Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, from Ewe and Aye, and me

It's Thanksgiving week. Did you know that there's a parade on Thursday? At this parade, they have HUGE balloons of characters from books, TV, and movies, as well as some old favorites, like pumpkins and elves!

It's always been my secret wish to have a character of mine as a balloon in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not so secret now that I've shared it on my blog, but still a big wish!

My first picture book came out last December, EWE AND AYE, written by Candace Ryan, and illustrated by Stephanie Ruble. *

Since nobody asked me to create balloons for the official Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I decided to draw Ewe and Aye balloons for my own Thanksgiving Day Parade. BTW, Ewe and Aye would be great as balloons because Ewe and Aye want to fly!

The Illustration Friday prompt this week is city, so it seemed like a good way to incorporate the city theme for this week too.

I love process posts from other artists, so I decided to post several images of the art at different stages. Here's the final image of Ewe and Aye soaring high in the parade:

I'm glad that I did finished color, but I liked the black and white line art, and almost stopped at this point:

The first part of the picture I added color to was the balloons. Almost stopped at that point too. There's something really fun about Ewe and Aye floating in color with everything else black and white:

I also thought about using a black and white and grey version of the image (gives it a certain old time photo appeal):

So hard to choose a favorite! But if I had to, it would probably be the one with Ewe and Aye in color and everything else in black and white. Which one is your favorite?

Did you notice that there are little Ewes and little Ayes pulling their balloons? It might be too small to see above. Here's a close up:

The image seems large, but the whole thing is about 5.5 x 7.25. Some of the animals got really, really tiny.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

*Info about EWE AND AYE, written by Candace Ryan, illustrated by Stephanie Ruble: EWE was a sheep with a feel for wheels. AYE was a lemur with a thing for wings. BUT it wasn’t until Ewe and Aye found one another that things really got off the ground.

Whimsical word play and heartfelt humor work hand-in-hand in this irresistibly vibrant celebration of the unlimited possibilities of togetherness.

Want to know more about EWE AND AYE? Click here.

Looking for an independent bookstore to get your own copy of EWE AND AYE? Click here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

a cow, a bear, and a teddy bear for illustration friday

The Illustration Friday prompt this week is: animal. I had a couple of ideas that I played around with, then I remembered this image that I sketched and inked in September for a project. I ended up not using it then, so it was just black and white. Dug it out and added color today for the IF prompt.

It's the story of the beginning of a friendship between the bear and the cow, and the other animals in the bear's new neighborhood. It was a lot of fun to sketch back in September, and I'm happy to be able to finish this piece and share it today!

Friday, November 13, 2015

carpe and crabbe diem: whimsical for illustration friday

The Illustration Friday prompt this week is: whimsical. I was itching to get out my paints this week and had the idea to revisit the saying, carpe diem, or seize the day. Many years ago, I drew an image that incorporated the saying, along with a picture of a fish and a crab and a saying I made up: crabbe diem. That idea as a set of two new paintings seemed like a good expression of whimsical.

These paintings were lots of fun to do, and I actually did the crab first, and then the fish.

I like to think of my little crab as the Oscar The Grouch of the ocean.
(Oscar is one of my favorite Sesame Street characters. Who are your favorites?)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

farewell to inktober aliens and three bouquets for illustration friday

I had fun with inktober, a month long challenge to draw with ink every day. The last three days of the month, I decided to draw aliens experiencing Halloween for the first time. Since there were three days of aliens, I brought back the themes for my first three weeks of inktober: ghosts, witch cats, and pumpkins.

Note: I still didn't have access to a scanner, so these are all cell pics (thus the shiny glare on the pictures).

Aliens and ghost adventure:

 Aliens going for a broom ride with a witch cat:

 Aliens encountering a pumpkin for the first time:

I also did a drawing today for the Illustration Friday prompt this week (bouquet). Today is a foggy day outside, so I decided to draw a bouquet of sunshine. It's also National Doughnut Day, so a bouquet of doughnuts sounded like a good idea. Couldn't resist drawing a bouquet of birthday cupcakes too!

Here's a close up of the sunshine bouquet.

