Thursday, July 14, 2016


   This is my latest illustration. I did it for the SCBWI online newsletter with a monthly illustration word prompt. This month's word - Admire.  I've been taking online illustration classes on a wonderful website that I may have mentioned before - SVS Learn. I am learning so much! My old habit was just to go with one of the first things that came to mind and get started drawing. I'm trying to make myself do more brainstorming beforehand and it helped this time. This image was approximately idea #8. Once I had narrowed down to this idea, I still had to plan the composition and put some of the things I've been learning into practice. I am learning (more like being reminded) to do MORE THUMBNAIL SKETCHES! I always knew it paid off to slow down and put more effort into the planning stages. I read once that 90% of the illustration work should be done before you start painting. I'm still a little too anxious to jump in and start the final stages, but I'm getting there.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


I just finished this piece of work for Blain and Barbara Swabb. Blain started with the rock formation and wanted to see it come to life with color and detail. I was happy to oblige and had a lot of fun working with them and helping him accomplish his vision.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pet portraits

This is a colored pencil portrait I recently did for a client.
I love animals! Love drawing them too! 
If anyone is interested in having a pet portrait done, feel free to send me an email. - 
Below are a few others I've done in the past. 

Loki - pastel

Murphy Marie - pencil

Dennis - colored pencil

Friday, May 20, 2016

You ain't nothin' but a . . .

Just exercising some pencil skills. 
     I discovered a wonderful website a couple of weeks ago called SVS Learn. It's full of instruction videos and live online classes specifically for illustrators. So, I've been viewing the courses and doing some rough sketches of animals, studying their anatomy. When I pulled this photo out of an old magazine and started to draw, I realized it had been a long time since I had patiently worked out a nice pencil drawing and he was so darn sweet that I decided to spend the extra time and take him to a "finished" product. My sketchbook and my studio are full of so many incomplete drawings and paintings! Shame on me. I need to work on that.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Million Years Ago

     I haven't posted in a while. As the saying goes, 'life is what happens when you're busy making plans,' and I had big plans for April. I've moved forward by inches rather than making great strides but at least I've moved forward. This piece is something I did at the beginning of April. It's a more finished idea of the first page spread for my story "The First Pearl." Below is the first rough sketch in acrylics that I did for the dummy book. 

     I've been taking my first online class - a webinar on pacing picture books and its been very motivational.  I'm now trying to focus more exclusively on my stories, so the illustrations that I post will more directly relate to my stories and their development. 

This guy is Quin. He is a clay model I made for one of the characters in "The First Pearl."

Monday, April 4, 2016


This is something I thought of doing early in March, but didn't get around to starting it until about the 28th.

Here's a little poem I wrote for fun at the beginning of the month:

It's the first day of March. As I sit here I'm tryin'
To figure why it must come in like a lion.

There shouldn't be snow, or cold, blustery breezes.
Enough of the flu. I am sick of the sneezes.

It's time to move on from this winter-y gray,
From the weather that keeps us inside all damn day.

You're long and you're wicked. I tell you I am
Hoping you'll truly go out like a lamb.

Well, no such luck. Although Ohio did have a beautiful Easter, March went out like a lion as well and brought his brother to hang around for a while in April.