Category Archives: Studies and Sketches

Scene Retelling – The Once and Future King – Part 4

Young Knight - Dutch School

Young Knight – Dutch School

This is part 4 of a retelling of a scene from The Once and Future King book series, by T.H. White. To read the preceding part of this story sequence, click here.

What is done, is done

Mordred’s sword did not do the full task of slaying the creature, and the poor beast writhed in pain. Gawain raised his sword and followed Mordred’s action, and then all together the four boys set about the work of finishing the creature off. Continue reading

Scene Retelling – The Once and Future King – Part 3

This is part 3 of a retelling of a scene from The Once and Future King book series, by T.H. White.

A maiden’s power

When a unicorn feels the presence of an innocent young maiden in its wood it responds by coming to greet her.

For our young maiden, Meg, it was an experience beyond expectation. Its neck was full of grace and power, and its mane flowed as though it was underwater. She stopped squirming and dried her eyes as the unicorn trotted through the tall grass towards her. Continue reading

Scene Retelling – The Once and Future King – Part 2

The Once and Future King - Book Cover

The Once and Future King – Book Cover

This is a continuation. To read the first part of this story, click here.

They hatch a plan

One day, while peering out the window watching their mother in the courtyard below the four boys overheard shouting with her servants. It appeared that in her desire to prove to herself she was still a beautiful young maiden she had tried to hunt down a unicorn–a feat which can only be accomplished by a virgin. Their mother, of course, wasn’t, and so spent the entire night in the forest waiting for a unicorn that would never come. She was angry at this, and likely embarrassed in front of the servants, and the sound of her shouting drew particular interest to her boys.

They had not seen her nor spoken with her more than a sentence or two for most of their lives. They felt that there must be something wrong with them for her to not spend any time raising her children. Hearing her so upset gave them an idea of how they could prove their worth. Continue reading

The Unicorn is Attacked - Tapestry

Scene Retelling – The Once and Future King – Part 1

This scene from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King I read years ago stays in my memory. Today I’m retelling it in my own words.

The Unicorn is Attacked - Tapestry

Detail – The Unicorn is Attacked, ca. 1495–1505

Mordred and Gawain had messed up childhoods

I’ve always loved this scene from T.H. White’s Arthurian series. I haven’t read it in several years and am not going to bother rereading it now, since it’s more fun to just tell it from memory.

Want to skip straight to reading the scene? Scroll down to the next header!

To give you a quick background on what you’re about to see, this scene takes place at the beginning of the second book in the series. Elsewhere, Arthur has already drawn the sword from the stone, and is learning how to be king.

His nephews, on the other hand, are still children. They live on the island of Orkney with their mother, who is a witch–the bad sort of witch.

The children by name are Gawain, Gahareth, Agravain, and Mordred.

Gawain is the big, tall, brawny and brave one. He’s a bit dumb, has red curly hair, and enjoys pushing the others around.

Gahareth and Agravain are complete opposites, but we won’t go into too many details for the sake of brevity.

Now Mordred is the odd one. You see, Mordred is supposedly King Arthur’s “nephew”–at least, that’s what everyone thinks.  In truth, he’s more than that: he’s also King Arthur’s bastard incestuous son. Continue reading

The time has come…

…indeed, ’tis come, my friends, to talk of many things…

Alright, peeps, it’s time to finally start opening up about this project I’ve worked on for the last four and a half years. We finished the writing of it back in May. (And yes, it took a while. But it was worth it. I think you’ll love it.)

It’s for kids ages 8-12, roughly 30,000 words (relatively short), and I plan on illustrating it as heavily as possible!

(So great to be back on my home turf of illustration. Writing was a totally new experience. But I’m grateful to have the basics under my belt, and we’ll be doing more stories as time goes on.)

The novel is about a young spider. You’ll find out more over the next few months.

Today I finished putting together the 3D model photo reference for the book cover. Check it out!

Westly - Cover Jacket - 3D Photo Reference

Cover Jacket – 3D Photo Reference

This is the first 3D model I’ve done in well over a decade, and the second one in my life. All I have to say is, WOW, now that I know how to do it, creating photo reference is dramatically easier.

There’s still a number of things that I’d rather do with live photo reference for now—such as moss and texture.

Watch it live!

The book cover painting is happening live via my account at throughout the next ten or fifteen days. Either tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll break out the paint brush.

Sign up on my Twitter account or Facebook Page for updates on the times.



Click to go to my Livestream account

Click to go to my Livestream account

Finalized Silhouette - Shapes in Storytelling

Shapes in Storytelling

Remember that Deep Sea RV Trailer?

Yesterday you saw the drawing of the man moseying along through the depths of the ocean via his deep-sea RV trailer.

The fun thing is that, if you’ve been following along with my class posts, now you know how I did the drawing. Let me put it all together for you…

Shapes in Storytelling

One thing I love about working with a silhouette from the outset is that it gives me an opportunity to focus on the two most important aspects right off: the underlying concept and the overall design.

Shapes in Storytelling

Brainstorming with silhouettes

The idea at the beginning was to create an underwater place to live—I chose a cottage.

For a couple of hours I just sketched up dozens of ideas. Most of the sketches were downright failures, but a few were worth exploring.

Somewhere along the lines I got hooked on the idea of having the underwater cottage be mobile.

And then I liked the idea of having it pulled by a school of jelly fish. Why not?


Developing the idea

Of course, any self-respecting underwater mobile cottage must have a bubbling chimney on its back.

Shapes in Storytelling

Bubbling underwater chimney


And it also must be driven by a pleasant cheeky old man.

Shapes in Storytelling

Sketches for the driver – Deep Sea RV Trailer

Here’s our final silhouette:

Finalized Silhouette - Shapes in Storytelling

Final Silhouette – Deep Sea RV Trailer



Just like we did with the Shapely Plants, it’s time to put some white on top of those black silhouettes, and see if we can’t further develop the shape.

In my UVU class we’ve taken to calling these drawings “WOTs,” short for “white-on-tops.”

Shapes in Storytelling

WOTs for our Deep Sea RV Trailer – click for a larger view


Final words

Come travel with me in the deep blue sea

Final Ink Drawing – Deep Sea RV Trailer


From the WOTs image higher up above in the post, I chose the WOT on the lower left. Take a look here and see if you can find the few changes I made between the WOT and the final.

What do you think—is there one of those other WOTs that you also would like to have seen? And what are your thoughts in general? Let me know in the comments!