picture books Tag

Sketches 4

A page from my 2021 sketchbook
Sketch from a painting I did for The Center for Cultural Power (CultureStrike)
Sketch of Dr Muriel Petioni, mother of medicine in Harlem for BLK History Month

Sup with it fam, its been awhile since I shared some sketches from my process. I share process art a lot with different projects but sometimes I just love looking back at the sketches I made before painting some of my personal or client work. Sometimes the sketches are better than the final. Something about the energy in them.

Spreads from “I am Sausal Creek/ El Arroyo Sausal” written by Melissa Reyes and illustrated by me
Sketch for a painting of pioneering animator Brenda Banks for BLK History Month
Letters for the 15th anniversary of the Trust Your Struggle Collective
One of many color sketches I did for a sticker
A sketch for a UC Berkeley project “We Too Belong”
Wanna see more of my sketches?
A doodle from my sketchbook
A sketch from a picture book called “We Are Yoga/ Somos Yoga” written by Jill Guerra and illustrated by me
One last one, these are sketches for a sticker I did that reminds me to PAUSE.
Dig these sketches? Check out this video of my last sketchbook tour. Thx for tuning in. Sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Instagram.

I Am The Subway- Kim Hyo-eun


I just checked out this book from a nearby library and I’m in love with the style of art and the story. It was originally published in Korea but has just been translated to english by Deborah Smith. Wow what an incredible picture book. I love how the title credits are introduced after the story begins. I love Kim’s hand drawn traditional media style. 
Some more pages from the book:

Check out this book trailer
Dig this? Check out this post about Asian American owned bookstores

Bobbito Garcia – Aim high little giant, aim high!


Man, shout out to Bobbito Garcia. The OG has a new picture book out called “Aim High Little Giant, Aim High!” published by We Are Little Giants. In this book he touches on self confidence, basketball history, gender, mathematics, and more. Check it out HERE.
I first came across Bob through his pioneering radio show with DJ Stretch Armstrong. I would hear little bits about them and their show but never actually hearing it since it aired in NYC. But, I know they inspired folks like Kevvy Kev at KZSU Stanford and Sway and Tech on the Wake Up Show who I definitely listened to. I would see Bob in Vibe magazine, music videos, on records (Fondle Em) and more. And when i started seeing his documentaries it all came together. Support this dude!
Dig this? Check out this feature of “Alejandria Fights Back” on Social Justice Books

Furqan’s First -over 3k sold independently!!

Wow, I’m excited to announce that “Furqan’s First Flat Top/ El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan has officially sold out of its 2nd print run. That makes over 3000 books sold hand to hand, at events, or sent to folks all over the US and the world. 

Some day I’ll do a video about what it took to do this independently without the help of a publisher or marketing team. At the time I decided to do it I was getting little to no love from the industry. I’ve since learned that this is partially what it means to be a beginning author/illustrator and that there is and was a huge problem with the diversity of kids books!
Here’s the post I did about the book release at EastSide Arts Alliance w/ Kati Cepeda and Aya de Leon.  And the trailer for the book got over 5k views! Holy smokes.Never expected it to reach so many people but it has and folks are still learning about it today!
It all started with one or two books. Now I’ve worked on over 10 children’s books as an illustrator and/or author with more on the way. Furqan is temporarily sold out but you can cop the latest book I illustrated for Jill Guerra “We Are Yoga/ Somos Yoga”.

And if you missed my kickstarter you can cop my first book of art including 130 pages of sketch book art, character designs, tutorials, and more Art of Rob LINK.

My Book in this VICE article


Here we go again, it seems that people just being who they are if that happens to be Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Trans, or gender non conforming seems to really piss White Christian families off. If not enrage them, it really fucking scares them. Check out this article about this town and how they handled books featuring queer children and Queer librarians trying to broaden the minds of local children and families. It was not cool how they essentially forced these librarians to quit. My book with. Laurin Mayeno happens to be the image featured here but really there are so many kids books featuring Black folks, people of color, queer or gender fluid characters that really scare just by existing. Smh
After reading a few more articles it seems that the heart of this issue is that they attacked queer librarians and made them (the key holders of a variety of information, stories, and resources) feel unwelcome; not only in their job but in their town.
Check out this good news pertaining to the book though: Gender Nation 

