Little Monster Book Now Available!

EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20152 Comments

My first book is now for sale at the Blurb bookstore
In April I was working on a commission project for my friend Steve. Together we created an ABC book for his wonderful nephew – and when it was finished, Steve agreed that I make a more general version for the public. And so, Explorer Ethan’s ABCs became Little Monster’s Explorer ABCs. Now available for sale as a real little book in your hands, or as an eBook on your iPad or iPhone. Exciting!
 Some pages from the book:
all images © copyright 2012 Emma Weisman

Maine Commission

EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20151 Comment


Over the last few months, I have been lucky to work on a commission project in one of my favorite styles – – detailed pen-and-ink.  It was a gift for a family with an adorable new baby (I got to meet him – Ry!). They spend their summers in Maine, so the illustration was to include a lake-side Camp and some of their favorite Maine animals – in particular a mink, moose, raccoon, and a famous bald eagle that always flies over the lake.

Here is the illustration, from start to finish:
tracing paper draft #1:
tracing paper draft #2:
final illustration in process:
final illustration:
all images © copyright 2012 Emma Weisman


EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20151 Comment

Somerville Open Studios was this weekend, and was a great success! 
Thank you so much to family and friends who made it to the show, to darling Kate, “best manager in the biz”(as they say), and to all the nice people I met this weekend.  What a lovely time.

New T-Shirts!

EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20153 Comments

I wanted t-shirts for my booth at the upcoming Somerville Open Studios, and was curious to see if my designs (for cards/prints) would work on shirts.  It was time – finally – to learn how to screen print.  
It was a group effort – Kate helped me with the design, I had feedback from Sunday Night Dinner ladies, and Thomas let me use his incredible studio/screen printing press/knowledge & help for the final process. Thank you Thomas! (Check out his wonderful work at:
Here are the basics of the process:
I got to turn my bathroom into a dark room, using a black light (not completely photo-safe, but very dim. I want to buy a photo-safe bulb for next time). Fumbling and bumbling around in the dark, I applied Diazo emulsion to the screens and let it dry in pitch darkness for an hour or so. 
I then laid down these transparencies, and put on a 250 watt light bulb, burning the images into the screens.
I had to do this process twice to get it right, but here are the screens with the images burned through:

Thomas adjusted his t-shirt press to fit my designs, and showed me how to print, using Speedball acrylic screen printing ink.  Before long, we had these shirts hanging up all around the studio, and then I threw them in the dryer when I got home, to set the ink. 
The shirts:

Super fun! Now I want to make so many more… 

Explorer ABC Book – Draft

EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20150 Comments


My friend Steve commissioned me to make “Explorer ABCs” for his nephew, but as we worked on the project, we realized it was better as a book! Steve wrote the narrative – very clever, following a Little Monster named Ethan through an adventurous day while incorporating the ABCs – and I’ve been working on illustrating it. Here are the first drafts, and Steve’s story:

It is bright new day.  Ethan is Awake and ready to start an adventure!
He grabs his Butterfly net and to better see the beautiful bugs. 
Ethan stops to watch the Clouds in the sky.  
Ethan is a helpful boy.  He stops to help his Dad dig in the dirt.
Looking in a tree, he sees bright blue Eggs in a nest!
He catches a slippery Frog in the pond.
Ethan shows his Grandparents.  What an impressive frog!
What is more fun than rolling down a Hill on a sunny day?
Oh no!  There are Itchy bugs in the grass.
Ethan Jumps out of the tall grass.
Kisses from mom make the bug bites feel better.
She makes him some cool Lemonade and he takes a break.
Ethan and his Mom make a snack and talk about all the things he has seen, before going into the woods to explore even more!
 Ethan lifts rocks looking for Newts.
He spots an Owl hooting in a tree.
Potter the cat comes out to play!
They both sit Quietly and listen to the forest sounds 
Is that Rain they hear?
Oh no! It is a Storm, and they both run for cover.
Ethan takes shelter under a Tree and waits for the rain to pass.
What a great time to strum on his Ukelele!
The sun comes out and Ethan finds a great Vine to swing from.
He Whistles as he walks along the forest trail
And discovers a map, where X marks the spot. Looks like another adventure for tomorrow!
Ethan walks back home, Yawning after a long day of exploring.

