Saturday, January 31, 2015

Shoe Town - sepia filter

© Sylvia Liu
Shoe Town with a sepia filter. I like this version better because it's a more muted palette than my previous version (much less garish):

Friday, January 30, 2015

Scarecrow and Crow

© Sylvia Liu
These few days I'll be posting my redone illustrations (I've been working on them for my portfolio). The changes are mostly pretty subtle.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Updated Palette for Blog Banner

As I've been revamping my portfolio with a more muted color palette, I decided to change my blog banner to the new look. (My blog is

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kraken was Alone

© Sylvia Liu
Busy putting together my dummy for my Kraken story. This is the opening spread...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Yummy Food

I didn't post over the weekend because our house was battling various illnesses and I was just too tired. My daughter stayed home from school (lingering effects of concussion) but she pulled off an amazing two course dinner: Tomato Orzo soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons (Ina Garten recipe), and Panko Crusted Chicken Piccata.

My part in this creation was as sous chef - I chopped onions, sliced cheese, salted & peppered the chicken, and gave suggestions on cutting down the fat (substituting heavy cream; cutting butter with olive oil, etc) and she did everything else. It was delicious, as good as anything you'd find in a restaurant (and a lot better than the usual fare I make).

The orzo was served separately because we weren't sure we were going to like it in the soup, but it turned out great.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kraken Meets Sea Serpent - Color 1

© Sylvia Liu
First pass at coloring this piece. I think the two creatures are too similarly colored...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Yummy food

I can't take credit for this delicious goat cheese and roasted corn crostini in the foreground. I did fry up the tequeños in the back, a Venezuelan cheese appetizer from a Venezuelan restaurant in NYC (delivered by my friend who visited me over New Year's). Tequeños are fried cheese sticks that are filled with a soft farmer's cheese and covered in a buttery dough.

This was part of a Central and South American themed dinner at my book club. We meet once a month and bring food themed to the book we read. This month we read ENRIQUE'S JOURNEY, by Sonia Nazario, which tells the horrifying and harrowing journey that Central American kids take to cross through Mexico to come to the U.S., often in search of their mothers who have preceded them many years before, who left to make money in the U.S, to support their families back home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kraken meets Serpent sketch

© Sylvia Liu
Working on another full color piece for my portfolio. Step 1 took an inordinate amount of time - scanning and stitching this together. Don't know why I am working like molasses.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A black hole

Sorry, wasn't feeling creative on this day. I guess this challenge has a little bit of flexibility in it. Will post something for the next day!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shoe Town - Final

This is my final Shoe Town illustration. People recommended that I increase the contrasts - so this is the result.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kidlit411 Swag

This week I've been working on creating bookmarks and buttons for Kidlit411 to take to the New York SCBWI conference. This is the template for our button, with the words on the side rim.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A blog post

Today was spent on writing and blogging, so no art to show. Here's my blog post reviewing Miranda's picture book, ONE PLASTIC BAG, with a couple of fun giveaways.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sick Peeps

© Sylvia Liu
Things could be worse, but they could be better too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shoe Town- color draft 1

© Sylvia Liu
My Shoe Town illustration - first run through with color. This is out with my critique group.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pirate & The Prince - Final

© Sylvia Liu
My Pirate & the Prince piece- finally done, with corrections made after getting lots of good feedback from various critique groups.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Waiting at the ER

© Sylvia Liu
Waiting at the ER for the results of a CAT scan is the perfect amount of time to do a sketch of my older daughter, who hit her head in basketball yesterday and now has a mild concussion. I had another chance to practice hands, this time holding a phone.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Boy Prince

© Sylvia Liu
I've been working on finishing my Pirate & Prince illustration but it's not ready for display. I am happy with this corner of it.

PS I've been doing this blog for a month and have made new art almost every day. Not sure it's a habit yet but I'm feeling good. (Check out this article about how long it actually takes to create a new habit--longer than you think).

Friday, January 9, 2015

Polar Bears in the City

© Sylvia Liu
I woke up last night with this image in mind, so this morning when I was up at 5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep, I quickly sketched it in Photoshop. I'll probably do a real illo version of it.  I sort of think of it as a post-global warming world, where the polar bears need to look for new homes.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pirate and Prince sketch

© Sylvia Liu
A sketch for another re-do of an illustration I've made before.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Kidlit411 Birthday Bash

© Sylvia Liu
Today was an exciting day, because the kidlit resource website I help run,, began its 3 day Birthday Bash giveaway, with some amazing signed picture books (by Jane Yolen, Tomie dePaola, Drew Daywalt, Nick Bruel, and Debbie Ohi), plus critiques from my awesome critique group.

Stop on by Day 1 of the Kidlit411 Birthday Bash and stay tuned to more good stuff to come.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Kraken meets Mermaids

© Sylvia Liu
I have been working on this illustration since November, so it wasn't created in a day. I did put the finishing touches on it today, so here it is.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sarah at the Piano

© Sylvia Liu
I sketched this while my younger daughter was doing her piano lesson. The piano isn't really as gargantuan as depicted here.

The first thing I sketched was her hand. I made myself sketch exactly what I was seeing instead of what I thought a hand should look like, and I think it came out pretty well. It also inspired my blog post, Drawing Hands: Some Great Resources.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015