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Beaver Rotation

Three beaver from the book Porcupine in a Pine Tree

On the Third Day of Christmas my true love gave to me….Three Beaver Tails!

Beaver Tails?  I’m sure it was those tasty treats that are made in Ottawa and not anything from those busy dam or tree building creatures.

It actually makes me want to have one right now!

But since it’s beaver I thought it would be good to share how  I draw them.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s the video  How to draw Beaver  but I hope you will read on as I share a few helpful tips.

 

Step 1: use reference

Look at beaver in pictures or on video.  Your character can end up quite different but it helps to study the real animal.

I’ve even drawn their skeletons.  The look like monsters. In fact at one time they were a lot bigger and probably acted like monsters.

Beaver Skeleton

Beaver skeletons look like monsters.

Step 2: Doodle 

This is the fun part.

 

Beaver sketch

It’s good to just doodle loosely to get a feeling of your characters without worrying about details or even whether or not they will be the final ones.

 

beaver studies in colour

It’s fun to throw colour on your doodles to explore what is possible.

Step 3: Construction advice

Construction advice on how to draw a beaver

Always start from the simple and build to the final. It’s like constructing anything.

 

It’s good to turn your characters to see them from all sides. Remember to Keep It Simple, Silly and not worry how great it is.  It’s better to do more and explore than a few and be critical of your work.

If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.

Enjoy Drawing Beaver!

How to draw a Beaver video

Screenshot from how to draw a beaver

 

 

I love Christmas trees.  It’s not secret either that I love trees.  But at this time of the year it’s special to bring a tree into the house and dress it up with beautiful decorations.

Our Christmas Tree

I drew our Christmas Tree last year.

That’s why it’s been fun to put Christmas trees into my illustrations.

The Porcupine series by Helaine Becker has given me a lot of chances to decorate in pictures.

Pine tree at the end of A Porcupine In a Pine Tree.

Not sure if you can call this a Christmas Tree, but it definitely got decorated at the end of A Porcupine In A Pine Tree

 

I had great fun with beavers busily putting a tree together in Deck the Halls.  It can’t be easy but they never gave up.  I guess there’s a lesson in that.


The tree they build is a bit different.

 

But in the end it looks pretty good, I’d say.   Maybe you be the judge….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things going up

 

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Beaver from Deck the Halls

 

Sometimes things get out of hand

beaver building the knocked down tree

Never let a setback no matter how big or small hold you back!

Beaver building tree

Things are really starting to look good

 

Puffins help decorate

Puffins help with the lights.Wonder who the garbage can is for? Possibly the Raccoons?

 

Lit up Tree

A Beaver Christmas Tree from the Deck the Halls by Helaine Becker.

And one last tree from Dashing Through the Snow, also by Helaine.

The Christmas Tree in Dashing Through The Snow

Another special Tree from Dashing Through the Snow

Enjoy drawing your tree, or any tree! They’re all beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen capture from youtube video of how to draw the porcupine from Porcupine in a Pine Tree

follow my easy steps to drawing the Porcupine in a Pine tree

The Holidays are very special at this time of year.  Whether you are celebrating Christmas, or Hanukkah, or just taking a break from school and work, it’s a lovely chance to sit back with pencil and paper and draw.

I know that on the First Day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Pencil!

Actually it was supposed to be a porcupine in a pine tree, but I am very happy with pencils.

That’s why every Christmas I try to do a special pencil drawing to remember the time.  Last year it was our tree.  I’m not sure what it will be this year.  I drew a beautiful tree a few days ago, but I’m still thinking of something special.

Christmas Tree at Langdon Hall

I drew this tree at a beautiful place called Langdon Hall.

 

But since I’m about to start on the illustrations for another silly story/song by Helaine Becker,  I’ll soon be drawing a porcupine and the gang of silly characters from the previous three books.

If you want to draw the characters from Porcupine In A Pine Tree, join me on my Youtube channel; for 12 Days of Drawing.

Please share any drawings with me.  I would love to see what you do.

And I’ll be posting my drawings here for you too.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy Drawing!

I love showing process.

As a reader you get to see the final work.  That’s the most important piece of course, but if you’re an artist or illustrator, or just like peeking behind the creative curtain an seeing what happened up to that final piece, I’m with you.  I’ve always loved seeing the stuff that happened before.  And if possible, I love getting into the mind of the creator through their letters or notes.

