A Happy Easter Tweet!

By heather at 1:11 am on Sunday, April 1, 2012

heather castles easter chicks eggs imagezoo royalty free colouring page

Here’s an Easter tweet for your little ones! (Just right click to view full sized image, and save from there to your desktop.) If you post a link to your child’s finished coloured in page, I’ll post it up here to share with other readers :) Here’s the link to last year’s Easter colouring page free to download.
heather castles easter chicks eggs imagezoo royalty free colouring page I used my ipad to vectorize (digitally trace!) my illustration in InkPad using a 50c rubber-tipped stylus I picked up on eBay. (Please keep in mind this colouring page is for personal use only, the original illustration is from my royalty-free collection available at Imagezoo.com.)

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Happy Birthday Mama!

By heather at 8:10 pm on Friday, March 30, 2012

heather castles ugly happy birthday mama

hera castles happy birthday mamaWas my birthday yesterday (32!), so I treated myself with a little arty time. I had stumbled across other artists who came up with some illustrations based on children’s drawings, and had a go with my Ugly Mermaids illustration. So when my daughter Hera drew a picture of me (left), herself & Hank on my birthday last year… I had to have another go at it! Busy life as a mum has kept me from colouring in my pencil drawing till today :) Again I used Sketchbook Pro on my iPad to do the colouring, and to touch up a couple child-induced spills!

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Children’s Book in Progress | Step 1 : Setup!

By heather at 8:36 pm on Friday, November 18, 2011

heather castles sid rules the ruse childrens book illustrations

I’ve just started working on illustrating and designing a new children’s book, eeeeeee! Now that the contract was signed, the deposit received, and I’m ready to put pencil to paper, and thought I’d share my process as it’s happening.

1) Setup : 30 minutes
Printing out copy of contract
Print out and fill out time sheet
Print out manuscript
Set up a folder on my laptop to organize files created and received along the way
2) Analyzing the story : 2 hours
Reading through the story to determine how much text will go on each page
Underline key visual imagery to be included in illustration mentioned in story
Make notes for ideas for imagery I have while reading the story
Sketch thumbnails of the layout with notes on rough concepts for each spread

3) Gathering Imagery : 30 minutes
Using Google Images to find imagery to use as reference and inspiration

4) Preparing proof for author : 1 hour
Scanned any thumbnails
Created book layout in InDesign
Inserted the text and scanned images into the layout according to my thumbnails
Described each page on digital “sticky notes” on each page
Emailed author a PDF proof of the concepts for review
heather castles sid rules the ruse childrens book illustrations

Time spent so far : 3.5 hours
Materials : pen, 8 pieces of recycled printer paper, ipad, and InDesign on laptop.

Next up over the next couple weeks are more detailed sketches…

Filed under: work in progress, illustrations, childrens books, business of illustration4 Comments »

Happy Halloween! (free colouring page)

By heather at 9:32 pm on Thursday, October 27, 2011

heather castles imagezoo halloween seasonal illustration trick-or-treat watercolour colouring pageHas been a while since I’ve posted… still loving being off on maternity leave, my kids are keeping me busy! Halloween is around the corner… paper bats, kleenex ghosts, and paper mache pumpkins adorn our windows… and here in South Australia spring has sprung and the birds are singing, the flowers are budding, and the leaves are GROWING BACK! So it’s a bit weird having Halloween in the spring, but hey, we’ll have fun anyway!

Had a little time to turn one of my watercolours into a colouring page for Hera, thought I’d share! (Just right click to view full sized image, and save from there to your desktop.) I enjoyed using my ipad to vectorize (digitally trace!) this illustration in InkPad using my new rubber-tipped stylus I picked up for 50 cents on eBay.

(Please keep in mind this colouring page is for personal use only, the original illustration is from my royalty-free seasons collection and is available at Imagezoo.com.)

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Coolest Workplace in the Zoo Contest

By heather at 7:15 pm on Thursday, July 14, 2011

heather castles imagezoo contest

Hey guys, unashamedly asking for some Likes on this photo of my humble workplace up on ImageZoo’s Facebook page! If I get the most Likes I’ll get a lovely prize for having the coolest workplace among my colleagues with illustrations available at ImageZoo.com! Just click on this specific photo, and Like it before Friday when the contest ends… thanks!!!

