Sunday, September 30, 2012

Finished Painting

Sorry everyone! I don't have the paper dolls done just yet. Had a bit of a problem, but will finish them very soon. Here is a finished painting to look at while you wait!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Design of the Picture Book

Carter Higgins is a wonderful animator and has worked for the Discovery and History channels, worked on the film Shrek Forever After, and many other things such as commercials, music videos and video games. One of her passions, as a former elementary school librarian, is children's picture books. This can be seen in her blog: Design of the Picture Book. You can find it here:

The reason you have to visit this site is that Carter not only reviews books, but gives an in depth analysis of each book she reviews. Many reviewers will indeed go into the stronger plot points, metaphors and even go as far as to tear a book apart bit by bit. Carter on the other hand will review the story, but where she really shines is her in depth analysis on the visual aspects of a picture book.

Carter not only shows the readers what the artist did right in the illustrations, but also why the illustrations were so good. More understanding of the thought behind the illustrations is great because it gives a greater appreciation for the book as a whole. It a wonderful site to visit to find wonderful books to read to your children, or inspiration for your next work of art.

On top of her book reviews Cater has other points of interest in her blog. There is a link to see her portfolio reel, which is a lot of fun to watch. She does book trailers for picture books such as the one she did for The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School. This trailer was engaging, fun and made me want to read the book and there are a lot more where that came from! Be sure to check this blog out. I'm sure I'll find some new picture book gems here to make my favourites. I can't wait to get to the library now!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Artwork

This is a sketch that I did in memory/honour of a friend. I haven't spoken to her in quite some time, and may not be able to get in touch with her again. She had a great love of animals and the world around her. I'm hoping to finish this piece tomorrow. Almost forgot to say this is done on tracing paper. This is the reason for the grey areas and strange appearance!

Lost Footwear

Lost Footwear

I can't find my socks.
Shoes are nowhere to be seen.
Oh, my eyes are closed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Posemaniacs is an interesting website for referencing art. This website has hundreds of 3-d models to draw from. I could say that all these models are nude, but it's more scandalizing than that! These models pose without their skin as well! It shamef... actually it's an excellent reference for those really wanting to know the muscular system. The models are tastefully posed, and a few of them show motion.  Originally this website needed to be translated, but I believe they have an english site now. There is an iPhone app for random poses -this is the only way you are going to see anything on your phone, because this site runs on Flash. A small problem with the site is it only has 20 child poses, and the child is the same age in all of these. Also you can only zoom in so close to the models which can be a bit frustrating. Here's the link:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Sleep Sheep

My Sleep Sheep

It's late, I know, but I can't sleep.
Oh yes, it's true, that I count sheep.
I looked and looked and looked all day.
Could they all have just run away?
Maybe I will just count my toes.
They can't run from me I suppose.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Doodle Over Top of This Page

For my Wreck this Journal blog entry today I doodled over top of a page. My son helped a bit. I bet you can't figure out the parts he did himself.

Paper Doll - First Look

I had hoped to finish at least the doll portion of my paper doll today. Unfortunately, I had too many distractions with a sick baby. I will show you a WIP for this. I am working on two dolls right now. One is an dog and the other is a cat. The cat isn't far enough along to show yet, so here is the dog! I will likely put both in bathing suits, but I haven't designed those yet. Next week I should be ableto finish these, and maybe even start some clothing.

If you have any requests for clothing or accessories for these dolls please let me know!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Go Bananas

So it's Friday again. Now I know what I'm supposed to be doing every day, and I'm going to attempt to stick to that schedule. Today I will be showing you a website, but it wont be of any specific artist. This is the
SCBWI's blog: Go Banannas. I bring this up because last Saturday I drew the "S" for the blog's header. It was a lot of fun, and I want to share the result with everyone.

I'm not sure how long this blog will be updated (or in existence), so take a look while it's still around! There is a lot of nice artwork and some good information for illustrators as well. I will scan in the original and post it here, but for now check out the actual blog:

Also, I wanted to mention that I submitted something for publication (finally). True, the submission is to the SCBWI Bulletin, so it's not quite the same as submitting to a publisher. I'm excited nonetheless.  The picture I submitted is of a couple of bunnies. The mommy bunny in the picture is reading to her baby bunny. I'd post the picture here, but that would kind of defeat the purpose of them having First North American Publishing Rights. I'll hopefully have something fun to post tomorrow!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


It is the wrong day
a haiku I'll do today
such a silly poem

Putting All of My Rows in a Duck

Not much time to write much today. Baby was sick. Went to the hospital and Dr. found an ear infection. So tired and more tired I write my plan. This schedule is still under review. If, for any reason, I get bored with it then it will be changed.

