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Viewing: Blog Posts from the Illustrator category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 51 - 75 of 142,893
51. Practicing. #Inktober

Practicing. #Inktober

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52. The art of driving

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53. WALL ART - lane

Lane have recently added eight new geometric designs to their collection of hand pulled screen prints. The Nottingham based studio were inspired by recent trips to Norway, The Scottish Highlands and Milan. They are all printed by local and highly experienced craftsmen on to paper that is produced by one of the oldest and last remaining specialty paper makers in the country which is all

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54. Painting a Texas Townscape in Watercolor

Here's a short video showing the making of my watercolor townscape in Bryan, Texas. (Direct link to video)

The video is shot with a very compact point-and-shoot camera mounted to a street pole with a flexible tripod that can grab onto just about anything.

Homemade sketchbook pochade easel using adjustable torque hinges
Full length tutorial DVD from Amazon: Watercolor in the Wild

HD download at Sellfy
 (Paypal) or Gumroad (credit cards)

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55. Keanes to Be Subject of Tim Burton Film

Walter and Margaret Keane
Walter and Margaret Keane were known for the popular prints of big-eyed children in the 1960s. Though he claimed to have painted the pictures, she created them secretly behind the scenes. Their story will be featured in an upcoming Tim Burton biopic.
Article in the Guardian: "The big-eyed children: the extraordinary story of an epic art fraud"
Walter Keane on Wikipedia
First look at the Tim Burton film
Thanks, Bryn

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56. Last Week on Pre-order Price on Decks!


The decks are slated to arrive the end of this week from the printer. This is so darn exciting. They are being born! That means this is the last week to buy the deck at the PREORDER price of $29.95, then the price goes up. You can order them HERE by Paypal, or if you prefer by credit card head on over to HERE on my art site. Email me if you prefer to send a check (be sure to include the $6 shipping and handling charge).

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57. jampire attack on oxford's story museum!

I spent a lot of time with these little dudes: Jampire, whom I really ought to name, but who is still 'Jampire', and the Iron Bear, who is probably made of bronze and is really named Paddington, but I just like calling him the Iron Bear. Anyway, I spend a lot of time at Paddington station. And today I was Oxford-bound!

It's quite fun travelling in full costume, it makes so many people's faces light up. Also, I tried travelling with my Bakewell Tart hat in a bag last time and the cherry came off the top, so it's safer just to carry it on my head, all the way to Oxford's Story Museum. Which is where my co-author David O'Connell and I did our Jampires show!

Huge thanks to everyone who came along and drew with us! I'm lucky, both of my current co-authors can draw, so we can do fun drawing double acts. We taught everyone how to draw a Jampire, but then went on to create other beasties. (Mine here is a Sushipire and Dave's drawing a Ricepuddingpire.)

Photo tweeted by @DragonDentist John McLay

Oh, I must include the lovely poster Dave drew for our event. He gave me such excellent pointy feet.

Here are a few more drawings from the day! If you came along and want to do more activities, you can find them on our jampires.com website. Here's @helen_geekmum:

Tweeted by @McgrattanRj Rebecca McGrattan

We even sang our brand-new Jampires song, and got everyone to join in the jammy chorus! (Thanks for your help putting that together earlier this week, Philip Reeve!) I was nervous about forgetting the lyrics, and writer Holly Smale offered to come on stage again and help me. (The last time she did it was for my Shark song at the Hay Festival.) She didn't actually turn up, but she was well represented upstairs in a Narnian wood, dressed as the White Witch. (The best of the costumes in the 26 Characters exhibition, I think.)

And our Jampires jam-maker came along!

Here's Emma Preston-Dunlop from The Butch Institute here with her assistant. (Emma has just spotted a Jampire lurking in her jam, oh no!)

I came home with a jar of her Cherry Bakewell with Amaretto syrup and Almonds jam and must confess that already a shameful amount of it has been eaten. Uh... by the Jampires, yeah.

Emma gave a great demonstration about how to make jam, using very basic kitchen equipment, and everyone got to have a good sniff of the bubbling raspberry mix.

Bramble tats, that Emma is DEDICATED to jam, a proper Jampire.

When I arrived, Dave was still leading his comics workshop for older kids, and I caught the tail end of him signing his Monster and Chips books.

A fabulous day, thanks so much for hosting, Tom Donegan and the Story Museum!

Photo tweeted by @DragonDentist John McLay

Bye bye, Oxford! See you next time!

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58. Clear Expectations and Rubrics


I have a guilty pleasure.

