All about books by children’s illustrator Jim Harris.  Jim’s biography, tips for art students, advice and techniques for illustrating picture books. Jim Harris Children’s Books Home Page Tips for Art Students from Jim Harris Frequently (and Infrequently) Asked Questions about becoming a children’s picture book illustrator.  Facts and trivia about a career as an illustrator -- from best-selling children’s artist, Jim Harris Email Jim Harris.  Drop a line today. Link to Jim Harris Fantasy Art, Caricatures, Portraits and Sporting Art.  Jim Harris – The Story of a Children’s Book Illustrator.  Learn how Jim became a picture book artist. Creative Writing Tips from Author and Illustrator, Jim Harris Day to Day Life as a Children’s Book Illustrator.  Information about the day to day life of a picture-book illustrator. Illustrating a Picture Book, Start to Finish.  The step by step process of illustrating a children’s picture book.  Activities for Kids.  Easy reading, writing and math activities illustrated with art from Jim Harris’s children’s books.

Jim Harris tells about starting out in a career as an illustrator.  Funny stories about life as a ‘starving artist.’

Towns Down Underground


So, if I become a children’s book illustrator… what kind of people will I be working with?  Read Jim’s answer to this important question in his discussion of the humorous alphabet book, The Bible ABC.

Bible ABC


Jim Harris shares illustration techniques from The Three Little Cajun Pigs.  Learn how to illustrate a children’s book using visual rhythm and diagonal lines.

Three Little Cajun Pigs


Illustration techniques for students from The Trouble with Cauliflower.   Tips for young artists about how to use textures in illustrations.

The Trouble with Cauliflower


Illustration advice by artist Jim Harris from the kids’ adventure book, The Treasure Hunter.  Jim gives tips for art students about using overlapping to make paintings and drawings look realistic.

The Treasure Hunter


Jim explains more about the job of illustrating a picture book.  Details about creating art for a novelty book from the best-selling children’s title, Ten Little Dinosaurs.

Ten Little Dinosaurs


Art tips from the Southwestern classic, The Three Little Javelinas.  Jim Harris tells about the jokes illustrators play with their young readers and shares the stories behind some of his famous picture-book characters.

The Three Little Javelinas


Dinosaur's Night Before Christmas, a holiday story as told by Jim Harris - the perfect Christmas gift for dinosaur lovers

Dinosaur's Night Before


Jim Harris gives tips for creating vibrantly colored children’s illustrations in a little talk about the use of saturated and unsaturated colors in the Southwestern fractured fairy tale Tortoise and the Jackrabbit.

Tortoise and the Jackrabbit


Jim Harris gives painting tips from Three Little Dinosaurs.  Information for art students -- about how to use acrylic and oil paints and about cleaning your paintbrush!

Three Little Dinosaurs


Jim Harris gives tips for budding artists from Jack and the Giant. Funny insights about the process of writing and illustrating a book for children.

Jack and the Giant


Go on location to Louisiana with Jim Harris and see how to develop a central character for the Cajun fairy tale Petite Rouge.

Petite Rouge


See the silly puppy characters that fill another Jim Harris’ wiggly-eyeball book.  Ten Little Puppies who can’t seem to stay out of trouble!  New 2009!

Ten Little Puppies

Jim Harris Talks About Illustrating…

Slim and Miss Prim. A cowboy love story for kids.  Illustrated (with a lot of sympathy for the cowboy) by Jim Harris.

Slim and Miss Prim

Some people think that Slim and Miss Prim is a love story.
And that is true.
But it is way more than that.
It is a much-needed lesson in how to escape from rustlers and kidnappers.

‘Miss Prim.’  A leading expert on rustlers.  And manners.  And cowboys.

If you have any suspicions that you may find yourself one day holed up in the far reaches of the Mojave Desert with a band of unfriendly rustlers… by all means get this book and be prepared in advance for how to deal with the situation.

In the meantime…  I will tell you some secret information about the illustrations in Slim and Miss Prim

‘Lee’s Rustlers:  Wanted (preferably after a nice long bath) for livestock theft, cowboy kidnapping and really horrid manners.’

An Example of Parody

These are the bad guys on their horses.  And at first impression it looks like there’s four bad guys and four horses.
But there’s not.
If you count the rustlers and count the horses, you’ll see what I mean.

This is actually a parody of a famous sculpture by Frederic Remington.  Mr. Remington lived back in the 1800’s (and a little bit into the 1900’s)  and traveled around exploring ranches and hiking around canyons and hanging around with cowboys in the Old West.  His paintings were used as illustrations for magazine articles (some even written by Teddy Roosevelt) about cowboys and bear hunting and shoot-outs … and Mr. Remington became just as much a celebrity in his day as movie stars are today! 

Here is the Remington sculpture that I parodied:

Coming Through The Rye… the Frederic Remington cowboy sculpture parodied in Slim and Miss Prim.

Off the Range (Coming Through the Rye), by Frederic Remington; Bronze with

green patina, 28 ¼” x 28”; Modeled 1902, Cast 1903;  Courtesy of Corcoran

Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.;  Museum Purchase, Accession Number 05.7

As you can see, Remington used exactly four horses and exactly four cowboys in his sculpture.  I added the extra horse in my parody… just because I wanted to.  The rules for illustrators say that’s okay… so I did it.  Anyway, my cowboys are a bunch of rustlers.  So maybe they stole the extra horse from Slim’s ranch! 


Here’s another secret about the illustrations in Slim and Miss Prim:

Illustrators Who Can't Spell

First, a confession:  I’m not the world’s greatest speller.  I have tried reasonably hard all my life, but the long and short of it is, spelling is not my flaming beacon of success. 

So… if you look carefully through Slim and Miss Prim… you might see a few mis-spellings in the artwork.  The publisher undoubtedly thought I put them in on purpose, just to show how thick-witted the rustlers were, but I can’t promise that that’s completely true. 

Take a look at these illustrations from Slim and Miss Prim

Here’s the ranch headquarters…  home of Miss Prim and her #1 cowboy, Slim.

The Prim Rose Ranch.  A lovely scene of tranquility at the Prim Rose ranch headquarters.

Here are the rustlers showing Slim his new quarters at the rustler hideout… 

:  Lee, the rustler, points the way to the guest rume.  I mean, guest room.

Here’s Miss Prim in the stick-up at the café…

Miss Prim… surrounded by bad guys at the cowboy café.  Fortunately Miss Prim is not afraid of a few ill-mannered rustlers.

And here’s Lee, the rustler, taking a much-needed bath…

The Rustlers Take a Bath.  Miss Prim says it’s about time!

Did you find any mis-spellings?  I know of three...  but you might find more.


P.S.  I was looking around on the Frederic Remington Art Museum website just now… and found this little bit of info:

Quote:  “Remington's journals were known to contain spelling errors. Research was done to present a document that could be most easily understood by the students participating in this suggested activity.” 

In other words, the museum had to fix up Mr. Remington’s spelling so kids could make heads or tails of it!!! 

So there.  I am not the only one who can’t spell!  


Buy the book Slim and Miss Prim at Amazon.Buy an original illustration from Slim and Miss Prim.

Link to Jim Harris Children’s Books Home PageEmail the page ‘Slim and Miss Prim | A Tale of Cowboy Love’ to a friend.

Images and Text © 2009 Jim Harris. All Rights Reserved