Happy Halloween from the deep...

I hope you all enjoy a creepy, but safe night free of deep sea tube worms and cavernous-mouthed merfolk bottom dwellers.

On a totally unrelated note, pictured below is my latest mermaid illustration featuring a cavernous-mouthed bottom dweller:

My inspiration:

Get to the point!

What I've learned in illustration Tip#1:

Sometimes I find that I have a great idea for an illustration. Maybe its a great character with the perfect gesture or an unusual object that would be perfect for the message I want to convey. But as I start sketching, I find that I get wrapped up in the scene behind the focal point portion of the illustration instead. Its like I keep putting off the best part; the punch line so to speak. Something in the back of my mind wants to save the best for last, to build up the scene around it just right and make sure everything's in place and planned out perfectly before drawing in the most important part. 

I've learned to stop doing this. 

For me, building up an image with the focal point first allows everything else to fall into place naturally…almost magically. When I try to plan the scene first, the drawing becomes forced, less powerful, and the focus gets lost and the message watered down. In the past, I studied single panel cartoons, and noted that this type of art delivers its message very quickly, within a few seconds of viewing the image. Everything about the image must deliver its message clearly without any distractions taking the form of extraneous or oddly placed background material, or out-of-character... character details. Cartooning lessons could be applied to any artistic discipline. Sometimes our great ideas get lost when we over think it and smother them out with our over planning. If you have an exciting bit of inspiration, don't beat around the illustration bush. 

Sneak Peaks

I've posted some teaser images from a recent illustration project. Any ideas about what's going on here? I'd love to see what you think the story is...The full image will be posted when the rest of the project is complete!

The Arctic Walrus Whisperer Redux

The Arctic-dwelling mermaid species is beloved among her distant walrus ancestors who gather near to enjoy gentle caresses and the occasional clam scrap. Her hefty physique, tough, leathery blubber tail and seal fur support bra make this mermaid impervious to the harsh, frigid climate.

Buy a print from Inprnt

Mermaids In The Rough

My mermaids project is still alive and well, just a bit on the back burner. Check out some rough roughs of new species to come featuring the deep sea and Amazonian variety:


So SCBWI published some black and white spots of mine in this recent July-August newsletter. Yay!


Alien Flora and Fauna

Flowering spiroschoot from a distant planet.
The lizard-type guy takes care of the plant's parasites that buzz around the stagnant acid pools that collect inside the foliage nooks.

Peppermint Burps

I just do what I'm told and illustrate what the words tell me to do. In this case, its a poem called peppermint burps.

Arctic Walrus Whisperer

Another mermaid illustration.
She is a tough broad...thick skinned, equipped with blubber tail and fur bra for the freezing, Arctic climate. Walrus's do her bidding, coming from miles around to bring her gifts from the sea and nuzzle by her side.

Lost Santa

Lost Santa from today's sketches: 

Updated final version Santa