Archive for illustration


Posted in Art, Illustration Friday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by scratchyb

“While it is warm, troll-wool is terribly scratchy and uncomfortable, as anyone who has brushed up against a troll’s pelt would know.  Of course, they wouldn’t share that knowledge, because most people who came that close to a troll simply didn’t come back.  Sven’s mother had told him to always show his appreciation, and common sense told him not to offend Grandma Troll.  So he thanked her for the new, somewhat ill-fitting sweater she had knit him from the very wool off her arms.  Then he stood very still so as not to irritate his skin any further.”

From “Grandma Troll,” an imaginary fairy tale.

Illustration Friday’s theme this week was “sweater”.  I did have in mind a monster and boy, with a sweater knit from the monster’s fur. It turned into this troll idea after I thought of making the monster a grandmother, and the story fell into place in my head as I was drawing.  It’s possible this could turn into a full-fledged picture book.


© Eric Battaglia 2011

Odjit Wednesday

Posted in Cartoons, Odjit with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by scratchyb

“Step right up!”

All images © Eric Battaglia 2009


Posted in Art, Illustration Friday, Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2010 by scratchyb

This is a scratchboard piece I just did for Illustration Friday.  The theme was “Adrift.”  As I drew, I started to develop a story around this situation.  I might try to expand it to a short graphic story.  I have plenty of scratchboard.

All images © Eric Battaglia 2009

Illustration Friday: “Muddy”

Posted in animals, Art, Illustration Friday with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by scratchyb


The three-trunked glorfnet is a mud-dweller, unlike its wooly cousins in the far north of the planet.  It thrives on the bacteria that lives in the mud, and rarely ever leaves its nutrient rich, albeit, messy, home.  Consequently, it is also far less intelligent than its arctic cousins.  Many glorfnets have plants growing on them, usually the blue-leaved premanian vine.

All images © Eric Battaglia 2009

Odjit Wednesday–Stay Warm!

Posted in Art, Cartoons, Odjit with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2010 by scratchyb

Stay Warm!

Mandy thinks these are horrible.  She’s disturbed at how much delight I take in drawing the Odjits and their, well, odd behavior.  Do I really need to say that these critters are not exactly role models?

All images © Eric Battaglia 2009

Illustration Friday: Wilderness

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by scratchyb

Another Illustration Friday piece.  I’m trying to participate in this to keep my mind in art mode when I’m not at work.  The actual piece I wanted to do for this one couldn’t be finished in time, but I do intend to complete it.  This is a sketch I did over the weekend, while in Wisconsin for a relaxing mini-vacation.

All images © Eric Battaglia 2009

Illustration Friday: Confined

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by scratchyb

Sometimes even freedom can be confining.

My first participation in Illustration Friday.   A very simple acrylic painting, with some extra fine detailed lines added with ballpoint pens.

All images © Eric Battaglia 2009

Recent work for October

Posted in Art, illustrated books, Process with tags , , , on October 29, 2009 by scratchyb

October was mostly all about a commission and then a couple of pieces here and there.  I did a bookplate for a contest at the blog “A Journey Around My Skull,” one of the musts that I have on my feed.


I recommend subscribing to A Journey Round My Skull if you are at all enamored of illustrations and books, especially those that are rare and hard to find.

I also did a drawing for what I hope to be a bookmark.  I plan to get a bunch of these printed up, as soon as I scrape together enough for a new and improved inkjet printer.


Other than that, nothing much else.  Why the sparse output?  Well, I may have mentioned it before, but I only do this for a hobby.  I actually make a living as a librarian, specializing in library IT.  It’s really only been recently that I’ve started pushing to get my work out there more and more, and to improve and develop as an artist.  The two go hand in hand for me, the exposure creates opportunities and deadlines, which pushes me to put more effort into my work than I otherwise might.

Shifting gears? No.

Posted in Art, illustrated books, Process, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2009 by scratchyb

While this blog has largely been about my ongoing and completed art projects, I sometimes touch on writing issues.  See, I didn’t start out thinking of myself as an “artist”–still don’t, it’s not that accurate when you think of the concepts that go into a work of art.  I’m more of a visual storyteller.  Anyway, I used to see myself as a potential writer.  So, I thought it would be cool if I could write and illustrate.

So, financed by a lucrative “library career” scheme, I set to work trying to perfect the right balance of storytelling and illustration.  Graphic novels, too much.  But illustrated books?  Just about right, except I’d like to do something for adults as well as kids.  While I’ve nothing against kids, I suspect my ideas would just scare them and annoy their parents.

The trouble is and always was: how do you get published?  I went to conventions, I tried to schmooze with
the insiders, and learned there’s a reason they’re called insiders.  I read just about everything I could on publishing, until I was filled up to the eyes with crap about jumping through the right hoops, persisting in sending out stories (just not to us), and how I should just keep writing.  Yep, did the short story submission thing, wrote a few bad novels for practice, until I started to suspect that the publishing industry simply couldn’t be open to new authors anymore.  Frankly, I suspect that the readers of most literary and science fiction magazines are just authors trying to get published in those magazines.  The industry is eating itself alive.

Which is why I find this Threat Quality post on self-publishing so interesting.  I’ve mainly thought of self-publishing as a way to make my own aesthetic decisions about the work I create, since the books I envision are complete works of art.  But it seems the technology and the time is ripe for something more.  Recently I also read this article by Time Columnist Lev Grossman on the future of books.  It’s definitely worth reading, since it posits that e-books are going to increase self-publishing, decrease writer’s wages, and essentially challenge the publishing industry to change their archaic “gatekeeper” mentality.  Maybe by crowdsourcing their selection?  Sucks for editors, but hey, then they can go back to actually developing books and authors.

While on the surface the electronic format doesn’t seem to offer much for my own goals, I think that the possibilities are just starting to bloom.  There’s plenty of web comics already out there, and I personally like the idea of DIY print-on-demand, giving people a PDF and letting them print their own copy, with instructions for folding it up into a nice booklet that they can bind however they like.  Or online books with integrated, dynamic illustrations.  So I plan to move further along in that direction this year.  I’ll start small, just a few little books, as I get the hang of it.  Keep an eye out until then.

Spiraling away

Posted in Art, Process, Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by scratchyb

I posted one of my original drawings on Etsy today.  It’s actually an older piece, inspired by a quote of a quote.  The quote as I first encountered it was in Caitlin Kiernan’s Threshold about extra-dimensional bogey beasts, and it was a quote taken from an Algernon Blackwood story called “The Willows”, also about extra-dimensional bogey beasts, although with a different tone and background.

The quote: “Our thoughts make spirals in their world . . .”

It inspired this mixed-media drawing, where I tried a large-scale stippling technique and added some minor collage for the spiraling eyes. Gold ink was washed over the nautilus shell in the background.

"Our thoughts make spirals . . ."