Filed under: inspiration, illustrations, contests, Hera5 Comments »

Four new royalty-free images up on ImageZoo!

By heather at 10:58 pm on Wednesday, July 13, 2011

heather castles imagezoo royalty free illustrations ants

I’m excited to announce that four of my illustrations are now available as royalty-free illustrations on ImageZoo.com! I did these watercolours nine months ago, right before Hank was born. You can check them out, along with the rest of my illustrations available royalty-free at ImageZoo.
heather castles imagezoo royalty free illustrations ants

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Our White Wagon

By heather at 1:49 am on Wednesday, July 13, 2011

heather castles kids drawing car wagon

I was saying to my husband recently I wish I had more time to draw… and he suggested just setting up next to Hera on the kitchen table and drawing together, even if it’s only a few minutes. I’ve been really enjoying it, and Hera especially enjoyed drawing the same thing… I took one of her drawings of our car, made copies, and she and I both coloured it in. (Similar to what I did with Ugly Mermaids.) Was fun, looking forward to doing it again!

heather castles kids drawing car wagon

heather castles kids drawing car wagon

BTW, a few have asked how Hank’s doing… really great :) At nine months old, he’s just under 7kg now, a smiley happy little guy, and sitting up (with a few pillows propped up around!) He has started crying “Mmmmmuuum!!!” when he’s upset.

heather castles kids drawing car wagon

Filed under: illustrations, Hera, Hank3 Comments »

Inspired by Dave DeVries | Ugly Mermaids

By heather at 5:59 pm on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

heather castles ugly mermaids pencil illustration ipad sketchbook pro

Lately I haven’t had much time for illustrating, as being a mum of two little kids takes up all my spare time. I’m enjoying the occasional creative outlet with drawing things for my daughter to colour… mainly her riding on dragons and dinosaurs!
hera castles drawings ugly mermaids inspirationI did manage to squeeze in this illustration… I was inspired a while back by Dave DeVries illustrations derived from his children’s artwork, and thought it would be fun to give it a go! A few months back Hera suddenly learned how to draw “people” and I ended up with a stack of paper full of families of people with arms and legs freely growing out of their heads… couldn’t let them go to waste! So I traced one, used the head shape, mouth & eyes, arms & legs as the basis for my pencil drawing “Ugly Mermaids.” I then gave it a little colour using my iPad with a Dagi Stylus and Sketchbook Pro. Hera’s original drawing is shown at left. Hope to do more of these, they were fun… am currently working on illustrating the drawing Hera drew of me having my birthday ;)

Filed under: illustrations, Hera, ipad7 Comments »

Free Easter Coloring Page

By heather at 4:50 pm on Monday, April 18, 2011

heather castles easter colouring free coloring page

Easter Eggs Heather Castles

With Easter around the corner, I thought I’d illustrate a few Easter coloring pages to keep Hera busy for a while! Feel free to download the PDF colouring page and enjoy scribbling away! (And if you email me your little one’s colouring efforts, I’ll post them here for them to show the world :)

inkpadI had drawn this illustration a year ago as a concept sketch, then yesterday used Inkpad on my iPad to vectorize the pencil illustration… loved using that program, was the first time I had used it and it felt very natural tracing my illustration on the iPad with my dagi stylus. Even made me think Adobe has some serious competition… I love Adobe Illustrator, but when you can buy an app app like Inkpad for $4.99 which is so easy to use, why would anyone want to spend hundreds of dollars on the desktop version?

p.s. If you’re looking for more coloring pages for your little ones, you’ll also love this adorable April colouring page by Crystal Driedger.

Filed under: illustrations, ipad4 Comments »

Bookie and the Scoliosis Diagnosis Website

By heather at 3:27 pm on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

bookie and the scoliosis diagnosis picture childrens educational book

I realized I never posted about the launch of the ScoliosisDiagnosis.com website, featuring Nina Saab’s book (and my!) “Bookie and the Scoliosis Diagnosis.” It’s a light-hearted picture book for kids aimed to educate as well as raise awareness of the detection and treatment of scoliosis at an early age.

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