Andrew Taylor Still teaching

This illustration shows an older Andrew Taylor (A.T.) Still watching over a class being taught at his newly founded school of Osteopathy.  This illustration is for the Notable Missourian series published by Truman State University Press.

Final art

Final art

Rough sketch.  You can see quite a few changes were made.

Rough sketch.  You can see quite a few changes were made.

Andrew Taylor Still - Helping the wounded during the Civil War

This Illustration of A.T. Still shows him dressing the wound of an injured soldier at a Civil War field hospital.  This illustration is for the Notable Missourian book an Andrew Taylor Still, published by Truman State University Press.

Final Art

Final Art

Rough sketch

Rough sketch

Rough sketch   

Rough sketch

 

Andrew Taylor Still

Here is the first illustration for the Notable Missourian book on AT (Andrew Taylor) Still. He founded the school of Osteopathy.  What is Osteopathy?  Well this question illustrates why I like these Notable Missourian books so much...I learn from them!  I've always wondered what it meant when a doctor has DO by his or her name instead of MD.  Now I know It stands for Doctor of Osteopathy.  I'm pretty sure a lot of you are saying "No shit", but I had no idea. Anyways this first illustration shows AT Still as a child with his family watching his dad return a trip.  His dad was a traveling preacher.  

The Notable Missourian series is published by Truman State University Press. 

 

 

Ella Ewing at the Fair

This illustration for the Notable Missourian book on Ella Ewing (Truman State University Press) shows the Missouri giantess Ella Ewing as an attraction at a state fair.

Final Art

Final Art

Rough sketch....she was a little too big here.  I was approaching "Lord of the Rings" giant size.

Rough sketch....she was a little too big here.  I was approaching "Lord of the Rings" giant size.

Rough sketch with details honed in.

Rough sketch with details honed in.

Animated GIF showing the difference between the final art completed on the computer and the rough base hand painted on panel.

Animated GIF showing the difference between the final art completed on the computer and the rough base hand painted on panel.

Buck O'Neil gets the news about Jackie Robinson

Here's the Chapter 4 illustration for the Notable Missourian book on Buck O'Neil.

While Buck was serving in the Pacific he got the news about Jackie Robinson getting signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Black players finally being "welcomed" into the major leagues was a big deal; it also meant the inevitable death of the Negro League which had become a celebrated contributor to black culture.  Still, Buck and most of the country was thrilled.  Finally, the best could play with the best.

This illustration is for the Notable Missourian book on Buck O'Neil, published by Truman State University Press.

Final Art

Final Art

Rough sketch

Rough sketch

Buck O'Neil with the Monarchs

Here's another illustration for the Notable Missourian book on Buck O'Neil (Truman State University Press).  This one shows Buck playing 1st base for the Kansas City Monarchs during the Negro League World Series against the Homestead Grays.  

Rough Sketch

Rough Sketch

Barnstorming Baseballers

This illustration is for chapter 2 of the Notable Missourian book on Buck O'Neil by Truman State University Press.  Many early Negro League teams would "barnstorm" small towns to play baseball against local company teams or other Negro League teams.  The towns loved this because they weren't often able to watch high caliber major league players, and in every sense the negro league players were exactly that.  It is still commonly believed that some of the best players to ever play baseball were likely in the negro leagues.

Anywho I'm on a tangent!  I've been on a Ken Burns kick and am smack in the middle of the Baseball series which dovetails nicely with this book about Buck O'Neil.  This illustration shows Buck and a bunch of his teammates driving to the next small Florida town where they have a game scheduled.  If one of the cars would break down, the guys would have to all cram into a single car to make it to their destination. Some of the guys would even stand on the running boards and ride on the outside of the car! Now that's dedication.

Rough Sketch

Rough Sketch

Buck O'Neil!

Here's some more Notable Missourian artwork for a book on baseball legend Buck O'Neil (published by Truman State University Press).  This illustration shows young Buck and some friends watching a baseball game through a fence.  

Final Art

Final Art

Approved rough sketch.  I ended up moving the fence and the ball field up for the final art.

Approved rough sketch.  I ended up moving the fence and the ball field up for the final art.

Alternate rough sketch

Alternate rough sketch

Another alternate sketch   

Another alternate sketch

 

William Clark Chapter 1 GIF

Okay, I know animated GIFs can be annoying but what the hell.  Here is one that gives an idea of  the process and edits that go into some of these Notable Missourian illustrations.   This illustration is for the book on William Clark (Published by Truman State University Press).  Here a young Clark is shown hunting with his slave and contemporary, York.  York would later accompany Clark on his trip across the continent to explore the Louisiana Purchase and search for a Northwest Passage.

