Drawing Super Heroes – Wonder Woman


ostrom-wonderwomanFrom the Blue Sky Folder – Wonder Woman in Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 by Bob Ostrom Studio

The Blue Sky Folder

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The Blue Sky Folder

Deep in the archives of my computer there is a small beacon of light that shines brightly through the darkness. It’s called the Blue Sky Folder. Inside is a collection of sketches, experiments, new styles, new techniques, story concepts and a bunch of projects in various stages of completion. This folder is basically a resting place for all the ideas that rattle around inside my head long enough for me to get them down on paper or into various stages of digital completion. Like many other artists I’m always restless to try new things and this is my outlet. 

This is a Blue Sky piece I began almost 3 years ago. I wasn’t quite sure where I was headed with it at the time so I put it in hold to work on other things. I had totally forgotten about it until I was leafing through the the folder recently when it caught my eye. One of the main reasons I had put this one on hold was that the techniques I’d used to create it were very time consuming and a bit unrefined. Looking at the piece again I realized that the solution was sitting right in front of me. I didn’t have my Cintiq tablet when I started so any digital freehand drawing was pretty much out of the question? As I popped the file up on my screen I realized that was no longer an obstacle. It only took me a few hours to finish the piece and I’m psyched because now I finally have a great way to save time and paint right on the computer.

Johnny Appleseed Childrens Book Illustration

johnny-appleseed-ostromJohnny Appleseed Childrens Book Illustration.

This one was from a recent series of books I worked on last year. I’ve tried this look before once or twice using traditional art and a scanner but it was always a tedious process to get the lines bold enough. The Cintiq has helped make creating bold pencil lines very easy. My next goal is to start working on a more natural watercolor look.

Sketch of the Day



Sketch of the Day

This was a sketch for a book about a little boy trying to conquer his fear of monsters. If you have a young child or have had young children you can probably relate to the middle of the night search for monsters on the bed. My kids are older now but I remember very clearly the fears my kids had and some of the fears I had as a kid. It seems like most kids go through this at one point or another. My advice for parents is simple, comfort your kids they’ll grow out of it before you know it.


What is the SATs looked like this?

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Doctor Cartoon  – By Bob Ostrom Studio

I was just thinking… What the fill in the blank questions on the SATs looked like this?
(Feel free to answer in the comments section. You will receive your test scores in the mail in about 3 weeks)

Cartoon Illustration – Bob Ostrom Studio

Illustration Work in Progress

Every once and a while it’s fun to post a little illustration work in progress. Here’s quick sneak peak at my latest:

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penguins, sweaters, bob ostrom studio

Penguins in Sweaters

I’ve been seeing these little penguins in sweaters all over the web lately. The story behind these guys is that there was a massive oil spill in New Zealand effecting all kinds wild life including penguins. In an effort to save the birds they were being fitted with sweaters to keep them warm and from preening their oil soaked feathers. They looked so cute that the knitting sweaters for penguins request took off like a rocket ship but then came the controversy…because on the web there is always controversy. Did the penguins really need the sweaters or was it just one of those internet phenomenons? There are quite a few different takes… Some say they still need them, some say it stresses the penguins to be in sweaters, others say they need them to help a charity but not for real penguins (the charity is putting them on stuffed penguins and selling them to help raise money). The latest info I’ve read is that the penguin sweater knit-a-thon is still on. Tomorrow it might change. The internet is a funny place full of information that isn’t always as accurate as we’d hope.

Anyhow the story got me thinking and I know there’s a picture book in there somewhere. So I thought what if there was one little clever penguin who decided instead of asking for a sweater he wanted something else. Maybe while the volunteers were looking to opposite way that little guy jumped on a computer and asked for something else. I imagine as a stressed out little penguin a vacation to someplace warm and sunny might be just the ticket. And what if the message he sent out went viral. Donations started flooding in from all over the world, suddenly planeloads full of penguins in sweaters show up to beach side resorts everywhere and settle in for fun in the sun. How much fun would that be?


Childrens Book Illustration

Children’s Book Illustration by Bob Ostrom Studio

children's book illustration, bob ostrom

Part of the fun with this job is coming up with new styles like this one I put together recently. It’s done entirely in Photoshop using a Cintiq tablet. Working on the Cintiq makes for an easier time creating natural styles because there is less tracing and more drawing.

