Welcome to the grand finale of my 2021 MONSTER MONTH!! And what a finale indeed! Not one, not two, but FIFTEEN monsters!!! (Seventeen if you want to also count the kids.)
A little while back, I was invited to contribute a page to a kids’ activity book where each page was being created by different cartoonists. The book was going to be published, and handed out at various children’s charity events by the non-profit organization spearheading the project. Covid hit, and the donors who were going to pay for printing backed out, so the book wasn’t printed. Bummer.
This was going to be a black-lined coloring page for the kids, where they also had to find all the horns in the picture, and I don’t just mean the musical instruments. Since some monsters have horns on their heads, it meant ALL horns in the picture – thirty-five all together!
This was a traditionally drawn image hand-inked on Bristol board. I decided to spruce it up a little by adding some color in Photoshop just for you Monster Month followers.
I hope you have enjoyed this month-o’-monsters. It was fun for me coming up with them You can sigh in relief that now it is over. We will be returning to our regularly scheduled (non-threatening) art posts in the days to come.
Today is the 100th birthday of the late torch singer Peggy Lee. Not only was she the voice of Peg, the Siamese cats, and Darling in Disney’s original animated Lady & the Tramp, but she co-wrote all the songs!
I had a short fling myself with Lady & the Tramp some years ago. I drew an official coloring book based on the movie before ever entering the animation business in Hollywood. It’s been a while since drawing these characters, but it was fun to revisit them in my sketchbook. They are such appealing designs, and so wonderfully animated in the 1955 original film. It’s no wonder that beautiful film lives on in the hearts of each new generation that comes along.
While Ms. Lee had a long career as a songstress, it is certainly her work with Lady & the Tramp that ensures her legacy.
Toy Story 4 opened in theaters last weekend. The Toy Story gang and I go way back together – back to the first movie in 1995. I was a young illustrator who was not that long out of university when I got to illustrate a couple of Toy Story books that came out in conjunction with the movie. They were coloring/activity books, but were a blast to work on.
I was given lots of blurry still images from the movie, and then had to reinterpret them into drawings that kids could color. I really had no idea what the movie was truly about, nor what the significance was of all the characters, but hey howdy hey, it turned into a juggernaut of a hit, and I became a fan along with everyone else.
Despite the date you see by my signature, the drawing above was published in 1995. All three characters have a part in the new movie which I was fortunate to see back on June 12. Toy Story 4 is funny, heart warming, and made me wish I had some tissues towards the end.
This last pic is from maybe 2007 and 100 lbs ago when I was working for Disney Television Animation, and treated my folks to a trip to Disneyworld in Florida where we got to hang with the gang from Toy Story 2. My only experience with that second film was getting to spend a day on the scoring stage with Randy Newman, but that’s another story for another time. Hard to believe this all started 24 years ago!
Each summer I spend some time in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. One of my favorite restaurants is Tale of the Whale in Nags Head where owners Dan, Kathy, & Carole Bibey always welcome us with open arms. Two weeks ago I dropped in and gave them this drawing that they are now using as a coloring sheet to occupy their youngest patrons.
I hadn’t inked something on paper in a while, so I had to brush off the dust from my – um – brush, and supplement it with some of my pens. Always nerve racking drawing traditionally with a medium so permanent as ink after getting used to an undo button on the computer. Thankfully, white gouache still works to cover the few mistakes made.
So, if you happen to find yourself in good ol’ Nags Head, NC, be sure to drop in Tale of the Whale for an exquisite seafood dinner on the waterfront. I’m partial to the shrimp & grits or Pasta Nova – grilled salmon served over pasta covered in a sun dried tomato & lump crab sauce.
And even if you think you are too big to use crayons, feel free to ask for a coloring sheet.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Today is what we call here in the States “Good Friday.” It is traditionally the day set aside to remember the death of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. In a country that continues to turn its back on God, it is amazing that we have a national holiday for this event where banks and government offices are closed, and most people have the day off from work. It is called “Good” because the Son of God’s sacrifice for mankind, in which He took upon Himself the sins of the world, made a way for those who believe to enter into heaven one day.
