Cover Teaser: LOVE POTION COMMOTION!

Art, News from Pixelvania Publishing, Writing
The nose and eyes of an illustrated French Bulldog peeking over a cauldron bubbling with something pink

What could he be looking at?

Coming next week: Magic Fashion Frenchies #1: LOVE POTION COMMOTION! A new family fantasy romance comedy…which is a really long-winded and non-trademark-infringing way to say “This novella’s like a Hallmark movie, but with better special effects.”

I think you’re really going to love meeting Vivian Feng and her family–two-legged and four-legged members alike! I look forward to sharing this story with you soon! Stay tuned! Or better yet, sign up for the Pixelvania Publishing newsletter to get the official announcement the moment it publishes!

Baby Gnome Drawing Walkthrough

Art

A friend invited me to her baby shower. I wanted to go, but had no real money to spend. But I *did* know about her deep love for gnomes.

So I thought I’d draw her a baby gnome!

First, I drew some preliminary sketches at church (click any image to embiggen) (and ignore the MOM! cat).


Then I procrastinated. The night before the party, I had my husband pick the pose (he thought the crawling one with the crooked hat looked like it was “up to no good”), then started drawing on some illustration board that was gathering dust. I think I’ve had that piece of board since college!

The pose was a killer–took me at least two Magnum, PI‘s to finish. By then it was bedtime, and I had no idea how I was going to color it. In particular, I was worried about the skintone. I had a variety of markers on-hand, but I couldn’t think of a one that would make for a decent-looking, non-creepy skintone.

I prayed for a solution, then went to bed.

It was revealed to me the next morning that I could do flats colorsĀ  with markers, then use some Prismacolor pencils to add the subtleties I wanted. I still didn’t know what I’d do about the skintone.

Then Moxie Kitten saved my bacon. When I started pawing through my marker collection, one of her markers came up. The color I use for her nose and ears is “Light Peach”, a beautiful, soft color that I realized would work well for this Caucasian gnome-bebe.

It was what I needed. With only an hour to go, I got started coloring. I finished it just in time. I had my husband take a pic with his phone, then it was off to the baby shower!

My friend, the mama-to-be, loved it and said it would go well with her nursery. I got to eat cookies and meatballs!

Mission accomplished!

Fashion Frenchies Cover Mockup

Art, Writing

Cover mockup for Fashion Frenchies 1, featuring purple smoke, a bulldog, and a cauldron

90% of my Frenchies edits are done so I’ve really got to get a cover going. I’ve made a few batches of covers but am still not sure if I’m in the right direction for a “Fantasy Family Romance Comedy” story (it reminded my reader of Hallmark movies, which was exactly what I was going for).

Today, instead of starting with a thumbnail, I decided to start with type, then pasted an old mockup under it. Love the author name in this font, but maybe I shouldn’t use it if I’m going to use it in the title. Or vice versa. And I think branding could be stronger, you know?

I don’t even know if I want this to be photobashed. I was considering aping the BEWITCHED animation style. And doing a patterned frame around it. But I don’t know if I can pull it off.

(In my secret heart I want all my covers to be illustrated, or have some illustrated aspect to them. I mean, I have the skillz, why limit myself with stock photos? But the business-savvy writer boards seem to say that it’s not right to illustrate everything, so I’m torn. It’s hard to go against the crowd, you know?)

SHUDDER horror streaming service logo

Horror Book Cover Inspiration…

Art

…thy name Shudder. Or more specifically, their Movie List page (LINK NOT FOR KIDS).

It’s so beautifully presented…Literally, nothing but rows and rows of horror movie posters, displayed at a decent size, and filterable by genre. NOICE. I’m getting a lot of ideas for my little horror novelette.

I’m too chicken to ever subscribe to Shudder, but boy am I glad they’re around!