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LeeC
August 12th, 2017, 08:33 PM
Another illustration for my book. Any comments/critiques would be appreciated.


[click to enlarge]

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escorial
August 12th, 2017, 11:15 PM
Haven't seen any others but they have a native Indian vibe..cool

Sebald
August 12th, 2017, 11:46 PM
I really like it. Did you do this, Lee?

LeeC
August 13th, 2017, 12:02 AM
I really like it. Did you do this, Lee?
Yes, earned a hand to mouth living for a while as an artist some time back. There's a sampler on my site.

A couple other illustrations for my book that I've posted here are:
https://www.writingforums.com/threads/169888-Still-playing-with-pixels
https://www.writingforums.com/threads/171726-Another-Illustration?p=2082001&viewfull=1#post2082001

You might see where I use parts of one illustration in another.

Sebald
August 13th, 2017, 12:27 AM
I've taken a look, and they're all great.

Firemajic
August 13th, 2017, 08:51 PM
Hello, Dear Lee... what a pleasure to have the chance to view your work, it is wonderful, and I love the detail, but most of all I love that these do not look like cartoons. There is a softness to your edges, colors and expressions... and the wolf is a perfect example of what I am talking about... he is fabulous... my only nit.. I wish you would put all of your art for your book in the same thread, so that one may look at each of them in sequence... it must be very satisfying to illustrate your own work and make your personal vision come to life... I am quite envious.... thank you for sharing ;)

LeeC
August 21st, 2017, 06:12 AM
For anyone interested, here's another I completed. This one went faster because it's simpler, focusing in on only two characters. Don't know if it comes through, out of context as it is, but the skunk is supposed to be looking at Calan with indignation over something Calan said.

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PS: I previously meant to ask, out of curiosity, who could correctly name all the life forms in the first illustration in this thread?

LeeC
October 1st, 2017, 06:23 PM
Thinking of also using this illustration from the now final chapter as the new book cover. Seems to me to better fit the new book title of ďTogwotee Passage.Ē What do you think?

[pronounced to-ga-tee, itís the name of a mountain pass in the northern Rockies that was named after a Shoshone sub chief, and in the Shoshone language relates to choices]

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sas
October 1st, 2017, 07:21 PM
For anyone interested, here's another I completed. This one went faster because it's simpler, focusing in on only two characters. Don't know if it comes through, out of context as it is, but the skunk is supposed to be looking at Calan with indignation over something Calan said.

19299

PS: I previously meant to ask, out of curiosity, who could correctly name all the life forms in the first illustration in this thread?



I'm pretty sure one life form is an elderly man, who still looks good without his shirt, so shows off.

LeeC
December 20th, 2017, 07:17 AM
Not sure I'm done fiddling with this, but is my illustrating getting any better?

[click to enlarge]
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LeeC
February 5th, 2018, 01:59 AM
If you havenít had the pleasure of being introduced to one of these critters, then see:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gila_monster

[click to enlarge]
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LeeC
February 18th, 2018, 08:41 PM
Yes, another illustration for my book. May be ho-hum to you, but it’s the fun part to me :-)

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LeeC
February 20th, 2018, 06:28 PM
You can never please everyone :-) One of my friends (an arborist) in my email circle replied with the following comment.
"Nice Lee. I was trying to figure out what kind of Tree the owl sits in."

My reply, that might interest other artists, was:
"You would notice that :-) While I focused on depicting a Northern Hawk Owl as realistically as I could, the trees are more a simpler blotched bark pattern than scaled, and the leaves simper also.

If you blow the image way up to the resolution I work at, you might see where I created a bark pattern of blurred blotches for one trunk, then scaled, contorted, and varied raster aspects (brightness, hue, and saturation) in applying such to other trunks and branches. Similarly with the leaves, I drew a dozen, then varied them in like fashion as I placed them.


Sorry not to to give your trees the same realistic attention as the owl :-) These illustrations take weeks of time each on average, and I’ve got a good many to go."

Firemajic
February 20th, 2018, 07:34 PM
I think you did a remarkable job.... Lee, you are quite an artist... I love the colors... I hope you are enjoying doing these, I know how hard it is, I am helping my sister illustrate her children's book...thanks for sharing... ;)

LeeC
March 2nd, 2018, 09:50 PM
Yet another illustration done with only umpteen to go :-) Night scenes are more difficult, at least for me, because one is working with a reduced shading range.

