Monday, February 23, 2015

Create One a Day Update

In mid-December, I challenged myself to create one new thing a day and post it on Create One a Day. Since then, I have mostly met this challenge with the occasional lapses, but it's been a great avenue to try out some ideas and new styles and techniques.

The benefit of this effort is that I've been able to keep up with challenges like Doodle Day, 52 Week Illustration Challenge, and #kidlitart28. Some of my recent pieces:

Terrified Turtles Tumble Toward the Treats (Doodle Day T day)  © Sylvia Liu

Rambunctious Rabbits Rarely Rest (Doodle Day R day) @ Sylvia Liu

52 Week Challenge MAGIC © Sylvia Liu
52 Week Challenge FARM using new PS brushes @Sylvia Liu



Valentine's Day #kidlitart28 © Sylvia Liu
Birthday Fishes for my friend Alayne © Sylvia Liu
Birthday Party for my friend Elaine  © Sylvia Liu
A sketch of my daughter after her concussion (which she is still suffering headaches from) © Sylvia Liu
A sketch of daughter #2 playing a giant piano © Sylvia Liu
A wintry illo back when winter was still fun  © Sylvia Liu

Some of my fellow illustrators have joined me on this daily creative journey, including Teresa Robeson,  Catherine Johnson, Doreen Lepore, Leila Nabih, Julie Rowan Zoch, and Mishka Jaeger.

Please join us! Let me know your website or blog and I will link you to my Create One a Day blogroll.



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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

NY SCBWI Conference 2015 Recap

Before I forget everything, here are the highlights of the Winter SCBWI Conference in New York:

Feb. 5: Pre-Conference Illustration Mentee Day 




SCBWI illustration board member David Diaz arranged a day of visits with editors and agents in Manhattan for illustrators in the SCBWI Illustration Mentorship program. He graciously invited me to join. Unfortunately, due to flight delays, I only made it to the last meeting, with Laura Godwin, V.P. and Publisher of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Bad Picture Book Blog Hop: My Early Drawing & Writing Attempts

Dani Duck has started a "Bad" Picture Book Blog Hop where we post our early attempts at writing picture books. Do not miss the previous posts:

Feb. 9: Dani Duck, PEWE'S WONDERFUL ADVENTURE
Feb. 10: Becky Fyfe
Feb. 11: Marcie Colleen, RAINBOW HUNT
Feb. 12: Mandy Yates, A WORLD WITHOUT COLOR

And now it's my turn. I couldn't find the story that I wrote and illustrated in 7th grade about why turtles got their shells (they were magicians who needed to protect the spells they carried).

But rooting around in my boxes, I found a fair amount of evidence that I was drawing, writing, and making things up:

First Grade Journal

I had issues with my sister:




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Evolution of a Kraken Illustration

I've been working on a picture book about a lonely kraken. Besides tweaking the words, I've explored the look and style of the illustrations. Here's how I have reworked a scene with Kraken and some mermaids, including changing the medium, the characters' looks, everything:

1. Mostly digital approach

© Sylvia Liu

APRIL 2014: My first attempt was to create a stylized digital composite based on pencil drawings. I liked the moodiness, but it was a bit too stark.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review, Interview & Giveaway: Miranda Paul's ONE PLASTIC BAG and Break the Rules Webinar




Today I have a special treat: a review, an interview, and a giveaway to celebrate the upcoming release of Miranda Paul's picture book, One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia (Millbrook Press, Feb. 1, 2015), and her Children's Book Academy webinar with Chronicle Editor Ariel Richardson and Picture Book Whisperer Mira Reisberg, Rules to Break to Make Your Picture Book.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday, Kidlit 411!

© Sylvia Liu
Most of you who read this blog know that my friend Elaine Kiely Kearns and I run a resource website for children's writers and illustrators, Kidlit411.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Drawing Hands: Some Great Resources

Drawing hands is hard! It probably is what separates an amateur artist from a professional, and I am always working on mine. Here are some excellent tutorials and resources for learning how to draw hands:


(1)  How to Draw Hands- Tutorials - Draw As a Maniac - a series of reference illustrations and instructions on drawing hands

Screenshot of Draw as a Maniac's hand reference post