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Book reading and signing at Denver's BookBar, Nov. 9th & 10th November 06, 2017 00:00

From Jess: 

Something really cool is coming up later this week! The fine folks at BookBar ("A book shop for wine lovers. A wine bar for book shoppers") invited us to come out and hold not one, but TWO book signings/readings at their establishment in Denver, Colorado. The first event (RSVP on Facebook) is for "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up"; the second event (RSVP on Facebook) is for "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist." Chris even drew a gorgeous new illustration to shell-ebrate the fun!






On Thursday, November 9th, I'll be reading our water-resistant, fully-illustrated children's storybook, "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up," dressed as Rescue Siren Nim in my beautiful mermaid tail from Merbella Studios. Doors open (with half-price kids' meals and wine!) at 4:00 PM; story time starts at 4:30 PM. This is the perfect opportunity to get your hands on our children's book, since we haven't had the chance to make it available online just yet!

The next night, Friday, November 10th, Chris and I will be reading selections from our novel, "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist," after which we'll be answering questions about our series and signing copies of the book. That event lasts from 5:00 to 7:00 PM and includes discounts on pizza, beer, and wine, so, really, you can't go wrong.

We hope to see you there!

INKtober 2017 October 23, 2017 06:00

From Jess: 

Now, if you've read our past blogs, you know about Mer-May -- when everyone spends a month drawing mermaids -- but are you familiar with Inktober?

As the name suggests, artists take the month of October to work on inking traditionally: with a brush, pen, or quill; some draw every day and follow prompts (just like the prompt lists you'll find during Mer-May), but other artists just draw what they feel like as often as they can. No matter how you do it, Inktober is a celebration of all things inky! With so many people creating their drawings digitally now, it's awesome to see such a dedicated return to hand-drawing.

My husband and "Rescue Sirens" co-author, Chris Sanders, is a master with a brush and a bottle of ink. While he often colors his drawings digitally in Photoshop, Chris still sketches them on paper with a pencil, then inks them with a Winsor & Newton Series 7 sable brush. It's like magic to watch, and, last Inktober, Chris recorded himself inking a cute witch pin-up for Halloween, which I then edited into a short time-lapse video.

Several months ago, I did the same for an illustration of Rescue Siren Kelby that Chris drew earlier this year as part of the artwork on our booth backdrop at San Diego Comic-Con. I waited until now to upload the video because, hey, Inktober!

Take a look:




Isn't it mesmerizing?

As a bonus, let's revisit the adorable chibi-style drawing of Rescue Siren Nim that Chris offered as a prize in our "Rescue Sirens" fan art contest this past May:




Inking even a relatively simple drawing like Chibi Nim seems like witchcraft (appropriate for this time of year!), at least when it's done by someone as skilled as Chris. I could watch him ink all day long! Between Halloween (my favorite holiday) and Inktober, October is a pretty fin-omenal month.

If you'd like to see more "Rescue Sirens" videos, you can always visit our Videos page or our YouTube channel.

"Rescue Sirens" fan art contest deadline extension May 27, 2017 02:20

From Jess: 

Wow, everyone, we're so thrilled to see all the entries rolling in for our "Rescue Sirens" fan art contest on Instagram! We've had multiple requests for a deadline extension, so we've added two more days for you to work on your drawings: you now have until 12 PM PDT on Wednesday, May 31st to post your fan art! We'll select a winner at random and announce it later that day as the perfect way to bid farewell to Mer-May 2017.

In the meantime, Chris colored his chibi-style drawing of Nim using Procreate on his iPad Pro, and I added some music to the timelapse to make a short video for you to enjoy: 


Nim's tail turned out looking a tiiiiny bit greener than we thought it was when it was on the iPad (her tail is more of an aqua blue), but it's so fun to watch her colored in as if by magic!

Inking Rescue Siren Nim -- Chibi-Style! May 25, 2017 06:00

From Jess: 

Chris did a fin-omenal job on the cutie-patootie little chibi-style Nim drawing that we're offering as our #rescuesirensfanart contest prize, and he even set up one of his GoPros while he inked so he could film the process! I then took that footage and cut it into a short (very sped-up) video:





Fun, right? Someone as talented as Chris makes inking with a brush look positively cinchy, but he's practiced for many years to get that smooooth.

If you haven't entered our "Rescue Sirens" fan art contest over on Instagram, you still have a couple of days to do so; we're planning on announcing the winner sometime on Monday, May 29th. Maybe it'll be you, and then you can own this rare piece of official "Rescue Sirens" artwork!

Mer-May #rescuesirensfanart Contest May 22, 2017 00:00

From Chris: 

My wife and "Rescue Sirens" co-author Jessica Steele-Sanders and I first heard the term "Mer-May" back in 2015. I loved the idea of a whole month devoted to all things mermaid -- but we couldn't celebrate or participate in it that year because "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist" was still being finalized, and we didn't want to let the cat(fish) out of the bag just yet.

Then, in 2016, fellow Disney artist Tom Bancroft debuted his swell #MerMay drawing challenge on Instagram. There's nothing more fun than drawing mermaids, and it's been great seeing mermaid artwork all over the place last year and this year. Inevitably I'm swamped with other assignments and don't usually have the time to participate in the mermaid fun, but this year I did scrounge up a few hours to draw and ink something! So to celebrate getting an actual mermaid drawing done in Mer-May, I'm offering up something VERY rare this month: the original inked drawing, depicting one of our "Rescue Sirens" characters. I almost never part with my drawings, so if you've ever wanted one, this is your chance!


How do you go about acquiring such a thing? Well, Jess and I are running a "Rescue Sirens" fan art contest, with this 11"x14" chibi-style drawing of Rescue Siren Nim as the prize.


Here are the rules to enter:

    1. Follow our @rescuesirens Instagram account.
    2. Draw one (or more!) of our five main "Rescue Sirens" lifeguard mermaid characters.
    3. Include the words "Rescue Sirens" somewhere in the image (drawn into the illustration, superimposed digitally, written on a separate piece of paper placed atop your drawing if you photograph it -- however you prefer).
    4. Post to your PUBLIC Instagram account with the hashtag #rescuesirensfanart so we can find your entry!
    5. Tag/mention @rescuesirens in your post.
That's it! A winner will be announced next Monday, May 29th Wednesday, May 31st. (We extended the deadline.)

Have you already shared "Rescue Sirens" fan art on Instagram in the past? You don't have to draw something new if you don't want to: just go back and add the hashtag #rescuesirensfanart to your original post so we know that you want to be counted amongst the contest entrants.

Best of luck, everyone, and happy drawing!

(Obligatory disclaimer: this contest is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Instagram.)