Friday, September 30, 2011

Rip Van Winkle

Comp 1
I recently finished an illustration for the Aesop's fable  "The Fox, the Chicken, and the Dog" and enjoyed playing with changing up old imagery that I've decided to start an illustration of another fable. (I'll be sharing the "The Fox, The Chicken, and The Dog" soon.)

Face Rework Detail

These are some of my brainstorming sketches. The one that is getting close to my final composition is the modified first composition.

Compiled first comp with the face detail and a wider composition.

little early thumbnail
Comp Three - This was fun to play with, but to my tastes too
much is going on in the composition.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

American Black History (Final)

American Black History
(I decided on the term black versus African American because it can include people who more closely identify with Mexico or the Caribbean rather than Africa and may be called "black.")
Mixed Media
So, not too long ago I posted about this very project. I shared the final drawing (the step just before this finished piece) and some of the process that got me to that point. You can see how this piece was thought up here.

A Note on Color Choices
 I resolved to make the root, faces and all, a similar color with varying tones to emphasize their connectedness as a root. I chose a slightly orange leaning brown and then accented it with purples and greens that allow the browns to stand out.

To help give the feeling of a root and tie in the subject matter with the background space I chose to use textured papers both in the background and under the painted faces so that the paint could bring out any embedded fibers from one face to another. This choice increased the piece's atmosphere and emotion. I also included some hatching (a series of parallel lines) with colored pencils to carry a texture throughout the faces. This is simply another incarnation of my mixed media technique.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

They Were Parallel (Final)

They Were Parallel
Mixed Media
(I just had to make this big enough, so it has jumped the border
of my blog. I'm trying not to let that bother me. ;))
Compositional Concepts
I'm kind of fascinated with the effect of tangencies, static shapes like rectangles, and repetitive imagery in art. I like how they create tension, but I recognize they can feel like a mistake and can definitely be mistakes.

The Image that Emerged
In this piece I played with a tension that is created by using mostly peaceful shapes but denying them a dynamic interaction. They are parallel to one another but not quite interacting, so we are drawn to their mysterious connection. I like to think this kind of composition forces us to look for a connection.

Development up to this Point
This was another long overdue update on a project I finished a long while back. You can see where it started as little comps in the post Idea Building, then the Color Study, and then the post Finally Drawn.

P.S. Another statue, like a fine art piece I did, that feels alive and maybe even with it's own agenda, has popped up here. There will be more statues to come.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sketches Snatched: Jury Duty


The best thing, probably the only good thing, about waiting for a case on Jury Duty is snatching a few sketches. Though I'm not sure their experience of having a person scribble on paper and staring at them increases their joy. Sacrifices must be made for art, perhaps not all by the artist. ;)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Reckless Medicine (Final)

Reckless Medicine
Mixed Media

This was based on the simple article concept that much of medicine is conjecture, profit oriented and therefore, dangerous. So, of course, I imagined the journey to the exam table being a climb into the grave. A bit morbid I know, but a wryly fun too. :) I enjoyed employing papers to make everything look a bit decayed/dirty through textures.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fathomless (Final)

Mixed Media

Remember the start of this piece? You probably don't, because I completed it awhile back, but I have not shared it with you all. Here is a refresher, a post about it in the middle stage of development is here: Early detail photo post: This is the post that covers the initial idea development for this piece: Wow, I did a lot of posts about this piece. Here is the first post about this piece, way back to the event that inspired it: So, now I've shared the last stage and you've seen the process start to finish. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Merely a Herd of Sheep" (final)

Merely a Herd of Sheep
Mixed Media
Final Process
For this piece I wanted to add to the sense of foreboding by making the technique a bit more rough. I intentionally exposed the layering of papers and elements of the drawing in colored pencil sticks. I used angles within the composition and background elements in the image to increase the mood and add symbolism.

Here is the original post about the development of this idea:  Now I am finally sharing the final illustration!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Shielding Concern"

"Shielding Concern"
Mixed Media
I focused strongly on composition with the idea opposites/contrast in mind for this piece to create mood and meaning. As usual this is a mixed media piece with collage, colored pencil, acrylic, and ink.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

African American History – Final Drawing

Final Drawing for African American History Illustration
Graphite on Paper
I played with a few ideas for African American history in the thumbnail stage, but when I hit upon the this descending root shape with many faces the impact of the composition made it clear to me that this was the direction to take the image.

After choosing that composition I knew that for this piece it was key to include likenesses of important figures in African American History, and find a way to meld them together with design interest.

A few thumbnails/comps of the root idea for my
African American History Illustration.
The Final Drawing
The process of selecting the right figures from African American history was tricky, and I am sure many people would not agree with all of my choices. I had to leave out so many important figures. I asked around and got other people's opinions, and I enjoyed researching the history, until I finally landed upon these 15 faces.

I added a couple of ambiguous faces towards the lower half of the root (further back in time) to represent figures in the further past to represent those whom we do not have a recorded likeness. A few of which I choose for both their actions and recognizable faces.

Early Comp/Thumbnail
It is sometimes amazing to me that famous people can have so many photos taken of them, but never quite in the position I need for my composition. Why am I imagining such unusual positions? Silly me. It just makes the challenge of capturing a likeness a bit more spicy. On several of the faces I used a few key images of the person and combined them to create the right angle and expression.

Lastly, I got to play around with the root shapes. Of course, I got reference for roots as well, but the fun part of adding in amorphous elements like roots is that I can play around with line and design the shapes with pretty much free reign.

