Middle Grade Character Studies



I was recently working on some character studies geared towards middle grade. The characters were *almost* 12 years old.

I’ve mostly worked on younger Picture Book age characters before, so there was some testing to do. In the image below, you will see my three rounds of sketches for the main character. The sketch on the right was the first one. She looks a little too old – about 16. The sketch on the left was my second attempt. She looks a little too young – about 7 years old. The one on the middle was my third attempt. She is just right – *almost* 12.

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12 Months in 60 Seconds



Give me 60 seconds. I know you have them. I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to during these last 12 months. Ready? Here we go:

1 One More Chair. Yes, we added a high chair to our dining room, a crib to the bedroom, a bouncer to my studio and a stroller to the trunk of the car. Miss Eva came to us on February 6. We are happy to report, we are in love (Photo by Mel Bosna of Lulliloo Photography).

Miss Eva Victoria Neal

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Storybook Brushes



A few months ago, I received an email from Maria Bogade inviting me to be part of a small group of children’s illustrators. The idea was to join forces and make quarterly mailers. Our first assignment? A fairy tale, 12-month calendar where each one of us would illustrate 3 months of the year.

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Lucecita



Lucecita - Iguana Magazine - November/December 2011

Lucecita - Iguana Magazine - November/December 2011

I got the assignment to illustrate the story of “Lucecita” in late November. It was a super-rush (aka less than a week between sketches and finals) but as you are all already guessing, I took the project. The artwork was published on the November/December 2011 issue of Iguana Magazine and since my copies arrived in late December, I decided to post later. Holidays are a busy time for all of us!

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Mary Talks



Mary Talks to Baby Jesus - The Little Lutheran/The Litte Christian - December 2011

Mary Talks to Baby Jesus - The Little Lutheran/The Litte Christian - December 2011

Christmas has come and gone and I still have this sorta-Christmassy post to go before I can get to my “Welcome 2012” one. So let’s post it really quick to clear my desk, ok? Great!

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Happy Holidays!



Mistletoe

As I sit on this Christmas Eve with a sleeping home, I don’t want to pass the opportunity to wish each and everyone one of you the happiest and warmest of Holidays. All the best for this Holiday Season!

Fidel, Miguel y el Pastel



Fidel, Miguel y el Pastel - Iguana Magazine - September/October 2011

Fidel, Miguel y el Pastel - Iguana Magazine - September/October 2011

This week I got my copies of the September/October 2011 issue of Iguana Magazine. I have an illustration published for the poem of “Fidel, Miguel y el Pastel”. The poem is a short story about two friends, one pice of cake and a cat that intercedes when things are not happening the way they should.

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MY WEEK of Interviews and Giveaway



If you have been following my posts the last few weeks, you know the Mini-Interviews are entering their 4th week tomorrow. If you didn’t know about them, you may want to go back and read Molly’s, Mikela’s and Laura’s posts. They are filled with great information and they are at times extremely funny.

Now, Juana, what’s the purpose of this post? Really! Getting quickly to the point: My Week is FINALLY here! Well, tomorrow but still… it’s here! Woop! Woop! So in my excitement I may double, triple or quadruple post this week. Or I may not. You shall came back and see.

I also know that MY week falls on the American Turkey Holiday week. So I thought I’d let everyone know that if you are in the US, there’s a safe place to escape from crowds, turkey and stuffing. I’ll be here as planned.

My week of Mini-Interviews come with a Giveaway. I debated for weeks: books, prints, original illustrations. It was really hard to decide so Saturday I painted something for this week. And she is right below here thinking, “Really?!”

Sofia by Juana Martinez-Neal
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Rendez Zoo



Illustrations for Rendez Zoo

Last Saturday, the Phoenix Zoo held it’s Second Annual Rendez Zoo. By supporting the event you help sustain the Zoo’s conservation efforts, contribute to the care of the animals, and assure the Zoo will continue offering educational programs.

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Papa’s Hug



Papa's Hug to Celebrate Father's Day

A quick sketch that I did of my husband and boys a couple of weeks ago thinking of Father’s Day and today is Father’s Day so here I am posting it and wishing all the dad’s a Happy Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to my husband and my Dad, too.

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