New sketches, new work

Wow. I haven’t managed to post since just before the NJSCBWI conference at the beginning of June. Here’s a brief update!

The conference was great fun, educational, exciting, and a great chance to make connections and meet really interesting people. I felt really good about the reaction to my work and I left there ready to keep working like crazy on new images.

I’ve been trying to find a way to take at the energy and life in my sketches and translate into the final art. I’d been struggling for a long time. Many art directors had made a point of saying that my sketches were the strongest work and this time when David DeWitt of Little Bee Books said he loved them, I said, “But I can’t use them as final art”. He said “Sure you can!”  This completely changed my mindset and I felt that I was on my way.

Here are a couple of experiments and some recent sketches. I’m once again working as hard as I can to make all new work for my website and portfolio. Oh how I love this line of work!


New Jersey Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference 2017

Everything’s done and dusted for my trip to NJSCBWI 2017 in New Brunswick, NJ. I’m heading down first thing tomorrow with Julia Ann Young and Dan Moynihan. I’m looking forward to a great weekend. Here are a few images that I’ve created for various parts of the conference.

For any of you that have wondered where I’ve been for the past few weeks…this is where!

Wish me luck!

InkTober 2016 (with daily additions through 10/31)

After having fun with InkTober last year (I actually chose “Oinktober”), I thought I’d have a go at it again this year. My first drawing featured a mouse character so I decided to continue with the mice for the entire month.

These have been remarkably popular and I’ll be making prints of a few of them and offer them for sale. I’ll add the last week’s drawings as I finish them. Here’s the whole batch so far!



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friend surprise wreck

Monsters everywhere!

While playing with my iPad Pro I happened to draw this guy.


He made me laugh which led me to draw more…and more!


I posted many of these monsters on Facebook and they quickly had a loyal following of monster lovers. One in particular HAD to have one. She asked me if I could paint one for her. Of course! Here he is. He now lives in Virginia!


Many people asked me to make cards and I’ve printed a “few” of these guys.

They’ll be available at Open Studios at ArtSpace Maynard this weekend, September 24th and 25th. Stop in!


Toned paper and digital painting!

I’d been feeling really rusty lately and was struggling to get back into the habit of drawing on paper. (I’d been doing plenty of playing with digital media). I came upon some toned paper and remembering the cool drawings I’d seen from Russ Cox and Marty Kelley I decided to give it a shot. Since it was Labor Day weekend it seemed appropriate to focus on school themes.



The mice just seemed to jump out onto the page after that. I’d look at the page, think for a bit and quite often the image would just be there, waiting for me to fill it in and bring it to life. I wanted to try color on the pencil images so I took photos and brought them into Procreate on the iPadPro. The first one wasn’t terribly successful but as they went along, they got better and better. I can imagine doing many more of these!




“Lost” the next concept…


First try at a critter lost in a cornfield. (These are all sketches that were drawn in pencil, photographed and brought into Procreate on the Apple iPad Pro.) While working up the value study I got carried away and added color. I will paint them in watercolor once the image is right.


Then I thought it might be more interesting with a group of terrified critters. I found I was still missing the anticipation part of E. B. Lewis’s four rules.


Tried another version where you could see the expanse of corn that they’re lost in and then tried to figure out how to bring anticipation into the image.


Big improvement. E. B. is right, of course. We’re storytellers not people who make pictures. Now I need to tweak the shadow to make it more effective as a element of anticipation. I also have to figure out how to make the shadow look realistic…or at least how a shadow might look on top of a cornfield.

I’ll follow these up with another once it’s done!