Friday, December 19, 2008

Playing around with washes

I was having fun playing around with watercolor washes on some old scraps of student-grade watercolor paper. I always feel so much looser painting on this old stuff because when I go to paint on the good watercolor paper, I instantly start tightening up thinking about how much each piece is costing me if I mess it up.

I know it shows a lot of texture because of the grade of paper but I actually thought the texture was kinda cool.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I just went outside to play around with my camera and take some night shots of our Christmas lights. It is snowy and SOOOO cold but I thought the pictures turned out very festive. Merry Christmas all my blogging buddies from our home to yours!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bear Hug

Here's a sketch of a piece I actually first did about 9 years ago. I always wanted to try reworking it so I have re-sketched it and I will eventually paint it.

I could use a big bear hug, it's brrrr cold the single digits. My fingers ache as I try to draw. But that could just be my age and "old Arthur" aka- arthritis, coming for a visit.

Facebook Pro Page warning

Well, I just took down my pro facebook page after reading the fine print on the copyright info. Sorry to have steered some of you in the wrong direction. I don't feel it's safe to post art on Facebook when they state under terms and conditions:

"When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and
direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in
order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content
on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you
automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you
have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable,
perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide
license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly
perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in
whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any
purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion
thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into
other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize
sublicenses of the foregoing."

Oh and learn. And thank you Kate for your wise warning!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I just took this photo outside my studio window. I was already in the Christmas spirit but this little snow we got last night made it even more festive.

My hubby and I feel so unbelievably blessed to be able to work at a home office, especially when the streets are slippy-slidey. :o)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

another Brandy girl

Ok, I am posting this again after taking it down a couple days ago. After previously posting it, I realized it just wasn't quite finished. You'll see on the digital version that there is no bottle of bubbles on the ground so that's why. I decided I liked the traditional one so I am not going to bother adding the bottle to the digital one but at least you can still see the difference between the two, digital and traditional.

Roz posted before that maybe I could mess with Painter and try to get more grain in my digital watercolor paintings and this is true. I just haven't played a lot with the settings recently. My very first book that I did in Painter I tried to put a little too much grain but at least you will get the idea of what Painter is capable of so that's what the seal painting is-- it's a painting from Swim, Swam, Swum that I did about 8 years ago.

What's on my desk

While I am waiting on a contract to be signed for a new book I'm going to be working on with Abbeville Press (Yay!) I have been playing a little on some personal work. Here's what on one of my desks...I have several desks/tables and it seems they are all this messy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another Brandy sketch

Here's my most recent installment of my Brandy series. This is the sketch with color to follow.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First snow

Yesterday was our first snow for the year, although it was very light we woke up to a light dusting on the ground, maybe a half inch. It was still a thrill and it came before December 1st! Everything is decorated for the holidays and it's already feeling like the Christmas season has begun.

I sent off my Winter postcard mailer yesterday through Premium Postcards. Here's a peek at what I did with it. I went with the traditional watercolor and did a very simple design. I sent one to myself first and was happy with the way they turned out so I sent it off to my list yesterday.

Here's to a new year of wonderful new projects!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This sketch has absolutely nothing to do with Thanksgiving but I am very thankful to be able to do what I love and love what I do. So Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogging buddies!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Traditonal watercolor

Here it is in traditional watercolor version.

I need your help in deciding which version to use for my Winter promo. Digital watercolor version below this post or this traditional watercolor version?

Digital watercolor

I finally got my email problems worked out after talking with my ISP, Apple and my webhost technical support. Whew! But, I now know a lot more about my email program then I did before.

Here is the digital watercolor version as promised. Now I'm off to try traditional.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Winter promo sketch

Besides having email problems all day...grrrr...I did get a little work done. I sketched out my Winter promo and I decided to continue my Brandy theme which I am hoping to eventually turn into a book dummy. I've decided to turn my grief into something productive.

