Merry-Catmas, originally uploaded by speartoons.

Here is a Christmas card based on actual events. Our cat ruined our tree one year. Today, the tree has been saved thanks to packing tape on the bottom branches. It worked like a charm.

Illustration Friday: Backwards

Illustration Friday: Backward, originally uploaded by speartoons.

It's been snowing in my hometown. Looks like most of the northern United States has put of with this weather.

I miss the days I went sledding with my son. Now, he is taller than me. Getting on the sled just isn't as easy as it used to be!

Illustration Friday: Little Things

Serendipity! I was working on this illustration when Illustration Friday announced "Little things" was the theme.

I liked the play in this photo. Is the little thing the boy or whatever the boy is hiding from the teacher? You decide!

Santa Makeover?

3454 Cartoon, originally uploaded by speartoons.

I wonder if Santa gets tired of his wardrobe? What if he looks better in spring colors? The poor man!


Yuletide-Celebration-tree, originally uploaded by speartoons.

I illustrated this for the local, high school Christmas concert. As luck would have it, it works with Illustration Friday's topic of "excess."

We go to excesses at Christmas, don't we? We shop and eat until December 26th, then we make resolutions to get back in physical and financial shape.

Merry Christmas, and pace yourselves. All those excesses can weigh on a person.

Illustration Friday: The Zoo

I drew this sketch last year when I took my kids and nephew to the zoo. This sketch was a keepsake for my nephew. He loves baseball and we had a good time at the zoo. What do you get when you combine those two things? Presto!

Illustration Friday: Superstition

Rumor has it that turkeys have a superstition about pumpkin pie. If they eat in on the dawn of All Saints Day, they will have good luck and avoid the fate of other Tom's on Thanksgiving. How do I know this? A little birdie told me.

Illustration Friday: Scale

As I was uploading this file, something occurred to me. I hope the scales of justice take care of the San Francisco Bay oil spill. When I heard the news reports on how theheavy bunker oil is killing the wildlife, it just makes me sick. Well, so much for a humorous approach!

Boy Walks the Pet

It's harder walking the dog when it starts getting cold. I'm just thankful I don't have to walk the fish either.

Illustration Friday: Hat Nursery Rhyme

There was an old man who lived in a hat,
When it came to the ladies, he was all that.

Mother Goose isn't mad at me, is she? Hold all my calls.

Fall Back

The leaves are starting to fall in Indiana. The bright colors are a swan song for the leaves. I saw a few screaming this morning. The poor things must be cold. I'm sure I saw them shaking as they fell.

Clown's Lament

Well, Halloween is over. I can't dress like a clown anymore. At least, not on purpose. Oh well, there's 364 more shopping days until the next time.

An Angel's Halloween

I took this sketch out of my book and added some color in Photoshop. I'm ready to see the costumes tonight. Let's see what the creative moms dreamed up this year.

Who's Walking Who?

Around the Spear household, we are learning to be the pack leader. Some days are better than others. Our new dog-let's just call her a puppy-is still trying to make her mark.

Walking the dog has been a trip because we discovered she is terrified of vehicles. We have also discovered she likes to plant her feet. Cesar Millan may not be happy with us. I need to watch the Dog Whisperer again.

Toddler Trick or Treat

I did this illustration in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
Here is the sketch page I took it from. I was wondering about some unusual Halloween scenes. The boy in the pumpkin costume came to mind because of the infant costumes you see now. I remember my nephew having one. The poor kid looked like a pumpkin had swallowed him. It's fun when the parents are still enjoying the holiday while the child is too young to have a clue what's going on.
I scanned the page then focused on the toddler. I did the finished brush work in Photoshop.

Next, I placed the Photoshop file in Illustrator and finished the color. I could have all been done in Photoshop, but it is so much easier using the color palettes in Illustrator.

Trick or Treat or Trunk N Treat

A few weeks ago, I drew an illustration for a church event. If you live near Anderson, Indiana, and you are looking for a safe place to trick-or-treat, our church will have a Trunk n Treat this Wednesday night. It will be at Madison Park Church of God.

This was one of those few times where I didn't start with a sketch in my book. When I thought of a trunk filled with candy, I wondered what it would look like if one had a giant jack -o- lantern.

I drew the original rough in Photoshop. I use a 8"X 6"Wacom Intuos 3 Tablet. Here was the first rough.I made this layers transparent and polished up the sketch.

Next, I hid the gray, rough layer and opened the finished drawing in Adobe Illustrator. I used Live Trace to convert the Photoshop file into an Illustrator Vector file. Then I used Live Paint to color the illustration.

Napping in the rain

My wife and I are on vacation while our kids man the fort. They'll be so happy when they find out it's raining in Florida today!

I did a quick sketch of my wife while she slept. My intent was to get the quick pose and not to focus on detail. This is pencil and blending stump in my sketchbook.
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Illustration Friday: Open

Open wide and say, "Ar-r-r-r-r-r!"

When the word, "Open," was announced, I started thumbing through a previous sketchbook.