Sunday.................My Wreck this Journal
Monday................Questionable Poetry
Tuesday................Art Resources/Techniques
Friday...................Artist/Writers to Follow
Saturday...............Paper Doll/(New Clothes)

I'm not sure if I'll have any Art or WIP for tomorrow, so we'll see what happens. Other than that it should be be good!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Drawing How to Draw

I almost forgot to post today. Silly me! So today I'll introduce you to a website called Drawing How to Draw This website has a wealth of information on how to draw different things in many different styles.

One of my favorite parts about this website, at least the cartoon portion, is that you can draw online while you learn. There is a box that shows up on the right hand side of your screen. You just use the tools there so that you can follow the instructions while you are being taught. It's not at all as advanced as anything like Photoshop, but it is a fun addition to the website.

This website has a whole community to go along with it. There are forums, contests, a draw chat, collections of drawings, a place to upload your own tutorials and more. The biggest drawback of this website is the sheer amount of ads you will encounter just being on the site. Pop-ups, moving ads, and more do distract from an otherwise wonderful website. This website is for all ages, so check it out and get drawing!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Benjamin Martin and Samurai Awakening

I asked on a message board for some writers/illustrators to give me their links so that I could review their websites. Benjamin Martin ( was the first to stand up. This is why I'm reviewing his websites today. His new book "Samurai Awakening" will be available for purchase in October of this year.

What drew me to read more about Benjamin's writing was in fact his blog that has nothing to do with writing.  His blog: contains a wealth of information about life in Japan. Not only does Benjamin blog about large events in Japan, but he also writes about details that most people would ignore. Food might seem like a small thing to some, but it's very interesting to see the finer details between eastern and western cultures. This blog has vivid pictures, detailed information about events and a unique insight of Japan today.

The reason I mention the blog before the book is that Benjamin's blog shows that he really understands the culture in Japan. It might seem like a small thing, but it's very important when writing a book (especially when writing a book like this) to get the details correct. I have yet to read his book, but reading his blog makes me eager to get a hold of this book (it will be available in October). No doubt it will be full of Japanese culture, good writing and a bit of mysticism for good measure. Benjamin's website has a wealth of information on the book including news, events and even a glossary of Japanese words used in the book. Be sure to check it out and pick yourself up a copy of "Samurai Awakening". I know I will!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Way Too Small

Really the only way to get better at something is to do it, so I'm practising my poetry skills here.  Here is a new poem, enjoy!

Way Too Small

Today I'm going to sing the blues.
I just can't fit into my shoes.
I can not wear these silly socks.
I will tear this crazy frock.
My pants don't fit - they're way too tight.
Even my belt does not fit right.
I should go on a diet I suppose.
Oh look, I'm wearing baby's clothes!


Sorry I haven't posted over the past few days. I've been ill (the details of which I will keep to myself.). Hopefully I can start posting again soon!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Haiku

Needs Work

I've nothing to show
a common problem, I know
This weekend won't blow.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Line Drawing: The Ducks

Here is a line drawing I did from a book I worked on when my son was born. It was just a little book that my husband and I created to welcome my son into the world and also thank friends and family members for their support. I will be adding some shading to this, but it will stay a black and white image. I'll compare it when I've finished to the original colour image I created.

Unique Pigments With Zhen

So I'm going to do something a little different today. I want to introduce you all to one of my friend's websites. Her name is Zhen and she creates wonderful eyeshadow pigments. The reason why I'm posting this is she's trying to earn money to take her teen daughter to a convention. This event is to make up for having to miss her birthday earlier this year. Poor Zhen had to go into a life saving surgery at the time of her daughter's birthday! Did I meantion that she needs this money by the weekend? Use the code: CONVENTION and you can save 25% on your order if you get it in for the next few days.