[click to enlarge]
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"Seemingly alone on the western edge of what's known as the Wyoming Basin, in the enveloping blackness of a clear moonless night, Calan felt as if he was floating amongst infinite celestial hosts. Yet at the same time there was the grounding awareness of higher peaks' stark silhouettes, the pungent smell of sagebrush, night sounds of a coyote's plaintive call, and the distinctive territorial "ho-hoo hoo hoo" of a Great Horned Owl."

LeeC
April 3rd, 2018, 04:07 PM
Not one of the better illustrations I’ve done for my book Togwotee Passage, but I think it serves its purpose.

[click to enlarge]
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Firemajic
April 3rd, 2018, 07:53 PM
I think it is absolutely charming! And I love all the details... the skillets hanging and the rocking chair... Are you almost done? And how do you decide exactly WHAT to illustrate.... ;)

I just noticed the tiny plant in the kitchen window ;)

LeeC
April 3rd, 2018, 09:18 PM
Thank you Fire :-) I try to illustrate what might be unfamiliar to today's readers, helping them visualize the story better. Although sometimes my choices are things I want to draw. Hopefully the two approaches coincide, like with the critters. Readers could find images of the critters online, but how many would bother looking?

This particular illustration is from a childhood memory, and is intended to portray some of what is said between the lines of my story ;-)

I'm a good ways from being done, with only around a fourth of the illustrations drawn that I want to include. It takes me a few weeks or more for each illustration. Take for instance an element of an illustration, like the rocking chair. It took me days to get it, and its shadow, to my liking.

I post them here to see what reactions there may be**, then I post them on social media. The latter part of my branding effort, and it's helping considerably. I've gotten dozens of messages asking when the book will be published. Building an interested audience beforehand is something I didn't 't do the first time around.

I hope your effort on the book you are helping illustrate is coming along well.

Take care


** I show them to my grandson first, him being my most forthright critic :-) Hey, after all, the book is for the sake of our children and the world they will have to get by in.

Firemajic
April 3rd, 2018, 09:33 PM
Thank your for the info, Lee... I am always curious about other people's creative process... and I did not really know how one goes about making decisions about what to illustrate... I admire your skill, and dedication to detail...

The illustrations for my sister's book are kinda on the back burner... her Husband has some health issues, so... but we will get there, some day...

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I appreciate it ;)

TuesdayEve
April 3rd, 2018, 10:28 PM
Dear Lee,
Calan under the stars is my favorite so far. You did an
outstanding job on the sky. It looks looks like a photo
as does the sagebrush.... very nice.
They’re all good but I also like the trees and leaves
behind the owl, very realistic.
Your grandson( I assume) in the backyard,nice shading

TuesdayEve
April 3rd, 2018, 10:30 PM
Also, is the Gila monster superimposed over
a photograph?

LeeC
April 4th, 2018, 07:55 PM
Thank you TuesdayEve :-) Yes, I used a pic of my grandson as a model for the one illustration. I do try to capture realism in my illustrations, in the manner I explained in Post #13. A little tedious at times, such as the hair on the gray wolf and the Milky-way cluster of stars on a gradient background, etc., but it's worth it to me.

I began drawing in a naturalist style (illustrating animals and plants), so that influenced my attention to detail. Much later in life, when I was working out patterns, woods, and shades for my marquetry creations, I used PC graphics apps, so that further influenced the illustrating I'm doing. It's always surprising to me how a feathered lightening of a patch of sky, or shading say on a human figure, can enhance the realism.

Anyway, I'm happy you found the illustrations interesting. Since I write more for the thoughtful reader (a lot said between the lines), I'm trying to reach the visual oriented reader better.


PS: Don't know if it interests you, but the following is an example of the marquetry work I used to do.
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LeeC
April 4th, 2018, 08:06 PM
Also, is the Gila monster superimposed over
a photograph?
It flatters me you think so :-) I did draw the Gila and background separately and combined the two, but if you blow the image way up to the resolution I created it at, you'll see the textures I created to "paint" the background components. For example, the pebbles are dabs of varied shading and shapes. Also, for such as the exposed rock surface, I create a texture and paint the surface with the brush tool, then vary the hue, saturation, and lightness of selected areas of the surface.