I watch reality television. My favorite kind of show are design or cooking challenges. I am a Project Runway addictee and I’ve pretty much watched every season up to date. This past weekend I finished watching the finale for the past season and HULU suggested another show, Australia’s Top Model. I do admit to watching the last guys and girls season of America’s Top Model, and I was entertained by the drama and the fashion photography. That show falls into the same category as the cooking shows I watch. I am a horrible cook so watching good cooking is a bit of a fascination for me. There’s no stress because I know I will never aspire to be even a bit better than I am as I have no talent in this area. The model shows are much the same. I will never be 5’10, twig-like, flat-chested, or eighteen again, so it’s safe to witness another world I will never be a part of. I have realistic expectations.

Surprisingly, the Australian show was much more brutal with criticism then the American show. From watching a two season marathon (yes, I watched two seasons while drawing most the day),  it seemed the judges made up the rules as they went along. Girls were judged by their runway walk, but once they got that down, they SHOULD have worked on their photos instead. And the judges picked out their final photos from a large pile they took of them usually choosing the best or the odd one of the bunch to their preference. Sometimes, criticism made perfect sense and we, the audience, learned a great deal about how to model, although, I have to say, I really don’t have that interest. Other times, criticism was random and odd. Particularly brainless was giving the girl criticism about the size of her butt who clearly showed signs of early eating disorder and was model thin.

All this model show watching had me thinking about clear expectations. I am realizing something rather important as a sensitive. I need clear expectations. What is often hard having my own business is that there is a part of me that thinks, I will do all this work and offer all this, and in return, I will be rewarded with what I need. The problem is often when that doesn’t happen and I am left with an uneven exchange.

Most sensitive folk are very responsible and we like to please. Whether that pleasing is for approval, and approval can mean acceptance, or it is simply to keep the peace because we hate conflict. In order to please we need the rules, and the rules, like in that tv show, aren’t always very clear. We want to know that if we do A/ then B/ we get a reward. Many situations we think we do A and B, we may even get chastised for not doing C and D, when we hadn’t even known there was a C and D, which is what often happens with unclear expectations or hard to please people.

In Grad School classes we were told about Rubrics. We had set expectations for each course we took describing what was expected of us. If we did a certain amount of work we received a grade. If we did things well or did more than expected, we received good grades. None of this was subjective, it was super clear. If I wanted that A, I had to do a certain amount of work and I was rewarded. WE NEED THAT!

I think we’ve all lived through situations growing up that we may have been expected to be more extroverted and do things like extroverted people do, and to be less sensitive or emotional.  This is much like being asked to be eighteen again and model thin. Impossible expectations are just that…crazy and unrealistic. We will fail but not because of what we are attempting. Trying to please and fulfill those expectations might be even crazier. (It’s what I call the Treadmill). Maybe it’s time to walk away from situations that ask that of us and be pulled to the ones that have a very clear, upfront formula for success. And if isn’t clear, we can ask that it is.

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59. Steve Bjorkman: Singing For His Supper

Link: Steve Bjorkman's web site.

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60. Kangaroos and Koalas at the Window!

I have been out of the studio doing illustration workshops most of this week, because it's half term and libraries like to put on family events. 

On Monday I did something a little different to my usual format: Castleford Museum wanted me to decorate a window. It was a tricky project to work out, logistically - I had only 5 hours, I had to work with 2 separate groups of children and the window had to be finished by the end of the day.

I used storytelling to create content and the local area as the theme. I got each group to design a hero or villain (with me drawing at the flipchart) then we spun a story around them. The children illustrated their story as a communal drawing on two huge squares of paper, then I gave them sheets of acetate and coloured permanent markers and they traced the various elements they'd drawn. I then sellotaped all the different bits of the story onto the window, trying to arrange them so that they fitted together, at least vaguely!).

The image above is the first group's story, featuring a poor kangaroo who, because he was really good at doing back-flips, got kidnapped by a travelling circus and brought to Castleford. Luckily his sister came to rescue him. I love the turning circle at the circus (always very handy when you get big animal deliveries!)

The second story, above, revolved around an evil koala, with a plan to blow up all the local banks. I love the detail of Castleford's shops. Can you spot the koala, climbing a tree to mark the position of the banks on a map? The rockets are people fleeing Castleford to take refuge on the moon until the trouble is over.

I was a bit unsure of how it would go, but in the end everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and it was good fun for me to do something a bit different. The children's illustrations are going to stay up on the window in the museum for a several weeks, which is lovely.

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61. Fall Postcards 2014

It's postcard time again. I try to send them out 4-5 times a year, but was a little behind due to some big projects over the summer.

For this postcard, I took a story I'm working on and developed the character and this scene to showcase.

Here's the back.

