Friday, July 27, 2012

Skworm - How-to-Draw Page

One of the Little Beasties that didn't make the cut was the snake covered with fur, which you may recall. A furry snake seemed a bit creepy for my taste, so I sent him packing and hired the Skworm on the spot. He's part worm, part snake, part scorpion, and his mug is so ugly only his blind mother could love him.

I'm already thinking of what happens after the Monster Safari book. I'm thinking maybe a How-to-Draw Monster Safari series on YouTube. Perhaps a Dragon Safari book to follow. 

Have you seen my other blog, The Trowbridge Chronicles? Check it out.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Circumnavigating Mount Rainier

Taking a break from the Little Beasties that I've been posting for my Monster Safari book, I thought I might break from the art world and post a couple of pictures of yesterday's motorcycle trip.

Yesterday I "circumnavigated" Mount Rainier, in Washington State (USA) by motorcycle...I rode my motorcycle all the way around the mountain in a day. Buried in the forest just beyond the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort parking lot (above) is a restaurant. That's where I had lunch. I had a nice visit with my server, who was a Russian college student  This was her second summer on Mount Rainier on a Russian-American work/study program. She discovered peanut butter here in America, and loves it...they don't have peanut butter in Russia. My bike's in the foreground.

I stopped along highway 410 between Greenwater and Crystal Mountain to photograph majestic Mount Rainier. After having lunch at Crystal Mountain, I continued on around the east side of the mountain to Packwood, Then westward to Morton, north to Elbe, Eatonville and back home to Puyallup. You can see from the above pictures why Washington is known as the Evergreen State.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hornball - How-to-Draw Page

Here's the next page in my new how-to-draw kids' book, Monster Safari. I found it a challenge to come up with a dozen different monsters, and have them all look different with their own distinct characteristics. It helped to bring variety by creating different creatures to inhabit the land, sea and the air.

I made the decision to create this book because after visiting schools for many years, I learned what kids are interested in. In elementary schools kids love monsters. The Make-a-Monster Game that I perform on stage is always a hit. So I knew that a how-to-draw monsters book would be a well-received title.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Crocodactyl - How-to-Draw Page

Here's the second spread in my Monster Safari children's drawing book. On the left side of the page (above) is an illustration of the Crocodactyl, perhaps a distance cousin, second removed, of the Pterodactyl. A Furbuzzle sits atop the winged creature, hanging on for dear life.

After the fact, I realized that my background in the illustration is not easily readable. My wife couldn't figure it out when I asked her this morning. FYI, the view looks down on the cloud-shrouded jungle, with a few holes in the clouds which reveal the jungle canopy below. If this were done in color I think it would read clearly.
On the right side of the spread is the how-to-draw page (above). I squeezed both creatures into the space. Though I teach drawing with basic shapes in my school workshops, I don't do it myself. I just start drawing. So I had to deliberately break the characters down into the steps. I did it by "back-drawing". First I drew the step-one "basic shapes" drawing, then I jumped to the last drawing and filled in all the shading. Then I backed up and filled in the "tweens".

If you would like me to reserve a signed copy of the book for you or your library, feel free to contact me and I'll put your name on my list: Then I will contact you when the book comes out.

Have you seen my Trowbridge Chronicles blog? It's written and illustrated by a Trowbridge Shrew, named Violet Trowbridge, who lived in the Olympic Rain Forest about 200 years ago.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Eelops - How-to-Draw Page

Now we begin the second phase of my new Monster Safari children's book, the how-to-draw pages. On the left side of the spread will be the sketch of the Eelops creature, as you see above. On the right side will be a brief description of the Eelops, then a how-to-draw tutorial (below).

I chose to hand-letter the text to tie-in with the book's sketchbook format. I haven't yet decided whether I'll hand letter or typeset the text for the introductory and closing pages of the book. Stay tuned for more Monster Safari pages to come.

Have you seen my other blog, The Trowbridge Chronicles? It's a ancient journal, written about 200 years ago, by a Trowbridge Shrew named Violet Trowbridge. She lived in the Quinault Rain Forest and kept a diary of daily life in her rain forest village, Huckleberry Hollow.