Thursday, October 27, 2011

Witches and Jack-o-lanterns

I thought I'd try to make a video with a few pumpkin and witch sketches. The soundtrack was made with Garage Band on an iPad. The video was made with Corel Video Studio Pro X4. The software offers quite an assortment of styles and effects that can change a drawing to make things appear a little wild and less boring. And since this is a wild week for dressing up and trick and treating I figure it's OK to play around a bit. No harm done. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Tricks and Treats

My grandson had a birthday yesterday and now in just a few more days we will celebrate Halloween. At four years old the little guy is over the top with the excitement. First, the birthday cake and presents, and now it is time for dressing up and tricks and treats. How much excitement can a child handle?
I can't resist drawing pumpkins and witches as this week comes to the end of October. In Vancouver  this coming weekend, there will be Halloween parties and fireworks in the dark and a lot of kids dressing up so before it is over I thought I'd post a few pumpkins and witches.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Updated Portfolio

I updated my portfolio this week.
I have almost forgotten how much work I have done over the last three years or so. It is probably too long and  too many images but it was fun to put some of them together. If you have any interest in looking at my explorations in digital art and colored pencil and watercolor illustrations please ignore the advertising for the video which comes up on that site, and many thanks for your interest and time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Mailed it Away!

Overcoming my intense fear of mailing away, I made myself feel all the fear and I put that manuscript with my illustrations in the post box. Whew! I had no idea how much emotion I had over this project. I get stuck when I am almost done. For five years since I retired  I have been holding back.
Everything seemed to get in the way.

The Interact Books Contest got me started and led to a picture book with seventeen illustrations completed instead.  But  I can not exactly express my thoughts about how hard it was for me to mail this away.
It was finished and ready three weeks ago. But then I decided to do the whole thing over in order to change the characters from piggies to children.  The entire project changed in front of me on the screen and I realized it would take me to January to finish a new version properly. So I argued with myself thinking that maybe the story actually stinks and no one would want it anyway. And I have other projects I want to do waiting in a box.
But two days ago after setting myself the new goal of the end of October I decided to go back to the completed work I have spent so much time on. I packed it up with a few samples of my new character ideas. I spent a day composing a letter to the publisher. Then I packed it all up with a return stamped self addressed envelope and I headed out the door with it under my arm. While walking to the post office I had second thoughts and almost turned around because of something I wanted to add. But "No" I said to myself.  All the words are there with the illustrations and it either works or it does not work. The worst that can happen is they will hate it and mail it all back. But I can handle that.
Now I am free to move on to other projects. I toasted myself last night with a glass of wine for putting the darned thing in the mail.
I took a picture of the envelope ready to go with some samples of what I placed inside the envelope when it was ready to mail. And on the screen I took a shot of the beginnings of my new character designs to replace the piggies. See below.
So now I will work on other things. And even though I never made that APP on time, this  picture book idea came out of the effort. I decided a book is a better format for this project. I learned a lot about what can be done with Corel Painter and a Bamboo Fun  low end price-wise Wacom Tablet. This was a good project for me to try.
Now I think I might try to create an APP with Interact Books regardless of the contest. But that's a whole other story. And it is waiting for me in my box of papers. I can't wait to see who wins the Interact best APP contest. It won't be me. But I wish them all luck! And I will wait to see what comes back in the mail. I will let you know one way or the other dear blog and any friends who happen by.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I found a great little APP for kids

One new APP for my iPad purchased from iTunes last week is a picture book of The Three Little Pigs by a company in the UK called Nosy Crow. It blew me away to see what can be done with art and music and animation in a way that children can become completely involved. I think it is so new and so wonderful and I hope anyone out there reading this might check it out to see it and enjoy the creativity of these people.
There is a video on Nosy Crow's website that gives you an idea of how it works.
Their new production of Cinderella is an APP that is winning numerous awards. Nosy Crow's 'Cinderella' is one of eight new best APPs for kids recommended in the New York Times this week.
If you have an iPad and children you may want to check out these wonderful creations.

This is my grandson at three years old using what he calls his 'computer' (iPad).

Saturday, October 08, 2011


Today I went with a friend to a NIA class just to check it out and wondering if we were up to doing something we had never tried before. Neither of us would have gone alone.
I was surprised at how smooth and easy it was to move into it. The workout is a cross between dance class and aerobic workout. But it is slow and easy to follow. The music is pleasant and the workout is energizing. Now I feel so much better physically after weeks of sitting in front of the computer. Of course Maggie gets her walks but the Shih Tzu is not exactly a workout kind of dog. So another goal is in place now. NIA classes.

Here is my Maggie with her recent Dr. Seuss style pony tail. The groomer has fun with her at times. Everywhere we go she causes smiles and giggles.
She is my best buddy.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Setting a New Goal This Week

Hello out there. Is anybody there? I have been working on a book and got lost in it revising and changing and editing and I've been wondering when I will finish it. What first began as an idea for an APP turned into so many illustrations I realized I had enough for a book. So...I finished it as a book. But then I started having second thoughts about the character design.
And then my computer had major problems and I ended up with a new computer which is absolutely lovely so far. Fortunately I saved and backed up files all along the way. So nothing was lost. I must have created over six gigabytes of files working on this.
Then once I had the new computer up and running I changed all the characters from piggies into kids. And I like the kids much better. This led me into doing some research about costume and current fashion.
Now it is October and each day I get closer to an ending of this project.
I have set a goal for finishing by October 31.

On and on and on it goes. I need a support team.