Monday, December 30, 2013

Illustration Friday - REFLECT

The weekly word for Illustration Friday is REFLECT.  I do a lot of that as New Year's Eve approaches.  I reflect over the year and my accomplishments.  I look over the goals I set for myself at the end of 2012 to see how I've measured up.  I think January 1st is probably my favorite holiday.  I like setting goals and even making resolutions that are always broken by mid-February yet never fail to get me excited by the possibility that this may be the year I do a sketch a day, avoid sugar, exercise more, become fluent in Spanish, and finish a children's book manuscript with illustrations included.

Where does the time go?

Happy New Year Everyone!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Illustration Friday - SHADOW

It's a busy week but I wanted to work with this image for the word SHADOW.  I did something very similar in college that has been thumbtacked to a wall in my studio for many years.  My 2014 goal is to begin to familiarize myself with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.  I'd like to pull this illustration out again when I have some more experience with one of those programs.  For this one, I used ink with a pen and some brushes on Bristol paper, (shown below) then put it into Corel Paint and added a little color and some detail highlights on the tree.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Illustration Friday - TAIL

     This is a quick lesson in placement and perspective.
     I had some fun with this one.  I drew directly onto the computer with my Bamboo tablet.   It's sketchy and has some of the energy that I too often end up overworking out of my images. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Flori Isabella

     On October 18, I posted an acrylic study of a flower shop.  Here is the finished product. It's a 12 x 16 oil on clayboard and I've been working on it here and there for the last four weeks.  I haven't done an oil like this for quite a while and, I have to say, I'm pretty happy with it.  I haven't posted for a couple of weeks mostly because I've been busy with this painting and several others that I'll be happy to share soon.
     I attempted to participate in Illustration Friday last week. The word was ENERGY and I worked up an idea of kids playing in leaves.  I spent about six hours on it.  My sketch had energy.  My first version in Corel Paint still had energy. But, as I tried to fine tune the details of the drawing I zapped all of the energy out of it and ended up trashing it.  Oh well. As I've said before, art (like life) is a journey and I learn something new every day.  I don't beat myself up too badly when I have a bad week.
Thanks for stopping by.  I hope to finish another painting this week, and I'd also like to work on the new IF word for the week - TAIL.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Illustration Friday - SECRET

     This is an illustration I did earlier this year.  Grandma's "secret" ingredient is . . . love. It's acrylic on bristol paper.
     I am currently working on some paintings from recent vacation photos, so I was happy to have something in my archives to submit to IF.  I should be able to start sharing my paintings in the next week or two. Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Illustration Friday - CREATURE

My submission to IF and a tribute to Stephen King, who has created a great many humanish creatures in his career.  I've been a fan since I started reading his work in the early eighties and just finished reading "Doctor Sleep".  The main character is Danny, the little boy from "The Shining" who is all grown up and still shining.  Thank you, Mr. King, I had a blast.  Since this illustration wouldn't look so creepy with Danny sneaking up behind him, I went with the clown from "It". 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Illustration Friday - ENTANGLED

My submission for IF this week. A sweet little witch with some friends entangled in her hair.
I did a quick sketch of her, scanned it into the computer and then painted her digitally over my sketch.
Halloween always gets me in the mood for storytelling.  She might make a good book character. Hmmm. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Study for flower shop painting

Here's a little study I did today.  I did it in acrylics on an 8 x 10 canvas that had previously been tinted gray. I plan to do a final version in oils, pop out the colors and add more detail. I'll maybe add a figure for more interest.  We'll see.  I think I'd like to make the composition a bit taller too.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Norman Reedus

My daughter and I are crushing on Norman Reedus right now. He plays Daryl in "The Walking Dead"
and does a fantastic job.  WE LOVE DARYL.

I did this portrait of him from a photo in the newest "Entertainment" magazine.  My daughter gets to hang it on her wall, but I got the fun of being so up close and personal with his face!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Children in Tree - Redo

I posted an illustration a couple of weeks ago that I was not happy with because by the time I was done, the image had lost its personality.  I decided to re-do it.   I did a pen and ink sketch which I dropped into Corel Paint and colored.  This one is a lot more fun I think, fresher and more energetic. Certainly more along the lines of the children's book illustrating that I am aspiring to do.  

