Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Doodle Sorry!

Was she bad? Hopefully Santa still gives her cookies for Christmas. :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Visit to the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum

Drove through the beautiful Berkshire landscape...

Me in front of Susan B. Anthony's birthplace

Replica of Susan's doll

Bathtub! It is soooo small!

Disturbing statue from anti-suffrage...

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Tardis Sneakers!

I am not only a children's book illustrator, I am a Doctor Who fan! To indulge myself, I bought a pair of converse all-stars like David Tennant often wore.

I masked off the sneakers with blue painter's tape, composed my ideas in Photoshop... and started!

I painted just the areas showing art with 2 coats of matte black gesso, leaving the stitching white. I cut circles of painter's tape to cover the round converse seals.

The inside-facing sides have the TARDIS exterior blue(s) - one sneaker with the "old TARDIS" blue, the other with the new blue.

My natural light bulb made it look like it was still black, but when I turned on my florescent lamp, it radiated like neon!

After it was dry, I peeled off the masking tape on the seals.

Next I gently sanded the converse round seals (to make the paint stick better, and to conceal the printed letters and stars), and painted them with 2 coats of white acrylic.

Then I traced the symbols in pencil, and filled them in with micron pens. For sharper details, I used an Xacto. I added blue paint to give it richer, less flat look. On the Gallifrey seal of Rassilon, I added distress marks, highlights and shading.

Next was the harder part - painting the TARDIS. I drew it as big as I dared, yet now I can see I could've managed it smaller after all. I wanted them both to be subtle, with stars and space and wibbly-wobbly stuff.

Using my magnifying lens was essential!

On the spines, I added "POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX". When it was all dry, I covered them in two light coats of acrylic varnish, and I was finished! Peeled off the paint, used an Xacto to uncover the eyelets.

Not sure how they will wear over time, I have heard a lot of people use fabric paints or markers for this. We'll see what happens! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Zahrah the Windseeker

Zahrah the Windseeker is a wonderful fantasy novel by Nnedi Okorafor! I made this a "cover" image after reading this book I bet I would have loved it when I was a teen., too. :) Also experimenting with color - mixing in layers on the paper rather than on the palette, and using more translucent, staining pigments.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Summer Popsicles

Another gem from Soraya's photos! Had fun bleeding color and experimenting with color mixing right on the paper - not the palette. In love with Quinaqidrone, gold! Manganese blue, purple, and prussian blue, too.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ballet Screamers

Saw a stock photo that tickled me...followed it loosely. More fun with color! Not keen on the yellow bknd., though.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Back to School

Saw two girls crossing the street one day. The movement of their legs, the way they were dressed was interesting, so I drew this from memory. Might color it...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

New Work!

After completing a very "tightly rendered" project, I wanted to do something much more loose! I like to look at photos that spark my imagination and inspire me to draw, and I found this photographer/artist -  Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy - whose photos really grabbed me.

She kindly granted me permission, and so here are the images I made from her photos. Usually when I use photos for inspiration, I change them a LOT so they don't look like they are from the photo. But Soraya's photos were perfect the way they were, so I didn't change very much.

Part of the experiment was to use colors differently - to let them blend on the paper rather than mixing them myself and trying too hard to get consistent colors, or layering them up and risking the art being "overworked".

Since I really needed new art for my agent's fall mailing, I worked on creating a "story". Soraya had a series of photos showing two girls, one with a birthday crown, another with a girl's gap-toothed grin in the shade of a willow tree, and another with two girls walking arm in arm. 

So I changed a few things, imagining the girls are walking away from an old borded up house - what if it was Grandma's?

What if the birthday crown was a treasure, buried in the back yard?

Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm going to be at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art tomorrow at 2:30pm to do storytime for kids. :)

I'll be reading "First Peas to the Table" by Susan Grigsby. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bayswater Book Festival

I'm going to be at the Bayswater Book Festival!

 July 28th in Center Harbor, NH. Along with 9 other authors and illustrators. Should be fun time, swing by if you can. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mother Daughter Wedding Day

I was going to use this as a postcard...didn't end up doing so. :) Weddings aren't always about the bride and groom. :)
Loosely based on Mom and me (I didn't even try to make her look like my Mom...who is too beautiful to capture in pictures!) 

I liked having the bride a bit geeky, like me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pie Day!

Playing with photoshop painting! Mmm, pie! It's starting to be really fun now instead of just frustrating. I can get brighter colors, change my mind as often as I want, and paint in an additive fashion - without wasting paint or breathing in fumes. Next, I want to see how much I can integrate traditional and digital media so that it is fun and satisfying.

Monday, April 16, 2012

First Peas to the Table

First Peas to the Table by Susan Grigsby. Spring 2012 Albert Whitman & Co.


"History, science and a guidance lesson all rolled into one, this could surely be the spark for many a school garden." Kirkus Reviews

"This beautifully illustrated story has a mixture of both fiction and facts about the life cycle of peas....Teachers will find a multitude of ways to use this book and this team's In the Garden with Dr. Carver." School Library Journal

"The first-person narrative relates events and Maya's changing perspective in a believably childlike voice, while the pencil-and-watercolor illustrations capture the story's tone as well as the characters' emotions." Booklist

 "This picture book seamlessly meshes together a little science, a little history, and a strong storyline." Library Media Connection


2013 Growing Good Kids - Excellence in Children's Literature Award

Selected by the Nebraska Farm Bureau's as the 2012 Children's Agricultural Book of the year for grades K-3

2013 Learning Magazine’s Teachers Choice Award


Monday, March 05, 2012


Digital drawing/painting of a stylized apple on my Wacom tablet, in Photoshop CS5.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Peas Contest Begins!

Kids and teachers might just love this one! Grow and harvest your own peas, might just win like Shakayla! Check it out here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


So many kinds of love. I'm reading 8th Grade Super Zero by Olugbemisola-Rhuday-Perkovich and seeing the different kinds of love in Reggie's life is what inspired me to sketch this.

I'm not done reading it yet, so don't give away the ending! ;)