Wednesday, August 26, 2015


     I am attending a conference for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in just a few weeks.  For the last couple of months I have been concentrating on my portfolio, pulling out old pieces that I liked but thought I could make stronger, as well as working on new pieces. I'm choosing my 15 strongest pieces for a face-to-face portfolio review scheduled during the conference with someone in the industry who can give me some input and constructive criticism. I am sooooooooooo excited.  (Sorry for the gush there.)

     This is what the original piece looked like that I did for Illustration Friday - EXOTIC.  I did it about a year and a half ago. It was not too bad but the poor little tiger doesn't have a chest and the background was just so-so.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Drawing practice
Taking photos and turning them into illustrations. My step-daughter sent me a link to artist Julio Cesar who does just that.  His are wonderful!!!  Mine are not as cartoonish, and I'd actually like to push more in a cartoonish direction.  I may even redo this one and see if I can push it further. Had fun doing it!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Illustration Friday - HEART

I did some brainstorming and word association for Heart and came up with this.  Can you hear the music from the piano? 
Heart and soul, I fell in love with you; heart and soul, the way a fool would do; madly . . . 

Saturday, August 15, 2015


This will be my submission for the SCBWI newsletter. Word prompt is MUSE.
     I had some fun starting this one. I got out my sculpey clay and created a little human figure to help me with positioning.  It did help a little, but mostly it got me interested in doing more sculpture. I had a lot of fun!
Here's one of the photos I took.  

Monday, August 10, 2015


This piece has come a long way.  It started in 2012 in my Sketch-a-day sketchbook. I was just starting to try my hand at illustration. I was learning to draw from my imagination, sketch, and work out concepts.  I had found Illustration Friday and was doing the weekly word prompts but not posting. The IF word of the week was INTENTION. Here's what my sketchbook page looked like:

 The next year Illustration Friday posted the prompt PROTEST. I took this idea and ended up with this, which I posted in 2013:

I always liked this idea and with a couple more years of practice under my belt, I redid it again which is the image I posted today.  Notice, I kept the same cat. 
Who knows? - in a couple more years I may rework it yet again!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Illustration Friday - POINTY

 I had two paintings of my daughter in progress at the same time, and finished them this week within a day of each other.  This one fits nicely into the IF word of the week - POINTY (good timing). Louisa wearing a pointy witch's hat.

Preparing for Prom

     Just finished this 20 x 24 oil portrait of my daughter.  I worked from a photo that I took in 2014. I've been working a lot on my illustrations and haven't done much painting this year so I was feeling like I needed to stretch a few of those muscles. I took a few photos of my process to share.


Monday, August 3, 2015

APRIL in August

April Showers Bring . . . Fishes 

I'm entering this in a calendar contest for the SCBWI conference in September. Any member can illustrate a month and if they win it will appear in a printed calendar for the Northern Ohio Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Fingers are crossed.
     It is done almost entirely digitally except for the preliminary sketch which I dropped into Corel Painter.  I can't imagine giving up the good old pencil for sketching out ideas. Originally the background was a house but I didn't think it had the visual impact that this background has. That's what I love about working digitally. You can change your mind in a very big way without starting completely over.

Here's the little seed for the idea that started in my sketchbook.

Update: I won the contest with the most votes! Yay! My image was used for the month of September!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Illustration Friday - GROW

A quick (well, relatively quick) digital sketch for the word GROW, which is exactly what my kids did, and they did it well - especially my 6'5" son.  Now that my husband and I are nearly empty nesters, I've been thinking quite a bit about moving to a new home with features more suited to us and the next phase of our lives. One of the saddest things we'll be leaving behind is the growth chart in our kitchen.