Rob Dunlavey
Baby Owl
I'm working a new book for Schwartz & Wade. Here are some sketch details. Lot of work to do yet so I'll save details for later on. I do have two completed picture books in the pipeline (scroll down if you're interested).
"Counting Crows" written by Kathi Appelt is being published by Simon & Schuster in a few weeks. Below: "Over In The Wetlands" by Caroline Starr Rose and also published by Schwartz & Wade hits bookshelves in July.
Sketchbook: Dec. 2014
This is semi chronological for December 2014: I ping-pong back and forth between imaginary painted things, landscape drawings and doodles all in a black bound sketchbook. I also submitted the final art for a children's book and did some pro-bono things. Where does the time go?
Merry Christmas to all!
A small commission from Bernadette Dashiel of the New York Times last week let me dust off my editorial skills a little. Maybe some of you got the call and turned it down? The job was a breeze and fun to do. These days, I do personal work mostly and I'm working on several children's books. …I wonder how one chapter ("editorial illustrator") ends and the next one ("children's book illustrator") reveals itself. It's all a continuum of course.
The Times article was for a tech lifestyle section called "Disruptions" and it was about high-profile companies like facebook and Uber's questionable and even amoral behavior. This, despite their public stances of "doing no evil."
I first did a few sketches in pencil and ink and they were tepid. I slept on it and at 5:00 the next morning when I was more focused, I created a bunch of drawings in watercolor detailing the antics of the blue tech guy and a randy red devil. I received feedback later in the day and a suggestion to show more of a "partnership" aspect in the tech-guy/devil relationship. Bing-bang: send in a few more sketches and later, approval of # 9.
They wanted my digital style so that's what they got the following morning. It ran on Thanksgiving day. 
ABOVE: first round of sketches: watercolor & ink. Submitted as a multi-page pdf.
ABOVE: a second round of sketches.
ABOVE: The sketch they liked.
Bernadette wanted my digital style so the final was done in a Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I think the sketch is so much better!
In 1974, my older sister unwittingly gave me "Milton Glaser: Graphic Design" as a birthday present. I loved art but had no ideas, let alone ambitions, to be an illustrator or designer. But over the years of art schools, part-time jobs and countless trips to art museums, this book became as well-traveled as I was. I still refer to it subconsciously…as my sketches above might attest. The expressive ink silhouettes by Milton Glaser are another example of his elegant, witty and humane approach to Art. And that too is an inspiration.
Old Haunts
I was in Chicago recently for a high school reunion. Some of the atendees I hadn't seen in 30-40 years. The same goes for the Art: I'd taken a few classes at the Art Institute of Chicgo when I was  a teenager --so much has changed! Still, I visited a few old favorites (Impressionists, Manet, Cornell, The Hairy Who folks, Ferdinand Hödler, Seurat, so many images and objects have flowed through my neurons!) and pondered the journey so far. It's a great museum.
Matisse "Woman Before an Aquarium", 1921–23
Torbach "The Music Lesson" 1670 (detail)
George Muk: Saleratus Jart (bird design), 1848, Maryland
George Muk jar (detail)
Wilhelm Schimmel carved wooden eagle, 1865/90, Pennsylvania
When I got back to Boston life was just a little topsy-turvy, emotional messes here and there, a death of a friend. The sketchbook has always been my therapist (for better or worse)
10-22-14 (colored pencil, paint stick)
10-24-14 (ink, charcoal)
a Great Blue Heron 10-24-14 (ink)
Things started to look up 10-25-14 , mixed media
All those owls are for a new book I'm sketching out. And they are sliding over and crashing into paintings for a new picture book. I've been posting teaser images, work in progress over at facebook.
Almost done with that and it's gonna be great! But I can't wait to really sink my teeth into the owl book.
Bonne journée!
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random sketches: 01 (22)

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