Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Thanksgiving Caricature and How to Draw A Turkey Video

Caricature of Pilgrim, cornucopia, turkey, dinner
Black and white caricature sketch of Justin as a pilgrim.

Thanksgiving is here again. So hard to believe! I had a wonderful trip with my husband a few days ago to visit our son and daughter-in-law and their 5 month old daughter down in South Carolina. We are so thankful to have been able to finally meet this granddaughter, our third  grandchild. And we are so grateful that we live right down the road from the other two granddaughters and can see them often!

Here is a caricature I did for someone for Thanksgiving. The black and white sketch is above. 
Thanksgiving, Cornucopia, turkey, dinner, pilgrim, caricature
Justin as a pilgrim in color.
Plus I thought it would be fun to include a video on how to draw a turkey for kids.
I think I'll be sharing this video with my older granddaughters today. They are 8 and 3 years old!

Shadow, illustration, children's art
Here's my latest submission to Illustration Friday! The theme this week is "Shadow"!
I thought it would be fun to draw a little girl catching her shadow in the act of sticking out it's tongue at her. ( Which shadows will do usually when you're not looking. This shadow wasn't quick enough and got caught!)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

What is Sighting? And how do I use it in drawing?

Caricature, portraits, black and white, pen and ink
A black and white caricature of a girl.

When I do Caricatures, Portraits and Silhouettes at festivals, weddings and events people often ask me how I achieve a likeness. In Art school I learned a lot of things and tried using a variety of art tools, but when I draw in order to produce a likeness I use a "tool" called Sighting. Sighting is a method of comparing and measuring one part of what you are drawing to another part in order to correct your drawing as you go. Here are two great videos on using sighting to see the way an artist sees.

This is the photo I worked from for the caricature portrait above!

Pencil, Portrait
A pencil portrait of a girl- done earlier this year.
Portraits, pencil, shading
Pencil Portrait of my granddaughter, Bailey

Oil Portrait, Painting,impressionistic
Girl in Yellow-Oil Painting

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November is Children's Picture Book month and Adopt a Senior Dog Month!

November is Children's Picture Book Month!! Find out more about it here:

Illustration Friday, Illustration, Children's Art
Monkey Girl
Here is my latest Illustration Friday submission. I always enter my subnissions under Style as children's Art! The Theme this week is: Tails. I've been wanting to work on illustrating more animals, since I am always doing people, so I thought I'd do a monkey girl with a very long tail!

Speaking of Tails! Did you know that November is also Adopt - a- senior- dog month? Find out more here!

Here are a collection of my dog Silhouettes that I've done over the past few years. Leona's Silhouettes, Dogs Some were done from photos, and some were done on the spot from life at festivals. I have to say that the dogs are getting better at standing still or I've gotten faster and better at silhouetting dogs in person!
Silhouettes by Leona, Dogs

Silhouettes by Leona, Dogs

Scotties, dogs, silhouettes

custom ,hand cut, silhouette,dogs

Silhouettes by Leona, dogs

Monday, November 18, 2013

Can Grandma write a graphic novel?

Since festival season is over and Christmas parties have yet to come, though it's just about here, I've been able to work on my graphic novel, and am almost ready to send  some sample pages of it out to an agent I've contacted with the hope of moving forward towards publication. Wish me luck!

This fantasy story features a young girl who is a slave of a witch, and an enchanted bowl who helps her overcome the witch! I've never done a story on this form before so it's been a lot fun studying graphic novels and learning about the form. I love working with the compostion and have really enjoyed using this venue to tell a story! 

This Idiot's Guide on how to plan the Panels for your Graphic Novel was very helpful to me. If you would like to know more about how to lay out a graphic novel click here!

Fantasy, YAGraphic Novel, submission to literary agents
Zarin takes the enchanted bowl out of the cubboard. Will it be able to help her destroy the witch?
Fantasy, Witch, Magic, writing fantasy YA novels
Zarin follows the instructions of the enchanted bowl.
magic incantation, submission to literary agent, children's books
Zarin says the magic words!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How to Price Your Illustrations and more!

 Here's another video by my favorite Illustration Teacher Will Terry. His ideas on pricing your illustrations have been very helpful to  me in terms of knowing what to charge for my work!

custom, caricature, unique gifts, protraits, caricaturesbyleona
 A custom order from my Etsy shop
Here are a couple of Caricatures I did recently, both ordered through my Etsy Shop.
Caricature, Portrait, Salsa Dancer
A salsa dancer!
                                                                          Here's a video on drawing caricatures-  

fun to watch!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A great video on new ways to market your illustrations/ and some pics from my sketchbook

 A sketch of a mouse, just for fun- because I don't do animals very often!
I think he's an exceptional mouse! 

