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Viewing: Blog Posts from the Illustrator category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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51. New work by nerosunero will enter the RHA Annual Exhibition /Now for the 4th year in a row!

Afternoon drinks, RHA Annual Exhibition 2012

The Gestures, RHA Annual Exhibition 2013

Late Afternoons, RHA Annual Exhibition 2013

Woman in landscape, RHA Annual Exhibition 2014

ahhhhhhhhh! RHA Annual Exhibition 2015

details & info at http://www.rhagallery.ie/

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52. It's easy to write a picture book. It's much harder to write a picture book that will sell.

So many people think that short = easy, especially when it comes to picture books.

And while yes, it's easy to crank out a picture book manuscript in terms of wordcount, writing a picture book story that a publisher will want to acquire is an entirely different animal.

At this point, I can imagine a number of you leaping up and saying, "You shouldn't worry about the market! Just write the story that you were meant to write!"  I partly agree.

However, if your goal is to be published, then I strongly advise you to go to local children's bookstore and "new children's book" section of your library; I guarantee you will save yourself much heartache and wasted effort. Familiarise yourself with what's being published. Let yourself fall in love with some of these picture books and then ask yourself why you enjoy them so much.

A few common mistakes that new picture book writers make:

- Talking down to kids, using a style and language that comes across as awkward and lecture-y.

- Writing what is basically a short story rather than a picture book text. If you don't know the difference, you need to read more picture books.

- Assuming that a picture book story HAS to rhyme. Writing a good rhyming picture book is very difficult. Dont use rhyme as a crutch.

- Not reading their story out loud to make sure it IS fun to read out loud.

- Automatically writing in the style of picture books that they remember reading as a child.

------

Do you disagree with any of the above? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to share in the comments section.

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53. Artist of the Day: Benjy Brooke

Discover the work of Benjy Brooke, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day.

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54. New English-Subtitled ‘The Boy and the Beast’ Trailer

Mamoru Hosoda's new film will debut in Japan on July 11.

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55. Drawing...


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56. An Indie Animator’s Lawsuit Against Disney’s ‘Frozen’ May Go To Trial

The 'Frozen' teaser trailer is in legal hot water.

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57. An Excerpt from my new YA Romantic Comedy, MY BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER


Dad was at the kitchen table, sipping his coffee and flipping through his beloved Writer’s Digest.

“Good morning,” he said, without looking at me. 

“Morning, Dad.” I fell into my seat and practically inhaled the golden brown omelet, plump with melted cheddar and overflowing with mushrooms. “I’m going to the mall today,” I announced, silently hoping he’d let me. Sometimes Dad’s just in a stay-at-home kind of mood, but today he seemed passive. I think I’ve earned it, spending all of Saturday doing homework.

He chewed his food, his eyes glued to the magazine. “Sure, sweetie,” he mumbled.

I smiled and finished my breakfast.

“Don’t you have homework, Adonia?” Sullivan mocked in Dad’s direction.

I rolled my eyes. 

Sullivan has brown hair that hangs halfway down his neck, which he parts down the middle and tucks behind his ears. His eyes are hazel and his mouth is too big for his face—no surprise! He teases me about everything, and even became friends with Jake after the break up. The little pest invited him over to play video games and kept me cornered in my room. 

I shot him a look. Luckily, Dad hadn’t even looked up.

“Jake’s coming by today,” Sullivan informed me, looking for a reaction.

“So? I’ll be at the mall all day.” I took a sip of orange juice. “You know, I can hear your music all the way over here,” I said loudly, hoping Dad would lecture him again. But Dad still didn’t look up, and Sullivan pointed at me and laughed noiselessly. 

“What do you two want for dinner?” Dad asked lamely, still reading.

Sullivan slammed his fists on the table. “Lasagna!”

Dad looked bewildered. “Lasagna? For the third time this week?”

I shook my head and rinsed off my plate.

“Be back by nine,” Dad said. I turned and looked at him. “It’s a school night!” he briefed. Then he buried his head back in his magazine.

I sighed, walked to the front door and put on my sneakers.

“And keep that cell phone on!” he insisted from the kitchen.

I stepped into the chilly Alaskan air, headed for Mom’s silver Jeep Grand Cherokee. She lets me drive it while she’s away. She’s in Australia until late November, doing research on the Aborigines.

