Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Making of a Picture - Part 2

I didn't want people to think that I've forgotten about including a behind the scenes look at how I'm putting my holiday card picture together, so I thought I'd include a mini-update on the coloring progress.

When I post the completed image I'm planning on sharing a whole bunch of work in progress images so that you can get a better idea about how I approach the digital painting aspect of one of my pictures.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sweeney Todd - part IV and final

Yaaaay! I finished my entry for the Sweeney Todd poster contest tonight. The final image measures 20" x 30" at 600 dpi. It can also be found right here in my deviantArt gallery. You can see the work in progress images for this in my previous sketch blog entries.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sweeney Todd - part III

Here's some of the coloring progress I've made on my entry for the Sweeney Todd poster contest. I'm doing all of the digital painting in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet. The poster dimensions are 20" x 30" at 600 dpi. My plan is to have this completed by tomorrow night since the deadline is the 11th.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sweeney Todd - part II

Well, I finished the preliminary work for my entry to the Sweeney Todd poster contest. I drew it with brown pencil on an 18" x 24" piece of watercolor paper, and then painted over it with black ink. I scanned it in to my computer, pieced all the scanned images back together, and now it's time to start coloring!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sweeney Todd

I thought I'd post a bit of a work in progress tonight. This is eventually going to be my entry into the Sweeney Todd poster contest that is being hosted on deviantArt. The deadline is the 11th, and I'm hoping to get this done a day or so before then. I'm alternating between working on this and working on my illustration for my holiday card. The switch between the subject matter is amusing to say the least.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Prints for the holidays!

If you've been considering ordering anything from my print shop, now would be an excellent time to do so! Not only has my shop been updated with some new printing options, but you can use the promotional code THANKSFELLA when checking out to save 10% on orders over $50!

Perfect for gifts for others or yourself!

Also, if you're considering ordering any as gifts for the holidays, you should be aware of the following dates for cut offs for December 24th arrival. Here is the information that has been provided to me by deviantArt.

For deviantWEAR Products:
Wednesday Dec. 12 - FedEx Ground
Monday Dec. 17 - FedEx Two Day
Tuesday Dec. 18 - FedEx Standard Overnight

For All Other Products (ie. standard art prints):
Friday Dec. 7 - USPS Economy
Friday Dec. 14 - USPS Express Priority Mail
Monday Dec. 17 - FedEx 2nd Business Day
Tuesday Dec. 18 - Next Business Day

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Frosty Lion

The topic for Illustration Friday this week is "the zoo". I always wonder what the animals at the zoo do when the weather turns cold, especially the animals that usually live in warmer climates. For example, lions live in the Serengeti, not the harsh winters of upstate New York. Yeah, he has that big fur coat, but still. Cold is cold.

The sketches below were just me playing around with a couple other ideas for this week's topic. I had to work kind of quick this week since I'm going out of town tomorrow, and I was determined to have something to show for this IF topic.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Luck On a Leash

I took a quick break from my polar bear illustration that I'm working on to put this together tonight in Photoshop. It's for this week's Illustration Friday topic, which is "superstition". I know there are probably going to be a ton of black cats with this topic, but I really don't care. I just wanted to make something fun and try my hand at a more simplified, retro inspired style.

Plus, I simply like the idea of someone who really believes in luck owning a black cat.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Making of a Picture - Part 1

Each year I make a holiday card to mail out to my friends and family. These were the cards for 2006, 2005, and 2004. I usually try to stick with a winter theme instead of focusing on a specific holiday. For a while I've been wanting to do an illustration with a polar bear, so I figured this year's card would be a great chance. Some might think I had The Golden Compass in mind when I decided on using a polar bear, but I was inspired by the fairy tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Kay Nielsen's artwork for this story was especially inspiring, with this particular image planting the definite sparks of an idea in my head.

I thought it would be nice to share a bit of information on how I sometimes go about completing an image, so I'm planning to do that with this illustration.