Sketches 3

This is a sketch for a portrait of graffiti artist Spie
Sup with it fam, its been awhile since I shared some sketches from my process. I share process art a lot with different projects but sometimes I just love looking back at the sketches I made before painting some of my personal or client work. Sometimes the sketches are better than the final. Something about the energy in them.
This was for East Oakland’s “Street Level Health”
Chapter 510 (organization) sketch
Sketch from the book Sam! Published by Penny Candy Books
Curry sketch – Warriors
Wide sketch for “Asian Art Museum” in SF
For BLK History month 2021 – Little Richard
This is a sketch for “Orange Barrel Media” AD in Ohio
Here’s a self portrait I did many years ago
Sketch Postcard for “Sunrise Movement”
Sketch for Zumbi (Zion-I) RIP
Here’s a sketch from “Alejandria Fights Back” pub by Feminist press
Thanks for checking out the sketches. If you notice the majority of my sketches are on paper with pencil. In the last few years I have been using an I-pad pro increasingly to speed up the sketch process and move things around, so you’ll be seeing more of those sketches. If you dig these check out my sketchbook tour
Here’s the last sketches post I made in 2018

Sam! Cover Art Tools

Hey readers. My name is Rob and I’m a kids book author and illustrator. This is a throwback to the cover design for the book “Sam!” written by poet/parent Dani Gabriel, published by Penny Candy Books, and illustrated by me.
Here are the initial sketches I came up with. One with a scene from the book, and two new ones. 
They chose the 1st idea and this being a relatively quick process I went straight to a refined sketch of that which you see here. For the sketch I typically use a non photo blue pencil, a ruler, a #2 pencil, and an 11″ x 17″ piece of paper so I can draw the back together as a layout.  

Once everyone signed off on this I use my light box to trace the sketch using a Prismacolor black pencil.
 Then I add color using a large flat brush to lay down a wash first then I build up the color slowly from light to dark using the medium flat, the round, and the fine liner . 
I use a bunch of watercolor brands to find the right colors. These are some of them.
When you paint with acrylic or gouache you can layer light over dark, but with watercolor its much harder so you must use light colors first, then darks. This is what. the painting looks like once I’ve finished. If you get a chance, read the book. Share it with families and check out some of the other books Penny Candy publishes HERE.

Dig this? Check out this post about the cover art of Alejandria Fights Back/ La Lucha de Alejandria

Alejandria Fights Back- Cover process


What up? This is a bit of process behind the cover for “Alejandria Fights Back/ La Lucha de Alejandria”
First let’s start with the sketches. I usually do a bunch of sketches in my sketchbook or on paper. I think I did that too. But these are the first I presented to what was a huge team effort. Normally when you make a kids book you have 1-2 people to answer to. Thats either the author/creator or the art director. In this case I was working with a team of filmmakers and organizers called the “Rise home Stories Project” who initiated this project, writer Leticia Hernandez-Linares, and the team at Feminist Press (Lauren Rosemary Hook, Jisu Kim, and designer Drew Stevens. The book was translated by Dr Carla España.
The next round was refining these sketches a bit.
They picked the one at the podium and thats the one I really nailed down. 
After nailing it down I went straight into painting the cover because the team was pretty loose with the art direction even though it was BIG. Here’s some of the painting process for the front cover. It was painted with watercolor. I start with an over all warm tone and focus where Ale (main character) was the focal point. Then I started to add color to the characters.
Here’s the final front cover painting w/ text on another layer drawn with ink.
Here’s a bit of the back cover sketches
They chose the one with a few things scattered around which was directly inspired by Dawud Anyabwile’s “Brotherman Revelations” back cover. Here it is painted.
And add the back matter (synopsis, logo, isbn scan) and the front cover design w/ type.
Love this book like so many of my others. If you’re not familiar with the storyline check out this video

You can get a copy of the book from your local bookstore, library, bookshop.org, or Feminist Press.

Did you like this? Check out my most recent book “Somos Yoga/ We are Yoga” written and published by Jill Guerra an author, teacher, and mindfulness/yoga instructor for kids.