March 2014 – Sketches and Zkwotches


For the next couple of months I’m going to be engaged in illustrating My Parents are Little People, a book of travel essays (and fiction). The author, Joshua Samuel Brown, spent quite a few years writing for Lonely Planet, a publisher of travel guides. The stories in this upcoming book never made it into his Lonely Planet tomes. That’s because these stories offer no useful travel information at all. Most of the tales are true. A few are true-ish. Some are complete fiction. Most likely you’ll be able to tell the difference.

Since Joshua is both the narrator and main character of the stories, I expect to be featuring a version of him in most of the illustrations. I say “a version of” because neither of us is wanting photorealistic depictions of him for this project.

Josh has a great, expressive face so I started by sketching that. I did a few rough scribbles (that don’t seem to be in the sketchbook that I thought they were, otherwise I’d share them) before I came up with this –


Josh liked it. He used it as his Facebook avatar for a few weeks. The inked version that I did, shortly thereafter –  JoshuaInks1

– he was less thrilled with. He looks grumpier in the inked version than in the original sketch. I like drawing grumpy people but, yeah, the inked version is also missing some of innocence of the sketch.

Practice makes, if not perfect, then, at least, improvement so I’ve continued to refine my depiction of the character.

AvatarSketches001 AvatarSketches002 AvatarSketches003 AvatarSketches004Currently the book is planned to have 20 stories and I’ll providing a visual for each one. Plus a cover. So when I’m not delivering mail I’ll be hunched over my drawing board.


This month’s Zazkwotch episode was originally published in the October 1998 issue of GLYPH – the Halloween issue.


Zaz0303Zaz0304See you next month!

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