Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 19, 2011

Illustrator Saturday – Hazel Mitchell

Hazel Mitchell a.k.a The Wacky Brit says:

I”ve always drawn. I doodled in all my books at school and I still doodle on everything. It makes for fun grocery lists and conference notes! I love to draw and create books for children; illustration and writing are my passions.

I hopped over the pond from Scarborough in Yorkshire, England in 2000 to marry my husband, who is from America. Now I live and work in Maine, USA.

After I attended art college in York and Sunderland in England, I joined the Royal Navy to earn a living ( working in military Graphics Studios). After I ‘shipped out’ I was CEO of a lithographic printing business which gave me a solid foundation in print and design.

But my love has always been illustration and painting. I have clients from publishing companies to manufacturing and I’ve also been lucky enough to have had my art presented to the British Royal Family.

As well as children’s illustration I create commercial and licensed artwork and my fine art paintings and photographs have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions.  I’ve got a whole menagerie of animals. My cat is my best art director. I love the snow, the sea (and sailing), fish and chips and mushy peas, and a good pint of Guiness! 

Right now I am working on a book for Charlesbridge called ‘Hidden New Jersey’ which is a ‘Search and Seek. book for younger children. I am also working on illustrations for a series of chapter books for Kane and Miller, which is hush hush! Last year I illustrated a book about Autism which is on pre-order and you can find it on Amazon – ‘How to Talk to an Autistic Kid.’ It was written by an autistic boy, Daniel Stefanski who is just 14! It is published by Free Spirit Publishing. 

My goal this year is to sell a book I have written and Illustrated.  I really think the illustrator today has a great resource with all the online resources and social networking. I avoided that for a long time … but now I utilize Facebook (find me at Hazel-Mitchell), Twitter, as well as writing a couple of blogs – hazelmitchell.blogspot.com (which I blog on weekly, and have a free page for kids) and also a new venture a GLOG – www.pixelshavings.blogspot.com, which is 5 illustrators group blogging and is turning into a real space to watch! 

It is only a year since I seriously began pursuing my goal of being a published children’s author/illustrator, and I am very happy to have work in the industry. But I couldn’t have done it with out the great conferences and support from SCBWI. So if you aren’t selling your work yet … get around those folks at SCBWI and you will be on the right track.

Process of doing the Dog Sled painting:

The painting was sparked by a photo I saw of a young girl in a dog sled race here in Maine. I wanted to make it more Inuit based and incorporate the Northern Lights. On researching a little I found that certain tribes believe the aurora borealis to be evil warriors. So – I thought the girl might be chased by them. There is a story in here, I just haven’t written it yet!!

Dog sled Thumbnail – This is my initial idea, it’s very rough!


Sledding B&W – I made a study in pencil incorporating dogs from different sleds and turned the girl in the original photo into an Inuit girl.
Dog Sled Thumbnail 2 – I scanned the drawing and roughed in the trees behind.


Dog Sled Thumbnail 3 – Then I drew the background in pencil.

Dog Sled Finished Drawing – This is the finished drawings married together in Photoshop.

 

And here is the finished piece. It is totally coloured in photoshop. I do not use many layers and my preferred tools are the multiply and dodge and burn. I drew the warriors freehand on a separate layer and used the smudge tool and dodge and burn to get the glowing effect of the Northern Lights.

Hope you enjoyed meeting Hazel Mitchell (aka The Wacky Brit).  You can see more of her work at www.hazelmitchell.com .  I love the last little sketch.  It makes me smile and want to go out and pick up polka-dot stockings.  I wish all of you a week as happy as the lady and her cat kicking up their heels look.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. These illustrations are simply amazing!

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    • Thanks Josh! Appreciate it! hazel 🙂

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    • Chapter 11,

      I’m glad you enoyed seeing Hazel’s work.

      Kathy

      Like

  2. Great work Hazel….The Wacky Brit/Maine’s Wacky Brit…..Your talent continues to amaze me. ……………Glad you choose the ‘warm” state of Maine as your new home!

    From the woods of Hindsite,
    Mark

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  3. Your work continues to aamze me…Awesome talent!

    Glad you choose the “warm” State of Maine as your new home 🙂

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    • Mark,

      I’m not from Maine, but I am sure this winter must have been one to remember. But then again maybe the snow petered out by the time it worked its way up the coast.

      Kathy

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  4. These drawings are wonderful Hazel. It’s fun to get more background on your life. You are a very impressive woman! Much luck on the author/illustrator project!

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    • Thanks Patricia … glad you enjoyed the blog post. I feel very fortunate to do what I do. Hazel 🙂

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    • Patricia,

      It is interesting to hear the journey.

      Kathy

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  5. Enjoyed meeting Hazel Mitchell. Amazing visuals.

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    • Hi Henya, nice to meet you too, and thanks for the comment. Hazel 🙂

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    • Henya,

      Thanks for letting Hazel know your enoyed her artwork. And thanks for visiting, again.

      Kathy

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  6. Hazel, I just want to say, I love your work. I would love to see some of your ocean painting I know you do on here too. I think the work you are doing is wonderful. Keep up the great work. And I will be looking for new paintings. Christina

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    • Thanks Christina … I appreciate it, and yes, I must do some more ocean paintings. Hug, Hazel

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    • Christina,

      Ocean paintings? I’d like to see them, too.

      Kathy

      Like

  7. Beautiful! I loved the picture of the little girl looking in the mirror.

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  8. Kudos to Hazel Mitchell! Inspiring story, so much talent… a fun “look-through” on a Saturday morning.

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    • Thanks Leane … it means a lot. Hazel 🙂

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    • Leane,

      Thanks for visiting and leaving Hazel a comment about her work.

      Kathy

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  9. stunning work!, so lively and captivating and well drawn, and beautifully coloured!!!

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    • Hi Tracey … many thanks for your lovely words 🙂 Hazel

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    • OOH! Thanks Tracey …. what lovely comments!

      Hazel

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    • Tracey,

      You going to come to the une conference and show off your illustrations?

      Kathy

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  10. What an amazing talent, I LOVE these illustrations!

    Such variety. Wow.

    I have to show my son, he’ll love the train and the funky car with the clown inside.

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    • Thanks Mini! If you would like a print of either of the illustrations you like for your son, send me an email and I will see what I can do. Hazel

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      • Hazel,

        That is so nice of you. Mimi is one of our nicest members. Thanks, Kathy

        Like

    • Mimi,

      How is the book coming?

      Kathy

      Like

  11. Her photogrophy and fine art paintings are awesome too. A geniune all round talent!!!!!!

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  12. Wonderful post, and wonderful illustrations!

    Debbie

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    • Hug Debbie … great compliment from you …

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    • Debbie,

      It’s so nice to have you leave a comment. Maybe we’ll see something of yours one of these days?

      Kathy

      Like

  13. I enjoyed seeing the process, esp. your loose gestural sketches. You should do a story in just that style!

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    • Hi Nathan … thanks, that’s a great thought about the loose sketches … I may just do that! I love your truck pictures BTW! 🙂

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  14. Beautiful Artwork! Love your loose sketches! your illustration are as lively and lovely as you are!Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  15. Thanks for finally talking about >Illustrator Saturday – Hazel Mitchell
    Writing and Illustrating <Loved it! I TERRENCE From Jackso n

    Like


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