Category Archives: Watercolor

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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Ahab & The White Whale

Ahab & The White Whale

Over the last few months I have been listening to the unabridged Blackstone Audio of Moby Dick. Along the way the story has seeped into my thoughts and drawings. I present to you some work that I made along the way. As it turns out, I am a little obsessed with illustrating stories. Hmm, perhaps there aContinue Reading

Sherlock Holmes Character Study and a Video

Sherlock Holmes Character Study and a Video

Summary: I Share a character study and a video of my watercolor painting. Happy New Year! A few of you may have seen via my Instagram or Twitter feed that I was developing a character study for my Sherlock Holmes character. For those who were paying particular attention, you would have noticed that I did it twice! 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

Watercolor Process