I took a three week trip to Scotland in June fully expecting to work in about 8 plein air paintings. Unfortunately, as you may have heard, it rains a lot there. Finding the right time and place when it wasn’t raining proved to be more difficult than expected so I was only able to work on a few paintings.
There was one day on the Knoydart Peninsula after 2 exciting days of horseback riding when there was just a bit of mist in the air and I decided to go outside to do a painting. Well, when it isn’t raining and the air is still, the midges come out. They are these little fruit fly type bugs that bite a little, but are mostly irritating. I had squished about a dozen on my sketchbook page before I got a few lines drawn, so that was the end of that.
Here are the few I managed to paint when the skies were clear.
I’ve been hard at work on portraits, headshots and other fun projects over the last few months. Here is a little roundup of some of my favorite portrait projects.
I am very happy to share some portraits I did for the 2016 TIME 100 issue. I illustrated over 20 portraits for the TIME 100 issue last year (see here), and was excited to get the opportunity to do even more portraits this year.
This is a bit of a departure from my usual portrait style in that I was asked to add full color, instead of my usual two tone approach. It was a lot of fun to try and I’m really happy with how they turned out.
This was a total dream job from a little while back that I just kept forgetting to post. I was contacted to illustrate a drawing of NBA superstar Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder for a Nike t-shirt. The idea was to show him as an old school weather man, nice plaid jacket matched with basketball shorts, pointing at a map of the United States indicating some of the cities he’ll play where he’ll make it rain jump shots, make some buckets, etc… Kind of a silly idea, but it was a fun project. It took a while from the final to the actual production of the shirt and I think it looks pretty great.
I grew up wearing a lot of illustrated basketball t-shirts so this was always something I hoped to do one day.
They might be hard to track down at a sports store but if you want to own one I managed to find a couple new ones on eBay.
I’ve had a lot of fun this year working on some sports illustrations. The first three you see are for ESPN. I was asked to look at footage of Cam Newton’s touchdown dance celebrations and illustrate the major steps for each dance so they could animate the drawings. It was a fun challenge to break down each dance to its most important poses and then recreate them myself to use for reference.
I also illustrated a rather large infographic for Connected Rogers, illustrating stats and facts for this year’s NBA All-Star game in Toronto. I’m looking forward to seeing it!
I am really happy to show the newest coin I created for the Royal Canadian Mint. I was tasked with illustrating a Holiday Toy Box. The coolest part of the project was that it was to be a lenticular coin, where two images are printed on the coin and when tilted the image becomes animated. Pretty awesome technology! So I ended up painting two pieces, one with a closed toy box and the other open – showing a brand new scene with new toys, unwrapped presents and Christmas trees lit up outside.
I also wanted to add a bit of an animated element, so the rocking horse rocks and the little toy top spins around. For me, it’s pretty amazing to see my paintings printed on a tiny little coin (35mm). I put a lot of detail in there so you really have to spend some time flipping the image back and forth to see it all, especially at a small size. And of course I put a basketball in the toy box. I know it’s a Canadian coin and people are expecting hockey sticks and skates, but hey, this was my design and my Canada is all about basketball, robots and rocking horses.
If you’re looking for a last minute stocking stuffer, this could be a good one! Check it out over at the Mint’s website.
I’ve had a lot of fun on some great projects the last couple of months. Here are a few fun portraits assignments and some spots on how to carve a turkey.
I illustrated this coin for the Royal Canadian Mint, commemorating the Italian Campaign during World War II. This scene depicts a Sherman tank and Canadian soldiers moving through the rubble in the town of Ortona after a battle, watching for snipers. I did a ton of research for this coin about the Italian Campaign (December 1943), reading first hand accounts of the battle, researching historical photos, tanks, uniforms, guns and bombed-out buildings. The engravers did an incredible job capturing all the tiny details of my drawing.
It is a 38mm silver coin and came in a really cool pop-up box that doubles as a diorama. I can’t claim the credit for that design, that belongs to the talented team at the Mint.
For more information or to purchase a coin, visit the Mint’s website.
This was one of those amazing assignments that was so much fun to work on. I was asked to create little illustrations for the beginning of each chapter in ESPN Magazine‘s Hurricane Katrina issue. Each spot was to illustrate stages of the disaster, from the flood itself, to the rebuild and current state of New Orleans. After working on a few of the chapter illustrations it came up that I would also draw a half page illustration for the opener, and then, towards the end of the project it was decided that a combination of my drawings would be used on the cover!
I’ve worked for ESPN a few times now, but it was one of those magazines early in my career that I wanted to work for so badly. I used to pore over issues every week at the Walgreen’s near my apartment in Brooklyn and see so many great illustrations in each issue, always wishing it was me in there.
This was a funny assignment in that as much as the art director loved my initial drawings, he felt it would be best to use my looser, less detailed sketches. Below are my original, detailed drawings, and at the bottom of this post you’ll see the images used in print.