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digital illustration

Practicing Picture Books With A Pro

I recently attended a regional SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) conference and learned some new things about what makes a great picture book. Of course the pictures have to be beautiful and visually compelling and have an entertaining story told in simple language, but creating a wonderful book is so much more complex than just the combination of those two things. A magic mixture of elements has to come together to create a really good picture book.

I also participated in a workshop lead by Martha Rago Associate Creative Director at HarperCollins Publishers. It was a challenging project focused on picture book character development, putting the characters in a setting in their world and creating a jacket image for the cover. Martha provided a synopsis of a story under development entitled “Princess Cupcake” for us to work with. She reviewed in-progress sketches, made comments and then critiqued the finished work. Here is the cover and two finished spreads that I created for the project. I couldn’t resist giving the princess a cat friend and also threw in some of my hand-lettering.

Tuesday Tea Time

Tea for two? Or, maybe it’s coffee for you? Isn’t it nice to take time for a chat with a friend over a hot cup of your favorite something. I did just that the other day and felt renewed when I got to the studio. When was the last time you did that?
Today’s cup is a continuation of my geometric cup series and will be in my shop soon.
“Two Cups”, digital illustration

Tuesday Tea Time

My shop is now open on Etsy with a selection of sixteen limited edition signed prints. Included currently are food related illustrations and lots of tea cup prints—or coffee, if you prefer. The photo above shows how great they would look in a simple frame. And more of my work is coming to the shop soon!

Tuesday Tea Time

I just discovered the iPad app called Paper by 53 which is simple and pretty great. This was the first thing I drew using my finger. Since it happened to be a cup and saucer (surprise!) I decided to share it with you. In the app you use the accordion fold paper notebooks to sketch, draw, write down ideas, or blend watercolor with your finger.

You can add new notebooks, add pages and even customize each of your notebook covers with one of your images. The accordion fold book appeals to me because I like to paint handmade artist books that fold this way. So now I have a new digital sketchbook to work in. I can’t wait to get my stylus so I can draw with it…but my finger seems to work pretty well for a rough, quick sketch. See more about the app here.

Tuesday Tea Time

Just looking at these two stacks of jaunty cups and saucers I created for today’s tea cup image puts me in a cheerful mood. And, this quote by writer George Gissing seems to say it quite well for me…
“The mere chink of cups and saucers 
tunes the mind to happy repose.”
“Stacked Cups”, digital illustration

Tuesday Tea Time

Each morning during the warm weather months I take my tea and breakfast into the garden. Honeybees buzz busily from blossom to blossom, our two cats tiptoe around exploring, and birds thirst for a quick drink from our water fountain but decide to wait for a more private time. The mornings are getting a little bit cooler each day so I sit and read, write in my journal or sketch, savoring every last minute of patio time.
“Drinking Bird Cup”, digital illustration

Tuesday Tea Time

Here is a nice quote that is quite appropriate for today’s tea time image. It was written by an unknown author…short and sweet but kind of profound in a way.
Tea is a cup of life.”
“Blossom In Cup”, digital illustration

Our Boy Bob Illustrations Completed!

I just finished all of the illustrations for my children’s book “Our Boy Bob” (boy does that feel good)! I have been refining my drawings and then digitally painting at my computer for these past six months.  I had already written the book and sketched out all of the illustrations years ago, so I was optimistic in thinking I’d get finished before now. A huge part of my goal has been reached–the next part is to get it published and available for purchase. This is a happy day for me and I wanted to share it with you!

Artist Signed Prints for Backers

This is the 5 x 7 inch signed print.

Just starting week two of the funding campaign for “Our Boy Bob” and I wanted to share these incentives with you. These are the images for the limited edition signed fine art prints from illustrations in “Our Boy Bob” for backers who have selected these incentives on Kickstarter.

This is the 13 x 19 inch signed print.

Keep spreading the word about “Our Boy Bob”. And thank you so much for all of your support!

Our Boy Bob on Kickstarter

Exciting news! I just launched a Kickstarter campaign for my children’s book project “Our Boy Bob”!
I wrote the story and sketched the pages years ago and it lingered in a folder waiting for me to finish it. The time has come. My resolution this year was to finish this book and get it published, and after lots of thought I decided to self-publish and fund it through Kickstarter.
I am so happy to share this with you!
Please check out:
“Our Boy Bob” on Kickstarter.
If like it please share this with everyone – facebook, blog, tweet it, etc. to help me get the word out.
I truly appreciate your support! Thank you!