Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Prank

I couldn't wait for April Fool's to start pranking this year so I started a bit early.

My dad got a big surprise when he opened the egg carton yesterday morning to make pancakes!  For anyone interested in pulling off a similar prank just use acrylic paint.  It works surprisingly well on eggs!  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

IF Assignment: Swim

I decided to try watercolors without the usual help from my trusty black sharpie. It's far from perfect, but I think it turned out okay.  It's hard to go wrong with sea turtles!  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

IF Assignment: Eyeglasses

There is this cool website called Illustration Friday (IF)
 that allows artists from all kinds and all levels to post there artwork.  Each week they give a different prompt.  This week's prompt as you can see is eyeglasses.

I'm really excited with the way it turned out!  I think I might safely say this is the best water color illustration I've ever done!  I worked on it all day between changing diapers and playing hide and seek with my two year old.  I couldn't find a fine point sharpie so during his nap time I rushed to Walmart and got a pack.  I'm so pleased with the result, and I'm so grateful to my son for taking a particularly long nap today!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Illustrating Process

I wanted to have an illustration to go along with my story for Susanna Hill's "Just Spring" contest.  I tried a couple of different things...

First I tried a black sharpie approach with a dab of water color.    I like the way the sharpie and water color looked together, but I hated the illustration itself.  I was trying to make my main character, Sybil, look sick of winter, but she ended up looking more like a bully.  That's not how I wanted to portray my main character.

Next I tried oil paints.  It's been a while since I've done oil painting and I learned that I'm quite rusty.  I had a difficult time with the texture and completely forgot that oil doesn't rinse out with water!  Still the final product turned out better than the first I think.  I do like the way the puffy pink coat turned out.

Finally I decided to draw just a regular sketch.  I couldn't find my drawing pencils so I just used a plain old mechanical pencil, but it turned out okay I think.  It's my favorite out of the 3 illustrations so I decided to go with this one.  What do you guys think?  Was it the right choice?

Searching For Spring

This picture book story is for Susanna Hill’s “Just Spring” Contest.  The entry has to be under 350 words (I barely made it with 349) and end with the line, “[character name] knew spring was here at last!”  The deadline is March 18th.  To read more about the contest visit   Wish me luck!  

Sybil was tired of winter.

She was tired of her puffy pink coat.

She was tired of wet socks and runny noses.

She was tired of gray skies, bare trees, and crusty snow.

Sybil was ready for spring.

One morning her dad announced, “Today is March 20th, the first day of spring!”

Sybil squealed in delight and rushed to the door expecting to find apple tree blossoms, sprouting daffodils, and warm rays of sunlight.

Instead she found empty branches, patches of snow, and a cold gust of wind.

She slammed the door and turned angrily to her dad.  “You lied,” she said.  “It’s not spring.” 

“Sybil,” her dad said bending next to her, “Spring doesn’t come all at once.  It may not look like spring now, but keep your eyes peeled.  Soon you will see signs of spring.”

Sybil was disappointed, but she liked the idea of searching for signs.  “You mean like clues?”  She asked.

“Sure,” said her dad.  “You can be a detective.”

Sybil took her detective work very seriously.  Each morning she stepped outside in search of spring.

On Monday, the snow melted off their roof, but it still felt like winter.  Spring had not come.

On Tuesday, the sun shone brightly all day long, but Sybil remained unconvinced.  Spring had not come.

On Wednesday she did not need to wear her puffy pink coat.  Sybil was happy to leave it behind, but winter still hung in the air.  Spring had not come.

On Thursday the snow patches on their lawn disappeared.  She felt hopeful, but it was not enough. Spring had not come.

On Friday her teacher told the class to “Enjoy Spring this weekend!” But Sybil thought to herself, “It’s still winter.”  Spring had not come.

On Saturday she saw a robin pecking at worms in the grass and thought, “That is a good sign.” But she was looking for something more.  Spring had not come. 

On Sunday she spotted three tiny green sprouts reaching toward the sky.  This was the sign Sybil had been looking for.  She knew Spring was here at last!

That's all folks!  Thanks so much for reading.  If you would like to see my illustration process go to  I had a lot of trial and error!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

12 Obscure Words to Expand Your Vocabulary

Aquabib: a water drinker.  Someone hated by bartenders and waiters everywhere.

Battologist:  Someone who repeats the same thing needlessly. 

Draffsack: A bag of garbage, used figuratively to man ‘a big paunch or belly, a glutton’

Finnimbrun: a knickknack, a trinket

Gangrel: A child just beginning to walk

Gilly-gaupus:  An awkward or foolish person.

Jiffle:  to fidget or shuffle

Logomachy: a fight about words

Mouche:  a small patch of beard grown under the lip

Peenge: to complain in a whining voice.

Wahala: A Nigerian word for inconvenience, trouble, or fuss.

Zizany:  An obsolete word meaning ‘a harmful weed’ also used figuratively in the sense ‘a bad apple.’

My source for these delightful words is the book Totally Weird and Wonderful Words Edited by Erin McKean.