I sent them off last week with a wish and a prayer:

"Goodbye my lovelies. Bring me great work with great people and great money :) Mwah! "

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62. ink

since it's still October, I'm going to stick to the black and white theme and show you a few more of my "inktober" drawings. I'm enjoying the ink wash and line practice, straight without any pencils first. Find more of these over on Instagram, if you like.

pigeons and doves

I'm also doing a lot of sketching for assignments in progress. I think the November challenge will have to be about drawing people, possibly an emphasis on grownups...
In other news; I'm preparing to put a few things in the local holiday sale, working on family Halloween projects, and continuing my personal quest for computer skills (yay Skillshare)

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63. On the Road to Creating Story!

What Makes Your Characters “Tick”?

Let’s look at the beginning of a picture book story.

The initial step is introducing your main character. Can you tell us what he/she is thinking?

What is their prime directive? What motivates them? What problem are they confronting in your story?

I love sharing this series of spreads created by  graphic design pioneer Bruno Munari — an Italian Paul Rand — who loved children’s picture books.  This is from his book The Elephant’s Wish.

Here’s Elephant, who wishes he could be as carefree as a bird…



Bird wishes he could swim. Can you guess why?


Snake wishes he could graze majestically like a bull . . .


Bull wishes he could be like the elephant. Why? Then he could swish away those pesky flies! We come full circle by the end of the book.






Artist Laurent Moreau contemplates himself!




By Laurent Moreau. A girl dreams of being by the sea

Here’s the cover, which hints at the animals’ thoughts, while intriguing us with an unusual graphic.





Check out how Laurent Moreau lets us in on his characters’ thoughts:


The cover from “What Are You Thinking?” by Laurent Moreau


Ah, a play on line textures and far away thoughts by Laurent Moreau…


This woman is full of jealous thoughts. By Laurent Moreau


What a little girl in costume imagines, by Laurent Moreau



What an absorbing story! Could she be lost into it? By Laurent Moreau


Subconscious memories from a famous
folk tale, by Laurent Moreau


What a boy thinks
by Laurent Moreau


What one young woman
pines for, by Laurent Moreau


It’s all math to some people!


What a beautiful mind!


A nature lover!


Try it yourself! This one is by Marcia Sorini,
an elementary school teacher (see part 2, below)




Check out what other students have created here!

Drawing a story? Do this exercise with each of your characters first.

Check out more results here!



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A cyclops I did for Sketch dailies.  Happy Haloween!

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Great for #WorkingMoms & their kids http://buff.ly/1ntEItL Adventure Annie Goes to Work by Toni Buzzeo #kidlit CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS - ADVENTURE ANNIE GOES TO WORK by Toni Buzzeo

from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/1wyY3tZ

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66. Monster Week Wednesday!

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67. It’s Time to Honor Don Lusk and Willis Pyle With A Winsor McCay Award

Don Lusk turns 101 years old today and Willis Pyle turned 100 a few months ago. It's time to honor them with a Winsor McCay Award.

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68. Off to the Highlights Foundation, then Denver!

Thursday I leave for Honesdale, Pennsylvania where I'll be a guest speaker at Highlights Foundation's "From Prose to Picture to Published: Writing a Marketable Picture Book 2014" from October 31st - November 2nd, with fellow picture book creators Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann, and David Wiesner!!!!
     Then, for the first time in my career, I will leave immediately from Honesdale and fly to Denver, Colorado (back-to-back visits!), where I'll be a guest of the Denver Public Library, speaking to six elementary schools and one teen group about creating my books. Wowsa - I can't wait! Wish me good health and lovely weather!

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69. FABRICS - maude asbury

We continue this week with another preview of a forthcoming fabric collection to celebrate the Houston Quilt Market. Today it's a new design due in 2015 from Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics. Snow Day is a winter range filled with polar bears, penguins, and igloos. It also features subtle tribal influences with lots of triangles and textures. See the full collection online here.

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70. FABRICS - khristian a howell

And finally from Blend Fabrics I wanted to mention one more collection. Another 2015 highlight will be 'Journey' by Khristian A Howell a bold collection that is so stylish would be ideally suited to home decor projects. There are four prints in the range a graphic petals floral, ikat style dots, geometric dashes and a damask. As spotted online here at Blend Fabrics.

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71. Protected: Rio de Janeiro: ATREVIDA – Revisão crítica da exposição artevida

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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I'm extremely grateful to Ginger Nielson for including me and my illustrations on her blog " GingerPixels" Ginger is a wonderful friend and fantastic children's illustrator!

We have been online illustrator friends for years and I'm honored to consider her a friend, and to be inspired by her wonderful work and her diligence in creating characters and books that delight children and grown-ups!
I will post more info about the blog soon.

