20 January 2011

Research. Research. Research.

Here are some of the photos I took at the Delanco and Riverside train stations for my research for the last That's Silly! I posted here on the blog. Like most illustrators I try to find research online but in this case I just couldn't find what I was looking for so I took a little drive and took some photos. Although I didn't this time around, I also find it very helpful to make some quick sketches while on location. Even with digital photography there are just some details you're going to miss without studying through sketching.

Research is so important. I can't emphasize this enough to my students. It can make any illustration 100% more believable then if you're just making it up.

Look back at the illustration on the last post and you can see where the ideas came from.

The tile pattern.

The bench's iron work.

The map.

14 January 2011

That's Silly, Train Station!

Delanco, New Jersey's Riveline train station stars in February's Highlights High Five's That's Silly! (now available on your local magazine rack)
Delanco is a small all American town that sits on a peninsula surrounded by the Delaware River and the Rancocas Creek. I lived on the second floor of a remodeled old general store dating back to 1852 for 8 years. It was the first I was truly on my own. The train station was just three blocks away which would take me into Camden, NJ for my connection to the Patco line into Philadelphia. I love Delanco and I miss it quite a bit. It really is a great place to live. A lot of the suburban illustrations I make get their inspiration from my short time in Delanco.

I knew this scene was going to be published in February so I wanted to give it the feel of a cold snowy morning with the sun just rising. The funny part is that when I started working on this piece it was in the middle of August at 101 degrees.

Also, I am illustrator for the Make it! Cook it! spread each month in High Five (along with the talented Liz Dubois who illustrates the Cook It! Ingredients). I'll post some shots of the recent spreads soon.

For those who don't know, Highlights High Five is a magazine aimed at children 5 and under. Get a subscription today!