Monday, December 16, 2013

Bowers book in Elf…on a shelf!

My son informed me that one of my books can be seen in the movie: Elf. So we watched the movie, in search of the hidden Bowers book. FOUND IT!! 

There, in the publisher’s office, on a shelf was a copy of a book that I had illustrated in 1993. It was a flat fee project that I received from artist agent, Suzanne Cruise. I had a great time, working with Suzanne for a few years, illustrating a gazillion greeting cards and some small book projects. It was a quick job and I don’t list it with my other books but there it was, next to James Caan.  It’s a really funny movie and now, I have another reason to like the film. 

Elf, starring Will Ferrell…and a Bowers book!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bowers art is downsizing...

I've recently taken an interested in miniature painting. It's challenging to paint in such a small format but the history, techniques and community associated with painting "in little" has been extremely interesting and fun.

The Book Drop, size- 3.5"x 4.5"

This is my first painting. It was painted in acrylic on Bristol board. The superimposed penny was added to give the viewer a sense of scale. Much of the painting was done under a magnifying glass, which is how gallery patrons are encouraged to view the original artwork. The paint brushes that I used, vary in size but most often, a size 000 or smaller was used. I've painted small images in the past (many 5"X7" paintings for Hallmark) but this takes "small" to a different level.

Fiddlewolf, size-3"x5"

Guidelines have been established for the creation of miniature paintings, as follows:

-Minute in scale vs. life-sized. For practicality following the general 1/6th scale for my work sent to formal miniature exhibitions and shows. 

-Delicate and painstaking technique that withstands magnification. 

-Small in format and size. 25 inches or less for surface area. 

-High in quality. The work should exemplify Fine Art ~ demonstrating a mastery of composition, color, values etc.

For more information about miniature painting, visit: 

Plein Air Bear, size-5"x4"

This will be an adventure...a very "small" adventure.  And as Jim, a fellow miniature artist says, "let's paint!"

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bowers pitches newest book...

Knuckleball Ned cover 

This pitch won’t cross the plate until next year but my newest title, Knuckleball Ned by R.A. Dickey will be published in 2014 (Dial).

R. A. Dickey is a starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2012, he became the first knuckleball pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. This was a fun book to work on, R.A. Dickey is a very decent guy (very good with a baseball and a story) so this should be a home run, early next year. I can't wait!

I’m only showing a few images, now… more to come in early 2014.

Knuckleball Ned character sketches

This is where we started. First, the main characters in the story were developed as pencil sketches. 

Then I plug them into the story.  The final artwork was created with acrylic paint (washes) and a little air-brush work on the character's heads to get that baseball roundness.

So, even though R.A. didn't make the playoffs, this year...he's got a real winner hitting the shelves, early next year! 

Friday, October 11, 2013


No, really… it’s my desk.  I’ve had this desk since I was a boy, growing up in Troy, Ohio.  I was a very average student with a very below average attention span.  My grades forced Mom and Dad to set a “study time” for me in the evening, after school.  I think the idea was good but even seated at the “study” desk, my mind wandered.

One night, my thoughts must have wandered from my school work to my wood burning set.  You can guess what happened, next.  The study desk became my new wood burning project.  I only got as far as my initials in the corner…the burning wood smell must have tipped off my parents and that was the end of the new project.

I’m not sure what happened to the wood burning set but my grades stayed in the average to below average range…. except for art class.

Here’s an early example of my drawing. This says it all. I’m thinking of ideas (obviously…there’s a light bulb above my head!).  Notice, that I’m sitting on a chair without a desk… not sure why.

Well, back to the drawing board.             Hey, there’s my new wood-burning set. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Bowers Half-Time Report

I'm watching some football on this rainy Saturday afternoon and it's half-time, so...
I thought that I'd post a football image. Makes sense, right?

The Blitz

Back in the 1980's, while working for Hallmark (Kansas City), a group of us traveled to the University of Kansas to hear a presentation by the art director from Sports Illustrated. The SI art assignments were amazing. I remember a story about an artist that was sent to some remote island to cover some kind of a canoe race...or something. Sports Illustrated sent artists all over the world to create sport images for the magazine. It was very inspiring, so I returned to Kansas City to created a sport themed portfolio but I only finished the first piece of artwork. This was it.

The world of editorial illustration has changed over the years...I don't think those round-the-world trips are as common as they used to be. Especially for the artists. Well, half time is over so I'm headin' back to the T.V.


Sunday, September 22, 2013


It's that time of year when we plan a trip to the local pumpkin patch. That reminded me of an illustration, done in 2009 for Clubhouse Jr. magazine. Here is the rough idea sketch, the final sketch and the final oil painting from that assignment.

rough idea sketch

final pencil sketch

finished oil painting

So, if you are thinking of picking up a pumpkin, be very careful....says a certain little chipmunk.

...back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Let it Snow, Dog!

Today is the day that Snow Dog, Go Dog by Deborah Heiligman, hits the shelves. A very cool story with a very warm ending.

Published by Two Lions/Amazon Children's Publishing.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Blues...

The new 2013 Hot Licks Bluesfest poster is finished and on it's way to the printer.

2013 Hot Licks Bluesfest poster

I painted this one in acrylic (again) and wanted it to compliment a previous illustration, done for an earlier Bluesfest poster. You can see that piece of art in the photo, on my easel. The main band for the night is Ruthie Foster. I used photos of Ruthie to inspire the design but I didn't want to create a portrait. I picked up on the dreadlocks, facial expression and style of guitar and used those in the artwork but didn't try to make an exact likeness of Ruthie Foster. I do that on every poster. Last year, my inspiration was Sean Carney...and so on.

I can't wait until September 7th, when the blues blows into Granville, Ohio. It's a great night of music.

