Tuesday, May 30, 2017


     My mermaid arrived! I was so pleased with the background that I was afraid of messing it up with a crummy mermaid. Haha! But I ended up happy with her as well. I darkened the water to give the illustration a bit more of a dramatic look. What a challenge! I'm happy I got it done before the end of the MerMay month.
     I'm also going to share with you a little excerpt from a story, in verse, I was working on about a year ago that is also about a mermaid. Now that I'm a year removed from it I can see where it needs more work. But for what it's worth, here's how it began.

We built castles of sand. We splashed in the sea.
We were on an adventure, my parents and me.

But my folks tuckered out, and I really can't say
Why they'd rather read books and waste half of the day.

Soon my mom fell asleep and Dad started to snore.
So I sat by myself looking out from the shore.

Far out in the sea, I noticed a flash,
A sparkling of silver, a spray, and a splash.

That's one whopping fish! It was huge! It was strong!
But as it got closer, I saw I was wrong.

It swam steadily toward me, and to my surprise
A girl broke the surface, long hair, and big eyes.

"Hello there!" she called. "Over here! Come and see!"
I glanced over my shoulder, responded, "who me?"

"Yes you, silly boy. Do you want to have fun?
Come away for the day. Let's escape from the sun."

So while my mom slept and my dad snored away
I walked into the waves with this girl, for the day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MerMay background

     I'm working on this in celebration of MerMay - a fun thing that a lot of illustrators are doing on Instagram. Some are posting a new mermaid every day! Today, I finally finished my mermaid's home and she should be showing up here by next Wednesday.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Serenity and Frog

     I've been working on a character page for my character Serenity and her frog. This is called "Love at First Sight." I made the frog more realistic looking and I think its working better for me, so I went back and redid the next piece of the pair all tucked in for the night.

This is what the first one looked like.

And here's one more character study -

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


     About 20 years ago I wrote a children's book manuscript with an oyster named Nac as the main character. At the time I thought there was no way I would ever be the illustrator because my art style was pretty realistic and cuteness in any of my attempts at creating characters was nonexistent. 
     Here I am now, polishing up the manuscript and working on the illustrations. What a difference 20 years can make! Haha! It's certainly possible that if someone wants to publish the story, they wouldn't want my illustrations, but at least I'm giving it my best attempt. I, personally, think he's kind of cute.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Eleanora and Tommy

     From the same chapter book manuscript I've started, here are two more of the main characters. This is what my portfolio needs more of and what I am concentrating on learning how to do well - pose the same characters in different positions while maintaining consistency in their appearance.
     When I was working on character development for Eleanora (Ella) I pretended to be interviewing her and asked her what her best memory was. This may or may not make it to the pages of the manuscript.

    "My best memory was the day my parents brought Tommy home from the hospital. He was so tiny. His fingers and toes were like miniatures. Hard-to-believe-they-were-even-real miniatures. And the smell! . . . No! Not a bad smell. It was a baby smell - like baby lotion, and baby shampoo, and baby chicks, and baby bunnies, and the ocean, and cut grass, and cotton candy, and every good smell that was ever smelled. That was what Tommy smelled like.
    Well, occasionally a bad smell. But mostly good ones."

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mrs. Hallovich

     This is a character I created for a children's chapter book I'm working on. I have about 5,000 words typed, an outline (my outlines are very flexible and subject to change), and several more pages that are hand written and ready to be typed. I started it more than 6 months ago and recently got back to it when my daughter (bless her heart) says, "hey, what's going on with that babysitter story you started?" I say, "why? Are you interested to know what happens next?" She says, "Yeah, it was really good." 
     All the incentive I need.