A new course in Science Illustration

If it wasn’t evident already, nature is cool.  My science art class will show you why…

I will be teaching a brand-spanking new course in Natural Science Illustration at Wenatchee Valley College this fall.  This is a one time only course that is damn-near impossible to find anywhere!

We will be exploring the anatomy and techniques to render many strange and fascinating natural forms of life.

Field trips, skulls, insects, high powered microscopes, ancient beasts, and everything I can fit into a 3.5 hour block.  We will learn to use traditional and digital techniques, creating portfolio pieces in both color and black & white.














Here is a link to the course description at WVC:



Finished! Coryphodons rumaging around the Eocene

Misbehaving Photoshop filters couldn’t stop me finishing! I finally finished it, and I am happy how it came out. It is large, made to be printed out at least 48 inches across, but the detail could hold up a lot larger…I have to print one myself to see how it looks on a format other than a computer screen. Otherwise if you want to see it in action, go to Western Washington University’s Environmental Studies building.
I shot screenshot timelapse video of the whole creation, including the modeling of the clay so hopefully I can get that video together soon. Until then, let me know what you think. Depicted are the creators of trackways found at the Racehorse Creek landslide that inhabited the low lying tropical estuary ~50 million years ago. There are prehistoric analogues of modern Herons, and Willets, and of course the group of Coryphodons- today we have nothing similar or even distantly related. They were fascinating creatures that had perhaps the smallest known brain to body ratio of any mammal. Do you think I created them in a believable rendering? As the artist, I chose all of the non-skeletal features such as hair, color, ears, snout shape, habitus, etc. Large responsibilities for someone who never saw them in real life!
Here are a couple wikipedia links of Coryphodons and the Eocene.

getting hairy

Shapes are bulging and sinking as I downplay areas not reached by that imaginary sun, and uplift hairs that glisten (oh so) tenderly in the Eocenic tropix. I still have many details to add, but this step is a big one when muscles and posture really develop. I absolutely loved doing neon orange on the ears to accentuate their thinness and glowthru. I wrote this song to go with the video…

Speed painting of furry Cory basebodies

Against my conventional wisdom, I have proceeded to paint mouths and eyes before the base detail! What is the world coming to? I always paint the eyes last when I work, (completing an eye early on in a composition is a crutch, right?) so we will see how it goes. I am still deciding on the coloration and hair details. Stay tuned for alterations ‘n’ iterations in composition….
btw I capture an image each 3 seconds

we all have latent superheroes in us

I was commissioned to take the composition of a photograph of this father and his son to become illustrated analogous versions of Captain America and his sidekick Bucky.  The setting was to be the aftermath of a serious battle with copious bodies and smoke- like any decent battle has.

The part that was most fun was was definitely transforming Bucky’s uniform down to toddler size.  While researching the comics and graphic novels, it was fascinating to see all the iterations the uniform has gone through over the eons that Capt America has been around.

We initially discussed making it a physical painting, but after seeing all of the Capt America art that he most wanted me to draw inspiration from, (and recreate the style of…which btw was all digital), we realized it should be digitally painted.

I started off with a fairly tight pencil sketch of the heroes with their uniform details, transferred that to photoshop, then began the task of building masks and layering up the paint and brush strokes.