Work in Progress-Smug

I kept looking at this dragon and thinking “What is this face?” and it hit me. Smug. She’s very satisfied with herself.

But I see some room for improvement (just don’t tell her I said that!)  I think she needs some STUFF around her. Maybe piles of jewels, gold and pizza.

What do you think of as your “treasures”? Let me know in the comments and you might see it in the dragon’s cache next week!

Confident Dragon

Illustrator Day and WIP

My friend J.K. mentioned “You haven’t posted anything in a while!”  and I realized how rude I was being. :)

Over the last couple weeks, I was working on an illustration for an WPA SCBWI event called “Illustrator Day”. Our fearless Illustrator Coordinator Nora Thompson worked with Simon and Schuster Art Director Laurent Linn, to give the participating illustrators a great experience to get feedback on an assignment. Laurent would share a manuscript and we needed to sketch a 2 page spread. He’d give us notes on our sketches and then we’d finish them up using his notes for feedback.  On the day of the even each artist got a 20 minute critique with the group. We all learned a lot from each other and the day as a whole was a positive experience.

Here is my sketch and “final” piece.


Over the last year, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive notes from 3 art directors. Giuseppe Castellano from Penguin occasionally offers a tweet critique an invites illustrators to submit work. Imagine getting a critique in less than 140 characters! It’s surprisingly effective!  I signed up for a portfolio review last november at the WPA SCBWI annual conference with Kristen Nobles from Candlewick, when she looked at my whole portfolio and gave me notes. And finally, this Illustrator Day gave me a chance to hear what Laurent Linn thought of my work, which was exciting because he saw not just the final, but the sketch.

Looking at the feedback from all three, I noticed some themes in regards to linework, staging and color application. It may sound like “Autumn, that’s the whole drawing!” but it’s not. There’s a lot in my work that is good, and I found that in each case, I agreed with their comments. It was just a case that I knew there was something I wasn’t happy with, and they had the experience and knowledge to say “THIS is the thing that is keeping you from leveling up.”  Now I’m excited to go back and take another try at some pieces I’m not 100% happy about.

If you are interested in becoming a children’s book illustrator, I really do recommend joining SCBWI. The national conferences are expensive, but there are a LOT of really great regional events, like the one I was at Saturday! You’re not limited to your region either, if there’s a great event going on in a different region, you can go there too! I’m not saying that you’re going to get a job at an event, but there is a LOT of a great learning opportunities and a chance to leap forward in your artistic journey :)

#ThinkSpringArt Final Week

This is the last week for #ThinkSpringArt creative challenge. I want to thank J.K. Riki, Nancy Colle, Bruce H., and Emily Wayne for contributing beautiful art! Between my schedule and lack of interest now the the weather is nicer (bring that nice weather here!), it makes sense to end it early.

Next year we will do the #ThinkSpringArt creative challenge in February with the last post going up March 4. I’ll post reminders and guidelines in January!

Now, for some think spring!

This week we have a painted egg by JK Riki. Isn’t that beautiful?


And look at this beautiful photograph Bruce took of his orchid. You can see more beautiful photos by Bruce as well as read about his travels on his blog “Homer’s Travels


Thank you again to everyone who participated!

#ThinkSpringArt Week 4

My apologies for being late. This week in #ThinkSpringArt was a lean week. I think most of us were out enjoying the sunshine before the cold came back :)

I spend some time this week taking care of non-arty things. I’m glad to be back to a regular schedule, and am excited to work on new things to share with you next Friday :)

I love cats and FRENDEN brushes and trying out Manga Studio 5

I bought some brushes from FRENDEN and was pretty excited to try them out. What I really like about these brushes is that they really take advantage of the pressure sensitivity in my drawing tablet. I don’t have to draw over and over again, or constantly adjust the opacity. So a pencil brush works like a pencil, responding really well to how hard I push down. I don’t understand the how of it completely, but I appreciate the results. This is going to change the way I use Photoshop. I heartily recommend it.


Friday the 13th Cat

black-cat Uh oh! Watch out Mousey!white-cat-pouncing

I used the FRENDEN brushes for both of these cats. I’m excited to do a little more exploring and adventuring with them.

Yesterday, I also opened up Manga Studio 5 for the first time. SmithMicro usually has amazing sales for it, and it’s worth signing up for the newsletter to get notifications of when their products are on sale. Not to bash Photoshop, but Manga Studio is a really nice affordable option and more friendly to the artist who works with brushes, pens and pencils. Plus, one can buy a LOT more FRENDEN brushes for MS 5 than PS. (If you hear a squeaking noise in the distance, that’s me geeking out.) As I learn more, I’ll share stuff. but if you want to see some nice progressions, check out these really nice ones Vince Dorse made featured on the SmithMicro blog.

#ThinkSpringArt Week 3!

The weather is finally warming up here, and I’m seeing a lot of photos of melting snow online.. could it be that Spring is here? Thursday we had a high of 46 and it was sunny. I love the sunshine! Let’s keep up the #thinkspringart creative challenge and encourage spring to stick around and warm up a little more!