Zzzzzz.  He is happy to be sleeping in his bed, his dreams filled with all he did and saw that day.

Rough Drafts:

Final Draft:

all images © copyright 2012 Emma Weisman

Golden Greece

EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20150 Comments

I haven’t painted on canvas in a while, so was very happy to receive this painting commission from my friend Jessica, as a gift for her boyfriend Dan.  Dan likes Greece, and Jess likes gold, so two new things for me – greek architecture and metallic gold paint!  To create texture, I collaged first with newspaper, then laid down a few layers of opaque and transparent paint, and in some places scratched through the paint with an exacto blade.  
Bit of a blurry photo – – 

copyright © 2012 Emma Weisman

From Start to Finish – Susie’s ABC

EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20150 Comments


I finished Susie’s Family ABC last week!  I’ve never made one this large (16 x 20), so there was a lot of room for the fun details of this great family.

Here’s my process, from rough draft to final illustration:
The rough draft, on tracing paper:

Here is a close-up of W and Z, rough draft version:
(FYI, Chutzpah means “nerve” in Yiddish)
After I transfer the draft to heavy watercolor paper, I paint the Little Monsters first:

I then paint all of the background colors (sky, water, land), 
and when that paint has dried, all the smaller details:

The plain watercolor is pretty basic, so looks murky and undefined.  
One of my favorite parts is next – drawing with pen: 

Then, for the final draft, I use Prismacolor colored pencils 
to fill in detail, add texture, and balance the contrast between the pen and watercolor :

And here is the Final Draft, ready to be delivered to Susie and her cute grandson! :

all images copyright © 2012 Emma Weisman

Aladdin Set

EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20153 Comments


For the last month we’ve been getting ready for our Afterschool Enrichment Theater Program production of Aladdin – – performed by kids grades 4-6.  I am the stage manager and set designer, and love this creative aspect of my afterschool job.

This year we rented the backdrop – not my painting this time – and I loved all the crimson and GOLD.

For the palace scenes, I made this Elephant Throne, using cloth, stuffing, spray paint, plastic jewels, foam core, ribbon, hot glue, duct tape, and a $6 wooden chair I bought from Goodwill:

the back (helps you see the scale, too):
It’s been busy busy, but luckily I’ve had great help from Julianne and Rachael – who helped with the set and, with the director Emily, made and collected the props and costumes. Thank you all!
When Aladdin first sees the Cave of Wonders, it looks like this (this is about 7 feet tall):
Julianne and Rachael created this large head and painted the gold pile mini backdrop that follows – – I then added the detailing and attached all the pieces to a rolling coat rack and supportive poles.

… the actors “climb in” to the mouth, and come around the front again as the Cave is pulled out.  Now the head extends into a mini backdrop for the interior of the Cave of Wonders:

Also worked on: Aladdin’s Window
(Another coat rack)

Aladdin shows Jasmine the “view of the palace” by pulling back the curtain, revealing Julianne’s colorful painting.

I made these Marketplace carts for the market scenes.  The colors of the marketplace were meant to be more muted, earthy warm colors. The weird metal things that are hanging from the cart on the right were found in the communal goodwill pile in my apartment basement.  I love this big fish!

The show was on Tuesday and Thursday of this week, and the kids did such a great job – wonderful!
all images © copyright 2012 Emma Weisman and SSDS

Silly Gifts

EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20151 Comment

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to my friends!
A mini Little Monster Illustration for Courtney, cutter of hair, extraordinaire:

© 2011 Emma Weisman
And a poster for Jessica, photoshopped to combine her love of all things squirrel, and the HBO series “Game Of Thrones” – –

ABCs x 3

EmmaArchive Blog: 2010 to 20153 Comments

Poor blogspot, I’ve missed you. November and December were crazy, filled with projects all due by the holidays. Very little sleep and lots of drawing, an almost perfect combination. Luckily, January is quiet, grounded, and cool, and a good time to share – –
Here are Little Monster ABCs for Jenny’s sister’s children, for my own family (commissioned by my Dad, and given to my brothers as a surprise), and for Alli’s sister’s family:

copyright © 2011 Emma Weisman

copyright © 2011 Emma Weisman

all images copyright © 2011 Emma Weisman