Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 18, 2016

Take A Look Sunday – Carolyn Le



T2 Children’s Illustrators is a diverse group of dedicated, timely, and enthusiastic illustrators and writers from across the United States and several countries abroad. Our focus is on children’s picture book and juvenile educational publishing. But our expertise does not stop there. T2 Illustrators have collaborated on advertising campaigns, editorial features, toys, games, gifts, children’s apps, and e-books. We’re a well-versed group ready to meet your needs.

Nicole and Jeremy Tugeau are the agent/owners behind the T2 Team. They are ecstatic about their ever-growing agency, and they are committed to working hard for the network of illustrators who surround them. Nicole heads up the agency on a day-to-day basis.

What she enjoys most about being an Agent is the partnership-making, the relationships and of course the success stories. Jeremy is a long-time children’s illustrator, and he continues to work as an artist in this field while maintaining some involvement with T2 Illustrators as a creative resource and promotional guru.

Thank you, Kathy, for inviting me to review featured illustration in Take A Look Sunday.  I’m thrilled to be here.  Let’s get started.

Here are two beautiful paintings rendered and presented by artist, Carolyn Le.  They are narrative paintings in that they depict a young man and his hawk and horse interacting in a natural setting. The body language or gesture is strong, and needed in the pictures, I think, to take the place of dialogue we might imagine between two speaking characters. The pictures have great potential for both fiction and non-fiction picture books or illustrated chapter books.  Presenting these two color paintings alongside a third, 1/c ink drawing would make a strong case for the latter.


In the first picture, the hawk appears to be resting his wing on the boy’s head in familiarity while the boy strokes or maybe steadies the hawk. It’s clear to me that this is not the first time they’ve met. The boy’s horse is not phased by the interaction. He is steady and doing the job he was trained to do. I am intrigued by the face of the boy, focused and confident. But unsure of his age, curious about his coat and boots, hat and braided hair, his ethnicity.  Where are we, and what is the time period? These are excellent points of interest for a new piece.

Two critical comments: there is a shadow beneath the boy’s lower lip and chin that look to me at first glance like a partial goatee or traditional facial hair. Very quickly, it ages up the boy who looks much younger and baby-faced (it occurred to me that “he” may be female) in the second painting. Even when I enlarge the picture, the shadow draws my attention.  Second, the horse has a wonderful face that is seemingly stylized.  There is a lot of personality there and a twinkle in his eye.  The hawk is much more realistic particularly in his face and eyes. This is an early comment (i.e. I may be reading too much into this), but consistency of characters page to page is just as important as how an artist chooses to convey emotion and story through the eyes and expressions and positions of their animals – consistently – page to page.


The second painting is full of wonderful movement.  Drawing a horse in action is not easy, and Carolyn does a beautiful job.  I’d like to see a little bit more definition in the ground the horse gallops if only to send home the direction and speed of the action.  The straps on the hawk are an excellent addition connecting the boy to the animal even though in this case the hawk is moving distinctly away form the boy.  The viewer is assured in some small way that he will return.

Overall, these are successful illustrations waiting for their associated story. If you’re thwarted by writing, continue to thumbnail the pictures to create plot.  Develop the boy character boy focusing on the hurdles he has to overcome to get what he desires.  Enjoy the process.  Excellent work!

Thank you Nicole for sharing your thoughts and expertise with us. I look forward to next Sunday.

A little bit about Carolyn Le:

Carolyn Le create watercolor illustrations infused with light and color and influenced by her love of storytelling. She had twice received a first-place Illustration Award for her portfolio from SCBWI Editor’s Day, have received a Merit Award from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and have had her work shown in galleries in Los Angeles and London. Currently she works on writing and illustrating her own picture books.


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.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thank you, Nicole, for your insight into my illustrations. You made some great points, and I look forward to following through on them in my illustrations. And thank you, Kathy, for providing the opportunity for illustrators to share their work and receive feedback from an agent. It is always so enlightening to see the work through another person’s eye.


  2. Beautiful drawings, Carolyn!


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