Friday, June 19, 2009

We Have a Chicken in Progress

After a little time off to recalibrate the ending and iron out some things, Interrupting Chicken is underway again. Luckily the weather has been pretty uninviting, so I am happy to stay in and work! Cutting stencils, putting down watercolor, scribbling with crayons—fun.

This book probably looks a lot different than my previous work, but there is a logical progression. I used crayon in The Nice Book as an accent. I used stencils to get sharp edges with watercolor, and more crayon in Pouch! (coming September 2009). Then I used complex multi-color stencils and more crayon in a book I did for Hooked on Phonics in the beginning of this year.

When Chicken came around, I decided to use multi-color stencils for the characters, and build the backgrounds out of a dark wash (working dark to light). Crayons take a much more central role. And I don't mean Crayolas—I am using Caran D'Ache water soluble crayons. It is a real joy to build up areas of light; I feel like I am really starting to paint. (Come to think of it, I always was a big fan of Degas's pastel work. . . .)

See you in the studio,

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Good Book for Kids

The blog Good Books for Kids has a new review of The Nice Book. It includes suggestions on how to use the book in working with children. Very nice.

So why is there a strawberry with a face up there? Well, it looks like a nice strawberry, doesn't it? It looks like this strawberry has read my book, doesn't it! So there you are.

Click here to read the review.

See you in the classroom,

Monday, June 1, 2009

State Prizes

I am officially on the short list for two State prizes: in Ohio for Monster Hug!, and in South Dakota for Leaves! Also there is some buzz about Cowboy Ned and Andy in Arizona. . . . I will keep you posted!



The weather is great and that means I've been out drawing! Babies, gardens, friends, family, pets. . . . While these drawings may look very different from my book work, they are really at the core of it. All the observation, color, and light carries over. And (to paraphrase a quote I recently heard about meditation) drawing cultivates love of, and interest in, the world.

See you in the sun,