Albert Bond Lambert and Charles Lindbergh

This illustration is for the Notable MIssourian book on Albert Bond Lambert by Christopher Lynch and published by Truman State University Press.

Albert Bond Lambert was one of the first investors to help Charles Lindbergh finance his famous aircraft, The Spirit of St Louis.  By investing early and investing a lot, Lambert made it easier for Lindbergh to attract other investors as well.  Its old hat nowadays but back then LIndbergh's attempt at a non-stop solo flight across the atlantic - something that had never been done - was akin to a moonshot.

Rough Sketch

Rough Sketch


What's better than motorcycles and balloons?

Answer:  Many things depending on who you are!  Maybe its ice cream, or bungee jumping, or quiet walks on the beach, or doing crossword puzzles in the bathroom.  But if you were Albert Bond Lambert, the answer to that question would be airplanes!  Albert loved adventure from his youth on.  He first satisfied his thirst for adventure with motorcycling.  That gave way to ballooning. Once the Wright Bros proved the viability of the fixed wing aircraft, Albert was immediately intrigued.  He took lessons and bought himself a Wright brothers built aircraft.  Not only did this become a hobby of his, but as a business man he could see how airplanes were going to change the world.  Thus (yes...i said thus) he became a major investor in aviation and aviation infrastructure.  I hear he also still really enjoyed doing crossword puzzles in the bathroom though.  Some old hobby's are hard to let go.

The illustration below is for the Notable Missourian book on Albert Bond Lambert.  This book was written by Christopher Lynch and published by Truman State University Press.

Albert flying a Wright Model B

Albert flying a Wright Model B



Albert Bond Lambert

Here are the first two illustrations for the Notable Missourian book on Albert Bond Lambert. The Notable Missourian books are published by Truman State University Press. This book (on Albert Bond Lambert) was written by Christopher Lynch.

Albert Bond Lambert was an Olympic golfer, an adventurer, and perhaps most importantly a strong supporter and benefactor to early aviation. Here are the first two chapter header illustrations showing young Albert, One shows him as a young golfer (He was on the U.S. olympic team) and the other shows Albert riding through France on an early motorcycle. Albert loved motorcylces, but that love was soon replaced by aviation.

Albert riding an early motorcycle through the french countryside

Albert riding an early motorcycle through the french countryside

rough sketch

rough sketch

rough sketch   

rough sketch

 


Using the court to seek freedom

Slavery must've been such a confusing institution, filling people with all kinds of cognitive dissonance. I should probably follow that up with a hearty "Duh". In reading the manuscript for the Notable Missourian story about Jeffrey Deroine, I was surprised to read how Jeffrey tried to use the court system to gain his freedom from his owner, Joseph Robidoux. I didn't know that was possible.

At the time Jeffrey was still a minor, so a family friend posing as his grandmother went with him to the courthouse to file the paperwork. The grounds for the case was the excessive cruelty of his master. Apparently there had been cases where a slave could be freed if the court deemed the master was too cruel.  That automatically makes me wonder what would constitute just the right amount of cruelty when it comes to owning another human being?  Ugh, so strange.  Anyways it's no shocker that Jeffrey's case was dismissed - In large part thanks to Joseph Robidoux's standing in the community and strong connections. Jeffrey remained the slave of Robidoux until his freedom was purchased by his friends in the Ioway nation.

This illustration is for the book on Jeffrey Deroine, published by Truman State University Press.

Young Jeffrey and a woman posing as his grandma filing paperwork seeking his freedom.

Young Jeffrey and a woman posing as his grandma filing paperwork seeking his freedom.

Alphonso Wetmore Chapter 1

 

Alphonso is another Notable Missourian to be featured in the Truman State University Press series by the same name (Notable Missourians). This book was written by Mary Barile.

Alphonso was a veteran of the war of 1812, a leader of expeditions on the Santa Fe Trail and an all around adventurer.  Even better, he was a good story teller too.  I suppose one has to live up to a name like Alphonso.  I can't even imagine anybody named Alphonso being a couch potato.  Heck, when naming my kids, I kind of wish I would've thought about the name Alphonso.  Alphonso Hare.  Yeah, lucky for them that never crossed my mind.

This illustration shows young Alphonso studying hard in his families cabin.  Alphonso was smart and curious even at a young age.

 

Original rough sketch showing evening life in the Wetmore cabin.

Original rough sketch showing evening life in the Wetmore cabin.

Alternate rough sketch showing the tension between the new settlers and the Native Americans.

