Friday, March 4, 2011

The Painted Page

This week I join three incredibly talented illustrators on a new venture, The Painted Page, where we will be illustrating Hans Christian Andersen tales. I hope you will join us each week for a new chapter, illustrated by Veronica Walsh, Jennifer Gray Olson, Carolyn Le, and me! And if you couldn't guess, this is my main character from The Ugly Duckling.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Chapters

Boy, do I identify with this little kitten! The last few months have kept me running (and - apologies - not blogging).  This is the cover for the book I just finished illustrating for Random House: Sleeping Bootsie by Maribeth Boelts. What a great experience! I learned so much from this first book. Art Director Jan Gerardi was wonderful. And amidst castles and kittens, I finished my MFA (worth every minute of the many months it took). So now its on to new adventures: a picturebook for Eerdman's, teaching, writing, and making all the pictures roaming around in my head.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Do I Know You?

Exploring more characters. Often I will start a character sketch with quick drawings of real people, sometimes distorting the facial characteristics to create a less realistic character. Occasionally I know the people I sketch (and they me!) so to avoid any chance of someone recognizing him/herself - and not being flattered - those rough drawings never make it into the public eye. As for these sketches, "Any resemblance to actual people or events is purely coincidental".

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Path

I've been spending some time over the last few weeks concentrating less on characters and more on environment. This has led to experimenting with color (inspired by the amazing Peter Ferguson) and materials and techniques (taking pointers from one of my favorite pastel artists, Gary Kelley). This is one piece from those explorations. I am liking the intensity of color and strong contrasts I can get with the new pastels I am using.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Children's Book Week

This week (May 10-16) is Children's Book Week, a national celebration of children's books since 1919. Coordinated by Every Child a Reader and Children's Book Council, the week is noted for events and readings across the country (check with your local library and book store).  During the week, the Childrens Choices book award winners are also announced. Wondering what kids really like to read? Check out this year's finalists as well as the winners from previous years.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cover to Cover

I've been working on the cover for a children's book. My personal taste in children's book covers tends toward simple but dramatic composition with greater emphasis on the image than the title or other text. The covers of David Wiesner's Flotsam, Jon Muth's Zen Ties, and Kadir Nelson's Moses are example of how the masters do it. There is much to be learned! And so this task has gotten me to checking out what some others are thinking and saying about covers. Jacket Knack and Jacket Whys are specifcally about children's book covers and are definitely worth checking out.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I did this piece for today's Los Angeles Times. Lola Di Giulio De Maci wrote the delightful short story about rainbows. Each image brings its own challenges (this one: how not to be too "sweet" or cliched with an image of a rainbow). The LA Times' pieces also get printed on newsprint, which can significantly alter the colors and contrast of an image. I've tried to compensate with each of the pieces I've done for them, but I think this one reproduced the best so far. Any advice is most welcome!