The first thing I did, after looking up various images of polar bears online for reference, was to sketch out my idea in Photoshop with my tablet. I've gotten into the habit of doing my rough planning for pictures in Photoshop because I can make edits very quickly and easily. It's especially helpful to have the options of flipping images, changing the size, or moving certain parts around.

This got the primary idea out of my head and down in front of me where I could look at it. However, the woman on the polar bear wasn't quite right. After showing it to my boyfriend, he suggested that I take some reference photos to use. It was excellent advice, so I set up my camera on a timer and took some reference photos. Below are the two main references that I wound up using for this picture.

Armed with references photos, I went back and edited my Photoshop sketch.

Now that I had my design planned out to a point I was happy with, I went about transferring it to paper. I used brown colored pencil and a tiny bit of pen and ink (for some fine details on her face and hair ornaments) to draw the picture on to a 24" x 18" sheet of watercolor paper. Then, using watered down black ink, I painted ink washes over my pencil lines to lay down base values. These will make the digital coloring process easier for me and it also helps lend a traditional painting touch to the completed image.

Coming soon...coloring!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Bit of Ocean in Her Hair

These two drawings are just an idea I'm trying to work out for a mermaid themed picture. The plan is for her to have lots of ocean inspired things in her hair in kind of an art nouveau type wreath and ribbons - fish, seaweed, coral, pearls, etc. The first drawing is a rough pencil sketch and the second is a more detailed inked version.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Newspaper Articles

I was cleaning out some old papers today and found two newspaper articles that were written last August about the children's art classes that I've taught at the Old Sculpin Gallery on Martha's Vineyard. The articles focus on the children's art show that I helped organize. Here's an article about this summer's art show that I posted in this blog back in August.

Watercolor Doodle

I had a scrap of watercolor paper lying around so I decided to just mess around with it for a bit while watching a movie the other night. Nothing special. I need to get back into the habit of painting with watercolors more and not just ink washes.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I carved a pumpkin yesterday, and it was probably the most last minute jack-o-lantern I've ever made. The whole pumpkin was cleaned and carved in less than forty-five minutes though, so yay for that. I had to keep things simple because I was pressed for time, so it's not nearly as elaborate as previous years' pumpkins.

Here's my jack-o-lantern from 2006.

And here is the one I made in 2005.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Among The Roses

Well, I finally got around to finishing the coloring on my Beauty and the Beast picture. As I've mentioned on here before, Beauty and the Beast happens to be a particular favorite fairy tale of mine, and I've read countless different versions. For some time now I've had the desire to do my own series of illustrations based on the original fairy tale, and it's a project which I find myself wandering back to in between working on other things.

Prints of the picture are available through my print shop.

This was drawn on an 11"x14" surface on watercolor paper using ink pens and ink washes, and then I did all of the coloring in Photoshop with my wacom tablet. The uncolored version of this can be viewed right here. A close up view of one of the more detailed areas in the picture can be viewed below.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Beast portrait

For some time now I've had the desire to do my own series of Beauty and the Beast illustrations based on the original fairy tale. It's kind of an on and off project which I find myself wandering back to in between working on other things. Here's a pencil portrait of the Beast that I drew last night (just pencil on bristol board). I started coloring it in photoshop, so a colored version will be coming eventually.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Beret Profile

Just an ink drawing from my sketch book with a little bit of color thrown on it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Phillip vs. Maleficent

I felt the need to practice coloring something with slightly cartoony, saturated colors. I didn't have any linework of my own available that fit into that category. However, I've been a long time admirer of Brianna Garcia's artwork and I thought it might be fun to try and color one of her pictures. Plus, if I colored this one then I got to paint green dragon flames! And Maleficent and Prince Phillip's battle has always been a classic in my book. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun coloring this one.

