Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Little Women

I decided to try my hand at the Tomie dePaola award this year.  This year's challenge was to illustrate a scene in black and white from either the Yearling, Little Women, or Tom Sawyer.

As I cannot resist anything old-timey involving girls in bonnets and big dresses, I chose Little Women.

This was my original rough sketch, showing Jo editing her first novel. While I liked the idea of the white pages against the dark colored desk, ultimately I didn't feel passionate about this image and decided to go with something different.

So, here's my entry:
This one is almost all digital, with some pencil here and there.  I started with a very rough pencil sketch that I scanned and painted it in Photoshop.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Wintry scene

Some fun with Photoshop; a fox in the snow.  It is without question much more fun to draw something completely random and not at all in my style rather than drawing something I am supposed to be working on.

Regardless, foxes are always fun to draw.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Manga Studio Inking Experiment

More gigantic hair for you.

I don't usually draw much in this style anymore, but I recently purchased Manga Studio since they were having a 90% off sale.  It's a lot of fun to play around with, and is great for inking.  The software is primarily designed for comic and manga artists, and there are tools for creating panels and inserting text easily.  But for any artist or illustrator who wants to do digital inking, I've found Manga Studio to be far easier for inking than Photoshop, and it delivers a very nice, crisp line.  The files can be exported as Photoshop files, so this image was inked in Manga Studio and colored in Photoshop.

Overall, I'm really happy with Manga Studio even though it may just be feeding my love of drawing hair.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Illustration Friday - Tree

This is a little outside the range of my usual style; just being inspired by some other illustrators I admire.

Thursday, November 08, 2012


I decided to do something for Illustration Friday this week.  The prompt was "shy."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sleeping Beauty sketch

Got a bit carried away with the hair and the dress, as usual.  Also, I have no clue how to draw a spinning wheel. Thirdly, I learned that Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on the spindle, not the distaff, as it appears from this sketch.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Peek at My Picture Book Dummy

Here's another snippet from my picture book dummy.  The benefit of working on a Chinese-themed book is that I was able to sneak my last name into this image.

Promotional Postcards

Just got my new promo postcards in the mail!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A Dapper Fox in a Suit

Here's something to round out my black and white portfolio.  I prefer animals who are snappy dressers.

This one is pencil on bristol board.

A little bit of what I'm working on

This is a little snippet from the picture book dummy I'm working on... done in watercolor, pencil, and colored pencil on Arches watercolor paper.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blocks - the colored piece

This is another portfolio piece for my children's illustration portfolio.  I'm not sure if this is done or not, but I do know I need to stop fussing with it for a while.  That's the problem with coloring digitally - I can tweak it infinitely to barely noticeable effect.

I did achieve a few things I wanted to include in my portfolio - unusual point of view, lots of negative space, and a strong lighting source.

Edit: I think I'm finally done tweaking this one, and here's the finished illustration.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Princess character studies

Finished off these princess character studies in watercolor and pencil.

Princess painting experiment

This is a color experiment that I'm not quite sure about.  I like a lot of the elements separately, just not sure they are working well together.

Cat spot illustration

I rather like how this little cat spot illustration came out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bad Governess

This is a sketch for a potential portfolio piece.  Yes, that is a cat dragging off a baby.  What of it?

Self assignment: POV and negative space

Gave myself an assignment to draw something from an unusual point of view, with lots of white space.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fox and grass

I wanted to see if my love of drawing hair would translate into drawing other things that are similar in texture, specifically, grass and fur.  Turns out, yep.  I may be slightly crazy, but this actually was a lot of fun to draw.  Plus, foxes!  Cute!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Character sketches - Joy and Sadness

Some character sketches for a sketch challenge - depicting "joy" and "sadness."  It was a good exercise in character consistency.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Drawing curly hair

I decided to draw some curly hair.  For no reason, really, other than wanting to see how to draw curly hair.  My only insights into the process are: draw a bunch of squiggly shapes.  Then, draw a lot of little short curvy lines going one way and then the other.  Make some parts darker and leave some lighter.  After doing this for a long time, you will have a nice drawing of curly hair.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Princess Character Studies

Some character studies for a sketch challenge.  I really like drawing this little princess.  Sadness, Fear, Anger, Surprise, Joy and Disgust were the emotions I had to express.  You can probably figure out which is which for yourself. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Some miniature portrait paintings

I did these two little portraits recently for a friend's birthday.  They are in little metal frames that I purchased years ago somewhere in the American Southwest; they have a glass door that is open for the purposes of photographing them.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Regency hunk

I don't know what possessed me to draw this, but I assure you, it was excessively diverting.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Miss Elizabeth Bennet

This week's Alphabooks is E for Miss Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Alphabooks - Mr. Darcy

I chose Mr. Darcy for Alphabooks this week (of course I did Mr. Darcy, I had no choice, really).  Mr. Darcy, regency hunk and eligible bachelor.  And that's the Jane Austen font in use - based on her handwriting!

In other Austen related news, The Guardian had an article about a portrait of Jane Austen at age 13, and inexplicably decided to link to a comic on this very blog.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jun/08/jane-austen-portrait-as-young-girl (my link is in the last paragraph).

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Illustration Friday sketch

Alas, I didn't get my Illustration Friday done in time... here's the sketch of what it would have been if I had gotten my act together in time.  Oddly enough, the prompt was "Hurry!"  I guess I should have taken that to heart a bit more.

Alphabooks - Cat Chant and Chrestomanci

Well, it's the letter C this week for Alphabooks - and I chose Cat Chant (whose real name is Eric) and Chrestomanci (whose actual name is Christopher Chant), from Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones. 

Chrestomanci is quite dapper, and I had quite a crush on him as a kid, and to be honest, still do.  He's just so dreamy. This is also quite a bit what I imagine Mr. Darcy to look like.  Probably my Pride and Prejudice obsession all stems from reading Charmed Life.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alphabooks - Becky Sharp

My entry for Alphabooks this week - B is for Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair by William Thackeray.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Recently completed project - Surly Sheep

I recently finished this logo design project for Surly Sheep.  This was a fun one.  And I got to do hand lettering, which is always a hoot.

Still Tweaking

Ever trying to refine my style... I made some subtle changes to this one.  I added some shading in colored pencil and graphite to give it a little more depth and texture.  I think I like it better.  The old version is here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Illustration Friday - Hitched

Wow! Participating in Illustration Friday for two weeks in a row!  Shocking! This is just a pencil sketch colored in Photoshop... and a few character studies for the same girl.  There's something about drawing angry children that I find very entertaining.