Monthly Archives: September 2012

New Dress New Look!

New Dress, New Look for Once Upon a Sketch!


We went to a great new store, Paul Grock Designs , (the best in kiddie haute couture) and picked up a brand new dress for school!

Hope you like it!

We’re super excited to introduce our first season of podcasts and the interviews we’re doing. (Coming soon) We are open to getting the public’s feedback on our progress. Please let us know what you think and any ideas for articles or events you want us to announce!

We’re also looking for folks who would be open to contributing informational guest posts to our blog!


Lynne Chapman walks us through the genesis of her book, “Swap”

One of the great things about the internet and blogs is that we get to walk behind the curtain and see the artist at work. Blogs have pulled back the veil on picture book process and creation. It’s a great thing to get to see how our favorite artist’s work their magic and go from concept to final work.


Today we are happy to showcase one author/artist as they describe their journey, Lynne Chapman.

Lynne has been an award winning author/illustrator for over 25 years with more than 30 books to her credit! She resides in the UK and it is evident from her videos that she has a spunky, bright and infectious personality.

She primarily works in pastels and has a number of demonstration videos on her website, blog and YouTube channel.

This series of posts catalogues her process while creating, pitching, illustrating, edting and sending off the final artwork of the book that would end up being titled Swap.

The story is about a little girl, Lucy, and her dog, Sparky. When her alarm goes off, Lucy thinks it’s not fair that she has to get up and go to school, while Sparky stays home. Sparky would much rather go to school, as he thinks staying in is boring, so they take the only reasonable course of action, they swap places for the day! What a simple and fun concept!!!

What a marvelous journey for Lynn to take us along with her on! There are a total of 25 posts from conception to dropping the final artwork in the mail. The time between beginning and end is 23 months, almost 2 years!! Get ready for an education for all you aspiring Author/Illustrators out there! Lynne gives a fairly in depth accounting of the process from beginning to end.

We’ll break Lynne’s journey up into segments. Featuring each post, describing the content and providing links to the original content on Lynne’s blog. We’ll share 5 to 10 of her posts per one of ours.

First is a video of Lynne describing her creative process for conceptualizing a children’s book. She also describes how she got into the field from textile design.


In her first post Lynne discusses the source of inspiration for her story idea and the initial scribbles that were it’s initial manifestation! With the initial title being, “It’s Not Fair”.

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Daniel Lieske’s digital painting process

Do you know what the Wormworld saga is? It’s an amazing free online fantasy comic drawn and created by Daniel Lieske. When Daniel created his comic he made four how-to videos of his process for making a panel. His process goes as follows; step one prelim, step 2 drawing, step 3 painting and  step 4 layout. He can be a little hard to understand at points because he is from Germany, but the information is very good. If you’re interested in digital art you should check out these videos.

Icons and Legends-Andrew Loomis

Andrew Loomis. Since Norm mentioned him, I thought it would be a good idea to feature him and give some info on his background.

Andrew Loomis was born in 1892 in Syracuse, New York. He studied in New York at the Art Students League under George Bridgman and F.V. du Mond when he was 19. He moved to Chicago and continued his education at the Chicago Art Institute. In the 1930s, he taught at the American Academy of Art. At this time he catalogued and compiled his instructional technique for his first book, Fun With a Pencil, in 1939.

The popularity of this book would lead Loomis to go on and release several more books in the coming decades, including one of his most popular, Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth, in 1943.

Andrew Loomis created a number of instructional books on figure, the founding arts of drawing, and painting. Many of his books have long been out of print but have found a resurged popularity online in .pdf and jpeg formats free for download due to the expiration of copyright. (If this has changed please let us know.) You will find links to those books at the end of this post.

These books are a wonderful resource of drawing fundamentals and design basics. I urge that you download them, fill your printer with paper and ink and get to printing to create some handy and precious reference sources for your future illustrations.

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Need help with drawing heads?

