23 December 2013

Pioneer Christmas card illustration

I recently created this image for the nice folks at Pioneer Motor Bearing. If you happen to have a battleship, air craft carrier, nuclear sub, hydro-electric, or nuclear power plant that needs giant bearings they'd be the folks to call.

20 December 2013

Latest published stuff...

Hi. I'm busy. Here's some fun stuff I recently did. Have a Merry Christmas!

A School Band What's Wrong? from January 2014's Highlights...

From Highlights Hidden Pictures Eagle Eye Books 3 and 4...

16 December 2013

Which Art Student Are You? book- Only $10!

The Which Art Student Book Are You? book is now available in a small 28 page format for only $10. See book trailer below for details. Order information can be found by clicking here.

02 December 2013

Heidi and Zeke 1 and 2

Here are the first two hidden pictures starring Heidi and Zeke.

Highlights' Hidden Pictures Book Club makes a great gift for all of the kids in your life. Be sure to check it out! A few clicks and you're done your Christmas shopping.

Eagle Eye Hidden Pictures Book 3 and 4!

Hidden Pictures Eagle Eye books 3 and 4 are out this month. Woo! More Heidi and Zeke!

Subscriptions to Highlights' Hidden Picture Book Club make really cool gifts for the kids in your life! Check it out!

28 October 2013

Introducing Highlights' Eagle Eye Hidden Pictures featuring Heidi & Zeke!

With this month's debut of the first two issues of Highlights Eagle Eye Hidden Pictures debuting online at Highlights Hidden Picture Club, it's hard to believe that I've been working on Heidi & Zeke for just shy of a year now. In fact, I just submitted book 17 and 18's sketch last week. I've been doing my best to quietly contain my excitement but, if you know me, it hasn't been easy.

It has been a tremendous pleasure to consistently work on and develop the characters of Heidi and Zeke. I confess, it wasn't until I finished book 8's hidden picture that I realized Heidi and Zeke's names were a play off of Hide and Seek. Hoo-boy! I'm swift! 

Unlike the hidden pictures you may be familiar with, the ones in Eagle Eye are accompanied by puzzles, stickers, games or, as with Heidi and Zeke, a story! Join Heidi and Zeke twice a month as they help their friends find their many lost objects. As the tag line says: "No object is too hard to find when detective Heidi Hamilton & her trusty dog, Zeke, are on the case."

Subscribe to Highlights or Hidden Pictures for the kids in your life. You know they'll love getting their very own issues each & every month!

16 October 2013

Sketches from the Stargazing What's Wrong? illustration.

Here are the sketches from my latest What's Wrong? illustration created for November's Highlights. 

As you can see the first one is a bit too crowded, there aren't enough average sized telescopes and there isn't enough sky showing.

The second is less crowded. The only problem is a few "wrongs" aren't obvious enough.

The "wrongs" are not a bit easier to read but more children are needed.

The final sketch.

14 October 2013

What's Wrong, Comet ISON?

I created the back cover What's Wrong? illustration for this November's Highlights. As many of you know I stargaze quite often. Staying up late or waking before dawn to view astronomical events is fun for me, much to my wife's chagrin. I'm not entirely sure when my love of astronomy began. Honestly, I can't remember a time when I wasn't fascinated with the skies. I have a very vivid memory of seeing Saturn's Rings for the first time through my telescope and just how much of an impact that had on me.

So you can see why I was thrilled to create this What's Wrong? illustration. I did extensive research to make sure that the sky was as accurate as possible For mid-November at about 4am. However, I did use a little artistic license by adding a very bright comet ISON which is visible starting this month. After the comet passes the sun (which will happen this November) it could become extremely bright or completely fall apart. I'm praying it will survive and give us a great show. 

Easter Eggs in this piece include: Lowell Observatory's Pluto Dome, Galileo, Laika, a map of the Apollo 8 flight path, aliens, and my family and I on the bottom left.

Highlights makes a great gift for kids! Subscribe for the little ones in your life. Do it!

03 October 2013

Locust Moon Comics Festival: Oct . 5

I'll be at the Locust Moon Comics Festival in Philadelphia this Saturday, October 5th from 10-6. Please stop by and say hello. My location in the Sanctuary S-33B. 

