The Little Boy’s Smile on YouTube!

By heather at 8:49 pm on Thursday, December 9, 2010

tom krause little boy's smile childrens book illustrations heather castles

Tom Krause, author of “The Little Boy’s Smile,” recently sent me this link to a reading of our story up on YouTube… enjoy!

Filed under: childrens books, reviews, The Little Boy's Smile Leave A Comment »

Little Land Adventures | Now available as four books

By heather at 8:11 pm on Wednesday, August 4, 2010

little bird pencil illustration childrens book

I was pleased to discover that the first four stories of Little Land Adventures, which I illustrated a few years ago, has now been divided into four separate books. Little Bird, Little Pig, Little Iguana, and Little Raccoon are now available on for $9.99 each. (Have a sneak peak at the illustrations inside.)

little pig pencil illustration childrens book little bird pencil illustration childrens book little bird pencil illustration childrens book

Filed under: illustrations, childrens books, Little Land Adventures2 Comments »

Spotty & Eddie Books Arrived!

By heather at 1:01 pm on Sunday, April 25, 2010


It’s been a while since I’ve posted as I’ve been on holidays with my family for a few weeks in Canada. While away was delighted to have my copies of Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé arrive! Trafford did a wonderful job, the sequel looks even better than the original Spotty & Eddie Learn to Compromise, in that the new printing has a lovely laminated cover and brighter colours. Hera gives it two thumbs up, and now requests to read “Spotty Eddie” frequently… she especially likes looking for “Mama’s shoes” and searching for the little turtles on each page.

Filed under: childrens books, Spotty and Eddie1 Comment »

Riley’s Lost Tooth | The books arrived!

By heather at 1:21 am on Monday, March 1, 2010

heather castles riley's lost tooth illustrations

riley's lost tooth children's book cover Eeeeee! So excited, my copies of Riley’s Lost Tooth (Written by Diane Cantrell, Illustrated by moi) arrived in the post! Hera was right into them, opening up each one up, flipping through the pages, then declaring “The End.” I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out, Brown Books did a great job. Riley’s Lost Tooth now available online at Book launch party in San Antonio is planned for March 27th… I’ll post details later!

Filed under: illustrations, childrens books, Riley's Lost Tooth2 Comments »

Riley’s Lost Tooth | Animated Trailer!

By heather at 3:07 am on Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wow, I just watched the trailer for Riley’s Lost Tooth… I’ve never had an animated trailer made of my work before, is a bit weird and cool at the same time seeing your characters come alive and move! Here’s the Riley’s Lost Tooth trailer on YouTube. RLT is currently at the printer, am waiting eagerly to see how the finished product turns out!

Filed under: illustrations, childrens books, Riley's Lost Tooth3 Comments »

Children’s book illustration contract

By heather at 9:20 pm on Thursday, January 21, 2010

heather castles illustration contractA signed contract between the Publisher/Author and Illustrator is the very first thing that should be in place before delving into illustrating a children’s book. When you work with a Publisher, they will provide their own contract and terms tailored for your project. But when working with self-published Authors, it is even more important to have a contract. Most first time Authors aren’t familiar with working with Illustrators, and a contract both educates the Author and protects both parties from things going pear shaped.

I’ve been fine tuning my contract (or Illustration Commission Agreement) ever since my first book, and it is still a work in progress, always being adjusted to match the project I’m working on. Feel free to download a copy of my contract (by clicking on the image) and use it as a launching pad for your own contract. The main details I include are :

  • Name and Contact Details of both the Author and Illustrator
  • Title of the work
  • • The number of illustrations to be commissioned
  • 1) Commission and Grant of Rights : this section describes that the Illustrator is selling the rights to USE the artwork to the Author… they are not selling the original artwork specifically, and it goes on to state that original artwork belongs to the illustrator.
  • 2) Sale & Purchase of Artwork : States clearly how much money the illustrator will be paid as well as exactly what the illustrator is selling to the Author. It is good to be specific about what currency you are to be paid in, especially when working with international clients.
  • 3) Royalties : establishes how much the Illustrator is to be paid in royalties for various types of sale of the book.
  • 4) Project schedule & delivery : including dates here both helps the author know when to expect the art and give you space during that time, and also gives you a deadline to be accountable to.
  • 5) Illustrator’s Copies : establishes how many free copies of the printed book you will be provided, typically between 10-20.
  • 6) Copyright : states very clearly that the copyright of the illustrations still belongs to the illustrator.
  • 7) Credit : How you as the illustrator wish to be credited in the book
  • 8) Promotion : says the Author can use your illustrations to promote their book free of charge.
  • 9) Failure to Deliver and 10) Cancellation : in the unfortunate event that the book is cancelled or you are unable to finish, these sections set out how much you will be compensated for the work you have completed, as well as what the author can expect from you if you do not deliver what you’ve agreed upon.
  • 11-16) Legal Stuff : covers a lot of legal jargon that is also important. Some of the points it covers are establishing that you are the sole creator of the artwork, stating you will not create competitive works, the Author has control over when/if they publish their book and details on assigning the agreement to another person.
  • • Signatures of both the Author and Illustrator

