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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's Snowing . . . Illustrator Interviews!

     I've already shared the story behind Robert's Snow, the fundraiser for cancer research, but there's a new side to it. Bloggers have stepped forward to do their part - they are interviewing the illustrators who created snowflakes for Robert's Snow. The 200 participating illustrators are impressive and all are worth checking out. So, here's the list.
     Check back, because I'll make each name a live link to their website and add static links to the blog interviews (the links will take you straight to the interviews) as they are posted.
     See my snowflake here and read my interview at sruble's world on Sunday, November 11th.
     And don't forget to go bid on a snowflake - they make an important and beautiful gift or collection.

Monday, October 15
Grace Lin at In the Pages
Randy Cecil at Chat Rabbit
Michelle Chang at The Longstockings
Kevin Hawkes at cynthialord's Journal
Barbara Lehman at the excelsior file
Tuesday, October 16
Selina Alko at Brooklyn Arden
Scott Bakal at Wild Rose Reader
Alexandra Boiger at Paradise Found
Paige Keiser at Your Neighborhood Librarian
Janet Stevens at The Miss Rumphius Effect
Wednesday, October 17
Rick Chrustowski at laurasalas
Diane DeGroat at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup
Ilene Richard at Something Different Every Day
Brie Spangler at Lectitans
Don Tate at The Silver Lining
Thursday, October 18
Brooke Dyer at Bookshelves of Doom
D.B. Johnson at Lessons from the Tortoise
Erin Eitter Kono at Sam Riddleburger's blog
Sherry Rogers at A Life in Books
Jennifer Thermes at Through the Studio Door
Friday, October 19
Graeme Base at Just One More Book
Denise Fleming at Mother Reader
Jeff Mack at AmoXcalli
Jeff Newman at A Year of Reading
Ruth Sanderson at Book Moot
Saturday, October 20
Linas Alsenas at A Wrung Sponge
Theresa Brandon at The Shady Glade
Karen Katz at Whimsy Books
Judy Schachner at Kate's Book Blog
Sally Vitsky at Shelf Elf: read, write, rave
Sunday, October 21
Matthew Cordell at Just Like the Nut
Maxwell Eaton III at Books and Other Thoughts
Roz Fulcher at Goading the Pen
Susie Jin at sruble's world
Susan Mitchell at Check It Out
Monday, October 22
Rose Mary Berlin at Charlotte's Library
Christopher Demarest at Writing and Ruminating
David Macaulay at Here in the Bonny Glen
Mark Teague at The Miss Rumphius Effect
Sharon Vargo at Finding Wonderland
Tuesday, October 23
Carin Berger at Chasing Ray
Sophie Blackall at not your mother's bookclub
Erik Brooks at Little Willow/Bildungsroman
Marion Eldridge at Chicken Spagetti
Brian Lies at Greetings from Nowhere
Wednesday, October 24
Sheila Bailey at Lizjonesbooks
Frank Dormer at What Adrienne Thinks About That
Elisa Kleven at Rozzie Land
Jimmy Pickering at Shaken & Stirred
Consie Powell at Becky's Book Reviews
Thursday, October 25
Margaret Chodos-Irvine at redergirlz
Julia Denos at Interactive Reader
Rebecca Doughty at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Brian Floca at Fuse #8
Friday, October 26
Margot Apple at Jo's Journal
Julie Kangas at Sam Riddleburger's blog
Ginger Nielson at Miss O's School Library
David Ezra Stein at HipWriterMama
Saturday, October 27
Sarah Dillard at The Silver Lining
Julie Fromme Fortenberry at Your Neighborhood Librarian
John Hassett at cynthialord's Journal
Abigail Marble at Please Come Flying
Sunday, October 28
Ashley Wolff at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Barbara Garrison at Brooklyn Arden
Kelly Murphy at ChatRabbit
Monday, October 29
Dan Santat at Writing and Ruminating
Joanne Friar at The Longstockings
Alissa Imre Geis at Wild Rose Reader
Diane Greenseid at Just One More Book!!
Sean Qualls at Brooklyn Arden
Tuesday, October 30
Ann Koffsky at Book Buds
Bill Carman at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Gretel Parker at Finding Wonderland
Matt Phelan at A Year of Reading
Stephanie Roth at Writing with a broken tusk
Wednesday, October 31
Shawna Tenney at Kate’s Book Blog
Adam Rex at Booktopia
Mo Willems at MotherReader
Rolandas Kiaulevicius at a wrung sponge
Thursday, November 1
Karen Lee at sruble’s world
Diana Magnuson at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Melissa Iwai at Brooklyn Arden
Victoria Jamieson at AmoXcalli
Molly Idle at The Shady Glade
Meghan McCarthy at A Fuse #8 Production
Friday, November 2
Tracy McGuinness-Kelly at Sam Riddleburger’s blog
Sara Kahn at Kate’s Book Blog
Sylvia Long at Whimsy Books
Jeremy Tankard at the excelsior file
Holli Conger at Please Come Flying
Saturday, November 3
Susan Miller at Your Neighborhood Librarian
Ellen Beier at What Adrienne Thinks About That
Hideko Takahashi at The Silver Lining
Judith Moffatt at Jo’s Journal
Wendell Minor at Wild Rose Reader
Sunday, November 4
Joy Allen at Check It Out
Robin Brickman at Greetings from Nowhere
Lauren Stringer at laurasalas
Nancy Wallace at In the Pages . . .
Monday, November 5
Anna Alter at The Longstockings
Laura Huliska Beith at Just One More Book!!
Cece Bell at Jo’s Journal
Denise Ortakales at cynthialord’s Journal
Tuesday, November 6
Carol Heyer at The Shady Glade
Joe Kulka at ChatRabbit
Steven James Petruccio at Blog From the Windowsill
Carol Schwartz at jama rattigan’s alphabet soup
Wednesday, November 7
Jeff Ebbeler at Sam Riddleburger’s blog
Scott Magoon at Just One More Book!!
Connie McLennan at The Shady Glade
Julie Paschkis at the excelsior file
Thursday, November 8
Geneviève Côté at a wrung sponge
Linda Graves at Your Neighborhood Librarian
James Gurney at Charlotte’s Library
Matt Tavares at Please Come Flying
Friday, November 9
Susan Kathleen Hartung at Wild Rose Reader
Mary Peterson at Brooklyn Arden
Annette Simon at Check It Out
Mélanie Watt at Whimsy Books
Saturday, November 10
R.W. Alley at Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup
Jeannie Brett at cynthialord’s Journal
Daniel Mahoney at Paradise Found
Amy Young at Kate’s Book Blog
Sunday, November 11
Tim Coffey at The Silver Lining
Elizabeth O. Dulemba (that’s ME!), featured by Stephanie Ruble at sruble’s world
Chris Gall at Through the Studio Door
Amy Schimler at Please Come Flying
Monday, November 12
John Nez at ChatRabbit
Liza Woodruff at Check It Out
Jane Dippold at Just Like the Nut
Mike Wohnoutka at laurasalas
Tuesday, November 13
Cynthia Decker at The Silver Lining
Cecily Lang at Kate’s Book Blog
Jane Dyer at Whimsy Books
Akemi Gutierrez at AmoXcalli
Lee White at Please Come Flying
Wednesday, November 14
Philomena O’Neill at Jo’s Journal
Maggie Swanson at Chicken Spaghetti
Timothy Bush at Here in the Bonny Glen
Peter Emmerich at A Life in Books
Thursday, November 15
Yangsook Choi at What Adrienne Thinks About That
Laura Jacques at cynthialord’s Journal
Mary Newell Depalma at Wild Rose Reader
Leanne Franson at Just Like the Nut
Friday, November 16
Mary Haverfield at Your Neighborhood Librarian
Lisa Kopelke at Lisa’s Little Corner of the Internet
Salley Mavor at ChatRabbit
Greg Newbold at The Longstockings
Elizabeth Sayles at AmoXcalli
Saturday, November 17
Paul Brewer at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Aaron Zenz at Jo’s Journal
Wendy Edelson at What Adrienne Thinks About That
Joan Waites at Chicken Spaghetti
Sunday, November 18
Annie Patterson at Check It Out
Teri Sloat at The Miss Rumphius Effect
Anette Heiberg at Lisa’s Little Corner of the Internet
Wade Zahares at Wild Rose Reader

