Harts Pass No. 251 - Guest Cartoonist No. 1

Between finishing my next recent book and coaching at the State Track meet, I'm a little late in posting this week's comic. Lucky for me, it's guest cartoonist week here at Harts Pass :) After a recent Methow Arts residency at the local elementary school, I've put a few kids on the payroll for both this week and next. Kinda like Family Circus... except these kids are the real deal! Much thanks to Isaac Carlsen for this week's excellent unicorn strip.


Harts Pass No. 250

Personally, I can never quite remember what snake it is that "looks" like a rattler. Bullsnake it is... but no matter what such thoughtful consideration of this particular situation isn't really necessary :)


Sketches: A radiant Pig!

Nearing the end of a new illustration project for Sasquatch Books (more on that when its done!) but after days/months of intense focus on one main thing, its always nice to be playing around on the side. I've been having some fun with a style much looser than the current book and I'll post a few each week just to keep you looking :) Enjoy!


Cover Story: Creating new DOG DIARIES cover art!

I just recently finished some new cover art for a paperback edition of Dog Diaries (Henry Holt, 2007). It doesn't officially published until April 2016... but it's a popular choice with school visits and I'm very excited to have a paperback version in the mix.

Why a new cover? Well, as much as the good folks at Holt (and hopefully the authors!) liked the first cover, they actually liked the cover of Cat Diaries (see below) just a little bit better. Since there will be a simultaneous paperback release of both books, the art department wanted to create a "companion" cover of sorts that was a little more focused on a single dog.

Just like the original, the new cover was painted with watercolor, ink, and colored pencil. Scroll below for a glimpse of the process -- from early sketches and options to final art -- and I'll remind you again when the books are available next spring :)

LOTS of sketches... some pencil and some digital.

And then revisions to the consensus pick of the Macmillam Art Department and on to final sketches...
...and then the final art :) A little mock-up here on my part, but it should be pretty close in the final version.


Harts Pass No. 249

My daughter asks a LOT of questions. Sometimes so many that I am certainly not this nice about answering them all... Anyway, maybe she gets gets inspired when she feels like she has our full attention. So it goes :)


Little Star Montessori School -- A "Peace Table" for Auction!

For those that might be curious, here's a quick photo of what we'll call the "Peace Table" for Little Star Montessori School's upcoming Puttin' on the Ritz auction. 

10 years ago, my wife Sarah and daughter Keeley painted this little IKEA table -- at just about the time that Keeley was starting Little Star. While still retaining the original artsy base-coat of yellow and blue, plus a few character-lending pencil smudges from Keeley's own art projects, the table top has been freshly updated with a couple of friendly wolverines and a snappy splash of red. 

So, slide those "GRRR!"chairs right on up to the "Peace Table" and work it out. Friends for life! For your reading pleasure, the table will come with a complimentary copy of Welcome to Harts Pass - a comic collection featuring even MORE wolverines and tons of local insight to boot. Both the book and the table are signed by the artist!

PS I always thought it was really cool that Little Star actually HAS/HAD a Peace Table of its very own. If you've got kids, surely you need one of these at home.

PPS And it would work perfectly well for adults too. After all, who can stay mad/grumpy/hold a grudge or whatever when you're sitting in a kid-sized chair with bright primary colors and two clearly happy wolverines smiling right back at 'ya. GRRR!


Harts Pass No. 248

What? NO WAY! Oh... And so it goes! Despite their purported demise, books are still a great window into an entire world of experiences that most of us will never have. Bring 'em on!