Friday, May 20, 2016

patterns, personal art themes, and illustration friday

The Illustration Friday prompt this week is: nostalgia. I've been going through old art lately and looking at themes, or things in my art that I return to again and again. One of the themes I like to play around with is patterns. The nice thing about patterns is they can be different every time, so they can fit in to almost any piece of art without looking like you're doing the same thing over and over again. The patterns can be bold so the viewer can't help but notice them, or subtle so the viewer might not even realize there's a pattern until they look again.

One of my old pattern pieces that I really love is one that hardly anyone has seen. It's an illustration of swirling mail (which is also nostalgic because people don't send or receive as much personal mail these days, and because it reminds me of my mom, who loved to write and send letters):

Makes you want to write and send a letter, doesn't it?

Another nostalgic image is a painting I did of sea turtles for Ripple in 2010. I love sea turtles and even got to swim with them once! Was happy to be able to paint this piece to help support ocean animals.

A more recent example of pattern mixed with nostalgia is this picture of a cat in a field of flowers (trying to get the birds, while a bird above is about to dump a hive full of bees on the cat). It's nostalgic because it's an updated version of the stuffed animal friend I had as a child (my alter-ego Kitty, who was mischievous):

 Speaking of bees, several years ago, I was working on a novel called, Path Of Bees. The novel didn't go anywhere (yet - working on picture books now), but this is one of the images inspired by the story:

Speaking of picture books, EWE AND AYE by Candace Ryan, illustrated by Stephanie Ruble, had a couple of pattern pieces in it. This one is the pattern of the tree leaves and vines (each set of two leaves forms a heart - most are upside down, just like Aye in this scene):

Here are four more patterned images (both new and old) with more obvious patterns:

And finally, let me leave you with a song. It's about carrots:

Do you like to make patterns, either obvious or hidden in your art? Or do you make patterns when you doodle? (I do.) Do you have themes you return to again and again? If not, maybe this trip down my art memory lane will inspire you to take your own trip through your old art, or inspire you to make new art with patterns. Happy art making!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

dogs in Hawaiian shirts, pugs in tulips, and hippos with tattoos and sunflowers

Today is a "Dogs In Hawaiian Shirts" kind of day. From the art archive:

Makes me want to break out my watercolors!*
(Update: Got out the watercolors! Two new paintings at the end of the post!)

Or maybe it's a "Hippo With A Tattoo" kind of day (also from the art archive and for the Illustration Friday prompt, tattoo):

Maybe those dogs are wearing Hawaiian shirts to hide their hippo tattoos!

Or maybe the hippo and the seagull have Hawaiian shirts, but took them off to go swimming!

So many possibilities!

That's how stories start, with a silly idea.  

(Or at least that's how my stories start. YMMV.)

What kind of day are you having?

* Couldn't resist pulling out the watercolors and painting! So much fun! Apparently it was a "Watercolor Painting" kind of day, inspired by the two images I posted above. :)

#1 - It was also a "Pug Puppies Tiptoeing (and bounding) Through The Tulips" kind of day:

I've never drawn pugs before (not even the year I drew a dog a day all year). Fun to try. Might do it again some time!

#2 - And a "Tiny Hippo Stops To Smell Giant Sunflower" kind of day:

Hope you have a wonderful and creative day, whatever kind of day it is for you!