Twins in Time – eBook

I’m excited to announce the launch of Twins in Time, a children’s eBook written by Zach Weinersmith with illustrations by yours truly.

The book is now available – Get it here!

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Here’s a short book description:

Twins in Time is a visual adventure written in verse. It is written with children in mind, but particularly intelligent adults are welcome to come along. Twins in Time explores the classic physics question called “The Twins Paradox” in a brisk and lighthearted style.

Each page is a full color painting by acclaimed children’s book illustrator, Chris Jones. The text of the story is written by Zach Weinersmith, the cartoonist who creates Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

For those who demand a bit more rigor in their children’s literature, physicist and bestselling author Dr. Sean Carroll has written a brief discussion of time at the end of the book.

A small preview of some of the interior artwork:

Twins-in-Time_sample-1 Twins-in-Time_sample-2 Twins-in-Time_sample-3

More Kids!

Lately I’ve been having fun working on a few more illustrations in my Kids! series. Here are some recent ones:

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Clubhouse Jr. Cover

I recently had the pleasure of working with the wonderful team at Clubhouse Jr. as I illustrated the cover and some interior illustrations for the March 2014 issue.

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When I’m working on a cover, I’ll usually work up a couple more concept sketches than I normally would – just to be sure we have the best composition. Here’s a look at a few of the sketches leading up to the final illustration:

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As you can see, I was having a lot of fun with the little spider character!

For this issue, I also did a couple of illustrations for an interior story. Here’s a snapshot of part of the story:

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And here are some larger samples of the illustrations:

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Stunned Sally

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Just having some fun with another kid portrait! This one was drawn with china marker, scanned and coloured digitally.

The Explorers

I recently completed this personal piece and I thought I’d share some of my process.
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1. I start off with a series of small thumbnail sketches to explore composition

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2. Using my thumbnail sketch as a guide I produce a larger more refined sketch. At this stage I also do a quick value study to help me see if the composition is working. I feel that doing a value study is a really important part of the process. It really helps me to see if a piece is working, or if I need to go back to the drawing board. I usually also end up making adjustments to the composition that I otherwise may not have noticed if I was just looking at my line work. I try not to skip this step because it can be a huge time saver having all my values figured out before I start adding colour. I find it also gives me the confidence going forward in the final piece knowing that the composition is working.

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3. Normally, the next step in my process is doing the final line work before moving into colour. For this piece I decided to try blocking in all my colour flats right over my sketch. My thinking was that it could help save me time later fiddling with colouring my lines, and help give me a more flat stylized look I wanted to try and achieve with this piece. At this point I wasn’t too concerned with getting the colours exact, as I would adjust those in the next step after everything was blocked in.

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4. After all the colour flats were blocked in, I adjusted them to get the hues and values I wanted. After that I dropped in some basic general shadows.

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5. Deepening and refining the shadows, and adding some texture

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6. More refining of shadows and adding some highlights

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7. Deepening shadows and bringing up highlights

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8. Adding final dark accent shadows and some small crisp bright highlights

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Here is a little animation that shows all the stages together:

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Supes

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Here’s a quick Superman illustration. I’ve been experimenting with a bit of a new colouring method lately – doing the flats colour blocks in Manga Studio and only adding a few necessary lines. I’m working on a few larger pieces like this trying to come up with a better, faster way to work. Trial and error. Steady as she goes. etc.

Review of the Story Editor in Manga Studio

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Read my mini review of the Story Editor in Manga Studio over at Once Upon A Sketch“Streamline your Workflow with Manga Studio Story Editor”

Snowflakes Cover art for book proposal

We wrapped up our final strip on Snowflakes last year, and are now in the process of trying to find a publisher. Below is the cover promo art that is part of the proposal package.

If you are a publisher and are interested in a copy of the pitch proposal, please contact me.

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Mini Review of the Drawing Tools in Manga Studio

Recently I’ve been using Manga Studio more and more for my sketches and line work. I did a quick overview of the pen and some of the other related tools over at Over at Once Upon a Sketch.

Happy New Year!

To start off the new year the Once Upon A Sketch blog is newly relaunched! I will be a contributing regularly to the blog, along with my fellow contributors:
Donald Wu
Mary Reaves Uhles
Norm Grock
Jennifer Zivoin
Jannie Ho.

Here is our first collaborative post, What We Wish We Knew.

whatwewishweknew