Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 1, 2016

Take A Look Sunday – Sharon Holmes



Wilkinson Studios, Inc. is an international agency representing artists from around the world. We specialize in illustration for Publishing, Advertising, Editorial, and Corporate industries, creating artwork for Children’s and Adult Trade Books, Mass Market and Board Books, Graphic Novels, Educational Programs, Magazines, Print Ads, Packaging, Websites, and Apps. We also do Games, Puzzles, Toys, and Character Development, and have hundreds of images available for Licensing. Wilkinson Studios also represents their illustrator’s own authored works to the Publishing industry, and will be launching Wilkinson Studios Press through Ingram, a POD publishing venue designed to market and distribute their illustrator’s books both nationally and internationally.

Christine Wilkinson has been representing artists since 1985, and founded Wilkinson Studios, Inc. in 1998. Her business partner, Lisa O’Hara, has been with the company since the beginning, and is an integral part of their success. Both Chris and Lisa have graphic design and illustration backgrounds, bringing a broad understanding of the needs specific to publishers, editors, design, and art professionals. Wilkinson Studios also provides art management services, with a skilled staff of project management specialists involved in the important details of procurement, creation, quality control, and delivery of art for clients in almost every country.


Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime!! And what can be cuter than a crocodile in flip-flops? TWO crocodiles in flip-flops!! OK – everybody get your bathing suits on!

Today’s illustrations by Sharon Holm are really fun! So cute!! Her anthropomorphic reptiles have such big personalities, the narrative of their little adventure comes through even in just two images. Sharon – are these from a book, or are they just stand-alone images? I hope you’ve written a story about these crocs – they are just delightful!

Sharon has nailed the wide-eyed innocence and anticipation of the little croc in her first image. Even without words, we know that he’s asking (his dad?) the big croc “Are we there yet?” and that Big croc is saying “Just a little bit more…” Then – Beach Party in a kiddie pool!! I love how the water sets the stage and the other props are casually scattered, without being obvious or overwhelming. The details in the images are just right – flip-flops, palm tree shirt pattern, bright little tank top. Sharon’s color palette is very well balanced between the warm sunshine colors and cool blues of the water, beach umbrella, and clothing, with a purple polka-dot pool to center the whole second image.

tklSahron Holm 1 illustrator portfolio 500 pixals A

“So,” you’re saying, “you’re obviously enjoying these illustrations, but where’s the critique?” All right… party-poopers!! I’ll do the critique…..

It was difficult to find fault, or ways to make these images better, so I asked my trusty business partner, Lisa, to assist me. After almost 20 years of looking at art and portfolios together, our vision of an illustrator’s work is very similar. Here are a few things that we felt could help Sharon. Keep in mind, though, that these are based on seeing relatively low-resolution images, so our perception of the colors and details may not be accurate to the original final art.

We noticed that there is an underlying tinge of yellow in both illustrations, in the backgrounds as well as underneath the actual illustrations. It’s hard to tell if this is due to the paper being off-white (these appear to be traditionally rendered illustrations) and that the yellow paper color was picked up in the scan, and not corrected for, or if the yellow color was intentionally added in. It gives the artwork an old-fashioned feel, a bit dingy actually. If this is something that you can correct in Photoshop, Sharon, it might be worth it to clean up the colors a bit, and to make the backgrounds whiter. When the images print, if the backgrounds are yellow like this, it could make the art look dirty, and you will have to vignette the yellow color or blend it to white so that it prints correctly. If you want the images to have a background, then make it more deliberate, or don’t extend the yellow underneath the whole image and the color of the artwork itself. There’s nothing wrong, however, with having spot illustrations in a book – not all art has to have a background. In fact, it’s nice to have these images hint at their setting – are they at the beach, or in the backyard? The water hose and puddle on the ground suggest a patio or backyard – I think it’s fun not to know exactly! It lets your imagination work!

tklSharon Holm2-kathy temean-B

While the expressions on both the crocs are wonderful, they are almost identical in both images, and the side view of their heads are just about the same in both images as well. Have the Little guy focus on something in the second image, rather than staring off into space, and especially if they are talking to each other, vary their faces, their expressions, and their poses a bit from one image to the next. It will help tell your story and engage the reader, rather then having the reader just be an observer. There is much more of a story in the first image, where the Little Croc is looking at the Big Croc, than in the second one, where they are not interacting with each other at all.

And make sure that your characters are consistent – if your Croc books are a hit, and get licensed, character consistency will be crucial – how many ridges are there on Little Croc’s head? Is his tail the same length throughout the artwork? We do quite a bit of licensed character art, and noticing such details is part of the job when working for Nickelodeon or Warner Bros. Even though Little Croc is jumping in the air in surprise with his eyes big and his tail stretched out, or running so fast his legs are a blur, he still has to look like Little Croc. Just a hint for when your series is a success 

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing your Crocs with us, and I hope you have all enjoyed this week’s Take a Look Sunday!

Now, back to the pool party – can I have a little umbrella in my lemonade, please?

Thank you Chris for taking the time to share your expertise with us. It helps so many illustrators and is very much appreciated. Here is the Wilkinson Studios website link:

Here is a little bit about Sharon:

Sharon Lane Holms is a published children’s book author/ illustrator with over 20 years of experience. She has illustrated over 65 children’s books; trade, mass market, board books, workbooks, school/library, craft books, fiction and non fiction. She wrote and illustrated “Zoe’s Hats” (a color concept book)- published by Boyds Mills Press.

Sharon graduated with honors from The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale with a degree in Visual Communication- ie: Advertising Design. She says, “I have always wanted to be an artist, I have always just wanted to spend my life drawing pictures. Her client roster includes Boyds Mills Press, High Five, Dutton, ABDO, Twin Sisters, Harcourt educational, Child’s World, Kids Can Press, Lerner, Flowerpot Press. She is also, a licensed artist of greeting cards, puzzles and calendars.

To see more of her work by visiting her website

She was featured on Illustrator Saturday, so you can see more of her work there



If you do not have an agent and would like to be featured and hear what is working or how it could be tweaked to help you sell your work, then please send Two or Three SEQUENTIAL illustrations (Two/three with the SAME “story/characters‎”) to:

Kathy.temean (at) Illustrations should be at least 500 pixels wide and put your name in the title on the title and number each .jpg to show the order they should be used. 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.

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. These are amazing images, but I love the critique. It really does help to keep these things in mind. I learn a lot from the critiques, and this one is one of my favorites.


  2. Really fun art and critique! Thank you.


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