Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hello WAWE Members. We have been having a time trying to figure out what actually
happen to our sides bars and all, but alas we are back up and running!
There are still things that need to be added and you will see these in the days
to come. We need a new banner for April. Any takers let us know.
We do understand that everyone is busy with life and all. Please let us know
if you can or cannot participate here at WAWE. We can't do this without
you sharing your own special talent as artist. We truly value all
of our talented members and want you to share your ideas, knowledge
and gifts here everyone. We are here to inspire and
encourage as much as possible. You are so very important to WAWE so
get inspired and try a few of the prompts. We want to see YOUR fabulous
work! Have a great week everyone and look out for our new challenges for April.
To our newest members Welcome once again. If you don't see your name on the side bar
please let us know. It's going to take a minute to get all the bugs out.
Thanks in advance for your patients.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Assistant Blog Administrator

Monday, March 29, 2010

New rough concepts

Hello all,

I have started to work up rough ideas for future works.
Here's the rough for one...
It fits the challenge  for this week.
What kids do in spring.
It will probably take longer than a week to finish though.
I have worked up some others as well.
If you would like to see them they are posted on my blog.
I didn't want to take up too much space here.
Let me know what you think.

New challenges?

Hey y'all who makes up the new challenges?  I can throw in a few ideas for April or May if we need them.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hey, everyone!

Hello, All! I am still here and taking notes from all you awesome illustrators. Also, I am still learning about illustration as well as watercolors. I sometimes get frustrated but I am still moving forward. I finally bought Photoshop CS4 (as suggested by Vanessa) but have yet to learn how to use it. I'm sure it will be fun once it's mastered.

I hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A LARGE garden

I really enjoying gardening (although it's been quite awhile since I've actually done it), and especially loved it as a child. Molly (above) is shocked by the garden she's tending that has become more impressive than she dreamed possible. The illo was my last contribution to Stories for Children. It was fun to do, although if I were to repaint it, I'd definitely make the watering can silver. I was thinking pink would add color, but I seemed to have forgotten that I was making a lot of other things pink . . .

Friday, March 26, 2010


My first entry for this blog. I hope you like it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Spring!

This is traditional watercolor and ink on 100 pound cold press watercolor paper.
It was going to be used for Highlights magazine game, but never made it.
I still like how it came out and I have other magazines looking at it.

We are still working on the problem with the side bar. For those of you
who need the prompt for this week. Please create a spring scene with children
either playing , having a tea party, or planting seeds or doing some
spring like activities.
Have fun everyone!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rearing my head! Book images

Okay so they are not for the prompts, but Linda asked to see some. There are more on the pub's web site here.

This first one took me forever with all the little nitpicky details and characters. The second one I am just in love with all the expressive hand motions. I think I am finally getting the hang of this! LOL

Sadly, my schedule for April has me on the road for more than half the month, so I don't know how often I'll be able to post more art, but I'll pop in whenever I have internet access to see how everyone is doing.

Happy Spring y'all!

"picking flowers" my first post

I am so glad that I can join in on this blog! As a first illustration for watercolor Wednesday, I'm posting a preliminary sketch. I hope I can give it a splash of color this week. When I think of spring and children, I think of picking flowers and mums and dads who are not always to happy about it!

I found it very hard to sketch the legs and feet, the pose that I had in mind is more a shy posture of the legs. But okay, I’m not used to draw children/people so I have a lot of practice ahead of me!

Happy springtime everyone!!

Spring has Sprung

I was having fun with the patterns wanting to play.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hello, everybody.  This is my first picture for WaWe, and I really enjoyed the challenge.  I'm still trying to establish a working method and style for illustration, so I kept it a bit loose and experimental and just tried to catch my own natural response to the idea of spring.  I would have liked to define all the elements better, but I couldn't do it without losing the softness and freshness of 'spring' that was the main point.
It comes pre-criticised by my better half:
'That's nice!  Is their kite stuck in the tree?'
'No they're just admiring the tree in flower.'
'Well why are they holding a string?'
'It's not a string, it's a branch that's hanging down - okay, I can see that part is not drawn well!!!'
It's great to be part of WaWe, I'll look forward to next month's challenges.


I can't find your email to send you the April banner and prompts. Please email me at my yahoo account.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Finished!

It's Finished!
I worked into the wee hours of the night Friday night and got it most of the way done, and then did a little touch up here and there on Saturday morning and finished it up.
Here it is...

If you would like to see some close up details you can go to my blog HERE.

I'm happy with the way it turned out and am glad I tried out a new way of painting.
I now have a better understanding of why an underpainting is important.
I never understood why an artist would spend so much effort on an underpainting only to completely paint it over before. Now I do.
The extra step of a light coat of workable fixative over the underpainting was worth it also.
The fixative kept the water color from bleeding through the gouache.
You have to be careful not to put too much fixative on though. If you do the gouache will just puddle on the surface and not stick or cover well.

As a final step I sprayed a couple of coats of clear sealant over the image.
Gouache can pick up fingerprints and such very easily so I wanted to protect it.

I believe I will be revising my website so that this image will be the splash/home page.
The image that is up now was created digitally and I want to let visitors know that I am a traditional illustrator first and a digital illustrator second.
You can see my web site at ...
to see what I mean.

I believe I'll be taking what I learned from this painting and revisiting my bird book ideas.
I have two ideas I want to work on. A Boardbook about colors and one about the alphabet.

space & membership....

Does anyone know why there's a huge amount of space on the right side of the blog between "New Members" and "March Challenges"???? Am I just seeing that on my computer or do you see it also? How do I correct it? Thanks.