Recently, I found some wonderful tutorial videos on drawing the human head at a site called The site was made by Stan Prokopenko, a web developer, teacher and artist. Stan so far has made four tutorial videos on drawing the human head at various angles. He does a great job simplifying and breaking down Andrew Loomis‘ approach to drawing heads. It’s a great method for drawing the head from various angles and stan presents the information in an interesting way. In the first video he breaks down the proportions when drawing a head. In his subsequent videos he shows the process for the front, side and three-quarter view. The videos are all done with a good production value and contain great information. Check out the videos at his YouTube channel or at his website

Online Resources-Twitter Follower Calculator

Did you know that there is a maximum number of people you can follow on Twitter?

Most of this is due to companies and individuals using programs or “bots” to follow thousands of individuals at a time. Basically, SPAMMING.

The max number you can follow in one day is 1000.

You can follow up to 2000 before Twitter stops you from following.

After you hit 2000, Twitter uses a formula to calculate how many you can follow based on how many followers you have. What is this formula? Luckily you don’t need to have it.

Research Maniacs now has an online resource that allows you to enter your number of followers and it will tell you the maximum number of people you can follow.

Go to this link and enter your number of followers for an answer.

News-Top Cow Comics Launches Talent Search for New Writers and Artists

Top Cow has officially launched it’s New Talent Search Contest. Look at bottom of post for guidelines and submission information.

Please note-We are not directly affiliated with Top Cow in any way. We are simply passing on the information to our interested readers. If you need further information please go to Top Cow’s website and follow their contact instructions. Any further questions in regard to this contest will not be answered by us.

Top Cow Productions (TCP) is an American comics publisher, a partner studio of Image Comics founded by Marc Silvestri in 1992. Top Cow was part of a movement that turned the comics world on it’s ear and set new standards in publishing and creativity. They had many properties go on to be the basis of live action television series, movies and animated movies and television series.

But now it looks like Top Cow is on the look out for new writing and illustrating talent. Think you have what it takes? Then pay attention.
The Top Cow Talent Hunt for two new writers and two new artists has gone live as of September 1st and will run through Dec 31st.

For the Submission Guidelines follow this link.
For the Submission Form follow this link.

These links are to pdf files and not web pages. If your browser isn’t capable of viewing pdf files then you will need to right click and download them for viewing.

You will need both documents if you intend to enter. We recommend that you follow Top Cow on Twitter or their page on Facebook for up to date information regarding this contest.

Please read and follow the guidelines specifically. You don’t want a simple mistake to ruin your consideration for winning!

Good luck to everyone!

Character Design Online Class with Tom Bancroft

Tom Bancroft has almost 25 years of experience in the animation industry, most of which was for Walt Disney Feature animation where he was an animator for 11 years. He is the author of several character design books and he is now offering his services and wisdom in an online class of sorts to be available to the public. The course is an hour and a half, has a homework assignment, prizes and costs ten dollars.

WORKSHOP #4 is on
Thursday, September 6th , 8PM, CST

THIS THURSDAY Night! September 6th, 8PM Central Time Zone (check your time zone for your time)$10.



The beauty of Interactive entertainment – Journey

When most people think of video games they don’t think of art. Video games have become an increasingly expressive medium for artists combining painting, writing, sculpture, music, storytelling, and cinematography. One game has brought all of these things together in a amazing interactive experience. Journey is the most profound video game work of art I’ve ever played. Its simply indescribable, but I’ll give it a shot.

ThatGameCompany, creators of Journey, was co-founded by University of Southern California students Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen. The studio was under contract to create three downloadable games for Sony PlayStation 3’s PlayStation Network. The first was a remake of Chen’s award-winning Flash game Flow. The company’s second was Flower and their final game was Journey released in March 2012. Truly, ThatGameCompany’s magnum opus.

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NESCBWI Children’s Book Illustration Symposium

To all the SCBWI Members who happen to be able to attend the upcoming symposium, Mark your Calendars and be sure to register!!

This looks to be a pretty good and informative event!

NESCBWI and NHIA present 
Melissa Sweet in 
The 2nd annual Children’s Book Illustration Symposium

When: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Time: 9:30-4:30
Where: Emma Blood French Auditorium (The French Building) on the New Hampshire Institute of Art campus in Manchester, NH.

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