Category Archives: Pencil

Getting A Head In The World

Getting A Head In The World

There are a 1001 good uses for illustrated portraits in advertising and design. Let’s name them all…

  • A CEO, Chairperson, or Board’s statement in annual reports
    (Wouldn’t this be more fun than the stodgy old photo?) 
  • Presentation slides
    (Perhaps a series of slides with a character illustrating a multi-step process?) 
  • Founder Image on packaging
    (Do you like Newman’s Own cookies? I do.)
  • The Ubiquitous Internet Meme
    (Can you imagine an ad campaign with a series of outlandish statements next to funny characters? Internet gold.)
  • Caricatures of familiar faces
    (Aren’t whimsical portraits more expressive than a photo you’ve seen a million times?)
Lest we get bogged down with 996 more examples… you get the picture.

Here are three portraits of famous illustrators

(originally posted on my Instagram account, @StudioBowesArt.)

Albert Dorne

Albert Dorne is the Patron Saint of the Illustration Hustle. He built a career on the sweat of his own brow, and at the peak of his career he went on to start the most successful correspondence courses, The Famous Artists Course. He hired the top illustrators in the U.S. to teach at the FAC: Norman Rockwell, Ben Shahn, Al Parker and many, many more!

(read more about Albert Dorne)

A.B. Frost

I became interested in A.B. Frost while doing research for my MFA thesis. The Brer Rabbit he created for Uncle Remus and His Friends continues to be the gold standard. In fact, the illustrations so greatly added to the success of that book that the author, Joel Chandler Harris, wrote to Frost saying:

“The book was mine, but now you have made it yours, both sap and pith…”

(read more about A.B. Frost)

Beatrix Potter

An investigation into classic anthropomorphic characters would not be complete without a look at the work of Beatrix Potter.  She is best know for writing and illustrating The Tale Peter Rabbit.

Fun Fact, The Tale of Peter Rabbit started as letters that Beatrix wrote to some children that she knew. 

(read more about Beatrix Potter)


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Baron Von Münchhausen

Baron Von Münchhausen

Summary: A late night internet expedition leads to Doré, Terri Gilliam, absurd romanticism, and results in an illustration of Baron Von Münchhausen.   It was a dark and stormy night. Well, it was dark at least, and I was doing some late night internet ramblings into The Public Domain Review website which a friend had turned me on to. TheContinue Reading

Sleepy San Francisco Squirrel

Sleepy San Francisco Squirrel

Summary: An illustration based on a recent trip to my old stomping grounds, San Francisco. The illustration MFA program that I am enrolled in is great and has us traveling around the country for different contact periods throughout the year. We meet three times a year, spring and fall, and we always go to Hartford Univeristy in Connecticut inContinue Reading

What Do You Get When You Cross A Sports Store And An Art Show?

The show opened on Friday February 3rd, and will run through the end of the month. One of the things that I love about living in this town is it’s broad diversity, and this show definitely reflected that both in the work, and in the crowd who showed up.Continue Reading

Watercolor Process