Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 22, 2016

Take A Look Sunday – Phyllis Mignard

Anna Guillotte was featured last Sunday without Chris’s review. It is up now, so please click this link to read: Thanks!



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.


Phyliss’ little short and sweet garden gnome sequence seems like an enjoyable way to start off the summer season.  If I peek under my flowers, will I find a little mouse sleeping there too, with a gnome stealing his mushroom umbrella?  I would love to think so!  Phyliss’ illustrations are nicely drawn, and not overly fussy.  She maintains her focus on the main subjects and the actions between them, so that we can easily follow along with her simple tale of thievery.


My question here would be: Are these vignettes stand-alone illustrations, or part of a storybook?  As artwork for a short magazine article, they would be perfect – easily fit within a poem or a prose piece.  However, if they are meant to be for a children’s picture book, they could use a bit more fleshing out, unless of course, if the book is so text-heavy that it won’t allow for larger illustrations.

If Phyliss is illustrating a tale about the gnomes and animals in a garden or woods, let’s say, having more of a setting for the images would give us a better sense of where her story is taking place.  It would also provide much more for the reader to look at – children enjoy searching for things in larger, detailed illustrations.  She could still keep her focus on this small sequence of action, even within the broader setting of a larger piece of art.


That said, there are other things that Phyliss could do to improve her illustrations.  While the images are well drawn, there is little differentiation in the TONE of the art.  Everything is rendered pretty much to the same level of lightness and darkness.  There are two things that would help here:  the colors could be brighter and more varied, and she could add in shadows and highlights to create depth.

Right now, all the leaves are basically the same color – when you look at a garden, even a small part up close, there are SO MANY different greens – the hues, tints, shades, and saturation of the colors are incredible in their variation.  Bring some of this color magic into your work, Phyliss!  Make it gleam in the drops of rain, have the leaves be lush and alive, make the mouse a rich brown rather than the same grey as the mushroom.  You have the skills to do this, now bring your knowledge of color theory and rendering into full play!


A few more notes:  The mushroom stalk left after the gnome steals the cap looks odd, more like a candle actually.  Show a few additional mushrooms in the scene, it will help to keep the bare stalk in context.  The foreshortening of the gnome’s legs and feet in the second illustration is off, and you can’t really tell what they are.  Check your anatomy, and perhaps have him wearing shoes or boots to help with this too.

Thank you for your delightful peek into the hidden lives in this little garden!  I hope the gnomes and mice have many other adventures as well!

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 Phyllis:

Phyllis Mignard childhood revolved around drawing, reading and writing my own stories. A trait she’s happy to say she continued to follow into adulthood. As an empty nester and retired from working as a print designer in public relations, she has returned to her first love, writing and illustrating stories. A self-taught watercolorist and writer, some days are easier than others, but she loves the path she’s traveling.


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 your name should be in the .jpg title. 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 featured.

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. Hi Kathy – the link for Anna Giulette that is posted above doesn’t work. Here is the one that does:


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: