NASA and the Supermoon Eclipse...

From "Moon Child" (Random House/Tricycle Books)
Late on Sept. 27, 2015, in the U.S. and much of the world, a total lunar eclipse will mask the moon’s larger-than-life face for more than an hour.

"Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit," said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar.  A lunar eclipse typically puts on an even greater show. For more than an hour, Earth’s shadow swallows up the moon as the planet comes between the sun and the moon. Lunar eclipses typically occur at least twice a year, and 228 will occur in the 21st century alone. While people such as the Incans and Mesopotamians historically viewed lunar eclipses as random and frightening occurrences, they’re actually quite predictable.

Scientists at Goddard have predicted eclipses a thousand years into the future. Petro said it’s just a matter of knowing where Earth, the sun and the moon are at a given point in time.

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Illustration Portfolio at SVA this Fall

Illustration Portfolio 

School of Visual Arts, NYC

Tuesdays 6:30-9:30pm  |   begins Sept. 29  (12 wks)

See samples of student work

Brush up your portfolio. 
Add to what you already have or stretch out and try something new.
Or .. work on that children's book you have hidden in your sock drawer. 

This class is centered on the individual student's  unique talent, ability and interests   The course course is designed to develop and solidify personal style, learn how to conceive strong concepts and clear execution of ideas. 

Assignments will touch on various sectors of the illustration market, including publishing, editorial, licensing and corporate. Students will be encouraged to broadly interpret the assignments: an assignment about time can become a science-fiction piece, a conceptual illustration, or a wonderful children's book. Color, value, concept, execution and medium will be covered. Assignments vary each semester. 

Learn how to approach an illustration job with an understanding of the type of work you want to create.  All aspects of the business side of Illustration will be discussed, such as finding illustration markets, contracts, negotiations, subsidiary rights and reps, copyrights, promotion and self-marketing. 

Details of Student work Summer Session '15 left to right: Shawn Ferreya, Sarah Whicker, Sachika Iwata

Final Critique, Summer Session '15


 "Sprout Wings & Fly" a Les Blank film

"Running the Dogs"  book jacket for Random House

 "Amelia" from a series on famous American women

More work on The i Spot and my Portfolio site....


The Ghost Army of WWII

This is a project I have been involved with for a few years which has nothing to do with my illustration, but instead is about an Army unit my Dad was in during WWII.  I have just co-authored (or curated as my co-author calls it) a book with Rick Beyer called "The Ghost Army of WWII: How One Top Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects and Other Audacious Fakery"  It is now being developed as a motion picture by the team that brought us "American Sniper"–– Bradley Cooper, Andrew Lazar and Todd Phillips!

Three Comic book artists who joined this deception unit: Ray Harford, Bob Boyajian and Victor Dowd.
Bill Blass was part of the unit, as was Ellsworth Kelly

an inflatable tank

One of my Dad's (Bill Sayles) pieces, painted in Wittlich Germany towards the end of the war.

By Arthur Singer, Master watercolorist.  This of the convoy going to Europe in 1944.
See the Exhibit of their Art work, June 14–25 at the Salmagundi Club, NYC


ABFE Gala at BEA

Here is another piece from "Malala" (Random House, Jan. 2016).  I donated a print of this to the ABFE  (American Booksellers for Free Expression) which held their annual gala and auction Tuesday night in conjunction with BEA.  It was a fun night at the Grand Hyatt, very crowded, and LOTS of great artwork!  I went with my friend, Sue Truesdell, who is herself a terrific illustrator. She was excited to meet this year's honoree,  Judy Blume, since she had illustrated a bookjacket for "Fudge-a-Mania" many moons ago. This is one of my favorite pieces in the book.  I loved working on the architecture, costumes and mountains.



Sneak peek at one of the illustrations for "Malala", written by Shana Corey, to be published by Random House, January 2016.  I was amazed at the beauty of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, were Malala is from; such a beautiful place, afflicted by such conflict.  Malala is now the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize and she continues to inspire with her courage to speak out for the rights for girls to be educated.  It was an honor to illustrate her story.



Winter and Spring may be battling it out today, but winter can't hold on forever.  This is a piece I donated to the American Booksellers for Children's Auction at BEA a couple of years ago.  It's from The Very Little Princess (part 1) from Random House.


Millions of Snowflakes

Now I know why the Inuit have so many names for snow.  My favorite so far this winter is the powdery stuff that can be shoveled easily, but when I was a kid it was the heavy snow that snowballs are made of, and were essential for snow forts. I  illustrated Millions of Snowflakes in the summer, which was a little confusing.  My model, Charlotte, was dressed in a snowsuit in the 90 degree heat but didn't seem to mind a bit.  We blew soap bubbles to get her attention.  Now, in this snowiest of winters I am doing a book about sunny Pakistan.  I'm frequently surprised when I look out the window and instead of blinding sunshine I see my snow-buried yard.  OK going to find my mukluks and clean off the car... again.




Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. A day to reflect on the horror, and also the bravery of the Allied Armies, especially the U.S. Army, which liberated Auschwitz 70 years ago.  I've illustrated two books about people whose lives were turned upside down by the Nazi's twisted and hateful regime.  The latest one is about Anne Frank, and her unstoppable spirit.  Although she died only days before the concentration camp in which she was imprisoned was liberated, her words remain.  Her diary which she began over 70 years ago still speaks to millions around the globe who find themselves trapped in untenable situations.

And now I am illustrating a book about Malala, another outspoken young lady who thankfully survived the brutality of another twisted regime. May we never forget, and may we constantly work to accept and understand one another.

Above from "Anne Frank's Chestnut Tree" written by Jane Kohuth, Random House
Below from "The Night Crossing" written by Karen Ackerman, Random House


First Snow

Since we are waiting for a pre-Thanksgiving snow storm, following the dumping that western NY just got (8 ft!), I thought I would share a tip I learned while working on this project.  If you have to go the barn to milk the cows during a blizzard, tie a bright colored string around your front door knob and unwind it as you go out.  Then follow it back home.  Stay safe out there.


Travelers Series : Elk Dog

This is second in my travellers series. I'm painting on old road  maps.  The texture makes a nice starting point.  And the colors give me ideas of where to go.  The roads are like veins.
Part 1 : Wolf Scout, is here, if you missed it.


Original Art Exhibit opens Wednesday

I was lucky enough to be one of the jurors for this year's Original Art exhibit at the Society of Illustrators http://www.societyillustrators.org/The-Museum/2014/OA/The-Original-Art.aspx The exhibit opens this week, can't wait to see show! The hardest part of jurying, besides flying through 600+ books, was choosing the medal winners. In the end three gorgeous books were chosen.  Here we are, bleary eyed but still smiling!

Mashed up Fairy Tales

Mashed up Fairy Tales

Just Starting Out

Just Starting Out
This piece is featured in Profiles Issue #8 .

Tomb 10A

Tomb 10A


All artwork on this website is
© 1996-2016 Elizabeth Sayles (unless noted otherwise)
and is registered with the Library of Congress.
Any unauthorized usage including downloads, etc. is punishable by law.

Ask first if you would like to use something.

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