I cranked the engine and sat waiting in my seat. The car reeked of vanilla. I adjusted the automatic leather seat and carefully backed out of the long driveway. It was overcast out, like it’s going to snow. I’m not a fan of driving in snow, but it’s better than not driving at all. I haven’t crashed a car yet, and I’ve been driving since sixteen.

For a Sunday, the mall was pretty dead. It’s not a huge mall by any means. It has a pet store, a book store, a food court, a couple clothing stores, a Halloween shop, a music store, a movie theater, and an arcade. If you have lots of interests, you can spend a good day there. I’m particularly fond of the book and pet stores, though I couldn’t buy any pets there anyway, because pets are big no-no’s with my parents, especially Dad. When I get my own place, I’m buying a puppy before I even fill the fridge.

Upon entering the bookstore, I was greeted by a tall, nerdy clerk. He knows me. I’m one of the regulars.

I usually spend a while in there, browsing the young adult novels.

Classical music played over the loudspeaker, and the place smelled incredible—there’s nothing like the smell of ink and paper! At least, not for bookworms like me there isn’t!

I seated myself at the base of a bookshelf in the back of the store and looked through some books. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I’m one of those people that do—I like to see what the guys portrayed inside look like, and read through the book briefly. I’m not into naughty books, but I’ll have to admit, I am seventeen, and I am curious.

I spent a good hour reading, ignoring all the passersby and the loud giggly girls—as I call them—who walked in and headed straight for the adult romance novels. You know, the books with the half-naked men and extremely content women on the cover? Those novels. 

The girls gathered around in a circle, whispered loudly, read and pointed and giggled, and this would—on some days—go on for about thirty minutes straight. This time, though, they went on for nearly an hour, about twenty or so feet from me, laughing wildly. It annoyed the hell out of me.

I skimmed through a book titled Love at the End of the Day, which seemed like another I’m-going-away-to-college-and-I’ll-miss-you kind of book. The kind that depressed me in more ways than one, because I too was facing the uncertainty of college. And—what’s worse—I had no one to say goodbye to, because I was single.

I closed the book and sighed uneasily. My focus turned suddenly to a guy dressed in loose black jeans and a white muscle shirt. He wore a silver chain around his neck, held a black leather jacket, and strolled through the aisles in search of something. His hair was golden blonde, split down the middle like Sullivan’s, but far shorter, leveling off at the top of his ears. He stopped in an aisle in the center section of the store, between me and the giggly girls. I thought he stopped in the travel section, but I wasn’t sure. Not until he picked up an atlas of Alaska.

I watched him curiously for some time. I hoped he wouldn’t look my way, because I stared like he’s a Greek god or something.

This guy is seriously hot! Too hot to even live here!

He eagerly skimmed the atlas. After some time, he bent over, put it back on the shelf and picked up another. He stood back up and looked through it, and when he tilted his head my way I got a glimpse of his eyes. His eyes are a light crystal blue, unlike any I’ve ever seen before! They’re incredible! Too hot for words!

I jumped and practically juggled my cell phone when it rang. Looking around sheepishly, I hit the green talk button.

“Hi!” It was Lilly.

“Hi,” I breathed softly. And I nearly choked on my spit when I saw him eyeing me! His head was slightly turned my way.

“We need to get together. I’m leaving in the morning,” Lilly said, preoccupied in the background.  “Do you want to meet at the ice rink? It’s been a week and I won’t have any practice for another three.” Chatterbox Lilly has a tendency to go off on tangents. This time I couldn’t catch it all because a Greek god distracted me.

His eyes alternated between me and his book, though each time our eyes met, he looked away. “Lilly,” I hissed so he couldn’t hear me, “there’s a seriously hot guy in here.”

She stopped talking to her mother in the background. “What? I didn’t hear you.”

I turned my head toward the bookshelf so he couldn’t read my lips. “There’s this guy in here, and he’s really, really HOT.” I turned my head in time to see him stick his nose back in the atlas. “Did you hear me?” I asked in my normal voice.

“Yeah,” she uttered, “something about a hot guy. So go talk to him!”

“I don’t know...” I was always the shy type.

“No, you should. Where are you?’

“At the mall,” I replied. Then I remembered. “Hey, how’s your brother?” Please mention his name!