But here I just want to show you a small bit of what went into Dashing Through the Snow.

The first image is the final painting from one of the last pages of the book.  The only thing missing is the text.  I don’t put that in.  The art director at Scholastic does that.  I’m happy she does, since my printing isn’t that great.  I prefer writing script.

Final Painting in the process

The last present is always the biggest surprise

The painting is of the opening of the very last present that fell from Santa’s Sleigh.  I needed to get all the characters in, and yet add a bit of fun to the suspense.

Below is the drawing on the watercolour sheet.  There were many rougher drawings before this one.

I admit it’s a bit messy.  That gets cleaned up when I ink it.

Once it is inked I start to paint.  The picture below is of 4 paintings being done at the same time.  I do that so that I make sure my colours don’t change from picture to picture.  That’s a very easy thing since I can start getting very creative with new possibilities and add new colours.   So that they have some reference I have a practice picture leaning up on my table.  I try to make all my mistakes in the practice pictures, but mistakes do happen.  And then it’s back to a new stretched sheet of paper and start all over again.

A book can have 18 spreads like this so making sure you got your mistakes out of the way can save a lot of time.

I hope to offer reproductions of this and other images soon.  Originals are available.

You can get  Hard and Soft Cover and Board Book from your favorite independent book store or Chapters Indigo.

Cover of Dashing Through the Snow

Happy Singing this Christmas!

Cover with GG sticker

Proudly displaying GG sticker

On Thursday January 31st I was at the Ontario Library Association Conference signing copies of At The Pond at the Scholastic booth.  It was fun meeting librarians from visits in the past, and making new acquaintances.   I always look forward to the OLA.  It’s also  a chance to meet with other authors and illustrators.    Scholastic was very generous with all the copies they had there for me to sign for the attendees.  I admit that I do worry about no one coming, but the line was long and many friendly faces to chat with as I signed copies for them.  I wish I had been able to get a photo with everyone I met.

Rideau Lakes LIbararians

Vicky and Lauralee from the Rideau Lakes Library.

It was great to meet Vicky and Lauralee  again from the Rideau Lakes Library branch in Elgin Ontario.  There’s a special connection to At the Pond with where their library stands.  When I got the go ahead from Scholastic that it would be published, I needed waterlilies.  Mine no longer bloom because of the shade of overhead trees in my yard.  So the lilies in the book were painted from studies done in a canoe in the Rideau Canal by Chaffey’s Locks.  Elgin Library is nearby, and the owners of the canoe once arranged a visit to the Elgin Library where I met Vicky and Laralee.

 

To make the signing  just a bit more special, I asked everyone who got a signature to give me theirs.  I’ll be drawing from all the names to send the winner a print from Snow Day!   To make it extra special, I’ll be drawing twice: one for the hockey print and the other for the image of the falling snowflakes.

 

 

 

Hockey game from Snow Day

Hockey scene from Snow Day. A winter day at Sunny Acres Park Guelph

 

Snow Day

Print of the falling snow at the start of Snow Day

Good luck to the winners.

(for those wishing a print of their own, contact me, or stay tuned for the opening of my image store and gallery on this site)

 

 

I made this card a number of years ago.  Since we’re not officially past the 12th day, I thought I’d share it.  Silly, I know, but it was fun.  

Hope you enjoy drawing them as much as I did.

And if you can manage to let them at least touch one of the 5 Stanley Cups, send me a copy and I’ll post it.  I just couldn’t do it as hard as I tried.  Maybe they just have to try harder to get one too!

Happy Drawing!

Have some fun drawing the Porcupine from Porcupine in a Pine Tree, Dashing through the Woods, and Deck the Halls.

Feel free to skip the intro and jump to 1:48 for the drawing.

 

Farmer-Joe's-Hot-Day

It’s been 30 years since Farmer Joe appeared.  Thanks to Scholastic Canada, Nancy Wilcox Richards wonderful story about a farmer with a big heart but sometimes different way of doing things got put together with my drawings to appear in Farmer Joe’s Hot Day.

Farming will never be the same!  Happy Birthday Joe!  Thank you Scholastic and Nancy!

Join me as I celebrate over the next few weeks with peeks into who inspired him, how it was made and stories about the other two books that followed.

And if you have any stories of your own, I’d love to hear and share them.

See you soon!

I got silly with my pencils this evening.Christmas-tree-Assembly-Team_web