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2576. The Cat and the Bunny – Drawing A Day

I’m trying out some new brushes and mixing different ones. The learning curve on using the many brushes is a lot higher than I thought. Perhaps I should Isolate certain brushes I want to use. Here is the cat and the bunny having a conversation. Drawn with Painter X3, Acrylic wet and Oil wet. Day […]

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2577. Bubbles have feelings....Illustrations from O.B. The E-Magination Express....

Illustrations for  Images Press
.... Read the rest of this post

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2578.


Hope that your weekend is MAGICAL!! "ABRACADABRA" Do you know what it means?? "Abracadabra" is a hebrew word meaning, It is so or make it so. So, Abracadabra and have a wonderful weekend people!

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2579. D-Frag! Vol 1 Review

Title: D-Frag! Genre: Comedy Publisher: Media Factory (JP), Seven Seas (US) Artist: Tomoya Haruno Serialized in: Monthly Comic Alive Translation: Adrienne Beck Original Release Date: August 5, 2014 I follow a very simple rule when it comes to reading comedy manga: if I’m laughing because it’s legitimately funny instead of laughing while making up scenarios ... Read more

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2580. Planting Seeds

2014-08-29

There is a grain field through my back window. I love to watch a gentle wind blow through it. Today I planted a seed by sending a request for representation to a literary agent. It will take some time but I am glad that I have finally planted. I hope there is a harvest.

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2581. Artist of the Day: Stevie Lewis

Today we look at the work of Stevie Lewis, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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2582. Manga Worth Reading August 2014

I guess the month’s just about over. That pretty much means it’s time for looking back at the month and declaring what you read the best. Or something. Before that, with September upcoming, and then soon October, I’ll be looking forward to doing a bunch of things that I was not able to do last ... Read more

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2583. Kirby... Warhol,... Warhol... Kirby.

Here's the final art I did for the Jack Kirby tribute show at The Piranha Shop in Seattle's Pioneer square tonight! It starts at 6pm... come see if you are in the area! :D 



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2584. Free Fall Friday – Critique Results – Holly McGhee

pippin

Cynthia Reeg                          FROM THE GRAVE             Middle Grade Fantasy

Monster Rule #9: A monster’s appearance should incite fear and significant revulsion to scare the socks off mere humans.

FRANK’S TALE

Shocktober 13, Year of the Scrull

Looking through the bus window, I tilted my nose up toward the sky’s “determined drear,” as Ms. Hagmire liked to call it. That was Uggarland—grim, gray, and delightfully desolate. From the bony skeleton trees, to the swampland grasses, to the lurking monsters. My itchy right palm brushed against my perfectly tucked shirt and my much too crisp pant leg. I should be an example of such determined drear, general disarray, and evil intent. Only I wasn’t.

“I saw a bat flying upside down last night,” said Oliver. My mummy friend sat next to me. His unwrapped, wrinkled brown finger skimmed down the page of the tattered book on his lap. “I’m trying to find out what that means.”

“That means trouble,” I muttered. The low rumble of voices from the other eccentric students on our bus seemed to echo the word. Trouble.

“Maybe its antennae were just damaged.” Oliver pointed to bold print on the right hand page.

I shook my head. “No. It means trouble.”

Our special Fiendful Fiends Academy Bus—otherwise referred to as OMO (Odd Monsters Only) bus—lurched to a stop in front of our school. We all climbed out, but as I tilted my nose upward again, I stopped in mid-step.

HERE’S HOLLY:

From the Grave, Middle-grade Fantasy, Cynthia Reeg

I was interested in Oliver and the first-person narrator, and I think it might be smart to start the story off with the dialogue about the bat. It’s important that the reader engage with the characters first, that we connect with them and care, before learning about the scenery of Uggarland. So I suggest moving the scenery further down in the story and pulling back on the detailed descriptions of clothing in order to laser-focus on the two kids. Hook us with them and then take us on a journey.

___________________________________________________________

Best Chocolate Cake and Other Dramatic Disasters by Julia Maranan – MG Novel 

Things I Am Good At

Field hockey

Music

Science

French

Chess

Baking?

Starting middle school on crutches had been about as bad as it sounds. While I was hobbling around trying to find all my classes after an “unfortunate accident” during field hockey tryouts, everyone else found all their friends and where they fit in. By the time I was back on my own two feet, I was pretty much invisible (except to Angie, who’d been my BFF since, well, forever). And it’s not like I hadn’t been trying things. I just hadn’t found the right thing. But today, that would finally change. I could feel it.

I took another look at the picture of the expertly frosted Best Chocolate Cake our home ec teacher, Mrs. Collins, had projected in the front of the classroom, and my mouth watered.

Baking is a good thing to excel in. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate cake? People are going to ask me to bake them things all the time! Maybe I can even get extra credit if I bake something amazing. I’ll have to find out what my teachers like before midterm grades are due…

I read through the instructions one more time: grease and flour the pan, mix everything in a bowl, and pour the batter into the pan to bake. This is going to be awesome.

“Do you want to grease the pan, or should I?” I asked my partner, Kate Nichols, who was the second worst person in the room Mrs. Collins could have paired me with.

“I think maybe you should just make your own cake. Over there.” She motioned vaguely to the counter by the sink, purple nail polish sparkling under the fluorescent lights.

“But we’re supposed to work together,” I said.

“But I want my cake to be edible,” she said, and took her pan over to a table.

HERE’S HOLLY:

Best Chocolate Cake, Middle-grade novel, Julia Maranan

I like the idea that the main character wants to find something to make her visible. But those first days of school are not here—those days with her on crutches, left out of all the quick-forming friendships circles. I would like to see them. That way I would make a connection, and I’d be rooting for this girl and her baking skills. Show us the character in her darkest moment, all those friends pairing and bonding while she can’t keep up, that anxiety and pressure, and then you’ll be set up to tell the story. I did like the list at the top! As for baking and home ec, I’m not sure when the story takes place, but in our schools, they don’t offer home ec anymore, sad to say, so make it clear what year the story starts.

___________________________________________________________

DOGS ON STRIKE! By Rita D. Russell – Picture Book 

All night long, Rufus snored and sniggled in his sleep. He dreamed about his birthday and getting super-duper treats. But when Rufus woke up… he got nothing.

“Not even a birthday card?” asked Dugan.

“Or pupperoni cupcakes?” wondered Nugget.

“Nothing,” said Rufus. “Not even the Happy Birthday song.”

The three mutts mulled over the situation while burying bones in the backyard.

“What’s the world coming to,” they groused, “when a dog gets less love than a mouse?” [Art: Rufus, Dugan,and Nugget watch a man mowing the lawn with his pet mouse peeking from his shirt pocket.]

“No walking in the park.”

“No dancing in the dark.”

“No purple pupsicle treat.”

“No cruising in the front seat.”

Something had to be done.

STRIKE???   [Art: Dogs vote at a meeting of the neighborhood dogs association.]

Rufus strode to the podium and proudly proclaimed, “Today dogs are changing the rules of the game. Our smiles and affection are no longer free. We demand nicer treatment. So until families agree…”

[Art: Families are shocked to discover…]

“No greetings at the door?”

“No footrests on the floor?”

“No herding cows or sheep?”

“No guarding while we sleep?”

“DOGS ON STRIKE!”

The cool cats stayed back. (They were not impressed.)

HERE’S HOLLY:

Dogs on Strike, Picture book, Rita D. Russell

This is a cute concept and I like the idea of turning the dog-people relationship on its head. That said, I don’t know why this dog is surprised that he doesn’t have a birthday celebration. Has he had them in the past? What is the context? If you can figure that out and keep this very simple, with excellent dialogue, you might have a winner. Check out David Ezra Stein’s I’M MY OWN DOG, just published, for a fantastic example of role reversal.

___________________________________________________________

Carol Foote           FOREVER MAGIC                   Middle Grade

The hint of a whisper.