LeeC
April 5th, 2018, 07:14 AM
Maybe not the place for this, but I thought it tangentially applicable. I like a good twist of phrase to lighten things up :-)



A young artist exhibits his work for the first time, and a well known art critic is in attendance.

The critic asks the artist, "Would you like to hear my opinion of your work?"

"Of course," the artist replies.

"It's worthless," the critic says.

"I know," the artist replies, "but let's hear it anyway."

Firemajic
April 6th, 2018, 04:17 PM
Maybe not the place for this, but I thought it tangentially applicable. I like a good twist of phrase to lighten things up :-)



A young artist exhibits his work for the first time, and a well known art critic is in attendance.

The critic asks the artist, "Would you like to hear my opinion of your work?"

"Of course," the artist replies.

"It's worthless," the critic says.

"I know," the artist replies, "but let's hear it anyway."



:coffeescreen: ooooo....... loveIT!!!!!

LeeC
April 21st, 2018, 07:13 PM
Another illustration done for my book Togwotee Passage. In the protagonist’s adventures I’m introducing the reader to a fair number of critters. Maybe not a “best seller” approach, but the underlying impetus of the effort is trying to get across a better understanding of the natural world that sustains us.

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"Calan knew a bit about badgers. He knew the fur balls had attitude problems, and were equipped with nasty claws and teeth ― not to mention they were quite fast over short distances. As to attitude, the pint-sized beasts are known to stand up to wolves, and even bear. Thankfully it was rare to chance on one, as they were usually solitary night hunters with large home ranges. What he had trouble understanding, was Uncle Euan telling him they were as important as any critter. All he knew was the trouble they caused."

Firemajic
April 21st, 2018, 07:47 PM
This is wonderful, Lee... not only the Badger, but the background also... it really enhances the Badger... I am having a struggle with backgrounds... I am never sure how much detail to add.. I love that you added some of the story ;)

LeeC
April 22nd, 2018, 01:29 AM
To anticipate another thought/question about overlaying onto an actual photo, I saved a working part this time. Sagebrush leaves are so small that it would take forever to do them one at a time, and at the viewing scale the effort wouldn't be noticed. Thus for the sagebrush I created a half dozen sprigs at a high resolution, made "brushes" from them, and painted them on a network of woody parts, varying size, hue, lightness, and saturation, in part or in whole. Notice in the sample sprig brush below that I didn't do individual leaves even there, as at the scene viewing scale the eye only sees color variations. Similarly, looking at the pebbled dirt carefully you might see duplications ;-)

Of course, the practiced artists among you already know this, being a similar technique used in oil painting :-) To me, raster graphics are but another tool that's less "messy," less laborious to create similar repetitive detail with, and easier to make corrections to.

Anyway, at the higher scale I create these illustrations, you can see below that the sprigs are simply varying color splotches. Imagine looking at an oil painting with a high powered magnifying glass.

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--------------------
Does anyone recognize what type of flower the red ones are intended to be? Hint: they're native to the Wyoming basin.

BlondeAverageReader
April 23rd, 2018, 08:14 AM
I think your red flowers are Indian Paintbrush.

LeeC
April 23rd, 2018, 05:09 PM
I think your red flowers are Indian Paintbrush.
And you get the brass ring :-) I didn't ask about the yellow flowers because I'm not sure myself. I thought the scene needed a dash of yellow, and remember seeing such, but not a name for them.

LeeC
May 7th, 2018, 07:07 AM
Another illustration for my book. I hope this looks like a smart mouthed, early 20s female, because that’s the character depicted in the book. I had a devil of a time getting it to this point.


“Even Elleen paused from eavesdropping on the telephone party line to laugh and say, ‘You men are so dumb.’”

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PiP
May 7th, 2018, 08:26 AM
What era is your book from, Lee?

LeeC
May 7th, 2018, 04:02 PM
What era is your book from, Lee?

Maybe the telephone that triggered your question? These battery powered magneto wall telephones were manufactured around 1917, and were still in use in 1940s rural Wyoming. The magneto crank (on the right side of the phone) was used to signal the party being called with a series of long and short ring tones. If you were calling someone not on your party line, you signaled the telephone company operator who would connect you.

