Thursday, May 26, 2011

Meet Charlie

This little duck is the star of a new story I've written!  I'm still working on the thumbnail sketches (below is the first set).  "Alligator's Boo-Boo" is in the hands of a publisher now (exclusively, through my agent) so while I'm waiting for their response, I'm on to the next book!  No sense in waiting around twiddling my thumbs ;-) As usual, I like to keep the story itself on the down-low!  But I'll be sharing sketches as I work on it.

The first color illustration is of a newly born Charlie, and the second is of him slightly older.

Prowling Time

Moonlight Sonata

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Illustration Friday: Soaked II

Nothing like soaking in a good book!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It Works!

I actually did two drawings for the printer test.  One was outlined in colored pencil and the other in ink.  The printer reproduced both flawlessly!  And to be honest, I was so nervous about going over the prints with a brush and water.  I just knew the ink would run and ruin the colors.  Nothing of the sort happened, it was perfectly waterproof.  Even more so than my Higgens black magic ink, which can still run at odd times.  
To add to it, this watercolor paper was soft press.  Soft press is more textured than hot press, and less textured than cold press.  There were no problems with the ink bleeding or with the line being fuzzy.


I'm going to run this drawing through the printer as a test.  Hope it works!

Don't Mind Us - Color

Friday, May 20, 2011

Don't Mind Us

Awesome Printer Demo by Matthew Cordell

I don't know about you guys, but there is one part of illustration that I can't stand: transferring my drawings, hunched over a light box.  I simply DREAD it--especially when it's a big double-page-spread with lots of details.  Meanwhile, I'm blinding myself prematurely by trying to decipher pencil lines through 140lb watercolor paper.  It's a bummer and sucks the creativity out of me.

BUT, there is light at the end of the tunnel, folks!  Please check out this detailed demonstration by one of my absolutely favorite author/illustrators, Matthew Cordell.  What if you could PRINT OUT as many copies of your under-drawing as you wanted in a matter of seconds--waterproof and directly onto 140lb watercolor paper?!  Whether this works on cold press/textured paper I don't know, but it certainly works on hot press.  Matthew shows you how to do just that, and includes a link to the amazingly low priced printer he uses (all the ones I've seen are in the thousands--this one is strangely only a tad over one hundred, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth!  I bought it).   Time is money, so I know personally I'll be finishing my final art a heck of a lot faster than I did before, which may mean I could fit in that smaller job I might other-wise have to pass up.  Plus, I'll simply enjoy the process of painting more.

While I'm at it, I want to plug Matt's awesome new book, written by Lauren Thompson: Leap Back Home to Me.  Look at that adorable cover!!!   Ever envy an illustrator because they get to work in a style you'd give your eye-teeth to work in every day?  Anyways, this book has received fantastic reviews (Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred reviews, no less).  Congrats Matt!

I'm getting my printer in the mail hopefully tomorrow - I'll let everyone know how I like it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Illustration Friday: Safari

I think I'm happy with this one :) Painted in watercolors, outlined in colored pencil. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Safari Sketch

Hey fellow picture book addicts, I'm back to clear the cobwebs off this blog - my gosh there are lots of them.  I'm currently working on a promo postcard for the's my sketch:

Of course, when I'm happy with the sketch I get super anxious about doing the painting part of it.  Choosing the wrong colors and line quality could completely ruin the whole thing- fingers crossed that it all works out!