Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ANOTHER BROTHER pulls down a second star!!

Father Christmas and/or Hanukkah Harry have/has come early this year, folks! I just got wind that my forthcoming picture book (my second offering as both illustrator and author), ANOTHER BROTHER, has received a second starred review! This one from our friends at School Library Journal. Unbelievable. And a BIG thank you for getting it/me, Sara Lissa Paulson! Huzzah, good people and a happy holidays to you and yours!

CORDELL, Matthew. Another Brother. illus. by author. unpaged. CIP. Feiwel & Friends. Jan. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-312-64324-9. LC 2011001135.
PreS-Gr 3–In the beginning, it was Mom, Dad, and Davy. For years, the little sheep basked in the love of his small family. Then along came Petey, then Mike, and then Stu. The formerly close-knit family eventually becomes a mob, and Davy is stuck with “12 WHOLE BROTHERS,” who nightmarishly copy his every move. Dad explains to Davy, “When they get older, your brothers will have their own interests. Then they won’t copy you.” It takes a while, but his father’s prediction eventually comes to pass, much to Davy’s chagrin. The pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork is filled with humorous detail. Think Richard Scarry’s warmth and scale, with a minimalist approach to setting. The psychology of the oldest child is well chronicled here. With a delightfully fulfilling ending, Davy (and readers) realize that being the one and only sometimes means being alone, and lonely. The story is a great way to discuss life as a half-empty or half-full vessel, and the very human struggles of sibling rivalry.–Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I just got two hot-off-the-press advance bound books that I illustrated and author'd-illustratrated! ANOTHER BROTHER is out January 1, 2012 (Feiwel and Friends) and BAT AND RAT is out May 1, 2012 (Abrams). For the love o' Pete please save them dates! Here's little taste of both... (click on pics to view larger)

Friday, November 11, 2011

BAT AND RAT in spring 2012

I've noticed this cover's been popping up at various online booksellers, so I reckon it's safe to show here now. I love how this looks and I'm psyched about this picture book I illustrated by the great Patrick Jennings. It's been called a, sort of, modern, urban FROG AND TOAD (Lobel... sigh). Ask for it at your favorite bookseller when it's out May 1, 2012!

(click it, make it bigger)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Recent Acquisitions

Last weekend, Julie and Romy and I happened upon a local library's used book sale. We picked up some little gems for Romy, of course (Meet Joe from Blue's Clues!), and I got lucky as well. Here are pics of two very incredible finds. I'm a huge fan of Ungerer and Burningham. These books are head-to-toe genius, so these are just covers and random samples (too hard to say or choose which pictures are the best). Now, and for the record, Burningham is officially my #1 guy. He never doesn't knock my socks off.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reawaken your love for the picture book.

The children's picture book is not doing so well. People aren't buying it like they should. I don't have all the facts and numbers (I'm not that guy), but I know enough to tell you that. Maybe it's because of tough economic times. Maybe it's because of e-bookery or general gadget-y (short attention span) distractions. Maybe it's because parents aren't reading to their kids enough. Maybe it's because education is accelerating young readers at a newer, faster pace, and rushing them over the picture book form. Maybe it's because it's been forgotten how important, irreplaceable, and (when stars align) how spiritual the picture book experience is to both children and adults.

If you think enough about it, you'll see the importance of and need for picture books. For one thing... reading to your kids is going to make them better. Period. It's going to build some solid ground to a solid person. It's going to build up their vocabulary, and make them smarter and more fun and more interesting to be around. And you'll be all the more prouder (of yourself and of them). That's the common sense thing. But beneath the surface is the more subtle stuff. Reading to your kids is going to make you better. Shared reading is an experience no parent or child should do without. A special bond between Mom or Dad and baby girl or baby boy that will never, ever be forgotten. And of course there's art appreciation. Picture books are painstakingly composed by writers who really, really, REALLY love what they are doing. Manuscripts are written and re-written, and thrown out and re-written and revised and picked apart and picked apart again so that every line counts, every word counts. And they are visually realized by artists who really, really, REALLY love what they are doing, developing characters, and sketching and re-sketching and re-sketching, and testing drawing approaches, painting approaches, digital illustration options, creating color palettes, and newer better color palettes (and throwing those out and creating the best color palettes). And then they are designed and typeset and polished and shaped and assembled and proofed and press-checked and assembled by people who really, really, REALLY care about the finished visual dynamics of the thing. Writing, art, design, printing, binding, packaging... to make just one perfectly produced book ready to digest and enjoy. (This visual distinction and quality control of image and package from top to bottom is why picture books can never truly translate to e-books, if you think about it. But that's another rant.)

