Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sketch and sketch again...

On the left, a quick sketch done in haste a few weeks ago. On the right, a new sketch that corrects a few problems and will be used in Photoshop to go to finished. I tired not to get too tight which is a problem when revisiting work.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Book idea sketch

I'm working on some sketches for a new book idea. I need to learn to do rougher sketches at the beginning! Ah well...

Next week I'll start sharing some sketches from my new book coming out, THE PECULIAR PIG! From Nancy Paulsen Books coming June 18! About a month away!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Giving procreate a try

I've been learning a little about the Procreate app. This is an attempt to sketch on it. I use it on an iPad (not an iPad Pro but it's still pretty good!) with the Apple Pencil and a screen protector called PAPERLIKE which gives the feeling of drawing on paper. It's all new to me but it is fun! Still playing with the cardinals so I think it might be time to dig the picture book story I wrote with cardinal characters out of the drawer. (How's that for splitting a phrasal verb?!) Happy Sunday!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Lost Sock Memorial Day

It's Lost Sock Memorial Day and she is celebrating it first with a fashion show parade and then a picnic outside. Ahhh.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

More cardinals!

The cardinal from last week got me thinking about a story that's been in the drawer for a long time. Yup, there are cardinals! So here are some more... don't ask me why Grandma is wearing a scarf. I don't know yet!

Friday, May 3, 2019


I thought I'd do a quick little sketch for "mermay". Have a great Friday and weekend!


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Wildflower Week

Wildflowers welcome the grouchy ones and the cheery ones, both! Thank you, kind wildflowers. Wildflower Week is always the second week in May!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Character sketch for a book I am playing with...

This is a little kid character, meeting the second character of the story. I've been working on the story for about two years, but not continuously. I've drawn this main character probably 1000 times by now. And I really feel like I know him, now. This is a quick sketch, 2 minutes, probably, and it was drawn with a pencil and about 10 inches tall.
-- Ruth McNally Barshaw

Monday, April 29, 2019

Summer Exploring

Over here dreaming about lazy summer days, exploring, catching tadpoles - you know, the good stuff!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

A little side eye?

I can't help but love the attitude cardinals exude. When they're around, you better behave!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Spring is here!

It's Spring!
Warm temperatures turn our attention to baseball and gardening and sunshine and sketching outside. :)
-- Ruth McNally Barshaw

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Sweet Spring Bees

Martha Sue and Helen, taking a mid-morning break from buzzing around, up on Helen's backyard deck for a little visit, and then this happened.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Happy Little Gnome

A happy little gnome for your Friday.

Have a lovely weekend!


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

100 dogs

I was asked to draw a dog for a book. So I decided to draw 100, just to make sure I got the right one down on paper. Then I decided to make it 200 dogs. Here are the first 10:

Maybe cats will get a shot next -- millions of cats. ;)
-- Ruth McNally Barshaw

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Characters popping around!

A peek at my desk top. The bear has been around for a while... wonder how he feels about this new character moving in.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

National Pet Day Celebration

Sharina is celebrating National Pet Day and also School Librarians' Day since that is what she will be one day.

Sunday, April 7, 2019


This sketch is for a picture book dummy. I'm working out a setting and my main characters in it.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Today's sketchbook pages

Today Charlie and I visited our grandson Nick, age 4. The weather was sunny and warm-ish (low 50s) and Nick couldn't wait to get out to the sandbox. And I couldn't wait to start sketching him.

-- Ruth Barshaw

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Small Whale

I initially rejected this sketch when it was just a few faint lines. I thought it was ridiculous because either the reeds are too big or the whale is too small. Then upon reflection, I decided that was okay. I chose the idea of a small whale but you can see it whichever way you'd like.

Saturday, March 30, 2019


This little fella showed up when I was jotting down some ideas the other day.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Cottontail Cousin

This is Freddy Cottontail, second cousin to Peter.
Freddy likes jelly beans, carrot chips, and doing things on his own.
He prefers hiding dyed leaves for Easter instead of eggs.
He is allowing us only a quick peek at this time.

Thanks, Freddy.  Good work!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Prep Bunnies

The bright spring flowers are making me think of Easter baskets. While we're strolling along admiring the colors, somebunny has to get ready for the big day!

Friday, March 22, 2019


I'm working on a new dummy book. This is one of the characters in the book. I love drawing bees and other bugs!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

SpringTime Humming

Humming a favorite song and Hot, Strong Coffee. Must be SpringTime.
….or, any day in the year, actually. 
Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Catching up on our reading

Sunday is a great day to catch up on our reading. So do like Bear and grab a book everybody!

Friday, March 15, 2019

kids from the sketchbook

Sorry for the late post! I was figuring out how I wanted to sketch kids the other day. Here are just a few from the ol' sketchbook.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Spring Chicken

The Spring Chicken who crossed the road to sit and sing amongst the wildflowers who live there.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A Spread From My Sketchbook

Life is so busy right now.
It's Reading Month in Michigan, and I find myself at a bunch of different schools every week. I carry a sketchbook with me, not just to show to the students but also to keep myself occupied in down time and to keep track of interesting things that pop up.

Here's a spread from my sketchbook.

Do you keep a sketchbook or journal? I highly recommend it!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Saturday, March 9, 2019


I have had bunnies on the brain lately. They are very good at having baths!

Friday, March 8, 2019


Recently, I created an illustration for a cause called #kidlit4climate. It's a movement showing support for the young people we create books for. Standing with them in their (and our) fight to take action against climate change. Originally, I drew a polar bear. On further consideration, I decided to refresh a character I created years ago. Her name is Olive Greenly. I'm hoping to write some stories and adventures for her, and Eco her dog, someday soon!

Happy Friday!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Marianne North

Victorian botanist, artist and explorer. She traveled to every continent except Antartica to paint plants from around the world. She painted over 1000 paintings during her travels. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Desert Hare

For my very first ever post to this wonderful blog, a deep philosophical moment.
The desert hare (ahem): "I just have to start using conditioner."

I hope you're having a great Sunday!

Friday, March 1, 2019

"Baby's House" homage

Happy Friday, everyone! It's good to be back on the blog again with all these talented folks!

I was looking at a Mary Blair magnet I made years ago from a picture in her book "Baby's House" and felt like doing a quick sketch in my own style. I could definitely tweak and correct some things but just wanted to leave it as is.

Thanks for the visit!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Pink Pearl Eraser Love

We think there should be a Pink Pearl Parade on Pink Pearl Day and everyone gets a Pink Pearl Eraser, wears Pink and feels happy.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019