Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Christmas Toy Story Show - At Contrapose Dance

©Lesley Breen Withrow
It's that time of year again! Time for Christmas, snow and ballet shows, like the Nutcracker. But I know of an even better Christmas show that is local (if you are in the Massachusettes, Rhode Island area) at Contrapose Dance. Contrapose Dance is a fabulous dance company started by my friend Courtney Peix. They are having 'A Christmas Toy Story Show ' in Bridgewater (Bridgewater State College) is this Saturday at 5:30 and Sunday at 3:00. It is a great show that is very family friendly (even for young kids) and you get to see the dancers up close which is just amazing to me! It's 1 hour long, and features a cast of 37 dancers (7 amazing professionals, 30 students). So, if you're in the area and you are looking for a wonderful Christmas show, this is a great one.

Also, I illustrated the poster for the this show last year, but just adjusted it a little bit for this years show. Adding my new logo and some new information and a few new swirls. Happy Holidays and hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

See Steven Withrow's first "Fieldnote" on Seven Impossible Things!

My husband, Steven Withrow, is now a contributing monthly writer for the amazing children's book blog Seven Impossible Things Before BreakfastHis first "fieldnote" is about art director and children's book designer Susan M. Sherman. Check it out, it's a great read with lots of insight and art!
Next month he'll be interviewing children's book agent Steven Malk.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Boy Who Wanted Wings

This past summer I illustrated the story The Boy Who Wanted Wings for the magazine Angels on EarthAngels on Earth is owned by Guidepostswhich creates spiritual magazines. This is an inspirational Christmas story written by Patricia Gaddis-Clark, and is well worth the read. It was a joy to illustrate too! I know it was intended for print, but I am glad to see it on-line as well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Holiday Mood

©Lesley Breen Withrow
Today I woke up to a ton of snow on the ground. What a surprise it was! Unfortunately, it turned over to rain and now it is a slushy mess. But, the snow has helped to put me in the holiday mood. Well, the snow and the Christmas tree we just put up! There are no gifts under it right now and I'm not sure if we'll ever has as many gifts as those under the tree I illustrated. Ha! But that's okay.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Process of creating Mixed Media children's art

In this post I thought I would show you a bit how I work from sketch to finished art.

1. Here's my sketch

2. Next I lay down the foundation colors and start to fill in different elements of the art.

3. Once the initial art colors and characters are painted, I like to bring the art into Photoshop where I add lots of the details, textures and patterns. I have a large library of textures and patterns that I have created on paper using paints and scratchboard and pen and ink, etc. I have also been known to scan fabrics, newspapers, buttons, really what ever I think I can use in my art. It's a lot of fun creating those different textures and patterns and once I scan it into the computer I can use it multiple times because it's now a computer file.

4. And here is the final art with all the details, textures and patterns added in in place. But wait, there's one more addition to this piece!

5. I decided to add a border all around it. This was a border I created by hand and scanned/manipulated in the computer. Hope you had fun seeing a bit of my working process!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Profile of my husband, Steven Withrow, at Seven Impossible Things!

Jules Danielson has invited Steve to contribute monthly "Fieldnotes" to her amazing children's book blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. He'll be posting a regular interview/feature with a children's publishing professional -- starting December 15th with art director and book designer Susan M. Sherman.

Here's the fun profile of Steve -- with plenty of pictures and a poem -- up today. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Illustrating Children's Picture Books Arrives!

Steve and I recently received our first advance copy of Illustrating Children's Picture Books from Roto Vision in the UK. It was great to finally see it in print and to hold it in our hands. It's a nice square shape and size and is well designed. It will be available in December but you can place pre-orders on Amazon.com already. Here a few sneek peaks!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

R. Michelson Galleries - 20th Annual Children's Illustration Show

On Sunday, Steve and I went to the R. Michelson Galleries in Northhampton, MA for the 20th Annual Children's Illustration Show. The R. Michelson Galleries is a beautiful place and the show features incredible children's art from some of the top illustrators. We got to be in the same company of some wonderful people in the childrens book field. Jane Yolen, Norton Juster, Barry Moser, Leslea Newman, Mo Willems, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Mordicai Gerstien, Richard Michelson, Jane Dyer, and Anna Alter to name a few. They were also auctioning some original children's art for Reader to Reader, a public charity dedicated to bringing books, free of charge, to needy schools and public libraries across the United States. The Children's Illustration Show will be hanging until January 31, 2010 and it's definitely worth the trip! We got to explore downtown Northhampton a bit too. What a cool creative community it is there!