This is my challenge to you, dear readers. Go into a book store (not a website, but a store with a roof, walls, people, books you can hold and browse over) and spend some time in the children's book section. Find something incredible (it ain't hard). Then, when you're all filled up, buy just one picture book. And in a week's time, repeat. Buy one picture book a week for your kid(s), some other kid(s) you love, or for yourself or some other grown-up you love. I can identify that it's hard to get, at first, but adults can also enjoy reading picture books. And if you absolutely can't swallow that concept, you can't escape appreciating them for the amazing artwork alone. It's like buying amazing art that can sit on your coffee table (or wherever you keep your favorite books with your favorite images) for, like, 16 bucks or whatever. Someone you know needs more picture books in her/his/their life/lives. You need to experience, again, what you loved when you read picture books as a kid.

(Okay, okay.... if you absolutely, seriously, truthfully can't get to or find a brick and mortar book store, buy your books online. But try this first.)

If you can't do a pic book a week, make it a pic book a month.

And if you can't do that (understood, times are tight).... Go into your most excellent local library and check out 10 picture books a week. If you can't do it every week, do it once a month.

Challenge issued.

Is this more preaching to the choir? Maybe so. But I'm not sure there's enough preaching going on. The picture book should be preached. It should be testified. We have to do  more. We have to talk more. I can't do without it. And if you think about it, neither can you.

P.S. If you take this seriously, and I hope that you do, and you happen to be on Facebook, pledge to me, to yourself, and to everyone around you that you will do this by liking this Facebook page. Here. Now.

Monday, October 24, 2011

ANOTHER BROTHER pulls down a star!

Good lawd, man! I just found out that my second picture book offering as author-illustrator, ANOTHER BROTHER, received a starred review from the most excellent Kirkus! Very exciting, friends. Here's how it reads, and here's a sample page (a personal favorite). ANO BRO is out 1/31/12 from my friends at Feiwel and Friends.

(click it, make it bigger)

Davy, a little sheep, has trouble adjusting to the arrival of not one but 12 baby brothers in this humorous twist on the tried and true new sibling theme. Although Davy was his parents’ adored only lamb, “things change.” In the space of two page openings, he suddenly has a dozen little brothers wagging their tails behind him. True to their ovine nature—and much to his chagrin—the little sheep copy Davy’s every move. When he complains, his exhausted parents say that his flock of siblings imitates him out of admiration, reassuring him that as they grow and find their own interests they will let him be. This can’t happen soon enough for poor, beleaguered Davy, who can’t even groan without a dozen echoes of “ugh” bleating forth—or can it? When the day comes that his brothers do stop mimicking him, Davy feels alone and bereft until he hears a voice echoing his once more—but this time it comes not from another brother, but from a new sister, a downright “darling ewe.” This is not just another new-baby book: Cordell’s humorous text and mischievously silly, expressive cartoon art will have readers bleating to read it again and again. (Picture book. 4-8)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Something else to look at

Hey, guys. This is a little teaser image I'm posting for a great picture book I finished somewhat recently. It will be out May 1, 2012 from Abrams. Um... save this space? By the great, Patrick Jennings! (Click it, make it bigger.) Very, very fun.
Here's a link for ref. But for the love of Pete, please buy books from whatever local bookseller you've got!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Something to look at

This is a piece for a book I'm currently working on. (click it, make it bigger) Super, super jazzed. It'll be my third author/illo pic book, this one with Hyperion. Out in a year. (sigh)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

57th Street Book Fair

Chicagoland friends, authors, and illustrators: I hope to see you on Sunday (September 18) at this year's 57th Street Book Fair down in Hyde Park. I'll be drawing for and with kiddos at a little art session I'm doing at 2pm. And then I'm signing books just after at 2:30. I was a guest at the fair a couple of years ago for TROUBLE GUM and it's a lotta, lotta fun. Not to be missed! Click here for all the info.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Something new to keep the blog current. A color test (in progress) for a pic book (in progress). Some colors will change/swap, etc.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why don't you blog anymore?

