Leanne Barrett: December 2017

Friday 29 December 2017

Illustration of Characters During December

Part of my focus for 2018 is designing characters. I decided that I could begin the journey by developing characters from my draft picture book stories. 

First off the rank, even though it's December 2017, is my character development of Max, my little dog that has moved to live in a city apartment.

The next step in developing my characters is to participate in some of Nina Rycroft online classes.

I joined Skillshare after Christmas and I have been working on drawing bunnies.
I have been copying Nina's illustrations and drawing my own bunnies from reference photos.

It was suggested that maybe a bunny might make an appearance in Max's story, on the farm and/or as a city pet.

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Illustration Goals for 2018 - Character Design

In 2018 I want to create illustrations where I focus on developing characters. I want these illustrations to go towards an illustration portfolio that I can present for appraisal then to show to publisher in 2019.

With this in mind I joined the illustrating group Character Design Weekly Challenge on 8 December 2017, this Facebook group was started by Heidi Cooper Smith on 5 December 2017. Already it is a fabulous supportive community.

I also plan to join the Nina Rycroft online classes via Skillshare. I have been wanting to do these classes for 6 months now and I look forward to learning drawing techniques to further develop my own illustration style.

I have been working on my watercolour and B & W, hen and duck illustrations for several months now and upon a request from my little sister it has culminated into this new rabbit character.

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Painting By Numbers

David Stuart
I always thought that painting by numbers was a commercial way to help non-artists paint.

I was wrong, totally wrong. I came to this realisation as I listened to David Stuart, former Australian Ambassador to Austria, talk about Ferdinand Lukas Bauer at the National Library of Australia on 20 October 2017.

Around the time of this talk I was mixing my own paints and unintentionally giving them numbers. I used these mixed  watercolours for my illustrations and then used the numbers to help me create hand painted copies of my own work.

Ferdinand Lukas Bauer.
Ferdinand was born in Feldsberg, Austria in 1760 and died in Vienna in 1826.

I found it intriguing how his life was touched by botany and art time and time again. Maybe this is because I find myself drawn again and again to Australian botanical watercolour artists; Dorothy English Paty  and Cheryl Hodges. It might also be the influence of  Australian writer and illustrator May Gibbs on my childhood and shadowing me and my aspirations to be a children's book author and illustrator. Or it could even be my own love of botany from 10 years of running a Landcare group and identifying native flowers on people's properties.

Monday 11 December 2017

SCBWI Story Time Exhibition Originals for Sale.

The following illustrations are available for purchase; 
Bantam's Books x 1, Riding High x 1 and Red Door x 1. 

Size: A4 (21 x 30 cm) - illustration size 13 x 18 cm
Medium: Watercolour and ink on paper.
       Cost: Unframed, $40 each + Free postage in Australia.
I can accept Direct Deposit only.
I cannot guarantee delivery before Christmas.

If interested please contact me - see sidebar on the web version of my website.  

Saturday 9 December 2017

Noticing the little things in life

As an writer and illustrator I  tend to work a lot of my day sitting at my kitchen bench or desk. My massage therapist reminds me that I need to regularly move and stretch, otherwise my muscles tighten and I suffer from back, hip and neck pain.

I try to remind myself that I need to take care of myself before I can create.

How do I do this?
I set my timer or my creative partner (my dog, Jay) reminds me to check my posture and stretch my muscles.
Jay sees his job (besides sleeping at my feet) as the one who guarantees that I stop every 3 to 4 hours for a short walk, a doggy toilet break as we live in a high-rise apartment.

These mini walks are fabulous for several reasons.

Friday 8 December 2017

Awards and Friends: A Celebration of 2017

Tania, Jacqueline & Gina
A mini children's book writers celebration.

Last night there were more children's writers present at the  ACT Writers Centre Awards Night than the previous year.
It was a special night as four of these writers received recognition for their work.

Congratulations to Canberra children's book writers.

ACT Book of The Year Award
Shortlisted: Fail Safe by Jack Heath

The ACT Writers Centre Publishing Awards.

Children’s Book Category:
Gina Newton, Amazing Animals of Australia's National Parks
Highly Commended:
Tania McCartney, Australia Illustrated

Anne Edgeworth Fellowship 

An award for an emerging young writer in the Canberra Region.
Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern was announced as a joint winner of this fellowship.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Friday 1 December 2017

SCBWI Your Story

Shaye and Pauline
Wow! Canberra has a fabulous and engaged community of children's writers and illustrators. Over 30 people came to the final SCBWI ACT event of 2017 - Your Story.

Shaye Wardrop welcomed us with her vivacious smile and gave a huge welcome to the new SCBWI members in the room.

We listened to the faboulus advice from Cate Whittle and Pauline Deeves about how to prepare for school vists.

Grace Bryant gave attendees a 30 minute overview on how to build a website and to choose one social social media platform and do it well.

Then the night was wrapped up with Your Story, where members shared their achievements for 2017 in only 80 words or less.