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73726. Scared

Another Lunch Study

The idea was to take the color scheme of this painting from Klimt and apply it to your picture. I have a tendency to move stuff around quite a bit using, contrast, saturation and hue so the final product has a different color scheme. But originally, it was the same! Believe me!

This was fun and make me realize that I have to stop using the same three colors in all my paintings! :)
Not great but I just had an hour and a half to do it.

2 Comments on Scared, last added: 9/5/2010
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73727. IF ~ Dessert

One of my latest portrait commissions I'm using for this week's Illustration Friday.
I believe it fits perfectly, like icing on a cake...cupcake to be exact!

When you purchase an item from MY STORE, 10% of your purchase price will be donated to my favorite animal charities; Last Chance Animal Rescue and Horses Haven, both in lower MI. Which charity the donation goes to, will depend on the item purchased and I will love you forever from the bottom of my little black heart. ...and even if you don't purchase anything from me, you can go to their site and make a donation! These animals deserve a chance!

Have a seat in the sun with a tall cold glass of something and browse through the pages of my website ArtQwerks

4 Comments on IF ~ Dessert, last added: 9/4/2010
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73728. My Sketch Book is Here!

My Sketch book for the Sketchbook Project 2011 finally arrived (it took almost two weeks)!! It came with an official Brooklyn Art Library card. Cool! Anyway, now the sketch book is here, so the pressure is on! One of the reasons I am doing this is to conquer my fear of sketchbooks. Most of the time, I prefer to sketch on loose sheets of paper, because they are easier to throw away if they don't turn out looking very good. I have a fear of other people looking at my sketch book and seeing a bad drawing. So here I go. I'm going to fill up an entire sketch book and send it out into the world to be seen by anyone who cares to look. I will be posting my sketches on the blog as I go. There is about 90 pages to fill up. I can do this, I can do this!

And the theme I have chosen to draw.....drum roll..........is........Science Project Gone Wrong!
Post any fabulous ideas you have for that subject, and they may just end up in my sketch book!

1 Comments on My Sketch Book is Here!, last added: 9/4/2010
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73729. New work by Wilmer Murillo

Wilmer Murillo has updated his portfolio with some new personal work. Check it out!

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73730. sharing is caring 99.999% of the time

Today- my kid went off to the mall- to shop for school shoes- wearing- my shoes.  For the last year my shoes are fair game as she is 10 and slightly taller than I am.  I share so much stuff with her- as long as she asks politely first. Hairbands - some costume jewelry.. and art supplies.  I have watched many a paint brush die an untimely death at the bottom of a jar as she tried to "wash it real good"; prismacolors- sharpened to nubs; watercolors- mixed in between the pots-ahhhhg.  My nice markers- strewn about no caps on!!! Almost more than an o.c.d Mom-artist can take. But I draw the line- at- my - vellum.  

Tuesday she had to make a bookmark about a book she read this summer. "Mom- what should I use- this sketch paper is too flimsy and I can't see thru it."

"Put it on the lightbox!"

- "Nah, how about........"

(and I turn around- knowing what she's about to say- fearing it......)

-Vellum?"(it's already in her hands!!!AHHG!)

(my inner Joan Crawford in check) -

"Tracing paper!!" "It's around here somewhere!!!!!!"- I tear apart the studio - find it- say "Go to town."

-sigh. Ahhh. Done with so little emotion- as to not alert her to the fabulousness of the vellum. That's it- that's where I draw the sharing line. My drawing vellum. It is off limits - I covet my drawing vellum.

She has a nice art life - being my daughter- so no sympathy for her. Some day she can buy her own vellum.

On a side note: I have a pal- who has a blog.(really? a blog?) yes- we all have them these days- but she's a prize so I think you should check it out.

The Mommy Chronicles

2 Comments on sharing is caring 99.999% of the time, last added: 9/3/2010
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73731. TALKBACK: What are 2010 graduates doing?