Because I am, believe it or not, working on four picture books right now. And tying up loose ends on a jacket illustration for the sequel to JUSTIN CASE. I like to blog. I miss to blog. I miss having time to blog. If you're reading this whiny good-for-nothing blog post thanks for sticking with me. And here's a drawing of me drawing in my pajamas.

I'll be back... promise.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I'd heard about this some time ago and had been psyched to see a copy in print. Here it is! The Korean edition of TROUBLE GUM. I'm a big type dork, so it's a thrill to see it typeset in characters of another language. Of course, I have no idea what it says. I can only assume it basically translates the original text.... right?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This just in! New F+G's (folded, gathered), ARC's (advanced reader copy), ARE's (advanced reader edition) or whatever you wanna call 'em, of what will be my second author/illustrator picture book, ANOTHER BROTHER. (I noticed this at ALA, that Macmillan is now doing these snazzy advance pic book releases that are saddle-stiched and trimmed out. Pretty neat.) Officially released in hardcover from Feiwel and Friends January 31, 2012. Save this space, or whatever!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ALA! New Orleans! or Why I Love Facebook (sometimes)

Julie, Romy, and I just got back from what was both family vacation and business trip out to the annual ALA (American Library Association, to those not in the know) conference in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans, LA. And the whole thing was a rousing success.

Backing up a bit... The only other time we've been to New Orleans was right after Katrina, the first major event held in the city was an ALA conference that summer. The summer after the storm. It was, as you'd expect, pretty desolate. But still, just a beautiful place with beautiful people and a curious, fascinating mix of cultures and history unlike any other place I've ever known.

This many years later, a lot has changed and a lot has bounced back. Though, from what I gather, many neighborhoods still sit in ruins and abandoned, sadly. But it was inspiring to see this city thriving much more than the way we saw it all those years back. Plus... two seasons of HBO's Treme later, and we are completely head-over-heels in love with New Orleans.

I won't blab on too much, but a great time was had by the whole family. We enjoyed as much leisure as we could grab while juggling the conference and the many needs of a wonderfully sweet 2 1/2 year old (though at times, yes, a "terrible two".... groan).

Now, regarding ALA. This was the best time I've ever had at an ALA conference. For two reasons. In the past year or so, I've totally changed my outlook on the biz and, kind of, on life. I mean, I've always completely loved the business of children's books, but I never threw myself into it socially. Never really stuck my neck out and tried to connect with other artists so much. I've always stayed in my tiny little pocket of things, which, I'd grown to feel was holding me back. I'm in Chicago (burbs) and most of the publishing world is New York, so that's isolating enough.

Enter a highly unlikely adversary.... Facebook. (Here forth may sound like I'll be spewing some sick brainwashy testimonial on you, but stick with it and you'll see where I'm going.) I stayed off of all social networking sites for a real long time. I'd sorta peek in from the sidelines as Julie dabbled in and around myspace and later Facebook. Years after, finally, I bit the bullet and opened a Facebook profile. A personal one. It starts out just as you'd think. It was fun and sort of strange reconnecting with people you never knew you'd ever see again. But mostly it was pretty ok.

Then, it got a little ho hum. At which point, I began to realize I could use Facebook to reach out, as well, to people I don't know, but would like to know. Other illustrators who don't live near me (or do) and authors and art directors and editors, publishers, librarians, reviewers, etc. And I did this, and it has been phenomenal. So this is my main point of using Facebook now. To share my art, work-in-progress, updates, news, and so forth. And also to keep up on what other people like me are doing. And hopefully to get to know some people in the process. I've met a ton of other fine, friendly folk in the process. And yes, one does run into those who seem pretty disinterested in me (or maybe anyone else besides him/herself) but, of course, that's life.

Re-enter ALA-New Orleans. Knowing well in advance I was going to New Orleans, I found out by way of my publishers and by asking around on Facebook what other illustrators I'm Facebook friends with were going to be there. Before heading out, I tried to contact all editors and art directors I'd worked with to see who was going. In the process, Julie and I got hooked up with some sweet publisher party invitations, signings for our books, and I got an invitation to talk up a recent middle-grade title to a room full of distinguished ALA committee members. (Meanwhile, Julie was doing all of this, too, on her end... the reaching out to our peeps thing.)