To answer your question, the story begins in the 1940s with the illustration:
https://www.writingforums.com/threads/173042-Another-illustration?p=2126576&viewfull=1#post2126576

And ends with an “after death” experience shortly after the turn of the century with the illustrations at:
https://www.writingforums.com/threads/171726-Another-Illustration?p=2082001&viewfull=1#post2082001
And:
https://www.writingforums.com/threads/173042-Another-illustration?p=2109382&viewfull=1#post2109382

Firemajic
May 7th, 2018, 04:17 PM
Love your illustrations... so much wonderful detail... but the "blurb" ... not a fan of that... I respect you enough, and respect all the hard work enough to say... it lacks enough drama to hook your reader... of course, this is just my opinion... love you to bits and I hope this helps..

SilverMoon
May 10th, 2018, 12:39 PM
All super, Lee - detailing down to the shadow here

https://www.writingforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=21571&d=1524334314

LeeC
May 10th, 2018, 03:23 PM
[QUOTE=SilverMoon;2159718]All super, Lee - detailing down to the shadow here/QUOTE]

Thank you SilverMoon. There are numerous plugin shadow scripts in the raster graphics app, but they don't work well for me, especially with porous shadows like the sagebrush. I draw a feathered outline of a shadow on a layer below an object, fill it with black, and reduce the opacity of the shadow layer. A little tricky getting one just right sometimes, like with the rocking chair in the kitchen scene.

SilverMoon
May 10th, 2018, 07:37 PM
Lee, I don't have photoshop or any sophisticated software so much of what you said I'm afraid is over my head (just use Photo Gallery which can do just so much).

I'm working with collage art: below an example of Rachel Feinstien's art - all clippings from magazines then scanned to get her shadows which like yours I love. I suppose she uses a more advanced program. Do you have any idea of what that might be?

https://www.writingforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=21772&thumb=1&d=1525976915

Theglasshouse
May 10th, 2018, 07:56 PM
I'm surprised some people don't create photoshopped family albums online.

That is a nice picture or rather drawing.

Just j/k (joking).

LeeC
May 10th, 2018, 08:30 PM
@SilverMoon
She could be using one of the two more sophisticated raster graphics apps. Those are PhotoShop of course, and an open source app called GIMP which is similar. Though I've used PS in the past, I can't afford it in my retirement so I use GIMP.

Wanting to create specific scenes, I sketch such and use the enhancements in the raster graphics app to bring it to life. An example might be with a rock surface (such as in the Gila illustration), where I applied "noise" (speckling of a range of colors) to make it look realistic. I've also tried to use "procreate" on my iPad, but couldn't accomplish what I wanted to. I haven't tried the more sophisticated pressure sensitive pads and pens that connect to a PC because of cost.


PS: You might look into GIMP

SilverMoon
May 11th, 2018, 01:47 AM
Also careful in my retirement so will look into GIMP. Your process is certainly inventive!

I have some of the features you mentioned such as "noise" to give certain images a porous effect. I will have to look into raster graphics...

Thanks Lee for all the info. S~

LeeC
June 11th, 2018, 08:37 PM
Finished another illustration for my book. Slower going in the summer as there are more outside chores that need tending.

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ďAs they made their way towards the next ridge line, through thicker sagebrush, clumps of bunch-grass, prickly pear cactus, and scattered blue beardtongue, they flushed a few jackrabbits, small birds, and the occasional sage hen. They also heard a rattler at one point which Calan had a fascination with, but didn't poke around for. Despite knowing that wild things are best left be though, Calan picked up a horned toad[3.4] to see its subtle coloration in the sunlight. He could feel its tiny claws pricking his skin to hold on. This certainly wasn't what one would envision a lush Eden, but to the keen eye this sparse habitat had a varied and rounded web-of-life.Ē


3.4 horned toad: (Phrynosoma hernandesi) a reptile, not an amphibian, that is more appropriately called a horned lizard.

DeClarke
June 11th, 2018, 09:15 PM
It has that look one would find in a timeless book. I like.

TuesdayEve
June 12th, 2018, 03:22 AM
Dear Lee,
Your sagebrush and floral backgrounds are so realistic
they look like photos, beautiful. This little horney toad
would be a great idea as a tattoo in the palm of my hand,
so cool.

