Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Sketches: Terra Cotta Plants

I've been playing around with ideas for the adult coloring book many of you have asked me to put together. My idea book is filled with countless ideas and this is one example. Most of you know flowers and potted plants bring me joy (especially displayed in the kitchen window) so it seemed fitting to create a page with various kinds of flowers and succulents tucked within Terra-cotta pots.

Above is my initial sketch in which I later painted with bright colored pots and is on it's way to my lovely friend L to hang in her home. The colored illustration posted here is definitely my favorite version. With a limited color palette (for the browns and greens), it seems more appealing to the eye on paper. Anyway, I'd love to hear what you would like to see for a page inside my coloring book.
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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trust In Enough

Almost every weekend, Michael and I walk through our favorite neighborhood where some of the most spectacular gardens grow. We chat about our week, our dreams and plans, and once in awhile, the fears that life can sometimes bring. It's inevitable - fear. Whether it's a new job, health issues, moving to a new home, etc - whatever life changes come our way, fear tends to creep in, intimidating one along the way.

One thing I've learned from all I've been through is that the answers we seek are often found deep within. Every difficult situation we walk through makes us stronger than the one before. It may not feel like it at times but the power to overcome the voice of fear is to reach down inside and take a hold of our inner self and trust that it truly is enough to rise above. Always believe you are strong enough to do and overcome anything.


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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Sketches: A Hedgehog Party

I'm continuing to push forward on the birthday card series that needs completed over the next few weeks. So, what could be more perfect than a hedgehog celebrating someone's special birthday as well? He's adorable, furry and loves to wear party hats. Uh huh

Here's to a lovely Sunday for each of you. As today is Father's Day, I'll be away from the computer until tomorrow and will be sure to visit everyone at that time.
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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your website/blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging and lifting others up in their creative endeavors as well. Thank you.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cupcakes & Watercolor Tutorial


I've been tucked away in the studio the past few days finalizing birthday card illustrations for the UK card company I design for. It's been an absolute delight illustrating cakes of all sorts but not all of the cards will be filled with scrumptious goodies. Some though, will have adorable hedgies and cuddly cat characters. It will be a series of twelve cards and available this Autumn.

At the beginning of the week, I created a 'sweet' tutorial on how to paint a cupcake, sharing some hints and tips along the way. Enjoy the video and be sure to leave any questions you might have in the comments below.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My Secret Love: All things Old

One of my favorite things to do a few times a week is venturing out of the studio to cozy up in a favorite coffee shop of sorts and people watch. Today, I chose The Little Bird Bakeshop. Partly due to the fact I was already scheduled to meet a friend but also because of my secret love for the old brick walls and wooden floors within. I love all things old and the incredible smell that comes along with it. It's as if smelling a part of history and then closing your eyes to imagine who would've stumbled into this particular old building 10, 15 or even 20 years ago...and why.

The ambiance and warmth filling this darling bakeshop is perfect for the creative soul, as you can see above. Outside are dainty, bright colored tables and chairs, tucked under tall Ash trees, stretching out their arms to provide shade for those who might linger underneath with their cuppas in hand. Utterly blissful on any summer morning or afternoon.
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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Sketches: Tea Cup Paint Chart

Above is a quick illustration of a paint palette I put together for my growing collection of Tombow dual brushes. I wanted to do something a bit different than a typical paint chart and came up with the idea of incorporating on of my favorite daily rituals...teatime! Nothing could be more fitting for me and perfect for referring to when creating my daily children's illustrations.

Michael and I have had quite the busy weekend already. We spent Friday afternoon and all day Saturday prepping and preparing for our very first summer English tea party. It turned out quite lovely and we had a grand time with some of our closest friends. Even the puppy enjoyed being the center of attention at times.

With that said, I've had little time the past few days to complete one of my usual illustrations for Sunday Sketches. I've been focused on meeting work deadlines as well as, sorting and packing for our upcoming move. Yes, we're moving to England next month for awhile in order to help his sister care for his mother whose health is deteriorating quickly. You can follow along our journey over at our joint blog, Paper Chains & Bunting. We'll be sharing updates on our life there, his mother and other adventures of our life. So, be sure to click on the "follow" tab so you can pop in and say hello from time to time.

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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your website/blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging and lifting others up in their creative endeavors as well. Thank you.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

The JOY of patters & colors

One of the things I love to do when warming up in the studio each morning is flipping through a favorite home catalogue, picking out a fun pattern and implementing it into an illustration. Today, I chose, The Company Store magazine. As you can see above, I picked out some towels and once my characters were drawn out, I use the colorful designs within their clothes. Simply yet wonderfully effective. Some of my other favorite magazines to sift through for colors and design ideas are Pier 1, Crate & Barrel, and Country Door

For the children above, I worked with my fabulous dual-tipped Tombow Brushes that work like a paintbrush, allowing for easy blending/shading. They've been a great addition to my supplies and are easily transportable. My favorite part about them is how the end results truly provide a quality watercolor look/feel. I'll certainly have these in my bag for our upcoming plane ride next month!

With that said, keep an eye out for a future post diving into the Tombow Brushes a little more!
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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Crushing On Nature

Ever since I began developing the characters and scenes for one of the recent children's books I've been illustrating, my appreciation for nature has considerably grown. My eyes are constantly roaming to and fro on our daily walks, taking in every intricate detail nature has to offer. It's so wonderfully peaceful and enjoyable, especially watching the adorable rabbits playing, zigzagging back and forth from one backyard to another.

As we meander through various little greenbelts in our neighborhood, it's like taking an adventure into our own secret garden. We duck under low hanging trees and slip between flowering bushes, occasionally pausing to snap photos of flowers so incredibly breathtaking. In fact, if you look closely at the illustrations in this particular upcoming book, you just might find tiny snippets of such flowers and gardens weaved throughout, bringing each poem to life.

So, don't mind me and my ongoing collection of lovely flowers as I'm currently, crushing on nature.
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Sunday, June 05, 2016

Sunday Sketches: Ladybug JOY!

Just a quick hello this morning before we're out the door to meet friends at our favorite local bakeshop. Yesterday was filled with birthday celebrations for my youngest (and wonderful) step-son. Today we'll be catching up with old friends and spending time with my dear friend L, who's currently battling cancer. As I drifted off to sleep last night, my mind was filled with the thought that life is just too precious and short to get caught up in trivial, petty things, let alone holding grudges instead of loving one another. We're certainly not promised tomorrow. So, why take the chance of losing another day to love?

As promised earlier this week, above is the cover of 1 of 2 upcoming children's books I'm illustrating this year for other authors. This darling books is filled with delightful and charming poems about ladybugs. The release date is July 2016, so keep an ear out for the announcement. Until then, enjoy this whimsical book cover. I had SO much fun designing and painting it.

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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your website/blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging and lifting others up in their creative endeavors as well. Thank you.

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Saturday, June 04, 2016

Soaking In The Sun & Ladybugs

It's quite a warm week here but beautiful in every way. The Spring/Summer flowers are really blossoming in the various gardens we're surrounded by in our neighborhood. Michael and I have been making an effort to walk (at least) and hour every single day, sometimes more. We've been soaking up the sun and being outdoors as much as possible. Well, except for today. Too hot for the mister and way more than "stifling". Hee

This week has been spent buried in the studio, finalizing the sketches for the upcoming children's poetry book I'm illustrating - Ladybug! Ladybug! Hopefully, I'll be able to share at least the cover with you this weekend. It's a beautiful collection of children's poems about ladybugs, written by the lovely, Charlotte Rains. The expected release is July 2016. Eek!
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