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March 21 - March 27: this week at Valdraws

This week I gave my little monster a bit of hair and some horns. He seemed like such an amorphous lump and I decided he needed a little more character. I had tried to keep him simple so his feet would stand out, but he needed more character so he didn't look like a green eggplant:

Green eggplants.

Green eggplants.

My monster looking slightly less like the aforementioned green eggplants.

My monster looking slightly less like the aforementioned green eggplants.

I also did a little more sculpting of models. I got some armature wire and built a simple armature for a revised monster sculpture:

and smooshed together six kneaded erasers and started a crude sculpture of my monkey knight:

Messy, but considering my fingers were my only tools, not too bad.

Messy, but considering my fingers were my only tools, not too bad.

I also worked on adding value to this piece:

and I worked on another manuscript and dummy. I've got four different stories in various stages and I keep going back and forth trying to decide which I should give my time to right now. There just aren't enough hours in the day for everything I want to do. I seriously need a time machine.

I got my postcard on Friday, the one that was part of the mailing of 150+ cards I sent to the names on my mailing list. My fingers are crossed that that I get a little bit of traffic to my site from it. I'm not expecting to get work from one mailing, but I hope people like it enough to want to see more.

That's about it for this week. See you next week!

March 14 - 20: this week at valdraws

Here's what I did this week:

I finally sent my postcard out into the world; it drops tomorrow. I hope it gets a good reception. 

I also decided to revisit this piece:

I'm still working on it; I just wasn't satisfied with the monster, especially his mouth (his face felt really flat) and his feet. I wanted to change the position of this feet but I was having trouble visualizing them, so I got out a block of modeling clay I've had lying around for ages, and made this (don't laugh):

Okay, you can laugh. As rough as it is, it was still pretty helpful in getting the new position of the feet blocked in. I want to make more models in the future, so I ordered some armature wire in the hopes I can make some that are poseable. We'll see.

I also worked on sketches for Once Upon A Mixed-Up Time (I'm a very messy sketcher), and got the text all typed up and almost completely polished:

Last but not least, I bought a new book called The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by  Linda Ashman. I haven't finished it yet, but it's very good so far. Very clear, with straightforward, actionable advice on writing and improving picture book manuscripts.

And that's it for this week!

This week at Valdraws.com

My daughter had Monday off from school and her afterschool daycare was closed so we stayed home together. I decided to sneak a little work in by getting her to help me with the storyboard for my latest picture book idea. I drew out the pages on a big sheet of paper, made some very rough sketches, and she colored them. It helped me work out the pacing and some story points I was having trouble with, and it was fun for my daughter. Here's what we've done so far:

I also worked some more on the illustration below. It's coming along, slowly but surely:

I also updated my mailing list with the latest Children's Writers' and Illustrators' Market and The Book from the SCBWI. I currently have about 180 names on my list and I plan to send out a postcard next month.

Oh, I also changed my Twitter profile to include the word "curmudgeon." I think it suits me:

That's it for now; see you next week!