Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gouache Book

Finally - out of my head! The Gouache book I started some 5 years ago is finished - available now as an e-book and VERY soon to be available in print.
I've worked with gouache for a LONG time, now and still love it. I'm hoping to help others discover the joy of this wonderful medium.

Great for teachers and students alike.

Check it out or get yours (or one for someone else) HERE, or at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lunch with a Purpose

One young man had an idea and within days had a movement. Lunch with a Purpose - take your lunch hour on Thursdays and use it to make the world a better place. Be a fan on Facebook.

I really wanted to support the whole concept and they needed (in my humble opinion) a logo. They agreed and here's what we have, now.

I can't wait to see where this all leads!

Monday, February 22, 2010

And maybe done

This is it for today. I always like to go back the next day and usually find something to touch up or tweak, but basically this is the finished art. It will be used for the Capital Area Humane Society 2010 "Walk for the Animals" campaign.

step 5

Nearing the end. Still needs a little snap.

Step 4

Getting the light source and shadows established to be sure we have the sunny feel requested.
I'm underpainting, now, because I'm going to want to both model and add some fur with drybrush and I want there to be a sublte contrast between the flatter background and the figures.

Step 3

Since I don't ususally work in this coloring-book fashion, it's a bit new, but interesting. The event this is for takes place in a woodsy park in September, so the colors should read late-summer/early fall, but still feel sunny and inviting. It's now time to get some color in the animals, so their values/temperature can be etsblished. I'll probably need to tweak what I've done so far to pull things together, then.

Step 2

My client wants this piece to be bright and sunny, but because the animals are very cute, it runs the risk of being cutesy, which I want to avoid. So, I've taken the background in a more graphic direction and chosen a background color range that's a bit muted and subtle.

Life of an image

Today I'll be working on an image for the Capital Area Humane Society. I thought it might be fun to track the progress of the job. Here is the initial drawing on the watercolor paper. I'll be working in gouache, but want to approach this with a different method from my usual. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Great to have done some good.

This just came to me and made writing the book worthwhile.

Amber says, "Thankyou so much Barbara.

I recieved your book this week. I read it cover to cover over my morning tea. The part about patience and balance really resonated with me. Its a beautiful little book and I love your illustrations. You have wonderful gifts. Its very unique from all the other entrepreneur books I have read. Very personal and real.

I really needed the encouragement, it was a blessing. I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed and uncertain. Wondering 'is this good'?

Your words were very encouraging and made me feel at ease giving me the knowledge that others go through the same feelings of doubt and worry too.

Its a very special book.

Thankyou, Thankyou , Thankyou.
Best Wishes

Monday, February 15, 2010


I'm just listening to a program by Laura Roeder, who is a bold young woman and social media guru. She's talking about a pivot point where she was pondering what she wanted to do and trusting her gut to guide her to the right sort of client. This is something we all think about, though not always consciously.

I have learned that I'm a passive sort of networker. I work hard and try to be good at what I do, but my marketing approach has generally been in the line of: put it out there, and if they want it they'll call. In the course of doing illustration for years, the sorts of clients which feel right have come along. I love editorial work because I have to think and work on tight deadlines. I love children's books because of the huge visual and conceptual arc of such a project. I prefer to work with designers directly, so I can hear the implicit as well as the explicit messages.

I've never had any desire to be the next shooting star. I just want to burn steadily and brightly for a long time, work with people I respect and admire, challenge myself and create the best possible work. Is that asking too much? I don't think so.

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Art Learning Opportunities

Now that I have my studio all in one place, it's a natural to want to offer some opportunities for others to come use the space. I'm offering sessions for free play in clay, critique and private instruction in any number of media. Class sizes will be small.

Check it out here.

Hope you can come to the playground.