pumpkin carving

The Great Pumpkin

November 05, 2012

 All summer we'd almost forgotten about the giant pumpkin vine growing behind the rows of corn, so it was a surprise when this giant showed up! At about a foot and a half in diameter it really is a giant. Such an impressive pumpkin couldn't be wasted on a regular jack-o-lantern face . . . .

I looked around for carving inspiration in the style of Arthur Rackham's silhouettes and came up with this dragon silhouette by Aaron Pocock (visit his site for more great artwork!)

My sister and I decided would be perfect if we added a castle to wrap around the width of the pumkin, and set to work with our super-specialized carving tools . . . that is, x-acto knives and kitchen spoons.

A few hours and a high-powered light later (the walls are so thick that a candle wouldn't do the trick!) the dragon was ready to guard our front door.

There's another pumpkin waiting in the kitchen . . . I think Cinderella's carriage might be on its way.

Mrs. Gibson's Dinner Party

October 17, 2012
Roger did not change his attitude or remove his hand from the back of his chair, and, impelled by curiosity to find out the cause of his stillness, she looked up at him at length, and saw his gaze fixed on the two who were near the piano.
Booth Tarkington

Penrod's Friendly Letter (IF: Teacher)

August 23, 2012
The teacher calls on him, and Penrod realizes too late 
that the "friendly letter" he swiped from his sister's desk was written to her beau...

Just a quick pencil sketch--I'm planning to come back and add some color. If you've never read Booth Tarkington's "Penrod" series, you are truly missing out. (Says the unbiased bibliophile.) :)
colored pencil

IF: Jump

May 02, 2012
I have fond and squelchy memories of jumping from hummock to hummock in our swamp. 
The marsh marigolds are blooming--spring is here!
 After a very defined and digital picture earlier today (The Pinner), 
I felt like some soft colored pencils--which unfortunately did not want to cooperate with the scanner!

The Pinner

May 02, 2012
Ah, pinterest--who has not succumbed? 
This is for certain of my pinmaniac friends; you can see the gleam in her eyes that says,  
"Pin ALL the things!" 
 Pencil sketch     Traced in ink & converted to bitmap   Digitally colored
ceramic painting

What I've been up to...

April 25, 2012
Liz Monahan's fun artwork inspired me to look into ceramic painting. 
(Check out her Etsy shop--as an artist and a bibliophile, I love it!)

My sister--who feels destined to marry a millionaire--requested a mug with this quote...
 I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it.
--Dorothy Parker

...and this was a birthday gift for a good friend
(who, incidentally, was not offended by the tongue-in-cheek quote) :)
A woman, especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, 
should conceal it as well as she can.
--Jane Austen, "Northanger Abbey"

In other creative news, my 1912 Kimono Dress pattern for 18" dolls
 is now available at Hint of History and my Etsy Shop
(What's that you say? I've watched too much Downton Abbey? Impossible!)
E Nesbit

People think six a great many

April 23, 2012
Pencil Sketch
I have often noticed that people think six a great many, when it's children. 
I mean they don't mind six pairs of boots, or six pounds of apples, or six oranges, especially in equations, 
but they seem to think you ought not to have five brothers and sisters.

Yes, I'm illustrating Nesbit again. Ever since I discovered Edith Nesbit wrote more than The Railway Children, I've been a dedicated fan.

The Treasure seekers, with Oswald's semi-anonymous narrative voice, is one of the best--at least, C.S. Lewis enjoyed it; have you noticed the Bastable reference in the beginning of The Magician's Nephew?

(If you've never read or listened to Edith Nesbit, you should do it now! She's near the top of my list--ergo, by a convoluted bit of reasoning, I can equate "top" with "height" and justify this as an Illustration Friday post for "Heights". Makes perfect sense, no?) :)

Lady Clare watercolor

March 20, 2012
Pen & ink, watercolor
Here's the Lady Clare sketch inked and watercolored--and with a digitally corrected spelling mistake
(Roland to Ronald--I'm conveniently blaming it on dyslexia.) :)

Lady Clare sketch (if: Intention)

March 06, 2012
Pencil sketch; I plan to finish it in ink and watercolor
Lady Clare had no intention of keeping Lord Ronald ignorant of the truth . . . 

I've long been planning to do some illustrations from Tennyson's poem Lady Clare; though it can't compete with J.W. Waterhouse's painting (left) I'm quite happy with the results so far.
[Here's the finished Lady Clare watercolor!]

In other news, today The Really-Truly Princess Test was showcased on The Children's Book Review!
illustration friday

Whose turn for the telescope? (IF: Popularity)

February 14, 2012
Ink & Watercolor
The telescope proved to be as popular as Aunt Kitty could have wished--until it was accidentally dropped overboard.
(I'm not completely sure, but I think this may be the same Aunt Kitty . . . )

Speaking of popularity [cue shameless self-promotion], here are a few new places to find me online:

You can follow me on tumblr!

I started a youtube channel (check out my book trailer!)

My new book available at The Illustrated Selection (there are Kindle and Nook versions, too!)

Moon Dreamer is part of the Illuniverse project!

The Really-Truly Princess Test: New eBook!

February 09, 2012
Finished: a personal writing/illustration project I've been playing with on and off for several months!

It's been a fun learning experience: putting the story and illustrations together, formatting and submitting the files for Kindle, Nook and PDF, and making the book trailer.

The Really-Truly Princess Test

Rosellen is just an ordinary little girl, except for one thing: Her parents are the King and Queen, so she's a Princess. Or is she? Using the story of "The Princess and the Pea" as a guide, Rosellen is determined to answer the question once and for all--with surprisingly messy results! The book features over 20 full-color illustrations and is an engaging read-aloud story for ages 6-10.

Kindle Version    |   Nook Version   |   PDF Version

Excerpt: "The Princess and the Pea"

Free Coloring Sheets!

Book Trailer
Charles Dickens

Edwin & Rosa (IF: Suspense)

February 07, 2012

Pen & ink with ink wash

Edwin and Rosa say goodbye; 
Edwin never tells her about the ring in his pocket.

Today is Charles Dickens' 200th birthday.
He died before completing The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 
so we are left in unending suspense . . .
Is Edwin dead? 
What do you think?

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