Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Celebrate


     I did this for the monthly SCBWI bulletin contest with the word prompt - Celebrate.
     I started digitally, which you can check out 2 posts ago, then decided I wanted switch to a loose pen and ink with some watercolor washes. I am so used to being able to paint over a mistake or hit the "undo" button, (how did humanity exist before there were undo buttons?) that it's very stressful to work on paper like that. When I had the pencil drawing done I was so terrified to mess up the ink, my hand trembled at times. While I applied the first layer of watercolors over the ink drawing, which was not messed up yet, I provided myself a steady stream of pep talk, a few coffee breaks, (decaf) and some yoga stretches. 
     The trouble is, I'm out of practice with that kind of thing. I've been an artist for many years but I've become too reliant on "undo".  Does anyone else out there ever expect autocorrect to help you out with spelling when you're writing with pen and paper? Is it just me? 
     

Monday, July 17, 2017

Illustration Friday - Ice Cream


     This one is thrown in just for fun. On Friday I was under doctor's orders to lay on the couch!!! I had two wisdom teeth removed so nothing serious, but when a doctor tells me to stay on the couch, on the couch I stay. Yay!!!! I sat there with a book to read, my sketchbook and my ipad and it was pretty heavenly. I thought it would be a good day to purchase the Procreate App and view some tutorials on how it works and do some playing. The Illustration Friday word prompt this week is ice cream so here's some ice cream done on my ipad with Procreate. (I'm a vegan so this ice cream is almond based, or coconut, or cashew).

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Celebration - work in progress


     This is not done, but this version may be as done as it ever gets. Yesterday, using this digital version as reference, I started over on bristol paper. I'm going to try to do it in pencil and pen with some watercolors thrown in to liven it up. I have the habit of getting things to tightly rendered and losing some of the image's energy. Case in point, the little girl in the pink dress in the center of the drawing (she's looks like she's made of plastic). Also, because I'm drawing on a bamboo tablet while looking at my computer screen, I'm losing that flow of drawing directly on my image. I'm not complaining (too loudly), but a Cintiq tablet is going on my Christmas list this year.
     Check back with me next Wednesday. I'm hoping to have a finished version of "CELEBRATION".
    Also, before I go, I want to tell you that I reached 10,000 hits to this blog. I know it's not 10,000 followers, and I know it's not 10,000 hits to one image. But, I also know my mom has not viewed my blog 10,000 times. It's so nice to have a place to share my works and talk about them a little. Thank you to everyone who has taken an interest!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Puppies! - etc.


    As Jake Parker over at SVS Learn says, the important thing is that it is: "finished, not perfect." I'll put this aside and maybe revisit it down the road. I'd like to add more puppies and make them more stylized (more like cartoons in this case).
     I am a creature of habit. The more routine my life, the more creative I seem to be. These last few weeks have upset my applecart and I won't get them all picked up and put back in the cart for a couple weeks more. There's been some household renovations, including an art studio fix-up that's still in progress, a mild mid-life questioning of what the heck I'm doing with my life, a garage sale over the next couple of days, and wisdom tooth removal next week. That'll be fun. The important thing is that even though I've been distracted I've still managed to draw a little bit every day.
   
    Last week the elementary school I attended was demolished and it made me a little melancholy.
I did this drawing:


It kind of made me feel worse. Haha! When I drew the eyes I made myself cry. I'm ridiculous sometimes. 



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Creative slumps - they happen




     These are taken from my sketchbook. I'm at day number 13 of my sketch-a-day. I have a couple of large projects I should be working on but I'm experiencing a bit of a creative burnout and just wanted to enjoy drawing for a while. 
     Yesterday, I started sketching puppies. Let me tell you, if you're feeling a little down, spend some time looking at puppy photos. I decided to create more of a composition than just the random sketches so I put them together and started this:


This could turn out looking a lot different when it's done but now you've had a glimpse at the initial idea. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Original Claw-Foot Bath


8 x 10 acrylic on canvas

     This began as a scribble in one of my sketchbooks - a child in a claw foot tub with way more of the lion present than just its feet. Here it is, innocent enough: 


     I worked on a better rendering and ended up with a disturbing image of a lion with a giant hole carved into his back so that a child could bathe there. Ugh! Who wants to see that? Maybe you did, so I apologize. It was digital and I tossed it into cyber trash. I ended up changing it to a WHOLE lion who simply allows a child, a cave-child, to bathe upon him. (Lions were much more docile thousands of years ago.)
     Also, originally, the child's head was just tipped back with a look of bliss. That changed too. Six days ago I started, as I had done in 2012, to do a sketch-a-day. I am going to do a small sketch each morning while I have my coffee. I own a book full of nothing but facial expressions, so for the time being, I'm practicing from that. Here's the first 4 days: 


And there it was on June 19th! The expression I wanted on the kid taking his bath.  Isn't it awesome how things just fall into place once in a while?


