B stands for busy! Since I've been too busy to paint my underwater boy story, here's a page from my sketchbook. What started off as sketches for a baby theme branched out into B-words. I'm a bit fond of the big hair.
The current state of my desk. I'm on the verge of cracking out the windex to remove all the built up lead from what's usually a nice white surface. I'm actually pretty proud of the mess right now because it's evidence of all the sketching, drawing, and redrawing I've been doing for my underwater boy story. I've got 3 panels left until this sequence is complete and ready for critique!
This is a sketch from a story I came up with a few years ago. I thought now was as good a time as any to actually complete it. I wanted to do a story without words, sort of graphic-novel'ish but with a clear format. I also wanted it to be a serial, where the conclusion of each sequence (about 8-10) leads to a new adventure. I'm about halfway through with final sketches and so far this is my favorite.
Sunday I attended a NESCBWI sponsored workshop featuring Susan Sherman. It was limited to 2 local critique groups, since we are both fairly small in size we decided to 'share' the experience. The other group asked Susan Sherman, AD of Charlesbridge Publishing to give a short presentation and review portfolios.
Her presentation was excellent. A review of the process of making a book, specific to Charlesbridge. I learned quite a few new things about the process and the industry in general. It was a very organized presentation, as was the presenter. Susan reviewed portfolios in a group setting which I really enjoyed. Not only do you get to see each artist's work, you get to hear an art director's point of view and criticism. Sometimes when you get a short portfolio review you're left wondering what someone's comments mean because your knowledge of that person's style and mannerisms is so limited. This was an excellent group of portfolios, almost everyone was published and had a lot of strong work. Susan's comments gave me some good direction and food for thought. I definitely need to fill in the 'holes' of my portfolio so I can show publishers that I can draw/paint 'anything'. And with that, I'm getting back to work!
But first, let me thank (if you're out there reading!) NESCBWI, Marilyn Salerno, and the Acton Critique group for the day, it was excellent. I look forward to our next event together!
So here's the finish to 'First Day of School'. It was a good learning experience with gouache and lots of characters in one scene. (click on the image for a larger version) I'm not sure if it communicates what I was originally thinking though...thoughts? I did have fun painting a bus! Oh well, on to a new project.
Weeks ago my friend Jen asked what children's books I love, and I was thinking of this again today as I placed books in a new bookcase (so excited about that!). I don't remember liking or even knowing of too many conventional 'classic' books as a child, which is odd because I was such a bookworm.
The Girl with a Donkey Tail by Anne Rockwell was one of my very favorites. It's a chapter book with lovely black and white illustrations. (I've always adored chapter books and was so sad when I reached the age where ALL the pictures disappeared from my books.) I love fairy tales, and it's so great to have female heroines. I'm certain this book inspired me in some way.
I had to do a quick lookup on Anne Rockwell since I honestly didn't know of her other than by this one book. She has been extremely prolific, illustrating and writing many many books for over 30 years, and continues today. She also has paired up with her husband, son, and daughter as the illustrators to her writing. She appears to work with daughter Lizzie the most, her illustrations are also quite nice. I'll keep an eye out for her now that I'm more 'educated'. And I'm a little intimidated to know that she is still out there writing!
This was my first sketch for the 'sprout' theme, thinking of the kid that shows up after summer break and has grown (sprouted) way more than the other kids. I want to focus more on children in my portfolio and I thought this idea was a good exercise for that.
I'm in the middle of painting this now and changed a few things from this sketch. Hopefully I'll be done with this piece early tomorrow and will post then. I'm really enjoying using gouache rather than my colored pencils. And my elbow and wrist are happier too!
So I've been doing/reading The Artist's Way (and here) for quite some time. Basically it's taken me close to a year to do the 12 week program. I really have no excuse for taking that long (although I think planning the wedding last year WAS a factor!), but at least I never gave up! I'm almost done, moving on to Week 11 today. One of the tasks for Week 10 was to make a quick list of things you love. Anytime I'm faced with something like this lately, I tend to draw it out. It's a fun exercise to get me in sketching mode. And working in pen keeps me from thinking too hard or trying to erase!