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Monday, July 23, 2007

My snowflake for Robert's Snow

     I have the honor of creating a snowflake for Robert's Snow this year to help raise money for cancer research. This is the third year illustrators have pitched in to help with this cause, and for good reason. One of our own has been too closely affected by this horrible disease. The story is worth reading about, and the snowflakes, which are auctioned off, are a joy to see. So, needless to say, I'm so happy to be involved.

     The snowflakes are all original pieces of art. However I work digitally (the most original art I create is a first run giclee), so what did that mean to me? To the matresses . . . I mean, pull out the paints and see if I can get these muscles to do what I want!
     The great thing is, while I was improving with my digital art, I was learning a lot about traditional media. I never claimed to be good at mixing colors (which is part of why I went digital). Who knew that mixing colors onscreen would teach me how to mix colors off? Well, that's what happened, and I was very pleased with the results.
     I didn't think to take pictures until I was well into the project, so I jump around a bit, but I'll walk you through my process:
     I had to practice to get my hands used to working with a brush rather than a pen-mouse, and experiment with how the acrylics would react. I certainly didn't want to practice on my snowflake! So, I bought a piece of masonite similar to the material from which the snowflake was made and cut it down to small pieces (about 8.5"x11"). I prepared the surface by layering it with gesso.
     One of the things I always try to achieve with my digital work is that wonderful rich texture and transparency you get with paint. So, layer after layer of gesso, I used a dry brush to cross hatch when it was close to dry. After four or five layers, I had a nice solid white with a rich texture. I then used Saral paper to transfer my art to the masonite. It worked very well as you can see the back design on the left.

     I also wanted to experiment with "scumbling." It's a fancy word for painting the darks first, letting them dry, then layering thin, lighter colors on top. (This is where the transparency comes in.) It's also about the only way to get gentle shading with acrylics - they just dry so darned fast! (They do make solutions to extend the drying time if you want to experiment, but I didn't want to go there.) So I went in with the darks first. Here you can see I've already started to layer in the turquoise sky and vermillion santa suit.

    I especially liked the way my workspace came together through this. I bought a set of small tubes of acrylics. Because they dry so quickly, smaller tubes encourage you to squeeze out less and therefore lose less to drying (okay, and after much digging, I couldn't find my acrylics!). It's also amazing how little paint you actually need. I saved plastic egg crates and used them as my palettes. (I can't tell you how many expensive palettes I've thrown away that I could never get clean - this worked GREAT.)
    By the way, my brushes did not sit above my art while I worked - I've heard horror stories about that kind of thing. I moved them over for the photo so you could see the size brushes I used.
    So the main things I learned: there are major advantages to working small; use egg crates for palettes; take your time and let the layers build.
    I have to say, I really enjoyed this. I may actually try to do more projects in the future just for fun.
    Here is my finished snowflake front and back:

I sure hope whoever purchases my snowflake gets in touch!

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All Artwork © Elizabeth O. Dulemba,  - Y'all play nice, okay?