Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Season, New Postcard, New Virus

Happy Autumn, Everyone!

So, Friday the 16th I chose the image for my next batch of postcards, and I ordered them online from moo. Then my throat started hurting. I swear it was at the exact moment I clicked to confirm the order. I've spent the better part of the past week popping ibuprofen and pseudo-ephedrine and forcing fluids. I started climbing out of the yuck on Thursday. Then yesterday my new postcards arrived in the mail.


I swear they appeared on the porch exactly seven days to the minute after I clicked to confirm the order.

I had planned to attend the National Book Festival today, but as it is threatening rain, and I am still not 100 percent better, I have decided to stay home.  Disappointing, but I have 60 postcards to prepare for mailing and some spot illustrations that need inking.  The spots are spec work I'm hoping to sell to a periodical.  You can see part of one image in the photograph above. See the penciled mouse on the sketchpad in the upper left corner?

On the writing front, I'm working on character backgrounds for a new early middle grade novel.  This is a project that  has grown out of the picture book dummy I created last winter.  The book seemed to want more story to it, so I'm letting it grow.  I have aged up the main character from about 5 or 6 to 10 years old.  I have a good idea of where I want to go with the plot, but earlier this week I was struggling with writing.  Literary agent Kristen Nelson's post on the subject of character development hit my blog reader at just the right time.  I need to discover more about my characters, their backgrounds, and their feelings about their circumstances and one another to know how they would act and speak in the scene.  So, more prep before writing.  But it's a happy-making task.  I am enjoying getting to know my cast.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Promo piece redone with wash

I decided to redo the cinema promotional picture from the previous post with different hair on the woman.  This one has a neutral gray wash. Click on image for a closer look.


I like this one better.

Now I'm eager to get on with creating images to go with the chapter book I'm writing.  More posts on that to come.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New promo materials

Here is a first stab at a new promo piece:


Click on the image to enlarge. Note the slick way I slipped my web address into the image.

I plan to work on a couple more ideas over the next week or two before I decide what to put on the next postcard. I want emphasize black and white work in this round of mailings. My self-imposed deadline for getting the next batch of postcards into the mail is the end of this month. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bookshelf Pics with Wash

Not a huge change, but an improvement I think.

Pic 1, before:

Pic 1, after:


Pic 2, before:


 Pic 2, after:

This blog was pretty quiet in August.  You may be wondering what else I have been up to.  Well, I recently wrapped up a round of revisions on a novel work in progress.  It is with a critiquer at the moment.  I have a new short story off on submission to a magazine and have just gotten another ready to submit as well.

In the drawing department, I've been sketching characters in preparation for my next promotional mailing. I want to get a batch of postcards in the mail by the end of the month, but I'm struggling with getting the characters to a level of dynamism that satisfies.  My people aren't quite interesting enough for the market I'd like to get into.  If you, dear blog reader, have used any resources - books, websites, blogs - that have helped you get your characters to the next level, please, please, please leave the names of them in the comments. Thank you!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Better with Wash


I finally got bold enough to add a neutral gray wash to a few pen-and-inks I drew earlier this summer.  Being  essentially a coward, I had to try first with a picture I wasn't particularly attached to. This is a quick piece I did in response to an Illustration Friday challenge:



And here it is after I've enriched it with the wash:


I don't know about you, but I see a massive improvement. I clearly need to quit being so precious and trust my hand more.

I was so pleased with the outcome I went right on to add washes to the two bookshelf pictures. Posts with their before and after images to follow...