Fun at the beach

sand chimpDuring our week at the Delaware shore, I made several sand sculptures. I truly love sculpting on such a large scale. Sand is limiting – it tends toward a pyramid shape by nature – but I love that you can both add and subtract bits as you go. This chimp was my favorite.

A busy few months!

cover image: Fine Life For A Country Mouse

cover image: Fine Life For A Country Mouse

My picture book Fine Life For A Country Mouse, the dummy for which I revised and submitted repeatedly over several years, will be published next fall by Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. I am so pleased! I’ve spent the last few months producing the final artwork: 29 watercolor paintings.

It is a retelling of an Aesop’s fable; the story of a simple country mouse, Tillie, who is visited by her city cousin, Oliver. Snobbish Oliver is bored and unimpressed with Tillie’s hospitality and convinces her to go with him to the city and see what she is missing.

The work has consumed me, but was such a joy, and I am now eagerly starting new projects.

Sand Frog

sandfrog1

I love to sculpt sand at the beach! It is relaxing and fun and a great way to meet people. This frog was made one afternoon during the week we spent at Bethany Beach, DE in June. But the tides were not with me; high tide occurred while I worked, and I had to build a wall to protect my frog after rebuilding his front feet.

sandfrog2sandfrog3

Using updated skills

Sometimes I take an assignment that is very different from my usual work for children, and it can provide a refreshing break. In this case, I was asked to depict a barbeque grill from a photograph — I needed to clean up the image and drop out the background.

I decided to draw the grill and add tone and depth digitally, using techniques I learned back in the old days as airbrush: we would cut frisket (like giant scotch tape) with x-acto knives to open some areas of the artwork and mask others. It was tedious compared with today’s digital tools, and much harder to correct a mistake.

I traced the photo, and then produced a clean, more precise pencil drawing, which I scanned into Photoshop.

Then it was a matter of using Photoshop to select areas of the drawing and create the colors and tones the way I learned when using an airbrush, only with much less mess and stress!

New Promotion Tool

Baltimore Precision Instruments

I have had some exciting assignments from local clients, and I hope to get more. I just opened an account with Thumbtack in the pursuit of new clients. Check it out here:
Exceptional Custom Illustration
I love to get advertising and editorial assignments, and especially to create custom greeting cards for local companies — it helps promote business for both of us!

Red Canoe Children’s Books & Coffee House