Archive for September, 2014

Meet the Planets – Who’s Who & What’s What – The Inner Planets

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

They’re solid. They’re rocky. They’re close to the sun. Here come the inner planets.”

So now the competition really gets underway, with the 4 planets closest to the Sun making their group debut.  This particular page probably has the least amount of Who & What background explanation, but that doesn’t mean i skimped on the thought or research process. Even as simple as it looks, i still managed to stick in a little subliminal information, specifically in terms of the Asteroid Belt.

The Inner Planets are the rock-based ones. Not only closest to the Sun (which, naturally takes up the bulk of the spread. I must confess, i am particularly fond of the sunglasses) but also located inside the Asteroid Belt so, of course, the asteroids needed to be featured. And since they were in the illustration and had to be colored, i decided i would render them based on their unique chemical/physical composition.

I should note – in reality (in Space) i doubt that you would actually see any color distinction, and even if you did it probably wouldn’t be as obvious as i made it, but it was important to convey that all asteroids are not the same. In fact, there are three different types and each are made up of different materials/substances so i attempted to communicate that information through color.

The 3 types of Asteroids are: M-Type, S-Type, and C-Type.

M-Type is made up of nickel and iron, so i colored those asteroids in silver and grey.

S-Type is made up of a rocky material, so those are colored in reddish brown.

C-Type is made up of carbon, so those are represented in black.

It’s a small thing – but it was the kind of artistic choice i found myself constantly aware of when doing the illustrations for this book.  My goal was to find fun and interesting ways of sharing all the cool and fascinating things i had learned through my research. Creating all the little touches that i hoped (hope) ignited some curiosity.

If only one child asked, “Why did the illustrator color those rocks like that?” this picture was a success!


Back to the Blog Again – Hopefully

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

This is a test of the Emergency Blog-cast System. This is only a test (tho, if it works, i’ll probably just keep it on here as the first post of 2014).

Apparently my last blog post was the Behind-the-Art/explanatory notes describing my 2013 Christmas card and then – nothing.  Dead silence.  Only the sound of crickets for the last nine months.  Hey – i’ve been busy!  Well, busy, and also struggling with the ever increasing changes that occur whenever you update your computer.

I wasn’t all that tech-savvy to begin with, so when i learn a way to do something i stick to it. No deviations! I am not the sort to indiscriminately push random buttons. And that system worked just fine for me for a number of years.  Then, sometime in 2013, we got a new computer that, naturally, resulted in changes to the way i’d previously done things so this Old Dog had to learn some New Tricks – and i’m sure you can image how well THAT turned out.  But even more maddening (for my Limited Attention Span Theater personality) now – in 2014 – all the new, fancy-schmancy, high-falutin  technology harangues you into up-grading every other day – which would be fine if all the old formats and systems and ways of doing things stayed the same.  But they don’t!  Every up-grade comes with it’s attendant, brand new, shiny COMPLETELY DIFFERENT way of doing something. Anything. Everything.  And i’m just not very good when it comes to change.   As it is, i already have a Computer Tech Wizard on speed dial, but he can’t sit here every day, by my side, talking me thru every stupid (and, to me, mostly unnecessary) revision – much as i might wish that were possible – so, as a consequence, quite often i find myself in some Cosmic Computer Limbo and just throw up my hands in defeat. Thinking,

This doesn’t have to be done right now does it? Naw!  Hey look, it’s time for cocktails“!!

Which finally brings me to the point of this exercise – the explanation for the biggest casualty in all this beyond-my-mental-depth-with-hyper-techno-newness…  “The Blog”.  I mean, let’s face it – if something has to give, the blog is easily the most expendable. At best, this little literary addition to my web site is just a bit of a self-indulgence, sharing the convoluted back-stories about my various and sundry art and illustrations.  All stuff i can just type up and print out and stick in a notebook to reread at my leisure (which is indeed what i do with it).

Still, when new art, or books, or pictures get posted (like last year’s Christmas card) i get the urge to write a little something about it, and a bunch of new Stuff is about to hit the site (not to mention all those older series categories my OCD tendencies are nagging me to finish) so i thought i should make a stab at getting back into the blog. Or at least see what i’m still able to do on my own computer-wise (before calling in a battalion of technology help) so here goes. A little, preliminary Preface, as it were, to get my feet wet. Or my fingers limber.  Or… hmmm, ran out of appropriate analogies.

Oh well. Enough procrastinating. Let’s just go ahead and push a button.