Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sketchbook Cover

My old illustration teacher, Barron Storey, taught me the meaning of and artists' sketchbook-not only in filling up the pages, but personalizing the cover to make it your own. He brought to class, along with his original cover illustration from Lord of the Flies, stacks of sketchbooks with wonderful collages and sketches inside and out. It has been awhile since I created a collage on my sketchbook cover so I did this quick sketch and experimented with some old film negatives I found. I had finished it off with applying matte medium to protect it and some strange things happened. Some of the film became cloudy and some stayed shiney. Apparently the plastic that protects the film reacts differently to matt medium and super 77 depending on which side it is on. Take a look!

Original illustration


Zoo Day

Zoo Day with the local SCBWI Illustrator group was very exciting! It is wonderful capturing the movement and life of the animals, especially the monkeys. It was especially fun when the children visitors were hooting right along with the rowdy gibbons!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Illustrators at the Chemers Gallery!

What a wonderful experience I had at the Chemer's Gallery Children's Book illustrator event last weekend! I got to meet Illustrators such as Kelly Murphy, Ronald Himler, and Kristina Swarner, among others. There were demonstrations, book signings, and displayed artwork. Above is a picture of me with Ronald Himler. What an honor to meet such accomplished and experienced illustrators! They have this event every year so I recommend checking it out!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Noah's Birthday Card

This is a super quick sketch card for my nephew. I love doing art for kids!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Postcard

I just created this postcard for the holidays in watercolors and watercolor inks. I will be sending some out soon!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Cover Project

Preliminary sketches for the book cover to Joyce Jennison's new book "We're Having the Time of Our Lives".

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Possible portfolio pieces for Illustrator's Day. Feedback is welcome. Thanks!


Balloon Mice


Shell Whisper

Beauty and the Beast


Vampire Owls, Hawaii

Tiger in School

Tidepool Poster, The Force of Stillness

Animal Alphabet book

Max and the Wild Things


Nature Paintings

Petting Dragon

Not sure about putting these in:

alligators and birds


tropicana bee

This is a rough, unedited sketch of a new piece I will TRY to get done for the portfolio:


All images copyright © 2009 Heather Soodak

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Shell Whisper

Just finished this today as another portfolio piece. This is a scene from a children's book idea about a girl and her sea adventures. This reproduction is a bit off from the original, but close enough for now. Feel free to give feedback and critique on it. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Vampire Owls wish you a Happy Halloween!!

Also, more owls- in a tree! These pieces were in the Halloween art show! The one below is done on a piece of wood and the wood is showing through in the trees.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Logo for the CAEA (California Art Teachers Association) sketchbook project for secondary school students. Will be on the front of all of the sketchbooks distributed state-wide. This copy isn't as bright as the original but here it is:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Max and The Wild Things

Max and The Wild Things, the new roarin' band that
will keep you screamin!
Thought of the idea last night,
sketched and painted in between work today. Maurice Sendak
is one of my biggest influences. I finished this for
the art show coming up this weekend. Enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Petting Dragon

Just a quick painting from a sketch, experimenting with mask medium. Still not exactly what I am going for, but good experiment.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

dalai lama visit

I saw the Dalai Lama today, here is a collage sketch of the event.
He keeps things simple, and says "Enjoy life and help others". His laugh is infectious.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Playing with Media

I recently discovered these Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils much like watercolor pencils but more brilliant and bright! :

all artwork ©Heather Soodak 2009

This girl is done with soft pastels during a late night art party. Soft pastel drawings do not scan well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

vampire owls

© Heather Soodak

thinking of a piece for the halloween art show.. this is what i have so far.. (rough sketch idea)

Balloon Mice

Balloon Mice
ink and watercolor 6"x8"

I have been meeting with members of SCBWI- local children's book illustrators which by the way the new issue of the SCBWI magazine features a really cool illustrator on the cover, David Ercolini ( and from his site
I found an inspiring illustrator named Eric Losh ( who appreciates animals as I do. His awareness of the environment and his nature-messages are what I incorporate in my children's books.
The recent assignment at the illustrator schmooze was to draw an animal doing something so here is the new sketch that I worked on last week. I have always had this scenario in my sketches but have never solidified it in a finished piece. Shown below is some of the process of the reference drawings and Cinderella mice studies and the ink sketch. Any feedback is helpful!