Monday, August 28, 2017

Some SWEET artwork is baking at the studio.

Here's another "chef" painting that I recently completed. I took a couple of pics while putting together this illustrative recipe.

It's funny to think that baking is a lot like painting. I mix and choose the right tools to work with...

apply some juicy textures...

and add the final touches... yum!

Here's a delicious detail of some of that sweet texture. Acrylic on gessoed board.

Back to the drawing board. -T.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Blues are BACK!

Yep. It's that time of year. I just finished the artwork for this year's Granville Hot Licks Blues Fest and we're a couple of short weeks away from this great downtown event. If you are in the area, stop by, bring a folding chair and enjoy a day of great blues music, food, drink and pick up a poster or tee-shirt. See you there!

Back to the drawing board... -T.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Yes, a beautiful box of new books was delivered a few weeks ago. Vampoodle by Joan Holub ( Random House Books for Young Readers) arrived just in time for a perfect back-to-school reading choice. 

The crazy dogs from Joan Holub’s Step 2 reader Shampoodle are back and as spirited as ever! There’s a puppy party in the backyard, but the scaredy-dogs skedaddle when ghosts and ghouls begin to arrive. What should these pups do? Don costumes and join the Halloween parade! -Random House

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bowers ART goes to the kitchen.

I've got a few children's book projects that I'm currently working on but wanted to show some other art that I've been cooking up. I created a series of chef paintings. Here are a few in progress images.

As usual, I start with some sketchbook ideas. Here is the pasta chef, the wine chef and the dessert chef in the early sketch phase.

I tape the edges, gesso (with thick strokes using a large brush) the pieces of Bristol board and transfer the sketches onto the textured surface.

Work on the background and paint the checkerboard border.

Then, focus on the character, letting a lot of the texture show from the underpainting.

Here's a detail. I love to create texture, allowing different colors to peek through the top layers of paint.  So, there, you have it! My recipe for some fun kitchen art. Of course, you may need some reference for this one...maybe a bottle of Cabernet...or two.

NEXT TIME: It's that time of year to start another Bluesfest painting. Update to come.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


2017 has arrived like a strong gust of wind. New projects are lining up, new ideas are forming and a new children's book arrived earlier in the month. Rappy Visits the Supermarket is an early reader, full of fun and humor. The "rappin" story was written by Dan Gutman and published by HarperCollins.

You can see a sample of the book by visiting this link:

Here's a sketch from the book. I try to create as much humor through facial expressions and body gestures as possible. I remember learning to read. Finding funny characters in the artwork usually got my attention. Still does.

So, why not start the new year with a new Rappy story? Pick up a copy and we'll share a few laughs in the supermarket. See you soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Four more books for my bookshelf in 2016.

I had four new titles published this year. I'm very fortunate to have had the opportunity to illustrate these very different books. The first was the fourth in the "Memoir" books, Memoirs of a Parrot by Devin Scillian (Sleeping Bear Press).

This book was expensive. I don't mean the purchase price... but the story is about a guy who buys a parrot and plays a ukulele. So, I needed to buy a ukulele. That was the expensive part.

Plus, I was also inspired by another ukulele strummer, Emily Arrow. She visited a nearby school and I sat in on her excellent presentation. Great music...with a ukulele named "Bow".

Oh well, I could have purchased an African grey parrot. That would have been even more expensive.

My second book of 2016 was Rappy Goes to School by Dan Gutman (HarperCollins). No, I didn't buy a dinosaur for this one. They are way too messy... and hard to house train.

The third title for 2016 was Buddy's Bedtime Battery by Christina Geist (Random House). A cute story of getting a child to slow down for bedtime. "Beep!" 

Then, dancing to the fourth book of 2016 is Footloose by Kenny Loggins (Moondance Press). Kenny Loggins (with Dean Pitchford) re-wrote the iconic song to become a kid's dance tune. A story about two children who discover that zookeeper "Jack" and the zoo animals wait until the sun goes down, then put on their dancin' shoes

So, there you have it. With Christmas just around the corner, I can think of four really nice gifts for that special child in your life. I'll be closing out the year, wearing my dancin' shoes and strummin' my ukulele. This is November (turkey month) and I definitely have a lot to be thankful for.

That's all for now. I need to practice my ukulele.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Bowers Blogs about Buddy's Bedtime Battery.

A new book just hit the shelves, last week. Buddy's Bedtime Battery by Chirstina Geist (published by Random House) is my latest book and I want to take you behind the pages to see how the project progressed.

It's always exciting to get the first printed books in the mail. After months of a studio full of art boards in progress, wet paint and gallons of coffee (not part of the painting process but very necessary), the final product is a welcome payoff. Buddy finally arrived!


Now, let's look at how Buddy arrived. After reading the story manuscript and creating sketches for the characters, a full length book dummy was created. When the book sketches were finalized, the painting process began. 

I created a production line of boards with images of each page. I taped the edges with low-tac tape to keep that area clean and white. Then, an underpainting with brown acrylic paint was washed (thin layers) onto the boards. I usually do this when the final art is created with oil paint. The acrylic and polymer layers sealed the paper board from the oils and gave me a good (light and dark) value study to follow.

At this stage, the studio was full of artwork covering every flat space to be found. I have a drying rack for storing work in progress but I like to see everything laid, side by side.

Here is the title page. The towel area on the left was used for copyright and publishing information. The title was placed on the wall, above the bathtub. Notice the pajamas are visible, just below the towel. I often use elements and story props to hint at what's coming on the following page(s).

Here is one of the illustration spreads. One of my favorite images of the book.

This was my table, somewhere under the shingles of drying illustrations. The images were at various stages of completion so Buddy's hair looks really dark on the bottom image, etc. I worked on several paintings at a time and all art started to finalize toward the end of the process....which is also called..."the deadline" (If all goes as planned). It was a fairly long process and sometimes hard to see the end when spending days painting little parts, adjusting colors and adding detail. But eventually, it all came together and a package with the final art of Buddy's Bedtime Battery traveled to Random House

Then, months later, I get to see the book on NBC, being read to millions of TV viewers. How COOL is that? So exciting! ...So surreal! ...Yay, Buddy! 

...deep, back to the drawing board. :)