character development

My greatest challenge as an illustrator is character development: Making your characters the same throughout the story, from many different angles, making many different gestures, and expressing many different emotions.

For me, the best way to develop a character is to draw them over and over (and over)—all the time. Do I have a pencil in my hand? I should be drawing my character. Create rules that this character’s face and body must follow. Little Mouse must have his eyes half way up his face, the main orb of his head must be the same width as his shoulders, the fur on his cheeks must resemble a football… whatever the rules are, draw them over and over (and over) until that’s all you CAN draw when you draw your character.LMholdsCat


i painted a bug

bug with watermark
ladybird beetle


I’m pretty excited about the last illustration I finished. It’s getting pretty springy around here, and by that I mean lots and lots of precipitation. And we all know what happens when copious amounts of water absorb into the earth. That’s right. Mud.

This painting has mud. I won’t show the whole picture. Oh no. That would give too much away. But here’s the detail with the mud. Happy Spring!


book signing

Thank you to everyone who came to my book signing today. The signing was 2-4 pm and at the stroke of four, someone came and bought the last book in the store! It was a great day of seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Thanks friends!

Here’s a picture of me and my signing buddy at BookPeople of Moscow.


Watercolor progression

I just finished a vignette for my next book project with Jeni Leidenfrost, and thought I’d post the progress of how I create an illustration. I start with a sketch. After transferring the desired outline to my watercolor paper with tracing paper and graphite, I paint in preliminary shading. Next, I add more definition to the shading. Finally, I add the color and detail over the top of the shading.

The result: Bun Bun has (pretend) tea from a fancy cup while demonstrating bad posture.

Bun Bun progression
Bun Bun has a Tea Party (progression)

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