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Magic Bookcase


     This is an idea that started to form about 5 years ago in my sketch-a-day book. I was participating in Illustration Friday and the word prompt for the week was EXPLORE.
     In the image below, the top drawing is that first idea and the sketch underneath it is from my current sketchbook and was done just a couple of weeks ago:


I then did a more finished drawing and scanned it into the computer to do a value study:
From there I did a watercolor:

      and then scanned this into the computer and did all the digital enhancements that you see at the top of the page.

     The image at the top is really only half way there. I'd like to expand the bookcase to the 3 sections that you see in my sketchbook drawing and then do the whole thing as an oil painting. Could be a while so I don't want anyone out there holding their breath or anything. It's taken 5 years just to get this far! Have a great week!




Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Works in Progress, etc.


     With the exception of the two weeks that coincided with my trip to Cuba, I have posted a blog every Wednesday. It was a resolution I set at the beginning of the year. Most of my resolutions fizzle around March so I have to say I'm pretty happy with myself. (If I were texting, I'd insert a smiley emoji here). Some of my posts were only at https://tracyonoz.com/ until I figured that it would be in my best interest to post the same blog in both places.
     Yesterday I realized that, although I've been putting in the hours this last week, most of it has been in sketchbooks and working out ideas for future work. So, I piled some of the things I've been up to on my art table and took a photo. I'm painting backgrounds for my story "The First Pearl," I'm working on characters to insert into those backgrounds, I'm working on a new illustration idea (the bookshelf) and I did a caricature portrait of my nephew for his 26th birthday. 
     I should have something a little more fancy for you next week, so please check back with me. You can count on me to have something. Have a good week!
     

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mermay


     My mermaid arrived! I was so pleased with the background that I was afraid of messing it up with a crummy mermaid. Haha! But I ended up happy with her as well. I darkened the water to give the illustration a bit more of a dramatic look. What a challenge! I'm happy I got it done before the end of the MerMay month.
     I'm also going to share with you a little excerpt from a story, in verse, I was working on about a year ago that is also about a mermaid. Now that I'm a year removed from it I can see where it needs more work. But for what it's worth, here's how it began.

We built castles of sand. We splashed in the sea.
We were on an adventure, my parents and me.

But my folks tuckered out, and I really can't say
Why they'd rather read books and waste half of the day.

Soon my mom fell asleep and Dad started to snore.
So I sat by myself looking out from the shore.

Far out in the sea, I noticed a flash,
A sparkling of silver, a spray, and a splash.

That's one whopping fish! It was huge! It was strong!
But as it got closer, I saw I was wrong.

It swam steadily toward me, and to my surprise
A girl broke the surface, long hair, and big eyes.

"Hello there!" she called. "Over here! Come and see!"
I glanced over my shoulder, responded, "who me?"

"Yes you, silly boy. Do you want to have fun?
Come away for the day. Let's escape from the sun."

So while my mom slept and my dad snored away
I walked into the waves with this girl, for the day.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MerMay background


     I'm working on this in celebration of MerMay - a fun thing that a lot of illustrators are doing on Instagram. Some are posting a new mermaid every day! Today, I finally finished my mermaid's home and she should be showing up here by next Wednesday.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Serenity and Frog


     I've been working on a character page for my character Serenity and her frog. This is called "Love at First Sight." I made the frog more realistic looking and I think its working better for me, so I went back and redid the next piece of the pair all tucked in for the night.



This is what the first one looked like.


And here's one more character study -




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nac


     About 20 years ago I wrote a children's book manuscript with an oyster named Nac as the main character. At the time I thought there was no way I would ever be the illustrator because my art style was pretty realistic and cuteness in any of my attempts at creating characters was nonexistent. 
     Here I am now, polishing up the manuscript and working on the illustrations. What a difference 20 years can make! Haha! It's certainly possible that if someone wants to publish the story, they wouldn't want my illustrations, but at least I'm giving it my best attempt. I, personally, think he's kind of cute.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Eleanora and Tommy


     From the same chapter book manuscript I've started, here are two more of the main characters. This is what my portfolio needs more of and what I am concentrating on learning how to do well - pose the same characters in different positions while maintaining consistency in their appearance.
     When I was working on character development for Eleanora (Ella) I pretended to be interviewing her and asked her what her best memory was. This may or may not make it to the pages of the manuscript.

    "My best memory was the day my parents brought Tommy home from the hospital. He was so tiny. His fingers and toes were like miniatures. Hard-to-believe-they-were-even-real miniatures. And the smell! . . . No! Not a bad smell. It was a baby smell - like baby lotion, and baby shampoo, and baby chicks, and baby bunnies, and the ocean, and cut grass, and cotton candy, and every good smell that was ever smelled. That was what Tommy smelled like.
    Well, occasionally a bad smell. But mostly good ones."


Monday, May 1, 2017

Mrs. Hallovich


     This is a character I created for a children's chapter book I'm working on. I have about 5,000 words typed, an outline (my outlines are very flexible and subject to change), and several more pages that are hand written and ready to be typed. I started it more than 6 months ago and recently got back to it when my daughter (bless her heart) says, "hey, what's going on with that babysitter story you started?" I say, "why? Are you interested to know what happens next?" She says, "Yeah, it was really good." 
     All the incentive I need.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Storm Comin'


     I'm used to, by now, putting my artwork out into the world for people to view and possibly comment on. With the exception of my blog posts, it's rare that I share my writing. I need to get over it. I did this little illustration to go with a writing exercise I did for the writing prompt: Explain lightning to a five year old.

STORM COMIN'

      Close your eyes, child. Can you smell the rain? It’s comin’. 
      Shhhh. Hush now. Listen to the thunder boomin’ in the distance. It’ll be here soon.
      See how dark the sky is over that field? That’s the backdrop for the show.
      Now pick up your things and let’s move inside the house. We can watch everything from Grandma’s picture window.
     Let’s turn this chair 'round so we’re facin' out front. Come on up here on Grandma’s lap. There now. All cozy? 
     Look at it comin’. See how the rain is fallin’ in the distance? Look at it pour! That’s what you call buckets ‘o rain. Ever hear of it rainin’ cats and dogs? Well that right there is lions and wolves comin’ at us. Are you ready? Don’t be frightened, Baby. We’re all safe inside here.
     Oh my! That’s what you call lightning. Did you see that? That was a beauty! I just love the way lightning snakes and sizzles its way down through the sky like that. All that energy can’t just come down in one beam of light. It breaks out of that one beam and jaggedy jumps in all kinds of directions.
     Oh! There’s another! 
     Listen. Let’s count. One . . . two . . . three . . . four. . . Hear that? That’s the thunder come followin’ that lightning. The less numbers you can reach, the closer the storm is gettin’.
     Haha! That one was beautiful! Let’s count. One . . . two . . . thr . . . Ooooo! It’s almost upon us. Close your eyes again. 
     Listen. 
     There. 
     Grandma loves the sound of rain dancin' on the roof, and me knowin’ I’m safe and dry, and God out there real close, waterin’ my garden and givin’ drinks to those in need.
     Oh my! I think we both jumped! Haha! This is a good show isn’t it? Grandma sure does love a storm. Can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be enjoyin’ this show with either.
     What do you think?
     Hmmm?
     Child?
     Awe, Sweetheart. You just go right on sleepin’.  Grandma’s got you right here. All safe and dry.
     

Thursday, April 13, 2017

"Ashley the Great" in color


Here she is!
     I don't know if I did this in a true grisaille style because I felt more like I was painting over the black and white rather than just glazing colors over the top. Oh well. I think she turned out really well and once she is dry and I am able to varnish and frame she will be on her way to Cuba to her parents' house.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring

     
     It's almost this time of year! My eyes are on my lilac bush and I intend to appreciate every last blossom this year. I intend to make bouquets and bring them into my house and sit and just breathe. 
     I did a piece very similar to this about 3 years ago when I was participating on a website called Illustration Friday The word prompt for the week was LUSH and below is my old submission. 


I wish everyone a Happy Easter!

For anyone checking out this blog on a regular basis, I'm nearly done with the portrait of my great-granddaughter and will probably post it by the end of the week.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ashley the Great

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks because we have been in Cuba! This is a portrait of my great-grandaughter (yes! a perk of marrying an older man - he made me a great-grandmother. Look at her! I'll take it.)
When I got back and started going through my photos I was a little overwhelmed with where to start. So many beautiful images! So I pulled out this photo of her:

 and did this quick pencil sketch in my sketchbook:

And I thought it might make a nice little portrait.
The technique I'm using is called grisaille. I used only black and white paint. Once this bottom layer dries I'm going to glaze some colors over the top of it. My fingers are crossed that it turns out. I don't want to ruin what I've already done. I promise to post the result here in a week or two.