They're all smiling, even the cloud! Except for the not so sunshiny one on the left. There's always one in every crowd! But that's okay. You can't be happy all the time, and maybe that one will be sunshiny tomorrow (hoping our weather will be sunny tomorrow too ... though I do enjoy a foggy day like today once in a while).

If inktober and Illustration Friday have taught me anything, it's that doodling and making art just for fun are really important (at least for me). It may not all be portfolio ready art, but it's fun and it allows me to experiment with new techniques and mediums. I don't do that when I'm making art for a project or my portfolio, but sometimes the doodles and experiments lead to new projects or portfolio pieces. No matter what, it stretches my creativity and makes me smile (although sometimes it also makes me cringe, if it doesn't turn out).

Hope you had a great October everyone!

Happy November!

How is it November already???

Thursday, October 29, 2015

a week of fun with type and Halloween words, plus adventure for Illustration Friday

The fourth week of inktober, a month long challenge to draw with ink every day, ended yesterday. This week was all about playing with words (just having fun with it - I never got to take typography, so I'm hoping these look fun instead of cringe-worthy). I also did a drawing today for the Illustration Friday prompt this week (adventure), and to start my theme for the last three days of inktober (aliens).

Didn't have access to a scanner this week, so these are all cell phone pics. Some of them turned out better than others (so hard to photograph type with a cell phone).

I have two favorites this week. The first is, "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!" Thanks to my dad for suggesting I draw this word!

My second favorite is "Witch Cat." I decided to do a word drawing for each of the first three weeks of inktober. (Witch cats were week two.)

Here's my pumpkin (inktober - week three), with type for teeth:

Here are the ghosts (inktober - week one). I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, as this was the first drawing for this week. Ended up drawing four ghosts. I think they look stronger together than any one of them by itself:

Had to draw candy corn - it seems to be one of the most controversial candies. You used to only be able to get it at Halloween, but they have it for Christmas now too (it's red, green and white). People either love it or hate it. This drawing does a good job of summing up how I feel about candy corn (mostly just candy corn made by Jelly Belly):

It's not Halloween if there aren't a few bats around, right?

To round out the week, I decided to draw a monster. Couldn't decide between a monster with text on his head, or monster as a word, so I did both:

There are only three more days of October and inktober! I decided to draw aliens for the final three drawings of the month. When the Illustration Friday prompt, adventure, was announced, I tried to figure out a Halloween adventure and came up with this:

Not sure who is going to have more of an adventure, the aliens exploring a new planet, or the ghost going for its first ride in a spaceship. Wonder if the aliens know what they're in for?

Since I started with aliens and a ghost (subject of inktober week one), I might have to have a witch cat and a pumpkin in the other two alien pictures!

Hope you've had a great October so far and fun with inktober if you're participating! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

a pumpkin filled week for inktober and stuffed for Illustration Friday

The third week of inktober, a month long challenge to draw with ink every day, ended yesterday. This week was all about the pumpkins. One of the images also incorporates the Illustration Friday prompt this week (stuffed).

Process notes for this week: I used Micron pens for some of the black line work this week (have been mostly using the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for inktober). I've used Microns in the past and liked them, but never used them with colored markers. Was surprised to find that they smeared a bit. I've also been having trouble with smearing when erasing for both sets of pens this month. Don't usually have that issue, so wondering if it's the paper I'm using (have given them ample time to dry before erasing, so it's not that). Part of the fun of inktober is trying new mediums or combinations of mediums and seeing what works. Unfortunately it doesn't always work, but you never get to what does work without a few bumps along the way.

Here are my pumpkins!

The gourd's expression in this picture is my favorite thing from this week (the pumpkins are oblivious and the gourd knows something they don't know - something scary). It's also my image for Illustration Friday - they're stuffed into the basket:

Sometimes pumpkins come with creepy crawlies. This kitty is either playing with the spider or attacking it, depending on who you ask (the spider or the cat):

This pumpkin was hiding Queen Green Apple and her candy, but The Masked Mouse has found her and wants that candy!

Here's a close up of Queen Green Apple. She's truly horrified that The Masked Mouse has found her super secret hiding place!

