Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Color Palette etc.

Hi Guys, I'm still working on this piece- I got distracted for a little while but now I'm determiend to finish this by the end of the week. I'm curious- I am going for an earth tonsey kind of feel, but I wonder if the illustration is too brown? The rabbits won't be colored quite as extreme as depicted here- they are just base colors. Also, do the items on the table look alright? Do you think there should be more?

Simon says, "Still life!"

Well, I felt like I needed to break and work on color so I set up this still life. I know it's not children's art, but I hope that doing one of these every now and then makes me more creative with color decisions. It's what I've been up to lately. I've also determined that I need to try to experiment with my approach...I'll post the next item and see if you think I'm right/wrong. It may take some time, though...we're painting our house...which is not anything like the fun in illustrating...I'm not allowed to paint scenes. :)

Anyways, here's the sketch, underpaint, and completion.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Evolution wiped out the short stumpy giraffe...

This is another piece for my gallery show. I was quite excited when I came up with it - I haven't been doing anything but three quarter front views of my characters - and this was a way to get a different angle (well...same angle, but from a more extreme point of view)...but now that it's finished - i don't know....what does ya think?
Also - never volunteer yourself to do a solo show...these things waste way too much time and money...it's so time consuming picking out a different matt and frame for each and every single piece - I've defaulted to black frames for a few - but I had to push it a bit for my newer pieces. I spent 8 hours yesterday just putting together the frames and matts and drawings for only 13 images (I have 52 total)...Sigh...the show starts on the 10th, so I'm almost there...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pioneer girls: UPDATED 6/24

Thanks everyone for your great suggestions! I tried to use them all, and I think it made really good finishing touches for this.

A Letter From Brother

I thought I might run this by y'all before I call it "done". It was supposed to be for last week's Illustration Friday but wound up being more time consuming than just a 3-day painting! I saw by my current publisher hunt that it would behoove me to have more historical type pieces in my portfolio.
So I'd like to see if there are areas in this that I could improve -- can't really make huge compositional changes as this is in traditional media, but certainly tweaks. Thanks!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Going Out of Town --Ribbett!

This is just a fun little froggie couple catching a love bug. LOL
This is going to be my last post for a few weeks. We are taking a car trip across the country and I might not have access to the Internet (I will definitely go through withdrawal! LOL).
I will be working on some action sequences and story boards when I get back. I don't have a dummy book created yet and that is one of my goals for the summer. I feel really blocked there....I wanted something original for the text, but I am finding that I just get overwhelmed trying to write my own. I might have to choose a standard (like Tom Thumb...just kidding Pete!) and try that.
I will be back in July, so I will try to check in after the first week. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tom Thumb, it's a boy...

Now - odd as you may think it - it came to pass that these good people's wishes were fulfilled, just in the very way they had wished it; for, not long afterwards, they had a little boy who was quite healthy and strong...

Well, here's the next one in the series. I'm going to break from the story for awhile to work on a still life to practice color. Then, another something else unrelated and quirky, and then back to the story again!

I changed from paper to canvas this time. Typically, I use the 140 weight watercolor paper but wanted to see what my stuff would look like on another surface, so I purchased a Fredrix Canvas Pad. It's preprimed with acrylic and accepts any medium. I wonder what you guys think about how the surface looks...I get lots of the cross-hatching from the medium texture, which I'm not sure adds to or detracts from my overall result. I was also surprised to feel how floppy the canvas was - it's literally canvas, so I'm on the fence as to using it again.

In addition to critiques, can any of you let me know what kind of paper/canvas you use/would use for acrylic painting? Or have you heard of paper that's popular? Is this canvas idea okay? I'm full of questions and'll probably pose the question on the SCBWI boards as well.

Anyhow, I'd enjoy reading your thoughts! Thanks y'all.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Animal Kids!

