Friday, May 11, 2018

56 Party Guests

In Much Too Much Birthday, Maud Invites 56 guests to her birthday party.  As you have probably figured out already 56 guests was much too much.  I wanted to make every guest a different type of animal and I wanted to make sure if someone counted they would find all 56 (a decisions I was seriously reconsidering part way through illustrating this spread).  

I decided to stick to mammals in Maud's world because bird wings are difficult to anthropomorphize into hands and fish have their own problems. There was no particular reason for the animals I chose.  Some I picked because I like the way the look like tree kangaroos and bush babies.  And some I picked because I liked the sound of their name, like numbats and wombats. 

Some people might say wait a minute! In real life, a hippo, a horse, and a rabbit are NOT all the same size. That is true.  But they also don't wear clothes and play hit the pinata.

Here's the entire list if you are the kind of person who likes that sort of thing...
  1. Numbat
  2. African Elephant
  3. Panda
  4. Rabbit
  5. Cheetah
  6. Horse
  7. Hippo
  8. Monkey
  9. Kangaroo
  10. Skunk
  11. Opossum
  12. Black Bear
  13. Goat
  14. Raccoon
  15. Hedgehog
  16. Red Fox
  17. Pig
  18. Honey Badger
  19. Sheep
  20. Tasmanian Devil
  21. Poodle
  22. Beaver
  23. African Wild Dog
  24. Cow
  25. Mountain Goat
  26. Grizzly Bear
  27. Mouse
  28. Porcupine
  29. Lynx
  30. Giant Ant Eater
  31. Grey Squirrel
  32. Platypus
  33. Moose
  34. Red Panda
  35. Asian Elephant
  36. Wood Chuck
  37. Tiger
  38. Musk Rat
  39. Chimpanzee
  40. Badger
  41. Deer
  42. Rhino
  43. Tree Kangaroo
  44. Snow Monkey
  45. Giraffe
  46. Zebra
  47. Bush Baby
  48. Golden Retriever
  49. Llama
  50. Otter
  51. Echidna
  52. Puma
  53. Wombat
  54. Cat
  55. Quoll
  56. Ibex

How to Draw a Koala (and a Dog, Pig, Monkey and Cat)

If you can draw a rectangle, you can draw Maud the Koala.  If you want to draw some friends for your koala, change the ears and the nose and make all sorts of animal characters.  How many can you make?  Download a PDF version of this activity page here.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Maud the Koala Plush Sweepstakes

Scroll to the bottom for Sweepstakes info.  Hurry the contest ends April 30, 2018.

Do you ever find yourself with pile of felt laying around just waiting to be made into a koala? Stuff like that happens to me all the time. So I made this venti sized Maud the Koala.  My thought was that she would be a cute table decoration at book events.

I was happy with the results but I thought some tweaking of the pattern was in order so I made a smaller version - Meet Maud 2.0.

She was cute and craft felt is easy to sew.  Like her big sister, I filled her rump with plastic beans so she would sit well for display.  But I wanted to try and make a soft cuddly version. So I went back to the drawing board for Maud 3.0.  This time I made her out of fleece for extra squish-ability and hand embroidered the eyes.  I also found some fantastic faux fur at JoAnn's that made super bushy ears.  I was so pleased with this version that I made four of them.

Head over to the Penguin Kids Facebook page for a chance to win one of my plush creations (You will win one of four fleece versions pictured above) and copies of Maud's new books Fish Are Not Afraid of Doctors and Much Too Much Birthday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Maud the Koala Buttons - Preorder Book Swag

I'm so appreciative to all the people who have preordered Maud the Koala.  And to say thank you, I'd like to offer you one of these snazzy Maud the Koala buttons.

All you have to do to receive a button is preorder a Maud the Koala book (Much Too Much Birthday or Fish Are Not Afraid of Doctors) Snap a pic of your receipt and email it to me, the author, along with your mailing address.  I will pop one of the "koala-ty" buttons in the mail for you.

As a bonus, I'll also send you a signed book plate with a hand drawn picture of Maud that you can put in your book when it arrives.  Hurry this offer is only valid while supplies (and my drawing hand!) last.

NOTE: Please be careful when you send the receipt. DO NOT send me your credit card information!

Buttons are 1-1/4" in diameter.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Monday, September 18, 2017

Repeating Patterns in Photoshop (Part 3 - Incorporating Patterns into Illustrations)

This is the final part of my pattern tutorial.  In this tutorial I'm going to show you how I incorporate patterns in my illustrations.

In Part 1 I talked about how to create  seamlessly repeating pattern in Photoshop.  In Part 2, I shared my techniques for coloring and layering those patterns and in this last part I'm going to show a few more tricks.

Up until this point we have have made patterns that are flat.  And sometimes that's all we need.  Maybe we just need an interesting background for a spot illustration.

But what if we want to add a pattern to an object in an illustration like a wall?

For instance, let's add some fish wallpaper to this scene.

Here is the pattern document that I used to define the new pattern (see Part 1 of this tutorial for details how to do this)

If I create a new layer and fill it with the pattern I created I get something like this.

Not quite what we needed.  First of all the fish are way to big.  We can scale them down by going Edit -- > Fill and checking the Script check box and selecting Brick Fill.  

That will bring us to the Brick Fill window where we can enter a new Pattern Scale setting.  Let's make it much smaller - 25% of the original size.  Make sure the Offset is set to 0.

Ok the pattern size is better, but the fish are still floating in midair.  We need the fish to follow the perspective of the wall.  For that, we can use the transform tool.

Make the fish pattern layer the current layer.  Click Select -- All then Edit -- Free Transform.

Now hold down the Command key on a Mac or the Ctrl key on Windows and drag one of the corners of the pattern.  You can make squish and stretch the pattern until it fits on the wall like so:

OK almost there.  Now create a layer mask.  With the layer mask selected use the brush tool to color the sections of the the pattern we don't want to see in black.  We can also add some texture to the pattern by added some textured brush strokes to the layer mask.

I further softened the pattern by setting the layer blend mode to Overlay.  And this gives us a final product like this:

Adding patterns to clothing is tougher.  There are lots of different angles and wrinkles and creases.  Typically dropping in a pattern can look very mechanical and can make an otherwise painterly illustration look very digitally.  In some cases you can get by using the Free Transform or the Warp tool.  But I feel that drawing the pattern by hand is probably the best way to handle patterns on textiles.

I hope this helped you get started added patterns to your illustrations.