Cat tails - ink and watercolor by Serena Fento

Hunting for Cat Tails

October 12, 2017

Happens every year – along about mid-October, I get hungry for paint and color. Inktober is just too dark.   I caved a bit early this year. The weather has been hot and muggy outside, the remnants of a tropical storm.  It feels like July, not cool and crisp, the way I like it.  Clearly the […]

Dog Night 6" x 9" watercolor by Serena Fenton

The Pain & the Glory of Grant Writing

September 21, 2017

I have just submitted my first grant request.  It is for funds to attend the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCWBI)  winter conference in NY. I’ve been dreaming of going to the conference for a few years.  Awhile back I began to look at the costs to get there and realized that it […]

The Rabbit's Wedding 5" x 7" watercolor and watercolor pencils by Serena Fenton

Published for Banned Books Week

September 18, 2017

Published as a trading card for Banned Books Week at the Chapel Hill Library. If you’re in town, come join the opening Friday, Sept 22 7-8pm I depicted the Rabbit’s Wedding by Garth Williams. In 1958, it was banned for promoting interracial marriage. Official library invite:” Banned Books Trading Card Project http://chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/…/banned-books-trading-…/ and they will all […]

Any Questions? - watercolor with ink by Serena Fenton
Soccer Score - 6" x 8" watercolor and ink by Serena Fenton

More Motion

September 8, 2017

More motion in everything.  I have launched my illustration focused instagram feed: https://www.instagram.com/serena.fenton.art/ I can only say that it was painful to get art from my computer onto a platform that is dedicated to mobile apps. Now that it’s there, I have linked up my fave illustrators and children’s book publishers – and wow! It is […]

Welcome! - ink and watermedia 9" x 12" by Serena Fenton

Welcome!

August 31, 2017

Getting into the groove of drawing groups of children, I tried my hand at a Welcome Back illustration. The original was done in watercolor with watercolor pencils and ink.  Then the scanned version was touched up in PhotoShop.  I am loving my digital tablet!

School's Back! watercolor - 6" x 8" by Serena Fenton

School’s Back!

August 22, 2017

In North Carolina, school is back in session again. Is it cruel or kind to keep kids indoors when the temperature and humidity are in the mid-90s? There is the distraction factor of math and spelling.

Playing Dead - 4" x 6" watercolor by Serena Fenton
Kids - watercolor - 8" x 12" - by Serena Fenton

Kids are Still Kids

August 17, 2017

Some watercolor exercises of kids being kids.  Possible book spot illustrations. These were done as two separate pieces, but they seem to get along well.

It's Raining - Watercolor - 9" x 12" by Serena Fenton

It’s Raining!

August 15, 2017

It’s raining and Allison has bright new red rubber boots, which are perfect for puddle splashing and  explorations. My exploration in this piece was how to paint rain. From the back of my desk, I unearthed a rather motley looking brush that I bought years ago at a hobby store.  It’s labelled Filbert Wisp. I […]

Pictures at an Exhibition - watercolor - 6" x 9" by Serena Fenton

Pictures at an Exhibition

August 14, 2017

Seems like it would be impossible to be a children’s book illustrator without being able to draw and paint a decent mouse.  This one is out for a Sunday gallery tour.

Get Fuzzing - water media - 7" x 10" by Serena Fenton
Dropping-In - water media 9"x12" by Serena Fenton

Following Advice

August 3, 2017

Last night I went to a grants funding workshop.  They pounded home one thing over and over: the artist must have a consistent body of work. If you have work in multiple categories, even if you have very good work in multiple categories, you will not be taken seriously by a group of reviewers. “Find […]

Unbroken - ink and watercolor - 9" x12" by Serena Fenton

Happy Days!

May 9, 2017

Feeling like a witness to a post-broken-wrist miracle: I am holding a pencil and brush again and making some art! The lines have a good bit more wiggle than they used to, and paint strokes are not as strong.- but I am holding implements of creation in my right hand!  Hallelujah!

Circus Cat #4 - watercolor and ink 8"x8" by Serena Fenton

Circus Cat #4

March 3, 2017

Another in the continuing circus cat series. This one is done in watercolor and ink.  The cat itself, was inspired by a photo of a cat who is, sadly,  in the local animal shelter.  Adopt.  Don’t buy.  There are so many beautiful animals seeking homes.  

Last Caturday 2106 -watercolor and gouache 8" x 8" by Serena Fenton

Not Happy About This

December 30, 2016

Holidays are over. The family has all gone home. Tomorrow is the last Caturday of the year. Mr Prince is not happy about his party hat.

That's Annoying - watercolor and gouache 8" x 8" by Serena Fenton
Sneaky Cat - watercolor 8" x 8" by Serena Fenton
What's That? 8" x 8" watercolor and gouache by Serena Fenton

What’s That?

December 9, 2016

Last week, my darling daughter reflected on the passive nature of my cat paintings. Well, cats do sleep something like 22 hours a day. But that might not be a good enough defense. Poking through Pinterest, I was inspired by the Blockheads series by ceramicist Jennifer Bernhard Hatfield. This is what happens when a Blockhead […]

Crookshanks, watercolor, gouache and watercolor pencil 8"x 8" by Serena Fenton

Crookshanks – a Portrait

November 25, 2016

While I am off at the movies, Crookshanks is keeping an eye out for Fantastic Beasts. Crookshanks’ portrait was this week’s #colour_collective  challenge, with sea blue wallpaper.

Circus Cat # 5 - Gouache and watercolor; 8" x 8" by Serena Fenton

Golden Circus Cat

November 17, 2016

It’s Caturday just a little early, and I’m continuing my circus cat series.  Here’s #5. The background was selected for this week’s #colour_collective challenge, in brilliant gold; gouache and watercolor. The gold watercolor from a jar of old, now discontinued, watercolor pigment that was made by Daniel Smith.  Sadly, they appear to no longer sell the […]

Circus Cat #3 - watercolor, ink and gouache 8"x8" by Serena Fenton

Circus Cat # 3

November 10, 2016

With a background color chosen for the  #colour_collective challenge, using #moroccanblue, this is my third in the circus cat series. The cat is watercolor.  I was asked on the previous cat painting how I got the fur strokes.  Those are done with a rigger (or liner) brush. There’s a bit of ink around the eyes and the nice flat […]

Spike the Circus Cat, water media 8.5" x 5.5" by Serena Fenton

Spike the Circus Cat

November 8, 2016

Nope, Spike is not happy at all about being forced into a clown hat and then forced to pose.  What a cat has to do for his dinner… This foray into circus cat painting began with watercolor, with acrylic paint used for the opaque background and highlights.

Circus cat - water media 5.5" x 8.5" by Serena Fenton

Circus Cat

November 5, 2016

Working on more circus animals, this time: cats!  Background color determined by the week’s color for the  colour_collective challenge.  They named it  #maygreen . Most of the work is done in a mixture of water media: watercolor, watercolor pencils and acrylic.  I like the idea of acrylic, but the final patina is never what I hoped.

Jumping jack russell - ink and watercolor by Serena Fenton 5.5" x8.5"

Jumping Jack Russell

November 2, 2016

Fall is here.  The weather is gorgeous and it is a great time to get outside with the dogs.  Below is a quick pen and watercolor sketch of a jack russell terrier.