Sunday, May 20, 2018

Illustration Friday - Hairy

     Hi there! I've had this guy on my iPad for a few months and finally got around to painting him in acrylics (with a wee bit of digital touch-up) when I saw that the word of the week for Illustration Friday was HAIRY. Or at least it was for five minutes. I don't know what is going on with that site but I'm a little annoyed.
     I first imagined him as a vicious forest creature who terrorizes all the other creatures to make himself feel important, only to find that he is one extremely lonely guy. So then what does he do? How can he make friends?
     He can take a bath! Haha! A bath (or shower) makes us all feel better when we're grumpy. Right?
And it certainly makes us more approachable!

Disclaimer: This post is in no way autobiographical.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My Shop

My own little shop! Unfortunately it only exists online, but if I'm being honest, the overhead is going to be a lot easier to manage. I am counting down the days to launching my new website complete with portfolio, shop, and blog! I wanted to do something cute for the "shop" button so here it is.

Last Friday I walked down Broadway, the main street of my hometown - Greenville, Ohio, to take photos. There are many adorable old buildings to choose from. My shop is a combination of a couple of them.

On Monday I got out my watercolors and a piece of 6"x6" clayboard and did this:

It was cute but I thought the composition was a little boring. Here's one of the great things about clayboard - Tuesday morning I held it under the faucet in my kitchen and washed it off! A little light buffing with steel wool and I was able to give it a second try. 

For the final at the top of the page I digitally bumped up the contrast a little and added the lettering on the sign. Stay tuned for the grand opening!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mermay - The Dance

     Though we are knee-deep in this glorious month, many of you may not know that it has been renamed Mermay by tons of people in the illustration community. My Instagram feed is full of scary, imaginative, adorable, and beautiful beings from the mer-world. Most of them, though, are female. Well how do you get so many of these fascinating creatures if there are no mer-dads? And where do mer-dads come from? It all starts with . . . the Dance.

    If you're interested in seeing the piece I did last year click here. That post includes part of a children's story in rhyme that I wrote a while back.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Treehugger and proud of it

Illustration Friday - TRANSFORMATION into summer

I have this friend who lives in my backyard. I have no idea how old she is, but I've lived in my home for over 24 years so I know she's no teenager. As I sat outside last Friday enjoying the beautiful sunshine and pleasantly warm temperature my attention turned to her, across the yard, her leaves beginning to bud as she wakened after a long winter. Half of one of her major limbs has died and when she flowers she doesn't bloom as abundantly as she used to. She may be fading but my affection for her is growing. Each year I promise myself that I will spend more time sitting under her canopy and this year is no different. In the past I've talked to her, but never when anyone can hear and I've always been afraid to hug her and get myself carted away to wherever they cart people who have trees for friends. But no more. I am going to talk to her (out loud because how else can she hear me?) and I am going to hug the crap out of my little crabapple this year. Because getting carted off to a place where I would be with other people who talk to trees cannot be a bad thing.

Many years ago I sat my Raggedy Ann doll under her and did the above watercolor.

And this piece has always been a favorite of mine. 

And who wouldn't absolutely love a friend who helped make these photos happen? (Yes, those are my babies!)

I didn't realize until later, that Friday was also Arbor Day. I took a few moments to remember special trees of my childhood. There were several that I could think of right off the bat, some that I climbed, some that I played beneath, and some that were the bane of my existence when I was a kid (yes, I'm talking to you, Black Walnut Tree).
One of my favorite children's books is - The Giving Tree by Shel Siverstein (clicking on the link will actually get the book read to you! You may want to have some tissues handy). And as I was working last Saturday at the library, I came across this book (another tear jerker):

It's illustrated by one of my illustration heroes - David Catrow, (click on his name to check out his website) who I will be meeting in person next Thursday!!!!! Serendipity is happening all around me!

So, I'm thinking there's a lot of treehuggers out there that are just in the closet. To be clear - I'm out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Serenity #6

Woohoo!!! Sixth time is a charm. A couple of posts ago I shared a few previous versions of this same pose. I really liked number four but it was looking a little too realistic and also looked way too much like my red-headed step-child. Really. Not that she wasn't adorable at that age, but she's become a beautiful, grown woman and can no longer pose for me as Serenity. Plus, if I do a children's book with her as the star, I will stress about creating at least 3 more books starring the other kids. 

On Monday I came up with the version below. While you look at it I'm going to look away and wince. I think it's really bad. (Her hair looks like a perm from the late 70s.)
I'm sharing because I believe in the golden rule. I like to see the flubs of illustrators I admire. It makes me feel like anything is possible if you just keep at it, so I'm treating you the way I like to be treated. 

Instead of getting upset that I had lost about three hours of my life, I laid out all five versions and noted what I liked and didn't like about each of them. I then returned to the drawing board and did the sketch for the one that you see on top. 

I did the sketch on drawing paper because when I move to bristol paper or canvas I can get a little tense and it shows in the drawing. I went over the pencil lines with a micron pen and then applied a thin layer of gesso to the back and front of the drawing. I could still see the image through the gesso, thank goodness! phew! I painted her Tuesday in acrylics and though it's a painting on drawing paper and may not last for a thousand years. I'm okay with it. I'm okay with it until I decide to do #7.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Illustration Friday - PINK

I did this sweet girl (my step-daughter named her Luna) this week as a practice exercise on my ipad in the Procreate App. When I started her the Illustration Friday word of the week was CROWN. I tried putting a crown on her and making her a princess but it just wasn't looking right and my original sketch showed a flower in her hair. I'm glad I stuck to the original and WOW! how serendipitous that this week the IF word was PINK!