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Meet Buckshot the Tortoise!

Hello Friends,

I wanted to share an informative and fun video about tortoises (and turtles) with you. I didn’t go looking for this – my daughter sent me the link – she knows me so well!

I am currently trying to get my physical strength back. Our dog has tripped me twice in one week and both times I went down. Lately she has been lying in unusual places where I just didn’t see her! I keep telling my husband she must be trying to kill me because she’s sick of the gross medicine I have to give her twice a day for the rest of her life!  😉

Anyway, I am not sure I am going to be able to re-do my picture book painting for the real Golden Ticket contest that the illustration instructors are doing. It would be due in five days and I really don’t want to be crippled from trying! I got a lot of feedback from classmates about changes I can make to help it look better. All their suggestions were helpful. But my gut is telling me not to push it.

I hope to do some sketching for fun soon, but in the meantime, enjoy this fun video!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

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“Out at Sea” Gouache Sketch

Hello Friends!

I wish I was out at sea! While I am trying to absorb all that this illustration course is teaching, I am way behind on actually planning illustrations for my “Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends” picture book. I just don’t have all of the text figured out as to what illustrations could go with it and how many pages it might be. Picture books are a lot of work and take lots of planning!!

One of the things I have been enjoying is seeing demonstrations of some materials and techniques I have never used.  So the other day I was at Michael’s and had a half-off coupon that I just had to use (you know how it is.) I decided to pick up the cheapest brand of Gouache paints called Reeves. They are very different from the feel of watercolors, but I think I like them. I only used a few colors to play with in this first go at it, so I just played and didn’t have any specific pic in mind.

I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with this course. I think many of the people taking it are already professional illustrators or well on their way. But seeing their work has been good for me because I need good examples of what I want to strive for. I don’t feel the need to compare myself to them and I don’t feel inferior either. There are a lot of talented people in this class, though! So I’m just trying to keep up. Only two more weeks left. But I will still have six months’ access to it so I can go back and watch things again.

Yesterday our daughter put down half the price of the car she is buying. So today we went to town so she could pick it up. It’s in really great shape! So proud of her for saving for it. Now I will have my car back all the time! Yay!! She is applying at the Halloween store which is still hiring and would keep her busy for the next couple of months since it is obviously temporary, but I hope she gets it.

Well, I hope you are all doing great and had a nice Labor Day weekend. I can’t believe it’s Friday already! Have a nice weekend!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

 

Pen and Pencil Double Spread Idea

Hello Friends!

Well, this is my assignment for this third week of my illustration class. Mr. C. Turtle is angry because everyone keeps saying “Hi Mr. sea turtle” but HE thinks they already know his name and he is very confused.

And that’s okay, because I am feeling very confused at the moment about exactly how I want to tell this story and whether kids would even understand it!

 

So it has been a very busy week. But some good news is I will have my car back now! Our daughter just bought a used car like ours but a different color. She put half the money down today and we are picking it up tomorrow morning. The seller lives a half hour’s drive away. It’s a 2002 Toyota Camry. Ours is a 2004. The difference is that hers has about 100K less miles on it than ours!  Ha, ha!

Well, I have not been able to do my friend’s cat painting yet, but when I am done with this class, I will have more time to do other art. I have some new materials that I am wanting to play around with! It has been fun so far.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Green Eggs & Ham

Hello Friends,

Yesterday I got out of the house and went to Barnes & Noble so I could finish watching this week’s videos for my illustration class. So I was there a couple of hours. Took lots of notes.

Then I started browsing. Low and behold, what did I find? Sam I Am!! Isn’t his smile delightful? The other day, I read through the book “Green Eggs and Ham,” by Dr. Seuss, observing his illustrations. So when I saw this little guy sitting on a table and marked 30% off, well…those darn impulses!

I have been learning a lot, hopefully, but have not had as much time to actually draw as I thought I would. Just trying to keep up with everything they are teaching is time-consuming! But today and tomorrow I hope to work on my thumbnail sketches and start working on my third assignment early next week.

I also found another website called Society of Visual Storytelling which is here https://www.svslearn.com/what-we-do/ if you’re interested. Jake Parker, Will Terry, and Lee White have all been professional illustrators for years. Yesterday in town, I watched their introductory video for the class called Creative Composition. 

I couldn’t see them, but I could hear them and watch what Will Terry was showing and teaching about on his computer screen. Anyway, they are pretty funny! So it was great. I will have to go to town to watch everything, but this is a site where I can go at my own pace, and I have access to 80 DIFFERENT COURSES!!! I can work on any ones I want to and all of my progress is saved on their website. Plus, it is only $25 a month! It’s crazy! So I guess I will be “in school” for quite some time to come which is exciting!!

I have completed 25% of Creative Composition, and 7% of Illustrating Children’s Books, Part 1. But I don’t plan to let these distract me from what I have already been doing. It was just a fun break!

Well, I hope Sam I Am’s smile gives you a giggle today. I smile every time I look at him. He is sitting on my writing desk.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

 

Colorful Creativity

Hello Friends!

The other day I watched a five part video class online called “Hand Lettering & Calligraphy” taught by Bri Davey at the Children’s Book Academy. The videos aren’t very long so I stayed in the Barnes & Noble cafe’ for a couple of hours. I just watched, listened, and took notes.

Then I went to Michael’s and bought a calligraphy pen, some ink, and some colored calligraphy markers. We already have another larger pen and more nibs.

So after practicing some capital “A’s,” I got out the markers and made this. Mind you I lost track of my title!! What the heck? I thought I’d share it anyway!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 😁

I AM FINISHED!

