My newest book has hit the stores (and web) in time for 4th of July!
AMERICANS written by New York Times bestselling author Douglas Wood.

What makes Americans great?

Americans are different from one another in many ways. And despite these differences, Americans share certain ways of doing and being that hold us all together. From the Fourth of July to the Bill of Rights, Douglas Wood and Elizabeth Sayles share the story of what it is to be American.


Illustration Portfolio Class at School of Visual Arts, NYC



Illustration Portfolio at SVA

Wednesday nights 6:00 - 9:30 for 10 weeks beginning June 6!

Brush up or start your portfolio. Stretch out and try something new or work on that children's book you've been dreaming of. Discover your personal style, and work on concepts and execution. Centered on the individual student and his or her unique talent, this course is designed to develop and solidify personal style, strong concepts and clear execution of ideas. How to approach an illustration job with an understanding of the type of work you want to create will be explored, as well as business aspects such as finding illustration markets, contracts, negotiations, subsidiary rights and reps, copyrights, promotion and self-marketing. 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.

See Student Work HERE

ONLINE PORTFOLIO CLASS (10 private sessions)

Illustrating Picture Books at the School of Visual Arts

Illustrating Picture Books at the School of Visual Arts, NYC
Thursday nights 6:00 - 9:30 beginning June 7!

Get to work on that story you have hidden in your sock drawer!

I'm so excited to finally be teaching a picture book class at SVA!
This course will lead the students through every step in the creation of a picture book, from developing the initial idea, through plotting out the book, dummy book and final artwork. There will be in-class drawing exercises and demos designed to help students improve their drawing and thinking skills; by the completion of the course each student will have developed a short picture book (or a dummy for a longer book). The publishing world and other aspects of the children's market will be discussed. Students may work on a story they have created, or one written by someone else. Fairy tales, fables, alphabet books and journals as well as other types of material can be used. Students may work in any media, and experimentation is encouraged.

See Student Work HERE


An Illusionary piece for American Booksellers for Children

This is a new painting I created for American Booksellers for Children's annual gala auction.
It is painted in gold on a wood panel, so not very photogenic.  Looks much better in person, so to speak.
It is about the world of the imagination you enter when you read a book.
When you look at the piece at an angle you see only the girl and her book.

The painting is a tribute to Little Golden Books, which is celebrating its 75th Anniversary.  Those books had a big influence on me and my work.  Some of my childhood Golden Books are still in my possession.  Apparently when I was five I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up since on the title pages, I had crossed out the illustrator's name  (usually Garth Williams') and written my own.

This piece will be on sale later this month at the ABC auction during BookExpo America.


Malala: A Hero for All

It's always a little scary when the book I've worked on for several months arrives in a box from UPS.
I never know if I'll like it or not.  But I was very happy to open my carton of complimentary copies of Malala: A Hero for All And as of Jan. 12, they are available everywhere!  Her story is so inspiring and this book was really wonderful to work on.  She is a hero, and not just for one day.


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.

See more at:



 "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!  Watch the TRAILER for the Book.

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


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.


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!


Just So Stories

I'm working on a series of illustrations for Rudyard Kipling's many animal tales.  My favorite so far is Rikki Tikki Tavi, the bold snake killing mongoose, "who was completely eaten up by curiosity." I will post some sketches soon.

This is an illustration for a book series I'm working on, which involves five kids, some time travel, a magic camel and a monkey or two.
All artwork on this website is
© 1996-2018 Elizabeth Sayles (unless noted otherwise)
and is registered with the Library of Congress.
Any unauthorized usage including downloads, etc. is punishable by law.

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