Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gilda Rushmount Our Cafeteria Lady

She was the best cafeteria Lady the school ever had.
The students and teachers all said that Ms. Gilda made
the best chicken noodle soup this side of the East Coast.
Said there was magic in it. Only Ms. Gilda really knew.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Sketches = New Friends

I promised myself I'd get this done and finished by Wednesday (today). Alas, It is not so. I think I will be motivated by showing it unfinished in its sketchy state, and by having to confess that I missed one of my own self imposed deadlines.

Here's my rough sketch. I did this last week for 'School Lunch' and was up burning the midnight oil on it Sunday when I checked WaWe.In my exhaustion I thrilled to see how perfectly it met this week's topic.
Then I ran (literally) and tucked myself into bed.

I promise you'll see it in entirety before the end of the week. I'm a little annoyed at the composition of our hero, somehow that sandwich always lines up with the end of that bench!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Making New Friends

"Oh for crying in the beer cheese soup, who the heck is this?",
whined Marsha. She wanted Reggie all to herself.
Reggie was determined to make new friends no matter how
weird or strange. he he he! Happy Week everyone!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

School Lunch with color

I placed a Blick order a few days ago for new paper, and threw some new pens on the order too! I couldn't resist! The order came today, and I had the sketch for this illo already down on my old paper, I thought I'd try some of the new pens for inking it.

Although I'm not real fond of the background color I chose (I should have gone with a pukey green color), I do like the way the kids turned out.

I need to do some more experimentation!! This time with the new paper too (Hot Press!)

Voting Starts Today for ABC's Children's Picture Book Competition

Today is the official start of voting for the ABC's Children's Picture Book Competition!!

This year, two Watercolor Wednesday members are finalists: Michelle Henninger, and Roberta Baird!!
Please support them by casting your vote!

Vote once daily (until Oct 4), and check out both of their blogs for give-a-ways and other fun stuff!!

"Bella Upside Down" Blog (Summer K Hall/Michelle Henninger)
"Sorry Doesn't Clean It Up" Blog (Wendy Rogalinski/Roberta Baird)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Great Banner, Vanessa!

Wow! This is a perfect banner--so much going on, so interesting, so much fun! Thanks Vanessa for October's banner!
Any member wanting to do a banner for a certain month, please let us know. It would be fun to have a banner designed just for individual months.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

School Lunch

Time has been eluding me lately, so although I do plan on painting it soon, I wanted to make sure I got the sketch up this week at least. Sigh.


Tory Climer and her classmates at Lake Bristoe Elementary hated school lunch. Not only was Mrs Towner the oldest lunch lady at the school, she was also the worst cook. Although her "specials" were infamous in the town of Bristoe for their repulsiveness, today's "welcome back" lunch had to have topped the chart: Brussels Sprout - Cod Yogurt, and Meat-in-a-Can. "Why do I subject myself to this day after day?" Tory wondered as she gazed upon the Meat-in-a-Can. She could have sworn she saw it slithering across her plate.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

School Lunch - sruble

Last week, I said I wanted to do a crayon resist for Watercolor Wednesdays this week, so I did. I’ve always loved crayon resist, because you never quite know how it’s going to turn out. I even learned a few things (or re-learned them, since I’m sure I knew them when I was 5), like: white crayons first, then black, otherwise the black will smear (duh).

So here it is, Sheila and her best friend Amanda talking about school lunch at Zombie High:


Brains for lunch!

Brains for lunch!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Christopher's Great Big Lunch

The children often teased Christopher about his huge healthy lunches
his mama packed for him. Christopher was hardly ever sick and
was one of the smartest kids at school.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The New Girl

I wanted to tell you how thankful I am for the out reached hand I've had into your charming circle. Being the new girl feels a lot better here than it does on most early September days. I'm so excited for this extra push to pull out the paints. This seemed like the perfect inaugural post. I am humbled to be in your ranks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School Lunch Time - Preliminary

Nicholas was not informed of the difficulties involved when eating in zero gravity. Luckily he'd made a new friend with long arms and the ability to retrieve his floating lunch. The next obstacle.... how to get it through the glass of his oxygen bubble!

I'm hoping to add some color to this... but I didn't want to completely miss September!
A Mouse in the House

Getting jobs

Linda asked how we have found jobs. Since I have a moment I will share how I got my current job. While reading illustrator blogs I've learned a lot about how others have found work. One mentioned using various free online portfolios to showcase her portfolio. Since it was free I thought I would also give it a try. I put a small portfolio on and a couple of others (if you are interested in learning more, I found most of this information on Holli Conger's blog). About a month later an editor from Brown books publishing company (they are an all-service publishing company, meaning that they help self publishers put together books, among other things) e-mailed me asking if I wanted to be one of their freelance illustrators. I sent in my resume and shortly thereafter was asked to do some spec pieces for two books. This particular publishing company doesn't pay very much, but it is a foot in the door and something to put on my resume, not to mention the experience I will gain, the additional illustrations I can add to my portfolio, and a little bit of money to make it even more pleasant. I don't know how many more jobs I will actually do for this publishing company since they don't pay anywhere near what typical publishing companies pay, but again it is worth the experience.

