Tag Archives: Watercolor

Two more character designs

31 Mar

I painted two more character designs: Undine the otter and Petunia the skunk.



I still have a couple more to go, Penelope the rabbit and Micah the mole. I have ideas for more characters, but they probably won’t appear in my first story. I like the idea of using more woodland critters that aren’t as common in picture books, like peccaries and woodchucks. Do you guys have any ideas for underused animals you’d like to see?


Character designs and some fancy books

25 Mar

I’ve been making some good progress on my picture book recently. During spring break, I completed character designs for almost all my little critters. I’m in the process of painting their final designs now. So far, I’ve finished Rosemary the chipmunk and Sable the black-footed-ferret.


I’ve also been making more books as usual. I finished the book I had been planning for my father. My father is the kind of person that loves to make predictions, and remind you of them when and if they come true. So I made him a book where he can write down his various predictions and refer back to them for gloating purposes.

I made another case-bound book with a clasp closure that I’m particularly please with. I’ve always liked the looks of split color covers, and I think the pattern of the Japanese paper goes really well with the overall design. Making clasp closures are also a tedious process, but the effort is definitely worth it.

I’ve also been trying out new Japanese stab-binding patterns using leftover paper scraps. Making hardcover stab bindings is a massive pain, but they look so impressive. Mine are a little messy since they were the first attempt at each pattern with the exception of the blue hemp-leaf binding. My biggest frustration is a tie between determining how much thread I’ll need and making wide enough holes through the thick text blocks. Like most things though, practice makes perfect. So more practicing is in my future.

Watercolor Week

13 Mar

I’m on spring break right now and despite what your TV may tell you what twenty-one year old female college students do on spring, I’ve been spending 80% of my time painting with watercolor while watching Netflix and eating Girl Scout Cookies by the sleeve.

I painted a preliminary scene for my picture book project. It took a while, but I’m happy with the results.

I’ve also been working on a project for my drawing class. Behold the badgers. Can you spot the two referenced from Badger Balm’s products?

And the Badger Binge Continues…

27 Feb

One personal goal I’ve had since I was a kid has been to write and illustrate a storybook, and after years of telling myself I’ll do it someday, I’ve decided to do it NOW!

For the past couple weeks, I’ve mainly been sketching my main character which is an American Badger. Aside from the Francis books I had when I was a kid, I don’t recall many storybooks that feature American Badgers. It seems like Eurasian Badgers are far more common characters, probably because their facial markings are simpler. I think American Badgers are much cuter though and I also want to use only North American fauna for my characters, but I digress.

So far, I haven’t picked a name for my badger, but I do have a few possibilities. So for now, I just call him Badger.

I’ve gone through several different evolutions of his character, and I’ve finally come to one I’m happy with. Last night, I broke out my brand new watercolors and did a quick, simple painting of him. I’m really pleased with how it turned out considering I haven’t used watercolor in like seven years.

I’ve got the general story idea written out and I’m the process of storyboarding it, making more detailed sketches along the way. I’m still fleshing out the supporting characters’ designs though.

I intend to illustrate the story in watercolor and bind it all into a handmade book. I’ve been playing around with some different designs in my bookbinding class lately trying to get a feel for what I want the final product to look like, but that’s still a way off.

I did make one book over the weekend though featuring a badger! I clipped the image out of the free calendar I got with my last order from Badger Balm and made a little frame for it in the cover. It’s a hard-cover link stitch, so it’s a pretty simple design, but cute nonetheless.

Speaking of badgers and bookbinding, my desk had been becoming a little  unwieldy lately with all my tins of Badger Balm and tools sitting around. I shelled out for an 18” magnetic knife bar and installed it above my desk just below my wall shelves to wrangle my metal clutter. Works great, huh? I also like how I can “display” my tins of Badger Balm with the cute illustrations to inspire me! I also got a mini magnetic bulletin bar on sale at the Container Store to tack up my to-do lists and paper scraps.