Thursday, March 26, 2015

birds, Kitty, bees, ruckus for IF, and a new postcard

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is ruckus. It just so happens that I've been working on images for a new postcard, and the events of the first image lead to a ruckus in the second one!

Image #1: Kitty is hiding in the flowers, hoping that by holding very still, a birdie will land so she can catch it (in her mouth).


One of the birdies is having none of that, and is going to fight back, with bees! A close up:


When we turn the page (or the postcard), we see the ruckus in full swing!


These two images are for the new postcard I'm going to send out soon (off to the printer early next week). Here's how they look on the postcard - the front:


and the back (not sure why blogger made the background grey - it's white):


and look, there are bees instead of dashes in the text!


Will be working on more art for my portfolio while I wait for the postcards to be printed!

Hope your day is ruckus free, or if not, that it's a fun sort of ruckus, and not a swarm of bees chasing you sort of ruckus!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

chickens throwing pies for IF, and a zombie cheerleader for tbt

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is strong.* I couldn't resist adding color to this old sketch for it. There are three types of strong in this picture.

1. The chicken on the left has a strong arm.

2. The chicken in the middle has a strong sense of self preservation.

3. There's a strong chance that the chicken on the right will get hit by a pie.


I wanted to use a limited palette on this piece, which I think worked better than if I had tried to add more color, or left it all black and white. The lines are all sketchy-wobbly (can’t remember why), which I wouldn’t use for final art, but I like it for this sketch.

* And now for a tbt (Throwback Thursday): The last time Illustration Friday had strong as a prompt, I also used a chicken image. Here is my strong chicken holding up Sheila the zombie cheerleader:


I don't remember the colors being so bright on this image. Might need sunglasses to look at this one!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

rainy days and chickens

It's raining today. If you looked out my window, this is what you'd see (well, not exactly, there aren't chickens running around with umbrellas, but there ARE people with umbrellas, so if you imagine the chickens as people, it's totally like this):


Isn't there an old song about rainy days and chickens? That is the song they are singing in this picture! Oh wait, no. I'm thinking of Rainy Days and Mondays. The chickens are still singing that song, and they may have changed the words a bit, as chickens do.

Happy Weekend!

Hope it's sunny where you are, or if not, stay dry if you can!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

dogs reading at the beach and world read aloud day

Today is World Read Aloud Day, which celebrates the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories around the world. This is such a wonderful celebration! Check out Lit World's site for reading kits and other resources.

Pam Allyn, Lit World's Founder and Executive Director, talks about the importance of reading aloud to children, in this article on the Huffington Post site today.

If you need more incentive to break out a book and start reading, how about a few pictures of dogs reading books? (People like pictures of dogs playing poker, why not reading books?)

These drawings of dogs reading at the beach are a little old (from 2004!), but perfect for a day that celebrates reading (also because it's winter and reading at the beach sounds wonderful, and warm):




Today is a day to read stories aloud, even if the only one around is your puppy, or a bird, or the wind and the waves!

Happy World Read Aloud Day!

p.s. Tomorrow is World Book Day - another excuse to keep reading (not that we needed an excuse to read)!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dr. Seuss inspired artwork for his birthday, plus Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day

Today would have been the 111th birthday of Dr. Seuss! In 2012, I celebrated his birthday for the whole month, by creating weekly art inspired by his books. Found them today and thought I'd post them again for fun. I asked myself a series of questions to come up with what to draw from which books. Questions and art shown below:

Q: What if The Cat In The Hat had a brother or sister who liked eating fish?


Q: What if you combined the two Dr. Seuss books, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish? (You'd get the book: Oh, The Places You'll Fish!)


Here's a close up of the fish driving the car (FYI, the colors in both pictures are exactly the same - like the closeup below - not sure why the one above is different on Blogger!):


Q: What if Horton heard a Who, and also a What, Where, Why, When, and How? (He’s holding all those worlds in his trunk, and is a US Marshall offering them witness protection too - apparently I was also inspired by a TV show about WitSec.)


Q: What if Sue (from Fox in Socks) was swamped with sock orders and had to sew six thousand socks?


Sue sewing socks was my favorite of the group, because it was inspired by Dr. Seuss, but done in my style and with my characters helping Sue. My second favorite is Horton, but they were all fun to do.

Here's closeup of the cow helping Sue with her yarn:


And here's a closeup of the bunny, who is my favorite character from this drawing. Thinking about doing more art with this bunny, and maybe the cow, owl and bird too!


Final Q: What if the green eggs and ham were returned to Sam in exchange for a birthday cake? (Sam is a bit stunned by this development, BTW.)


Happy Birthday  to Dr. Seuss! All his wacky stories and characters have inspired me since I was a kid, and inspired these drawings too.

Today is also Read Across America Day. Read Across America is the NEA's program to foster a love of reading in children and teens all year long. The theme this year is, Oh the Places You'll Go!