TO POTENTIAL MEMBERS: I've gone back through comments on the site & have picked up membership requests. If I've missed someone, please let me know. To become a member, you need to be involved in the pursuit of children's book illustration in a newbie way or a professional way, you need to provide a blog address or web address which reflects this interest, and you need to provide an email address so that you can be linked to this site. Working in a water-based media was the original thought of Watercolor Wednesdays, but we now accept and celebrate most any media. We welcome anyone who loves and wants to be a part of the wonderful world of children's book illustration, sharing their work with a great group of illustrators. Thanks.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Status Report 3/19/10

I was able to put some more time in on this.
I worked on the two cats the bird, the girl and the ground plane since the last post.
It's coming along fine.
I need to get it finished over the weekend because my agent wants to post it on their section of www.picture-book.com
I should be able to get it done.
I just have to do the dog and his bone, the bushes in the foreground, and some flowers on the bushes in the background and foreground, and then step back and see what needs more work before I call it done.

I'll do a good scan of it tomorrow and show some details.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patty's Day

Hello WaWe friends!
Just a quick watercolor here... sort of St. Patty's Day? :) It's been a while since I've participated here, tho I've been checking in to see what's happening. I've been working on an illustration job recently, creating the illustrations for children's song charts, which has been keeping me busy - I suppose that's a good thing huh? Love seeing everyone's work and ideas. It's such a blessing to be a part of this with all of you!
Happy painting!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Toy Memories

Toys discarded from long long ago forgotten and alone waiting for that child to remember the joy of play.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Status Report 3/11/10

I was able to do some more work on this...

Mostly, I focussed on the dark green tree and the fence.
I believe I'll be changing the color of the hearts on the fence now this is not going to be finished in February. I don't want it overly hearty anymore.
Next up is everything on the ground plane.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

greeting card / game - sruble

I’ve been painting tiny pictures lately (see the elephant here and the bunnies here), in order to fit painting for fun into my schedule. My third tiny painting was a girl blowing a bubble with her bubblegum. I broke out my watercolors and colored pencils and painted a picture so horrible that I had to rip it up. Seriously. All it takes to ruin a small watercolor painting is a couple of misplaced brush strokes. However, I still liked the sketch, so I made the bubblegum girl into a digital illustration. The image is 2″ x 2″ like the paintings.

Bubblegum Girl

I like how she turned out, but I still wanted to paint something. A picture of a cow blowing a bubblegum bubble seemed like a fun take on the original, and worked out well, because it fits several art prompts all at once (see list below the picture). I used watercolor and colored pencil to make the image. I’m happy with the way both pictures turned out, but I have to say, the more I look at them, the weirder they look. Of course, if you looked at a photograph showing a side view of someone blowing a bubblegum bubble, that would probably look weird after a while, too.

Bubblegum Cow

The CBIG prompt this month is fantasy – a cow blowing bubblegum bubbles is definitely fantasy! Bubblegum Girl also works for fantasy. She wants to blow the biggest bubble ever and win the national bubblegum bubble blowing contest (which they actually have – I saw it on TV a couple of years ago).

The Watercolor Wednesdays prompt for last week was to create a greeting card image for a child – the bubblegum sort of looks like a speech balloon, where the cow could say, “Happy Birthday!” Bubblegum Girl also works for this week’s prompt, to illustrate a favorite toy or game … not that gum qualifies as a toy, but trying to blow the biggest bubble could be a game, so I think that counts (or at least it works for me – I went to art school; I can justify anything).

The Illustration Friday prompt this week is brave – that cow is really brave to be blowing bubblegum bubbles. What if it pops and goes all over her face? Bubblegum Girl also works for brave. She knows what will happen if the bubble as big as her head pops!

Are tiny paintings the next big thing? Maybe not, but I’m having fun with them :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Back In the Day

I remember being on my hands and knees for hours
playing Jacks with my Sister Coy and trying to fix
the broke strings to paddle ball games. We stayed
outside a lot playing jump rope and endless hours
of Hide and Go Seek. Being a couch potato wasn't an
option he he he he!! Happy drawing everyone!

Monday, March 8, 2010

greeting card

I know it's been WAY too long. I know there'll always be excuses, but . . . I've just had other projects (including getting our house ready to sell) that have had to take precedence. Sorry. I do so want to be a weekly part of this group!

This isn't a greeting card, but I figured it was close enough. My good friend has a dog breeding business and asked if I'd do a logo for her a couple of weeks ago, and here's the finished product. You wouldn't think the words would take longer to do than the image, but so was the case with this. (I guess that's what happens when you're still unfamiliar with how a program works!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's been a bit busy for the past week

About this time last week an old client reconnected with me to do some work, a new client job got the go ahead, and some map work needed to be finished up.
Here's a bit of what the old client wanted.

There are more projects in the works with this client which is nice.

Here's a bit of what the new client wanted. It's waiting for final approval.

The client is in New Zealand so I can put a pin in that country and a mark it off my list.

The map stuff I can't show you. There aren't really any characters in it anyway.

For all 3 clients I do the work using a combination of hand drawing the rough and then pasting it into Adobe Illustrator and using it as a guide to draw the final art.
You'll notice that I have used two different approaches in the way the art is created for each client.
For the older client I used a soft blended approach without outlines.
There's a lot of gradient mesh use in that image.

The image of the girl is a flat approach using outlines. Kind of like a gouache painting.
I really have to push myself in both approaches to try to create volume in the art.
I'm not going for realism, but I don't want it to look flat like cut paper.
I like the way the girls hair is looking.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Birthday card for the hungry.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Girly Greeting Card

I did this greeting card for possible card line. I wanted to keep it very simple
and clean, but very colorful.