At first Elena thought it might be trees sighing or a faucet turned on somewhere else in the house. But the sound grew louder, as if coming at her through a long tunnel. She tilted her head to listen just as it burst out, filling the room.

El-e-naaaaaa…

Elena almost dropped the pickle jar she was preparing for a science experiment. Her knees wobbled, and she leaned against the kitchen counter.

El-e-naaaaaa…” The whisper swirled around her. Then it was gone.

She ran to the window and nudged aside the white lace curtains. Outside, her ten-year-old brother Connor was tossing a plastic bag in the air and attacking it with a stick.

“For the king!” Connor cried, slashing at his flimsy opponent. “Victory is ours!”

“Did you call me?” Elena shouted. Her voice sounded high and thin.

“No.” Connor impaled the bag and didn’t even look toward her.

“Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

Elena eyed the woods beyond the lawn. Not even a leaf rustled. Gram’s car wasn’t in its usual spot at the top of the long dirt drive. Elena crossed the kitchen and peered into the living room. The solid, stuffed chairs and dark, polished tables sat undisturbed. Only the steady ticking of the grandfather clock broke the stillness. Breathing in the familiar smell of old books and fireplace ashes, Elena forced her shoulders to relax. See? It was nothing.

She returned to her experiment where vapor rose from a tray of dry ice. Like a genie from a lamp. Her hands shook, and she spilled rubbing alcohol as she tried to pour just enough to saturate the black felt she’d glued inside the jar. Tightening the lid, she glanced around the room.

HERE’S HOLLY:

Forever Magic, Middle-grade novel, Carol Foote

I think this is a fantastic opening page! Keep going. I want to know more. But get a better title. Well done.

___________________________________________________________

Thank you Holly for sharing your time and expertise with us. It is a huge help to read you comments.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, Agent, demystify, inspiration, Process, revisions Tagged: Agent Holly McGhee, First Page Critique, Pippin Properties, Writing feedback

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2585. The Very Cross Bun cover art


With the cover illustration done, it's now time to hand the baton over to the designer. I didn't expect it to be such a long road to this point. I can still remember the day Jennifer proposed a series of 'fractured fairy-tales' to me on the drive to a children's literature festival.

The agreement with the publisher is pretty open ended, which has meant doing without the sometimes helpful threat of a deadline. My perfectionism was left to run wild. And then as jobs, other projects, and life inevitably interrupted, it turned into a stop-start affair. In the end, I managed to resurrect my momentum each time, and I feel I've produce a series of inspired illustrations. At the very least the best I could do.

I would love to know your thoughts, especially if you get around to reading it.

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2586. Reading


Joanne Friar

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2587. The Cat and the Bunny – Drawing A Day

I’m trying out some new brushes and mixing different ones. The learning curve on using the many brushes is a lot higher than I thought. Perhaps I should Isolate certain brushes I want to use. Here is the cat and the bunny having a conversation. Drawn with Painter X3, Acrylic wet and Oil wet.

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2588. Jungle Grumble - the Paperback!


The day before I left for Brazil, the postman bought me another of those fun packages. I have already had an advance copy of my next book Jungle Grumble, so I have seen it, but this new copy is the paperback.


It's due out in October, although I am not sure which end. Not long though now!


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2589. Wire heraldics


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2590. take me up to the top of the city

So, it's nearly time to say goodbye to August, and summer, and Hello September. I like September. It feels like a month when changes can and will happen and I always welcome that. Plus, autumn is most definitely my favourite season. Even the word 'autumn' is lovely.

September, before it has begun, has a theme to it. I am paying three visits to our capital - which feels exciting and sounds expensive. At the end of the month I am going to see, and I can't quite believe I'm saying this, Kate Bush in concert. I know, how crazy is that? I hope she hasn't had a big strop by then and called the rest of the dates off. You wouldn't put it past her. And, I love her for that.

