Sunday, February 28, 2010


This is a rough sketch for a magazine cover.  Can you guess which one? :0) Still lots of work to be done to it, but I wanted to make sure the art director liked the general idea before I spent a bunch of time on details and tightening it up.

I used to completely bury myself in stuffed animals (my personal bodyguards against monsters and such) when I went to bed.  My parents had to practically dig me out of the pile lol!  I had an orange gorilla that was especially tough, along with my Garfield and Ody stuffed toys.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Note Hung On the Wall of A Jack Reid Instruction Class

This speaks volumes:


NOT trees, people, rocks, water, houses, barns!  


In other words he's saying to concentrate on the overall impact of your painting instead of getting too lost in details and specifics too early.  View your objects and figures as shapes in relation to composition.  Good stuff!

Learning New Things

I'm reaching the end of a deadline with a little space in between to try some of my own experiments and work on a story I've had stashed away.  Most of all, I want to work on my watercolor techniques.  The way I paint with watercolors has truly been a trial-and-error sort of thing.  Step-by-step books just couldn't hold my attention for very long because I hated copying someone else's painting.  And, if I tried to force myself to do it for the sake of learning, it would drain my original excitement for the medium right out of me.  But, I want to learn still, because I know there are many tools and techniques that I have missed, which therefor ends up limiting my ability to express my ideas on paper--and I surely don't want that.  So I'm going to try again with a watercolor book: "Watercolor Basics - Let's Get Started" by Jack Reid.  From what I've seen in the preview on amazon it looks like a good book, and plus it starts with a philosophy about painting that I agree with whole-heartedly:

"The most important piece of equipment won't cost you anything at all: attitude.  If you're looking for shortcuts or gimmicks, you won't find them in this book.  The best kind of attitude to bring to any new endeavor is a firm belief in hard work.  Some books promise to make watercolor painting easy and order you to "have fun."  Well, I disagree.  Though I'll keep things as simple as possible throughout this book, simple doesn't mean easy.  You have to work at this marvelous medium the same way a singer must train her voice or a musician must practice his instrument.  In other words, you'll need to master the basics.  I've always ascribed 10 percent of my own success to inspiration and 90 percent to perspiration." -Jack Reid

Sunday, February 21, 2010

On My Desk

I'm going to be completing the rest of the final art for "How Much Does God Love You" over the next several days.  This is one of my favorite images from the book so far.  I'm really paying close attention to the colors this time around and pushing my comfort level with the brightness and saturation.  I have to say, I'm much happier with the results!  I think this makes the art more camera ready and also gives the person in charge of reproducing the art a break, since they don't have to adjust saturation levels digitally. 

I'm not yet sure of the release date, but of course when I find out I'll post it here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Illustration For the Auction

The Butterfly

This measures over two feet in length and about 8 inches high.  I actually stood up for half of the painting because I couldn't reach both sides from my chair lol. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lend Us A Paw

Hi all, I was recently contacted by Vanessa Brown who volunteers for a Weimaraner rescue league.  They are putting on an auction to raise money and are looking for illustrators to donate a drawing/painting/illustration to auction off--here's a quote:

"The funds we receive from your donation will enable us to provide medical care for the 150+ dogs who come through our doors next year.  It takes a lot of money to care for these animals before we find them the loving homes they deserve.  We have been so blessed by generous people, companies & organizations such as yours.  We are thankful for any support you can provide our organization in our quest to rescue & re-home these wonderful animals.  I would be happy to provide a copy of our IRS paperwork upon request."

I'll be donating an illustration, anyone else out there want to help?  If so email:  Vanessabrown7304 At (I wrote it that way to avoid spam bots).

As someone who has worked for dog rescue leagues before I can say for a fact that even the smallest bit of money could allow one more additional dog to be fed, fixed and fostered.   So yes, one drawing can make a big difference.


Babybug Sketch

Here's a sketch for the July/August issue of Babybug magazine.  The wonderful poem is blurred since I'm not allowed to share the spread until after publication.  Slight changes were made in the final art - the pig has a bubbly brush and is scrubbing the top of his head with it. Really fun project, I can't wait to see it reproduced on their high quality, glossy paper.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I have been snowed in for almost a week now, unable to leave my house and hoping the electricity/heat wouldn't go out (it hasn't so far, phew!).  Nothing new to post yet, but I promise I will soon after I dig out and get back to a normal schedule.  I'll also be answering my emails soon, as I've fallen behind on that as well. 

Till then, here is a Ralph Fiennes Intermission: Ralph Fiennes image by DJDS2124

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Snow Bear

In those rare moments when I can focus on the here and now (instead of what I need to do tomorrow, or should have done yesterday), it's so peaceful and wonderful. I just wish I could achieve that sense of trust in the world more often.