Monday, June 29, 2015

Our Home Finished

Here's how the print I've been working on turned out. I'm pretty excited about it! This will be the cover for the dummy that I'm working on now.

Above is the linoleum. I carved it without attaching it to a backing block this time and it worked fine. I had to have a rigid board to support it while printing so it wouldn't move. Printing big images by hand is always a little challenging. The bigger the linocut, the more likely it will shift a tiny bit while I am rubbing the back and give me a bad print.

Here's a photo of me carving the sun rays. I swear my nose isn't really that big! It must be the camera angle. :)

Pulling the print up to peek is always a favorite moment. I love seeing how it turned out!

Here's how the black and white print looks. I left space a little thin and splotchy so when I add gouache it will show up more and look neat.

This is what the front cover will look like and the sun will be on the back. Yay for Our Home!

Monday, June 22, 2015


This recent linocut of the Ugly Duckling and his siblings discovering water for the first time is my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill's illustration contest. If you are an illustrator, go check out the contest on her blog!

Here is more of The Ugly Duckling text by Hans Christian Anderson:

The following day, the weather was glorious, and the sun shone brightly on all the green burdock leaves. The mother duck came down to the water with her entire family and jumped in with a splash. "Quack, quack," she said, and one after another the ducklings leaped in after her. The water closed over their heads, but in an instant they were back up again, floating along beautifully. Their legs paddled along on their own, and now the whole group was in the water- even the ugly gray duckling joined in on the swimming.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Carving Our Home

I've been working away at this linocut for the cover of my dummy, Our Home. I included my reading glasses in this photo because they are a necessary tool! The other day I kept making little slips and mistakes. It was driving me crazy. A linocut with this much detail will have plenty of imperfections, but  I made 3 or 4 bad cuts on the very same house and it's because I couldn't see well.

I've only been wearing reading glasses for about 6 months and they are the weakest ones. But lately I've felt like my eyes were failing! Which was understandably upsetting. Then I finally realized that it's my lighting. A light right over the top just makes a glare on the linoleum. But lights to the side show me the shadows and that really helps my brain interpret the information. So I'm back on track and happy carving!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Our Home

I'm really excited to get back to one of my favorite picture book dummies. It's title was Home, but since Carson Ellis' book Home came out I felt like slightly changing my title. Carson's book is really wonderful by the way, and I'd definitely recommend it!

So I'm going with the title Our Home. I sketched out a new dummy quite a while ago and didn't get further with it. But Ive pulled it out to finish and it reads well without too many changes. So I'm diving in! I'm going to be simultaneously cleaning up the sketches and carving a big linocut for the cover. I hope to have one or two linocuts and the new dummy finished by the time I go to the SCBWI LA Conference at the end of July. I'm working fast!

Here is the drawing on tracing paper for the block I'm about to start. Actually, for the first time I'm going to try carving a large piece- 19x10 with the linoleum unmounted. So I guess I can't call it a block.

And here's a super quick mock-up of the layout of the cover. I can't wait to get started!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you might be sighing and thinking, "She's going to carve ANOTHER picture of the Earth?" And I feel your eye-roll and I sympathize with it. But I guess I just have to keep after this theme until I get it right. Cross your fingers with me that this will be the best version yet. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ugly Duckling Postcards

I ordered these postcards from Moo and they are so nice! The print and paper quality are excellent. And the packaging that they arrived in is outrageously gorgeous.

I put one of these images on each side of the postcard. So they aren't really postcards in the sense that you could mail them. But hey, they send you envelopes too.

If you are willing to pay the extra, their Luxe postcards are worth the money!

Monday, June 8, 2015


I'm going to be a guest artist at Make Studio's kid's art camp for one day this summer! The week I'm going to be a guest, the kids are creating their own creature and doing something different with him every day. I'm going to help them write stories and make their own books about their creatures.

We are going to cram a lot into 3 hours including writing a story, making a simple pamphlet-stitched book with a cover, and writing and illustrating in the book. So of course I had to make one myself first. I resurrected an old book dummy of mine, made changes and shortened it, and now I'm working on Maybelle and the Monster as an example for the class.

Here is my storyboard. I'll be giving them a blank storyboard as well as some ideas for getting to know their character and getting their story started.

I was thinking about lettering and trying to get the text to show up on a dark background. I think I will bring my letter stamps for the kids to use. I'll use them for my book sparingly also.

Here's a line drawing from the book of Maybelle reading to Hector her cat. After all of the drawings are done in black colored pencil I get to color! Yay!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Beautiful Swans

The Ugly Duckling grew up! Here he is meeting other swans for the first time. I think swans must be the most beautiful birds of all.

This is the new block on the right next to the first Ugly Duckling block I did on the left. You can see how the black ink stains the block and gets down in the little crevices. It's impossible to get completely clean and it doesn't really matter because the printing surface is the raised, top surface. As long as I get the top of the block clean I can store it and print off the block again if I want to.

Here is the first print I pulled off the block. This is my FAVORITE part of printmaking. Pulling that sheet of paper up to see what the new print will look like!