How many ways are there to market your illustration work? 

I am so in learning mode about this and I've included here an awesome and helpful video! This is Will Terry( Folio Academy), well known children's book illustrator and teacher and he's right on the mark with great advice! He offers an overview of the changes in the illustration field since he started in 1992. Towards the end of this video he shares a lot of great ideas on how to market your illustrations in creative ways, illustrated (no pun intended) by stories of people he knows. He ends by saying "The internet ignores mediocrity, but it celebrates the exceptional. Go out  and be exceptional."  Enjoy!!                                               

electric guitar, drawing, sketchbook, musician
A sketch  of a friend of mine playing in a band last summer!
Ballpoint Pen Sketch, emotional, child, temper tantrum
A boy yelling - just because I don't draw unhappy kids very often!
Big Head, Girl, Caricature, Cartoon
A caricature of a girl I saw in passing on the street once!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A new way for your child to enjoy an ebook! More sneak peeks from Kamal's Day!

 This is an interesting video about a website that offers a more interactive way for your child to enjoy ebooks, as well as another way for children's book authors and illustrators to have their work published. You can record you voice to be heard by the child while they look at the ebook! What will they think of next! Check it out here:

Here are a few illustrations I did a while ago, plus two illustrations (below) from my upcoming picture book, Kamal's Day to be released soon from Bellwood Press, an imprint of the US Baha'i Publishing Trust.
Girl with guitar

This is an illustration I did a few years back for the Core Curriculum Series of Books
 put out by The National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'i of the US.
pencil sketch
The sketch for the finished piece above.
dog, baha'i, children
This is from my picture book Kamal's Day!
Snack time at Children's  class!
Clean up time. Even the dog helps!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Have you ever thought of self-publishing a children's e-book?

Here is a great video by Will Terry a well-known Illustrator and Writer of Children's books, and teacher of Illustration talking about the worth of self-publishing your own children's books as ebooks on Makes me think about all the possibilities!!

Energy, girl, cat

My Submission to Illustration Friday this week.
The theme is Energy, and this girl has a lot of it! And so does her cat! I wish I did!

Here are two more illustration from my upcoming picture book, Kamal's Day, soon to be released by The US Baha'i Publishing Trust. This project that Kamal is doing will be included in the back of the book!

Craft project, Baha'i
Kamal doing a project at Baha'i children's class that he later gives to a friend!
He's making a serving tray by gluing tissue paper on to a recycled meat tray!
These  are two examples of the finished serving trays that resulted when I actually did this project
with a children's class I once taught!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teaching a Child Compassion- More pictures from Kamal's Day soon to be released by Baha'i Publishing Trust.

children's book illustration, boy getting hurt
Illustration from Kamal's Day, published by Bellwood Press.

How do you get across the idea to a child that they could pray for a friend if they get hurt? That has been on my mind many times when I've taken care of children, in my own family or when I worked with children. How you share with them the idea that they can ask God to help themselves or a friend when they get hurt? How do you teach compassion? Or can it actually be taught? Maybe the best thing to do is just to recognize it and encourage it when it happens naturally.

In light of this I included the idea of praying for a friend in my picture book, Kamal's Day, soon to be released by Bellwood Press, an imprint of The US Baha'i Publishing Trust. In the afternoon of Kamal's day he plays outside with some friends, and one of them falls and gets hurt. Kamal goes to get an ice pack and says a silent healing prayer for him. This is the prayer he says:

Helping a friend, having compassion, saying a prayer
Kamal says a healing prayer to himself , for his friend!

"Thy Name is my healing O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, The All-wise."- Baha'u'llah

Here is a cute video of a girl singing something called "the Boo Boo song". What a great way to deal with falling down and getting hurt!

kids taking care of the earth, loving trees, caring for animals
An Illustration I did quite a while ago for Brilliant Star Magazine,  a magazine for children of middle school age, published by The National Spiritual Assembly of The Baha'is of The US.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Children are as a branch that if fresh and green: they will grow up whatever way ye train them"- Baha'i Writings

I thought I'd share some of my illustrations featuring parents with their children! This is my latest contribution to Illustration Friday! The theme this week is Secret. Do you know what this little girl's secret is?

Here is a great quote about children from the Baha'i writings:

"Children are even as a branch that if fresh and green; they will grow up in whatever way ye train them.Take the utmost care to give them ideals and goals, so that once they come of age, they will cast their beams like brilliant candles on the world, and they will not be defiled by lusts and passions in the way of animals, heedless and unaware, but instead will set their hearts on achieving everlasting honour and aquiring all the excellences of humankind."