I will soon be sharing the final illustration here. I finished this piece up with my usual mixed media approach. Lots of textures were employed. So, check back over the next month to see this image fleshed out.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Life Drawing - Experimenting

Graphite and Colored Pencil
Cropped In a Bit (All you are missing is a few pillows. ;))
Yesterday I got a chance to do some life drawing again. I didn't realize how much I missed the frustration and peace of creating an image in a focused drawing session. Two weeks in a row I've gotten to do some life drawing; life can be good. So, I'm sharing my experimental drawing. :)

Well, this is the first time I've used colored pencil over a graphite drawing. The drawing ended up with rather high keyed values because I didn't want the colors to get too muddied by the graphite.

The model had a dramatic red violet wash of hair around her face, so I couldn't leave the drawing with some touches of color. I think the partially developed color gives the drawing a bit of drama. Not my best life drawing, but interesting. :)

P. S. There was a cow mooing randomly, out in a nearby field, as we were drawing. We had a sort of roll up door about 15 feet wide open to the beautiful day. Don't they moo when they are hungry? I'm still not sure. Though I've heard them moo as they were watching a truck deliver their food. Anyhow, we were all discussing this in spurts as it would moo in the most serious moments. Imagine furrowed brows, and a group of mostly older men (save me the only young woman beside the model) drawing a pretty women. But our discussion about it made the model– I can't remember her name– break her pose in a chuckle. :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011


by Degas
I love the abstract design created by the hat placements, and that the figure is pushed and faces the edge of the frame. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

James – A Personality

Mixed Media on Gessoed Watercolor Board
10" by 10" 
Here are the fraternal twin's portraits hanging out together.

I combined several photos of these twin boys to capture their personalities and kept the background exuberant in layers of paper. Their Mom said I got their personalities to a T. The mediums used are open acrylics, colored pencil, and collage.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

So, I painted a chick (a baby chicken) for Mother's day. :) A little creature for my Mom to imagine mothering. I'll be posting that tomorrow.

In the meanwhile,

Happy Mother's Day to the Moms out there!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Waterbird

An Ernest Waterbird
5 1/2" by 10"
Open Acrylics on Gessoed Watercolor Board  

Long-legged and long beaked I believe this guy is a type of waterbird, but unfortunately I did not record his species. I got a reference snap of him at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. I love how he is squeezed to fit in this long format. I hope you enjoy him. :)
P.S. This was photographed with my new digital camera. I'm quite pleased with the results.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inspiration - Artful Accessories by Meghan Willis

          I was thinking today about how satisfying clothes and accessories can be, as a form of expression. I love items of style that let the owner tell the world a bit about him/herself. Sometimes, we seem to dress both as an expression and reminder of who we are throughout the day. That is one reason why I like to make wearable art in the form of my one of a kind jewelry pieces and why I'm in love with the items in the shop Tsurubride on Etsy, created by Meghan Willis.
Sly Fox - Ipod/Iphone Case (back)

The Crane Wife - An Artisan Clutch
         If your carrying around one of these playful creatures how could you forget, or be afraid to be exactly who you are, and want to share it with the world. It looks like Meghan Willis's degree in fashion went to good use. I'll be waiting for more animal creations.

Orwell Clutch - Black Penguin Purse

Black Penguin Purse (Clutched by Felicia Day) 

          Her profile page on Etsy is worth reading just for the Japanese fable "The Crane's Wife" that she relates as the inspiration for her shop. Be sure to go over to her flickr account for designs that aren't currently in her shop, as she seems to be open to custom pieces. I have enjoyed sifting through the photos myself. Someday, one of these creations may come home to live with me. :) For now I'm sharing them with the world. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A True Expression

In the midst of Clover's happy preening, as I talked to her and she fluffed her feathers while jibber jabbering in coos back to me, I was able to capture the truest drawing of her personality yet. Her feathers are molting right now, and her wings are held loosely as she was preening them on and off, but I think she looks so very lovey in this drawing. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Small Effort for Japanese Relief

Please visit this treasury of items that are all donating a portion of their profits to help those in the Japanese disaster.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rusty – A Quick Study Acrylic Painting

This was a quick study of my dog Rusty using old fashioned acrylics on canvas. I worked this up just a couple of days ago. The canvas caught a bit of glare on the right side, so don't be confused by that. ;) At any rate, this was a nice satisfying break from the illustrations I have been doing of late, (and haven't shared here) so I'm considering doing more of these.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Merely a Herd of Sheep

"Merely a Herd of Sheep" (detail)
This is a (bit of a blurry) detail shot of the hooded sheep project I posted about several months ago. I have had it finished, but I have yet to take a high quality photo of it. So, I'm sharing a taste of it. Several more illustration projects will be shared once they are photographed properly. :)

Ready, Set, Go (Says I to a Mandarin Duck)

"Ready, Set, Go"
This oil pastel portrait of a Mandarin Duck
 from the San Diego Zoo is ready to be framed.
Size: 10.5" by 10.5"
Price: $90
Shipping: $5

This is one of the first oil pastels I have done, it was created in December 2010. It was painted with oil pastels on bristol board from a photo I took of an endeavoring Mandarin Duck at the San Diego Zoo. I sealed the oil pastel with Sennelier oil pastel finish, which leaves a slight glossy sheen, but I would still recommend framing it under glass.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

California Bighorned Sheep

This is my first oil pastel that I did in the weekend workshop. (I did it prior to the other oil pastels I've posted.) I rather like the creature and its inquisitive expression.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Life Drawing

I found a group that meets in my area for life drawing sessions every two weeks a couple of months ago, and I finally made it to my first session. I haven't done life drawing in so long (a couple of years) that I was both frustrated by my initial rustiness and invigorated by the challenge.

I got a lot of practice in foreshortening today, as I chose to set up at a strong angle to the model stand. The challenge of the whole experience put me in a good mood. We did several quick poses of around two minutes and then one long pose.

Long Pose

Monday, January 3, 2011