R. Michelson Galleries - Northhampton, MA

20th Annual Children's Illustration Show

Jane Yolen receiving the second annual Norton Juster Award
for service to the world of Children's Literature.

Illustrators and writers line up to take the annual picture!

Mo Willems art in the exhibit

What a great day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Elephant Parade

©Lesley Breen Withrow
Here's a snippit from an elephant pattern I am working on.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Illustration Friday - Fast

©Lesley Breen Withrow
I always like go fast when I'm ice skating... maybe a bit faster than I am supposed to! But it's fun.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Almost Halloween!

©Lesley Breen Withrow
The leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter and
Halloween is close by!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lady Bugs

©Lesley Breen Withrow
I have been noticing lately little ladybugs clinging to the outside of my windows trying to hang onto the last bit of warmth of the season. So, here's a snippit of art I made as a part of a card collection last year that featured these beautiful little bugs.

Also, below is a haiku that my husband, Steven, wrote about them. You can find more of his fabulous poetry on his blog Crackles of Speech.

Twin lady beetles
Climbing the winter window --
Come back, warm red June!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


©Lesley Breen Withrow
Here's a patterned filled greeting card I made for a card collection last year. Seems like a good fit for this weeks Illustration Friday topic!

So long summer

©Lesley Breen Withrow
The leaves are now starting to fall and the weather is getting colder here in New England. The summer is now officially over, but here's some art that will help you remember those fun, warm summer days!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Here's a pencil drawing I recently made of my daughter Marin and her friend Riley in there Halloween costumes from last year. It's hard to believe that time is almost here again! It was fun to draw them and capture their personalities. For me, it makes a moment in time even more memorable and special when I capture it in a drawing.
©Lesley Breen Withrow

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Cover: Illustrating Children's Picture Books

Steven and I are very excited to share with you a fun new cover for our upcoming book, Illustrating Children's Picture Books , which will be published around the world this December. The cover features my art (the pouting girl), along with characters created by Polly Dunbar (the kneeling child) and Miriam Latimer  (the leaping tiger) -- both brilliant artists and storytellers from the UK. It's so wonderful to see the book come together and I can't wait to see a printed copy in December!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My daughter, Marin,  had her 4th birthday party recently and I made her a big ladybug cake with complimentary flower cupcakes. She got a special little ladybug cupcake just for her too. It was fun to put my art ability into cake decorating. I admire the professional cake decorators out there. What an amazing skill that is. It was truly a labor of love for me. My mother made her birthday dress from fabric my grandmother had left over before she passed away last year. It was very sentimental and the dress looked  incredible on Marin! My mother didn't even use a pattern for the dress. She creates and rearranges things as she goes. What an wonderful artist she is. Here's to another fun filled year!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Loving the Weather

©Lesley Breen Withrow
What a beautiful day it is again here in New England! Here's some art I created for a greeting card that reminds me of the wonderful weather we are having. I hope it stays like this for a little while longer.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Marin!

©Lesley Breen Withrow
Today is my daughter's 4th birthday! We had a wonderful birthday party for her yesterday and she got all the Smurfs and My Little Ponies that she had been dreaming of! (Including Papa Smurf and Smurfette). It's funny, because those are the same gifts I dreamed of getting back in the day. Gotta love retro!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ted Kennedy

I couldn't make it up to the Kennedy Library in Boston today to give my respects to Senator Ted Kennedy who is lying in repose there. So, I thought I would post a sketch I drew of him as my remembrance. Growing up on Cape Cod, the Kennedy's were always close by. I got the pleasure of seeing Ted years ago in Hyannis Port. I was on a boat heading over to Martha's Vineyard  and he sailed by on his sail boat and waved. Ted Kennedy was an incredible public servant who had done a lot of good for the little guys and will be greatly missed.
©Lesley Breen Withrow

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Greeting Cards

I've been busy creating greeting cards and so I thought I'd show a sampling of them. They are filled with my painterly textures and patterns. So much fun to make!
©Lesley Breen Withrow

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Secrets of Digital Animation

My husband, Steven Withrow , has a new book that just came out called Secrets of Digital Animation  from RotoVision and Rockport Publishers. It's an incredible book featuring some amazing animators. 

