Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Publishers don't always send free copies of books you've illustrated for them, especially if it was a job involving several hundred other artists. SO, I searched and searched until I found my two books I did for McGraw Hill last year - they were 40 bucks for one pack of six each, plus shipping. Ouch! Double ouch!

I was really happy though with the design and print quality. They did a great job!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Page from "Glad Pam" Early Reader

(sorry, had to remove the image, as the contract states I can't post these illustrations until after they're published.)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Illustration Friday: Run

My mascara would be running too...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Won:-)

Well goodness gracious I really REALLY wasn't expecting to win first place, but by golly I did. The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has been graciously putting on these contests with the prize being a year's free membership. Schweeet!!!

The competition was tight too--some really beautiful entries to pour over.

Check it

Monday, August 21, 2006


Martin's idea of what his first day of school should be like, and what it actually turned out to be, did not match.

(This is my SCBWI illustration contest entry) :0)

(August 23rd update) I won first place!!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


This is how I feel about my life right now.

More Character Sketches For "Glad Pam" Early Reader

This is Pig...

And this is Chicken! These illustration were inked with a dip pen and painted with watercolors on hot press Arches watercolor paper.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Coming Full Circle

While searching for my box of business cards, I came across a box of old school papers, photos, and drawings from when I was a little tyke. Well lo and behold, right on top of the box was this little paragraph about an SRA kit, written in 3rd grade. I've been illustrating SRA books now for the last couple months, and just received assignments to do two more for McGraw Hill (YAY!) so it really tickled my funny bone to find that paper. And yes I was and still am a terrible speller.

Above is a character sketch for the new book "Glad Pam" written by Tristan Horrom. It's about a race against several other little animals - REALLY enjoying illustrating this one!

Lane Smith's Blog

Lane Smith has his own blog/website - HOORAY! Check it out:

Lane Smith

Monday, August 14, 2006

Night Play

I don't know if I'm breaking rules here putting in a third submission for Illustration Friday. But I feel so inspired by the theme this week, I can't help myself!

Summer is drawing to a close. Better hurry up and get those warm, playful evenings in before autumn arrives!

Illustration Friday : Play2

Who wouldn't want to play on a giraffe? :0)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another Comparison

Okay, so this is the same drawing as below, but with a lighter touch. It's amazing how much different an illustration comes across when the style is changed.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Magician

Emma's Kitty

Suzie's First Glasses

Suzie is pretty lucky. I had to wear an eye patch (pirate style) for 'lazy eye'. I could voluntarily move one of my eye balls to the side while the other stayed front-ways. Kids thought THAT part was cool. The pirate patch..not so much.

New Glasses

Friday, August 11, 2006

Illustration Friday: Play

This cat is dying to play with these mice...though not the way they would like.

This is for Missey, my friend's gray tabby who must go in to the vet tomorrow and get her ingrown claw pulled out the pad of her foot. I'm sure she would much rather be chasing little rodents around!

Also a HUGE thank you to the talented Lesley over at Painter's Blog for her suggestion to dilute the ink for background sections of my illustrations. Thanks so much! I tried it on this one and am thrilled with the results. I'm going to actually look on and see if I can find a gray ink for the same purpose.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Comparison

The first one was done in dip pen and ink with watercolors. While the second one was outlined in black colored pencil. I think this particular composition worked better with the pen and ink.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Trick Or Treat

Okay...I Miss My Pen and Ink...

Yes it's that time of year again. Time to redesign the ol' website. Since my art has changed a bit, the current site I have just doesn't work any more, and I wish I was better at creating and designing web sites, but it is quite the struggle for me. I shall try my best to be brave and carry through to the bitter end in the face of html code, broken links and design stress (which one of these 10,000 fonts should I use?).

I'm still deciding style wise which direction I want to go. I wish I could just find something that works and stick with it, but I guess it's not time for that now. It will come I'm hope?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Mysterious Honey Jar

Little Pirate

"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--
..Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest--
..Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

-Treasure Island

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Illustration Friday : Capture

There's an Italian restaurant near my house where you can watch the chefs at work. They'll toss these gigantic doughy discs in the air and capture them with such grace. Then after sprinkling the toppings, they stick it on a wood panel and shove it into a flaming stone stove. While waiting for your table you can practically feel like your mouth watering like one of those cartoon characters from the Looney Toons.


For this illustration I'll really get to use the colored pencil outline to full effect. The kids and chef will be outlined darkly with bright colors, while the city street in the background will be outlined lightly with soft colors. I think it will give it the depth I've been wanting and missing while outlining with ink the last few months.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006

We Won!!

The I.W.I.N. competition is a contest put on by the Smart Writers Journal (click to see the winning entries). I entered the picture book cover illustration section of the contest, along with fellow Picture Book Junkie members, Roz at Rozzieland, Patrice at Pencil Led, and Heather at Humblehearts. And ya know what, we all won! Patty won first place! I also want to send congrats to my blogger buddies Ginger and Sherry for winning as well. Such a talented group of gals!

"Tantrum" won honorable mention. I was actually half sick when I finished this piece - we had traveled to Norfolk to help out with my grandmother, and I was under the weather. I found out about this contest, and had luckily brought my laptop and scanner. I didn't like how it came out at first and almost didn't send it. Glad I did in the end!

Late Night Stroll

I'm a night owl--it runs in the family. And what I like almost as much as drawing late into the night, is taking walks through the neighborhood with my dogs while everyone is sleeping, and the traffic has died down. There's something so mysterious yet comforting about looking up at the stars and moon. Whenever my mind is troubled, nothing clears my head more than a "late night stroll".

I just love when drawings show so much promise in the sketch stage. It usually means that the painting part will be pure joy because all of the problems of the drawing have been solved. I'm hoping it practically 'paints itself' like I'm guessing it will. Hooray! And I have no idea why this popped in my head - I felt sort of under the weather today, but I was afraid I would forget the image, or it would fade too much to remember by morning.

....does anyone else's dog try to attack their printer when they print stuff? I was printing this tonight, and my Jack Russell, Risky, took it upon herself to defend me from the monster HP Destop 940c. She fought bravely and gallantly, but I think bonked her head on the desk in the process. No worries, she back sleeping again. She's the apple of my eye.