Happy Chinese New Year 2015! This year’s animal is the sheep…so why do I have a picture of a goat? It turns out that the Mandarin symbol for sheep also can include the goat or the ram. And I just happened to have an old illustration in my files of a goat that I created last year, so why not? And what a happy little goat he is!
February 2015 has proven to be a challenging month weather-wise; we had a pretty mild winter up until February. Right now we are having some of the lowest temperatures that I have ever experienced in Michigan, with one night hitting a low of -15 degrees (that’s the actual temperature, not the wind-chill!)
But lucky for us it’s warm inside, and this is one of my favorite times of year for sitting at my computer and working on illustrations or my picture book manuscripts. Hot coffee in hand, I don’t have to fret about being called outdoors for gardening or landscaping (only shoveling snow, ugh). Ah, peaceful bliss.
This month finds me still working on my webcomic and making arrangements for having the website built by a third party. In the meantime, I’ve had a chance to get back to my other illustrations and experiment with some new styles and textures. The image below was inspired Doodle Day, which is a Facebook group that posts daily or monthly themes. This month’s theme uses letters from the alphabet on each day. This image’s day was the letter “J”, so I created “Jousting Jaguars in the Jungle”.
I seem to have re-ignited my love for placing illustrated characters on a real-time background, which can also be seen in this illustration:
February 2nd celebrates, of course, Groundhog Day, so I created this for Susanna Leonard Hill’s 10 year Birthday/Anniversary of her book and character, “Punxsutawney Phyllis”. You can see the image on Susanna’s blog, here (thank you, Susanna!) Phyllis is a Weather Prophet Extraordinaire, so I thought it’d be fun to up her game a bit and gave her a promotion to the Weather Channel. It was a lot of fun to create, and I love the contrast between the illustrated character and the background photograph. I feel that a real photo for a background really makes the character pop.
Or I’m just being lazy. I guess I’ll leave that to the viewer to decide.