Monday, June 11, 2012

SCBWI Magazine Merit Award Winner

Congratulations to Ingrid Kallick for winning the 2012 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in Illustration for her September 2011 Cricket wrap-around cover and contents page, Rasa's Library.

The SCBWI Magazine Merit Awards are presented by the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators annually for original magazine work for young people. Each year, the SCBWI presents four plaques, one in each category of fiction, nonfiction, illustration, and poetry, each year to honor members' outstanding original magazine work published during that year. The works chosen are those that exhibit excellence in writing and illustration, and genuinely appeal to the interests and concerns of young people.

Way to go Ingrid!

Overture Center Exhibit

Hello artists,

We did it! Out of 52 applications for the Overture Center exhibit space, 12 were chosen, including ours. The Overture will send out a contract and detailed information at the end of June. I'll forward that information when I get it. 

The Wild Wood of the Imagination
September 24th – December 9th, 2012, Gallery II Overture Center

Nathan Brown
Ed Binkley
Juliette Crane
Rebecca Gavney Driscoll
Micah Farritor
Maureen Blaney Flietner
Ned Gannon
Deborah Gross
Bonnie Leick
Ingrid Kallick
Michael Kress-Russick
Jamie Stevens
Carol Schwartz
Jan Tymorek
H.T. Yao

Congratulations and thank you for participating!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

James Fullmer

The Perfect Model
So I was working on an illustration of a witch to go along with a poem, "Listen to the WItch." I had an idea that I wanted to try that would require a rather complicated and ghoulish lighting so I needed a reference. Where could I find a model who would pose exactly the way I wanted and perform just the expression I needed? Oh, and they had to be OK being used to paint an ugly witch.
MYSELF! BRILLIANT! I set the lights up high and behind me and put a silver reflector as the "table" so to reflect the haunting light up from below. It didn't end up as strong as I wanted but I was able to punch it in the illustration. I just needed information about where the light would reflect. The image was shot in RAW and so I could tint it how I wanted before exporting it to Photoshop. Now it may look perfect but it took me about 15 shots to get the angle of the face and the mouth. I had wanted to have poofy cheeks but my eyes open in a dreamy ecstasy but anatomically that just doesn't happen. There was more than enough information, however to paint from.

I decided to try it digitally and first sketched out the values and basic color scheme:
Afterward I rendered the shapes more and used digital color as well as the liquefy filter to make some adjustments to the original drawing. I used the smudge tool to do much of the blending.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ned Gannon

Here's the first three images of a dummy book I am trying to put together. I needed to fully render the first part of the book to demonstrate how the images will transition from a monotone for the real world to color for the boy's imagined world. There is some text but it is very minimal (like two sentences) otherwise, it is much like a Wiesner or other wordless stories in pictures. I hope to post pages to demonstrate how the story transitions to color (still working that out). The tentative title for the story is, "I Know Sometimes..." Please feel free to critique drawing quality, fluidity and other illustrative issues. While I don't want to rework everything, I have started to work in Photoshop more and correcting a panel or two is easier now.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Maureen Blaney Flietner

What do you do when the power goes out?
I watch the moonlight transform familiar objects!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Illustrator's Intensive with Laurent Linn of Simon & Schuster Publishing

SCBWI-WI hosted an Illustrator's Intensive on Saturday, June 25, 2011, with Laurent Linn, Art Director at Simon & Schuster Publishing. This was an opportunity for our illustrators to experience a shorter, faster version of the basic process an illustrator and art director go through to create a real picture book.

Each artist chose a 2-page spread from one of two supplied picture book manuscripts, created character sketches and submitted a final sketch to Laurent. He sent back insightful and inspiring comments on those sketches, just as if it were an actual job.

That's when the real learning started. Each illustrator presented their character sketches, original sketch and final illustration at the workshop. The illustrations were amazing! And it was interesting to see pieces of the same story presented in so many unique ways. At the end of the day we got to see what the actual published books look like.

This workshop was a great opportunity to learn from Laurent. He is kind, generous and really knows the business of children's illustration. We all came away with a better idea of what it's like in the real world of an art director.

Check out the Events page to see some of the sketches and final illustrations. You may be surprised to see how different many of the final illustrations are from their original sketches.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ned Gannon

Here is my Red Riding Hood, which is actually a page from a dummy I am working on.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jeremy Provost

Hi everyone. My name is Jeremy Provost. I am an aspiring illustrator located here in Wisconsin. I am currently building my portfolio through a series of sequential picture book illustrations. Coming up next month is the SCBWI conference in New York. I have registered for the illustrators intensive and am deciding which of these two illustrations to display. I would appreciate any feedback on which to take and how I can still imporve the illustration. Thank you and if you are interested in seeing any more of my work you can visit my website at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stacey Williams-Ng

       My name is Stacey WIlliams-Ng, and I'm the author and illustrator of Astrojammiesan interactive book app designed for the iPad. It's been a very unique project, mostly because the story was not adapted for interactive formats, but specifically written and designed for the screen! The illustrations, however, were done in a very traditional way: using paint on board. The adaptations we had to make for interactivity were minimal, using techniques common to 2D animation (such as frame-by-frame paintings).
        At first I planned to paint all the images in oils, my favorite medium. However, the reflectiveness of the shiny oils combined with the slow drying times made it an impractical medium for this project. I switched to acrylics and ink on Crescent illustration board. It’s got a nice warm white tone to the board, and it’s as flat as flat can be. The other secret weapon I discovered was a gel medium by Liquitex that makes the paint ultra-matte.
       This is a screen shot of the final scene, which is actually a composite of two paintings: Jimmy (top layer), flying above a space scene that was painted separately as a background.
       If you're interested in learning more about the behind-the-scenes creation of a digital book app, I'd encourage you to visit!
       Stacey Williams-Ng is a Milwaukee-based painter and writer. This is her first interactive book app. To see more of Stacey and "Astrojammies," come to the Apple Store in Mayfair Mall on December 30th, where she'll be doing an author visit at 6pm. Also be sure to tune into Fox6's "Real Milwaukee" on Tuesday, December 28th to see Stacey present "Astrojammies" and tell more about how the project began. For more information about Demibooks, please visit

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

James Fullmer

Try a New Technique
     So here is a new technique I tried called, peinture à l'essence. It was a technique developed by Edgar Degas to mimic the look of pastel but because it is painted using traditional oils, it does not require the protective glass in the framing. Although Degas abandoned it, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec adopted it and used it the rest of his career.
     It starts with using a piece of cardboard for a palette. This allows the oils in the paint to be wicked away into the porous board. The artist uses turpentine to get the drier paints to the right consistency and then the panel (an unprimed, untempered hardboard or chipboard) is painted using more of a pastel technique. In this technique one is not supposed to "paint" with the brush but rather draw with various layers of color. The paint dries almost immediately allowing you to continue with the next layer.
     Although mine is perhaps more textured than some, I found I really liked this technique.

Ned Gannon - Slipstream

Becky Driscoll

This is a Christmas design that has two parts to it. I'm planning on using this as a postcard. Here is the front:

Here is the inside, just inked in for now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We're moving in!

Story Art! is a place for illustrator members of the WIsconsin chapter of SCBWI to gather, make announcements, share information and post work for critique. If you are interested in joining our blog, please contact Deborah Gross, Illustrator Coordinator at