Julie and Romy and I had a terrific time, meeting some incredibly talented, incredibly kind people. I won't disgust you all by dropping any names, or flashing any photos at you, but if you're reading this, and it's you, you know I'm talking about you. And thanks for humoring me with your kind conversation.

I never thought I'd be such an advocate of a social networking website. But it has really, really worked for me. Don't get me wrong. There are days when I despise Facebook for it's often narcissistic tendencies. There is a razor thin fine line between good-natured celebratory self-promo and, you know, bragging. Reading the news feed can make a boy incredibly jealous. Or incredibly nauseous. Or feel incredibly small or insignificant or untalented or insecure.

But, again, that's just life.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meet me in New Orleans, ALA, etc.

It's been a bit since I've posted anything, but it's not for lack of interest. More like lack of time. I'm juggling three projects at the same time right now. Plus the usual part time stay-at-home Dad duties. Getting a bit crazy up in here.

First, let me say that, by complete surprise, LEAP BACK HOME TO ME, got a sweet review from Leonard S. Marcus in the New York Times Book Review over the weekend. Here's a sample. I'm blown away!

Warmly reassuring rhyme which, with the buoyant lilt of a song lyric, reaffirms a mother frog’s love for her leapfrogging lad. Each time he hops to greater heights, his mother urges the wayfarer to “leap frog back to me!” With a mom like this, being green may be easy after all. Matthew Cordell’s nimble line-and-watercolor illustrations are loose-limbed, unaffected and suitably silly.

If interested, here's the full review which includes another sweet froggy pic book, 999 TADPOLES.

In other news, Julie, Romy and I are New Orleans bound for the annual ALA conference. We are both doing various stops and events around the weekend. If you are going, I hope you will come to one, if not both (!), of my signings.

Both are set for Sunday, June 26:

9:30-10am Simon and Schuster booth #1139-1140, signing copies of LEAP BACK HOME TO ME.
10:30-11:30 Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends booth #1115-1116, signing copies of TROUBLE GUM and JUSTIN CASE. (This is a double header signing--I'm doing this one with my best girl, author/wife Julie Halpern, talented YA author, who's signing copies of her GET WELL SOON, INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER, and brand new DON'T STOP NOW!)

Please do drop by, if you're going to be at ALA. I'd love to sign a copy of something for you, and draw something in your book too.

See you then!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Remember when?

One of the biggest hits I get on my blog is this strip I did a few years back (I guess a lot of people search for "how to ollie") for an illustrated novel I've been wanting to do. I've been writing it in my head for the past 3-4 years. Daunting. Very daunting. Maybe one day I'll get it down on paper. I took another look at these drawings, and I have to say... these things really hold up. And I don't say that much.

(click images for better view)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011


New F+G's I got in the mail for a sweet picture book I illustrated by author Michelle Meadows. Out March 6, 2012 from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You sound like THAT?

I was recently invited to contribute to what I feel is one of the coolest ideas I've seen (heard) in quite some time. It's oh so simple, yet oh so creative and fun. Danika Brubaker, of this wonderful TeachingBooks.net, asked me to phone in and leave a brief message simply saying how to pronounce my name, and maybe adding a little funny anecdote about my name. I went to the website, and found that TONS of other kids book authors and illustrators had contributed to this project. I spent lots of time listening to many of my faves and heroes speak words on to a voicemail message. If, like me, you geek out on kids books and their creators, I highly recommend you go here and listen. It's so much fun. And if you're still interested, check out my voice message. It's here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

JUSTIN CASE in paperback today!

The awesome middle grade novel I illustrated, JUSTIN CASE: SCHOOL, DROOL, AND OTHER DAILY DISASTERS, by most excellent author, Rachel Vail, is officially out in paperback today! To celebrate, Rachel is having a contest over at her blog to give away a FREE copy. You have to enter today as she's drawing the name of the lucky winner tonight. Get on over there and get in it to win it!

By the way, JC fans, I am currently reading RV's sequel manuscript and it is mighty good! Getting ready to start sketches. You're gonna love!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Up to the Moment

It feels as if I've neglected this blog. It's been about 2 and half weeks since my last post. Seems longer. I tend to use Facebook as my news poster these days, which, I'm not so sure, is even a good method to go about posting news (if you know much about the Facebook news feed, your post just keeps going down, down, down into the abyss of News Nowhere). But then again, who even pops on over here to the blog? At any rate, I'm probably coming across as negative here. Not my intention.

