A few months back, Karen Kohn asked me to do the May/June cover of Cricket, a copy of which came in the mail today. I was thrilled to be asked. But, the road to the finish was not without its bumps in the road.
One of the stories in the issue is about the Boston Marathon so that was the theme for my art. Here is my concept thumbnail they accepted:
From this I went on to a finish which I drew out and then inked before painting...
But as I sat down to paint, I realized I had no interest. I had drawn in a somewhat realistic style, making each runner a distinct individual. To jazz it up I had stuck in Abe Lincoln, a guy in scuba gear--even my faithful dachshund, Maggie--but regardless, to me it all just seemed... dull. I liked the details on the footings of the bridge, but the overall scene seemed busy and boring all at the same time, without any of the energy of the original fast and dirty thumbnail. I had no desire to paint it.
So, deadline looming, I started over.
Going back to the thumbnail sketch for inspiration, I redrew using its simple, fast gesture drawing style, and inked up an entirely new cover to paint.
Incidentally, those strange marks in the sky above the bridge were added by my cat, Lucy, who jumped up and spilled the ink bottle across the art just as I finished inking it. Did I freak out? Did I staple her to the studio wall? No. I put her out the door (gently, sweetly), let the mess dry and watercolored the art anyway with the plan to take out the mess after I scanned it to digital.
This I did with the result you see: Abe Lincoln and company running one rather strange marathon. My dog still made it in there as well--and Lucy the cat, too.