Saturday, November 23, 2013

Beautiful "Silence"

Don't you think Silence is a perfect name for a book without words? This delightful book is filled with illustrations by award winning artist, K.C. Snider. She has illustrated dozens of books for Guardian Angel Publishing. This is her first book on her own.  Her remarkable, vibrant art is beautifully displayed on each page as an adorable mantled ground squirrel quietly visits scenic areas in Crater Lake National Park.

Containing no words, the pictures tell the story as this small creature makes its way around the lake, rides two boats, interacts with children, adults and other creatures, tastes, samples and explores the many things the park has to offer. Each illustration is a detailed and precious work of art set in spectacular surroundings. Children and adults of any age can enjoy this art filled book while using their own imaginations to discover the story. KC has again shown her tremendous artistic ability in this new release from Guardian Angel Publishing.

You can visit KC at her blog and feel free to leave any comments or questions you might have for her. Silence is also available from Amazon in paperback or hardcover.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Creative Illustrations by Ginger Nielson

Today I am pleased to share with you a post by Ginger Nielson, the artist who did the vibrant, lively illustrations for my new children's book from 4RV Publishing. You can learn more about Ginger and see additional artwork and books on her website.

                                                                                                                                                          Recently I had the pleasure of illustrating Connie Arnold's picture book, "Count 1, 2, 3 With Me." Published by 4RV Publishing, LLC, of Edmond, OK, the book is being released this month. It was a delight to illustrate her creative ideas for counting. There were new challenges for me as well, as I needed to create illustrations for some things I was not used to painting.

When I begin illustrating a picture book I like to go over the manuscript a number of times. Sometimes I will jot down ideas for an image in the margin of the document. Other times I will create a little thumbnail image to remind me of a thought I had while reading. When I am satisfied with the way the pages will move along I create a small storyboard showing all the pages in the book with tiny images or ideas for each page.

Most picture books are under 1000 words, but even the shortest ones present a challenge. Each image needs to stand on its own. There should be enough clues in the image that even a toddler can "read" the book.
Once I have decided how I want to illustrate each page, I begin sketching. For this phase I use soft sketching pencils and might even fill an entire sketchbook before I decide which of the images are the perfect ones for the story. Next, I scan or photograph the images and transfer them into the computer. Very large work needs to be photographed because my scanner is limited to legal size work.

With the sketches in the computer I go directly to my favorite painting program, Painter 13 by Corel. This program is similar to photoshop, but designed with traditional painters in mind. There are dozens of brush types, pens, pencils, chalk, paper textures, and much more to choose from. It is very much like painting traditionally but there are no bottles of paint to spill and the UNDO feature is a blessing if you mess up your painting. You can even decide how far apart the bristles on your paint brush will be.
I "paint" directly on a CINTIQ screen. This is a large monitor. I use a stylus pen on the screen to create the artwork. By choosing different brushes or pens, or chalks, I can create illustrations in much the same way as I do when I paint traditionally. I also keep my large screen Macintosh computer monitor open as I work. I keep other things on that screen that I might need to refer to as I paint. It is great to have reference material, email, and sketches readily available on that other screen. It has the advantage that I don't have a ton of papers all over my work area, just a screen full of images, or notes. This type of dual monitor set up allows me to drag images from one screen to the next. That way if I have a sketch on the iMac and I need it for my painting I can just pull it over and place it onto the canvas on the CINTIQ.

As the painting progresses I print out the finished pages, gather them into a book form and take a look at the flow of the work. If I am happy with the progression, illustrations, color, design, and composition, I am ready to transfer the finished work in the computer to a layout program such as In Design, place the text, and create a PDF ready for printing. If the PDF preview is correct I send that to the publisher or editor.
Sometimes the work on a picture book can take as long as a year, other times I can finish the work in a few months. Painting in the computer is not necessarily faster than traditional painting; it takes time to do either.

One little thing I love to do in each book I illustrate for 4RV Publishing LLC, is to find a place in the beginning of each book to place the "4" the "R" and the "V" where people can find it if they look. Sometimes it is easy to find, other times not so easy. It is there in Connie's book and it is easy to find if you look for it. (See if you can find it in this post!)

Many thanks to Ginger for the fascinating information. I'm happy to be able to share a few of her illustrations from Count 1,2,3 With Me. Aren't they delightful? My blog tour will continue on Monday. Be sure to check out my previous post for blog schedule (and watch the video if you haven't seen it yet). You can order Count 1,2,3 With Me from 4RV or my website.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Count 1, 2, 3 With Me Video

  As a part of my blog tour for Peaceful Moments of Love and Light and Count 1,2,3 With Me, I would like to share with you a new video, and below are the details of the tour, schedule, and prize information. Enjoy, and remember to leave a comment to enter the prize drawings!

Count 1,2,3 With Me is now available to order from 4RV Publishing.Books are also available from my website and Amazon.

Prize winners will be selected at the end of the tour from comments left on each of the blogs. Additional entries may be earned by sharing about the tour and blog links on facebook or twitter, and posting here or Inspirational Poetry of Joy and Peace blog to let me know.

Friday, November 1 - The Surrendered Scribe - Thankful for Visual Worship

Saturday, November 2 - The Surrendered Scribe - Being Thankful

Monday, November 4 - Connie Arnold, Children's Author - video

Tuesday, November 5 - Megan Vance Books and Blooming Conversations - review

Wednesday, November 6 - Heading Home - Joy and Light

Thursday, November 7 - RPJ and Company blog

Friday, November 8 - Stuff Could Always Be Worse

Saturday, November 9 - Connie Arnold, Children's Author - Ginger Nielson, illustrator

Monday, November 11 - Musings of a Children's Writer

Tuesday, November 12 - Cheryl's Christian Book Connection

                                         Penelope Anne Cole - Review of Count 1,2,3 With Me

Wednesday, November 13 - Susan's Thoughts and Ramblings - review

Thursday, November 14 - S. K. Mayhew, Kid Lit Writer - interview

                  Write What Inspires You

Friday, November 15 - The Children's and Teens' Book Connection

Saturday, November 16 - Inspirational Poetry of Joy and Peace - Blog conclusion and prize winners announcement

Prizes (count them with me, 1,2,3):
1. Candle holder set of 3
2. Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace poetry book
3. Framed sunset print with inspirational verse