Thursday, January 27, 2011

From current dummy...

The "Twins" discover snow.

I won't be finishing any other items from the dummy before I send it out. I have two finishes and the cover plus the inside sketches. That is normally enough.  The text is also added inside the dummy. There is space below the cubs on this page for the two or three sentences for this page.  The ms goes with the dummy book, a resume, and a cover sheet.  If the publisher states that they do answer queries or submissions I enclose a business size envelope, stamped and addressed to me.  If not, I have to be aware that they may not answer and simply recycle the whole submission.  That is the best reason for only finishing one or two illustrations, and sending only copies of the work.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


When it is too dry for a bath, elephants might enjoy a dusting.
It makes them feel good but they look like they're  rusting.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

From "Song for a Giraffe"

Hippo from

I have always enjoyed painting African animals. This hippo is from one of the earliest books I illustrated. The story is lovely and speaks of friendship and trust.  It is a wonderful way to show children and adults that although we are different and have some shortcomings, we are all wonderful individuals in our own way.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Look for the New Year

I plan to redo the whole website, but in the interim, I changed the theme a bit.  To create an entirely new website I will want to use some of the newest work. That means waiting until a few books are published, so that I can share some of my favorites.  In the meantime I will still be drawing and painting every day.

Here is the thing about drawing and painting every day and having lots of work.  When my house is a bit messy and cluttered you know I have a lot of work.  When it is neat, picked up, and things are all in the right places and it looks like "House Beautiful"  then you know I NEED more work.  Right now the house is very clean, very picked up and the photographer could walk in any minute and be pleased.  You can draw your own conclusion from that ....  yep, looking for more work.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why elephants don't ski

    At least there is a bit of warmth waiting at the end of the run.  (Click on Image to enlarge.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Now I am happy with the cover

Finally happy with the cover I am ready to print the dummy and add the two required finishes.  It is a simple story with lots of action and I loved watching Clarence and Alexander go off in search of snow. If you scroll down on the blog you can see the older version of the cover.  What I did was to make the bears smaller, simplify the area around them and change the text on the back cover a tiny bit.

When sending a dummy book I usually send prints of one fully painted piece from the book and one black and white version.  Because this is my story I won't suggest that any publisher pick another artist.  It is what it is and I am learning to be patient.

  This is the older version of the cover.....

and here is where I began the changes.....

Simple pictures are the best.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Sometimes I get the feeling I 've been here before, done this exact same painting.. over and over and over.

A new direction for the cover

The more I looked at the cover for the story I am working on the more I could see where it needed improvement.  For one thing the bears are too close to the ground and too large in the hollow of the tree.
I made them smaller, added some of their behinds to bring depth into the scene inside the hollow and redid the tree bark and fading grass.  Now I am happier with this part of the cover.  More to work on, but I am glad I changed it.

Sometimes simple pictures are the best.  I won't be adding as much  "stuff" to this version but I will create some interest for the wraparound.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Full cover image

This is the full wraparound cover for a book I am creating in dummy form.  Almost finished with the sketches I will still need two finishes in color and one in black and white before the dummy is complete.

Here we have Clarence and Alexander, two adventurous brown bear cubs.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Up a Tree......

Dummy in progress, I am enjoying watching these two cubs find fun, adventure and challenges.
I face challenges too.  Submitting dummy books with manuscripts is limited when one is not represented by an agent. However there are options for illustrators who write and I intend to investigate those.