Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Painting a Cute Halloween Charm

It is almost September!

For many it is back to school time, for me it is one day closer to Halloween!

My next coloring book is Penelope's Garden, out in a few weeks, and in celebration I made a cute witchy Penelope charm.

I drew her on a three inch Shrinky Dink circle with Sharpies, put her in a 325 degree preheated toaster oven and cooked til flat.

Very important! I punched the hole in the top before toasting.

She looked a bit muddy so I added some acrylic paint highlights.

Here is a quick vid of the highlights at the end.

Enjoy and Happy (getting close to) Halloween!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nine Ways to Tell You Are Creative

Aaahh the creatives--we all know a few. 

Maybe they work as graphic artists or interior decorators, or maybe you know a mom who puts together crafts that rival Picasso.

Or maybe you are one of these easily distracted, constantly doodling idea machines.

I know many in this interesting group, and here is my list of creative characteristics:

This list is in no way official, comprehensive, or complete.

I would also add sensitive, self-confident, night owls, addicted to at least one thing: coffee, tea, cigarettes, chocolate, potato chips...you get it. 

Tell me if you fit into this category and if you can think of any other symptoms. :)


Friday, August 5, 2016

Drawing vs. Writing--Which One is YOUR Thing?

As an author and artist I spend much of my day either imagining then sketching images, or thinking about a story and then writing it down before it fades into the ether.

Someone asked me recently which I prefer to do, and initially I was a bit befuddled. I've been doing both since I was a young child (like most authors and artists) and had to really think.

But I have an answer.

If I had to do ONLY one for the rest of my life, I would have to choose writing. 

My posts and pages on Facebook and my blog are filled with my art, but I get a more fulfilling buzz from words. The images are great attention getters, and I am happy to share them.

I find drawing satisfying, especially when the picture is done. I can hold a conversation while I draw, and funny enough even watch TV (something I rarely do anyway). But there is something missing.

When I write I am almost completely absorbed. Time flies, and I get the feeling I am a bit lost, which I love. I get to create worlds and people, and it feels like a special privilege. It is magic.

My stories are almost never exactly right on first draft, and I even like the rewrite part--it feels like a puzzle, and each fix feels like another reward.

I usually have ideas to go with the stories--what the people look like, the settings, and I am happy to sketch them out, but once that part is finished there is a pull, and it is usually another story clawing its way to the surface.

Creepy Carrots--I am in love with the illustrations by Peter Brown. Peter, if you are reading, boy do I have a book for you!
 It would be a wonderful thing to write a story and have a fantastic artist flesh it out and make it a thing of beauty. I recently did some sketches of one of my characters and a wonderful artist did them in digital, and I was amazed. I have every digital do-dad there is, but I can't recreate what she did.

That is not to say that I will never write a book and illustrate it myself, but from now on I will really think it over, and if my art fits, then it's off to the races, but if I think someone else could elevate my books and stories even more, then I will gratefully turn it over to another more suited talent, and anxiously wait for the stunning results.

We can't be and do everything--we have to pick OUR thing and run with it. Get better at it, then eventually get great.

This realization was freedom to me, and I have renewed energy about my work that I haven't had for some time.

Disney had it right when Elsa sang Let It Go.