And Wednesday is World Read Aloud Day, which celebrates the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories around the world.

I'm going to read a book to celebrate this week, how about you? Happy reading everyone!

p.s. For those who like to know about art mediums used, the first three images were pen and ink, then colored in Photoshop, image four was re-drawn and colored in Photoshop, and the last image is pencil and ballpoint pen with colored pencil.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Llama Llama: reflection for illustration Friday

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is reflection. I couldn't resist a quick drawing of llamas (like the two llamas who escaped in AZ), and since they were white and black, it seemed only right to have their reflections be gold and blue, in honor of the dress.


The text in the background is, "llama," repeated over and over, just like it was on the internet (a.k.a. almost everyone in my Twitter feed) and TV news programs.

Now that the llamas are safely back home, we can all go back to our non-llama lives.

Llama. Llama.

Llama.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Masked Moo In The Metropolis: a blast from the past for Illustration Friday

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is metropolis. Whenever I hear/read the word metropolis, I think of superheroes, so I can't resist posting this old comic I did of a cow superhero saving the city. It's from 2003 (I can't believe this drawing is twelve years old)! 


I'm considering reviving The Masked Moo* and making more stories and/or comics for her. Of course The Masked Moo isn't the only superhero cow I've drawn (probably not surprising to anyone who knows me). Maybe I should write a story/comic about the cow superhero community. That could be fun! It's tempting ...

* Originally she was Batcow, but I think The Masked Moo is a better name. What do you think?

Speaking of fun art, I posted sketches last week from an image I started for the Illustration Friday prompt, noise, but wanted more time with. The idea was that what's music for one person could be noise for another. (Note: the song has two words in it, bunny and carrot, and a repeating chorus of La La La - I can see how that would be noise to some people!) Thinking of drawing another image with them singing AND dancing to the Bunny-Carrot song! Here's the final image:


I also did finished art for the girl and robot sketch I posted a few weeks ago for the Illustration Friday prompt, passion. I ended up liking the black line with a few spots of red, so I kept that instead of making it full color, though I think full color would be fun too. Maybe I'll do more with these characters in the future, or draw more robots. Robots are fun to draw. Yay robots! Here it is:


I'm back at the drawing board this week imaging characters and their stories, possibly for a postcard. There are several new ideas and a few old sketches that are intriguing me. Crossing my fingers for a creativity filled week! Hope you have a creative week too!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!


Hope you have a wonderful day with someone you love, whether friends, family or significant other.

p.s. If you have a copy of my picture book, Ewe And Aye written by Candace Ryan, illustrated by Stephanie Ruble, there are hearts hidden in the artwork. Find them in unexpected places like wheels and shoes, and leaves on trees. Fun to search for on Valentine's Day, or any other time of the year. :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

moose protection from monsters - sleep for IF

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is sleep. As soon as I read that, I remembered an old idea I had of a moose guarding a girl while she slept. I liked the idea and the tiny thumbnail sketch, but had never done anything with it. As soon as I knew the new topic, I got out the old bw thumbnail sketch to look at it, and then did this new color sketch.

The girl is sleeping peacefully while the moose protects her from monsters. (Poor moose. He looks a little scared of that monster!)


I like how the color sketch turned out, and I still like the story idea behind it, but not sure if I'll ever take it further. The last time I tried, the moose became an elephant!

Speaking of Illustration Friday, I was going to post for the topic last week, noise, but I haven't finished the image yet. I couldn't finish it in time because I added a character at the last minute (to make it a better narrative). I want to finish the image before posting it because I'm having fun with it and it might be the start of a series of images! I can give you a sneak peek of the bunny character though:


Here's the original sketch of the bunny - the topic was noise, and this bunny knows how to make noise!


And here's the new sketch with the bunny and the girl:


I was originally going to give her pigtails to echo the bunny ears, but it looked weird and I've been drawing a lot of girls with pigtails lately. I like the new hair because it echoes the volume of the ears around the bunny's head. Having a lot of fun with this piece! I'll post the finished art once it's done, and maybe even put it in my portfolio too. (Note: Blogger is doing that weird thing again where it makes the white of the last image a darker color. The last two images are from the same Photoshop file with the same background color. Strange!)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hippo Ship Hat - a.k.a. jagged for IF

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is jagged. For some reason, I decided to draw a hippo wearing a hat with a jagged edge. The first hat was more like a crown, but it didn't look quite right, so I re-imagined the hat as a ship on the ocean (no idea where that came from, but I liked the sketch so much I finished the art). Here's a close up of the hippo hat with the jagged edge:


Seagull says, "Aye! Aye! Captain Hippo!"

Here's the full image:


Originally, the picture was a daytime scene. I think I like it better at night, but I still like the daytime version too (though my file has a white background - Blogger made it grey for some reason):


What do you think? Daytime hippos? Nighttime hippos? Or it doesn't matter, as long as you can get a snazzy hippo ship hat too?