“Oh, he’s good,” she breathed. “He met Burke this morning, because Burke was on a business trip much of the weekend,” she said, going off on another tangent.

The giggly girls grew noisy, so I pressed the phone hard against my ear to try to make out what she was saying. I couldn’t catch most of it.

“Are you there?” is the next thing I heard.

“Yeah,” I breathed. “Can you come by the mall?”

“I’d like to, but I’m packing. Can you come by here? When I finish, maybe we can go skate?”

I was about to say yes when a smile formed on his lips. He was still looking at the atlas, but it felt like it was directed at me. I bit my lip, trying to decide—best friend or drop-dead gorgeous hot guy? Ugh, decisions! But what kind of a friend would I be if I refused to see her before she left on vacation? “I’ll be right—”

She cut me off. “Someone’s on the other line, how about I call you in a few hours, okay? I think it may be my brother, probably lost already. He’s been out all weekend in some cheesy rental! I just hope it’s not that dumb jock again!”

“Um, okay.” I was going to ask if she wanted me to drop by, but she hung up.

I put my phone away and looked at the giggly girls. They’re all pretty short—not that I’m tall or anything—two brunettes and three blondes. All between fourteen and sixteen. One of them pointed to him, the others checked him out and whispered back and forth like sixth-graders.

Annoyed, I stuck my nose back in the book. When my eyes wandered a few seconds later, he was looking at me, plain as day!

He gestured to the giggly girls with his head, made a bit of a face and smiled.

My shoulders sunk toward my feet and my mouth formed a grin. He’s looking at me! Naturally, I tried to contain myself—I’ve imagined things like this before. Yes, I’ve imagined gorgeous, literate guys checking me out, when they’re merely zit-faced losers with braces, dirty hair and the inability to formulate a sentence.

Need I remind you, the guys at school are not much to look at?

His attention shifted away from me. He put the atlas back on the shelf and pulled out another. Yup, I’d imagined it! But I found pleasure in watching him anyway, so I did.

There’s a term for that—it’s called stalking, right?

Before I could stalk much longer, he put the atlas down and very coolly strolled my way.

I pretended not to notice. I didn’t want to look dumb when he’d pass by me. That’s happened before, too, and not with a guy this hot. 

My eyes fixed to page sixteen. I waited in suspense.

No one passed by. My breath stopped when I looked up: There he was.

“Good book?” he asked with a half-smile.

“Uh-huh,” I uttered, unable to find my voice.

He cocked his head and looked at the cover. “Love at the End of the Day,” he read, straightening his head and nodding as if that answered his question. “Going to buy that?”

I glanced toward the front of the store, where the clerk sat in a rotating chair, blowing a bubble and lost in a book. My eyes met the Greek god’s. “I don’t know. Should I?”

He shrugged. The giggly girls laughed loudly, but he blocked my view of them. “You could buy it and have lunch with me. Or you can leave it and have lunch with me…” The corners of his mouth rose into a seductive smile. “Or, you can bash me over the head with it for asking.” He grinned.

________________________________________________

Excerpt from "My Best Friend's Brother".


Copyright © 2015 by Chrissy Fanslau. All rights reserved.

MY BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER, Book One
or

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58. Erich Wolfsfeld (1884-1956)


In 2009, an 83-year-old widower went to clear out his attic and found a trove of paintings

His stepmother had died 20 years earlier, and he completely forgot that he had stored away more than 100 artworks by his stepfather, a German artist named Erich Wolfsfeld.



Wolfsfeld was born in Western Prussia in 1884. He studied at the Berlin Academy of Arts with Konrad Böse and continued with Jules Lefèbvre at the Académie Julien in Paris. He worked in Rome with other expatriate German artists Otto Greiner and Max Klinger.

During World War I, he spent two years in the army, and he took the opportunity to draw portraits of soldiers.

He won acclaim for his etchings of nudes, bound prisoners, and beggars. He taught at the Berlin Academy in the 1920s, but he was fired in 1936 by the Nazis because of his Jewish religion.


He was deeply inspired by a series of travels to Egypt, Palestine and North Africa. When he relocated to England, he often posed his models in exotic costumes to reconstruct scenes he had sketched in his travels. His customary painting garb was a long white Arab robe.


