The Illustration Friday theme this week is “rescue.”

Chicken Little

Here are Chicken Little and friends, all hoping Turkey Lurkey — or *someone* — will save them from the falling sky.  (Watercolor and ink on paper, about 9″ x 2.5″.)

And to continue the theme of trouble in the animal kingdom, here’s a spread from a picture book promo I did a while back:  Ming tries to pull her friend Bongo from the mud, but ends up in need of rescue herself. (Watercolor and colored pencil, with some help from Photoshop.)

Ming RescueNow I have an urge to paint a knight in shining armor…




It’s good to be king

This guy looks like he *could* rule the seas, doesn’t he?  This is a lionfish, and those spiky fin rays are venomous.  (I saw this one from the safety of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.)  Lionfish don’t have many natural predators, so I thought this one would fit nicely with this week’s IF theme, “power.”


This is watercolor and Verithin pencil in a Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook.  

Fresh off the vine


Coming in under the wire: the last of my tomatoes, and my entry for Illustration Friday’s “Fresh” theme.

This is the Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook again, and this time I used *very* juicy watercolor washes.  Even scrubbing out the color in places, the paper held up — pretty impressive considering I’d used the reverse side of the page for a watercolor study the day before.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another

The Illustration Friday theme this week is “Hybrid.”


As I’m dreaming of the beach these days, I thought of some (un)common ocean hybrids. (The Chicken of the Sea, I should add, was named for her timid nature, and not for her resemblance to the bird!)

I took a leap and did this in my new Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook, rather than my old favorite Canson Montval watercolor book.  The Stillman and Birn Beta has 180 lb. paper, which is *lovely* — it holds watercolors nicely, is smooth enough for ink, and erases cleanly.  Though Stillman and Birn sketchbooks are a bit pricey, I can see they’re worth it.

I’ve been playing around with calligraphy, and did the lettering for this with a Crow Quill pen and Rotring Artist Color ink. I’ve tried the Crow Quill on a *lot* of different papers, and it tends to catch on most of them.  Can anyone suggest a good surface for Crow Quill work?

It’s a jungle out there!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun…

Working Party Animals

The Illustration Friday theme this week is “Jungle,” which reminded me that I started a series of sketches for (another) set of “Party Animals” illustrations.  (I did a version a while back for a greeting card.)  I want to work on expressions, emotions, and action in other versions — and eventually, I want to see if I can turn this idea into a wrapping paper design.