Sunday, December 27, 2009

“Twenty Gold Falcons” Book Jacket

The middle-grade novel, “Twenty Gold Falcons”, by Amy Gordon, is a fun read with lots of unusual characters and plot twists. A spunky twelve-year old girl and her two friends search for lost gold coins, and my art director, Claire Counihan, said she wanted the cover to convey “the thrill of the search”. There were many visual themes running through the book–gold coins, old clocks, opera, sumptuous wealth, along with actual falcons. There is also a scene with a flashlight, and I felt that depicting the protagonist shining a flashlight would be the best way to show the idea of a search.

Below are the sketches in the order I did them. Since I love birds, I wanted to include the image of a falcon along with the character shining the light (first sketch), but the concensus was that the image was confusing, so I replaced the falcon with “hidden” gold coins (second sketch). This was an improvement, but Claire suggested I make the character crawling towards to add drama, which seemed to do the trick (final revised sketch) . I also could not resist adding some red velvet curtains to suggest both wealth and the opera. Special thanks to Grace, my fine young model.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Caregiver Support Illustration

I did this montage a couple of months ago, I just haven't had much time to post lately, which I guess is a good thing(!).

It has been well documented the difficult time wounded Iraq War vets have struggling with brain injuries and the psychological wounds of combat. The stress on their caregivers, usually parents and spouses, has received somewhat less attention. This illustration accompanied the transcript of a panel discussion addressing support services available for these caregivers. Special thanks to my friends and neighbors Eric and Pedreia for posing for this piece.