I’ve never been interested much in art. I suppose this is because I figured, no, I knew, that there were so many others who were better than me. This is still VERY much true. However, I decided to give it a whirl when I knew I wanted to illustrate children’s books. Though a long journey of learning and error lies ahead, I have found it quite fun and relaxing.
The above image was my attempt to draw Lady Mary from Downton Abbey, which I completely recommend. Anyway, if this painting taught me anything, it’s that you can recover from mistakes (large mistakes). If you notice, the background is streaked and black. Before, I painted it a shade just bit lighter than her hat. Big mistake. From afar you cannot make out her cap that well. So, I went over it in black. Was this too a huge newbie mistake? Sure, I’m learning, but I’m still pleased with it; you can see some of the gold behind the black, and it turned out neat in my humble opinion.
I’m not saying I’m Picasso, or even a “good” artist, but I can say I like and enjoyed my trial and error painting of Lady Mary; I can go so far as to say that I am pleased with it. So, if you’re like me and up for a good challenge, give it a go. While your at it, you might like checking out: The Mind of Watercolor on YouTube; he has excellent videos on drawing and watercolor.
If you had to pick a cover, which one would it be? The illustrated watercolor (minus the make-shift title) or the photo-stock image? Keep in mind the right title is not centered, but when it’s printed, it is.
Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of either all that much. The font on the blue cover is dull and the painting looks quite kiddish. Any constructive* feedback would be appreciated.
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Sometimes just printing out pages of your manuscript while you write and compiling them on your desk can be a huge motivator as you watch your story grow into a full novel. I did that for my first book, Forces and the Malachite Stone, and it was exciting. I dare say it helped me keep going. So give it a try, you might just get the same encouragement, knowing that your work is amounting to something tangible.
Image by Mark A. Rayner
Those are words you don’t hear very often, maybe once a decade if you’re lucky: It’s snowing in Texas.
The snow’s beauty is magnified here in Texas as most of it falls on trees, blanketing them in soft crystals. In Oklahoma, for instance, it’s mostly roofs of small businesses that are covered.
Truly Christmas is on the way! For those of you who have the luxury of writing, take the time to snuggle up with a warm cup of whatever-it-is-you-like and take advantage of the beautiful, cold scenery to spice up your imagery and senses in your story. I know I plan too!
Whether it’s taking note on what it’s really like for your characters in a cold setting, from the shivering to the cold puffs of air, to the numb fingers, or just practicing your skills in scene/setting writing, don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity!
Happy writing folks.
This my “get started” writing song. Happy writing.