I'll have copies of my Which Art Student Are You? books, some prints and original art for sale.

More info here: http://locustmoonfest.com

30 July 2013


If I ever go rogue and you need to get information out of me this is the way to successfully torture me:
Make me brush my daughter's teeth while force feeding me black licorice and drink a root beer, while listening to an ensemble of the Indigo Girls, Neil Young and the cast of Rent while watching CSI whatever. I will tell you everything.

Please make a note of it.

16 July 2013

What's Wrong, Italian Market?

When Highlights asked me to make a What's Wrong? of a City Market I could think of no other than Philadelphia's Italian Market. I've only been there once in my life, during the off peak time, but I did a lot of research (see below) to make it look authentic minus the trash and fire barrels. If you've ever been to the Italian Market in South Philadelphia, or saw the scene in Rocky when he is jogging through it  (starts at :23) one thing comes to mind, "this is so beautiful and yet, totally disgusting." Honestly, it smells, there's trash all over the place, and most of the merchants are rude. Ah, Philadelphia! City of Brotherly Love. That's what makes this city so great- everyone wears their hearts on their sleeve and we don't apologize for it or care if you're offended- much like you would speak to a close family member. Ha!

I finished this piece the week my Dad went into the hospital before he passed away. Good friend and designer, Drew Phillips, helped me out with doing some flat coloring for me. All I had to do was make some adjustments, then add textures and shadows. Thanks, Drew!

Things to look for in this piece: Adrian Balboa ironing a sock, myself, wife and daughter driving a row home, and my personal favorite, a girl mouse being serenaded with her concerned Father reacting in a nearby window.

The original sketch is below. One thing I was sad to see go was Adrian Balboa carrying Rocky's two turtles known as Cuff and Link.

The scene was based loosely on these photos:

Make sure to get a Highlights subscription for the kids in your life. It really is the greatest magazine on earth.

09 July 2013

Some instagrams of recent work.

The top two are small snippets of some hidden pictures for Highlights. The bottom one is a sketch of a guy I saw cutting a lawn in Willingboro, NJ.

11 June 2013

That's Silly, Carnival Midway!

My latest That's Silly! piece for Highlights High Five. It is in the June issue which is available now. Sketches and some roughs are below the final art.

Here are the roughs:

I liked this last rough (below) but felt the other compositions were easier on the eyes for the younger readers.

Below is the first sketch before being revised to suit the art director's request to make it less cluttered and some other minor changes. I was sad to see the stilt walker go but you've got to do what you've got to do. Hopefully I succeeded in making a non-creepy clown.

04 June 2013

Updates & sneak peeks.

I haven't updated this blog in a while. Sorry. Here are some things I have been working on via Instagram pics.

This first one is a snippet from a hidden picture of Glacier National Park.

A small part of a hip-hop themed hidden picture which was my first anthropomorphic illustration for Highlights.

A rejected idea for a "what's wrong?" of a kid dressed in a NASA control room outfit complete with Apollo 11 and a map of the orbital flight path.

Below is from a hidden picture of Miami Beach. 

Kids enjoying some chili in this Texas themed hidden picture.

One of many wheeled vehicles in this hidden picture.

Oops, I guess not all of them have wheels.

Part one of a continuing hidden picture series I have been working on for Highlights. I can't wait to be able to tell everyone about this but it'll have to wait until its launched.

Lastly, tonight it occurred to me that I have been drawing with this pencil since 1993. Happy 20th birthday, 7mm Pentel P207 pencil.  I wonder how many miles we've drawn together?

14 May 2013


I did these for the Philadelphia Zoo last year for their Lorax/Orangutan exhibit. I had to combine my style with Dr. Suess' style which was a lot of fun. As you can see by the photos below (no, they're not out of focus), the illustrations were done in multiple layers and converted to 3D to coincide with the Lorax movie. Kids were given 3D glasses to view the exhibit signage in order to learn more about Orangutans and what they can do to protect them. If you ever get a chance go to your local zoo and sit for a good hour to watch the orangutans. I worked at the zoo for many years and would often eat my lunch while watching the primates. They really are fascinating.

All images are copyright © The Philadelphia Zoo 2012