Hi guys,
Here are a bunch of animal children. Something I have really struggled with is drawing characters doing something more than just standing face on and smiling, so the past two weeks I have been going to my local coffee shop and woring on drawing more dynamic characters over a 20 oz. chai. I also tend to draw a lot of bears and rabbits so I asked people randomly on facebook what I should draw and these are the animals that came up. I don't have any kind of story for these guys but they are so cute that I think it would be fun if I could come up with something...
Thanks for taking a peek :)

Take the 30 day Doodle Challenge

I got my copy of the Spring issue of MO Scribbles yesterday. I read an article on daily drawing for play and decided to take the daily doodle 30 day challenge.

My first attempt is here: wendymartinillustration.com/wordpress/ on my web site blog. Take a peek and please leave me a comment.

Why not join me in the 30 day challenge. Let's egg each other on and see where we end up.


Monday, June 15, 2009

An "I'm not sure if I like it" kind of illustration

Strangely Familiar

So yeah... in theory I like this because the new technique was fun and I like the dreamlike quality (as it is meant to be part of a dream), but in actuality it just seems "off". Just missing the mark for me from what I intended. The girl's leg seems a bit detached even though I thought I had mapped that out. Anyway! Would love all of your opinions on how this could have been better.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Juggling - the story continues...

So you've already seen the above image - the only thing is, thanks to a last minute comment (thanks steve!) I thought I should try and push the panda's expression a little bit...so now he's looking away to help show his disinterest in juggling balls...

So I posted this - part two of the juggling story - to ask if it works. I originally had a chainsaw in the place of the bowling pin, but it was just too big and didn't fit in the space well enough...so a boring old bowling pin took it's place...also, it seemed to clash with the cat, and we all know that cats and chainsaws don't mix! But let me know what you think! Thanks for all the comments so far! I was able to push that first drawing way further than just by myself!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quirky Stuff

These are two characters I am trying to develop. They are suppose to be relaxing at the beach. I feel like it is almost too calm despite of the beach being a calm and peaceful place. How does it look so far? What could I possibly add or change to make things a bit more active or engaging? Thank you.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Adding Depth

Got a bit more definition with darks today, along with pushing out the stars. The piece is finally starting to sculpt itself together. I was worried there for a bit on how the two sides where going to mingle. :P

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This is one of the characters from a dummy I am just sending out. 

Another day...another boring illustration

Actually it's the panda that's bored - I want to do two pictures - this one and another where the panda is excited and the skunk is juggling something interesting...I hope to finish that one by this weekend (as my show is due in about two weeks)...Let me know what you think as this goes up on a wall for people to stare at...


so I redid several bits - I changed the ball colors that the skunk is juggling (as well as moving the top ball down a little bit, so it was overlapping some of the rock background and not framed by one of the rocks) and i desaturated the yellow ball so it wasn't so much brighter than the other ones, I also changed a bit about the carpet - moved it away from the wall, made the circles on the right hand side smaller, and made the pattern blend in more...I like the changes, and I think it's a stronger piece! Thanks for the suggestions!

Some Paint

Here it is with some paint. I think it makes a bit more sense now too. :P At least I hope it does. I did make the moon a bit larger, but thinking the colors of those figures in the back will be a bit more reduced than the boy on the butterfly. Just to make him the focus. Going for the highly detailed style. ;)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bear Comes to Dinner- WIP

Hello everyone. I apologize- I have been a member of this board for some time and yet this is my first post.

I have found that I have a very difficult time creating illustrations that are dynamic and interesting, so I decided to push myself with this composition. I am curious to hear your opinions about what is, and is not, working about this piece. It originally started as sort of a joke- the huge bear eating the vegetarian dinner with the rabbit family- but I wonder if maybe now it is so active that the joke gets lost? Please let me know what you think... and thank you :)

Happy Dance

I was considering this as the front of a promo postcard, but I don't have it designed yet.

Carmen's post made me think about it more. Do you guys send just a postcard first, or a sample packet with a SASE postcard to be returned to you? I will post the card once I get it done, but I would love any feedback on this image. It is colored pencil with a little photoshopping afterwards.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tom Thumb Dummy

A poor woodman sat in his cottage one night, smoking his pipe by the fireside while his wife sat by his side spinning. 'How lonely it is, wife,' said he, as he puffed out a long curl of smoke, 'for you and me to sit here by ourselves, without any children to play about and amuse us while other people seem so happy and merry with their children!'

