Harry Potter Finished!

Okay, here's the whole Harry Potter Home & Garden illustration. The text and the headline flowed down that white path there.
...I whipped up each drawing separately and smashed them all together in a somewhat cohesive design with the guidance of stellar page designer Jennifer Schaeffer; the illustrations were crafted and refined with the helpful, sharp criticisms of Master Gardener and columnist, Joan Morris.
...The online department made a little slideshow of these drawings, and a couple more that didn't make it onto the front. No telling how long that will be there, so if you've any interest, act quickly!
...Maybe I should read those books now that I feel I have some connection to them. That's a lot of pages, though. Maybe somebody could just tell me if he dies or what.
The End

With Regrets. . .

I posted my preparatory Silver Surfer doodle several entries ago. I sketched it quickly in photoshop and inked it in illustrator, with an eye toward experimenting as to how to approach the coloring for the final illustration. I treated it as a study, not as the final; I was focused more on establishing the technique and not on making a strong drawing-- I didn't give it the consideration I should have.
...The very same drawing (with minor cleanup) made it into the final version that went to print. Bummer that. What's the matter with his leg? It's pretty awkward, says this critic.
...As I recall, I saw the movie and afterwards, consulted with the Contra Costa Times' ace movie critic, Mary F. Pols, about what we wanted to do with this piece-- how it should relate to and compliment her review. I went back to work, drew the heads and did a quick layout/arrangement. Colored most of it then, too. The next morning I added the text -- provided by Mary -- tweaked the layout and sent it off. Never really "looked" at the drawing again... until I saw it hanging on the newsroom wall a few days after it had run.
...All I saw was some kind of disjointed hip action going on. Weird, puffy thigh. Ack.
...Well, I have a feeling if the King ever drew a bad leg he wouldn't have gone back and fixed it either. No erasing! Forward!
The End.

Have You Heard of "Harry Potter?"

It's this book, you see, about a magician, and I think it's pretty popular with the kids. At the paper we've run several stories relating to Harry Potter books; and there's even a movie! It's crazy! Keep you eyes peeled and your ears open and maybe you'll come across it.

...Enough of that. I was going to keep playing dumb for the rest of this post but I'm out of energy already.
...I've been working on a Home & Garden illustration about some of the magical plants from the Harry Potter books. I am not a Harry Potter-ophile. God knows how I avoided that particular bug, considering I can geek out to just about ANY fantasy/sci-fi/children's book shtick-- I tried to read the first book but it just didn't click-- but, fortunately, our resident master gardener, Joan Morris, is a Potter-nerd, and provided some nice descriptions for me.
...I avoided looking at anybody else's art, working from real plant reference or pure imagination. I've done nine or ten drawings and I used most of them for a section front layout. It won't run for a few days so-- not wanting to spoil it for those who might want to wait for the paper-- I'll just show this one!

Photoshop drawing!
The End.

A Cowgirl and the Blues

Whoa. It has been almost a month since my last post. Why?
...Have I lost interest? Has the thrill of being able to draw something and hang it on the World Wide Gallery Wall for all to see lost its novelty?
...Has my scanner been giving me fits? Sometimes working, other times not?
...Has my job and my commute been filling my time and burning me out? Have there been too many long days-- long work days spent sitting in front of the monitor-- days that grind me down and discourage the notion of sitting down, again, in front of a computer to scan, to draw, to color, to type?
...Has the uncertainty of working in a graphics department within the withering newspaper industry frayed my nerves and dampened my enthusiasm with anxieties? Have the jobless bodies of artists and journalists in my foxhole shaken my nerve and led me to dwell upon-- nay "obsess" over what may be my eventual fate?
...Have I purchased a new TV and a DVD player, so that I can now watch movies and be fairly certain that the entire show will play without freezing up? Have I lost an idle hour or two to basking in the glow of the TV's light while Charlie Chaplin waddles, while Humphrey Bogart lights cigarettes, while Harrison Ford cracks his whip and thumps nazis?
...Y'know, it's all of these things. And I can come up with more excuses if pressed.
...This post is for whining. This post has the blues.
...Anyway. Here's a cowgirl! Drawn from an old photo. Had a great time with it. Pencil, ink & brush, photoshop colors!

The End.