Friday, December 17, 2010

New image available on Imagekind

I have just made this image, from Rick Riordan's Bestselling book "The Lost Hero" available for purchase on
Imagekind is a great service that allows you to choose the size, frame and material that it will be printed on. The quality is outstanding.
If you order by December 19th you can still get it in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

New Jackets

Here are a couple new jacket paintings. One is the third jacket in a series called the Century Books and should be coming out soon (The purple one). The other is for a book I can't talk about yet. I am still working on this one, but very excited on how it is coming out.
I have been extremely busy lately, getting ready for a couple of art exhibitions, and finishing up a couple of books, as well as working on the cover for the new Kane Chronicles book, by Rick Riordan.
Things should slow down for me around April of next year. Then I think I might work on my next picture book using traditional media (watercolor) and put the computer away for a while.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

John Rocco Art Exhibition- Sparkhouse Studio, Nov 14th

On Sunday November 14th there will be an art exhibition and reception at Sparkhouse Studio in South Orange, NJ from 7-9pm

Limited edition prints from all the Percy Jackson books, as well as The Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus will be available.

Here is all the information from the fine folks at Sparkhouse:
Please join us as we welcome John Rocco to Sparkhouse Studio.

Mr. Rocco is the illustrator of the Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles & The Heroes of Olympus series as well as the illustrator & author of several other books for children. He lives in Brooklyn & his will be the inaugural show at Sparkhouse Studio.

Please note that this is an adult event and wine will be served. There are two child friendly events earlier in the day with Mr. Rocco

You can RSVP to the event here:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dark Horse Gelaskins

Dark Horse comics have recently licensed some of my artwork to go on their new Gelaskins for laptops and phones and ipads and all that other cool technology that you want to protect from drops and spills and four year old children who have a tendency to knock your stuff on the ground. (Yes, I am talking to you, Alaya)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Illustrators Day Festival

Please join me and a whole plethora of illustrators tomorrow from 10:30 till 3pm at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza for a day of family fun. Illustrators will be doing readings, workshops, book signings, and generally running around looking for coffee and pencils. This is in conjunction with the Drawn in Brooklyn art exhibition at the Library.

Now, with that out of the way, I can apologize for not posting in a while. I have been busy.
Here is what I have been up to:

Working on the illustrations (45 in all!) for a middle grade novel with John and Katherine Paterson called The Flint Heart. It is an amazing story that has children, fairies, talking animals and even a hot water bottle from Germany named Bismark.
Here is one of the paintings....

I also just finished up a new picture book called BLACKOUT which will be out in May of 2011.
Here is a finished illustration for that:

In other news, FU FINDS THE WAY, was selected for the Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators. The reception is on Thursday October 21. If you are there, please say hi!
Here is the piece that will be hanging in the show. I chose to frame both the pencil version and a print of the digital painting so that people could see my process.

I have also been working on my house in the country. We have started to paint the outside a nice green color called Autumn Sage. Doesn't it just sound peaceful? I built some benches for my daughters classroom, which was a lot of fun. I will have to get some pictures of those. They were made from an old oak tree that was in my wife's yard when she was a child, and when it fell over her dad had the wood milled and shipped it over from Belgium. So those benches have some history!

-Meet the Illustrator, Central Library Brooklyn Dweck Center, Nov 4th at 10:00 am
-Reading at The Red Hook Public Library in Brooklyn Wednesday November 10 at 10:00 am
-Workshop, The Art of the Bookjacket, Central Library, Brooklyn (Grand Army Plaza) 2:30 PM

-Art Exhibition, SparkHouse Studios, reception Nov 14th 7pm
-Art Exhibition and panel discussion with the Book Maker's Dozen at Powerhouse Arena December 2, 7-9pm

Hope to see you at one of these events.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Lost Hero

There has been a lot of buzz in the news lately about Rick Riordan's newest series, The Heroes of Olympus, and once again, I am thrilled to be a part of it. Here is the cover painting I did for the first book, The Lost Hero.

