Monday, December 04, 2006
Thanks so much for your feedback on my "oh so not perfect" rhyming. I'll take everything into consideration and see what I come up with! On another note, above is my holiday card for this season which I managed to bang out today. Unbelievably. We are leaving for Florida on Friday so I won't be posting anything until the following week. I will have internet access while on vacation and will try to keep up with my critiques. Let me know your thoughts on this piece. I'll be mailing it out to friends and family by Thursday so if you see anything really off let me know. Of course, for a portfolio piece I will be leaving the names out. Oh Carlyn I didn't do a close up on your Anne Bolyne until after Gina mentioned the funky teeth! Didn't mean to sound like that actually looked like you. I'm sure you figured that, I hope anyway. Thanks in advance all and Happy blogging.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Thanks so much for last week's feedback on my rhyming and sketch! Very helpful! Glad you liked the sketch overall too. I will definitely zoom in more on grandma's face in the color version. And yes Gina, I did the piece above of a nasty teacher last year. She was actually my Kindergarten teacher and I was mortified of her! I remember her like it was yesterday! That was a very long time ago too.
On another note here's some more of my Little Red story in rhyme. Let me know where it's off or what sounds awkward etc. I didn't get what you meant exactly about the tempo Carlyn. I've been trying to get the piece to have 8 syllables and then break with a comma and the last two words of each part of the phrase rhyme. Don't know help!! More suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It's all new to me but a lot of fun too.
"There was a girl so sweet and kind , to give a hand she’d never mind.
A warm and glad embrace she’d ask, upon completion of a task.
Rain or shine she’d find a way, to make the best of every day.
One day her grandma thought to find, for she was almost nearly blind,
a gift to give to her grand child, that didn’t mind to walk the mile,
along a path deep in the wood, for this was where her cottage stood.
Beneath her bed there lie a chest, with things the grandma loved the best.
It held a cape from long ago, she’d worn to town her goods in tow.
The color was a precious red, to suit a girl more young instead!
This lovely cape it fit just right, not short or long not even tight.
Red Riding Hood they called her so, she wore this cape for all to know,
Grandma’s gift she thought a treasure, love for her there was no measure! "
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Just thought I'd post my latest sketch for one of the pages of my book dummy. Below is part of the text in rhyme I wrote for it. This is the part where the grandma is looking for something special to give her grand daughter and remembers she has something for her under the bed. Will be emailing more of story shortly. Let me know your thoughts, thanks! and Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Beneath her bed there lie a chest,
with things the grandma loved the best.
In it a cape from long ago,
she’d worn to town her goods in tow.
The color was a precious red,
good for a girl more young instead!"
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Well, I'm still at it., that is the rhyming version of my Little Red story but it' moving along. Oh and thanks so much for all the feedback on the pros and cons of this style of writing. None taken lightly believe me! I find myself changing it over and over again until I narrow it down to something I can tolerate at this point. Maybe I'm reworking it too much, who knows. I don't have enough to show you yet but promise to soon enough. So for this week I'm sorry to say I've chickened out and won't be emailing you all anything just yet. Hopefully a fresh start in the morning will let me get the part I'm working on finished. Wish me luck! and happy blogging!!!!!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I've been rewriting my Little Red Riding Hood story and been enjoying it tremendously! I actually rewrote it to my liking first and then some of the lines had a bit of a ryhme to them so I continued in that direction and am now rewriting the whole thing in ryhme! Don't know if I'll ever finish but I am totally engrossed in it. I know all of my kids always have loved stories like that so I figured I'd give it a whirl and try it out on them. They liked the little that I had so I kept going. Anyway at some point I will email it to you all for feedback. In the meantime I'm getting my latest mailing out and trying to recover from a very obnoxious headcold! Argh!!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Was able to put a postcard together afterall with everything going on around here as I said in my email to everyone. I would really like your brutal honest opinion about the type I chose for the front of this postcard. After much struggling I hope this works. It keeps reminding me too much of a giant business card even though the postcard is actually the jumbo 8.5x 5.5 size!! The back images are not clear because they are just proofs. Hopefully you can visualize it.
Thanks so much Giselle!!!!!!!!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Figured I'd let you know I wrote up all of my critiques today, Friday!!! I've got to get back in the swing of things and do them earlier in the week. Anyway sorry in case you missed mine at the very enddddddddddddddddddddddd of each post. Happy Blogging!!!
Friday, September 29, 2006
Well I took into account all of the sugeestions posted last week, which were great by the way, on this and think it works? You'll all be the judge of that though! Anyway, I managed to get this out in time for my little man's party but with regard to adding it to my portfolio if it needs more work just let me know. I'm going to my Rutger's Conference on Oct 21st so I'll have this one and hopefully the flying book one done by then as new pieces for my book. I'm really excited. Looking forward to it all.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Here's my 6 year old son's birthday invitation I've been rushing to finish and hoping I could get suggestions on before I finalize it. It's supposed to be him tossing tons of invitations all over the countryside via his toy plane for his upcoming party. He actually wanted to invite all of his classmates from the last three school years, PreK, Kindergarten and 1st Grade mind you! I figured he'd need to really spread the word so I imagined him doing it like this. A couple of the invitations you'll be able to see the words "You're Invited" still as they are falling. The white mass behind him I have to define more but that's the bag of invitations. I'm still working on the background as you can see. Im' not sure if I've integrated the color of the plane with the overall color palette? It still doesn't match to me? Any suggestions wopuld be really helpful. And I've put my flying book on hold until I get this done and printed out. Next week yikes! Thanks again for your comments for last week!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Hope you all had a great weekend. Thanks for the feedback from last week too! Well, I'm inching along on this one but have added the first layer of background in pastel and tried to define the figures' faces a bit more. Also lit up some of their faces more with reflective light. Anyway let me know how you think it's coming along.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Hope you all had a nice weekend and are getting into the groove of the fall season. Eventhough it isn't actually Fall yet! Nevertheless here's an update on my current piece. As you can see I didn't get much done last week but truly hope to give it my all come tomorrow. I'm enjoying laying in the pastel and am looking forward to tackling the star filled night so I can really judge the values I've chosen for the characters thus far. Anyway, let me know what you think and if I'm going in the right direction with the choice of colors for the kids clothing. Thanks in advance!!!
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Was wondering if anyone here has attended the Rutger's One on One Plus Conference in Piscataway, NJ? It's sponsored by Rutger's Council on Children's Literature and will be held this Oct 21st. I've been accepted to go and am very excited! I originally heard about it through an SCBWI regional conference I attended in June. It's structured in a way that gives you one to one time with an professional illustrator, author or editor etc.. and then has a round table discussion session where you sit with your mentor for part of the day and 4 other pairs of mentors/mentees. Anyway it sounded really worth the $125.00 and was hoping I could get some more insight on anyone else's experience or if you know of someone that has attended along with what they brought with them to show and all that kind of stuff. Thanks so much for the feedback on my piece last week too. And yes so far I've used just Pastels to keep things as loose as possible. I find when I get into the details with colored pencil I get carried away fixing everything too much! I hope to finish up painting in the children this week and move onto new territory so I have at least a couple of more fresh pieces to bring to the conference. Goodnight and have a good start next week for all of you going back to teach.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Thanks so much for your feedback on this piece last week. I'm glad the book issue is over and it's clear now. I compare the two sketches now ,old and new, and I'm like what was I thinking. It looked so awkward!!! Like I keep saying all the time, thank God for this wonderful critique group. It's really been invaluable feedback.
Hope everyone had a good weekend. I know I did. I ended up taking my 15 yr old daughter Caitlin down to Manhattan for the day on Saturday. We're both city rats and love the hustle and bustle of it all eventhough we live in total suburbia! Managed to see lots of great stuff including visiting the Museum of Modern Art. Wow talk about inspiring! Hadn't been there myself for some years but remembered it well. Van Gogh's Starry Night is always an awesome sight in real life! We hit a couple of neat places for shopping and snacking in Times Square and then headed downtown to my alma mater Parsons on 14th street. It's always an adventure. Anyway as you can see from the colored version of my painting I didn't get very much done this week! Was having too much fun sight seeing!
On another note, the highlights so far on the faces are kind of bright because its going to be a night scene with the moonlight lighting everything up. Let me know your thoughts.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Couldn't sleep so I figured I'd post this week's work now, 3:00am!! Are any of you night owls?I relish the quiet. I pretty much started from scratch here as you can see. Hopefully this layout is working out better and not so confusing to the viewer with regard to the perspective on the book. I sketched it on toned paper something I don't normally do but figured why not? It's supposed to be easier to start on a neutral surface and it was the biggest piece I had of the good stuff left that this piece would fit on. My decisions are lots of times based on need versus plan, agh! Also eventhough recently I've worked a lot in gouache and colored pencil I felt a longing to go back to my all time favorite medium, chalk pastel. A mess to work in but a lot of fun! So let me know your thoughts on this piece. Oh, this is going to be a nightime star-filled sky with a couple of planets way off in the distance. Didn't get there yet but will be adding them in. Any suggestions on their placement in particular would be really helpful. I've been stuck on that. Not knowing exactly where to put them, how many, how big? The big arch is the moon. Back to bed now! Thanks........
Monday, August 07, 2006
Nothing to post for this week because I've been concentrating my energies towards the dreaded mailing list update. Not the most fun part of this business that's for sure! Anyway was just wondering how much time you all invest in this and if you have any tips on any part of it? Let me know.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
It was a really fun weekend of food and drink and long talks into the night with relatives I've missed for some time. I' m literally running on empty at this point and am sorry to say I got absolutely nothing done in terms of my artwork of course but did manage to post critiques for everyone's works this past week tonight. Which were again very inspiring! So take a look. Thanks so much for the suggestions on my moongirl piece. I'll get it right soon enough just a matter of some more tweaking. My anxiousness to start painting will motivate me to fix that darn flying book. It's funny how sometimes you think something is going to be easy and then the simplest things can just seem so daunting. I have a picture in my mind of how I want it to look and it's just not there yet in the sketch. I always seem to pick wacky perspectives because I love them but then struggle to get them down. Anyway, hopefully my picture in my mind will come to fruition on paper soon. Again thanks for all the help and inspiration!!!
Monday, July 24, 2006
Thanks so much for the great feedback on last weeks sketch. Found it very helpful. Wasn't able to do too much with this but did manage to fix the book a bit by holding a real one up in the air over and over and drawing from life. Anyway you guys let me know if it makes more sense now. Remember she's supposed to be hanging from the cover side. The book is bent open in an extreme kind of way and the pages are facing the sky above. Be blunt! I can take. If it still looks unreadable I work on it some more. Am having company this weekend and unfortunately have to get my act together and clean my house!! Not looking forward to it. Would love to finish this drawing for Sunday's posting so I can start painting during the week.
Monday, July 17, 2006
It seems like ages since I've posted something new!! Anyway here it is. I was hoping to come up with a new promo piece to send out as a large postcard and came up with this sketch. Let me know if it works and what you see that doesn't. I started to throw in the dark blue star filled night in photoshop so you could get an idea of what the negative space will look like more clearly but I erased it and figured I'll wait until I get your feedback on the drawing before I spend time on anything further. I'm going to paint this in gouache and also use colored pencil for details. The lettering on the cover of the book will be digital for sure and everything else will be in paint. Right now, as is, the lettering is just rough sketched in.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Sorry to say I don't have anything to post for this week because of my vacation hiatus but WOW! what a great bunch of art posted here this week so far to get inspired with! Hope to have a new sketch up for next week and get back into the full swing of things. Enjoying this critique group tremendously.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Yes I'm at the beach with my family in Bethany, Delaware! And yes I'm lovin it big time eventhough I put sunscreen on everyone within reach today but forgot to do myself! So I got a bit roasted. Oh well, such are the dilemas of vacationing. Great scenery here by the way. Lush vegetation beautiful surf and sand. Tons of interesting folk to draw and lots of downtime just to think about whatever. I'm feeling a bit guilty not sketching away vigorously but i think I'm going to take it easy this week and hit the sketch book with a vengence when I'm totally rested, which is something I've be wanting and needing for some months now. Anyway, I'll be online most every night watching for postings and enjoying your works. So for now my goals this week are to rest and soak in some of life's simple pleasures like sitting under my umbrella on the beach with a good trashy book and a nice cold soda. Happy Blogging, from your fellow sunburnt critiquer!!
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Thanks in advance!
Monday, June 12, 2006
I had a great time at my conference this weekend! My portfolio review did not end up being very informative or inspiring but other than that everything was really wonderful. The most fun was the workshop I took in the afternoon with the illustrator Brian Karas. He was really relaxed and a lot of fun. Made us feel like we were back in a college classroom enjoying and learning about the art of illustration. He looked like a typical professor out of a movie with the a little bit worn tweed jacket, rumpled hair, glasses and very much into his "thing". Very passionate about what he does and wanted to know about us too. Anyway to make a long story short his workshop focused on character development in picture books and we all had to come up with some "characters" so this a a sketch I did during the class. After everyone was done we put them all up and we critiqued them. Learned a lot! Can't wait to go next year! It was actually much better than the NYC one I went to in April. Through the one this weekend I learned the place to be is the big one that takes place in the winter in NYC. Lots of art buyers and great networking opportunities. I think I'm going for it next year if everything works out.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
I'm up to more revamping! This is a piece I've had in my portfolio for some time and was never really happy with. The little boy is supposed to be getting himself and his pup ready for a Halloween outting with his siblings. The group pic of them is on my site www.artbygm.com it's called "Halloween". Anyway, I felt I couldn't get it right from the get go and am now trying to salvage it. In particular it's the boy's face that bugs me. In the top illo I redid it and wanted to know what you think. I'm getting ready for the regional NY conference in Poughkeepsie this coming Sat the 10th and am trying to fine tune my pieces. If you think I should toss it out by all means let me know. Hopefully this week I'll get my critiques in earlier. Times just flying with the end of school approaching!! Yikes!!!! PS. The top one is the final version of the face. Brenda I gave him more of a neck with shading and trimming and added that one in after I read your suggestion. Thanks, I really counldn't see that he didn't have a neck!! Let me know what you all think.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Hi everyone, Hope you all had a great weekend I know I did. Just wanted to say thanks for all the great ideas and comments about my last two sketches. Very helpful. And yes Gina in my book dummy I have very few pieces where the text is on the actual page with the art except this week's work. So with last week's work the text was on the opposite page for the most part. Again I think the issue is so important, as we discussed last week, that to get the book dummy together quickly I kept the images separate from the art. I could spend just as much time incorporating the text into the art as I do painting the illustrations! I love the design aspect of children's book illustration. Anyway, here's another sketch from my Little Red.. book dummy. It's where the wolf meets up with Red on her way to Grandma's. It's very unfinished I think, even in terms of a sketch, but I wanted to know what you all thought of the aerial view and the text placement of course in particular. If I go with this composition I would make the foliage and edges of the pic very deep and dark so as to focus on the characters. Keep the path on the light side with some flickering lightrays coming down through the trees limbs. Looking forward to your comments and suggestions! Oh, This is a double spread by the way .Thanks in Advance
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
Hi everyone, here are two more sketches I again rushed through to get ready for my conference two weeks ago and haven't done much with since. Was wondering what your suggestions might be on either of them. The first one is when the wolf convinces her to stay and "smell" the flowers and pick some for her Grandma so he can run ahead and get to Grandma before Red does. The second is when the wolf is sleeping in Grandma's bed already and the huntsman hears a very loud snore coming from the window and becomes suspicious.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Hi everyone, Here are another two sketches from my Little Red story. This is Granny in her bed with the wolf outside knocking at the door (tail in window). She's telling Red to come in because she's too tired to get up and open it herself. And then of course the second piece is the wolf resting comfortable after "lunch"! Let me know your thoughts on any of it. It's always encouraging and very helpful. I meant to pose this question earlier but I'm thinking seriously about attending the SCBWI regional conference in Poughkeepsie,NY about 50 min from me on June 10th. At the NYC conference I heard sometimes these regional ones are geared very heavily towards writers verses illustrators. Have you heard anything in general or have any of you attended? I know Ginger is at one this week I believe and I am looking forward to hearing from her. Anyway enjoy your week and Good luck Ginger if you aren't there already. I'm sure you'll do great and make lots of contacts.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I had a lot of fun I must say. What a great way to get inspired and pumped up to keep going in this incredibly competitive, challenging field! First off I had a very positive experience with my one on one portfolio review. My reviewer was Ronni Herman a very knowledgeable, lovely woman who has an agency now after being an art director for 30 years. I was lucky I guess because she had always worked in the children's book industry and wasn't like someone who had experience only in magazine work. I know this can happen too. She gave me a lot of savy advice with regard to making my book dummy work better. I'm so glad I ended up pulling one together at the last minute and slipping it in the back of my portfolio because she ended up giving me a full critique on it in addition to critiquing each of my portfolio pieces. Gina I think you said that happened to you too right? Anyway, she said the layout had to be really overhauled and text incorporated better into the design of the sketches. I kind of new this already but couldn't really tweak extensively like I would have wanted to because of time restrants. I also thought at one point my printer was going to explode! She really thought about half of the sketches from the book dummy were very strong and suggested I pull them out of the dummy and put them in my portfolio at the end as a black and white section. She said art buyers in general love to see this. To make a long story short after my review I went to the ladies lounge and there proceeded to do as she suggested and started rearranging everything and dismanteling my book dummy creating a whole black and white section in my portfolio before I handed it in for viewing in the large display room where art buyers peruse everyone's work! So yes I spent massive amounts of hours this past week putting that book dummy together and then didn't include it for presentation. Crazy hugh? Maybe I am a little but I trusted this woman's knowledge and took her advice. Luckily my book dummy was an acetate notebook I picked up at Staples that you can slip 8 1/2 x11's into and out of with great ease. I'm very glad I pushed myself to come up with all those sketches . Ronni thought they would look stronger in my portfolio by themselves. Anyway, the rest of the day was very entertaining. They had Ed Young going through his process for the creation of his book "Lon Po Po" which is a Chinese version of the "little Red Ridinghood story. Beautiful stuff. Then they had a wonderfully funny, dry kind of humor panel with a literary agent an art director and an editor all moderated by again a very entertaining Robert Sabuda, "the" Pop- up book illustrator. And finally there was Paulette Bogan who wrote many kids books and was there promoting her latest "Goodnight LuLu". She was the most entertaining of al and I guess that's why the kept her as the last speaker. All in all a very informative day. The mixer at the end was a lot of fun too. Met a lot of the people from the SCBWI discussion boards.It was neat connecting faces to names like that. The only thing that I thought was lacking with the conference was the inadequete skills of whoever was in charge of getting the technicalities of the show running. They had difficulties with each presenter's slideshow or lighting needs, mic you name it. Bad microphones and a really terrible set up where they used just an 18" TV kind of low on the stage to show some of the works. I though that was insane with a crowd so big. There were at least a hundred tweny five people in the room. It should of all been displayed on the slide projector they had set for some of the presentations. Anyway that would be my only gripe. It seemed like easy stuff to coordinate that's why it kind of bugged me. I still be there next year though! Actually I just remembered I have to register for my regional conference in Poughkeepsie NY by May 9. Hope I didn't bore you with my newbie conference attendance experience, I got a lot out of it in general. Well worth the effort. Goodnight for now. I'm cooked.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Hi everyone, I can't believe the weekend is finally over! My printer has been going nonstop since Friday. I managed to get my portfolio in order and my book dummy pulled together to the best of my ability for Monday's SCBWI conference in NYC! I'm very excited about going although extremely tired. Anyway here's another sketche from my Little Red Ridinghood story. This is when right when Red is asking grandma about her big teeth and big ears and big eyes! Then the wolf gobbles her up!Wish me luck. And thanks!
Monday, April 17, 2006
Two New Sketches from my Book Dummy: Red Finds door of Grandma's cottage open No. 2 Huntsman saves them both
Here are two more sketches from my book dummy due for next week's conference! Yikes! I know they are going to get sloppier by the day but whatever right? I'm going to try and wing it. Anyway the first is when Red arrives at Grandma's and finds the door open. She senses something horrible has happened to her. The second takes place after the Huntsman has miraculously pulled Grandma and Red out of the belly of the wolf through his mouth and they are uninjured! Imagine that. Any comments or suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Good morning to all! Here's a sketch from my Red story. This is back tracking a bit in the sequence of things but it's where Red's mom sends her off to deliver the basket of goodies to Grandma. This is one of fourteen more sketches I have to finish before April 23rd for my NYC conference. I was told by Frieda Gates, the coordinator, over the phone the other day that I should absolutely have a book dummy in hand to present at the conference. In my mind I went Holy Cow! So I'm hoping I can wing it with your help. I might be emailing some of you a sketch here and there for a quick dose of feedback. I won't post all of them here of course so as not to overburden our blog. Hope you all don't mind. If you can't you can't. I'll understand. Not to worry. Anyway here's the first.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Amy, I love oils and have done a few portraits in them of my kids but their drying time is not something I can manage with children's book work. I use gouache paints for my illo's with lots of very thin layers and colored pencil for minute details where a brush just doesn't cut it. I'm going to look into Alkyds oils, which I learned a lot about watching Sarah as she posted her different stages on the Scbwi boards with her book illos. They dry very quickly but not as spontaneously as gouache. I love the feel of painting and find I can progress much faster on a piece if I mostly use paint.
Again thanks for all of your comments and suggestions you gals are great!
Monday, April 03, 2006
As always with my work I never quite know when I'm done. I managed to thin the wolf's neck a bit. I wish I could of skimmed a little more off but I was pretty sure I was going to ruin the area. As is I realized after posting it and viewing it from a distance that the green area in front of the wolf kind of shadows his neck's shape. I did that when skimming! I will go back in there and make it look more natural. I'm also not completely sure if the pajamas are beleivable enough? Let me know your honest thoughts. Thanks in advance.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Here's the latest on my piece. I've moved along further on the wolf and will be catching up on the huntsman by tomorrow because he's starting to look washed out to me. Hopefully I'll have both characters at the same intensity of color so they won't compete with each other. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with this one. That's always a good feeling to me when I think I've passed the halfway point! Anyway let me know your thoughts they are always very helpful. Thanks
Friday, March 24, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I know I just posted a previous version yesterday but was wondering if you all could give me some feedback on this update. Is the doorway scene too much? I know I'll be tempted to give it a finished look but will hopefully stay away from that and keep it subtle to have all focus on the interaction of the characters. I wasn't planning on going too much further with the outdoors, maybe just define the flowers and schrubery right outside the doorway. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!