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Filed under: childrens books, business of illustration31 Comments »

Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé | Off to the printer!

By heather at 1:00 am on Friday, January 15, 2010

spotty and eddie visit percé illustrations heather castles

Well, Spotty & Eddie have headed out for another adventure… off to Trafford to be published & printed! Was very satisfying finishing up the illustrations and layout right before the holidays, and then after having the author, friends & family put a fresh set of eyes on the book, made some minor improvements to make the book “just right” before sending it off.

I had a lot of fun working on this story… aside from drawing turtles which is so much fun, I like adding little personal touches like using my red sneakers and Hera’s top & necklace for inspiration for Trixie’s outfit. Trixie herself is inspired by a photograph of the author’s mum. I grew up watching the Ninja Turtles, so personalized the cab driver’s license plate to “TRTL PWR” for those other children of the 80’s who may read this book to children of their own.
Looking forward to seeing Spotty & Eddie’s second adventure printed and in my hands finished Here is a sneak peek at a few of the final spreads from the book (clicking on them makes them larger.)

spotty and eddie visit perce illustrations heather castles

spotty and eddie visit perce illustrations heather castles

spotty and eddie visit perce illustrations heather castles

spotty and eddie visit perce illustrations heather castles

spotty and eddie visit perce illustrations heather castles

Filed under: illustrations, childrens books, Spotty and Eddie5 Comments »

2009 Illustrations | Year In Review

By heather at 10:14 pm on Tuesday, December 29, 2009

heather castles 2009 illustrations

As another year fast approaches its end, looking back I realize how busy a year 2009 has been! I kept my paintbrush and pencil busy with completing just under 100 illustrations… wowsers, that’s a new illustration every three days! The illustrations include three children’s books (Celebrate! by Rubicon Publishing, Riley’s Lost Tooth by Diane Cantrell, and Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé by Lisa M. Chalifoux), a collection of green themed illustrations for ImageZoo, and several more little illustrations for my illustrated diary of Hera’s outfits. Looking forward to 2010!

Filed under: illustrations, childrens books, business of illustration, Spotty and Eddie, Riley's Lost Tooth1 Comment »

Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé | Before & After Colour

By heather at 6:03 am on Friday, December 18, 2009

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book

Am about halfway through digitally colouring my pencil illustrations for Spotty & Eddie’s latest adventure by Lisa M. Chalifoux… wanted to share a couple before and afters of my illustrations (clicking on them will bring up a larger image). The colouring has been going very quickly thanks to my new Wacom tablet… I bought my first one this summer and taught myself how to use it, so this is the first big project I’ve used it on. And I LOVE it. Also, here is a snapshot of how the layout is turning out in the InDesign file… I find it helps dropping in the colour illustrations into the layout as I go so that I can make sure the colours balance nicely.

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book

Filed under: work in progress, sketches, illustrations, childrens books, business of illustration, Spotty and Eddie3 Comments »

Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé | How to digitally colour a pencil drawing

By heather at 6:07 pm on Friday, November 27, 2009

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book photoshop tutorial

I’ve done this tutorial before, but wanted to show in a little more detail how easy it is to tint with colour a graphite pencil drawing in Photoshop. This example is from the children’s book I’m currently working on, Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé. (First off though I’ll apologize for my fluctuating spelling of the word “Colour.” Being Canadian that’s how we spell it… but Photoshop uses American spelling, but I just can’t help my English grammar sometimes!)

1) Scan the pencil drawing at 300dpi 100%. Then open in Photoshop, and resave as a PSD file.

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book photoshop tutorial

2) In this sketch I want a pure white background. Instead of erasing the background, I used the magic wand to select the background, feathered the edges, and then on a new layer filled the selection with white. This leaves me the option to later change the white to a coloured background. (Read on …)

Filed under: work in progress, illustrations, childrens books, tutorials, Spotty and Eddie1 Comment »
Next Page »