Wolfsfeld died in 1956. The works found in the attic were auctioned off in 2009. Some of his paintings have been exhibited at London's National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
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More detailed biography at Stephen Ongpin
Article about the attic discovery at The Daily Mail

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59. Sketchbook-in-Progress: A Peek

I'm back from a last-minute holiday, jetlag, and then general panic as I try to catch up on my artwork for college. So here's a peek at what I've been working on, just a couple of the many ideas and sketches that I've been scribbling out so that I have a better idea of what my final project will be. Which is due far too soon for my liking ...

 

 

Sketchbook-bird-by-Floating-Lemons

Sketchbook-page-by-Floating-Lemons

 

The bird probably won't make it to the final piece, but the drippy dots might, in a slightly different form. I'm very tempted to place them, as is, on some clothing over at my PAOM store though ... if I have the time. Will keep you posted.

Have a fantastic week. Cheers.

 

 

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60. ‘Megalizer II’

A collaborative dance animation project by sixteen French animators.

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61. Hello again!

Was my last post seriously at the beginning of January?! And I started the year off planning on posting weekly . . . but I have a good excuse. I've been illustrating my butt off. Well, not off . . . it is still attached but it has been glued to a chair. The book I was working on took much more time than I had expected, but I've now completed interior art! I dropped it off just this Monday at Simon & Schuster. Here is a sneaky peek . . .


Can you guess what it is about?
More soon!

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62. Dragon motivator


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63. In Defense (Or No Defense) of Duklyon: CLAMP School Defenders

Title: Duklyon: Clamp School Defenders (Gakuen Tokkei Dyukarion) Genre: Comedy, Parody Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten (JP), Viz (US) Artist: CLAMP Serialized in: Comic Genki Digital Release Date: January 20, 2015 Free Preview: Chapter 1 Summary: In a crisis, a team of justice appears from nowhere. People call them Duklyon, the Clamp School Defenders. To defend our ... Read more

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64. IF~Window


Hello~
For this weeks Illustration Friday I give you Jaxson's Room. Can you find the 2 windows in this illo?

pen and ink with watercolor pencil

This piece was first meant for the little guys mom, Bethany. She is a friend that I work with at the library. She has a thing for mushrooms and gnomes, and she seems to really like my artwork too. So I said I would draw her a gnome. She made me a quick little sketch (darn I wish I had it to show, but I left it at work) of a gnome reading a book, by a mushroom. Simple enough. And after all we both work for a library so a "reading gnome" seemed quite fitting. As it was, time got away from me, and no gnome to show for it. More time passed, and I learned Bethany was with child. (Jax--the little guy) I then decided to alter the piece and add in a little boy gnome and give it to her for her baby shower. --On a side note the name Jax comes from the show, Sons of Anarchy. It seems Bethany and Nick (Dad) are both fans.
Bethany, Jaxson, and Nick
I don't know why this piece hung me up so much, but I just couldn't seem to get it going. Sketch after sketch and nothing felt right. Then I lost interest in doing any art at all for over a year, one long dry spell. Needless to say the piece did not get done. Move ahead to Jax's first birthday, and I'm thinking I gotta get this going before the kid out grows gnomes! Although I know his mom won't outgrow them!  So last night I was finally able to give this long overdue picture to my friend! She was happy and I was soooo glad to get it off my plate!

I also wanted to share this book with you...

I took this out of the library and decided I needed to have a copy of my own ( I couldn't keep renewing it) It has really helped me to view time differently, and how I can make better use of it in order to create on a regular basis. It's funny how "out of shape" you can get when you're not practicing your craft. I know when I'm in the mode that even if there's a struggle the struggle isn't nearly as hard as when I'm not in practice. I guess that's pretty much true for many things.

There's been some interesting things that have been happening since my recommittment to my art...

1. The manager at the Willoughby library asked if I would like be their "guest artist" for the Art Walk in downtown Willoughby (All the stores have a guest artist that evening)

2. I sold 2 pieces of Artwork after a friend saw them on FB--Thank you Cindy :)

3. My cousin asked if I would like to hang my work in her fancy hair solon--Thanks Amber!! Looking forward to making new art for that. Thinking new Tree Spirits for her shop.

So it looks like I will be busy. Plus I have 2 more kid's room pics I need to make. Feels great to be working again!

And to close with on more Illustration Friday "Window"  I love this piece!!!

