Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 7, 2011

Illustrator Saturday – Olga Levitskiy

Olga Levitskiy is a freelance illustrator based in New Jersey. She received a BFA in Illustration from the University of Hartford Art School.  Her illustration training was strongly emphasized on traditional drawing and painting skills.

Olga works primarily in watercolors, acrylics, and colored pencils. She combines realism with charming characters to complement the message of each story that she illustrates. She enjoys creating engaging and humorous artwork appealing to both adults and children.  Olga is always inspired by great writing and enjoys the continuing learning process in the evolving field of illustration. She feels truly grateful that she is able to
follow her heart, and do what she loves for a living.

Olga Levitskiy is the illustrator of Mr. Groundhog Wants The Day Off, written by Pat Stemper Vojta, published by Raven Tree Press. Currently she is awaiting the publication of Trevor’s Bully Problem, being published by Team Dawg Productions Inc., as well as working on a second book for the Team Dawg series entitled It’s All About Respect.




Illustration Process:

1: To create an illustration I usually begin the process by brainstorming over
the story, or concept, and getting a feel for the characters and setting. While
reading, I do small thumbnail sketches.

2: To get the environment and figures, with the proper lighting and atmosphere,
photo reference is then compiled. I gather reference of all parts of the image,
at times using family, friends, and even myself as models.

Step 3: Using the reference, the drawing is then created in full scale. I drawn and at times redrawn to get it just right.

Step 4: The drawing is then outlined and transferred to watercolor board. After the board is prepared, the edges are taped off and some parts of the image are masked off. I begin to apply paint in thin washes.

Step 5: I continue to build up the watercolors, and at times thin acrylic paint in layers.

Step 6: Once I’ve gotten the washes to the state that I am happy with I start using colored pencils to finesse the details and add texture to the painting.

Step 7&8: When the painting is complete, the tape around the edges is removed and the image is scanned in.  I add any digital text that is needed. While the feeling in the end is rewarding, there is nothing more exciting than moving on to another blank page and getting to work on the next painting.

Here’s a few Portfolio pieces:

If you would like to see more of Olga’s work, you can click here for her website:  Or better yet, look for her at the June Conference Art Exhibit.  You will be receiving a piece of her art on the bag you’ll get at registration.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Such beautiful artwork! I LOVE the one with them in the mirror with the chest in the back. I’m glad you showed the gradual enhancement of that one coming to life. Just gorgeous! I find I enjoy seeing the sketches as much as the finished artwork! Thanks for sharing with us, Olga 😀


  2. I always look forward to Illustrator Saturday. These drawings are simply charming. My personal favorite is the ballerina. Thanks for the day brightener.


    • Rosi,

      That is nice to hear, since it is the hardest day of the week to do. I often wonder whether I should continue to do them. So you have spurred me on for a while longer.

      Happy Mother’s Day,



  3. Your illustrations are beautiful! I teach kindergarten in Ontario and they loved this book. I made a shadow play based on the book after we had read it because they enjoyed it so much. It was a fun way to celebrate Groundhogs Day. I am wondering if you would give me permission to post a video of the shadow play based on the book? I am unable to find contact information for Pat Stemper Vojta to get permission, but am still searching. I host a blog ( I would be happy to send you the link to a video once completed.

    Thank you,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: