Monday, June 18, 2012


I just got back from the SCBWI Florida Mid-Year Workshop and thought I'd post some character sketches I made for the occasion. This is my version of Rapunzel. You'll notice that I gave her a sidekick, her dog Malcolm. Don't worry about him when it comes time to flee the tower- if you look at the last picture closely, you'll see that Rapunzel has a plan! Here's a portrait of them both:

This is an experiment in crewel embroidery. Some of you may remember my poor octopus (see the previous post), who is currently languishing in a drawer due to a lack of black thread. Here I imagine her to be a kind of amateur naturalist. I think you would be interested in nature if you were trapped in a tower and had nothing to do but look out the window all day.

Nothing to do, that is, but serenade Malcolm:

And write in her journal in bed:

Finally, here's my tie-in to this week's Illustration Friday topic, "secret": Rapunzel plots her escape! Click on the picture so you can see all her covert plans up close!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Illustration Friday: Popularity

The octopus hopes his novel will be as popular as that runaway bestseller about the vampire squid.

Incidentally, I'm also trying to turn this into a kind of embroidered line drawing. Here's my work in progress:

Unfortunately this was the best photograph I could get, but hopefully you can get a sense of what's going on! All those little knots you see on the outside will eventually go away. My goal is to retain at least some of the sketchy pencil lines so that it looks like a drawing, only in thread. I don't really know what I'm doing, though, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Illustration Friday: Suspense

This is a color study for a picture book I've been working on for a little over a year now. The baby's family is paying the cat's family a visit. At first the cat is excited to meet the guests, but he and the baby immediately get off on the wrong paw. Not only does the baby hog all the attention, but he also wants to play with the cat's favorite mouse toy! The nerve of some people! Especially small, wobbly people!

What on earth will happen next? Will tails be pulled? Arms scratched? Will anyone (including the grown-ups) survive the weekend? Hopefully someone will publish the book someday so you can find out!

(Click on this to make it bigger and to see the cat's crabby expression!)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Illustration Friday: Twirl

Dragon babies! I thought this was especially appropriate since 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Illustration Friday: Prepare

This is the owl getting ready for his big trip with the pussycat. As you can see, he's tucked their tickets for the pea green boat behind the mirror. Hopefully he doesn't forget them!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Illustration Friday: Grounded

I was thinking here about being "grounded" in the sense of being safe, the way electrical wires are grounded. Also I think this is what a mouse hot-air-balloon ride would be like, like at the mouse state fair!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Illustration Friday: Brigade

I was inspired by Cindy D to do a process post of my own this week. Here's how a doodle of some capering carrots turned into a finished piece.

Original sketch:

I rediscovered these guys while flipping through an old sketchbook and thought they deserved a little more attention. I then played around with adding a fourth carrot friend and putting them on a hill rather than on flat ground:

My husband commented that they looked like they were part of a carrot army (though that last one is showing an appalling lack of discipline), and I agreed that it might be more fun to draw them all scattered about. So I transfered them to tracing paper and moved them around until I found positions I liked:

Then all that was left was to figure out the colors and materials! This ought to have been easy, since for a while now I've been concentrating on a mix of colored pencils, soft pastels, and conté crayons, and I was also pretty sure that the carrots ought to be orange, the sky blue, and the grass green, but I managed to make some ugly stuff before arriving at this:

And then- taa-daah!- carrots on parade!