I can hear it from my house but it's better when you are with hundreds of other blues fans, in the heart of the village. My folding chair is packed and waiting.

...I'll save you a spot.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back to School fun!

Today was the first day of school for a lot of kids in the area so I decided to post a few wacky sketch book drawings (with a bit of photoshop tweaking) to celebrate.

the Mad Science Teacher

One sketch has a science theme (not much like the classes I remember) and the other...well, it's a super hero...not really school related. I spent way too much class time, daydreaming.

Squirrel Man

So, Squirrel Man is like some daydream that I might have had during math class (and you wonder why I went to art school?).

These are very different from my other illustrations...just havin' fun!
...back to the drawing board.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bowers gets on board with High Five magazine.

My friends at Highlights High Five magazine are publishing the August issue, featuring my artwork on the cover. I remember Highlights magazine from my childhood and having the chance to work with the team at Highlights High Five was very exciting. I know that a lot of little fans of the magazine (who grow up to be big fans of the magazine) will Get On Board! with this issue.

Detail from High Five cover art by Tim Bowers

If you haven't looked at a copy of Highlights High Five in a Is a great time to check it out.

A big THANK YOU to the High Five team.

...another detail pic.

Back to the drawing board...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Snowing in July at Bowers Studio

A box of chilly dogs arrived on my doorstep, last week.  Well, kinda.  My next book, Snow Dog, Go Dog by Deborah Heiligman (published by Two Lions/Amazon Children's Publishing) will be released on September 3 and features the lovable Tinka.

Here is the description on Amazon:

Snow doesn't stop the Golden Retriever, Tinka. She runs and plays and sleds with her boy. But when her friend Millie the beagle shows up, off races Tinka. And she gets lost -- till her boy finally rescues her. A companion to Fun Dog, Sun Dog and School Dog, Cool Dog.

The artwork was painted with acrylic paint on a gessoed surface. I love to get lots of texture on these images and brushing a layer of thick gesso helps me get there. I always feel that I can loosen up a bit with this technique. 

I've been thinking about baseball, lately. No, I'm not playing but I've been working on my knuckleball and will pitch you the details, soon.  

Well, back to the drawing board...gotta get into the blues mood. The Hot Licks Bluesfest is just around the corner.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bowers makes Time...

Earlier this year, I worked on an assignment from Time For Kids magazine. It was a cover illustration for the March 22, 2013 issue and the only piece of art that I've documented on film, from start to finish.  I like the idea of showing a painting in progress and I'm sure that I'll try it again. This is my first attempt. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hamster-mania at Bowers studio...

New books just arrived…YAHOO!!

Memoirs of a Hamster by Devin Scillian is being published by Sleeping Bear Press. It follows our first collaboration, Memoirs of a Goldfish (2010).

Here’s a description of the story:

Night 1 / My life is perfect. / I have a bowl full of seeds, a cozy pile of wood shavings, and room to run. / I'm never leaving here. / Question: Who's the luckiest hamster in the world? / Answer: ME! Seymour the hamster has the perfect life. He has a spacious cage, a constant food supply, and a FuzzyBoy 360 exercise wheel that lets him run to his heart's content. Life could not be better. Or could it? When Pearl the cat tells Seymour of the goodies beyond the safe confines of his cage, he starts to think he's missing out. And out is the new in! It's only after Seymour is out of his cage that he begins to fully appreciate his safe and cozy home.

The illustrations were done in acrylic on watercolor board. 

I think I’ll start my own memoir…

Day 1- 
I received two boxes of freshly printed books. Who’s the luckiest illustrator in the world? Answer: Me!

…now, back to the drawing board. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Look Ma, I'm a movie star!

I've been playing around with the ole' video camera and put together a couple of art videos for practice. I intend to create some painting demos and book trailers if I can figure out what the heck I'm doing. 

Here are my first award winning videos. 

And I've been using songs that I created a few years ago (thanks to garageband) as they aren't exactly fitting for these videos but I used them, anyway. I'll work on new music to go along with the new my spare time.

That's all for now...back to the painting.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Not Your Typical New Book...

My newest children’s book hit the shelves, last week. Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, published by Viking Juvenile.

Not Your Typical Dragon-cover

Here’s a description of the book:

Everybody knows your typical dragon breathes fire.

But when Crispin tries to breathe fire on his seventh birthday, fire doesn't come out—only whipped cream! Each time Crispin tries to breathe fire, he ends up with



teddy bears?

Crispin wonders if he’ll ever find his inner fire. But when a family emergency breaks out, it takes a little dragon with not-so-typical abilities to save the day.

Happy Birthday, Crispin!

A birthday surprise...

The parents are a bit concerned but the little sister is fine with the outcome…she likes whipped cream.

Mr. Blaze (Dad) takes Crispin to the Doc for help.

I dedicated this book to Betsy and Jeff Woytovich who started an organization called The Children’s Alopecia Project (C.A.P.).

About alopecia-
Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that is not life threatening, but is life altering. It is not contagious. You can't catch it and it does not hurt. It is almost like your body is allergic to hair, which causes it to fall out.

Mission (C.A.P.)-
The Mission of the Children's Alopecia Project is to help any child in need living with hair loss due to all forms of alopecia.

For children, living with this condition can be difficult. Being teased, bullied and receiving hurtful comments are common among kids with alopecia. I hope that more awareness and understanding will help the situation and make the lives of many of these kids, a bit easier. To me, this story is about discovering the  special uniqueness and seeing the good in every “not your typical” dragon…and child.

I really enjoyed working on this book. The character's proportions were fun to play around with and the big buggy eyes added a bit more humor. These paintings were done in acrylic on illustration board. An earlier post describes the acrylic painting technique that I usually use.

That's all for now...back to the paint.