Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cats... and other news

Last weekend we had our 4 year old niece over for a slumber party. And we drew Cats! Hanging out with an awesome 4 year old is a pretty great way to spend a day, especially if you get to draw cats. We also went to the farmer's market, ate cupcakes, had a rousing game of hide and seek, and played with princess stickers. A very good time was had by all.

And, just in case you missed it last week, here's a really wonderful interview with Maurice Sendak on npr.

And one more thing... pop on over to Between the End Pages if you'd like to see my version of September's theme, "Ocean Voyage", as well as some news about Marsha Riti's cute new book, The Picky Little Witch.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hansel and Gretel Re-do...

Happy Monday to you! After having a portfolio critique with Adam Rex, I decided to re-do a couple of my portfolio pieces, starting with Hansel and Gretel. I used the same basic composition, but wanted to try to create a stronger sense of light. Adam suggested that maybe Hansel and Gretel should be in the dark of the forest, about to step out into the sunshine. I also wanted to change the characters to make their poses less stiff.

The original piece is above. Below are the steps I took to get to the new illustration (not including a few thumbnails and the pencil drawing) as well as the finished image:

And here's the final image. Pen and ink, watercolor, colored pencil, and a wee bit of tweaking in photoshop.

So that's what I worked on last week. This week I'll be finishing up my "Ocean Voyage" illustration for the group blog. If you haven't visited Between the End Pages yet, please stop by and say hello!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Zombies are the worst... and other conference notes

This past weekend I attended the SCBWI Rocky Mountain Chapter Annual Conference. I got to hang out with my friend, Jill Bergman, which was great! I also got to meet the lovely and talented Erika Barriga in person for the first time. Its always nice to meet internet friends in real life.

I had a portfolio critique with the very smart and funny, Adam Rex. Its strange and wonderful how sometimes a single sentence, or even just a few words, can trigger a flurry of small epiphanies. That's what happened when I met with Mr. Rex. Now I'm full of vim and vigor and new ideas.

So, I saw my good friend, met some very friendly folks, and had a really helpful critique. But, perhaps most importantly, I seem to have gained a handle on a long held phobia of mine. You see, I am terrified of zombies. Yes, its true. And yes, I know its highly irrational. Vampires? Mummies? Werewolves? Amusing perhaps, but not terrifying. But zombies? Seeing a picture of a zombie makes my blood pressure rise. Just thinking about zombies makes my palms sweat. And the noise they make... oh dear god...the noise...*shutter*.

But this weekend I purchased Adam Rex's book, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. In it there is a comic strip called "Zombie Zombie" that totally cracked me up and left me feeling rather fond of the two featured zombies. I suddenly found myself doodling the living dead.

So, zombies, I'm still not ready to watch your movies. Just thinking of your creepy moaning, not to mention the fact that you want to eat my brain, makes me queasy. But it turns out that I think you're kind of fun to draw.

Maybe now the Zombie Apocalypse dreams that I have on a regular basis won't seem quite so terrifying. Thank you Adam Rex. Thanks for the great critique and for helping me to see that zombies aren't as scary as I thought.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ready for fall...

I woke up this morning to find that there was a bit of a chill in the air. The summer has been lovely. Hot, but lovely. And now I am ready for fall. For crisp, cool days and golden aspen leaves. Sigh. Hello Fall.

In the next week or two I'll be adding a heap of new things to my Etsy shop. Stay tuned!

And most importantly, a small town library in the Adirondacks needs our help. Please click here to find out more.