Gaurdie hat and beard



Gaurdie is coming alive with this next step. I’ve finished the beard by first blocking in a darker color then layering different colored brush stokes of hair. And since he smells of Gardenias I thought it fit to add a few flowers that grow naturally in his beard.

The hat was created by adding a pattern layer to the red part over the shading and using the smudge tool to blend in the different shades of black for the main part of the hat. The feather was done the same way, block in the main colors then blend with the smudge tool. This is not normally how I would do it but just felt right for this project.  Besides, it was fun.

My next step will be the jacket, vest, buttons, and suspenders. While I’m still considering changing his eyes to green. I’ll try it. Seems the colors would go better. I’m thinking maybe a greenish grey.

Maybe by the time I get to the next image for this book, I’ll figure out how to do a video of the paintings. There are so many new options now that I have the full adobe suite at my finger tips. I just need more play time to figure it all out.

Until next time.

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
~ Albert Einstein

Have an imaginative day!


Introducing Gaurdie


With the completion of the cover behind me, I’d like to introduce the beginnings of Gaurdie.

     Gaurdie is a very small Scottish guard that takes his job very seriously. He puts up a pretty tough appearance but his eyes tell a different story.  Those big beautiful blue eyes will draw you into his sweet kindness. Besides, how tough can someone be when they smell like a fresh Gardenia flower.

Gaurdie is the first fairy the kids meet as they step through the Enchanted Door into Memmay’s fairy garden. He is very fast at flying and no one has managed to get past him yet. His job is to keep track of everyone who is visiting the garden.

Now let’s get started with the fun of creating this little gem. I’ve scanned my initial drawing into Photoshop and have quickly redrawn the lines knowing that I’ll only use them as a guide. My next step will be to block in the basic colors.

Have a happy artful day!


Almost there!


Hilda-wp-cover2     Wow, it seems like forever since I had the time to blog. My computer died on me and I had to replace it. I wouldn’t be so bad if all you had to do was plug in and go put it’s all those other things that hold you back. Like making sure the external hard drive will work with the new computer, reinstalling all my favorite programs and resetting all my personal settings. It’s such an disruption I just dread it every time. When something is working, I most often say, leave it alone. But now that I’ve got everything set back up again I say, Thank God I did.

I did something I swore I wouldn’t do. I signed up for adobe creative suite. And I have to admit. I really like it. Only now there are so many new cool things with all my usual programs like Photoshop, Lightroom, Dreamworks and Illustrator that I’m praying for lots of snow this winter just so I can spend more time huddled up in my studio at home playing and learning all the bells and whistles that are new since creative suite 3 hit the scene. I’m sure it will help with the new images I’ll be doing for my upcoming book.

Speaking of which……

I finally got a chance to work on the cover a little more. This time I’ve added the branches for the nest, some more definition on the wings and inserted a background. My next step will be to finish defining the wings and shadows of the objects in the nest.

Until next time…..

Praying for snow.


Hideaway Hilda shading

Hideaway Hilda 3 shading     I was able to carve out a few hours this morning to begin the shading process.

I started by adding some lighting in the background. From there I’ll grab most of my shading and highlight colors.

Don’t know about you but I always like to start with the eyes. Since, I hope they will grab you attention first. Then I added some basic shading to the hawks body.

Avery caught my attention this morning so I decided to try and finish her to give you an idea of where I am going with this. I blocked in the shading then spent the last 4 hours blending.

I will be adding more images as I find the time to spend in my studio.

Have an artful day!

Hideaway Hilda 2 avery

Hideaway Hilda 3 avery

Giving life to a character

Hide Away Hilda0001     As most of you know, I’ve been working on my second book in the series, Adventures Through the Enchanted Door. Hideaway Hilda will be one of the main characters along with the original characters of Dawson and Avery.

A lot of you have asked about how I managed to get the whole book done and since it is a very long process of writing and illustrating the book, I thought I might keep you in the creative process with me. An exclusive inside look at everything that will go into the creation.  Maybe then it won’t seem like an endless task on my shoulders.

I’ve been working on the writing for quiet some time now and have the story pretty much laid out. I’m about 3/4th of the way done and it is getting exciting. I’m at the point where I’ve got to put some characters on paper to seal them into an actual being so to speak. In other words…..they are clogging up my brain and they need to get out onto paper.

Let’s begin with Hilda Hawkins. I’m thinking this will end up being used as the cover image of the book.  Hilda is a bully of a hawk who loves to collect things. Things that don’t belong to her that is.

My first step is to make a rough sketch. It will take me a few days to work with her to bring out her unique features and character.  I’ve put her on her nest and  I’ll need to decide what she is sitting on. What is she hiding that is. After which I will need to bring her into the computer world for all the coloring details.

I hope you’ll join me on my journey.