So like I said, I didn't draw this, I only colored it! The awesome original drawing is by Brianna Garcia and can be seen right here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Commission: Book Cover - The Voyage to Ruin

Last September I was contacted by another artist on deviantArt who was writing a piratey sailing adventure type story. Kat wanted me to illustrate the cover for the hardcover version of the book. This is what I came up with. It features Flynn, the main character in The Voyage to Ruin.

Kat then turned my illustration of Flynn into this beautifully designed book cover.

Pretty exciting, huh? A picture I made is now the cover for an officially published book! I received my copy in the mail a couple weeks ago and it looks beautiful. The hardcover version of the story also has interior illustrations by Kat. The paperback version has a cover by Kat and no interior illustrations.

The Voyage to Ruin is currently available for purchase from Lulu, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Commission: Custom Halloween Invitation

I was recently contacted by a family who saw this custom Halloween invitation I had done for a party my family was throwing.

They wanted me to modify the invitation a bit to suit their party, so here is the newly revised version of the Halloween invitation. They wanted a little scarecrow boy added to represent their son, and then just some small changes for their party info. I've left out the contact and RSVP details about the party for privacy reasons, but everything else is there.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fisherman Portrait

There's an older fisherman on the island who has the most interesting face. He always has his slanted fishing hat on his head and his pipe clenched in his mouth. I've thought on many occasions that his face would be fun to draw, so when a photo popped up in the island magazine I had the perfect opportunity.

Blue Mermaid

Just an ink sketch from this weekend, with a bit of color thrown on in Photoshop. Tada!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sammy Sketch

It was slow last night at work, so I decided to sketch a picture of Sam since season 2 of Supernatural is coming out on DVD next week. I used one of my smaller travel size sketchbooks, this time the one with brown paper, with brown, white, and a tiny bit of blue colored pencil. After I scanned it I added a hint of color in Photoshop, but not much. I didn't spend too much time on this, maybe an hour total between interruptions from helping gallery patrons.

Vintage Lady Sketch

Just another page out of my sketchbook. I did a "design your own movie poster" day with the kids during the last week of class, and they wanted me to draw with them, so this is what happened. One of the girls in the class picked something out from the stack of reference books and magazines for me to draw, so I was using a subscription tear out card from an issue of Vogue that had a photo of Keira Knightley for a loosely based inspiration.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ink Paintings

During the last week of the children's art class, I taught a lesson on ink painting with bamboo brushes. I did two demonstrations - one in a more traditional Chinese style and one showing how they could adapt those methods to paint something based on subject matter from around the island. For the one about the island, I painted a picture of the cliffs on the beach in Aquinnah.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Sand Sculpture

I made a big sand sculpture on the beach yesterday. It's a giant fish, maybe about 8 or 9 feet long. My only tools were a shovel and stuff that I found on the beach, including rocks for his scaly fins, a plastic cup used to make scale shapes on the body, and some random sticks used for carving. It looked much more detailed and three dimensional in person than it does in the photos, but the sunlight was kind of washing things out in the pictures so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Last Day of Classes

Today is the last day of the children's art classes that I've been teaching at the art gallery this summer - I'll still be working at the gallery for now, though.

Last weekend the kids got to have their own art show here at the gallery. They were all very excited to have their work hung on the walls "just like the real artists!" One of the local newspapers even came to do a short story on the show, which was nice. I had a really good group of kids in class this year, and it made me happy to see how proud they were of what they made.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Polly Hill Arboretum

Just some sketches - an ink one and two watercolor ones - done yesterday at Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

T-Shirt Design

I decided that the art gallery that I'm working at needed a new t-shirt design. The one that we have now is horrible and we hardly sell any of them. See for yourself.

So I asked the people in charge if I could come up with a new design for the shirt. They're having a board meeting on Monday, so my design will be reviewed then. Here's what I've come up with. The building is a historical building (over 200 years old), and very distinctive looking, so I thought it only appropriate that it be included in the design. And the ropes and anchor are a nod to the gallery's boat building past. I think the design should be printed in white or light blue ink on a navy blue t-shirt.