Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ballpark Mysteries #10 The Rookie Blue Jay

The Rookie Blue Jay is out today!
In The Rookie Blue Jay, Mike and Kate can’t wait to watch their rookie hero Dusty Martin in action. But something is throwing the Blue Jays’ star off his game. Then, when no one else is looking, Mike sees mysterious ghost lights flying across the field. Is the ballpark haunted? And could Dusty have seen the lights, too?
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Ballpark Mysteries #5 and #6

Still trying to get caught up on posting about these books.  As always you can get more info on the books here and here.

The All-Star Joker
The stars are out in Kansas City . . . the baseball stars, that is! Mike and Kate are at the All-Star game, and even get to go on the field during the Home Run Derby to catch pop-ups! That’s where they meet Andy, whose dad, Josh Robinson, is an All-Star catcher. But before the Home Derby ends, Josh finds himself in hot water. Someone is playing practical jokes on the other players, and the coach is sure it’s him. Andy swears his dad is innocent. Who would want to frame Josh? And why?

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The Wrigley Riddle
Named by Amazon.com as “One of the Best Books of the Year 2013
Ivy-covered walls—they’re the most famous part of the Chicago Cubs’ historic ballpark, Wrigley Field. Mike and Kate can’t wait to get down on the field to see the ivy for themselves. But when they do, they’re horrified to discover patches of the ivy have been ripped away! Who would want to sabotage the stadium? Is it someone trying to curse the Cubs? Or is the rumor of a treasure hidden under the ivy tempting greedy fans? The Wrigley Riddle includes a fun fact page about Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ahoy Matey!

That's right tomorrow is the official 'talk like a pirate day'! So if you're looking to add more pirate to you day check out Victrica's site for lots of fun activities.  You can also view a good portion of the book here. Aaaarg!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Great Deal on Victricia Malicia

The perfect gift for the little lady in your life! For the month of July while supplies last you can get 'Victricia Malicia', 'Silly Frilly Grandma Tilly', and 'The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister' all for $25.  You can find the deal here.
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Experiment

A few months back I did a painting for an SCWBI event that I ended up not being able to attend.  They had an illustration challenge to do an image from Aesop's fable, 'The Tortoise and the hare'.  I had done an illustration early on in college on the same story and I thought it would be fun to do another and see how they compare.  I hadn't looked at the painting I did in school at least five years.  My concept was to use the same basic idea and to incorporate some of the details I could remember without actually looking at the painting.
So today I dug out the old painting and scanned it in.   The class I did this in was illustration 2 and was probably the first children book type of illustration that I had done.  At the time I was really proud of this one but it is pretty rough.  Looks like I did it in watercolor, colored pencil, and ink.  About this time I thought I would always work in watercolor, but I was really struggling with the medium.  My problem with watercolor is that when I paint I'm not very direct and I like to feel out the color.  I like to work up to it and to be able to make mistakes.  So eventually I went to acrylic because acrylic allows you to rework until you get what you want without it turning into mud. (click image to enlarge)
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From that original painting I remembered the main ideas.  I knew it was landscape crop, the tortoise had a rocket on his back, the rabbit was burnt in the background, and I could remember a few other minor details.  With those things in mind I was off to make the new illustration.  This time I switched to a portrait layout and changed quite a few things.  I painted it in acrylic on watercolor paper with a digital underpainting and a small amount of other mixed media.  The values are a little weak but it was a super rushed painting.  It's interesting to see them side by side. The way I work has totally changed.  Normally I wouldn't want to do the same idea twice but it was fun to see the outcome. (click image to enlarge)
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Highlights Pewter Plate Award

Earlier this month I received a package that I wasn't expecting.  Inside was a letter from Highlights magazine and an award for illustrator of the month for the April issue!   There is so much great artwork in each issue that I was both honored and surprised to have gotten the award.  The artwork was for the poem, "For Rent: One Moon Snail Shell".  So pick up the April issue and check it out!
Here's my scan of the artwork.
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 The original, printed form, and Pewter Plate.
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Artful Orchestra

A few months back I was asked to paint a violin to help raise money for Gateway Preparatory Academy.  It was fun to do something a little different, and painting on an object adds a fun twist.  You can go here to look at all the instruments and to bid.  The artwork is very impressive and I'm flattered to have mine alongside some other great artist!

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