Out of curiosity, how long has it taken most of you to get assignments once you've become a serious illustrator? For me, it's been about 3 1/2 years.

I'd love to hear how others of you have found work. Hopefully I will also be able to contribute an illustration for watercolor Wednesdays this week or next. My tendinitis has improved quite a bit (although I can't go for as long as I once did at the moment).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

sruble: First Day of School and New Principal

These two paintings for Watercolor Wednesdays  and the CBIG blog are from a YA zombie graphic novel I’m working on, starring Sheila the Zombie Cheerleader. The graphic novel isn’t in watercolor, but I thought I’d do some zombie watercolors this month because Watercolor Wednesdays has school prompts every week.

Sheila’s first day back at school was yesterday. (She wouldn’t let me post her first day picture last week. If I did, she said she’d, “eat my brains!”) Sheila’s best friend Amanda suffered through the first day with her. Here’s their first day picture, which Sheila said I could post today:

Sheila the Zombie Cheerleader's first day of school

Sheila the Zombie Cheerleader's first day of school

Sheila and Amanda are talking about the new teacher in the next picture:

Zombie High staff changes ...

Zombie High staff changes ...

The black line for both images is acrylic paint and the color is watercolor crayon. I love watercolor crayons because they make me feel like a kid again. I get to color with crayons, then paint. Fun!

Maybe next week I’ll do crayon resist … or maybe not. Halloween is coming, and ghosts are a whole lot of fun for crayon resist. :)

Hi Watercolor Wednesday members!

FYI: As a member of SCBWI, you can now download a portfolio on the site! So far, I've noticed that Vanessa and Michelle are on there--I've just recently added my portfolio. Don't miss a great opportunity to show off your portfolio to the world!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Super-Duper Teacher!

...My new teacher is awesome! She can teach math, break dance on roller skates, hula-hoop, and name all 44 presidents using sign language with her eyes closed! She used to be queen ant of her colony but she mutated after eating a poisoned cookie crumb...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Seth's first Day

She talked to much and spoke with a heavy lisp. Kathy also sported a shiner that
made him want to ask lots of questions. One hour into his first day
at the new school had Seth asking, " What am I getting myself into!

The New Kid...

The new kid is seated in the first seat in the first row...I don't think this is going to work for Fred. He looks a little frustrated!
I'm still working without Photoshop & have to edit my images in my camera's program, but I'm getting used to it, so it doesn't take as long. I'm still having trouble creating small icon sections of the work (for Illustration Friday and for Childrens Illustrators. Anyone have any suggestions? I can't seem to figure out how to make a perfect square and at the size needed without spending a long time with trial and error. Also, getting a good contrast isn't working in this program, so I'm having to work my piece harder for a better contrast (maybe that's a good thing!).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

3 little digital pigs

These are two sample illustrations I did for a job bid. I find that doing work when given really specific restraints makes for a less interesting illustration. I am not dissatisfied with my work I just know where my strength lies and sadly it does not seem to work as well when I am give direct instructions. I do not know if I will get the job, but these were the two samples I sent them. They wanted the three little pigs. First image was supposed to have them off in search of their fortune and it needed to have the pigs wearing shirts with different color shirts and numbers on them. There also needed to be things to count like a tree with eight apples. The second image had to have a wolf wanting to come into the house made of straw that one of the pigs built. There needed to be specific shapes in this one.
All I have to say is its hard to create images from scratch when there are so many images of this story that I already have emblazoned in my brain.

Friday, September 4, 2009

First Day of School

Just eeked this one in ...

The students of Vapid Elementary School needed to be strong, both mentally and physically, in order not to simply fade away into nothingness.

(I must admit, I created this one with double duty in mind - WaWe's First Day of School and IF's Strong.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Blast From the Past

September 8, 1983
Dear Journal,
Today was my first day of third grade and I saw a strange glow come from the supply closet. The janitor snuck in so I followed him and that's when I found a secret classroom filled with monsters. And the janitor was really a teacher. I tried to tell my dad and big sister about my new friends but my mom told them that I was just trying to take attention away from my new baby brother. She said that I have metal child sand-drum...(to be continued)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I was on a little vacation and saw some huge stag horn ferns that really did look like deer. I was super excited so here we go.

Zoe's First Day

My Babygirl isn't feeling well today. She's not faking it either.
She has a sore throat and wants to be hugged and babied so
I am please to do so. She is doing well and resting up for the
first day of third grade! She ain't feelin' it though. More books,
and homework and those hateful school uniforms!!!
Happy Back to School everyone!