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Owl Costume: Childrens illustration
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5 more illustrations for #illo52weeks

I am doing a post catch up with my illustrations for the 52 week illustration challenge. I have been consistent in my artwork but no time to blog piece by piece. Here are weeks 26 -30.

Children illustration 52 week challenge. Weeks 26 27 28 29 and 30. Clouds, snow, feather, plane and Sydney illustrations by Kayleen West

Children illustration 52 week challenge. Weeks 26 27 28 29 and 30. Clouds, snow, feather, plane and Sydney

  • clouds: Following my daughter’s engagement announcement, naturally I had to make this theme a congratulations card. Ah, cloud number 9 – my favourite cloud. Pencil on toned paper.
  • snow: (Watercolour) Australia/NZ Christmas card illustration. The Kiwi bird, Koala and Kookaburra.
  • feather: A combination contribution to Daily Doodle (Owly) Pencil on toned paper.
  • plane: Plane was drawn whilst waiting for my sleeping beauty roomies ay the SCBWI conference to wake. I had started the night before while we were chatting (okay laughing our heads off) I was too pumped to sleep past 5am and besides I couldn’t miss my week’s challenge! Thankfully you can draw in the dark on my new potable Wacom.
  • Sydney: While in Sydney last month, I was making a call home when dozens of BIG bats flew overhead. They are so HUGE! Creepy and cute at the same time. Meet Melba, Phantom, Pavlova and Picasso hanging around the Sydney Opera House – naturally. Sketched in my journal and coloured in Photoshop.

The next 2 will be a little surprising. I have begun a new adventure into surface design not realising it would be so exciting!

Children's illustration. Tortoise and the hare. Rockets - Let's get the party started. Toned sketchbook
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I Think I Am In Love

I am in sketchbook heaven right now. I have wanted a toned sketchbook for a very long time and finally ordered a few from overseas. My American friends, you have all the goodies – It isn’t fair! I would love better access to some of the home-wares and art supplies you have. I found someone who would delivered here and a cheaper than the ones I have seen in art shops.

Children's illustration. Tortoise and the hare. Rockets - Let's get the party started. Toned sketchbook

Children’s illustration. Tortoise and the hare. Rockets – Let’s get the party started. Toned sketchbook

This is the first drawing in my new sketchbook. I love this paper! It isn’t that thick but is smooth and grey lead is easily removed repeatedly. The sepia and white pencils look great. It is a great base to colour digitally too. It will be difficult to go back to white paper for sketching now I have been spoiled. I can see why so many illustrators and animators use toned paper.

Here you will find a coloured one I did for a get well soon card illustration, and for #illo52weeks dots.

I have been having a lot of fun creatively this month. I launched a fun and educational video on creative drawing, Eye and Imagination, which evolved from the #illo52 week theme “eye”.

I have been dabbling in the Daily Doodle drawing challenge in my TV down time and produced a colouring page download.

Work is consistent. I am in the middle of the sketching stage for a ABC picture book for Xist Publishing; my newest project.

Along with the author Victoria Lane, I will be launching a picture book, Celia and Nonna with Ford Street at the SCBWI Sydney Conference and in Melbourne at end of August.

Celia and Nonna,. Picture book by Victoria Lane and Kayleen West

Celia and Nonna,. Picture book by Victoria Lane and Kayleen West

I have some work in progress images from Celia and Nonna. I will share something soon and talk about how a the book was put together.

 

Birthday card illustration. Feast of cupcakes and a very greedy mouse.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #22-24 Eye, Feats, & Octopus

Watermarks on my work.

I have had too much of my work stolen on the internet and so I have decided to watermark my work. You may have noticed me putting my web address over the images lately. Unfortunately as much as I would rather not, it is unavoidable. I have even had someone claim that my work is their portfolio as they advertise themselves for hire. I would hate to see what the clients end up with. Possibly an empty bank account and no goods.

Week 22 – Eye: This theme became a video not a card illustration. Short 3 minutes of creative inspiration for even the most intimidated of beginners. Check it  out  if you haven’t already.

Week 23 – Feast: This was a really quick sketch in a small sketchbook. I finished it with ink and Intense water soluble pencils. I am using these a lot in my sketchbooks and like to travel with them in my bag.

Birthday card illustration. Feast of cupcakes and a very greedy mouse.

Birthday card illustration. Feast of cupcakes and a very greedy mouse. Look out for that candle!