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73. Never Say He Thought/She Thought

rivet your readersEarlier this month I added Jill Elizabeth Nelson, Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View to my writing library. Did anyone check it out when I talked about it a few weeks ago. If you are looking to help you rivet your readers, then I highly recommend that you take a look at Jill’s book. I don’t even know Jill, I just feel that it is helping me with my novel revisions.

The information is good and the price is right – $3.99 on Kindle and $5.39 in paperback. 

Here is a sample about getting away from presenting a shallow POV:

In deep point of view, you do not need to write he thought/she thought. The same goes for he felt/she felt…he knew/she knew…wondered…realized…speculated…decided…wished…etc. These phrases are death to Deep POV, because they create narrative distance. Readers are not at arm’s length from the character, not in the POVC’s head where they belong.

A narrator is required in order to say that a character “knew” something or “felt” something or “wondered” something. Inside ourselves, we rarely preface or follow our thoughts with those kinds of words. We simply think what we think without saying to ourselves that we “thought” it or “wondered” it or “knew” it> If we are inside a certain character’s psyche, why would we need to say he thought/knew/realized/felt something, etc., when we can proceed directly to whatever it was that the character thought?

Here are some examples:

Shallow POV: He thought a good bath wouldn’t hurt the dog.

Deep POV: Whew! A good bath would do this dog a world of good.

Shallow POV: She feels a sinking sensation in her middle.

Deep POV: Her stomach drops to her toes. (Notice this example is in present tense for the sake of variety.)

Shallow POV: He knew that if she did that, she’d fail.

Deep POV: If she did that, she’d fail.

Shallow POV: She wondered how she would get through the next day.

Deep POV: How could she possibly survive the next day?

Shallow POV: I wish I hadn’t said that.

Deep POV: If only I hadn’t said that. (See how Deep POV applies to First Person too?

In Deep POV, we get straight to the point, exactly  people would think in their heads, without the narrator commentary. As with most rules, an exception exists. It’s okay to write he thought/she thought, etc., in dialogue.


“He thinks the dog smells,” Betty said with a laugh. Or even better, “He thinks the dog smells.” Betty laughed.

Here are a couple of hints for transforming those “telling” sentences into “showing” Deep POV:

1. Never underestimate the power of “if” and “if only.”

2. When a statement won’t do, pose a question.


Shallow: A pair of strangers approached the house, and I wondered who they could be. I felt fear grip me. It couldn’t be the IRS again. I thought we’d gotten that misunderstanding straightened out.

Deep: A pair of strangers in suits and ties goose=stepped up the walk toward the front door. Not the IRA again. My stomach clenched. Hadn’t we gotten that little misunderstanding straightened out?

Jill, so glad you wrote this book.

Jill has written many romantic suspense novels. Click this link to view her books and website. http://www.jillelizabethnelson.com/

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, Author, Book, demystify, How to, Process, reference, revisions Tagged: Jill Elizabeth Nelson, Rivet Your Readers in Deep Point of View

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74. High School Manga Romances Are A Changin’ :No Longer Heroine

We all know about the classic elements seen in shoujo manga: the heroine and hero are childhood friends, the rivals are horrible pricks, and the hero is always there to save the heroine. And you’d think by now most manga artists would have managed to change things a bit and spice it up? Unfortunately, no. ... Read more

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75. Escape from Netherworld—Borhai

More jacket art for Escape from Netherworld—it’s about a group of role-playing gamers who are somehow transformed into their characters and transported into an alternate realm: Netherworld. Yesterday I showed you Twiggy the dwarf. Here’s Borhai the warrior who starts out as a regular gaming guy named Dave.

My pal, the extraordinarily talented Gina Datres, is the book’s designer and she called me in to illustrate the jacket. After some discussion and rough sketches back & forth we hit on the idea of 3 individual images of the gamers going through their transformation. For the 2 guys, I drew the gamers in pencil but fully rendered their characters in paint. I work with watercolor (gouache), so I traced some of the drawing with a wax candle. Since watercolor won’t stick to wax, you can see the drawing of the gamer ‘through’ the painting of the character. Piper, the elf-girl, doesn’t change in size enough to make that idea work so I made her hair a magical element that swirls around her as it grows.

If you’d like to buy a copy of Escape from Netherworld just click here.

Author: David Kuklis
Designer: Gina Datres
Illustrator: John Manders
Editor: Nan Newell
Published and Printed by:
Word Association Publishers
Tarentum, PA 15084
ISBN: 978 1 59571 994 2
Available for purchase:
wordassociation.com   —   1 800 827 7903

As usual, here are the rough sketch, tight sketch, color study and final painting.

sketch sketch color study final art

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