Quarantine Quick-Draws

Candy Monster

Some good folks, @AmeDyckman and @charlenedraws over on twitter started a fun activity for illustrators to answer quick-draw requests from kids through their parent’s accounts – and some kids are replying with their colored pages, own drawings and paintings – all while we are saving lives and staying home! Look for #WSID (What Should I Draw?). Here are more of my quarantine efforts so far:

*also celebrating my 8th blogiversary today!

dinosaur birthday cake, mashed request
Jedi-Cat fights Darth-Vader-Dog
sparkly roses laugh when princess picks them
dog and shark, mashed request
unicorn sliding down a rainbow
Karate Pigs
feline bouncer

Random Tandem with Catherine!

Drew a sheep with its tongue sticking out ready to go on @jrzoch blog this coming week. We used to do a poem of mine with an illustration of hers all the time so this is special starting up again. ❤ #sheep #ewe #oilpastelpainting #oilpastels #drawing #sketchbook #society6 #farmdecor #interiors #wallart #nurserydecor
Julie skipped passed the billy goats and gave them her signature facial expression.
They laughed and said, Mornin’ Julie, good day to ya.
– Catherine M. Johnson
We are at it again! It’s been far too long since Catherine and I did a tandem post, pairing either drawing, paintings, or verse – or all of the above! This time Catherine suggested the animal and the gesture. Come to think of it, I think Catherine has made most of the suggestions, and I have profited from them immensely. Some have gone on to become full fledged picture book manuscripts. Fingers crossed that it happens again!
I also had to nab this painting of Catherine’s (off Instagram) to show you too. I love the colors and its sweet hugable face!
Updated an oldie. Missed painting in acrylics. Anyone watch the royal redding? 😊😍🇬🇧 #sheepoftheday #ewe #acrylicpainting #abstractpainter #abstractaddicts #abstraction #contemporaryartist #painting #baaa #worldofartists

My #kidlitwomen Homage Doodles 2/2


Joan Walsh Anglund

It has been a fun activity this month – thanks for all the support and encouragement!


Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

Inspired by the #kidlitwomen articles and actions during Women’s History Month, I’ve been doodling my Tiger into images from picture books illustrated by a few of my favorites. You can check out the first half (1/2) HERE, or on Instagram, where I also post ‘image packets’ daily from other female illustrators I admire in children’s literature.


Kris DiGiacomo


Kelly Light


Ashley Wolff 


Pat Hutchins


Mary Blair


Isabelle Arsenault 


Květa Pacovská


JooHee Yoon


Lucy Cousins


Rotraut Susanne Berner


Helen Oxenbury


Beatrix Potter

#kidlitwomen: My Homage-Doodles


Inspired by the #kidlitwomen articles and actions during Women’s History Month, I’ve been doodling my Tiger into images from picture books illustrated by a few of my favorites. You can follow these posts on Instagram, where I also post ‘image packets’ daily from other female illustrators I admire in children’s literature.


Sandra Boynton


Nina Crews


Tove Janson


Alice Provensen



Rosemary Wells


Kitty Crowther


LeUyen Pham


Barbara Cooney


Ingrid Vang Nyman


Hyewon Yum


Marianne Dubuc


Anna Dewdney


Lois Ehlert


Creeeaak… My Entry

orange_23-1Susanna Leonard Hill’s 5th Annual Halloweensie Contest*: write a 100-word Halloween story appropriate for children using the words costume, dark and haunt. (I threw in some older sketches for fun – enjoy!)


Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Trick or treat.

Rick and Pete?

No. Trick or treat!

Oh. Stinky beets?

We’re trick or treaters!

You’re picky eaters?

We’re wearing costumes!

You need the bathroom?



It’s dark out here!

A shark is near?

We’ll bare our teeth!

You like my wreath?

Open the door!

No, I don’t snore,…but I’m hard off hearing.

We’re gonna haunt your house!

You caught a mouse?

Aw, forget it.

Slug and lettuce?

Goodbye…and good riddance!


Why are you leaving? I love kittens!


*Read the other entries as they are posted over the next 5 days HERE

Thinking about Visual Thinking

…and character development. By sketching, doodling, drawing every day (thanks to SkADaMo challenges with Linda Silvestri and Alison Kipnis Hertz’s Doodle Day fb group) I have become aware that a lot of my creative process does not take place in my head, but though visual communication with my hand. Sound crazy to anyone? The shape of one curve often interests me enough to change the way I’m drawing a character from the visual I had in my head. Often ‘accidents’ happen that are more appealing than what I was attempting. I thought I’d share an example – how I came upon an alpaca while trying to draw a dog!

PQradade Dog_03(2)-1So here was one attempt at a dog, utilizing black so that I could concentrate more on the shape and how it was working for me. It wasn’t. Do I want this dog to have more anthropomorphic qualities? Should he be able to stand on two legs? Hold on to it, but create a new file.

PQradade Dog_04-1Fun lines, but this did NOT look like a dog to me! Nope! Next…

PQradade Dog_05-1Now I have really taken a departure form the canine world! but now I see something quite different, a different species altogether…’follow your nose, Julie’…another file!

PQradade Dog_06-1Now I see, it’s an alpaca! But so stiff! I’ll play, and add color too…

PQradade Dog_07(1)-1

No dog created, but I found this delightful creature! So I allow myself to write a crappy story draft, and draw crappy sketches – a workable piece could be in the next file!

Phyllis’ First Decade


Spring visit in Colorado – we both love anemones!

On February 2nd, Groundhog Day 2015, Susanna is having a party in celebration of Phyllis’s 10th Anniversary, the official Phyllis’s Birthday Bonanza HERE. Phyllis wants would like to hear sweet words of adoration (10 yr old girl? Yep, that’s about when it starts!), and who am I not to oblige (with a little inspiration from Will)?

Phyllis in her birthday suit, checking for black raspberry flowers.

Phyllis in her birthday suit, checking for black raspberry flowers.

Shall I compare thee to a winter storm?

Thou art more lively and more boisterous.

Rough winds do shake the feeble boughs of gray,

And winter’s lease hath all too long a date.

Sometimes (not enough!) the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his pale complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or sudden changing course, is trimmed;

But thy wearisome winter will not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,

Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade (Ha! What shade?),

When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.

     So long as men can’t breathe, and noses drip,

     So long lives this, and this gives life to quip.

I know, Phyllis – better keep my day job! Happy 10th!

Haven’t read Phyllis’s books? Click on the images below to go direct to the source!