DANBURY, Conn. — Danbury artist Scott Brundage often finds himself in front of the photo booth app on his computer, looking surprised — or scared — or confused.
“I make different poses and facial expressions to help me get an idea of what a character’s face would look like in a scene," said Brundage, 35, who has been drawing since he was a child. “I have to make it look realistic enough to be believable."
Brundage has carved out a niche and has designed about 30 book covers for scary children’s book series, including “Evil Librarians,” the “Flashback Four,” “The Monster Town Mysteries” and “Tales from the Scaremaster.”
Also, he dons garments similar to the ones he is drawing. "If I have to draw a guy in a suit, I throw on an actual suit to see how the folds in the jacket work," Brundage said.
He has even shaved his beard to better see his own expressions. "Sometimes my beard gets in the way — it hides too much of my face," he said.
In addition, Brundage has drawn for many magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American and The Washington Post.
Since he was 6, he knew he wanted to be an artist. “For most of my life, I was known as the guy who could draw,” said Brundage, a Danbury High School graduate who has a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
“I was a very indoorsy kid, and I was never interested in sports,” he said.
At the age of 10, he took a cartooning class in the back of the Koenig, an arts supply store on White Street. "I was the youngest person in the class," Brundage said. He also took classes at the former Dick Blick store in Newtown.
He said he likes designing covers for fantasy adventure books because that's what he read as a kid. “I want to draw something that I would have been excited to read when I was growing up," Brundage said. “It’s awesome, I feel like I’m really self-indulgent. I’m now living the dream I’ve had when I was 6."
Sometimes, Brundage needs to do research to convey his characters accurately. One of these times was for the cover for “The Flashback Four,” a series by Dan Gutman.
“It was for a story set in 1863 that was about Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address,” he said. “So, I looked up the clothing of that time period, as well as the flag and the Union soldiers outfit.”
His worst experience came last year when he was given an assignment to create a series of characters for a book.
“After looking at my sketches, I was told to ‘Change it to look like this’ and then ‘Change it a little bit more,’” he said. “After changing the drawing half a dozen times, they said they didn’t like it and I should start over.
"They finally settled on simple line drawings that took a quarter of the time as the original painting or less.”
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