Here's a smattering of good, recent news to put forth:

Recently delivered art on a supercool picture book with Abrams, called BAT AND RAT, from supercool author Patrick Jennings! Here's a sample piece. (Click it, make it bigger. Oh and please ignore the levels/color balance. This is a crude photo I shot before shipping art.)

has been enjoying a bit of fun things around the web. Including this video spotlight on three pic books from local NYC news channel, NY1.

Love o' my life, and most talented author, Julie Halpern has a brand new young adult novel coming out called DON'T STOP NOW. It's really cool, really funny, really good. The fam was just up in Rochester, NY for Stephanie Squicciarini's TEEN BOOK FEST to promote DSN as well and other Halpern classics, GET WELL SOON, and INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER. A very fun family trip! Check out Julie's blog post from when she got her advance copy of DON'T STOP NOW. I love this cover!

I just sent in my first sketch dummy for what will be my THIRD written and illustrated picture book, called HELLO HELLO. This one's with Disney-Hyperion and I'm working with the wonderful Kevin Lewis! Super excited about this one. It's a bit of a departure for me, in that it's more serious than my previous offerings. A sneak peek sketch (click it, make it bigger):

And NOW, I'm reading the manuscript for the sequel to JUSTIN CASE by the dependably brilliant, Rachel Vail. Soon to be in sketches, with art to deliver later this summer! Love that JC!

Whew. Back to work.

p.s. If you read this blog, and are interested in "following" (which, I think, means you'd be notified when new posts are up), please check out the new widget-y thing I set up in the right sidebar. (Scroll around a bit and you'll find it.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Show your Ma some love!

For any of you out there on the hunt for a last minute Mother's Day gift, this is the one! My newest picture book is the perfect tribute to a loving Mom. Particularly a loving Mom you know who's a Mom of a little one(s). If your local bookshop isn't stocking, order online today, get a quick ship and you're golden! Right Dads/kids/bros/sisses/Grandmas/Grandpas/Aunts/Uncles/other Moms/friends?

Hop to it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Florida Reading Association likes TROUBLE GUM!

This just in--the Florida Reading Association has named TROUBLE GUM for their 2011 state book award! Not the TOP prize, but the honor position. Which is, like, runner-up. And I will take runner-up, thank you very much. TROUBLE was voted in by the kids of Florida as one of their favorite children's books of the year. Which is extra special, in that the real deal, the kids, made it a fave. Thank you kids, and thank you FRA! Keep on poppin', TROUBLE!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2 book release celebration April 30

To all good folk in the Chicago area! I'll be appearing at one of my favorite local indie bookstores, The Book Stall, this Saturday. I'll be talking a bit about and reading from my two newest books. LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE (by author Julie Sternberg) and LEAP BACK HOME TO ME (by author, Lauren Thompson). I'll also conduct a little interactive drawing demo towards the end. I hope to see you there!

Here's the info:

Saturday, April 30
The Book Stall
811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
(847) 446-8880

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


LEAP BACK HOME TO ME, my brand spanking new picture book by super-talent author Lauren Thompson is out today! It's a beautifully sweet story of the growing up experience that every loving parent and child contend with. It's exhilarating, and a wee bit heartbreaking, but mostly just wonderful. LEAP received two starred reviews, from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly, and I hope you'll get a copy and like as much as they (and I) do.

Here's a link to my website, where you can click through a few sample spreads and bits of art.

Hop on over to your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or online retailer (if need be) and nab one for your favorite little froggy!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Little peek at something I just finished. (click on images for zoom)

Night (sans stars):


Friday, April 22, 2011

Beckerman talks PICKLE

Abrams creative director, Chad Beckerman, has a very nicely kept blog he calls Mishaps and Adventures. Lots of cool behind-the-scenes posting about book design and illustration. A regular theme is to show the evolution of a book cover, and today LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE gets the treatment. Head on over and see how the cover of PICKLE came to be!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My New Friend

Recently I made an addition to the studio and process. The Epson WorkForce 1100 Color Inkjet Wide Format Printer. A large format inkjet printer that, by some miracle, prints in completely, unfailingly, blackest of the black-ingly waterproof ink.

Quickly backing up, I've been daydreaming for years about owning some sort of affordable, commercial desktop printer that can print heavy paper stock with a water resistant ink. Why the heavy stock? My final art is on 140 lb. watercolor paper. Why the waterproof print? Because I'm using watercolor, yeah?