This week, we have more from Nancy Colle at Talking Donkey Studios and Emily Wayne at

Here are some lovely sketches from Nancy:

What a talented bear! He has all the things he loves right in his hands :)


This fairy is studying about flowers, I think :)


And Look! Emily’s shamrocks are blooming! Proof that Spring is near!

Emily1 Emmy2

AND a lovely puddle duck  by Emily:)

Puddle Duck

I feel warm and sunny already! Remember, if you are interested in participating, please use the hashtag #ThinkSpringArt and tag me@autumnseybert on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. You can share your work directly or link to your website, blogs, youtubes, whatever you like :) Remember that all creative expression is welcome, and that all ages are welcome to participate. Keep it family friendly, and I’ll share it here every Friday ending May 1st.

#ThinkSpringArt Creative Challenge Week 2

This is a photograph of Emily Wayne’s pot of shamrocks. Visit her illustration page here

Emily's Garden

Nancy Colle shared a beautiful photo of roses. Check out her artwork at Talking Donkey Studio!

Nancys' Rose

And this beautiful green road, reminding us spring is just around the corner :)Embedded image permalink

And finally, a painting by yours truly

think Spring painting


If you are interested in sharing your creative side, please use the hashtag #ThinkSpringArt and tag me@autumnseybert on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. You can share your work directly or link to your website.  All creative expression is welcome, and that all ages are welcome to participate.

#ThinkSpringArt Week 1

It’s FRIDAY, and you know what that means! It’s the first week I share work from artists participating in #ThinkSpringArt Creative Challenge

This week we had participating artists:

J.K. Riki  A fellow Pittsburgher, J.K shared this awesome guy tending to his garden! You can follow J.K on Twitter or visit his website

Embedded image permalink

Mishka Jaeger drew this wonderful Toad King Welcomes Spring. You can follow her on Twitter or visit her website at

Embedded image permalink

Awesome right? And remember, if you are interested in participating, please use the hashtag #ThinkSpringArt and tag me @autumnseybert on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. You can share your work directly or link to your website, blogs, youtubes, whatever you like :) Remember that all creative expression is welcome, and that all ages are welcome to participate. Keep it family friendly, and I’ll share it here every friday ending May 1st.


This cat thinks everything belongs to her.  “Mine” is a series I’m going to be adding to and eventually this list will turn into a story. :-) While the actions drawn will be based on many cat tales shared by friends, the cat is drawn after an old friend called Willow who claimed our family and home as hers for a few years.

#ThinkSpringart Creative Challenge

*IMPORTANT NOTE: #ThinkSpring has changed to #ThinkSpringArt

The snow is falling with determination. This is not the flouncy, fluffy snow that meanders its way down from the clouds, but a cold, nasty snow that pushes out the sun and stings your skin in the cold wind. This winter has been unusually cold in my neck of the woods, with ten below temperatures teaming up with crazy wind chills. Winter feels less like a cold-weather friend this year, and more like a bully that slaps your lunch out of your hand and stomps on it.

If you are like me, you are starting to feel the effects of this weather. The short days that go from shadowy grey to darkest night, the cold winds, and the feeling that your feet may never feel warm again. It starts to wear. You forget what flowers look like, and you start to feel tired all the time. Things keep going wrong, cars won’t start, pipes freeze, and everyone keeps hoarding toilet paper at the grocery store. It’s gone on for too long!

Spring will come again! YES, SPRING. Warmer temperatures, RAIN, muddy boots, and FLOWERS. ALL THE FLOWERS. You will hear birds that sing flying back in, and EEEK! Is that a bee?  The sun will shine, and you will feel a strange sensation of warmth on your head and shoulders. You will be able to walk or roll comfortably and with ease. Ducks will come out and quack out laughter as they dip into ponds of water (not ice!),  their little ducky bums sticking out. The trees will have leaves and blossoms, and you will see people’s smiling faces because they’re not hiding under scarves and hats

It’s time to FIGHT BACK WINTER! It’s time to #ThinkSpringArt!

Here’s how it works:

Use the hashtag #ThinkSpringArt on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, Tumblr or ANYWHERE you can hashtag really. Post photos, artwork, poetry, videos, music, ANYTHING that reminds us about the promise of Spring, hope, and joyfulness. This is a great chance to show off your creativity while we remember that winter is temporary. Post as often as you like!  If you tag me on Twitter @autumnseybert and use the hashtag #ThinkSpringArt, you also may have your work shown here on my blog every Friday until May 1st.

2/22/15 EDIT: Due to a large amount of pornographic images found under #ThinkSpring, we’ll be doing this creative challenge under #ThinkSpringArt now. :-)

Remember, if you share someone else’s work, give them credit! Giving artists credit for their work is spreading the sunshine. :)

Here are some flower photos I’ve taken to help you get started:

Wild Flowers tulips Cactus Flowers


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