Mid month I am finally going to see my bookbench. It's been a long time coming, but at last, just days before it retires from the city, I'll get to see it, in situ, on the streets of London. Well, actually, in a churchyard in Greenwich. The photo, below, was taken by, and of, a couple of friends who recently visited.
Then there's next weekend and a rather fabulous opportunity that presented itself to me. You know, sometimes, a little gem of a 'job' pops up in your inbox? Sometimes, you don't even take it seriously because it sounds too good to be true? Yeah, that.

Next weekend, on Saturday 5th of September, I will be drawing for, and representing, MOLESKINE and URBAN SKETCHERS in COVENT GARDEN. It's true! Please come along. We're there all day for a big old sketchathon. Come! Draw! Plus, rumour has it, that there may just be free Moleskines. Oh yes. You'll need to get there early to catch one of those lovely worms.

Oh, oh, and I forgot to mention the rest of the Covent Garden sketching team. I'll only be sketching with, ahem, Urban Sketching correspondents Adebanji Alade, James Hobbs, Olha Pryymak. Eeeeek! I already feel like a fraud.

Full details of the event can be found HERE. Even though our Learning Sessions are sold out still come along. We'll all be hanging out, sketching, all day. Hope to see you there.

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2591. Last weekend for the Pop-Up Shop + Surprise Gifts!

Last weekend to visit the Le Petit Elefant Summer Shop, with surprises & silliness in store.
Wow, August flew by quickly! I can't believe the end of the month is already here! I'm so grateful for all the lovely folks who visited, from high school friends, long-time customers, Instagram followers, and people who just stumbled upon it on their way to Mrs. Field's cookies. THANK YOU for all the support & love!! I've had such a wonderful time running my very first pop-up shop, and fingers crossed, this won't be the last one this year (I'll keep you all posted ;).

In keeping with my promise, I'll have a couple new items debuting on Friday, and a really REALLY fun, surprise, parting gift for my customers this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (August 29-31). 
Remember those origami fortune tellers? Well, if you spend $35 or more, you get to have your fortune told, revealing your FREE surprise gift. It could be a free original illustration, a tote bag, a coupon for the online store, a limited edition print... who knows! Come by for the final weekend, say goodbye and leave feeling like a kid again :).

Le Petit Elefant Summer Shop

Pop-Ups by SJ Made
at Westfield Valley Fair
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95050

M-F 10am-9:30pm
Sat 10am-9pm
Sun 11am-7pm
Immediately after the pop-up closes, I'm heading east for my last two fairs of the summer, Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago and Brooklyn. I hope I'll see you there. I'm bringing the tote bags! :)

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2592. Friday Linky List - August 29, 2014

From the Seattle Times (via PW): Amazon ignites culture clash over France's beloved bookstores

From Ashley Wolff - "Editing" at Books Around The Table - About paring down the clutter in your life and in your writing.

From ShelfTalker (at PW): Authors, Please Don't Do This - Sneaky attempts to get your book noticed in a bookstore may backfire.

Tweet from Ksenia Anske: 7 Ways To Support A Writer:
     1. Buy a book.
     2. Buy a book.
     3. Buy a book.
     4. Buy a book.
     5. Buy a book.
     6. Buy a book.
     7. Buy a book.

Do Hardback Children's Picture Books Lack Something? (Beautiful endpapers!) by Paeony Lewis at Picture Book Den

At New York Family: Ralph Lauren Launches Children's Literacy Program

At Nathan Bransford's blog: What to Write About When it Feels Like Everything Has Already Been Written

Well, it's not my "T-Rex in a Dress," but I'm glad it's out there: A New Picture Book Biography About a Transgender Girl (at School Library Journal

At HuffPost: Dolly Parton. Really. (You do know about her amazing literacy work through the Imagination Library, yes?)

11 Things You Never Noticed About Your Favourite Disney Movies at Movieseum. (Mostly sexual, but I love the first one especially. And I actually have the poster of the Little Mermaid with the... *ahem* tower of note.)

From BuzzFeed via Shelf Awareness: 11 Things You Learn Your First Month As A Bookseller!

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2593. In the swing of things...