LeeC
June 12th, 2018, 04:34 AM
Dear Lee,
Your sagebrush and floral backgrounds are so realistic
they look like photos, beautiful. This little horney toad
would be a great idea as a tattoo in the palm of my hand,
so cool.
In this case, the hand and horned toad are drawn from scratch, but the foliage background is bits and pieces of several photos combined and painted over for a unified effect**. I also did some transitioned blurring of the foliage to add depth.


**Except for the flowers. They're my own addition because I felt the foliage needed a splash of color.

---------------

Just a thought. I noticed Visual Arts became part of The Living Areas. I wonder what's next ;-)

TuesdayEve
June 12th, 2018, 05:59 PM
Yea, lots of shifting around...just when I was getting
settled in...thats ok, I think the titles/headings have
stayed the same so my confusion is minimal.

LeeC
August 18th, 2018, 05:27 AM
I finished another illustration for my book Togwotee Passage. Hope I’m not boring you.

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LeeC
August 18th, 2018, 07:30 PM
As long as Iím bending your ear Ö

Do you think this back cover will garner interest?

[click to enlarge]
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LeeC
August 19th, 2018, 06:57 PM
Hold the presses, I got some expert input which resulted in this:
[click to enlarge]
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Underd0g
August 19th, 2018, 07:45 PM
You got rid of the two things I didn't like but gave me a run on sentence that I had to read a couple of times.
Of course you want to have people read your work over and over so... well done.

LeeC
August 20th, 2018, 08:07 PM
You got rid of the two things I didn't like but gave me a run on sentence that I had to read a couple of times.
Of course you want to have people read your work over and over so... well done.
Good point with the run on Underd0g :-)
In case you're wondering, following is the finalized version, and the front cover artwork so you can see how they compliment each other.
[click to enlarge]
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Underd0g
August 20th, 2018, 08:33 PM
Good point with the run on Underd0g :-)
In case you're wondering, following is the finalized version, and the front cover artwork so you can see how they compliment each other.
[click to enlarge]


I was wondering and good job!

SilverMoon
August 23rd, 2018, 10:54 PM
Lee, I'm a great fan of your work! Always a treat when you post a new piece. I was wondering - do you consider your work a cross between folk and naive art?

https://www.writingforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=19178&d=1502566361&thumb=1


And not one of your better illustrations? NOT! Great details like the rocking chair's shadow.

https://www.writingforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=21287&d=1522768050&thumb=1

LeeC
August 24th, 2018, 01:08 AM
Lee, I'm a great fan of your work! Always a treat when you post a new piece. I was wondering - do you consider your work a cross between folk and naive art?
Thank you SilverMoon :-) Labels, hmm ... "folk" art conjures up a naÔve/homey style to me. I think of my work more as naturalist inspired, being I began early on trying to depict plants and animals. Then again I've also played with symbolism and surreal forms, among others, like the pieces below. So take your pick :-)
[click to enlarge]
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SilverMoon
August 24th, 2018, 06:32 PM
I like your explanation. I think labels can be limiting unless established genres are to be studied. I suppose I asked the question because there is a fine line between folk and naive art.


I've also played with symbolism and surreal forms, among others, like the pieces below.So take your pick :smile: Now, that is not fair! I enlarged then my head exploded...You are so versatile! I cannot pick because each in their own right are and example of what beautifully honed craftsmanship is about. Though, have to admit that I love the simplicity of the box with the duck. I can see this in my home. The sculpture is amazing. I hope some day to try my hand at this.

LeeC
September 27th, 2018, 07:11 AM
I finished another illustration for my book Togwotee Passage. I’d been putting this one off because I knew it would take a lot of effort.

[click to enlarge]
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And, for those of you that are curious:

Q: How do I create a vast forest with a raster graphics app?
A: Well, one tree at a time naturally ;-)

A ring of truth to that, as I draw a number of trees to use, at a much larger scale than the largest to appear in the illustration. Some things like these trees I save to use in other illustrations.

Anyway, the number of trees drawn in preparation depends on how prominent they are in an illustration. The more prominent, the more different trees one needs to prepare. The level of detail in drawing a tree is also dependent on how prominent the trees will be. For example, the level of detail in the top tree in the following sample isn’t as detailed as the following two.

I start by laying down a background for where the trees will appear. Such is usually a well smudged mixture of ground colors, as in the sample.