Isaiah 53 predicted the coming of the Messiah and what He would do for us, and Matthew 27 gives a full account of what happened that fateful day so many years ago when the Messiah did come and fulfill the prophesy. Matthew 28 continues the history of those days by telling us of Christ’s resurrection, which is what Easter celebrates.
The particular moment of this drawing comes from Matthew 27:32 which says, “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.” Simon, a man from the crowd, was called out to carry Christ’s cross to the hill where Jesus would be crucified.
This drawing was one of a half dozen or so new drawings recently added to the Generations of Grace Sunday school curriculum for kids. It comes in black and white for the kids to color when they learn this lesson in church. To learn more about Generations of Grace and if you think it would be a good program for your church to use, feel free to CLICK HERE.
Quite a few years ago I began drawing what turned out to be over 500 coloring book style pages of accounts from the Bible that became the Generations of Grace Sunday school curriculum. They crafted a three year curriculum for kids where not a single piece of art was used twice in that time, and it was designed for several age groups in the elementary grades so that all the kids in a family would learn the same lesson on their level each Sunday. It was a pretty neat approach.
Two years ago, those behind the curriculum wanted to colorize all my drawings for a new published version of the curriculum they intended to do. Some other artists began coloring them, but with so many drawings and a tight deadline, the task was great. So, I was invited back in to color my art as well, having to now follow the coloring style established by other artists. I managed to get about 20 or so pieces colored in-between other jobs I was working on last year, but to even get those done, I was so glad to get my pal and fellow artist Andy Heckathorneto help me.
Andy would first prep the drawings to prepare them for color, then he would go in and lay in all the flat base colors in Photoshop from his studio in Pennsylvania. He would hand them off to me here in California, and I’d add in all the shading. We were a good team!
All that being said, since this week many thoughts are turned to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross with it being Easter here in the United States, I wanted to share with you the one piece Andy and I colored from that account of Christ’s life – the moment when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus in the garden that led to the Roman soldiers taking Him away to what would eventually be his crucifixion.
If you are interested in this art for your own church, or even for use in your own home, I recommend you check out all the different formats Generations of Grace has to offer for sale on their website. They have teacher lesson books, craft books, activity books, coloring books, and even a family devotional book so the whole family can keep up with the lessons together each day. CLICK HERE to go to their website.
Earlier this week I had a little fun with the secular side to what many people call Easter, but to the Jews this is the Passover celebration, and to those who follow the New Testament of the Bible, this is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Born of Jewish lineage (traceable to Israel’s second king, David, and earlier), Christ was celebrating Passover with His twelve apostles at the beginning of the events that this weekend celebrates. He had spent the past few years fulfilling Old Testament prophecy as the Messiah which many rejected in Israel. That night after the Passover supper, Christ was betrayed by one of His apostles, Judas Iscariot, into the hands of Roman soldiers and was ultimately slain on a wooden cross. As the Bible states in the books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Jesus was buried, and then raised Himself back to life three days later. The purpose of these actions was that, following the Jewish tradition of killing an animal as a sacrifice for sin, Christ’s death was an act of the ultimate sacrifice to take upon Himself the sins of mankind past, present and future – something that could only truly be taken on by the Creator himself. Death wouldn’t have been enough. His resurrection proved His authority as God. That, in a nutshell, is what Easter is all about to true Christians.
A few years back I drew over 500 coloring book style pictures for a Sunday school curriculum called Generations of Grace. In 2009 I shared with you here on the blog many drawings from the Resurrection series of events, with a much more detailed biblical account of the meaning of Easter. If you would like to see those, feel free to CLICK HERE.
Today’s drawing is a part of that series not shared before. These are some stand alone figures from Christ’s death that Sunday school teachers could use with the kids to color and cut out to create their own Mt. Calvary (Golgotha) scene. These figures are a companion drawing to the bigger coloring page that you can see HERE.
So why is Good Friday good? Because it represents Christ giving up His life for me. Sunday represents His power over death which shows his authority to die for me in the first place! It is humbling thought.
I know that not everyone will enjoy today’s post, but I didn’t make up the events of which I speak. While I may not be the most eloquent at explaining them, they are the foundation of my faith and can all be found in the Bible both in Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfillment. They are events for which I am literally eternally grateful.
From time to time, folks write for permission to use my Bible coloring sheet pictures, but please note that their use is currently limited to the Generations of Grace Bible curriculum for which they were drawn. There are three years worth of children’s Sunday lessons broken up into various categories such as the Resurrection, so feel free to CLICK HERE to learn more about that.
Welcome to Resurrection Sunday. For those who believe that Jesus was the fulfillment of Messianic prophesy, today is an exciting celebration! While Friday was the day that displayed Jesus’ humanity with the taste of death, today is the day He truly showed His deity by rising from the dead. Let us continue the account from the Bible illustrated with my drawings created for the Generations of Grace Sunday school curriculum.
As the Jews were strict with their traditions, they could not have bodies remaining on crosses on the Sabbath day (John 19:31) which was the day following Christ’s crucifixion. So they requested that Pilate have the legs broken of Jesus and the two other criminals that were crucified with Him to hasten their deaths (suffocation would likely occur). As Jesus had already expired, His legs were not broken which fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 34:20 in the Old Testament.
A wealthy man named Joseph from Arimathea (Matthew 27:57-60) offered to take Jesus’ body and bury it in the stone tomb he had planned to have himself buried in one day. A great stone was rolled in front of the doorway. The following day, the chief priests and Pharisees remembered Christ’s prophecy that He would rise from the dead on the third day after His death. They asked Pilate for guards be placed by the tomb so that Christ’s followers couldn’t sneak in, steal the body, and claim Jesus had risen. Pilate agreed and established a round-the-clock watch. (Matthew 27:62-66)
According to accounts in Luke 24, on the morning of the third day, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, were among several women who went down early to the tomb hoping to get in to treat Christ’s body with spices. Even the most faithful such as these did not believe Jesus would conquer death. When they arrived, they were shocked to discover that the huge stone that blocked the doorway had been rolled away. When they looked into the tomb, they saw there was no body. Two angels spoke to them saying, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen…” (Luke 24:5-6).
If one looks at all four of the Gospel books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), one would see all the details of what occurred at the tomb. An earthquake shook, angels appeared which scared the guards silly (Matthew 28 says they became like “dead men”), and an angel rolled back the stone. The guards took off and were later paid for their silence (Matthew 28:11-15) while the women ran back to tell the disciples that the Lord was RISEN!
Apparently even Jesus’ own disciples never believed He would rise again, for the news from the women was met with disbelief. Two of the men ran back to the tomb with them to see for themselves, after which Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene in the cemetary (John 20:11-18). He started appearing to others as well that day such as to Peter (Luke 24:34), a couple traveling to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32), and to the disciples in Galilee (Luke 24:36-49) where He appeared in a room that had all entrances shut.
That one surprised them, but to assure His disciples He wasn’t a vision, Jesus showed them his hand and foot wounds, and even ate some broiled fish and honey (Luke 24:41-43). Christ continued to make appearances to His faithful after that, even to over five hundred people at once (I Corinthians 15:6-7).
After forty days of these visits, Jesus had one last talk with His remaining eleven disciples (Judas had committed suicide under the guilt of his betrayal in Matthew 27:3-10). Acts 1:2-11 talks about Jesus’ parting words encouraging them to continue showing how only He “is the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but..” through Him. (John 14:6) Then He just ascended into heaven promising to one day physically return. That day is what Christians continue to look forward to even now.
In ancient times, God demanded of His people that a blood sacrifice was to be made for the forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9 speaks of this, and specifically in verse 22 it says, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” The Jews followed this practice with animal sacrifice, most often using the most perfect lamb from their flocks to do so. Throughout Scripture, Jesus is referred to as “the Lamb of God” as He was the New Testament replacement for animal sacrifice. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28)
How does one get in on the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice? Acts 16:31 says, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” and Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” It’s open to anyone in whatever situation your life has led you to at this point.
This concludes my posts on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that took place this week all those many years ago. As you can see, His sacrifice and the miracle of His return from the grave are together what defines true Christianity, and what makes Easter Sunday so special.