Secrets of Digital Animation sets out to demonstrate and showcase a range of cutting-edge work, new techniques, and influential practitioners within all forms of contemporary animation, from anime to flashware, and from animated shorts to machinima, offering creative hints and tips from the genre masters. This book offers young practitioners, and those interested in broadening their skills, an insider’s view of the fast evolving work of animation; showcasing professionals and their creations, working methods, and inspiration, along with jargon-busting explanations and easy to follow demonstrations. Stunning examples of finished work are shown alongside conceptual drawings and works in progress. The book contains practical advice and case studies that explore the professional techniques behind designing innovative characters and fantastical worlds, and bringing them to life.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

©Lesley Breen Withrow
Here's a snippet of some illustrations I have been working on while trying to beat the summer heat. I can't complain though... it's nice to see that summer is finally here in New England!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

My husband, daughter and I went to visit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art a couple weeks ago and had a wonderful time. It is a great place for kids and an inspiration for us writers and illustrators. We got to see original art of Eric Carle's The Hungry Caterpillar, (which just turned 40!) as well as an assortment of Ernest Shepard's pen and ink and pencil art from Winnie-the-Pooh and Tomie DePaola's original picture book art and oil paintings. We also had fun reading books, and making art out of tissue paper, like Eric Carle does. It was a great trip for us all, even Tito had fun. That's Marin's little gray tiger kitty that she's had since she was a baby (you can see him helping my daughter out with her tissue paper art).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Note Cards at the Papyrus Store

I saw my snail note card set at the local Papyrus store. How fun! It was great to see it amongst all their other products.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Calculator book

©Lesley Breen Withrow
Here's a page from an educational novelty book that I illustrated this year. It comes with a calculator and instructs kids how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. It will be available in early 2010 from Tormont. How exciting!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


©Lesley Breen Withrow
Here's a photo of an acrylic 24x36 painting I made several years back of my husband's family cat. Her name was Muffin and she was a surly, grumpy old cat but we all loved her for her honesty. She lived a long life of 21 years! Go figure. What a beautiful calico she was. I just had to paint her!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Portrait Drawing

©Lesley Breen Withrow
(Excuse the glare on the image)
Here's a portrait I drew last year while visiting a class at the Falmouth Artists Guild on Cape Cod (my home town). They were located in a basement for a while until their new building was built. I haven't gotten a chance to visit yet, but it looks amazing! I love portrait and figure drawing and getting the time to draw a figure from real life is one of my great joys. Unfortunately, I don't get much time to fit that into my schedule these days, but I savor it when I do!

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Logo

I created a new logo!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


©Lesley Breen Withrow
Here's a snippet of an Alphabet piece I am working on. Gotta love those cute animals.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rainy Day

©Lesley Breen Withrow
Well, it's another rainy day here in New England. Where is that sunny June weather? Here are some flowers to brighten the day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pinks and Reds

©Lesley Breen Withrow
I had lunch today with some artists friends. It was fun and inspirational! What a great thing to do on a gloomy, rainy day. I've recently found out how to add blogs to my gmail reader and since then I have been adding a gazillion blogs to it. I love it! It keeps them organized and tells me when someone posts something new. It's like having the most amazing magazine subscription, tailored just to what I want to read. I am hoping to post art on my blog at least once a week. We'll see if I can do it. I know how exciting it is to see other peoples posts, so I'd like to do that for my readers... if you're out there. :)
Here's a couple pieces of art I've recently created. Lots of reds and pinks!