Young animator

Here’s a talkback post dedicated to all the students who have graduated from animation schools in 2010. Now that it’s been three to four months since graduation, I’m curious to hear who’s had success finding a job in the animation industry. Would love to hear from students all over the world and hear what the job situation is in your part of the world. And with schools starting up again right now, this year’s juniors and seniors will find your experiences useful to hear too.

Here are some things you could address:

1.) Are you looking for full-time work in the industry, freelance work, or are you working on independent projects?

2.) What kind of work in the animation field have you been able to find?

3.) Is the job market what you expected it to be based on what you’d heard in school?

4.) Are you optimistic about the current state of the industry?

We’d appreciate it if only students who have graduated in ‘10 would respond to this post.

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73732. Illustration Friday - Dessert

"Carrot Cake"

colored pencils on illustration board

I did this one a while back. I do love a good carrot cake. Not from a box, please. And the cream cheese frosting has to be just right.

Speaking of food, today at the store I was drooling over Cook's Illustrated Magazine. The beautiful work of John Burgoyne graces the back cover every month. This month he drew a whole page of blue cheeses. Even if you don't like blue cheese, you would be tempted to try some after seeing these little illustrations. Go look at his portfolio page, and click on the food/cooking link. Those olives!

Cook's Illustrated also always has a lush still life painting of food on the cover. Its a yummy magazine, all the way around. And their show isn't bad either. I've learned a lot watching America's Test Kitchen. As much of how not to do things as how to do them right. If you like to cook, I highly recommend both (and no one has paid me to say this).

Its Labor Day Weekend here in the US, which means a 3 day weekend for regular working folks. Not so for the rest of us irregular working folks, I'm afraid. My drawing board calls, but that's a good thing. If you're one of the lucky ones who gets to 'get away' for a few days, have fun!

3 Comments on Illustration Friday - Dessert, last added: 9/24/2010
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73733. momo the shy girl

here's my latest doll i made.
please welcome 'momo'!!!

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73734. Illustration Friday - Dessert

Hotdogs for lunch and ice cream for dessert. This is from my latest VBS project Big Apple Adventure

7 Comments on Illustration Friday - Dessert, last added: 9/24/2010
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73735. It's Almost Time for Booktime

If you live in the UK and have a child starting school for the first time, your child will be receiving a free book bag with Eric Carle's "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth" and a copy of "Why is the Sky Blue" written by Geraldine Taylor and illustrated by me. The book bag is generously being distributed by Booktime.org and you can find out all the details here. Oh and don't forget about the fun interactive games you can play online.

If your child will not be receiving a book bag, you can of course purchase it.  I have a link on my blog with info on how to purchase it in the UK and in the US.

The books will have an enormous distribution and I cannot begin to explain how exciting it is to share my illustrations with so many children. When I was that age I was eating up every book I could get my hands on! I loved Dr. Seuss, of course, and even wrote him a letter. I received a personal letter back and a signed autograph which hung over my bed for the longest time.

1 Comments on It's Almost Time for Booktime, last added: 9/24/2010
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73736. Mushrooms, Gnomes, and works in progress...

A few weekends ago we went on a hike to American Lakes (also called Michigan Lakes) in Colorado State Park. Here's the view from the top....

And here's what we saw along the trail...

Mushrooms like this always make me think of one of my very favorite books....

"Gnomes" by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet. This book has delightful illustrations and is full of everything you ever wanted to know about gnomes.

I'm working on some new portfolio pieces and the mushrooms will make a cameo in one of them...

1 Comments on Mushrooms, Gnomes, and works in progress..., last added: 9/24/2010
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73737. a preview

a little preview of my latest project. ^^
plus, i felt a little bit guilty for abandoning my blog for such a long time. i'll try to keep up with IF again....!

7 Comments on a preview, last added: 9/10/2010
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73738. It feels like Fall!