Next I liberally distribute the trees randomly, varying size, hue, lightness, and saturation. The size in general depends on how close a tree is to the observer (perspective considerations), and the other aspects vary depending on whether I want to show patches of the forest as lush to dying, and shading such as clouds would affect. Such should also be reflected in the background. In a forest like that in my latest illustration, tree size will get down to where the trees are little more than pixel noise, contributing to the hue.

To distribute the trees, when they get small enough, I create brushes for each tree and paint them on. To be realistic, don’t forget dead trees, like the lower right one in the sample.

That’s enough to chew on for the moment :-)

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LeeC
October 15th, 2018, 07:17 PM
Another illustration done for my book Togwotee Passage. Hope I finish this effort before I pass on :-)


“With one fish cleaned he heard Calan shout. Looking around he saw a black bear had emerged from the woods and was headed his way. A bear looking for a handout, what I really need on top of everything else, he thought. Sensing this was no time to try to scare it off, he picked up the fish he'd cleaned and started backing away. Behind him, a yet undressed Calan emerged from the campsite throwing a piece of half smoldering firewood, then several rocks, at the bear.”

[click to enlarge]
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Theglasshouse
October 16th, 2018, 03:59 PM
You have a good eye and a good memory for art. Have you ever thought of putting your art inside an art gallery to see if it sells? It takes patience, as is evident that there are many struggling artists in the art world. I saw one such movie called Big Eyes. But you never know since business people have an entrepreneurial spirit. They do a good job at promoting and marketing being the sale person rather than the artist.

LeeC
November 9th, 2018, 07:38 AM
Another illustration Iíve completed for my book Togwotee Passage. I couldnít get the steer to look as angry as I wanted to, but otherwise Iím happy with the result. In the book, the illustration is as wide as the text. You can click on it here to enlarge the image.


Surrounding text:


Teen Calan and his adult cousin Brent clutch the seat frame tightly, to maintain their footing on the rear crossbar of the Ford tractor they're hitching a ride on. With their attention focused on holding on during the noisy, jarring ride, and the oily smell of the tractor exhaust, they hardly notice the brilliant, late fall morning, and intermingling natural smells of this remote valley on the western edge of the Wyoming Basin. What they pretend not to notice is the I Like Ike sticker Uncle Euan has on the back of the seat, though Calan smiles inwardly knowing Brent prefers Taft. There are other means of transport, but it's only a half mile to the holding corral where they're going to put down and butcher a steer today.

As they near the corral, the steer is stomping around raising dust, making known that it's pissed. One might imagine it's raging against its fate.

"Looks like we picked a wild one this time," Uncle Euan says as he brings the tractor to an idling stop.

"Yep," Brent says as he walks to the corral railing, Winchester rifle in hand. Waiting for the steer to calm down for a clean headshot, he lights a cigarette.

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Rather than settling down, the steer is now storming about snorting, stirring up more dust, and working itself into a dirty lather ó looking every bit as dangerous as it is. Finishing his cigarette Brent said, "At this rate we could wait a good spell for it ta have a heart attack, or we could draw its attention. Up ta it hombrecito?Ē

"I'm no rodeo clown," Calan responded with an unspoken, culo.

"Thought not," Brent said with a smirk. Climbing the railings, he paused till the steer was circling away, and jumped down into the corral. Planting his feet, and taking careful aim as the half ton plus white-face turned and charged him, he squeezed the trigger a split second before leaping for the railings. The steer's momentum broke the bottom railing as its legs buckled in a cloud of dust, with Brent whooping "YEE-Haw" from the top railing.

TuesdayEve
November 11th, 2018, 12:11 PM
Congradulations on completion! All your illustrations
are unique and finely crafted. As I was reading the
process of the forest details, my jaw dropped. It is a
time consuming labor of love. Thx

LeeC
December 16th, 2018, 06:20 AM
Another illustration I’ve completed for my book Togwotee Passage. Illustrating-wise I’m looking forward to where the story moves to New England — no more sagebrush ;-)

[click to enlarge]
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TuesdayEve
December 17th, 2018, 02:51 AM
Nice job on the smoke Lee. Those pesky little
sagebrush can be so time consuming. I also like the
contrast of color and the new clean tractor amid the
natural land colors.