Alternate rough sketch showing the tension between the new settlers and the Native Americans.

Another sketch illustrating the tension.

Another sketch illustrating the tension.

And another.

And another.

Barnstormstress

I made that word up.  Its kind of a cool word methinks, but I suspect anything made feminine by adding "stress" to the end is understandably pejorative.  I mean you're adding the word stress to something to a title to denote its a woman!  Sheesh.  All that said, if there's one word I think could easily have stress woven in to it its barnstormer.  Hmmm Is that one word or two?  Anyways, ironically I don't think stress was part of Marie Meyer Fowers vocabulary when it came to anything flight related, it was her love and she was incredible at it.  Here is an illustration of her after jumping from another JN-4 Jenny while impressing a gathered crowd.

This illustration is for the Notable Missourian book on Marie Meyer Fower written by Christine Montgomery and published by Truman State University Press.

Finished art

Finished art

Initial rough sketch   

Initial rough sketch

 


Marie Meyer Fower Learns to Fly

This illustration for Chapter 2 of the Notable Missourian book on Marie Meyer Fower (written by Christine Montgomery and published by Truman State University Press) shows Marie being instructed on how to fly the famous and at the time ubiquitous Curtiss JN-4 Jenny.  The Jenny was designed as a trainer aircraft during WWI. After the war thousands were sold as surplus for next-to-nothing prices.   All these easy easy to fly aircraft were suddenly in the hands of civilians brave enough to fly them in an almost completely unregulated environment.  Thus began the barnstorming era!   That period really helped put the plane into the public consciousness....although not always for the good.  In the daredevil world of Barnstorming, dramatic accidents were not uncommon.

Rough Sketch

Rough Sketch

Rough painting, acrylic on panel

Rough painting, acrylic on panel

Final image

Final image


From super rough to finish - Jean Bartik and the ENIAC

Rough hand painting.  Rough rough rough..

Rough hand painting.  Rough rough rough..

So the way I'm going about this year's round of notable missourians is way different then the way I did the recent "This Is Kansas City" illustrations.  The TIKC illustrations we're made completely by hand on panel.  The Notable Missourians are hybrid hand/computer illustrations.  First I start with a rough hand painting. Really rough. I mean people think my kid did it and I don't correct them rough.  The main purpose of the rough painting is to give me some good textures and colors and the basic location of the illustration elements.  I digitally bring the rough painting into photoshop and thats where I chip away at it.  Its a great method that makes experimenting, editing and changes no prob, and I think it gives a nice hybrid look.  

The Notable Missourian series is published by Truman State University Press.  The book on Jean Bartik was written by Kim Todd.

The illustration after some computer lovin'.  

The illustration after some computer lovin'.  

Hayloft Daydreaming

This is the first illustration for the Notable Missourian (Truman State University Press) book on Jean Bartik written by Kim Todd. Here a young jean is shown looking out of her family barn's hayloft and doing a bit of daydreaming about her potential future.  If that was me in that loft I would be daydreaming about hitching a ride to town and getting a box of Claritin.

Jean Bartik Rough Sketches

Work has begun on illustrations for the 2015 Notable Missourian series published by Truman State University Press.  First up is the story of Jean Bartik, written by Kim Todd. Jean was an early pioneer in computing. In fact, for awhile she was literally a computer. Yes I said that right. It's weird to think now, but in the middle of last century a computer or calculator was a job description, not a device. One of her many notable accomplishments was her work programming the ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic computer. I really want to emphasize how important those early room sized, vacuum tube laden, punch card programmed computers were in getting to where we are today, but I would be in way over my head.  I'm just glad I don't have to replace vacuum tubes and patch cables into switch boards to use my iMac.  

Speaking of vacuum tubes, when I was a kid I found an old box full of them and thought they were incredibly cool. Not for any practical purpose...I had no idea what they actually did.  I just thought they made great doomsday weapons for my toy GI Joes. If you came across  my Cobra Commander action figure holding a vacuum tube, some bad stuff was about to go down and GI Joe had some work to do.  

Back on topic, here are some rough sketches for Notable Missourian Jean Bartik

Jean as a teen daydreaming in the hayloft

Jean as a teen daydreaming in the hayloft

Jean and friends learning about the attack on Pearl Harbor

Jean and friends learning about the attack on Pearl Harbor

Working on aircraft during WWII

Working on aircraft during WWII

Small town girl in the big city of Philly

Small town girl in the big city of Philly

Jean working as a human computer

Jean working as a human computer

Jean and another woman working on the ENIAC

Jean and another woman working on the ENIAC

Jean up against the glass ceiling

Jean up against the glass ceiling