It feels like Fall today! In the seventies with low humidity and it was actually chilly this morning! It feels like heaven!!! Here's another practice piece to celebrate Fall.

10 Comments on It feels like Fall!, last added: 9/25/2010
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73739. How I Do It - Video Edition!

Lots of folks ask how I create my unbelievably gorgeous illustrations. They guess either woodcut or linocut, but they're horribly wrong—it's actually scratch board. So, I thought I would give all my adoring fans a peek at how the magic happens by making a few sweet "behind the scenes" videos.

This first video shows how the scratch board part works. (Sorry in advance for the crappy image quality. I don't have a sweet high def video camera, I'm poor.)

After this, I'm hoping to make another one or two covering the digital side of the process, which is where things get even more magicaller.

This, by the way, is a raw scan of the herring (without any digital clean-up). Let's call him Jørgen.

5 Comments on How I Do It - Video Edition!, last added: 9/25/2010
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73740. Upwards


*This non-repro. blue tutorial is great.

*Color Plus Food - Color schemes drawn from all things edible

*The Sketchbook Project - Mine came in the mail the other day.

*If you haven't checked out this fabulous auction to benefit 826LA, run!

*I'm vaguely obsessed with the trailer for "The Illusionist."

*And Limonata is the stuff dreams are made of.

2 Comments on Upwards, last added: 9/5/2010
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73741. Demistifying the Graphic Novel

Scholastic editor Nick Eliopulos is a graphic novel fanatic! At the 2010 SCBWI LA conference he shared his experience making the graphic novel The Sons of Liberty. He had so much insight into the graphic novel universe that I couldn’t fit it into one post! So if you have even an inkling about writing your own graphic novel then read on my fearless friends!

Publishers Want Graphic Novels!

  • Graphic Novels have gotten bigger and bigger in the publishing world in the last ten years. But progress is slow. Publishers are still trying to figure out how it all works.
  • Publishers see graphic novels as a way to expand their current market and get new readers.
  • Graphix is the Scholastic imprint that publishes graphic novels. They published Bone.
  • Graphic novels is growing in the publishing industry, everyone want to do one, but they are being picky due to cost.
  • Manga has hit a wall.

What Kind of Stories Can Be Graphic Novels?

  • The question to ask yourself is: is your story visual? This is the number one reason to tell your story as a graphic novel. If you have a lot of people sitting around and talking, then it may not be the right medium. Think about what the visual element brings to the story and how that can help it to be unique.
  • Plot, character, and voice are all the same when it comes to a graphic novel. Keep these story elements in your book. They are still just as important.
  • The media can accommodate all genres, even non-fiction. So be creative!
  • Not all graphic novels are action adventure. A lot are because it is visual, but it is not exclusive.
  • Baby Mouse is one of the youngest books (age group) Scholastic has created as a graphic novel.
  • Yes, Graphix has published girl young adult graphic novels.
  • Graphic Novels can really adapt within the market. They flow well between middle grade, young adult, or genre fiction. If one genre is hot, you can make a graphic novel in it.

Tips on Writing and Pacing Your Graphic Novel:

  • Writers should draw out some of what you are writing so that you can get a sense of how the book is working and the pacing. Use stick figures if you want.
  • A page in a graphic novel is a piece of artwork in and of itself, but that isn’t so with a novel. So you really need to consider what goes on each page and why.
  • Scene changes in the middle of a page can be very awkward visually.
  • End the page with a beat. This can be a cliff-hanger to get you to turn the page, but it doesn’t hallways have to be. An emotional beat works too.
  • The left page is different than the right page. Be aware of where a reveal is in your images. Turning a page is a good way to reveal something. But if you put the reveal on the right side, the viewer will skip everything on the left page and go straight to the reveal.
  • Can you show the transition from da

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73742. Telluride Film Festival: Day One

Not much happening yet, but jump on over to ...On Popcorn and Movies, if you want to read up on the beginings of probably the only festival you will see the big namers in grunchy tshirts and jeans- or start following my other blog for continous updates.

