Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Gifts for Illustrators! Flattering on Any Illustrator!

Friends, if 2010 marks the third year in a row your significant other gave you Uri Shulevitz's WRITING WITH PICTURES, point them to this blog post.

I love me some Uri, but BELOW is a killer present you should give your favorite up-and-coming illustrator. All sizes still available!

It looks good on dudes

Photo credit: Rita Crayon Huang, Copyright ©2011, SCBWI,

It looks good on ladies

Photo credit: Rita Crayon Huang, Copyright ©2011, SCBWI,

Yes, the SCBWI International 
Winter Conference Lanyard!

The conference takes place January 28-29, 2012, and Early Bird Registration price breaks are available until December 31st!

To gift the conference, you can either sign your illustrator up via this link, or consider helping them cover the cost of registration—SCBWI Member registration is only $360.00 right now, Non-Member registration is $450.00.

Some of the great people they'll hear at the conference include: Agents! Editors that are acquiring picture books! HarperCollins Associate Creative Director Martha Rago! TWELVE, count them, TWELVE, of the Book Maker's Dozen!

What if your favorite illustrator is already planning on going to the New York Winter Conference? There's another, equally valuable, awesome lanyard-based present STILL AVAILABLE!

This optional, pre-conference mega-opportunity is $225.00, which includes the private portfolio showcase fee, here's a snapshot of the schedule:

Help your favorite illustrator get closer to making their dreams come true, 'tis the season!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Palette Hack!

I've been waiting since summer to see if this would spontaneously combust (or mold), but it hasn't yet, so let me share with you how to make a Picnic Paint Box.

You will need:
  • Tiffin lunch box with locking lid, or bento box with locking cover
  • Sta-Wet palette paper
  • Sta-Wet sponge
  • Pencil or pen
  • Scissors
  • Hot, hot, hot water
  • Clean casserole dish
  • Acrylics or Acryla-Gouache
  • The four illustrator food groups OR a sandwich
Target sold some very cute picnic/tiffin lunch boxes with locking lids this summer and I bet they will again soon. I got a snazzy yellow one: 

I've been using Sta-Wet palettes for my acrylics ever since the ethereal Yuyi Morales explained them at a SCBWI Conference a few years ago, thanks, Yuyi and SCBWI!

Using the lid or base of your box, trace its shape onto a piece of dry Sta-wet paper as well as the dry sponge. Cut inside your tracing line, about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch in, all around. The paper and sponge expand, and it's better to be slightly smaller than the box's interior than it is have your flat sta-wet palette not lay flat. You can try fitting the dry stuff into your box, if it's too big dry, keep trimming things down.

Follow the Sta-Wet directions for how to activate your palette paper and spongy bit (that's where the casserole dish and hot water come in.)Stick the palette paper and sponge in your box's bottom. Grab your paints. This tiffin box has kept my acryla-gouache happy for months:

Your box may have one or more levels. My box has two levels, bottom for a palette, and the top level splits into two.

I put my paint tubes in one of those compartments, but realized all of my brushes are too long to fit in the other compartment. I don't have one of those canvas rollup brush holders, but who needs one of THOSE when you have nostrils and ear holes? Natural brush holders!

So, what to do with your empty compartment? I recommend filling it with the Illustrator's Four Food Groups, the seasonal version of those being:

1. Eggnog (taffy or liquid form)
2. Peppermint (taffy, schnapps, or cane form)
3. Clementines
4. Gingersnaps (standalone or as a crust)

And now you, too, can have a cheery palette to keep you company.

 Which is better company than the company I normally keep, that of dead-eyed chair stealers.