Week 24 – Octopus No1: My youngest child was turning 9 and wanted me to illustrate a card for him. He was first asked for the teddies in the tree house but later asked for drums. He is learning the drums at school and we were surprising him with an electric drum kit for his birthday. As I was drawing for the theme octopus so I combined the two.

Boy's birthday card sketch rough. Octopus drummer.

Boy’s birthday card sketch rough. Octopus drummer.

Boy's birthday card illustration. Octopus drummer.

Boy’s birthday card illustration. Octopus drummer.

Boy's birthday card sketch rough. Octopus drummer.

Boy’s birthday card sketch rough. Octopus drummer.

I decided to use the white background in the end. The progress images show a splotchy yellow background in the last image but I decided it was too busy and distracted from the funky octopus.

Week 24 – Octopus No2: I ended up with a second octopus. I was winding down from a tough day and pulled out an older sketch to illustrate in colour. My eldest daughter’s boyfriend proposed this week so I had this on my mind as I developed the sketch. The octopus has big sad looking eyes but they reminded me of my daughter’s eyes. They are big, beautiful and bright when she smiles, always sweet, but some times sad. I am sure her now fiancee often gets swallowed up in them. This isn’t a final illustration – only a sketch but still fun to put up for show and tell 🙂

Romantic gift card sketch rough. Octopus with love heart and flowers.

Romantic gift card sketch rough. Octopus with love heart and flowers.

Cartooning faces cheat sheet for educators and teachers free download
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How to draw cartoon faces – basic cheat sheet for kids and teachers.

Cartooning faces cheat sheet for educators and teachers free download

Cartoon faces cheat sheet for educators and teachers free download

An integration aid asked for a copy of my drawings I did at a literacy Expo. She wanted a cheat sheet. decided to upload it to share. I have created 2 page lesson sheet for anyone wanting to give drawing characters a go.

You begin with basic shapes, create eyes, noses and mouths, then mix and match the face parts to make characters. Jeanette Rowe, did a similar thing by using 2 pieces of paper. One to draw the parts and the next to trace over to make the faces.

Here are the parts I drew, cleaned up a little for a download:
My free cheat sheet for educators and parents (both sheets)

Cartooning faces cheat sheet for educators and teachers free download

Cartoon faces cheat sheet for educators and teachers free download

Bunnies swimming. SCBWI illustrator's portfolio. 52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge
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Bunnies for SCBWI Illustrator’s Portfolio.

This week I have been working approximately 16 hours a day and 12 of those hours on a new book. It is difficult to stay super-enthusiastic after a several weeks of working on one project without creative breaks in between. It is counterproductive not to spend time doing other illustration work. It also increased my learning and growth as an illustrator as I experiment and give time to my learning.

Bunnies swimming. SCBWI illustrator's portfolio. 52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge

Bunnies swimming. SCBWI illustrator’s portfolio. 52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge – Final Version

I have been using a weekly challenge to stop any monotony slipping in. Experimental time on the computer is no different to playing in my sketchbook; I mess around with ideas and try out different methods to see what I can produce.

This illustration is one I began for an earlier theme challenge: water.
I need an online image to represent my illustration portfolio for the new SCBWI online illustrators portfolio gallery for the upcoming conference in July. I decided to finish one of my bunny illustrations as it has got such a wonderful response. I guess if other illustrators ooh and arh over them so much, hopefully publishers and art directors will too. I am very fond of the little fellows too I must say.

You may remember the earlier beginnings…

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks water - baby rabbits

My bunnies at an early stage.

So what do you think now?

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #1
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Simplify Creative Breaks and Downtime.

Is there any such thing? Yes in a strange kind of way – in my world anyway.

I have an unusual style of visual or creative downtime. Usually my downtime results in free creative time. I will be working on a book or attending to business duties and need a break, what do I do? Usually more illustrating or writing – lately illustrating.

The creative challenge I am involved in (#illo52weeks) is really satisfying me artistically. I get to scribble and experiment to my heart’s desire (time restricted) and come up with fresh work for my portfolio (once finished) or blog (work in progress).

I have been flat out working long hours over the past month and have welcomed the latest theme, simplicity. This theme gave me permission to back off the complexity of my illustrations and to my delight resulted in some pretty cute stuff.