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above poster by Béatrice Coron, 2009

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73744. More Red Riding Hood Art

Don't be afraid of the Big Bad Wolf!

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73745. ellie mermaids

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73746. Sketchbook Week

Here is a small sketch from my sketchbook. And a color version.....Labor Day weekend always brings on a bit of melancholy, as it officially wraps up the Summer season. Soon the flower gardens will be covered with dead, fallen leaves....have I depressed you enough? Aw....go out and smell the flowers while there are still a few left. Happy three-day weekend everyone!

4 Comments on Sketchbook Week, last added: 9/6/2010
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73747. The Jim Store Goes Live!

 I know. You don't have to say it. It's been forever since I posted here. Whew. Now that we got that outta the way, we can move on to my shameless plug. There's customs and original art. More stuff is in development. By all means stop by the Jim Store, and for Pete's sake, have fun!

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73748. sweet treat!

A sweet surprise from my wonderful editor at Alfred A. Knopf arrived yesterday - two copies of Sweet Moon Baby. Oh my goodness, I'm so excited!

It's an absolutely lovely adoption tale written by Karen Henry Clark. Illustrating it was a gift indeed!

The release date is November 9, 2010. Easy for me to remember - it's my son's birthday! :)

2 Comments on sweet treat!, last added: 9/7/2010
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73749. When to Walk Away from a Personal Project

(Illustration by Caleb Morris)

Do you ever struggle with finishing projects?

Last night, I had the pleasure of joining Chris Oatley and Jerzy Drozd for a last-minute conversation about personal projects and the art of “finishing” for an upcoming episode of Chris Oatley’s Artcast.

I’ll be sure to post a link when that episode goes live, but in the meantime I thought I’d share my thoughts on an important question that Chris raised in the discussion:

“What advice would you give to an artist who is struggling to finish a personal project?”

In his question, Chris gave an example that I’m sure many of us are familiar with, in which an artist is about 70% of the way through a project, and they see the finish line, but are having a hard time mustering the inspiration or motivation to see it through to it’s completion.

I’ve definitely been in this situation before, and I’m sure that many of my fellow artists have as well.

My response to this is more of a question than a piece of advice, but it’s a very important question that can help you to decide what to do about your creative block.

Do you care?

Contrary to what we might think, not all personal projects were meant to be “finished”.

There is a lot to be gained from personal projects, when it comes to experiencing, learning, and growing as an artist. That being said, I’m sure many of you have reached a point in a particular piece when you feel like you’ve gotten everything that you can out of it. Perhaps you’ve mastered a new technique, fine-tuned an approach to storytelling, or learned some new tricks with a new medium, and sometimes that’s all you need to get out of a project.

If you’re no longer feeling inspired, if you’re no longer feeling motivated, if you no longer care, then maybe it’s time to walk away and focus on something else.

Nothing Lost

That doesn’t have to mean that your time has been wasted, especially if you’ve gained something from the experience.

And, that doesn’t have to mean that you won’t return to it in the future.

But there’s simply no point in proceeding if all that awaits you is pain and suffering, and possibly even a seriously compromised work of art that was finished just for the sake of finishing.

Of course, there’s a lot to be said for following through, and getting in the habit of leaving things unfinished isn’t necessarily the best work ethic either. But it’s important to learn to recognize when an idea has run its course, and to remember that the best reason to complete a personal project is that you care.

Have you ever let a personal project go? Why? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

Special thanks to Caleb Morris for providing the artwork for this article.

10 Comments on When to Walk Away from a Personal Project, last added: 9/4/2010
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73750. Guys Read: Funny Business

In case you missed it when I posted this back in May, here's the...trailer? Sizzle? What are we calling these things now? Here's the moving talky thing for GUYS READ: Funny Business, which I mentioned yesterday.

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