'What you say is true,' said the wife, sighing, and turing round her wheel; 'how happy should I be if I had but one child! If it were ever so small - nay, if it were no bigger than my thumb - I should be very happy, and love it dearly.'

My previous post was the precursor for this one, which, is the first page for my book dummy (Tom Thumb, Grimms). I figure I get stuck on inspiration sometimes and I should have a dummy in the portfolio, so go for it! Above is the accompanying text (not placed, but should be above the characters - I would have added a framed box for that, but I don't know whether the artist or publisher works that out). As with all my stuff, its acrylic meant to look oily. The lighting was again tricky because I was going for firelight dancing on the characters' faces. What do you guys see? After the photography and upload, some of my lines read sloppy, but aren't as noticeable on the original painting.

Saturday, June 6, 2009



You'll, of course, have to click on the picture to see the entire thing - But since it was such a detailed picture (for me) I wanted it to be as big as possible.

This is supposed to be the center piece for the little gallery show I'm doing in July for Nickelodeon...and I HAVE to make it perfect! All sorts of artists and snobby types will be walking by this crap and judging...and I want them to smile when they see it, not frown.

So anything you might be able to see or help out on would be appreciated!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Promo Postcards, oh my!

So I'm getting ready to do the promo postcard thing... I've ordered a small amount already to see how they look, but as I am not the most clever designer in the world I thought I would see how they could be improved for the future. This is what I have right now...


And, as an alternate for the front:

What do you think? Should more be going on in the front of the cards? Font? I was thinking that putting a child on the front since there is an animal on the back would show more diversity, but I do like the squirrel & bird illustration. But maybe that is too many animals, I don't know.
Also, are most of you doing art sample packets first before sending out postcards as a reminder, or are you just doing the postcards straight off?
Thanks for the help!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You Will Always Be - WIP

Here's my current piece in progress. I have another one, but this is priority. I would love some feedback about the composition, movement, and perspective. I have upped my expectations for my work. After finishing "The Talisman" (below) I have decided to either go highly into detail, or incredibly loose and relaxed with very little detail. It's so hard to choose! I enjoy both, so I'm promoting both. But my highly detailed work lacks in the qualities needed in children's books...I feel anyways. I really enjoy the whimsy of this piece and look forward to moving on with it. But it's been awhile, with my work, to have some feedback. So I'm not going to go to ink until I either sit and ponder a bit on it, or have some feedback. :) Thanks!

Here's "The Talisman"

I'm Back!!

Heya everyone!

So my vacation is over. *sigh* Not much of one, but got a lot done! I won't bore you with wedding planning details and work details. But a lot of work was done...thank you for being so supportive of it too. I've noticed quite a bit of conversation which is great! Glad to see you keeping it up, it's very encouraging.

I want to address what's on my mind about this group. I would love to see us getting more involved. I don't know how many critique groups we're all associated with, and it gets very busy with Facebook, Twitter, our websites, etc. But I feel that we should all post something once a week. A sketch, wip, finished piece, website updates, news, anything. I was tempted to give us projects, but I know myself that's a high expectation. I wouldn't even be able to keep that up.

So here's the idea and I ask in the highest regards of all of you. I feel incredibly blessed to see how high this group has blossomed and find you all very important pieces.

Post at least once a week. It must be related to our work, but it doesn't have to be a piece of artwork. It can be a great resource site, a personal website update, a portfolio question, anything. This business is more than just creating art dontcha know.

Also we keep getting interest in people wishing to become members. So I opt that if there are no posts within 30 days by any member they are asked to move on and leave, with the greatest respects. A leave with notice is fine. We all need that (I suggest it) every now and then. But I would love to add people who wish to be a part of this group. And if we have room, the better.

Which brings me to my last wondering. Do you guys feel good with the number of people we have or do you want a few more? Just give me your thoughts.

Matter of fact, please post whether your for these ideas or against. No feelings will be hurt. We're a family here and everyone's opinion counts.

Happy to be back and I'll post my WIP separately. :) Miss ya guys!