I had the opportunity to run it by one of my publishers this week and they loved it. So that means I get to use it for the series of books I’m working on right now…. WHOOT!


bob-ostrom-studio-headshotBob Ostrom is an award winning children’s illustrator who’s work has appeared in close to 300 children’s book and publications. If you’d like to work with Bob on your next project it’s as easy as following this link.

Hire Bob for Your Next Job!

Illustration of the day!

Cool cat and a pig at the gig. For Hooked On Phonics.

Illustration of the day – Cool cat and a pig at the gig. For Hooked On Phonics.

Illustration of the day!


bob ostrom studio, headshot, picBob Ostrom is an award winning children’s illustrator who’s work has appeared in close to 300 children’s book and publications. If you’d like to work with Bob on your next project it’s as easy as following this link.


Pool Party Batman

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Pool party Batman.

We all have our day in the sun.


bob-ostrom-studio-headshotBob Ostrom is an award winning children’s illustrator who’s work has appeared in close to 300 children’s book and publications. If you’d like to work with Bob on your next project it’s as easy as following this link.


How to Draw a Penguin

This lesson is for all my friends who love penguins! Happy drawing!!!

Halloween Illustration by Bob Ostrom Studio

Halloween Illustration by Bob Ostrom Studio

Well, Halloween is almost here. Hope you guys all have your costumes picked out and plenty of candy by the front door. I’ve been having a little fun here at the studio and have come up with a few treats to share with you this year. Here is this years Halloween illustration.

 cartoon, halloween, bob ostrom, illustration,

Happy Halloween everyone.

bob-ostrom-studio-headshotBob Ostrom is an award winning children’s illustrator who’s work has appeared in close to 300 children’s book and publications. If you’d like to work with Bob on your next project it’s as easy as following this link.

Artist’s Tools of the Trade

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Artist’s Tools of the Trade:

A few of my artist friends were asking me about the tools I use when I create my sketches and drawings so I compiled them all into this photo to share with you guys too. These are all the tools I pretty much use on a daily basis.


I LOVE working with mechanical pencils. You can see from this photo I have a bunch. I guess you could consider it a bit of an obsession but when I have the right pencil in my hand it just helps me feel creative. When I feel creative I like to draw so I make sure I always have the right pencil. My two favorites right now are the Sharp Kerry and the Steadtler Silver. Both are about as good as it gets quality-wise and I highly recommend them.


In this photo the paper and the clipboard aren’t labeled but the paper I use is just cheap copy paper…. the cheaper the better since I’m not worried about archive quality. Basically I just  scan everything and color it on the computer anyway so why spend money on that? Cheap paper is also thin so that makes it easy to see through if I need to trace. One last advantage to using cheap paper is I never choke when I’m drawing on cheap paper and if I do who cares? I don’t know about you but if I’m working on expensive paper I have a whole different attitude about what I’m doing. I guess the best way to describe it would be like wearing a suit to mow the lawn. There are times when wearing a suit is important but for everyday stuff it just kind of gets in the way.


The clipboard is from staples but I have about 5 or 6 of those things floating around and I carry them everywhere. The reason I love working on a clipboard is I can work anywhere and when it comes time to scan my art it’s quick, simple and clean. The funny thing about carrying a clipboard around is that nobody ever questions a guy holding holding a clipboard (In fact, I imagine if you were to throw on a polo shirt while carrying a clipboard you can go just about anywhere, but that’s a story for another time). I hope you’ve found this list of art supplies useful. If you have a tool you just can’t live without please leave a comment and let me know what it is I’m always looking for the next best thing.



Super Quick Two Part Illustrator Question

cartoon logo,-computer, ostrom

Hi Readers, I’m planning an upcoming class on Adobe Illustrator and I could use your help. I’ve got a super quick two part illustrator question for anyone who has tried to learn Illustrator on their own but for one reason or another got tripped up or frustrated and decided to put it aside for now

 Super Quick Two Part Illustrator Question

  1.  What was your stumbling block?

  2.  What were you using to learn the program?

  • A – A book
  • B- Online tutorial
  • C – Took a class
  • D – Classes? We don’t need no stinking classes!

