Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 13, 2015

Take A Look Sunday – Sue Clancy


TKS Sue Clancy 1 StrawBearerA72
CHRISTY: I’m a big fan of the simplicity here. The cut paper feel of this piece is very appealing – as is the color palette. The shapes are really nice, and I think they would resonate with little children; big blocks of bright colors in interesting shapes. I especially like the girl’s hair; giving it that “dead straight” look with the vertical texture. Nice!
I do wish I knew the context of these two pieces within the whole story, however. As they stand now alone, there is no clear “story” here. The girl is carrying a huge strawberry, and the crow appears to be showing her where to take it. But the story is the exact same in the second image here. Her facial expression (or lack thereof) is identical, so we get no information from her, and the crow seems to be copied over as well. The only difference in the second illustration is that the strawberry is now on the girl’s back. Perhaps this makes sense within the story as a whole, but these two images alone aren’t moving it along.
A change of expression would be an enormous help in guiding these two images. I understand that her face is simple, as is the crow’s, but it wouldn’t take much of a change of expression for either of them to emote – therefore giving the viewer a better idea of what is taking place. That said, I am intrigued! What is happening here? Where are they going? I wish I could turn the page – and that’s a very good thing!
TKS Sue Clancy 2 StrawBearerB72
CHRIS: I feel almost like I don’t have enough to comment fairly on these two as sequential images.  They are SO similar…which can work, but for a crit maybe not so well!  In any case….
The person here (male female?) is cleverly done with the great color contrasts of blue and yellow/orange clothes and black black hair and shoes which ‘identify’ visually with the black bird AND contrast well with the strawberry…rather huge strawberry…he/she is carrying.  Like all of that.  But why doesn’t the bird change in the second image?  He’s exactly the same…. I’m hungry to see him express himself differently!  😉  The person’s expression is the same also, though in the second he/she should be ‘laboring’ under the weight of the strawberry?  These are actual cut paper I suspect as the SAME shapes are being used…same legs changed around, same head just lowered, same shirt pants and sleeves and arms.  Clever! as they do look different at first, but where does this next go in a picture book or story?  And no background at all.  This can also work very well, and does actually for these two images, but is it enough to give a sense of where and what?  all depends…

Sue Clancy is a professional fine artist, illustrator and author with a visual story obsession. She is represented by fine art agents and galleries in both Oregon and Oklahoma. She regularly uses public library cards in two adjoining states in the Pacific Northwest. More of her work can be seen at

Thank you 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:

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. Thank you for the great critique! Very helpful! I’ve illustrated sequential stories using an ink and watercolor technique before but I recently decided to “stretch out” and do sequential images using a similar cut-paper technique to what I use for my fine art pieces. I’ve done spot and vignette illustrations using my cut-paper technique but not sequences-in-paper and this crit helped! Thanks!


  2. Reblogged this on sue clancy and commented:
    Great critique by the CATugeau Agency of my recent illustration sequence effort! I’ve got a lot to learn and practice! Love it! Thank you Chris and Christy – and Kathy Temean!


  3. I know Sue’s work pretty well and think she’s awesome. Your words of wisdom will only improve on a wonderful thing! 🙂


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