It's always fun to see a row of carved pumpkins lined up, so I thought I draw them. (This image is one of the ones that smeared a lot with the colored markers over the Microns.):

The next pumpkin is a bit silly, but I couldn't resist drawing it when the idea of pumpkins playing football came into my head:

I love drawing patterns. It's like doodling, but with more of a plan. The first patterned pumpkin is swirly and colorful:

 The second patterned pumpkin was a reaction to the first one. I had liked the black and white before I colored it, so I decided to do another one, with a different pattern, just in black and white:

It was a pumpkin-tastic week! Now I just have to figure out what to draw this week. I'm thinking about monsters, or maybe lettering. It's early, so I'll decide when I get my inks out later.

Hope you're having a pumpkin-tastic October and inktober if you're participating!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

a witchy week for inktober and star for illustration friday

The second week of inktober, a month long challenge to draw with ink every day, ended today. This week featured three witch kitties, sometimes appearing with their witches, sometimes not. One of the images also incorporates the Illustration Friday prompt this week (star).

My favorite from this week was hard to pick, so I picked two. The first image is of the kitties taking a broom out for a ride without permission (also the first image I did this week - it's the one I hinted at in my last post):

I'm thinking about doing this image either in color, or with greys for more shading in the black and white piece. Then again, after playing around with it a bit, I might just like it like this!

My second favorite is the last image of the week, the one I did today of the kitties with their witch family:

For Illustration Friday, I incorporated stars in the sky for a nighttime broom ride with the witches and kitties. It turned out more Starry Night than I intended. Guess my time standing by the painting when I worked at MOMA rubbed off on my subconscious.

As for the images for the rest of the week, the kitties tried their paws at reading a spell book:

The littlest witch held story time for the three kitties:

The kitties watched as the witches brewed up something scary in their cauldron:

And the kitties wore / sat on the witches' hats (this was a marker experiment that didn't turn out the way I wanted to, and ended up looking muddy and losing the original drawing line*):

For week three of inktober (starting tomorrow) I'll be drawing pumpkins!

* In my opinion, part of these art challenges is about having fun, and part of it is about experimenting using mediums and/or techniques you don't usually use. It's hard to do that (for me anyway) when you're posting your art every day, but I'm trying to anyway. Most of the experiments have been successes. Another one I'm still working on is the color or shading for the top image of the kitties on the broom. So far none of those experiments have worked. And unlike the kitties with hats picture, I have a scan of the black line work, which I like, so that's the one I'm posting.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

a ghostly week for inktober and ink for illustration friday

The first week of inktober, a month long challenge to draw with ink every day, ended yesterday. My first week was all about the ghosts! I even managed to ink a ghost for the Illustration Friday prompt this week (ink).

This ghost knows the best way to get through a rainy and windy day is to stay inside and read a book (it's my favorite ghost from this week):

This ghost wants to get in on the inktober fun for Illustration Friday by inking the wall (the ink on the floor was an accident):

The rest of the week featured a ghost in a balloon, ghosts having a party, a family of ghosts, another rainy day ghost, and a construction ghost:

For the second week of inktober, I'm taking on a different subject - witch kitties (kitties who belong to witches, not kitties who are witches). Here's a sneak peek at the first image:

Happy October / inktober!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

ghosts and gifts for inktober, tbt, and if

Today is the first day of October, and the start of inktober, a month long challenge to draw with ink every day. It's also Thursday, which is the perfect time to post old images for tbt (Throwback Thursday), one of which is my pick for the Illustration Friday prompt this week (prize).

Let's start with a puppy prize from 2008 for tbt and IF (always good to start with a puppy):

There are a lot of people who would love a puppy as a prize! A puppy is an upgrade from the usual goldfish prize they give out at carnivals. Before you accept your puppy prize, just make sure nobody in your family is allergic to furry pets. If they are, please accept this goldfish (also from 2008, with an added fish):

Since today is the first day of October, it's time to change my avatar again (I usually change it every month). My avatar is a crop of another tbt image (from 2009):

And here's the full image it came from:

Last, but not least, since today is the start of inktober and the first day of the Halloween season, I drew this picture of a ghost with a tool belt (with my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen):

I wanted to see what it would look like with color, so I added some digital color in a limited palette:

And just for fun, I did a full color version too:

Happy October everyone!