Where did this ideal come from? Perhaps it was "Talk Like a Pirate" day. Or maybe Sponge Bob was on while I was brushing my teeth. Who knows. All I know is don't count on a pint-sized pirate for your dental hygiene.

Illustration: I love a parade

Last Friday, there was a Homecoming parade in our town. I spotted these two girls ready for the fun. They had plastic grocery bags to collect any candy thrown from the floats. As the band came into view you could just feel their tension. They wanted the rest of the parade to come by so they could collect their treasure.

I'm guessing they will get all the candy eaten just in time for Halloween.

Illustration Friday: The Blues

My daughter has brought home a nice, little puppy. It's a little furball of energy.

The cat has reacted better than I thought. He hasn't been violent, though you can tell kitty has the blues.

Kids Birthday cards

Here are the finished illustrations I did for Warner Press' line of kids birthday cards.

Most everything was done in Adobe Illustrator. I then exported it into Adobe Photoshop for the finishing touches and the type.

Dreams Work

My pastor, Jim Lyon at Madison Park Church of God, had a great sermon based on Genesis 37:18-20.

When a dream comes from God, it will prevail, despite our stumbling and balking.

Here are my notes.

Roughs-Kids Birthday Cards

I am working on some birthday cards for Warner Press. Here are the pencil roughs.

We are planning on making this for ages 5-8.

Baseball Player

I'm playing around with Adobe Illustrator. Here's a loose watercolor technique. I'm thinking I like this better than the loose one I did yesterday. There is something about outlines I like. Must be the cartoonist in me.

Goes without Saying

Here's a loose illustration I made while thinking of the cliché, "Goes without saying."

Trip to the Doctor

I had to take the trip to the doctor, yesterday. I had a sore throat, felt run-down and icky.

The doctor said there was a lot of that going around. I found out it wasn't streph and was shipped back into the real world.

One great advantage of all this was I got to draw a modern doctor's office. You never know when this setting will come in handy.

Illustration Friday: Momentum

Momentum can be a dangerous thing, my friend, and gravity is the number one consumer of momentum. There's some education for you today!

Illustration Friday: Visitor

What happens when the rubber duckie is replaced by a visitor? The thought is too frightening to comprehend.

Disciples go Fishing

I'm working on the "My Very Own Bulletin Book," for Warner Press.

In this activity, the student is to look for and color seven fish.

Illustration Friday: Emergency

It's summer time in Indiana and the bugs seem to find windshields like a moth to a flame.

If a but sees a windshield coming at fifty-five miles an hour, I'm assuming that would be an emergency!

Curly Slide Celebration

I remember when my daughter faced the challenge of the curly slide. She celebrated when she made it down on her own.

It's those little successes that taste so sweet.


I was thinking more about the term, "missing." It reminded me how easy it is for guys to zone out of their family life.

I know I have to watch it and I pray I never get to the point where my kids and wife resent my career or my illustrations because they took the place of our relationship.

Illustration Friday: Missing

The word, "missing," reminded me how proud I was when I lost my baby teeth.

It was cute to see my kids go through this ritual. Now my daughter needs braces. Brace for financial impact, Mr. Sulu!

Illustration Friday: Moon

I've been to a bowling alley where they offer cosmic bowling. It's when the disco and black lights come out.

The man on the moon looks more like a bowling ball, to me. That's what cosmic bowling will do to you.

Real Reality TV

If reality TV really was as real as real-life, would anybody want to watch it?

As I passed by a TV last night, of those bachelor/bachelorette shows was on. It looked more like a game show than reality TV.

Now if you watch a show about Uncle Bert watching TV, I would call that reality TV.

Illustration Friday: Poem

Does anybody still serenade? What about a poem on a midsummer's night?

It has to be a good poem. something that sparks romance, yet is harmless enough so it doesn't inspire the dad to call the dogs on you.

Ah romance! I think I'll go read a James Whitcomb Riley poem.

Illustration Friday: Discovery

When the word for this week was "Discovery," I thought of a project I did for the Wesleyan Church kid's division about thirteen years ago.

I updated this illustration a little and added some shading. I couldn't leave well enough alone. Still, it's pretty much what the original illustration looked like.

Illustration Friday: Geeky

If laptops were around thirty-five years ago, this probably would have been be. No, not the girl with the laptop, I would have been the boy looking over her shoulder and wishing I could use it.

I lived vicariously through others. Just ask my brother. I convinced him to by the comic books so I could read them.

Illustration Friday: Twist

When I heard of this week's theme, I thought of a twisty ice cream cone. The next thing I knew, I saw the torch of Lady Liberty. Quite fitting for Independence Day.

It may be a heavily American theme, but that's what's on my mind this week. Happy July 4th!

Retirement Card Final

This is how the illustration looked after I exported it from Adobe Illustrator to PhotoShop.

I was able to add the shadow and highlight details in there. In addition, I was able to add some stars and add some bush and grass details.

A few months ago, I did all my art in Illustrator. But now I'm finding Illustrator and PhotoShop work together and give me a richer illustration.

I printed the finished file at 14" x 22". I used an 18" x 22" poster board and folded it like a greeting card. Everyone at work will sign the inside of the card.