Colleen Madden Illustrates Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas”

Illustrator Colleen Madden recently finished work on a new children’s book, and all indications are that we will be seeing it everywhere very soon. The story, or words actually, are taken from the Mariah Carey song “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Colleen’s style had the right blend of painterly fun and sweet that Ms. Carey and the publisher, Random House Children’s Books, were looking for. It was a demanding project with a tight deadline, but Colleen pulled it off beautifully. If book sales are anything like the song sales, there is no doubt that the book will be a big hit!

Looks like it’s time for Christmas shopping! Copies will be available starting November 10th.

Colleen is represented by MB Artists. You can see more of Colleen’s work in her Folioplanet portfolio.

Cover illustration for "All I Want for Christmas is You"

Illustration for Mariah Carey book "All I Want for Christmas"

Illustration for Mariah Carey's book "All I Want for Christmas is You".
© Colleen Madden



Steven Salerno Swashbuckling Pirate Book

By Steven Salerno

I am beginning preliminary sketch work for a new picture book project for publisher Farrar Straus & Giroux. It’s written by April Jones Prince, and is a fun pirate-themed twist to a classic children’s story. I am not going to mention the book’s title quite yet, as it’s not slated for publication until 2017…. best to keep it under wraps at the moment.

Illustration of peg leg pirate and child look alike.

Like Father, Like Son… Pirate Style. Character sketches for next picture book project.

My normal process in creating the illustrations for a story, of course after already having read the manuscript a million times and after making visual shorthand notations on ideas for scenes, is to then create preliminary sketch studies of the characters within the story. Once all these studies are completed, I then create a rough storyboard of the entire book, working out the scenes, compositions, balance and flow of the spread scenes, full page scenes, and vignetted images, plus the relationship of the text and image placement, etc.

Once the storyboard is completed (which by the way is not shown to anyone), I then proceed to making all the full-sized final sketches based on the storyboard, making adjustments and improvements along the way. It is these final sketches which are then formally presented to the editor, art director, and design director at the publishing house.

Illustration of woman pirate attempting to cook

She wields a better sword than ladle… Character sketch for next picture book project.

All the sketches were created with crayon, gouache, and with added digital color.

Anyway, I am at the very start of the whole process, and what you see posted here are early sketch studies. So, the characters I have created thus far could certainly change and evolve further during the storyboard and sketch stages.

Illustration of a "fair lass".
A fair lass… Character sketch for next picture book project.

In 2015, I have two new picture books being released:

WILD CHILD (written & illustrated by Steven Salerno – August 2015, Abrams Books for Young Readers) It’s a story about a new kind of wild creature that dominates the jungle, and how all the other animals try and tame it to restore peace and quiet. But nothing they try works. The wild creature just gets wilder… until the clever Gorilla finally figures out a way.

The Fantastic Ferris Wheel (written by Betsy Harvey Kraft, illustrated by Steven Salerno – October 2015, Christy Ottaviano Books) It’s the true life account of American engineer George Washington Ferris, inventor of the giant observation wheel built for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and dubbed the “Ferris Wheel”. Visit my illustration web site stevensalerno.com to see the many picture books I have illustrated, as well as to view my portfolios for advertising and editorial projects.
© Copyright All Images

Stanislawa Kodman: Leaves, Wings & Other Such Things

Stanislawa Kodman‘s whimsical drawings seem particularly appropriate reminding us of our late summer evenings shared with the twinkling fireflies. Whether as images in children’s books, magazine articles or simply to grace the page, Stanislawa has a charming style that adds sophistication and elegance to any project. To see even more of Stanislawa’s playful side, check out her blog, Leaves, Wings & Other Such Things.

Stanislawa is represented by Alexander-Pollard, Inc.

Illustration of fireflies and animals
© Stanislawa Kodman



Suzanne Beaky’s Adorable Illustrations for “Leopold”

Suzanne Beaky recently had a wonderful opportunity to illustrate Dr. Ruth’s latest children’s book, Leopold from Turner Publishing. The charming book tells the story of loveable Leopold the turtle who is afraid to go in the water. Leopold must make a decision and either play it safe or take a risk and face his fears.

Suzanne truly had such a great time creating the adorable characters for Dr Ruth’s book! Who wouldn’t? She also received a lovely call from the author herself, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, thanking her for her contribution. Nice!!

Suzanne Beaky is represented by Liz Sanders Agency.

Dr. Ruth standing next to a illustration of herself
Children's book "Leopold" book cover
Leopold, the turtle, hiding in his shell.
Illustration showing Leopold the turtle and his friends.
Dr. Ruth's grandson, Ben.
©Suzanne Beaky