Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

New Coloring Pages by Dea Lenihan


Find my new coloring pages in my Etsy Shop. Click HERE!

Your pages are ready for an instant download for coloring fun.

Mouse found a four leaf clover, kitty dreams of fish, and the 

prairie dog family picks red poppies for Valentines Day.


Thursday, December 21, 2023

SCIENCE GIRLS--A Quick Kidlit Sketch on Procreate

 Watch this 30 second sketch and quick explanation of my kidlit drawing SCIENCE GIRLS. I used Procreate on a 2018 iPadPro and an Apple Pencil. Let me know if you'd like to see the whole process.


Watch video 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Have You Ghosted Your Art?

You've always wanted to create.

You felt you had an artistic side that was never allowed to see the light of day.

You had so many ideas you didn't know what to do with. You were bursting at the seams.

But you had to deal with the grind. You woke up, went to work or school, came home, slept, and did it all again. And again. 

Was there time to be an artist?

You weren't sure, but you had to try.

You found a little time here and there. Sometimes on the weekend, sometimes after work. Or maybe before work. It wasn't about money--you just wanted to do it for the love of painting or drawing or writing.

Maybe you set up a corner in your house with your supplies; easel, paints, pastels, drawing table, or writing desk. When you went out, your bag was full because you carried your sketchbook everywhere you went.

You got into a groove. 

You looked forward to that special time with your muse. Maybe you made some tea or coffee. Turned on your favorite music. You connected to the spirits of creativity and couldn't believe it was 4 am when you finally, covered in paint and exhilarated, put down your paint brush.

Sometimes your went to school or work exhausted, but it was worth it.

You found some "real" artists on social media. Their work was admirable. They had opinions about how to do art the right way. You must:

   • Fill a sketchbook every month.
   • Draw at least two hours a day.
   • Take a class. Or two. Or three.
   • Sign up for social groups with other artists.
   • Write 2,000 words a day.
   • Join Instagram, Facebook, and the social media site formerly known as Twitter
   • Start a blog and record everything you do for YouTube.
   • Have a gallery show within a year or else...

...you're not really an artist.

These suggestions can be important and helpful individually, but the world wide web dumps everything on us at once. Sometimes it's hard to know where to start and with what. 

So you followed and felt inspired...kinda.

By default you made some friends in the art world. 

You shared manuscripts or critiqued one another's art.

You started a few projects.

And then your friend got a publishing deal. Or a gallery show.

And you were over it.

Well--maybe not completely over it, but dread crept into the scenario. You felt a tap, tap, tap on your shoulder and the little voices began to ask...is this what you really what you really want to do with your time?

Suddenly you don't want to be an artist at all.

The magic vanished, and it was replaced with anxiety. 

So you ghosted your practice.

And it felt great.

You didn't feel guilty about not meeting the important art milestones social media had imposed. You got more sleep. And you were happy to see the friends and family that you had been neglecting because of your hobby.

You didn't want to even look at the painting you started. Or read your partially completed manuscript. You worked so hard on them! But it felt rebellious to ignore them...like homework you got away without doing.

You had brunch at the cafe, talked on the phone until your battery died, and admired your neat(ish) house.

A few weeks later you found yourself watching Seinfeld reruns and shopping on Amazon. Your artist's voice spoke to you again and asked why watching television was better than your art. Leave me alone! you thought. I'm calm.I'm relaxing! But as you walked past your art supplies or laptop, you felt a little tug at your creative heart.

But it was a tiny little yank--and it was easily ignored.

You didn't get an agent. Or a gallery show. Your friend did. 

(Even though she'd been practicing her craft for the past 20 years, you disregarded that logic for the time being.)

And you continued to ignore your calling for a few more weeks--or maybe months. You also ignored the gurus.

And you felt renewed...

...except for the fact that you desperately missed drawing. Or painting, writing, or sculpting.

So you started again--but this time you ignored the voices that made you feel less...they didn't do it on purpose after all. 

This time you take it slow.

You take your time and you get better at your art at your pace. You get better because you can't help but improve if you keep going.

One day you finish your first portrait or manuscript or drawing. 

It's not perfect, but it's yours, and it's done. 

And you can't wait to start the next one.

Just know that you'll probably hit a wall somewhere along the line in your art journey--and it's fine. In fact--you'll hit many. It's okay to stop and start again. You're not a failure. Take your time and enjoy every minute...even the imperfect moments. 

Listen to your muse...she's talking to you.


(That voice that pulls you away from your destiny, according to Steven Pressfield, is called resistance. 

Read more about this amazing and terrible force in THE WAR OF ART.

And get creating.)


Friday, September 15, 2023

Draw a REALISTIC APPLE with ONLY EIGHT Crayola Colored Pencils

 It's almost fall!

And apples are one of the lovely parts of fall. Whether you like McIntosh, Macoun, or good old Red Delicious, apples are everywhere in the month of September--including right here.

This video shows how to draw and color a realistic apple using only eight colored pencils--and you don't have to spend a lot of money on supplies, either. In fact, these are from a set of 12 Crayola Colored Pencils, and they cost less that three dollars.

So grab your pencils, crayons, or even markers and join me as I draw and color this delicious fall apple. YUM!

For more videos on this fun channel for kids, look for @doodlebugartkids on YouTube. See you there!

XO Dea

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The Year of the BUN Coloring Book by Dea Lenihan-- COMING SOON!

The Chinese New Year is celebrated on January 22nd this year, and the Year of the Rabbit will begin.

In honor of this auspicious celebration, my next coloring book, The YEAR OF THE BUN, will be released on that very day.

Filled with bunnies, fairies, and of course, Buns, this book is special because it introduces the Buns best friends, the Mims. Tiny mushrooms of all shapes and sizes, the Mims are always there when the Buns need a friend, and a partner for some mischief.

THE YEAR OF THE BUN will be available where all amazing books are sold.

Here is the cover! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Molly Shipton, Secret Actress COVER REVEAL

There was a time when girls were not allowed to be actors on the Shakespearean stage, but Molly Shipton broke the rules! MOLLY SHIPTON, SECRET ACTRESS, by Sheri Graubert, will be on presale soon.

Here is the cover I designed, hope you like!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022


 I am happy to announce the cover reveal of AMERICAN PIE, a book by Lynne Marie that I illustrated.

Watson the wombat can't wait to celebrate his first 4th of July in the USA, but can one wombat make a parade, a picnic, or apple pie? With no apples? Watson's quest for apples brings everything he wanted and more in this sweet celebration of American and friendships.

You can preorder this fun-filled book HERE, for the April 14 release.