Even though I haven't figured out my email problem yet, I'm still going to try and at least paint this sketch digitally first and then try the traditional watercolor like I did before. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall Cannonball

Here is the piece I did for the kid's magazine Children's Playmate which is part of the Children's Better Health Institute group of magazines. Sadly, this is the last issue of the Children's Playmate because they are going to merge with their other magazine Jack and Jill Magazine starting January 2009. But in today's economy, I completely understand that businesses have to do what they can to survive. So go out and pick up a copy! It's kind of the end of an one era and the start of a new.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Katherine's listed on Amazon now.

The Katherine Books are on Amazon now for pre-order. Look to the bottom of this list. These are the 6 books that I illustrated for ABDO due out in Jan. 2009. To see all the covers, go here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A peek

I have been so busy working that I haven't been able to post recently. I was one of the presenters at the Missouri SCBWI conference this past weekend so that kept be busy as well. Here is a little tiny peek at what I'm working on. I can't show much until it's published which won't be until May 2009. Sorry.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Missouri Town 1855

Saturday turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous Fall day so we visited Missouri Town, a living-history museum of houses, barns, mercantile, blacksmith shop, church and other buildings. Mostly all of the buildings are authentic and have been carried in and reassembled on the spot. I got some really great reference photos if I ever get to do a historical picture book of the Antebellum era or the Pre-Civil War period.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I know I posted this image before but it's the only halloween image I've done this year so Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My heart hurts

“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”

(Hilary Stanton Zunin)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Goodbye my sweet Brandy

There will never be another Brandy girl...

January 4, 1994-October 27, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

digital or traditional

I finally got around to painting this piece in traditional watercolor so I could compare the one I had done previously in digital watercolor. I know which I about you?

Traditional Watercolor


Digital Watercolor

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Highlights Illustrators Party 2008 Slideshow

To see a better quality video go to youtube and be sure you click the "view in high quality" below the right side of the viewing screen.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Highlights Illustrators Party 2008

Here are some of the PBAA artists in costume for the party. Me(fairy princess), Judith Moffatt (Queen Malificent), Sharon Vargo (mushroom), Emilie Boone (bumble bee), Sharon Holm (mother nature).
The trees were just beginning to change. Here's the lake behind the Central House where we stayed. Beautiful!
Here's a few PBAArs out of Costume. Me, Emilie Boone, Judith Moffatt and her hubby, Sharon Holm and Sherry Neidigh.
Above is the Boyd's Mills Press offices and then next door is the Highlight's offices(shown below) in this beautiful old house in Honesdale, PA.

And now I know why the Highlight's address is Church street. There's a church on every corner.

It really was a wonderful weekend! Thank you Highlights!

Monday, September 29, 2008

To the enchanted forest I go...

I am busy getting prepared for this weekend when I will be attending the illustrator's party that Highlight's gives annually for the illustrators who have worked for their company through the years. This is the first opportunity I have had to go so I'm super excited to see some of my illustrator buddies there! I'll try to share pictures after I return so stay tuned...

Friday, September 26, 2008

My new and updated website

OK,'s done. Stop by and take a look and let me know what ya think. If you have visited recently, you may have to refresh your browser to pull up the new site.

I had plans to do more bells and whistles but I found out Dreamweaver is more difficult than I'd anticipated so there are no roll-overs as of yet and I am still tweaking here and there but at least it's up and running. Whew!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

First day of Autumn

Today is officially the first day of Fall on the calendar and the beginning of my very favorite time of year!!

I'm in the middle of trying to learn Adobe Dreamweaver so I can redo my website so unfortunately I haven't been sketching much these past few days. Here's a piece I pulled from old archives to help celebrate Fall.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Final Katharine Covers!

I just got the final designed covers(front and back) for the series, Katharine the Almost Great, available January 2009 through Magic Wagon, a division of the ABDO Group, or your favorite educational wholesaler!

The designer did a fabulous job! I love how colorful they are! Lisa Mullarkey, the author did such a wonderful job creating/writing this series. I really think kids will enjoy reading these fun stories.

Here's all six covers in order.