arose from my statement "I have a hawk in my hood."*
The shape my self portraits start with. #GoneNubHeadin

* Meaning, there is a hawk that lives in my neighborhood.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Do you know that moment, when you are drawing a character, trying to figure him/her out?

Sketch after sketch, none right, until ... that moment.

Pencil moving across paper, maybe you're working on some other problem all together and ...

"Oh. There you are."

Oh. There you are.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What if I'd drawn ... Babar?

Click to Embiggen

I've had an idea knocking around in my head. What would my childhood favorites look like if I'd (gone back in time as the illustrator I am now and) drawn them? This is my first post in a regular Tuesday series exploring the question.

Babar Loses His Crown was in my top five books as a kid. The mystery of the mustached man. The deadline of finding his crown. All is lost, and .... !

Even today, Jean de Brunhoff's (the books continued by his son, Laurent, after his death in 1937*) Babar holds a special place for me. Various incarnations of the elephant dwell in my studio and I dig into the books when I am looking to get my creative gears going.

I'd love to spend some more time with the pachyderm--put him in an environment. With what has to be done this week--dummy revisions and agent submission prep--I won't get the chance.

On my desk.


*Learn more about Babar! (wikipedia)

Babar books on


 * This illustration is not for sale nor will it be used for anything other than this post--an exploration of the character and creator and their influence on my childhood, life, and development as an author and illustrator. No claims of ownership are made of this copyrighted material. All rights remain with the holders thereof.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tiger Dad!

 So it was time to do some art for the Austin SCBWI conference auction. I broke out the graphite and did this piece.

I drew this first, but decided to do something more "kid's booky" in tone. Although, you know, I think everyone appreciates the message.