I did this illustration years ago for no particular reason except that I like this lullabye (it's part of the drawing) by Christine Lavin and felt like illustrating it. It's nice to pull it out of my portfolio and share it here!

A pencil drawing of a mother and child

These next three illustrations are from my forthcoming picture book, Kamal's Day soon to be released by Bellwood Press, an imprint of the US Baha'i Publishing Trust! More info to come!

Kamal and his mom- Time for prayers!
Kamal and his dad-Time for bed, reading stories of Abdu'l-Bah

Time for Breakfast
 Needless to say I love children! And I love drawing them and drawing for them!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My latest work! Queen of Carmel/Shrine of the Bab- Calligraphy!

Years ago I studied calligraphy at Umass at Dartmouth, and have created calligraphy pieces from time to time over the years since then. My latest commisioned work through my Etsy shop was a Calligraphy piece featuring a illustration of the Shrine of the Bab which is on the top of Mount Carmel, and part of the International Center of The Baha'i' Faith in Haifa, Israel!
Bahai Temple In Haifa Stock Images - Image: 5334724
This is the photo of The Shrine Of The Bab that I worked from.
The words are from a song called "The Queen of Carmel" written by Jeannie Murday.
Detail of the sketch of the calligraphy.

This was the original sketch with the Shrine of The Bab in the bottom corner.
The customer really wanted the words superimposed on top of the illustration of the Shrine surrounded by the terraces and the area surrounding the shrine, so that's what I put in the final colored piece above.

Click here to learn more about the Shrine of The Bab

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Ever Aftering! New Fairy Tales book giveaway contest at Enchanted Conversations!

I did this pen and ink drawing of faries a couple of years ago. I call it "Break time For Fairies".ion

When I was a kid I loved reading fairy tales! I loved the work of the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson. Two of my favorite fairy tales were The Goose Girl and The Seven Swans. Funny how not that many traditional fairy tales actually had fairies in them! 

I still love traditional fairy tales and many of the new versions of fairy tale that are being written all the time! Jane Yolen is a special favorite fairy tale writer of mine! Check out her work here!

If you like fairy tales be sure and check out the New Fairy Tales book giveaway contest over at Enchanted Conversations:

At some point I colored this with colored pencils!

Wikipedia defines Fairy Tales:

1865 illustration of Tom Thumb and theGiant
fairy tale (pronounced /ˈfeəriˌteɪl/) is a type of short story that typically features folkloric fantasycharacters, such as fairiesgoblinselvestrolls,dwarvesgiantsmermaids, or gnomes, and usuallymagic or enchantments. Fairy tales may be distinguished from other folk narratives such aslegends (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described)[1] and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables.
In less technical contexts, the term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in "fairy tale ending" (a happy ending)[2] or "fairy tale romance" (though not all fairy tales end happily). Colloquially, a "fairy tale" or "fairy story" can also mean any farfetched story or tall tale; it's used especially of any story that not only isn't true, but couldn't possibly be true.
In cultures where demons and witches are perceived as real, fairy tales may merge into legends, where the narrative is perceived both by teller and hearers as being grounded in historical truth. However, unlike legends and epics, they usually do not contain more than superficial references to religion and actual places, people, and events; they take place once upon a time rather than in actual times.[3]
Fairy tales are found in oral and in literary form. The history of the fairy tale is particularly difficult to trace because only the literary forms can survive. Still, the evidence of literary works at least indicates that fairy tales have existed for thousands of years, although not perhaps recognized as a genre; the name "fairy tale" was first ascribed to them by Madame d'Aulnoy in the late 17th century. Many of today's fairy tales have evolved from centuries-old stories that have appeared, with variations, in multiple cultures around the world.[4] Fairy tales, and works derived from fairy tales, are still written today.
The older fairy tales were intended for an audience of adults, as well as children, but they were associated with children as early as the writings of the précieuses; the Brothers Grimm titled their collection Children's and Household Tales, and the link with children has only grown stronger with time.
Folklorists have classified fairy tales in various ways. The Aarne-Thompson classification system and the morphological analysis of Vladimir Propp are among the most notable. Other folklorists have interpreted the tales' significance, but no school has been definitively established for the meaning of the tales.
Happy Reading!

Kamal's Day and Babysitter Blues make great Ayyam-i-ha gifts!

Kamal's Day and Babysitter Blues make great gifts!

SO grateful that I have two books that I've written and illustrated available on line NOW!  A picture book for the young ones and a ch...