May 16 2011

Antony and Cleopatra

Published by under reviews,shakespeare,sketchbook

Since I moved to NY, I haven’t been able to attend all the Actor’s Shakespeare Project shows like I used to (for past shows click here and scroll past the honeymoon stuff). However, I did manage to get to their current production of Antony and Cleopatra. It was in an actual theater, unlike many of their shows. I think ASP perhaps failed to overcome some of the problems of pacing and structure in this play, and it probably didn’t help in this case that they were using a small number of actors to play a large number of incidental characters on both sides of a war. It was a bit hard to follow at times. However, where this play really shines is in the depiction of the two title characters — and in particular the complex character of Cleopatra, which was played VERY effectively by Paula Plum. Also noteworthy was their “reenactment” of the naval battle of Actium.

The show is up for just a few more days, so hurry if you want to catch it.

Unfortunately for me this wasn’t a dress rehearsal, it was a regular performance, and they kept the lights very low, so basically (except for the first drawing which I did before the lights went down) these are all blind contour drawings. The thing about blind contours is that they can be pretty interesting, but are seldom flattering. So with apologies to the actors, here’s what I got.


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May 09 2011

Donation update and Etsy store

Published by under odyssey

The Odyssey page I donated to Atlantis Books was bought, and the store saved (my contribution helped a little bit, I’m sure, but someone swooped in with a HUGE donation at the end of the fundraiser and really saved the day). Anyway, yay! Now I can continue to dream of visiting there… one of these days.

As I mentioned, I also donated an Odyssey page to the ABC silent auction. They have posted a slideshow of the impressive array of work in the auction, here. My piece is about halfway through, or jump directly to it here.

I also opened my Etsy shop, which will soon have Odyssey pages for sale. In the meantime I put up some fun little gouache paintings I’ve done in the last few weeks (as things in the city have been blooming like crazy).

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Apr 23 2011


Published by under Uncategorized

I’m currently enamored with this book, which I picked up at the Million Year Picnic the other day (when I was in Boston for fun author visits and un-fun dental work).

Love the linework, love the colors, love the lettering. The story is… perhaps not really a story by some standards, but holds up well enough to keep me loving the book. I think I will read it again tomorrow.

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Apr 18 2011

Odyssey originals

Published by under odyssey

I’m donating a page of original art from The Odyssey to the funding drive to save Atlantis Books.

I will also be donating a page to the ABC auction at Book Expo, and I hope to have some pages available via Etsy very soon. In the meantime, if you are keen to buy a particular page from the Odyssey originals, feel free to email me.

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Mar 18 2011

Feeling the Love

Published by under odyssey,press,video

Holy cow! Not only did The Odyssey win the first round and advance in the Battle of the Books, but this is definitely one of the most beautiful reviews I have ever received. Thank you, Karen Hesse!

I attribute my win to the good wishes of many wonderful fans — especially Mike Lewis’ class at Deer Hill School. I recorded a tiny video message for their Read Your Heart Out Day celebration, and they came back with this. Mike and his kids totally rock.

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Mar 17 2011

Battle of the Books is on!

Published by under Uncategorized

The first four rounds have gone up, and tomorrow The Odyssey will be pitted against One Crazy Summer. I have no reason to expect my book to win, but it will be interesting to read the analysis and the comments!

Check it out here:

One warning regarding the formatting — in order to read each contest you click a link on the right side of the page. That link shows one of the titles struck-through, so the outcome is revealed before you read the judge’s decision. I’m hoping they’ll fix that.

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Feb 15 2011

More props for The Odyssey

Published by under press,reviews

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books has given The Odyssey a starred review, bringing the total stars to four.  Four!

Also, The Odyssey has been selected for SLJ’s Battle of the Books. Wacky and awesome!

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Jan 12 2011

Beowulf: 1000 Years of Baggage

Published by under beowulf,reviews,sketchbook

On Monday I went to see this fabulous show – Banana Bag & Bodice’s “Beowulf: 1000 Years of Baggage”. You can see the show on Vimeo, if you are so inclined, but I recommend seeing it live for the full effect. It’s funny and arty and clever, and the music is awesome.

I saw it at Joe’s pub. The place was packed, and quite dark, so I only got a few scribbly drawings, but here they are for your enjoyment.

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Dec 12 2010

Gifts From the Gods – cover development

Published by under gifts from the gods,sketchbook

A few weeks ago I delivered the last bits of art for Gifts from the Gods, a hybrid graphic novel / picture book by Lise Lunge-Larsen which I illustrated for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It’s about characters from Greek & Roman mythology whose names have persisted as common words or phrases in modern English.

I want to preview some artwork for you, and I thought what I’d do first is to show the process of developing the cover.

Although I had done a few little sketches of cover ideas here and there, nothing could really move forward until we had finalized the title, which took a while. I had previously thought about putting Nemesis or the Furies on the cover, but with the title “Gifts from the Gods” it seemed like maybe we shouldn’t put anything too dark or nasty on the cover (“the Gods gave us punishment” is not a good message)! So I started with a clean slate and did a bunch of sketches.

After discussion with my fab editor Ann Rider and designer/art director Scott Magoon, I did another page.

Next, I worked up some of our favorite ideas in color.

We decided on the Zeus sketch on the right, so I printed that sketch out very lightly on a piece of cheap printer paper and did a detailed pencil drawing over it. I scanned that back in, cleaned it up, printed it out on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper (using my Epson Stylus Photo 2200, which has waterproof ink, unlike my old Canon s9000), and painted over it with watercolor for the final color version.

Here’s the final art, with not-quite-final type.

(All images are copyright 2010 by Gareth Hinds, and appear courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.)

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Nov 17 2010

Odyssey makes Kirkus’ 2010 Best Books for Teens list

Published by under press

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