 The great thing about this make up is that you can use it for costume make up for Halloween. Zhen says you only need to add lotion to this make-up to make it creamy like costume make-up!  I wish I had more followers, because I would love to do a Halloween make-up contest for all of my followers! If by next year I have 100 followers I will be sure to do just that. And if by some miracle I had 50 people follow my blog before Halloween, then I would definitely have a contest! Okay, that would be a miracle, but a girl can always dream, can't she?  In any case, if you buy her make-up and want to share the results with me please email me at daniduckart(AT) Remove the (AT) and replace it with @ of course! Anyone who does this will have their photo(s) posted on my blog!

All photos depict make up jobs created using Zhen's pigments!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

SCBWI and Coming Soon: Weekly Paper Doll!

A few days ago I joined SCBWI. I've done some artwork recently but I don't want to show it just yet because I might submit it to their bulletin. I'm excited about all the possibilities with this new membership. I have to get cracking and add to my portfolio there. I also need to continue adding to my portfolio here as well.

I have decided one thing to add to my blog. I want to work on a weekly paper doll. I loved paper dolls as a little girl and I would love to create one here for people to print out for their kids. I will start with the doll itself and add clothing every week for her wardrobe. Possibly I will be adding more clothes as time goes on! If there are any requests for this please let me know! These will all be black and white line drawings, so they can be coloured! I might add some coloured clothing as time permits, but I'll always offer the black and white drawings along with these. I don't know if I'll have time to do it until Friday, but I look forward to getting started!

Since I missed yesterday I fully plan on posting again later today! Sorry about that, still working on which things I'm posting when. Hopefully when I have enough things to do daily the missed days will be a rare event.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Elizabeth O. Dulemba's Lula's Brew

Elizabeth O. Dulemba's blog is one of the few blogs I love and try to keep up with. Recently Elizabeth announced that one of her best selling book apps is now going to print! The book is Lula's Brew and it's available this Halloween! You can check out Elizabeth's website here:
Her book is a wonderful find, and I do hope you pick it up! I am sure I will be talking more about Elizabeth in the future!

Favourite Resources: Dani Draws

Probably one of the greatest resources I can point any potential illustrator to is Dani Jones' web site: We both have the same first name but I can assure you that we bare no relationship! To reiterate: This is NOT my website. I only say this because I have had a minor incident where someone thought this was my website! I would love her work to be mine and to be well established in the industry, but that is still a ways into my future.

Dani's blog has just about anything you could want to know about Children's Picture Book Illustration. Many of her tutorials are based on doing artwork in Photoshop, but the information she shares is not limited to that medium or even how-tos for drawing. She has tutorials for things like: Digital Comic Books, Website Design,  Detailed Photoshop/Painting How-tos, and Submitting Illustrations for Publication.  On top of this she does Reviews for Books, Conferences, and Artist's Tools. Another bonus to her site: She does live drawings on Ustream and you can talk to her (and other people) while she draws. I've yet to experience this myself. If Dani doesn't have the information you need, then you  just need to look as far as her links to find out what you need to know!

Dani Draws is an invaluable resource for any children's illustrator. I love her expressive and whimsical style. I honestly don't know what I would have done without this website! Her posts have kept me inspired and helped me out through the long road to publication. Please check out her website!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wreck This Journal - The Fat and Thin of it

I will eventually change this day, but until further notice Wednesdays are Wreck This Journal days. Just for fun and laffs. I love the idea of this book, so let's see if I love wrecking this book (it goes against everything I believe, but so far so good).

Late Night Poetry

A True Story

       tiny little spider in my bathroom
        in the middle of the room do you loom? 
        I'll squish you with the handle of my broom.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Not the End of the Daily Blog

This is not the end of my daily bloging (or is it blogging?). It may be past midnight for me, but somewhere in the world it is still yesterday, so I'm sticking with the fact that I did indeed post the today which was (and is somewhere) yesterday. Please stand by for your regular daily postings...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Photos From The Book Store

Of course the day after I make this a daily blog I forget to make a daily post. Almost forgot again after I realized that I didn't have the app to post on my iPhone. Here are a couple of photos from the local book store I found humorous:

May We Suggest

I honestly believe the above is a subtle hint that it's time for me to move.

All of Harlequin's best romances are on this rack.