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.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup concluded last night with a victory by the United States. I worked on this coin last year for the Royal Canadian Mint and and was excited to see it released before the games started a couple months ago. Of the coins I’ve worked on for the Mint, this is the largest mintage yet at 200,000. At the time of this post, they have sold 76% of these! It also helps that it’s my most affordable coin at just $20. (You can buy it here)
It’s amazing to know that so many people have a souvenir of the games with my artwork on it. Below are a few more photos of the coin as well as an animated GIF showing the original drawing. It really is incredible what they can do with a simple drawing.
I’m just back from a fantastic two week trip to Wales. One of my favorite things to do on a trip is to take a couple of hours when my wife and I can sit down and make a sketch. Working on these pieces ends up being some of my favorite experiences of the trip since I really get to just sit there and take everything in. Here are the 5 drawings I did.
I really wish I had more time for this sketch in Porthgain, but I’m happy with the looseness of it. The Pembrokeshire coast is everything I hoped for in Wales; craggy cliffs, lighthouses and fishing villages. While we worked on this one we met many friendly people stopping by for a peek.
This sketch in Sandy Park was our first one of the trip. We had an hour before nearby Castle Drogo opened and sat down for this little painting next to the inn where we were staying. That windy road going around that cottage is one car width wide. Watching how trucks and tour buses and cars navigate the small roads is pretty incredible. Driving on them is pretty insane too, and actually kind of exciting. While sketching this one, a motorcyclist bumped into a driver in front of him and fell off his bike. He was okay and just hoped we didn’t put the accident in the sketch.
Beddgelert was one of my favorite towns in Wales. It’s in the Snowdonia National Park and we used it as our home base for a couple of days while exploring other towns nearby. The temperature really dropped while I was working on this one and I had to finish it off wearing gloves. Such a beautiful town surrounded by the mountains.
Hay-on-Wye was another of my favorite towns in Wales. It’s a used book store heaven with about 28 book shops, a great antique map shop and many other antique shops and places to explore. This shop, Bartrums, was one of my favorite shops in all of Wales. They had great stuff in there. Journals and paper and beautiful fountain pens. It also made for a great place to draw, although it was a very tricky one with the curves in the building and the perspective of the steep street.
While we were working on this one we got to witness some local booksellers buying books from a dealer from the trunk of his car. A dairy delivery truck parked right in front of us for a few minutes and the driver apologized for the inconvenience by giving us a box full of tasty cheese sticks. And Barty, the owner of Bartrums, came by and gave us some pencils. It’s because of these things that I love sitting in one spot for two hours and drawing while on vacation.
I’ve been working hard this spring on a lot of great new projects. Some I can share here, some I’ll unfortunately have to wait a while to reveal! But in the meantime, here are some recent projects from a variety of fantastic clients.
I have over 20 portraits in this year’s TIME 100 issue, which lists the 100 most influential people of the year. The people are separated into a few categories: Titans, Pioneers, Artists, Leaders and Icons. It was a fantastic project and I’m excited to see my work in one of the most prestigious issues of TIME.
I’m happy to share another coin I illustrated for the Royal Canadian Mint. This coin remembers the acts of bravery by Canadians in the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle from the First World War (1915). I illustrated soldiers manning an 18-pounder field gun, with smoke billowing after a shot has been fired. A sergeant looks through his binoculars to gauge the accuracy of the hit.
The gold-plated figure at the bottom of the coin was not designed by me, but is the winged figure of Victory that appeared on the Victory Medals awarded during the First World War.
If you’re interested in ordering one, please visit the Mint’s online store.