‘Grandpa & Loor’ ~ A Photo Essay

Posted: August 22, 2015 in art, cover art, e-books, Independent Publishing, Sturge-Weber Foundation
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In the last issue of my Newsletter, I said I’d been asked to do the cover art for an anthology of children’s stories called, Kissed By An Angel. This wonderful book, which my friends and I are working on, is due out soon. It has been put together to benefit the Sturge-weber Foundation.


I didn’t know if I could still draw or paint. On my journey to picking up the paintbrushes again, after a ten year absence, I took photos of every step along the way. The resulting photo essay went into my Newsletter.

KBAA cover, 200 dpi

One of my good friends suggested I share the essay here. I was going to do just that. However, a week has gone by, as it often does between blog posts, and I’ve done a second illustration since then. So, my idea is to use the same format with new imagery. Everyone wins!

The story I have in the Kissed By An Angel, anthology is called, ‘Grandpa & Loor.’ My main character’s evocative name was chosen by author, Robyn Campbell’s son, Christopher, who lives with Sturge-weber syndrome.

A Photo Essay for ‘Grandpa & Loor’…

A few years back, I tried using computer software to “draw” but I didn’t take to it. I simply prefer pencils, erasers, pens, colour pencils, and paints. I’m old school. So, bear with me. For some people, this might be a trip down memory lane.


First, I had to work up a sketch I liked. I borrowed the man’s expression from an old photo of my boys’ father and aged him by adding wrinkles, I borrowed the idea for the hair out of a Santa book from the ’70’s. I was seeking with this illustration to express how we caregivers and parents of special children feel about them, and how they feel toward us. Once I was happy with it on a feeling level, I had a pencil template.

Grandpa & Loor

I painted the background over with a pale wash of pink.

First wash, G&L

Next, I applied the first coat of watercolour. At this stage, I made a timeline of the process, by taking this snap when I started.

I gave each area a slightly different shade, in order to alter the end look. The lesson I’ve taken from training in oil portraiture is to build layers. That’s where you get your depth.

At that stage, I added the second layer to the characters, according to what I thought the colours might be later.

second wash, G&L0003
As I got onto the third coat, I started to use three or more variations of the shades and add areas of light and dark.

third wash, G&L0004
The fourth layer always makes the tones more solid and real.

At that point, I switched from water colour to gouache, and started using the fine tipped brushes.


I made the shadows more convincing.

And, just like that, in the twinkling of a back-breaking eye, I had finally crossed the finish line, thirteen hours later!

Since then, I’ve had three hours sleep.

And yet, I feel victorious. Art is magical, isn’t it?

What sort of art do you do in your life? What’s important to you creatively? Tell me in the comments….


Keep Creating!

Talk soon,

Yvette K. Carol


“Rainer Maria Rilke saw artists as bees gathering experience from the material world and then returning with it to “the great golden hive of the Invisible.” ~ PJ Reece

  1. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    Oh wow! Absolutely gorgeous. I’m so glad you’re painting again. You have exceptional talent!

    Liked by 2 people

    • yvettecarol says:

      All thanks to you, my dearest friend. I know I’d talked up getting back into my painting and drawing one day, but I actually couldn’t imagine how I’d ever find the time. It was you being brave and putting that request out there, re the KBAA cover, that helped me to ‘get over the hump, and literally pull the old boxes of art supplies out of the closet. Thank you!!!


  2. 3 hours’ sleep?? I wouldn’t be able to dress or feed myself, let along blog and do a painting. :} Kudos to you for finishing a lovely painting for the anthology!

    Liked by 1 person

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