Dapper armadillo

armadillo blue fb
My wife suggested to me that I should draw an armadillo in a bowler hat. Why a bowler hat? I’m not sure what her reasoning was, but for me it was an opportunity to create a reason why he would be wearing it. I began sketching out ideas, and on this page you can see me working out several ideas for this fine armored fellow. Eventually I put him in a sport coat, holding flowers, and checking his pocket watch (because if you have a bowler hat and a sport coat, you definitely are carrying a pocket watch!):
You can see that I played around with the angle of the flowers and his pose until I hit on what seemed to be a good combination. You’ll also notice that I ditched the bowler hat in favor of showing off his ears, which make him look distinctly like an armadillo. When I painted him, I painted his jacket brown, because that is the color I think of when I think of a sports jacket (and I’m not sure why that is), but once I was done painting, I decided that the brown was too close to the color of his body, and I also realized I had missed an opportunity to use the jacket color as the center of attention. Enter the incredible technological power of Photoshop, with which I was able to create some other color options for the jacket while maintaining the watercolor textures and shading of the painting:
With some help from my friends, I decided that I liked my navy blue option the best, and so that is now the final jacket color in my illustration. I’m really happy with how this turned out, and every time I see it, I wonder if he made it to his date on time, and how it went. I’m definitely rooting for this little guy!

Duck and hound

duck and hound
This image was originally done as a black and white illustration for a book of short stories about a very precocious basset hound. In this story, the dog makes friends with a duck, and they would often fall asleep snuggled together. I thought that my drawing of them turned out very sweet, and after turning in the finished illustration, decided that I wanted to do a watercolor version based on my pencil sketch. Here is my pencil drawing:
This is the vector line art of this image that was printed in the book:
beagle3I did three versions of the watercolor version, trying to get the gradient of the sky and the shadows on the dog and on the ground to look right. I used some masking fluid create the moon and stars. This third attempt felt pretty good, and I’m pleased with the result.

Pig in stroller

stroller pig
A few years ago my niece delightedly told me about going to the park and seeing a pig that was being rolled around in a stroller. I thought that was an engaging visual image and decided to try and turn it into a painting. I drew a girl who sort of looks like my niece, timidly approaching a pig in a stroller. I decided that I would have her holding flowers, as if she might be thinking the pig might like to smell or eat them. Here is my first sketch:
I decided that there wasn’t enough context for where this was happening, so I added some background that looked like a park:
I felt like the park bench was sort of crowding the scene, so I changed it around and added a tree:
I decided to paint the pig brown instead of the standard pink, largely because pet pigs tend to be colors other than pink. Over all, I think this one turned out pretty well.