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copyright 2011 Wendy MartinI don’t normally post works in progress, but one of my Twitter buddies asked to see this one.

Plans include more details on the harness, saddle and fox, as well as a background and Art Nouveau border.

You may have noticed a distinct lack of creatures the last few days. I had a bunch of personal stuff that needed dealing with that pulled me out of the studio about half of the week. The rest of the week I spent finalizing artwork and uploading the new look to my web site. Several people have commented how much brighter and happier the place looks now.

wendymartinillustration.com masthead art This is the new look. Well, it’s the artwork I created for the new look. You can visit the web site to see the actual new look. I know some of you read my posts at other places like LiveJournal and Facebook. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

One of the things a freelance illustrator must cultivate is patience. Publishing is a very slow business. Things take a really long time to happen. My first book took me 5 years to find a publisher. And I was revising and changing the entire five years!

In mid 2009, I submitted several pieces of art to the Society Of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Bulletin. It’s an international publication and in the world of children’s book publishing pretty important. I waited until this weekend to see my first piece published in the current issue. Needless to say, I am thrilled.

tear sheet from SCBWI Bulletin jan-feb 2011

And last but not least. A creature of the day (yesterday’s doodle.)

creature for january 22, 2011

Have a wonderful Sunday everybody. See you next week!

dec 1 2010 creature for the day © wendy martinI woke up all stuffed up. My daughter has developed an affinity for a perfume that just makes me nauseous and wheezy. She sprays it on first thing every morning and since we have force air heating, I get to smell it for the rest of the day. She also has a cloying scented incense she likes to burn after she returns home from school. Needless to say, I think today’s inspiration for the creature came from the mound of tissues I accumulated while trying to draw this doodle.

I was working on my first art piece right up until the deadline last night. There are still a few things I would like to change, which I will before adding the final to my portfolio. I emailed the final off and went to bed. When I checked my email this morning, there was a reply letting me know that the art was appreciated and “cute.” LOL Made my morning.

I have some monthly book keeping to slog through and then a short run over to hoarder haven after which I work out the pencil sketches for my next assignment – deadline the 5th.

Keep the comments and emails coming folks. I really enjoy hearing from you!

copyright 2010 Wendy Martin

final art with text laid in

I finished up the last few details yesterday. Then I imported the image into Photoshop to make it print ready.

I am very pleased with the ease of which I learned the basics in Manga Studio EX. Most of the tutorials I was able to access on the web were either too basic or not detailed enough. I am still hunting for some that fill my needs. The majority of the videos utilize true Manga style art, and the process I use for layering in color is not typical for most of those artists.

My next attempt will be with the vector tools, which, from my investigations, seem to only be good for line work. Further digging will be needed.

Sadly, the colors were VERY off when I printed the image out in CMYK mode. Either my monitor is in desperate need of calibration or my printer is horribly out of whack. The other option could be the program but since the colors look very different from the printed image in all programs, I have to go with one of the first two.

I laid in the text and crop marks in Illustrator because I find that program has the crispest lettering when output. This will be used as a new promo postcard slated for the October mailing. What do you think?

copyright 2010 Wendy MartinI spent most of my work day dealing with other people’s project, so I was only able to get a few hours in on this.

Today, I added dimension to the house and base color to the stone walkway.

As you can see there is only a few more places that need attention, mainly the basket of apples and some bits of the old lady’s clothing.

I did find the patterns available in the program to be mostly unsuitable for my needs as they are more geared to manga cartoons. I have to investigate to see if there is a way to create one’s own patters similar to the way it can be done in Photoshop or Illustrator.

Most of my learning curve at this point is in find where tools are and how to get them to do what I want. From that point of view this program is very easy to learn to use (at least for someone familiar with other graphics programs.) I find the adjustments section of the program to be clunky and slow, but since my poor old dinosaur has only half the recommended RAM available, I will have to wait to see if the cluckiness is due to the low memory. Upgrading to a new MAC is somewhere in the distant future since the only reason I need to upgrade is to keep up with the new versions of software.

My MAC may be a collector’s item, but my husband found a true old computer while cleaning out the deceased uncle’s house. An old Commodore circa 1984 still in the original box. Now that’s OLD! (In computer years anyway.)