Children’s book and editorial illustrations in watercolor, watercolour, and guache by Author and Illustrator Kayleen West.

We Worship God, ABC Christian Picture Book. Nancy Streza and Kayleen West
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We Worship God: Nancy Streza & Kayleen West

We Worship God: Exploring the character of God through alphabetical devotion

I am so excited! I can now reveal that I’ll be celebrating my very FIRST United States publication this December – thanks to Xist Publishing. And what a beautiful picture book it is too! I thoroughly enjoyed and fondly illustrated We Worship God. I painted each illustration in watercolour…or should I write watercolor?

We Worship God, ABC Christian Picture Book. Nancy Streza and Kayleen West

We Worship God, ABC Christian Picture Book. ‘C’ page (comforter)

We Worship God is written by a very talented US author, Nancy Streza. We Worship God is not only an alphabetical story but a poetic dedication of praise – so clever! I can imagine this book will be recited by children. I fell hard for this one-it felt like an extension of Adoptive Father and my heart was immediately invested. Rainbows of love poured from my brush as I personally devoted each illustration to our amazing God.

We Worship God will be released in time for Christmas in eBook and softcover. I will be ordering a limited number of books for my local readers who want copies for Christmas.

I took several studio and work in progress photos so I’ll share more later on the making of the book. Perhaps even a video.

It is so good to finally get to share with you this gorgeous new picture book!

We Worship God, ABC Christian Picture Book. Nancy Streza and Kayleen West

We Worship God, ABC Christian Picture Book. Xist Publishing. December 2015 Publication

Welcome to your new home gift card illustration. Boxes word illustration challenge #illo52weeks
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #21 Boxes

Welcome to your new home gift card illustration. Boxes word illustration challenge #illo52weeks

Welcome to your new home gift card illustration. Boxes – Word illustration challenge #illo52weeks

A “welcome to your new home” gift card illustration – sketch stage. Of course one must unpack teddy first. Her mum has opened the kitchen box for accessing coffee ASAP – I soooo understand that. Caffeine is essential in any house move, several in fact. I shudder at the thought!

My last move was 4 years ago and still a nightmare I remember. The home owner hadn’t moved out when we arrived and left the house in a very dirty state. We had to do a frantic call out for help to half clean the essentials before we moved in. The removalists damaged several things, took cigarette breaks every 5 seconds and left us that night with half of our possessions on our front lawn. Yes we were expecting rain too and NO the removalist wouldn’t repair or compensate for the damage he caused. I won’t be moving again in a hurry.

I am thinking of adding a cat in the kitchen box to magnify the curiosity of the pets. I’ll have only its tail seen, poking up out of the box. Cats get into everything and know no boundaries. What do you think?

Interestingly, an obscure theme like boxes seemed impossible at first but in fact was easy once I began. I avoid painting the subject like a still life. Those days are over. I prefer more story. I also wanted to ensure I did a gift card illustration this time. I need to finish it in watercolour now. I will pop it on my blog when it is done.

The next word challenge is eye. I have already been working on this and it turned out to be an even bigger surprise. I’ll have something very different to show and tell next time; something I use as an activity in schools and hopefully a fun video idea. Stay tuned!

Kids Show and Tell Invitation

Teachers and parents: If you children are inspired by anything I share on my website blog I would love to see what they are creating and celebrate some of those creations. I would love to start an online gallery for kids to show and tell. If you have anything you want to share email me via my contact page. I would love to see!

When your wold lacks colour, you can share mine. My inspirational quote and illustration for the them colour.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #20 Colour

This was done in a bit of a hurry while waiting for my husband to finish for the evening. I pulled out my sketchbook after seeing a photo of children playing in a tepee. I was battling to think of something original for the theme colour. The boy in the tend has a bit of a stretched neck but I post my sketches warts and all. The idea is to share my experimental work good and not so good.

When your world lacks colour, you can share mine. My inspirational quote and illustration for the theme colour.

When your world lacks colour, you can share mine. My inspirational quote and illustration for the theme colour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 52 week illustration challenge is still going strong. You can see what others are doing on the Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418616991575037/

Angels watching over me. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration in ink and coloured in watercolour and Photoshop.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #18 Celestial Body

Two very different style illustrations from me this week for the 52 week illustration theme challenge: Celestial bodies.

I have been experimenting with pattern in my sketchbook and they have evolved from that. The lower illustration was evolved whilst listening to revelation on my iPad. A rather eventful book in the bible, especially when Michael and his angles fight the devil.

On a very different note, the whimsical reflection of angels going about protecting and praising makes me feel pretty happy when I look at it. I did a big whoopsy though. I drew it with a spelling error – thank goodness for Photoshop! I spelt guardian – gardian!

You will see more pattern form me. I will be launching from this idea for a picture book – fun!

So where does the “gift card” part of the challenge come in? Well, I haven’t deviated too much. In time, I will pull some of the image from the top illustration and use it for that and a surface design project.

Angels watching over me. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration in ink and coloured in watercolour and Photoshop.

Angels watching over me. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration in ink and coloured in watercolour and Photoshop.

Celestial Bodies. Michael the angel. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration Photoshop. Revelation 12:7 Then there was war in heaven. Michale and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.

Celestial Bodies. Michael the angel. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration Photoshop.

Better Than A Superhero. Picture book by Belinda Francis and Kayleen West. Wombat Books, Even Before Publishing.
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Children’s toys in Better Than A Superhero

This week Belinda Francis and I are celebrating the release of our book Better Than A Superhero. I have to say the the response to this new release has been pretty positive already. This is so encouraging as it is Belinda’s debut picture book. Belinda featured in the Queensland Times news with a rather flattering caption “Belinda is following in Ednid’s steps.” (referring to the author Enid Blyton.) Well I am sure Belinda is quite capable and I was honored to be asked to illustrate Better Than A Superhero. Belinda is also celebrating the birth of a gorgeous new bubby.

Better Than A Superhero. Picture book by Belinda Francis and Kayleen West. Wombat Books, Even Before Publishing.

Better Than A Superhero. New picture book by Belinda Francis and Kayleen West. Even Before Publishing.

When brainstorming the book I wanted to be as original as possible. There are so many book about Jesus even if not about this kind of friendship so I wanted the illustrations to be different. The story is talking to the reader about how awesome Jesus is and how we can have a best friend type relationship with him. Rather than have another religious looking Christian book I decided to make it fun and used the child and his toys as props. The child talks about Jesus using his toys to play-role the story. I hope it brings a smile to many children and helps draw them into a closer relationship with our superhero – Jesus.

Props used in Better Than A Superhero may be found in a child's room. Picture book by Belinda Francis and Kayleen West. Even Before Publishing

Props used in Better Than A Superhero may be found in a child’s room.

Buy picture the book

Watercolour illustration for #illo52weeks illustration challenge - Pattern Happy Birthday card
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Gift Card Illustration – #10 Pattern

Gift Card Illustration: Happy Birthday

Watercolour Gift Card illustration Happy Birthday. Illustration for #illo52weeks illustration challenge - Pattern Happy Birthday card

Watercolour illustration for #illo52weeks illustration challenge – Pattern

I can’t believe we are into the 10th week of this challenge. Challenges really stretch you, especially when you are faced with a subject you haven’t explored much before. This week I could have taken the theme pattern in so many directions but I decided to do a gift card illustration.

I had been drawing up final illustrations for hours and flaked on the couch dinner with one of my finished sketchbooks. I’ll just browse for inspiration and watch TV, I told myself – yer right! Around 10pm there is a quirky dark haired girl holding a poodle laying on my dining table. I spotted a sketch I had done which I had wanted to paint someday and it fitted the them. It seems that someday does sometimes happen. I redrew with a few alterations and added the Happy Birthday text.

Another one bites the dust…and another ones gone… and another one…Oh yer!

watercolour painting Unused illustration from new book BETTER THAN A SUPERHERO. of child spilling watercolour
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Watercolour painting: a child painting in watercolour!

