This week I'm sharing a batch of commissions from San Diego and Boston.
A Mouse Astronomer:
I did a little google image searching to mentally combine several concepts for what a Medieval Astronomer would look like or what tools he'd use. Here are examples of the types of pieces I used as inspiration: example A, example B, example C.
That "C" example is where I took the the tapestry and costume cues.
Welcoming Baby Rex:
A family had me commemorate the engagement of their daughter a few years back (the piece on the lower left here). Now they are married and asked me to depict the welcoming of baby Rex. I kept the same costumes for the parents and also the location, but inside now instead of the balcony.
Death Hissing Snake:
This was a piece I started as a commission example, but sold recently out of my portfolio. I saw a photo of a blind mink-eyed snake and thought that was a good creepy basis for a classic mouse battle.
In my product description in my online store for commissions, I listed the idea of just listing a trade for a mouse like: Mouse Glassblower. This customer liked that idea so much, she requested just that. I'd drawn some glassblowing mice in Fall 1152, but wanted to show a studio/workshop with more tools and work items. The tied & hanging inventory is my idea, and while not very practical, looks cool.
Sadie & Kenzie at the pond:
The visuals for this were very specifically picked by the fan who commissioned the piece, from the dragon fly and the acorns to the pond, lillypads and frogs. Kenzie and Sadie holding paws was also in the request. Unfortunately I couldn't also fit in the pinecone or fireflies...but for artistic balance, I have to reign it in every now and then.
Requested here were two young male mice fishing at night in the light of the moon and a few lanterns. It was fun to design a little twig & rope net for capturing the minnow, and I think I want to do more of those fabric/paper lanterns in future Mouse Guard stories. What was really cool was when the owner of the commission came to pick it up with his son, he asked to see "the commission of the mice & fish" I'd tweeted earlier that day...and when looking at it he revealed to the son that it was the father who commissioned it. It was a surprise.
I don't often draw human ladies for commissions, and I tend to steer people away from them (I don't really know why you'd spend the money for me to draw a Power Girl or Wonder Woman...seems a waste for an ugly piece) In this case, I thought I could work with the mood, time period garments & weapons and use the stylization of the Pixar design to my advantage. Wish I'd made the wisps glow a bit more.
Mouse & Crocodile:
"A mouse or group of mice riding the head of a partially submerged Crocodile like Washington crossing the Delaware". I opted to raise the croc's head out of the water more than the classic mostly submerged swimming profile to make the piece more interesting and dynamic.
Ragnier the Hunter:
A fan who saw a previous piece I did of Ragnier (a character who will appear in this Fall's Baldwin the Brave and Other Tales Mouse Guard collection) asked me to do a Ragnier piece for him. I looked up reference for an owl skull (this owl must've been a small one). With the story he's appearing in not-yet published and to have had 2 commission of him, I think he's a popular character I may need to revisit in another Mouse Guard story.
Raphael Riding Grimlock:
As an homage to my TMNT in Time #1 cover (where I had the 4 turtles on the back of a dinosaur) and the most recent Transformer's movie featuring Optimus Prime riding Grimlock, this fan asked me to mash the two together. It was hard to come up with solid useable reference for Grimlock since the original toy had such limited movement and more recent versions are not my idea of the king of the dinobots.
A Mouse Wizard:
These days I've stopped doing any commissions of Mouse Guard style mice doing/being something outside of what they'd be in one of my stories or a Legends of the Guard story. But when this fan requested a mouse wizard, I had to make an exception and go full out. The fan understood and mentioned that the wizard could look like something from a plauseable Legends story, but I couldn't resist getting a Dumbledore & Gandalf level wizard to cast a spell on the page.
I just released my 2014 sketchbook featuring last year's mouse commissions colored for the 24 page collection. You can now purchase it through my online store. The above commissions were drawn after this book was sent to the printer, but they will appear in the already-in-the-works 2015 sketchbook. If you are interested in getting a commission from me, I take a limited number of commissions before most conventions I attend. In my online store, I offer them up as pre-order items about a week before that particular convention. The piece MUST be picked up at the show. The pieces are inked 7” x 7” pieces on 12” x 12” bristol with the detail level of a finished Mouse Guard page.
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 5-7
NY Comic Con: Oct. 9-12
Lucca Comics & Games (Italy): Oct. 31-Nov. 2