Hello Friends!

It was a busy week for me last week! But I finished my writing course on Thursday night. Yesterday, I got back my last assignment, which my instructor loved, and encouraged me to submit to magazines. It was my leafy sea dragon article.

I felt kind of antsy all weekend, though. So I attended a free webinar I had learned about through Children’s Book Academy. The two instructors who were teaching in this webinar are going to be my instructors! This course is called The Craft & Business of Illustrating Children’s Books.

Illustration is the other thing I have always wanted to do. The good thing is that this course is only five weeks long so I will be busy with something every day, I am sure! But I am super excited!!

Here is a link if you are interested in checking it out!  http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/illustrating-childrens-books.html

The discounted offer for this course also came with other FREE GOODIES! So, I will be learning hand lettering and calligraphy, photo shop stuff for art, and other great things!

Later this week I plan to work on the cat painting for a friend of mine who lives in Canada. It will be a late birthday present. I am looking forward to that.

It looks like I will be pretty busy until the end of September so I may only be trying to post once a week here. I miss doing my blog almost every day, but once I learn some more cool stuff, I will begin sharing it with you!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

 

 

 

TAKING A BREAK!

Hello Friends,

I just wanted to let all of you know that I am going to be taking a break for a week or so while I get my last writing assignment done.

There is also a whole lot of other stuff going on. The Carr Fire in Redding, CA, was only about 40 miles away from us. However, it didn’t reach the downtown area or the city itself, just the outskirts. Unfortunately, we do know people who have lost their homes or are still evacuated. So it has been a very scary week here.

Our daughter was supposed to have this whole past week off since last Wednesday. But she got home that night and had to leave to work a fire camp (she is NOT a firefighter) with her crew on Sunday morning. The fire they are at is near Susanville and Eagle Lake. It is much smaller and not spreading as fast as the Carr fire. That one spread very rapidly overnight and has burned over 98,000 acres so far. The good news is that for now, it is 20% contained.

There have been five deaths that they know of. One was a firefighter, one was a bulldozer operator, and one was a great-grandmother with her two great-grandchildren. They were 4 and 5 years old. It was very tragic.

Somehow I have managed to keep working on my assignment but it feels slow-going now. I still think I will make my deadline, though, which is August 15th.

But I do not have any new artwork in the works at the moment. I probably won’t be starting any for another week or so. I just wanted you to know I didn’t fall off the face of the earth! And I will answer comments and questions on this post.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

ART BOOKS: WHAT A SCORE!

Hello Friends!

Yesterday was a great day! First I stopped by my friend Linda’s house and we had a nice visit. She also gave me some advice and encouragement about writing and publishing…along with a few zucchinis out of her garden and a lemon from her tree! The lemon is so sweet, too! (If you’re reading this, Linda B., thanks again!)

Then I went straight to Mod Pizza and had a mini pizza and salad with my friend, Jen. We got to visit for a few hours happily chatting the afternoon away. (If you’re reading this, thanks, Jen!)

Lastly, I went to take some books back to the library. I decided to look in their little bookstore and look at these art books I found!! I think they cleaned some out of the art section of the library. And that’s not even what I was browsing for! You never know what you’ll find until you look, though. 😉

The best part is that these are over-sized books, except for one, and I got all five books for $10!! It was a steal. I love reading about artists, especially these great ones: Norman Rockwell, Rembrandt, Ce`zanne, and the post-impressionists.

So here are pictures of all the books I got! TWO books on one of my very favorite artists…

This is the outer cover of the book on Rembrandt.

And the book slides inside the cover which is cool!

And lastly, Cezanne and the post-impressionists!

So now, in addition to everything else I’m doing I will be reading about these great artists and eventually share about them here. I know I can find anything on the internet these days, but I still LOVE reading books!! That is one thing that will never change about me.

In the meantime, I began working on a painting of a seahorse yesterday afternoon. And it is a bright color! I don’t know when I will finish it, because I need to work on my story for my class and work out today. So that’s about it for now. I hope everyone is having a great week so far.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

 

 

Leafy Sea Dragon (Still in progress)

Hello Friends,

Well, yesterday I worked on this for a couple of hours or so, but this is as far as I got. I think this one is going to take a while!

I hope everyone is enjoying your Memorial Day weekend. The weather is nice here today. Stay safe everyone!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Leafy Sea Dragon Painting in Progress!

Hello Friends,

Well, I have FINALLY started my leafy sea dragon painting. I usually like to do the background first, but I will still be adding to it a little after I paint the sea dragon.

It has been a nice cool and quiet morning here today. I woke up before 6:30 which was perfect for sitting out in the backyard to have my coffee and read some. My husband went out of town for the night last night and will be back this evening. My daughter is at work, so I decided today was a great day to start this painting!

I put on some music – George Benson and then Dire Straits. I haven’t painted at my desk in so long I forgot how great it feels! I just really want to get done with this time-consuming writing class so I can paint more!!

I am going to go exercise now and read while I’m on my stationary bike. My feet have been a little swollen this week because of the changes in weather and my arthritis. I also tried to find a new pair of tennis shoes yesterday, but that was an unsuccessful trip. My “bike shoes” are wearing out which also contributes a little to my feet hurting. So I have to keep looking for the kind I need. However, I did get to have a great lunch with my friend, Jen! So the trip to town was great!

I hope everyone is doing well this week. I am enjoying this springtime weather! I hope it lasts longer this year before the heat wave hits for the summer. I just saw a couple of quail strutting through the front yard (my desk faces the windows) and they are so CUTE! Well, that’s all for now.

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

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