Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NO Peeking... well maybe just at the gift tags.



 I just finished these new gift tag designs for a holiday promo with Red Fox Literary. Everyone ends up regrettably using generic tags, or cutting up old ugly greeting cards after  those run out, so giving a gift of artists' gift tags is a pretty good idea.  I won't be able to use the back designs this time after all, because I didn't realize at the time the backs cannot be variable. But maybe they will make good fronts too.
 The kids are from a Ranger Rick assignment , and the moon and owl from The Sunrise Band.
 Small ( they will be printed much smaller than shown here), but as they say... good things come that way.
  I'm wishing Peace, a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Tofurkey Day to all.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Winging It

 It was great to get a sample of this musical for kids.
 The play features four baby birds: Orville, Wilbur, Amelia, and Harriet (all famous aviators). "Winging It" is about taking smart risks and leaving the nest with the support system of family and friends. If you're an educator looking for a musical review for your fledgling songbirds, you couldn't do better than this one.
Seeing my birdies on the CD rom was an extra tweet - I mean treat!  I'll have to get the additional Preview CD too with vocals and dialog for the full effect. Produced by Hal Leonard Corporation.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How Romantic!

  A few weeks ago I was asked to illustrate another Hidden Pictures cover for a special newsstand edition. A few of these are really challenging.  Even some of my big kid friends were stumped trying to find all of the following:  a saltshaker, a ladder, a hairbrush, a spool of thread, a lime, an artist's brush, a cinnamon bun, and a horseshoe.
 The art director suggested the contrast of big and little, and I love that dynamic.  Love.
 Did I say this as a Valentine's issue? Yes, it's the day after Halloween and Christmas is over already.

 I concentrated some on the strolling kitties a bit while sketching.  I thought a question mark hidden in her tail would be fun but it turned out the editors were not too fond of that idea. But they loved the rest of it.

The cover will look something like this.

  Did I say love?
 On the heels of this one I was asked to contribute again to Ranger Rick magazine with a spot  regarding the mating and dating habits of albatrosses.  The color palette turned out to be very similar, which I think shows how one piece can influence the next, even though it happens subconsciously. Or maybe it is because the theme of Love just demands pink.
  I collaged a photo of the Eiffel tower in, initially because the one I drew was looking wobbly and inadequate. After I did I was pleasantly surprised with the juxtaposition of elements and the blend of cartoon and photo. Bon Voyage!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Not your normal pumpkin patch


If you're ever rotting in a doctor's waiting room for 3 hours while he fritters away, wasting your precious time while he looks at someone else's injuries, just pull out your sketchbook and take it out on the page.

  I like drawing ghoulish people; somehow half  human, half something other. What are these women doing? I'm not sure yet. I like letting things possess the page and surprise me.

 Took a wrong turn with baggy pants and velcro sandals (not a good mix if the velcro comes loose) , fell and mildly fractured my non-dominant elbow a few weeks ago. It's practically all better and I am grateful I can type without pain now.  I  have also figured out how to tie shoelaces. With a double knot.
  Happy haunting.

Monday, September 21, 2015


  It's the time of year to watch the monarchs on their journeys. Unfortunately we see less because their numbers are dwindling and it's a dire situation. This  illustration was created for Ranger Rick a few months ago to accompany an article on monarch-friendly plants. Here are a few links to provide information for your kids to help save the monarchs, by adopting a monarch or growing a butterfly garden.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Penguins and Pancakes

    Continuing on my current theme of premature winter images, I illustrated this Reader Riddles for Ranger Rick magazine. (Alliteration accidental).  They are a  great award-winning magazine for kids of all ages who love animals published by the National Wildlife Federation.  I learn so much myself with each issue. And this time I learned something while researching for the art. Did you know penguins are only found in the Antarctic, and polar bears are only found in the Arctic?  They can never hang out together. I also  learned I could get very hungry for pancakes.
  The lettering is by Jim Paillot.
  This is for their December issue, but it could also provide inspiration on one of the hottest nights of the summer, like tonight.  I 'll take my pancakes cold, thank you, with a scoop of vanilla ice.


Monday, August 31, 2015

On with the Snow!


 Snow comes very early here. But that's a normal climate change in Illustrationville. Last week it was really good packing snow. I was fortunate again to illustrate a cover for Hal Leonard's music students' magazine. For this piece I used traditional media: pastels and colored pencil on mi-tientes paper, with only a small bit of photoshop for cleaning and color adjustments. White pastel works well to capture the effect of snow as long one is lucky in choosing the color of the paper.  I have a drawer full of unused and partially used pastel paper and often go through it several times, testing the pastels on small swatches before settling on a color. The title was hand lettered on a separate layer. The sketch took part of a day, the finished art another day (and some of the night).  "There's no business like snow business....."