I also want to share the portrait I painted, over ten years ago, of her father.
He was 10 years old when I last saw him (prior to this visit). I thought he was a wonderful and affectionate boy and he has grown into an amazing young man, willing to pose for me under a palm tree on the same beach. 

And . . . one last photo for this post (I'm sure I'll be posting more of Cuba as I work on paintings.) Probably my favorite of the whole trip. 
Me and my grandson.




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Irish Roots


     It won't be long now until we leave for a large family vacation to my husband's native land, Cuba. This is something that we've been planning for months. I've been reading in Spanish, speaking Spanish, eating Cuban food, listening to Cuban music, saving money for Cuba, and buying gifts to take to Cuba. It's going to be an awesome trip to see family and hopefully explore a little more of that incredibly gorgeous island, (I was there once before in 2006) but for goodness sake! I have roots too! And not all of them are gray. Happy St. Patrick's Day to all and especially everyone whose name starts with an Mc or an O'.

Your's Truly,
 the former, Tracy McGlinch.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dress Up

Dress up
I seem to have a very strong desire to "perfect" this image. It is my fourth attempt at working on the idea.
For most of my adult life I've painted realistically. I always said I couldn't draw from my imagination if my life depended on it. If it wasn't set up in front of me to view, I couldn't get it on paper. When people wanted me on their Pictionary team I warned them that my drawing skills would be no better than anyone else's. And I was correct.
But I've always wanted to illustrate children's books and knew that unless I worked on the skill of drawing from my imagination, I would never be able to come close to making that a reality.
In 2011 my step-daughter Ashley (my personal cheerleader) bought me a sketch-a-day book for Christmas. That little book started to change everything for me. On March 4 2012 I drew this image in that sketchbook for the Illustration Friday word of the week - INTENTION: (Well, at least she had good intentions)
first girl dress-up
I was pretty proud of it at the time and thought "Hey! Now I can be of benefit to a Pictionary team!
Almost exactly a year later I felt that I had improved my skills and could do a much better version. I did this one for the Illustration Friday word of the week - PROTEST (the fish was definitely protesting).
Protest
And in 2015 I felt like an absolute expert and decided I could do so much better. Here's that one:
INTENTION
So there you have it.  The top image is where I am after 5 years of drawing while relying heavily on my imagination. I certainly use reference material in my process, but to be able to have done the top image 5 years ago I would have needed a little girl model, a happy dog, a curious cat (one that would allow me to put clothes on it and then pose nicely), and a fish that I would have had to put through way too much trama.
Have we all seen the last attempt of this image?
Probably not.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Victorian Tea

   
     There is something about this site for posting a blog that I like better than the new site I'm working on. So even though the last post here was called "Last Post Here" . . . it's not.

     This is a piece done for the SVS Learn class https://svslearn.com/ called "Draw 50 Things"     https://svslearn.com/classDetail/-KbmllbZT5dO6dI-6NGc

     The challenge was to do a complex piece incorporating 50 separate and identifiable items. I've been working on it for about 30 hours and it's done for now. I may pull it back out in a few months and see what I might do differently, but for now I'm very satisfied. Thanks, Will Terry!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Last Post Here

     This will probably be one of my last posts on this site. Thanks, in very large part, to the help of my step-daughter and her husband, I have a new home at tracyonoz.com and you can go directly to today's art blog here: https://tracyonoz.com/2017/01/18/seahorses/
     We just spent a week visiting in Vegas and traveling to Pacific Beach for the weekend where we were photo bombed by our waitress. That's me in the bottom right corner, my daughter Louisa behind me, my husband Henry, the waitress, Alonzo my son-in-law and and doing the selfie honors with the camera is my step-daughter Ashley, who made our visit crazy-amazing and memorable!
     I took many photos on the trip that I plan to turn into artwork, so if you're interested in seeing them, click on over to the new place and follow me. Thanks!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WINTER


I've been working on illustrations for the four seasons and here's how WINTER is progressing. I started it in acrylics (below)


and that is where I will (before the end of the month) finish it. I like the more painterly look of the original but I turned to my digital paint program to work out some of the details. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sleepy


When a kid is sleepy but DOES NOT want to go to bed.
This is a practice piece and makes numbers 15 and 16 of 100 somethings.