Category Archives: illustration process

That dirty rotten Rochefort

Here’s a little scene from The Three Musketeers where our hero, D’Artagnan,  recovers from having been knocked out by Rochefort’s henchmen. Rochefort has a quick conversation with Milady DeWinter—and you can see that he has stolen D’Artagnan’s letter. That scoundrel!

Reference photos (yes, that’s a Wells-Fargo stagecoach), thumbnail sketch, tight sketch, color sketch, work in progress, final art—bon appetit!

Christopher Lee and the astonishingly lovely Faye Dunaway

The Channel of old England

More from Starry Forest’s The Three Musketeers. D’Artagnan must cross the English Channel to collect the Queen’s jewels from the Duke of Buckingham—and so restore her honor. Here’s our hero braving the sea-spray on the fo’c’sle deck. Thumbnail sketch, tight sketch, color sketch, some work in progress, final art.

In the shadow of Notre Dame

Swordfight! D’Artagnan and the three musketeers abandon their plans to duel in order to fight the Cardinal’s guards. Thumbnail, tight sketch, color sketch, work in progress and final painting. From Starry Forest’s The Three Musketeers.

D’Artagnan arrives

Here’s the opening scene in Starry Forest’s The Three Musketeers. Our young hero, D’Artagnan, desires to be a king’s musketeer more than anything in the world. And so he leaves for Paris. As he nears the city D’Artagnan meets the bully Rochefort who makes fun of his horse. D’Artagnan won’t stand an insult—even to his horse—so challenges Rochefort to a duel.

Here are: thumbnail sketch, tight sketch, color sketch, a couple of work-in-progresses and final art. Also a photo of the immortal Christopher Lee playing Rochefort. Linear perspective enthusiasts will notice that the vanishing point is where D’Artagnan is standing.

The Three Musketeers is here!

A while ago I had the pleasure of working with Starry Forest Books on their version of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers for very young readers. I just got my advance copies so I guess it’s okay to show you the illustrations. 

Here are character designs I submitted to get the job. It’s Porthos, Athos, Aramis and D’Artagnan. They’re based very loosely on the 1973 Richard Lester movie with Frank Finlay, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain and Michael York (screenplay by the mighty George MacDonald Fraser).

New, improved Marco Polo

Yeah, the sketch in my last post was kind of blah. Here he is with improvements: bigger, more active camel; Marco is bouncing around on the saddle. I think it’s better and a little funnier.

Title type for my groundbreaking soon-to-be bestseller

Fooling around with lettering. It needs a little tweaking. Some strokes ought to be heavier, maybe. I’m trying to hold onto the energy of my sketch. I’m not sure if I like this yet. Let it sit for a while.

Hairicature

I did this caricature a few years ago. Obviously I enjoyed painting the hair. I don’t seem to have a copy of the finished piece. Here are some in-progress shots. Gouache on Arches watercolor paper.

 

 

What’s a Grecian earn?

About 14 drachmas an hour! Har har har!

Okay, can I get a do-over? I’m not entirely happy with the drawing I did for that last post about Greek measurements. Didn’t look Greek enough, or just didn’t have pizazz or something. So I drew a new version of it, this time taking the drawings on those wonderful old Grecian urns as my inspiration. Tell me what you think.

Here’s an old Greek urn—these drawings are gorgeous. I love the light terra-cotta-colored figures on a rich black background.

Here’s the new sketch.

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Siege of Troy—tight sketch