Watercolour theme for weekly challenge

This is my character from my new book, Better Than A Superhero due to be released this year. I painted up this unused character sketch because I really liked it. The little boy is so cute. What better excuse than this week’s theme for #illo52weeks – watercolour.  A watercolour painting of a child painting with watercolour!

watercolour painting Unused illustration from new book BETTER THAN A SUPERHERO. of child spilling watercolour

Watercolour painting – unused illustration from new book BETTER THAN A SUPERHERO. #illo52weeks

52 week gift card illustration challenge #illo52weeks - Machinery. Watercolour
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52 Week Gift Card Illustration Challenge #6 Machinery

52 week gift card illustration challenge #illo52weeks - Machinery. Watercolour

52 week gift card illustration challenge #illo52weeks – Machinery

You can view all posts so far for the 52 week challenge here

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks Bees and flower. Children's Illustration
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #5 Flower

I forgot to take it off draft stage and post it but here is some cuteness for week 5.

This weeks the challenge was flower but I think the bugs attracted me more.
I painted this illustration on a day when my friend Nicky Johnston came over and we spent the day painting and chatting. Adult play dates for hectic mums are a must!

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks Bees and flower. Children's Illustration

52 week gift card illustration challenge #illo52weeks – Flower

Drawing for the 52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks Bees and flower. Children's Illustration

Drawing for 52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks – Flower

You can view all posts so far for the 52 week challenge here

Little girl in angel costume. Watercolour gift card illustration.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #2 Kids

This is the second week’s #illo52weeks subject is kids. This image came from an older sketch of my eldest daughter who is now in her 20s. I reworked it yesterday. She loved to dress up. It was painted in watercolour and I played with the background in Photoshop adding the larger balloons, background a bit of texture and the halo.

Little girl in angel costume. Watercolour gift card illustration.

Little girl in angel costume. Watercolour gift card illustration. #illo52weeks

Next week’s #illo52weeks subject is caravan

Note: My personal challenge this year is to do gift card illustration each week. The official list for #illo52weeks is any kind of illustration in any media, any age etc. I am combining the two challenges.

You can view all posts so far for the 52 week challenge here

Easter gift card - Celebrating Jesus, the risen King. 52 week illustration challenge gift cards.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #1 Eggs

Easter gift card - Celebrating Jesus, the risen King. 52 week illustration challenge gift cards.

Easter gift card – Celebrating Jesus, the risen King. Week 1 “egg” #illo52weeks

Because I am not one to slow down too much and always have to be creating something, I have set myself a new challenge for 2014-gift card illustrations, experimenting as I would in a sketchbook. This will keep me fresh while working on books this year. I want to do card illustration per week.

I have chosen to use the list provided on Tania McCartney’s blog for her illustration challenge. The great thing about Tania’s challenge idea is that she has opened a Facebook page for everyone. Kids and beginner can join in the challenge and have a go. I think that is a brilliant idea and so want to support her. The list can be found here and you can join the Facebook group here. The hashtag for the challenge is #illo52weeks

The first two weeks were “egg” and “kids”. I have just finished week 3’s challenge today in advance, caravan. Quite appropriate as that is where my hubby and kids are now and why I seem to have all this time to do several illustrations this week.

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks

Note: My personal challenge this year is to do gift card illustration each week. The official list for #illo52weeks is any kind of illustration in any media, any age etc. I am combining the two challenges.

You can view all posts so far for the 52 week challenge here

Children's book illustration: Underwater scene - Watercolour & Digital
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Illustration Friday – Underwater Children’s Book Illustration

This is a underwater watercolor I did for a picture book illustration . The future is unclear, but it may end up on TV on a very popular children’s television program (can’t say which one). We are hoping for a project next year. In the meantime, the book is not currently contracted and open to a publisher who would like to get on board–and contract me as the illustrator of course.

This lonely little octopus has an interesting time finding friends, but what is even more unusual is…..sorry I can’t say that either 🙂