Thanks for you help and please leave your answers in the comment section.


bob-ostrom-studio-headshotBob Ostrom is an award winner illustrator who also teaches Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign in Raleigh NC and for some strange reason has chosen to use third person for this author bio. If you are interested in taking a class with me or an online tutoring session please visit the classes page on this site or use the contact page to reach me for more info.



Online Teaching Update

Quick Update

Here is a quick update on my online teaching and some of the things I’ve got planned in the coming weeks. I’m thrilled with how things been progressing progressing so far and to make things a little easier to manage I’m planning to launch a new teaching site dedicated specifically to online teaching. I’ve also been talking with a bunch of other super talented artists to help me begin putting together online classes in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

Tutoring Sessions

In the meantime my online tutorial spots are filling up fast. I signed on two students last week and have room for just a couple more. If you are interested in a personalized tutoring session(s) please head on over to my contact page and drop me a note. Please include a little bit about what you are interested in learning and your level of experience with the program you want to focus on. If you are brand new to the program don’t worry I work with students of all levels. If you are just looking for more info on how they work let me know in your contact message and I will email an overview including how the classes work, how much they cost and what kind of availability I have.

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Online Classes- Coming Soon

This is super top secret stuff but I feel like I can trust you guys so here’s the skinny. I’ve been talking with some well known artists and I will be talking with a few more about joining me for live online classes coming soon. Stay tuned for more updates and whatever you do don’t tell anyone…


ONLINE CLASSES – Please send me more info about upcoming online classes and tutoring sessions!

* indicates required

I’m most interested in:

Email Format


Childrens Book Art from the Herbie Bear Series

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Herbie shows up at school and someone has released all the class pets.

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Because I was working with a partner a model sheet for Herbie was a must.


Childrens Book Art, herbiew bear, picture book, cartoon, lizard, ostrom, bob ostrom studio

Charlie is the new kid in town and good friends with Herbie. They both love to skate.


Childrens Book Art, herbiew bear, picture book, cartoon, moose, ostrom, bob ostrom studio

Model sheet David Stone – Herbie’s favorite basketball player just happens to be his teachers brother David Stone.

 Childrens Book Art, herbiew bear, picture book, cartoon, flamingo, ostrom, bob ostrom studio










Interview With Renowned Children’s Artist Will Terry

Featured Artist Will Terry

photo will terryThis is a re-post of an interview I did with children’s book illustrator Will Terry about a year or so ago. As some of you may recall my site was hacked a while back and I had to rebuild it basically from scratch. I lost a lot of great articles and interviews like this one I did with Will. Rather than let them go to waste, I plan to begin re-posting them starting with one my all time favorites… Interview with renowned children’s artist Will Terry.

If you’re not familiar with Will Terry or a reader of his blog I highly recommend that you start ASAP. Will is a highly motivated, insightful guy with a ton of useful information for professional artists, especially those in the field of children’s art.

Will is also a bit of a pioneer in the children’s world of publishing with several very successful eBooks. In this interview we talk a little bit about eBooks and the future of children’s publishing. We discuss where things are headed and the difference between traditional publishing and the opportunities available to today’s artist. I hope you enjoy this interview and for those of you’ve who heard it before I hope you’ll find it as inspiring the second time around as you did the first. Finally I’d like to thank Will for all the inspirational information he’s shared over the years and for taking a few minutes to sit down with me for this amazing interview.

To listen to the interview please use the link below:

WillTerryInterview-BobOstromStudio 1


For more on Will Terry and his work please visit his site at:




Cartoon Shark Illustration Start to Finish – Adobe Illustrator CC

A quick (pun intended) look at at how I build an illustration using Adobe Illustrator CC. I just updated to Adobe’s cloud last week and had a little fun putting this video together in Photoshop CC, yup, that’s right you read it correctly. This video was done in Illustrator but then put together using Photoshop for video editting.. There are some great new features in all these new programs and I can’t wait to do a little more exploring.

I hope you enjoy this video. Even though it’s sped up quite a bit this is my actual working process. You’ll notice there is quite a bit of trial and error as I work my way from start to finish. I left everything in because I wanted you to see that building art is many times an experimental process and doesn’t always have a smooth transition from start to finish… Plus I added in a little snappy background music for your viewing and audio pleasure. Enjoy!

If you are having trouble viewing this movie on your mobile device please try this link -