Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 4, 2015

Take A Look Sunday – Cynthia Shelton


Chris: Images are sequential certainly –timed like a ‘joke’ which is fun. Not a whole story feeling, but a ‘stand up’ sort of quickie.  Questions arise too…where is the fish in second? Did he meet his maker just before the predator did in the hands of the child? (?)  It’s a moral take and has it’s place …but…

For children’s work, the characters might be better developed – more personality, better defined. I’m not sure what the brown thing is even! Colors work too for the underwater and camouflage need yet clear to us the viewer. Expressions are simple but actually do work well for such an abbreviated situation!  It works!



“I like the humor here! The expression of the lizard while he’s being nabbed, for one! These remind me a bit of “That’s Not My Hat”, but a little less successful in execution. I’m confused as to what’s actually happening here. Did the lizard eat the fish? Is it the same setting in the second illustration (there are several differences in background and setting, which leads me to believe that the location of the second is different than the first). Because of these things the “story” here is unclear (despite there being text). As in books like “That’s Not My Hat”, the story is not spelled out in text, but what’s happening is very clear through the storytelling of the illustrations. The reader can easily read between the lines to deduce what happened. That’s not the case here (for me!).

The artwork itself has a pleasing use of color; showing texture and light reflection in the water, which it nice. I’m a bit confused by the blotches of brown/green in the water, and I’m not sure what those are? I find them distracting and perhaps unnecessary. The supporting characters are fun, but could be developed a bit (like the lizard is!). Even a slight change in “expression” on the fishes’ faces (or just one or two fish), or the crab, might be a good way of developing all of the characters, and also moving the story along.”


Cynthia Shelton is a writer, illustrator, sailor and falconer. She has owned a fine art gallery, and a non profit for alternative fuels. She lives in Southern California with her boyfriend and dingo dog. Completed books include a non-fiction guide to choosing a falconer for pest bird abatement, and the first issue of a two volume DocuComic series about living alone on a 30′ sailboat.

If you would like to write Cynthia, please use

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. Many thanks for this series; I’ve been enjoying the analyses and trying to sharpen my own illustration critique skills from what I’ve learned so far.


  2. Thank you for sharing your work, Cynthia! The lizard/salamander’s expression is great. The critique was really informative, too. I already loved Illustrator Saturdays, and now loving these Sunday Take A Look posts as well!


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