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.