LeeC
January 9th, 2019, 05:21 AM
While editing a chapter, I decided to add a character, which gave rise to another illustration. Iím so busy trying to make this book as engrossing as possible that I might never complete it, but Iím enjoying the process. This together with reading, which is a pleasant distraction from lifeís chores and often a learning activity (i.e., discovering ways to improve my own writing).

[click to enlarge]
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LeeC
January 9th, 2019, 09:32 PM
Skipping around, what do you think of this for jacket cover artwork? Likely a different world than you’re accustomed to :-)

[click to enlarge]
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Theglasshouse
January 9th, 2019, 09:38 PM
I don't know if I am mistaken but it reminds me a little of the native american art I have seen. Even though I don't have much experience seeing their work. But it has a nice title and I think it will get published if you are determined. I think it's a good picture for a book. But like I have others say, don't judge a book by its cover. But that's hypocrisy and it will get attention.

Underd0g
January 10th, 2019, 04:08 AM
I'm a fan, but that sentence starting with "Although" really confuses me.

LeeC
February 7th, 2019, 09:26 PM
I'm a fan, but that sentence starting with "Although" really confuses me.
Good point, haven't resolved how I want to say that little bit yet.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ... :-) I finished another illustration for my book. Maybe I'll finish this book to my liking before I pass on ;-)

[click to enlarge]
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LeeC
February 25th, 2019, 09:11 PM
Another illustration I’ve completed for my book Togwotee Passage.


Where does one go with a story after killing off the central character? :-)




Seeing a deer appear in his headlights, he swerved and slammed on the brakes. Out of control, the pickup careened off the road and rolled over. Calan, thrown clear, tasted sagebrush and alkali as he shivered in the chilly night, before slipping quickly into a stupor.

Hours later nearing daybreak, a highway patrol officer noticed weak, oddly angled vehicle lights off the road and stopped to investigate. Finding an overturned pickup, he searched the vicinity for victims.

[click to enlarge]
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LeeC
March 17th, 2019, 04:07 AM
From sagebrush country to jungle, haven’t made it to New England yet.
Another illustration completed for my upcoming book “Togwotee Passage.” Click on image to enlarge.




Deafening explosions, screams, stinging air, can't breathe. Tent, netting, bedding burst ablaze. Acrid smell of oil and scorched flesh. Machine gun fire. Down, roll away, flames everywhere. Marcel beyond help, poor bastard didn't deserve this. Water torrents hurt. Being dragged, flesh raw, searing pain too much. “AAAaaarrrgh!”


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"Hey! Wake up buddy!"

Ralph Rotten
March 17th, 2019, 03:26 PM
Have you tried converting those to monochrome to see how they look in B&W?
You can do color in an eBook, but in print they will 'flatten' the images to B&W (unless you are printing color pages, which will make your per-unit cost astronomical.)


The cover initially did not work for me, but as I mentioned in a recent thread; there is a trend towards covers that stand out more.
Your cover stands out, even thumbnailed. On a page with 40 other books it will be noticed, and people will read your blurb.

But, as I mentioned in past posts, that blurb just does not have a hook to it.
The first sentence is interesting in a geeky way, (I'm a sucker for factoids) but then it gets deep, and halfway through I'm already thinking "Nah."
Sorry, don't mean to be a dick. But the blurb can either raise your book, or sink it like the Titanic.

Ralph Rotten
March 17th, 2019, 03:28 PM
Oh, also, on your cover, you need room for the bar code on the back cover.
It'll be plastered right across your last 2 paragraphs.

Firemajic
March 17th, 2019, 07:34 PM
Dear Lee, it is fabulous to see your art work and to know that you are moving right along with your book... I hope you are doing great, I have missed seeing you around... smooches and hugs, my friend... love you bunches ;)

LeeC
March 17th, 2019, 07:56 PM
Thank you Ralph, you make some interesting points. I’m not aiming for the choir with this book, but a more demanding audience, one somewhat naÔve in their reluctance to broaden their perspective. And I’m doing so with a literary (i.e., character-centric, thematic) eco-fiction story. Not an easy sell considering that more than a few read to escape reality, subjective beings that we are ;-)

To entice more readers sooner, I might have come up with an action-packed story, like The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi which I enjoyed reading, or Suicide Seeds: A GMO Thriller by Ken Fry that I’m currently reading (ambition, corruption, murder, what more could anyone ask for and so indicative). But I’m more comfortable with the approach I took, believing it to have longevity like A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, and Heart Of A Lion: A Lone Cat’s Walk Across America by William Stolzenburg.

