Freehand Friday: Pick-A-Prompt

July 19, 2019 § 2 Comments

DIY Pick-A-Prompt Jar: for those moments when you have the urge to create but you don’t know – what to draw? – what to paint? – what to write about? It’s time to Pick-A-Prompt!PromptJar-pierrmorganHere’s how to make it: Write one full sentence on one colored strip of paper (I used yellow). Write one noun on another color (orange), a verb on a third (green), and a sentence fragment or phrase on a fourth color (pink). Fold each strip in half and drop in the jar.

You don’t have to use colored paper, but the reason for color is so you have the option to choose just one word, or the full four, and still be surprised. Sometimes one word might not be enough to get you going. With four options you can arrange them till that ‘aha!’ lightbulb turns on…

~ Both so different, yet the best of friends. ~ build ~ treasure ~ around the corner ~

Here’s to a week of aha’s! ~ xo Pierr




Freehand Friday: Cover Art

July 12, 2019 § 2 Comments

The cover for a children’s book is often the last piece of art to illustrate, but the first one shown around by the marketing folks, to sell the book before it’s actually released in stores. I sketch three or four ideas to expand on one with more sketches. These are only 3×4 inches.GardenCover-pierrmorganI showed these to lots of kids for their favorite. Hands down was the first one, the kid in the wheel barrow. To them it promised a book full of fun. The girl with the rake was my favorite element, so I used her to round out the composition.  I like to draw on tracing paper to trace my own drawings and cut and tape them like puppets or paper dolls, figuring out where I want arms and legs to bend, or using the best head from another drawing. I’m really making puzzle pieces.GardenCover5-pierrmorganI move them around until they fit together nicely within the set cover dimensions…GardenCover2-pierrmorgan…adding more elements with suggestions from the art director and managing editor at the publishing house. I was so focused on the kids, thinking they should be the most prominent part of the cover, that I’d forgotten all about their garden – which they grow themselves in the book.GardenCover3-pierrmorganEventually I switched my brain on to a “LUSH” garden. Then took time to decide which plants to feature. The titling text was only a place holder I made for the real thing, which was being designed in-house. I had no idea of the title’s size or style being planned. GardenCover6-pierrmorganAnd they didn’t know for sure until my final art came in. Yay RED!GardenCover8-pierrmorgan

Check it out! The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City, by Carole Lexa Schaefer , published Spring 2017 by Little Bigfoot, the children’s division of Sasquatch Books in Seattle. Ask for it at your public library or favorite Indie bookstore. You can see covers of the 22 other books I’ve illustrated on my website by clicking “Gallery” : Thanks so much for reading! and clicking! on the teensy bold italics ~ Have a lush week ~ xo PierrGardenCover7-pierrmorgan


Freehand Friday: Test Drive

June 14, 2019 § Leave a comment


Take your paints out for a drive. See what they can do. ~ xo Pierr

Freehand Friday: No Peeking!

June 7, 2019 § 2 Comments

A fun activity  – draw a friend sitting across from you without looking at your paper or taking your pen off the page. Trace them with your eyes in one continuous line. FreehandSpark1-pierrmorgan

The look is very Picasso. What I like the best is the boldness of the line, its deliberateness. No apologies or hesitation. Pure guts.

FreehandSpark2-pierrmorganHere’s lookin’ at you, R! Draw on!!FreehandSpark3-pierrmorganColors made with black and red Tombow brush pens, fluorescent pink marker, and 8- watercolor paint box.

Spark your week! xo – Pierr

Freehand Friday: Detail

May 17, 2019 § 2 Comments



Pond Wednesday: Acrobat

May 15, 2019 § Leave a comment


Here’s to a week of stretching and enhancing our talents. ~ xo Pierr


Freehand Friday: “The Chicken And The Egg”

March 1, 2019 § 16 Comments

Since the 1st century philosophers puzzling cause and effect have wondered – which came first, the chicken or the egg? Recently, in our 21st century, physicists have shown that in parallel universes of quantum physics, the chicken AND the egg can both come first.

The art I share today is my whimsical glimpse into one such universe and what could be going on there at this very moment.BAC-PierrMorgan3I used gouache (goo-wash) and ink in a resist technique. Thinking backwards, I paint pattern first to stain the paper…BAC-PierrMorgan…then general colors over the pattern, leaving the paper blank where I want a black line.BACbkground4The scene fills in this way with more details and general color over them. I tape the piece to the bottom of an enamelware pan (waterproof) with Artist Tape (blue painter’s tape works as well)…BAC-tape-pierrmorgan…then cover the foreground and borders with black waterproof ink (Higgins “Black Magic” is my fav).BAC-inked-pierrmorganThen I let water from the kitchen faucet run over it. Water beating on the piece dissolves the paint which pushes the ink off itself, leaving a stain of color – and ink – where the paper was blank or where gouache wasn’t painted thick enough to resist the ink. This allows for surprise and that ‘happy accident’ which I love. The painting is usually a potato chip after this step, so I blow dry it flat again, then remove the tape.BAC-rinsed-pierrmorganFinal touch-ups are easy because gouache is opaque and will cover excess ink, or colors I might decide I want to brighten or change.BACbabychick-pierrmorganFor that Medieval illuminated manuscript look, metallic watercolor from Daniel Smith Art Supply in Seattle works wonders.BAC-Feb13-1Tonight – March 1, 2019 – the group show, Chickens: Birds of a Feather, opens at TAP (The Art Project), a gallery on Bainbridge Island, WA. The show is up through March 31.PierrMorgan-ChickenAndEggThanks for attending my first “Freehand Friday.” My plan is to share something of my art process with you each week, to motivate me to keep on creating more and more new drawings and paintings. Ba-BOK! xo ~ Pierr

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