Again, quickly backing up... You might not get this by looking at my sloppy, some may say (me), "ugly beautiful" art, but I'm a control freak. If a line is too squiggly, or not squiggly enough, I'm so messed up about it. I'm not kidding. I'm not exaggerating. It's just little unfortunate details in drawings that are, maybe, only noticeable to me, but I know it's "wrong" and it is so, so wrong. However, if a final drawing is completed, there may not be time to redraw because of a less than impressive squiggle.

Now. Why the printer? Two reasons.

REASON 1: I'd always thought, if I could draw and SCAN a finished drawing (to be later printed), I could rework/retouch in photoshop to my exact liking and then I have a MASTER drawing that can be printed and painted upon. CONTROL. By the way, pen and ink is typically, for me, losing control. *shudder* And we haven't even talked about COLOR yet.

Which brings us to REASON 2: Another quirk of mine is color. It's reliably love/hate. When it's good, it's good. But it can be so bad I'm weird for days (ask my very patient wife). If I have a finished "I'm happy with it" drawing that I can print countless times, I can mess up or experiment with color as much as necessary to get to a happy place. The only waste, at this point, would be in paper and time, with color. But the drawing is ALWAYS DONE, you see?

How'd I find out about this printer? I owe a debt of gratitude to an old college pal of mine, Ben Howson, who has, for years, created prints with these digital printers. He helped me out big in finding the right printer/right price for my needs. But, I FIRST discovered this printing possibility via a cool, smart, knows-his-stuff illustrator pal o' mine, who goes by Eric Rohmann. Eric was using an Epson like this that uses these special "durabrite" inks. He told me about his inkjet printer that printed waterproof ink and I sorta found it hard to believe. Any inkjet print I'd ever seen was... you get a drop of rain on it, or put a wet finger on it, and instantly it's smeared or washed (no matter how long it'd been dry). But Eric insisted it worked. Graciously, he helped me to experiment before I went and bought a printer of mine own, and all signs continued to point to "yes, this will work."

And it did.

And here's how I use it.

As always, when creating final art, I start with an approved sketch.

And, as always, using a light box I create my final drawing (below) by working over this approved image like a tracing, but with flair. In the case of this particular book, I used a pencil and not pen/ink. Why? Because I've been wanting to, for years, use pencil as my final black line. For it's versatility and coarse texture in line. Now that I could scan a pencil drawing (gray) and make it all black in Photoshop, I was good as gold.

So... drawing is drawn, and then scanned, and then made black in Photoshop (and darkness, etc. adjusted--this took a bit of time, actually) and it's ready to print. I load in a 13" x 19" sheet of 140# Arches hot pressed watercolor paper and print the image file from my computer. Hey: several of my daughter's toys have migrated to my studio. Always helps to have a magic wand handy in the studio. And a copy of WTWTA glaring up at you from the floor.

My computer is, by the way, on the other side of the room. I have a teeny bedroom/studio with little extra table or counter space to put this xtra wide printer (notice it's sitting on the floor?). As you can see, I've run a long usb cable from one end of the room to the other. Oh, and see Facebook open on the iMac? Keeps me sane during final art to see what's going on online, in little breaks here and there.

Then, here it is all printed out. OH! Let this baby dry for a bit before hitting with a brush. It is still, after all, ink, and ink needs dry time.

Next, to help prevent buckling from the watercolor (though it seems rather unavoidable... maybe I'm not doing it right...), I tape the print down with an archival masking tape to a piece of 1/8" masonite...

...and begin painting at the desk. Note the other finished pieces of art that I keep in view for color and vibe reference.

Some time later and... VIOLA! It's done. Well, it wasn't 100% done in this shot. I went back and tied up a few loose ends after, but you get the drift, man.

This printer is awesome and I can't wait to put to use again. One tiny drawback is the smallish full spread size of 13" x 19" (which is including room for bleed... I may try and experiment to see if I can somehow push the length out more...). But you cannot beat this thing for the price. And the price is unbelievable.

And there you have it. My new friend.

UPDATE! After a couple of hours of playing/troubleshooting, I figured out that this baby can print LONGER than 19". I cut my widest sheet down to 13" x 24" and just pulled a print that size! That's what I'm talkin'!!