Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 27, 2015

Take A Look Sunday – Cathy Morrison

cathyWO spread 10-11

Chris: LOTS GOING ON! This artist is very technically proficient – draws and paints very very well. But are we more aware of that talent than of this individual story?  There is SO much to look at which can be great fun for the young eyes while listening. Lots to explore.  But the eye SHOULD be allowed to see clearly the main focus, characters and action.  It should be ‘lead’ around each image as the ARTIST wishes.  In and out, back and forth, leading to the page turn. Something artists need to be always aware of.  That isn’t happening here in both the images.  The near, middle and far plains are almost equally distinct.  Even a camera wouldn’t accomplish that!

I think these perfectly lovely and well rendered pieces would benefit from a ‘tone down’ of color everywhere that isn’t story essential. A slight ‘graying’ or blurring. (the cars ARE moving after all…not parked) Then we could SEE the dog and friends at their best. The story becomes the important flow.  The crows would ‘jump out’ of the garbage bin behind instead of almost disappearing into them. Another observation about distraction for me is the sky. The sky is our ‘resting place’…the calm. But here there are ‘waves’ evident in the paint….grain of the paper perhaps? But only there?

Texture in a faraway sky where there isn’t much at all in the nearest walk ways? The sky should be an area to rest the eye and let it take in the detail below.  Pull back just a bit so that your characters can take the center stage and dance!

CathyWO spread 12-13

Christy: There’s lots of “story” here, which I love. A lot to take in! I’ve been surprised by the fact that some very “busy” pieces such as these DO interest and captivate children. I would think that these would be a bit too visually stimulating for a child (and in some moods, they would be!) but oftentimes children of all ages really enjoy this more realistic work with lots of detail. There is a lot in both of these illustrations to find that enhance the story and viewing experience  – making it multi-layered, and a visual feast!

On the other hand – is it too busy? There is such a thing as overwhelming the eye, and the high amount of detail in inconsequential things (like the cars in the way background and the signs and the grass!) might distract the reader from the story at hand, and become to jumbled to follow. You want to main character (I assume the dog) to POP – which he doesn’t in either of these pieces.

The artwork itself is beautiful. SO detailed and realistic; it’s astounding! Great depth, too – foreground/middle ground/background – all proportionately accurate. With beautiful, vibrant color!

I want to thank Chris  & Christy for taking the time to share their expertise with us. It helps so many illustrators and is very much appreciated. Here is the CATugeau Agency website link:


For the next few months illustrators can submit two consecutive story illustrations for critique by CATugeau Agency.

If you do not have an agent and would like to be featured and hear what you should do or how it could be tweaked to help you sell your work, then please send Two SEQUENTIAL illustrations – not just 2 pages of illustrations, but two with the SAME “story/characters‎” to:

Kathy.temean (at) Illustrations should be at least 500 pixels wide. Please put ILLUSTRATOR PORTFOLIO in the subject area and include a blurb about yourself that I can use to introduce you to everyone.

Each Sunday one illustrator will be chosen.

If everyone likes this, we will continue until the end of the year.

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATORS: Remember I’m always looking for illustrations I can use with articles I post. Send to: Kathy.temean (at) Put ILLUSTRATION FOR BLOG in the subject area. Remember all illustration need to be 500 pixels wide. Include a blurb about yourself, too.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Wow–this is nuts! My maiden name is Kathy Morrison!


  2. Hello Kathy, Chris and Christy, I just found the critique and very much appreciate your feedback. I especially like the idea of blurring out the cars in the background to show movement and toning down the less important elements to make the main characters pop. I totally agree that I make my artwork too busy, something I try to avoid, but I’m still a work in progress. Again, I very much appreciate you taking a look, all very helpful comments!


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