Friday, June 04, 2010

World's End

Here is the latest jacket art for World's End. It's a wraparound jacket in which the art is even carried onto the inside jacket flaps. World's End is the second book in the DORMIA series by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski.
This was a fun one, and you can see my inspiration from these two paintings by Howard Pyle.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Launch of The Kane Chronicles

Last night I went to a media launch event for Rick Riordan's newest series, The Kane Chronicles. (Jacket art by yours truly). The event was in the large atrium of the Brooklyn Museum and there was quite a turnout. Here are some pictures:

Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President, made Rick an honorary Brooklyn Citizen. (A good part of The Kane Chronicles takes place in Brooklyn, about five blocks from my house!)
The wonderful voice over artists, who read for the audio version of the book were on hand to give everyone a sample of there talents. They were great!
And, as always, Rick got everyone excited about Egyptian mythology...and his new series of course. He mentioned that the Brooklyn Museum has the largest collection of ancient Egyptian spell books in the world. Pretty dangerous!?!?My art director, Joann Hill, and I were both giddy about how well the cover came out. Not so sure what the heck I am doing with my hand...casting a spell perhaps?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Showers...

I haven't blogged in a while, and that means I am busy. I recently joined fellow illustrators David Gordon and Dave Horowitz at the Bridgewater Young Authors Conference which was a lot of fun. I also spoke at the New Jersey Reading Councils recent conference and signed books with Marc Brown.
In my studio I am busy working on a couple of book jackets. One for the new book in the DORMIA series, and a jacket for Rick Riordan's newest book The Lost Hero, which is the first book in Rick's Percy Jackson spinoff series about demi-gods at camp half-blood.
In other news, Rick Riordan's latest series, The Kane Chronicles, hits bookstores on May 4 with its first book The Red Pyramid. Cool!
I am also spending my time working on THE FLINT HEART, by John and Katherine Patterson. It is a middle grade fantasy novel originally created by Edin Phillpotts in 1910. It was just announced that it will be made into a movie by the team that put together the film Bridge to Terabithia. The book will have about 45 paintings in it, so I think I will be having a busy summer. More to come on that as the summer progresses.

Okay, so when I am not busy on all of that...I am working on my picture book called BLACKOUT. It is an almost wordless book, (it has about 100 words, which is almost wordless for me!) about a family in Brooklyn that comes together through the magic of a blackout. Here are some of the drawings to give you a taste.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The rejected sketches...

I thought it would be fun to post some rejected sketches from a bunch of different book jackets that I've illustrated. These were the ideas that didn't make it...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thank you Mr. Wyeth

Recently I finished a painting for a new book jacket. I was very inspired by the work of N.C. on this one.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Percy Jackson Art Show

(pictured here; Jennifer Besser (Editor, Disney•Hyperion), me, Peter Glassman (Owner, Books of Wonder)

This past Saturday we had a very nice opening at Books of Wonder in NYC displaying all the artwork from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. There was a huge turnout and lots of great questions from the audience. Thanks to everyone who showed up and made the event so special. It was a real thrill for me to see all the art framed and on the wall, and to meet all the fans of the series. It was a super cold saturday, and it was even cold inside (that's why I am still wearing my scarf!) so I was thrilled that people braved the elements and came out.
The artwork will stay up for a while, so if you are in the neighborhood be sure to check it out. A small limited edition signed set of prints have been made and you can purchase them through Books of Wonder while they last. You can preview them all here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Latest Artwork and News January 2010

Happy New Year! Here are some of the latest paintings I have completed for some middle grade novels. The first two are for a series called THE CENTURY BOOKS by P.D. Baccalario. The final painting is for the paperback version of a book called THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER by David Whitley. (I loved this book! It's like Jonathan Stroud's The Bartimeous Trilogy meets Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. I can't wait to read the next one in this trilogy, which I am supposed to get in a couple days.

In the meantime, I am very excited to announce that I will be illustrating a middle grade fairy tale written by our new Ambassador of Children's Literature, the one and only...Katherine Paterson. The book is called The Flint Heart, originally written by Eden Phillpotts in 1910. Katherine and her husband John have brought new life to this wonderful story which feels to me like a wonderful combination of Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. The Publisher, Candlewick Press will be creating a highly illustrated version of this wonderful tale, which I have the honor of illustrating.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Kane Chronicles

Well the word is out, and so is the new art. Here is the painting that I recently did for Rick Riordan's latest series; The Kane Chronicles. There is some more info on the Wall Street Journal Blog, and a website.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Come on out and join me for a cool art exhibition hosted by my favorite NYC bookstore, Books of Wonder.
When: January 30th 12-2pm
The super awesome editor of the Percy Books, Jennifer Besser will be there as well to answer any of your questions. Should be fun!