This is what I came up with:

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #1

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #1

All these were done in Adobe Photoshop while listening to a rather helpful audio eBook by Katie Davis. Yes I will have to re-listen as I was somewhat distracted.

My bunny theme from the last 2 weeks:

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #2

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #2

This one was at the end of today using a sketch from my sketchbook doodles. I thought I would try a little more texture in the background.

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #3

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #3

Baby drawing a selfie. Children's Illustration on iPad using Procreate app
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#4 Selfie Illustration

Selfie Illustration

I can’t tell you how much fun I had with this week’s them. I began by sketching the dog illustration first after remembering how hard it was to stop my walk and take a photo the other night and how obsessive we can be with our photos. Seeing the humor in it, I created this illustration. The runner is being interrupted by the dogs wanting a selfie. They are more interested in the photo than the walk – perhaps the way the world is turning now. After all, even dogs are on Facebook are they not? As far as it being suitable for a gift card? I thought you could always add text like “Everyone wants to celebrate your Birthday!” Anyway I had fun doing this. The funny illustrations are particularly enjoyable to create.

I took captured progress images so I will try to put up a working process blog if there is interest.

Dog selfie. Children's digital illustration.

Dog selfie. Children’s digital illustration.

Baby drawing a selfie. Children's Illustration on iPad using Procreate app

Baby drawing a selfie. Children’s Illustration on iPad using Procreate app

This was an iPad illustration I first did in Sketchbook Pro while I was waiting for hours in an emergency room some time back. I finished it in Procreate (I LOVE Procreate). I then realised I already had an illustration ready to go. Two is better than one – right?  I added the pattern in Photoshop.

You can view all posts so far for the 52 week challenge here

Girl at the hair salon- children's illustration for Illustration Friday
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Illustration Friday – Lush

My trip to the hairdressers is never wasted time. Armed with my boredom-buster; my small sketchbook, I scanned the salon for opportunity for a sketch for this week’s Illustration Friday theme lush. The moment I sat down I spotted my concept; a lush head of hair on a manikin’s head. The apprentice was about to de-lush the woman’s head anchored onto the bench beside me. In my child-freindly version, I sketched a child’s onto the head. I must say, Jess did a nifty hairdo on the manikin at the end.

I colored the sketch today as I was catching up on all the latest election news (we go to the polls this weekend). The joy of sketching made it somewhat more palatable listening.

 

Girl at the hair salon- children's illustration for Illustration Friday

Girl at the hair salon- children’s digital illustration for Illustration Friday – Lush

Girl at the hair salon- children's illustration sketch for Illustration Friday - Lush

Girl at the hair salon- children’s illustration sketch for Illustration Friday – Lush

Children's Illustration, cartoon, editorial. No Power - digital illustration.
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Illustration Friday – Power

I actually got to colour this illustration today–a miracle! Usually Illustration Friday comes and goes with my ideas at sketch stage, and no post to show for it.

I have decided  to try posting the sketches even if I don’t get to colour them. This way you get to see the drawing at least, if you are anything like me; you’ll love peeking at the sketchbook anyway. I love browsing sketchbooks  and sketch journals full of raw ideas.

I did a few for the theme ‘power’ whilst watching TV last night. I had been sketching madly for my next book (Ultimate Superhero). I gave myself permission to have a random sketch session after everyone went to bed.

Children's Illustration, cartoon, editorial. No Power - digital illustration.

Illustration Friday theme: Power – (Digital illustration)

 

Children's book illustration: Picture book, Without Me? Publisher: Wombat Books
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New Picture Book about Belonging

I hold my breath as I change over my blog and hope my subscribers get this post. I have great news to share.

I have officially been signed up with Even Before Publishing to Illustrate a new book for next year called Ultimate Superhero. This picture book is written by Belinda Francis and I will be beginning work on this book soon.

Right now I am finishing the final pages for my new book Without Me. I am very excited to be working with Wombat Books and have the journey thus far very enjoyable. My publisher has become my friend and has given me great creative freedom which in my opinion will produce a better book. I have been able to feel my way and had the option to alter and mold the book into something special. I am loving the little painted faces on the family in the book and especially the pet dog.

 

 

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Childrens Illustration: Burst

Little Brother Cartoon Illustration for children

 

 

Childrens's Book Illustration: Blue Glue - watercolour
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Childrens Illustration: Blue Mess

Children’s book illustration. Blue messy. Farm animals.