I'm afraid that projects and deadlines have kept things quiet on the blog lately.  And an especially beautiful Colorado summer has meant most of my free time has been spent outdoors.

The SCBWI Summer Conference in L.A. was amazing and inspirational and a bit overwhelming. It's taken me awhile to get back into the swing of things.  Meg Rosoff was especially wonderful, as was the writer's intensive.  And it's always great to see old friends and to meet new ones!

There has been the tiniest bit of fall in the air the last few days.  I really love fall... a season of cozy cardigans and crock-pot dinners, of change and of quieting down.  This coming autumn holds new book projects as well as a new adventure for my husband and I (which I'll tell you more about later).

I hope that you're enjoying the last days of summer and that you're in the swing of things.

I'll see you again soon! :)

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2594. New Portfolio Piece

I have this James Taylor song on my ipod which is one of my favorites, so simple, beautiful and uplifting. I was on a long road trip listening to it and this picture popped in my mind. The lyrics were ripe for illustrating. Here is the song...


Close Your Eyes
"Well, the sun is slowly sinking down, the moon is surely rising. 
This old world must still be spinning round, and I still love you!
So close your eyes. You can close your eyes it's alright. 
I don't know no love songs. I can't sing the blues anymore, 
but I can sing this song, and you can sing this song when I'm gone!
Well, it won't be long before another day, and we're gonna have a good time. 
No one's gonna take that time away, and you can stay as long as you like!
So close your eyes. You can close your eyes it's alright. 
I don't know no love songs. I can't sing the blues anymore, 
but I can sing this song, and you can sing this song when I'm gone!"



and here is my illustration...

 
(click to see enlarged)



detail

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2595. Pick of the Week for SKULL and This Week’s Topic

timthumb

Happy Friday!

We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Steven Russell Black, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of ‘SKULL’. You can also see a gallery of all the other inspiring entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:

METAMORPHOSIS

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

The post Pick of the Week for SKULL and This Week’s Topic appeared first on Illustration Friday.

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2596. Alvy Ray Smith, Glen Keane, and Tom McGrath To Headline VIEW Conference

The VIEW Conference, which is the largest computer graphics event in Italy, has announced the line-up for its 15th annual conference, which will take place October 14 to 17 in Turin (Torino), Italy.

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2597. Macro Photos of Compound Eyes

 Yudy Sauw takes amazing photos of the faces of insects and other tiny creatures.

The ring light diffuser around the black lens give the appearance of a "pupil." On some of them there appears to be some Photoshop enhancement, as with the one above called "Flood." 

You can buy the images as computer wallpaper or canvas prints. Via BoingBoing

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2598. Warner Bros. Moves Forward with ‘Acme’ Feature

Warner Bros. is moving forward with "Acme," a new Looney Tunes spin-off centered around the fictional weapons supplier Acme Corporation.

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2599. Thanks for your loyalty!!!

I just discovered that every single one of my newsletter subscribers except for one, is signed up for my WEEKLY "e's news and coloring page Tuesdays" newsletter (plus book giveaways). As of today, that means 3,768 folks (the number is always fluctuating) get my newsletter in their in-box every week. WOW! I am so flattered!
     If weekly is too much, did you know I have a "Special Editions" option too, where you can just get my news every now and then? It only comes out every few months or so when I have big news to share. I try very hard not to inundate that group. Although, I thought there were more people subscribed to that option. Upon investigation this morning, I found that almost all the names in that group were redundant. Only one person had signed up that way!! ONE! Bigger WOW!
     That's a lot of loyalty I wasn't expecting to stumble across today. I'm so grateful!
     But I hope y'all know, signing up for my "Special Editions" is perfectly okay too! (You won't get the giveaway notifications, but we'll still be in touch from time to time.) Anyhow - for either one, you can sign up at http://dulemba.com/index_newsletter.html
     CLICK HERE to see an example of my latest newsletter!

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2600. life sketch

a short time sketch on a very (and i mean VERY) cheap paper with a Cretacolor 6B graphite bar.

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