 "Cats in Windows" from my daughter Annie. She holds my heart  :)

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65. Train wreck

More commuter train doodling

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66. Messy thumbnails as I brainstorm for a book cover.



Messy thumbnails as I brainstorm for a book cover.



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67. I love Mom!

Mother's DayMay 10th is quickly approaching and to honor all the motherly love we share, I took a look at parenthood from a dog's point-of-view. This piece is available for purchase from iStock.

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68. Phil Lord and Chris Miller Making All-Animated Spider-Man Film

The film already has a release date.

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69. ART PRINTS - etsy

During the month of April Etsy are promoting the wealth of artwork they have available on the site. There is something for all tastes being showcased during their Month of Art. I thought that I to would post some of the prints i have found and favourited in recent times. The first selection are from Dewey Howard aka artist Elizabeth Grubaugh. Also spotted this intricate design

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70. Green Earth Book Award Honor for A BIRD ON WATER STREET!!!!

A BIRD ON WATER STREET is a Green Earth Book Award Honor Book!! I can't think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day! Whoohoooo!

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71. painting pond life...

©the enchanted easel 2015
for a comissioned piece. that's what's on the easel this week. a boy nonetheless too! been a while since i painted one of those....

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72. Prose Pointers: Stylistic Features

  There are two aspects to each story— what it is about and how it is written. Three young adult novels I’ve read over a span of two weeks excel in certain intriguing elements of style – meaning the tools used to write them. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, I’ll Give You the Sun […]

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73. nerosunero goes live on Douban.com / China

A large selection of works by nerosunero have been selected for one of the most popular Chinese Social Netwoking Service Websites: Douban.Com see more here!

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74. Earth Day 2015

In honor of our beautiful planet...



Northern Lights
by
STEVEN JAMES PETRUCCIO

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75. Reading for Meaning

While the Janet and John and Dick and Jane books are probably the primers most of us remember, there were several other, widely used school books that taught thousands of us to read.  One such series was the 'reading for meaning' books written by Paul McKee.

Dr. Paul McKee (October 1898 - November 1974) was a university professor, an author of children's books, and was regarded as one of the most eminent scholars in his field.  McKee earned a doctorate at the University of Iowa before joining the faculty at the University of Northern Colorado.
Wikipedia

Pictured are four books from the Reading for Meaning series, Book 1 Tip, Book 2 Tip and Mitten,   Book 3 With Peter and Susan and Book 4 Up and Away.  The ribbon tied books are from The Beacon Reading Series. For information and prices of these and other early readers and school text books, please visit March House Books 


I wonder how many of you remember your first day at primary school or kindergarten. I have vivid memories of mine. There were no pre-schools or nurseries in the 1950s so my first day was also the first time I’d spent any time away from home. This was going to be a big day! I knew that because dad took the morning off work even though it was the busiest time of the year for a farmer.  Mum dressed up in her Sunday best, and made sure I was wearing clean socks and knickers!  When we arrived at the school dad declined to get out of the car even though he was wearing his ‘good’ suit. So it was left to mum to half drag, half carry me through the double doors of a terrifyingly large building.


Once inside we were met by a scary looking woman who quickly ushered mum out with the words “come along mother time to leave".  I decided there and then that this thing called school wasn't for me, but a firm grip on my shoulder prevented my escape!  I don’t think I've ever felt quite as lost as I did in those first few hours, but it wasn't long before I was into the swing of things. I loved sitting at my desk pencil in hand busy ‘doing sums’ or sitting on the floor with the other children listening to the teacher reading stories.  I soon began to recognise the simple words in the Janet and John books and the Beacon Readers, but I don’t have any recollection of actually learning to read.  Do you remember your first day at school or the first book you read?



The Beacon Reading Series background design courtesy of our little granddaughter Lilly.


Lilly will be three in May so no school just yet, 

but her big sister Zoe started at kindy (nursery school) earlier this year. Just two days a week at the moment, here she is on her first morning happy and excited to be going.  


 This photo makes me smile, the frozen backpack is almost as big as Zoe.

Just to round things off, this is me with my dad and my older brother and sister.  I’m not sure of the date, but I would guess September 1953 just before the start of the new school year and my first term. My brother and sister are quite a bit older than me so by the time I started at primary school they had already moved on to seniors.  



Thanks for looking.

Details of the featured books can be found at March House Books (unless sold)

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