Halloween 17 Promo Illustration

It’s Halloween time again! It’s always fun to draw images about ghosts, vampires, witches–especially if they are made cute and for kids!

This image was for a Halloween promo for my rep, Tugeau2. The prompt was to illustrate a “Halloween Parade”. Above is the final illustration, and below are some closeups. I also included some early stages of working on this, including the first sketch (digital and in color), along with some comps and color variations. As I worked on this, I inserted some off-hand, random copy of a story line, just to consider how that could fit on the page. Overall, it was a lot of fun to work on and develop. I would still make some changes, I think. I would go back and re-develop what’s happening in the window of the big house, among other things. It wasn’t thought through entirely as I worked on the piece, and in the end, I had about ten ideas! And as much as I like the shading on the figures, I am inclined to rework that so it doesn’t feel so polished. That is a hard line to not cross sometimes, and hard to discern if you’ve been hovering over a piece for hours!

New Stuff: “Here’s The Reason God Made Me” Illustrated Board Book

Hey all! Here’s a recently published item–a board book for Group Publishing, entitled, “Here’s The Reason God Made Me”! Written by Mikal Keefer, the story features a bee named Abbee and his parents. It’s short and sweet, and I wanted to add sweet illustrations, too, to add to the story line. Below are some samples. You can find the book here.

(c) Group Publishing, Inc.

Flint Hills Discover Center Exhibit–Rags the Dog Illustrations

This is a really fun project I worked on this summer, that was special in several ways. First, it was for a museum display; second, it was a character development project; and, third, it was going to be large! From the photos taken by my client, Roy Garrett, the Sr. Exhibits and Operations Manager for the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas, it turned out well!

The image of Rags the Dog (According to wikipedia, “…a mixed breed terrier who became the U.S. 1st Infantry Division’s dog-mascot in WWI.”), was commissioned for the children’s area of the temporary exhibit, “Duty First: 100 Years of the Big Red One”. The children can participate in the “Rags Confidence Course”, part of the Camp Funston display, where “Rags” (via my illustrations turned into poster-size stands) encourages the kids as they go through an obstacle course. I also drew the Camp Funston gate part of the display.

I heard the over-all exhibit was well received, and that the little kids loved doing the course! It’s always a pleasure to see (and hear!) how a project turns out in the end!

(Photo credits: Roy Garrett)

My sketches and some final art, below:

I gave the client several character options, displayed below:

New Stuff: HighFive Magazine Illustration–“Which Shoes To Choose?”

Here’s something fun I illustrated for the September 2017 Issue of HighFive magazine, out now in stores! I had a great time illustrating this story by Elizabeth Glann. A little girl needs new shoes, but after trying so many on, she got a new pair–just like her old pair! Cute story and I had a most enjoyable time working on this. It’s always nice to see how it turned out in the magazine. I also like seeing many illustrator friends, whose work is also in the magazine! Thank you, Kelly Lanuto, for using me for this piece! You do a wonderful job, each and every issue! More images, below.

(c) Highlights/HighFive magazine

New Stuff: OwlKids Contributor’s Page Bio

Hi yall! Just posting this which is on the Owl Connected e-magazine. As an illustrator who has been blessed to contribute illustrations to various OwlKids magazines, I was asked to send some photos and to say what some of my favorite comics were as a kid. I had too many to mention, but you can see the answers, below. I also had a sample of a cartoon that I did when I was a kid (below). I always wanted to be a cartoonist! It was a nice reminder of how that has all panned out. I am grateful. : )

New Stuff: Owl Magazine and the Humpback Whale!

I worked on a new set of spot illustrations for an article entitled, “Are Humpbacks Heroes?” for the June ’17 issue an Owl magazine (Available now in stores, news stands, libraries, etc.)! These spots are added here and there to enhance photos and texts about studies that have shown that Humpback Whales seem to help out other animals when Orca/Killer whales are attacking them. Very interesting and a pleasure to draw a “hero” whale (Hence, the cape and “H”)! Images are posted below.

I love working for the folks at Owl magazine! They help show kids things about a variety of subjects, particularly those related to Canada. It’s a great magazine!

(c) Owl magazine/Owlkids

New Stuff: Owl Magazine and the Cricket!

Owl Magazine has been doing some articles on various insects. These articles are both educational and humorous! I have learned so much myself about the unusual lives of some fascinating creatures! I am blessed to be a part of contributing to the visual aspect of these articles. Last time it was a spider, this time–a cricket! The Armored Ground Cricket, to be exact. The art director does an amazing job on the layout, and knows how to frame out the small & detailed spots I drew so it melds well! If you get a chance to read the article, you will be amazed at this little bug. Check out the May 2017 issue of Owl magazine for the complete article! More images, below.


So cool how the cricket is added to the logo on the cover!


This cricket has some unusual defensive moves to ward off predators, like making a loud, obnoxious noise…

…or throwing up. Then smears it on itself. Gross, eh? Blah!

Marching in their “armor”.

(c) OwlKids

Highlights HighFive Magazine Award Platter 2017!

What a great company Highlights is! They really love their illustrators and bless them with accolades and thanks! I noticed other illustrators who illustrate for Highlights were also the beneficiary of pewter plates this week, too! So I am sharing mine, along with the illustration it is denoting. It’s hard to read the inscription, but it says,

Highlights HighFive

Mini-Book Illustration of the Year

Paula J. Becker

“Busy Bunnies”

June 2016

I worked on the illustrations for this about 1 1/2 years ago (the magazine works several months ahead of publication). It was a really fun project, to depict each of the bunnies with their own personal interests and activities. So thank you, Highlights & HighFive! I appreciate the gift!

New Stuff: HighFive Magazine Hidden Picture

Something new, in the May 2017 issue of HighFive magazine! It’s always a pleasure to do these for Highlights!

Easter ’17–Bunnies, Bunnies, Bunnies!

Fresh Off the Drawing Board: Dinos, Etc.

I just completed two projects with different styles. Both were very different to execute, however equally fun! Below are some closeups and cropped samples. More later when they’re in print!

New Stuff: Highlights Magazine Spots

Some spots I created for Highlights magazine’s March 2017 issue.

(c) Highlights for Children

On the Drawing Board: Bunnies & Bunnies

An experimentation with some ways to depict these bunnies keeping warm in their little home…

New Stuff: Owl Magazine & the Spider!

The March 2017 issue of Owl Magazine has a fascinating article by John Crossingham on the Peacock Spider. One fun thing about working on projects is what I end up learning! I had never heard of such a creature, and to read the story of this fascinating little spider was a bonus. I’m sharing the cover & spread, below, along with cropped versions of the spots in the layout. Take some time to read about this little creature! It’ll amaze you!


(c) Owlkids

On The Drawing Board: Kids Reading, Kids Playing

These are some glimpses of a new project that’s nearing the finish line. Very fun to work on, too!