Archive for the ‘sketches’ Category

Bookin’ it

August 12, 2015

I’m in the studio today beginning to design…sketch…the 32 pages in a children’s book called, Tiny Goes to the Movies.  The cover art is already done.  It is done

first so that the book publisher can begin advertising that this book will be coming out in the future.  I did not put the name of the story on yet.  Looks like this…

TGTTM_cover sizingBut now, comes the “thinking part”.  Sketching with a pencil and my imagination.

When you open a book, what ever 2 pages you see, these are called a “spread”.  This book has 14 spreads to draw. And like a river, they need to flow together in

order to tell the story visually.  A very good author named Cari Meister Kurst wrote the simple sentences for this book.  This book is for someone who is just

learning to read…and is trying to read their first book by themself.  So the words need to be pretty simple and the pictures need to go with the words really well.

In the first spread of the book, the boy is telling you about himself and his big dog Tiny.  It’s summer time and my picture needs to tell those words.  The picture

needs to also say that these two have a very fun, warm friendship…they do a lot together.

When I read these words, my imagination saw this…


This is called a “rough” sketch….I’m not trying to be exact and perfect with my picture.  I just want to get down the general idea and how it would fit on the spread.

Once I do this, if I like it (which I did), then I take the rough to a tight “sketch”.  Looks like this…


And when I’m done with this stage of the book, I will have 14 spreads like this to show to the editor of the book in New York.

If she likes my ideas and sketches, then I will make paintings exactly like the sketch I sent them.

The cover painting that is at the top was a sketch at one time and went through this same process.

Back to work!


Draw a Talking Bird!

March 19, 2015

STOP! Take a 1 minute creative break and draw this…then have your bird saying something. Show it to someone…dare ya.  Enjoy!


Draw a City! (learning to overlap)

January 13, 2014


Wondering if you would grab some paper and pencils and grab the kids (or anyone!) and try this step by step drawing of a city.  You can go to the “Pick and Draw Game” Facebook page and post your artwork and

comments there.  I’d love to hear from you!  Or you can reply here on the blog or send me an email at  Enjoy!

Step by step house drawing…try it!

January 10, 2014


Here’s another step by step drawing….let’s see how you do with it.  Please send me your pictures or go to the “pick and draw game” page on facebook and post your kid’s pictures there.  We’ve had quite a few that have posted and I’m amazed by what kids are doing creatively!  You can also send pictures to

Draw Spiffy the quote bird (video)

March 6, 2013

Grab your pencil and paper and draw alongpause it if I get going to fast for you.  Add some doodling around the words if you like…or have Spiffy saying a quote you want him to say.  HAVE FUN!


February 15, 2013

For hours of creative fun, get one of my drawing games at  Take it to a meeting or group activity and

watch what happens when people start drawing together….smiles, giggles, laughter….memories!  Give the gift of creativity

to others…they will not expect it…but they will remember it!

A little creative play with the pen (video)

February 8, 2013

Who says everything we draw has to be PERFECT?!  Sometimes when we relax and take chances without thinking about it (because we’re enjoying the creative experience), the “real” artist inside can come out and play.  Our creativity can make visible the imagination’s thoughts….let’s see what happens for me today….

Drawing a winter tree (Video)

January 17, 2013

There is something very beautiful about the simplicity of a tree in winter.  Armed with my camera in one hand and a pen in the other I’m taking up the challenge to draw one from memory in a very short time.  Draw along with me if you like and pause it when you need to.  Many thanks for Beethoven’s assistance…..enjoy!

Christmas Light video

December 18, 2011

music: Handel’s Messiah performed by the London Philharmonic Symphony

Drawing Uncle Sam (circa 1940)

April 24, 2010

I collect old cartoon books from as far back as the 1930’s. One of my favorite cartoonist is an artist named Vaughn Shoemaker…he actually won 2 pulitzer prices for cartoons he drew!  (That’s HUGE  if you think about it…who says cartoons are just silly little pictures kids draw!)

Today I am drawing one of Vaughn Shoemaker’s pictures from the year 1940.  It’s of good ole Uncle Sam.  He was made up to represent America and our government.  In this picture  he looks determined and scrappy.  I like that look!  Here is the picture….it’s from a book called, ’41 and ’42 A.D. (cartoons he did during World War 2)…

This artist’s pen was more powerful than any gun or weapon at a time when a world war was getting ready to happen!  If you want to see a cool short video from you tube about Vaughn Shoemaker click here.  I liked it alot and you will see what this cartoonist was really like when you watch it.

My drawing is going to be a big picture.  I will draw with a fun pencil called a china marker that looks like a black crayon (Wal Mart usually has them pretty cheap) .  You can do some good shading with it….but you can’t erase the lines once you put them down!  So, I look at the picture in my book and look for the biggest shapes to draw first and lightly sketch them down on the paper…things like, the shape for the head and the body, etc.   Then I begin to decide where different parts and features of uncle sam will go and lightly sketch those down…I’m going pretty fast…this is like making a map so that I know where to go with my picture I.  I need to know the way to get there…and my sketch will help me…

I’ve decided to draw the head first.  From this point on, I will draw dark lines…so I start with the nose…ready or not, here I go….

Pretty scrappy looking dude!

Then I draw the body….I look at my book picture continually grabbing little pieces of the drawing in my mind, then turn to my drawing and just put down that little bit that I remember.  I do this over and over….I constantly compare what I am drawing to how the book picture looks….that’s really important!

Last, I’m going to do his vest that has the white stars on it…so I sketch out where the stars go and darken around them….I like drawing those dark areas really fast….and I make all of my scribble lines go the same diagonal direction (it makes it look unified).

Look how different it makes the whole drawing!  Uncle Sam really comes to life!  Drawing some dark shapes in your drawings can really take your drawing to the next level…but don’t do EVERYTHING dark…leave some shapes in your drawing white and others gray.  That will give your drawing variety and make it more interesting for others to look at.

And to let you see how big the finished drawing is, I took a picture of me standing beside it…I love drawing big!

oops, I forgot to smile…

Now I stand at a distance from the drawing and look at it with my “artist’s eye”… I realized that I have not drawn a couple of things on Uncle Sam the right size.  Wowy!  So I took the photo of the finished drawing into a program on the computer and fixed it.  See if you can tell what I changed below…

There we go!  The drawing took about 20 minutes and I had a great time!

If you can find some big sheets of paper that your mom and dad will let you draw on….or ask the butcher at your grocery store for a big piece of his white paper, you could try a big picture too!  Find a picture you like from a book or magazine or something and see if you can draw it big like I did!  You might even want to put on some fun music when you try it (not too loud!)….have a great time and leave a comment telling me what you tried to draw!  I’d love to know!

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