In any case, the illustrating I’m doing seems to help considerably. In my branding effort where I sampled illustrations, I’ve lost count of inquiries regarding when the book will be published. Also, beyond an eBook, I’ve found where a POD color version of the book isn’t as expensive as you seem to think.

Between editing and illustrating I’ve looked back at the blurbs of many similar approached books trying to understand the techniques employed. Oh, there are hooks of sorts, but not the type you may be referring to. They’re more subtle, and dare I say “literary.” :-)

In my ongoing effort I’m constantly tweaking, and my latest blurb version is:


About Togwotee Passage

Togwotee (toe'-ga-tee) is a mountain pass in the Absaroka Mountains of northwest Wyoming. It’s a Shoshone word with one interpretation being “from here you can go anywhere,” but to seven-year-old Calan it seems a cruel joke. Growing up in the 1940s under the thumb of an abusive parent, his anger and resentment threaten to poison his soul. An intervention ushers in other difficulties, but also introduces him to a stimulating new environment, as well as a new friend whose culture understands the oneness of all life.

And so begins Calan’s twisting journey, where burdened with instincts that aren’t always helpful he’s confronted at every turn with divisiveness and injustices, which often overshadow occurrences of human decency. Will he find a measure of peace and purpose in life?

It’s a journey of mind and spirit, complemented with expressive illustrations.



PS: I sincerely appreciate you stepping forward with your thoughts. The broader the range of input a thoughtful writer receives, the better the story produced. The writing is now nothing like the tentative bits I proffered here for critique in years past.

PPS: Thank you Firemajic :-) The older I get it seems the more I want to do and the slower I move ;-) My best to you and yours.

SilverMoon
March 17th, 2019, 09:14 PM
Lee, your work is simply brilliantly enchanting. I will be giving your thread a thourough view and read (during relaxing time) then reply as to why. :tickled_pink:

LeeC
March 18th, 2019, 06:48 AM
More appropriate to this board, here's the updated jacket cover artwork. It includes the latest tweaked blurb, and room for a UPC that Ralph reminded me of. [click on image to enlarge]

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Ralph Rotten
March 18th, 2019, 02:48 PM
Cover looks good, it will stand out in the field of other books.

So how much were they quoting you to make a color book? (color interior, I mean.)
What was the per-unit cost for you?

LeeC
March 18th, 2019, 06:07 PM
My plans so far Ralph, are to publish an eBook version (epub, mobi, and pdf) which I'm creating myself (crunch conversion on the likes of Smashwords and Amazon don't cut it). If and when there are enough eBook sales to cover the costs of printing, and/or serious requests (already have several) for a print version I'll settle on a printing service. In the meantime, to inform the requests I have received, preliminary research using the estimate calculators of several services indicates a $14 to $20 cost per book range. That is for a soft cover with 144 premium color pages, laser printed on 70# paper, and perfect bound. [In case you're wondering, I didn't investigate CS for reasons I won't get into.] I don't see such cost as prohibitive when there are books including color images (like cook books) on Amazon for around $20 to $30 retail.

Also pertinent here is that I'm not in this for fame and fortune, despite having to get by on SS. My main concern in what little time I have left is my grandson's and all our children's future. I intend the ebook to be priced between $3 and $4 which is what moves the best for similar books, and any printed version to only be a dollar or two above cost. The eBook will be free to libraries.

Gotta get back to editing and illustrating if I'm ever going to complete this project :-)

LeeC
May 15th, 2019, 07:42 PM
Have you ever had a boss like this?


Another illustration I've completed for my book Togwotee Passage. I have some more illustrating to do yet, and a professional editor I trust is working his magic.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Summoned by the division Executive VP, as I enter his office he pounds his desk and bellows, "WHAT in the hell gives you the right to go changing things without my say so?"


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Ummm, … what's the cocklebur in his pants now? Taking an unoffered seat without answering, I involuntarily recoil as the blinkered ass throws a binder of program listings in my general direction. The thick folder slamming against the wall knocks down a framed picture of his family, and the glass in the frame shatters with a discordant tinkling as it hits the floor. Fitting, I'm thinking. The overwrought pea-brain is Frank, balding, paunchy, and ever shirty in seeing me a problem in his little world.