I think my style is going to end up being somewhere in between these two pictures.  The fresher cartooniness of the latest illustration, mixed with some of the painterly technique of the original Children in Tree illustration.

I'm tempted to do a third one to see where I end up, but I think I'll take a break from it for now and go on to the next project.  The Illustration Friday word this week is RESCUE and I have an idea that I'm working on for that.

first attempt at Children in Tree

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Paint Brush Still Life

This is an 8 x 10 acrylic on clayboard. Some tighter realism meets the looser background.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

Illustration Friday - HYBRID

These are my underwater birds that I did earlier this year, inspired by a character in the book Game of Thrones  who said "underwater the birds have scales for feathers".  An image came to mind and here it is. 9 x 12 acrylic on Bristol paper.  I thought it worked very well for the IF word this week - HYBRID
I'll try to come up with another idea for this word before the end of the week.  There are too many fun possibilities to pass up.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Illustration Friday - TRAVEL

This is my submission this week for Illustration Friday.  The word is TRAVEL.  The woman traveled here by boat, or maybe by book, or maybe, like me, by imagination.  The tiger is frivolous but if you're gonna dream - dream big.

I'm also including my 2 sketchbook pages that I used for this idea.  The first is my thinking page - a bunch of words and scribbles.  The second page focuses a little more on the idea.  I love seeing into the sketchbook of other artists so I'm sharing too! One of the most inspirational books I've ever read is "An Illustrated Life" by Danny Gregory which I would very highly recommend.  It's a peak into the sketchbooks of MANY artists along with their sketchbook experiences and recommendations.

I looked up the tiger and the boat on the internet for reference but the rest is from my imagination.  That is what I've been working on for the last couple of years - drawing as much as I can from my imagination!!!  It's much more liberating and come on . . . setting up this scene with models would have been extremely expensive.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Illustration Friday - PROTEST

My husband and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary this weekend so I didn't have as much time as usual to come up with something new.  This is an illustration I did a year ago for the word INTENTION.  She did have good intentions after all.  I'm making it work for this week because I'm pretty sure that fish is PROTESTING.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Illustration Friday - EQUALITY

I started this as a colored pencil drawing, then uploaded it to my Corel Paint program and played around with my Wacom Bamboo Tablet. I still need a lot of practice!  That is one of the areas where my knowledge and experience are sorely lacking.  When I was in school the only students using computers were actual computer majors.  I'm dating myself but, so be it.

This is my weekly submission to Illustration Friday,  I'm going to try to do as many of these weekly  submissions as possible.  I was doing them last year on my own in my sketchbook and was enjoying it so much.  I couldn't wait to be online and play with the big kids.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


One thing I want to do in my blog posts is share my experiences with different surfaces and mediums.  I have been using clayboard quite a bit recently and want to share a couple pieces I've done.

This is a 5" x 7" portrait of my dog, Ellen.  I started by dripping watercolor over the surface of the clayboard and allowing it to dry.  I had to do this a few times to build up the intensity of colors. Then I scratched her image in using scratchboard tools.  I touched up a few shadowy areas with more watercolor, and sealed it all with Kamar Varnish.  I'm sorry that I don't have the steps along the way.  I'll start thinking in terms of sharing and will start recording my process as I go along.

Another 5" x 7" clayboard.  This one of my friend Elois's grape arbor.  I started this the same way by dripping watercolor on the surface.  Instead of scratching this one, I lifted the color from the beams with water and a brush.  I then began painting with acrylics, scratched a few small areas for the highlights, and sealed it all with Kamar varnish.  

I like adding my highlights last.  Clayboard is great for this. The color lifts with water or can be scratched off.  I like the smooth texture of this surface.  Its very slick which may not be great for everyone.

Thanks for visiting.