On the Drawing Board- 04/30/09

April 30th, 2009 | Posted in On the Drawing Board

I’m still staying remarkably busy considering the dire state of the economy. Here’s what I have on the board right now:

  • MAD job– This one is still in the final pencil stage, as it sadly isn’t due for 6 weeks. Other stuff keeps cropping up preventing me from finishing it.
  • Stay Tooned! Cover- This for John Read‘s fantastic magazine. I will have this done today.
  • Book Job– Impossible deadline on a massive project I can’t talk about yet… so what else is new? I’m afraid you can expect to see the Dreaded Deadline Demon a few times in the next several weeks.
  • Comic book– This one is still vaporwork, but promising. Can’t be more specific.

In the meantime, here’s the latest Marlin Co. workplace poster I wrapped up on Monday. The job was to depict a father trying to blow up a large outdoor pool, out of breath, neighborhood kids looking on, lady running in to save the day with an old fashioned air pump:

Pencil roughs. The client wanted the lady running in to be thinner (but not
too thin), eyes open and carrying a bigger bicycle tire air pump.


Final. Click for a closer look…


  1. Beautiful work, Tom! How long would you say it takes to go from pencils to final on a typical project like this one?

    • Tom says:

      I’d say it took an hour or two to do the pencil, maybe 3 hours to ink and about 4 to color. This is a pretty simple image considering the pool takes up so much room and it was easy to color.

  2. John Polizzano says:

    Love the realism of the pool not having enough air in it. I’m sure this is real difficult to do. Also, as always, your composition is fantastic!

    • Tom says:

      Thanks for the comment, John. drawing a convincing half full pool was key to the “story” here, and is an excellent example of what an illustrator’s real job is. As I constantly say here on the blog, the real job of an illustrator is communication and telling a story.

      Thanks for the compliment on the composition. A lot of people take that for granted because an effective composition is invisible. It’s bad composition that sticks out.

  3. Bernard says:

    As always, enjoy seeing your work….especially grateful to see the steps. I know it’s not like I’m going to see some great new secret shortcut or something but it it is just so interesting to see how professionals like yourself progress thorugh their work.


  4. Nate says:

    Looks great! Getting that composition down with the pool is a great example of something that is taken for granted. It works great though with this (along with the rest of it).

  5. bluemoonpaul says:

    I especially love the pose, face and expression of the Dad, only enhanced by the coloring. LOL! Blueface! And the kids are a funny bunch, too. Nice people work, Tom.

    And your Twitter widget on the right looks cool.

  6. I’m guessing a “right tools for the job” type of poster?


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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