Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Scribble Picnic (Fairies)

This week's Scribble Picnic theme "fairies" took me in what felt like, a half a dozen directions with nothing coming alive on paper. I felt utterly discouraged. In fact, at one point, Michael encouraged me to take a break from working and to soak awhile in a nice, hot bubble bath. Let me tell you, I'm so glad I took his advice as my final idea (above illustration) popped into my creative heart while sinking way down into the lavender suds to rest. Who would have thought a bubble bath would solve my artistic frustrations!?

When working away in the studio, it's important to me to always weave my childlike heart within each illustration I do. Why is that, you ask? I'm a firm believer doing so brings love, joy and HOPE to those who cross paths with my work. Something this world is always in need of and sometimes, you and I need a bit of it, too. My desire is to never lose always be a blessing to those around day at a time.

For more wonderful, creative contributions, take a spin over to Michael's blog. And of course, anyone is welcome to join this great online art co-op.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A little Spring In Your Heart

I love Spring! Of course, come Autumn, I'll say the same thing. Ha! Yesterday, we hung a beautiful tree house and paper lanterns in the trees along the side of our cozy little bungalow. It's so magical and fills my heart with joy. Those are the things I look for every single day. Life is hard enough on its own so finding simple things, such as this, brings that boost of happiness to help guide us along.

How about you? What do you do to lighten the load of life's journey along the way? I'd love to know.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Sketches (& A Giveaway!)

It's been quite the week for us here. Sadly, a lot of (unnecessary) stress and so we are looking forward to the weekend. Hip Hip Hooray! With that said, how about a little peace, hope, love....and some relaxation?

Let's also CELEBRATE as Sunday Sketches turns 7 years old today! Can you believe it? It's exciting to see this wonderful co-op still going strong. With that said, for anyone who participates in SS this week, your name will be entered into the giveaway to win a parcel filled with various things, including what's shown below.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out your favorite artistic tools and join us for a week of SUPER, fun creative art from wonderful people across the world!

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!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Scribble Picnic (Lanterns of Love)

This week's lantern theme for Scribble Picnic was (believe it or not) a bit more challenging for me. I started with two other ideas only to scrap them in the end, once realizing neither were coming to fruition. But hey, that's what scribble picnic is all about, yes?

After stepping away from my desk for awhile, I was drawn back to the illustration above that ironically, I started a few weeks back. At that time, I set it aside as it wasn't quite coming together for me. To be honest, I actually ripped it in half! (insert silly face here) I pulled it out of the trash, taped it back together and challenged myself to continue working on it...and I'm glad I did!

I'm not sure if this is finished to me as it still feels like something else is beckoning to be done. For now, we'll all simply enjoy this little tree of lanterns filled with love.

For more fabulous contributions to Scribble Picnic, pop over to Michael's blog.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Sketches (i-phone doodling)

This is a quick post this morning. Please do accept my apologies. Yesterday we celebrated my step-daughter's 25th birthday and this morning, we're on our way to catch up with good friends who've just returned from traveling France and Spain for a month.

Above is a quick doodle I did in a sketchbook last night. I've been trying to stretch myself with characters and expressions, therefore, practicing a bit more when able. I then took a photo of my sketch, lightened it and used a phone app called "Procreate" to color it in. Not too bad using my finger on a small i-phone, ey?

OK I'll be back in a few hours and look forward to visiting everyone. Happy Sunday Sketches!
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!


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Scribble Picnic (Umbrella)

Polly is excited about her special birthday cake and pressie. Aww Well, I finished my sketch for scribble picnic this week but was unable to finish painting it for various reasons. I promise to post it when it's completed.

Can you spot Polly's umbrella? How about the major change I made from my initial sketch to the actual illustration? It's always fun coming up with ideas and seeing where things land in the final stages. Such as my trees....they take several steps the way I paint them but in the end, they turn out quite magical.

For those of you wondering...I've decided to take the weekly themes and implement them into the UK birthday card series I'm working on. Thus the "4" located to the right of this illustration. It's perfect and pushes me forward in meeting my deadline while stretching myself as an illustrator.

Enjoy more Scribble Picnic contributions over at Michael's page. It's sure to be a fun-filled time for everyone!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Sunday Sketches (A little About My Work)

People often ask about my process for drawing and painting. So, this week, I thought it would be nice to briefly share a little about what I do when preparing an illustration. Although I've mentioned some things in previous posts, placing them in one spot would probably be a bit more helpful to those who are new to watercolor painting. 

Do you really paint all of your illustrations?
YES! I hand-paint pretty much everything I do. Meaning, no "digital" painting, adding digital patterns to my clothes or curtains, etc. If I do anything digital, it's to create shadows or highlights on my finished piece after scanning and uploading into Photoshop.

Have I dabbled in "digital" painting before? Yes, I have and honestly, it's so not for me...but that's OK! Hand-painting my entire pieces seem to be the best way to capture that child-like heart within my work, especially when creating my woodland creatures and scenes.

Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas and inspiration come from various places but most of the time it's from simply taking in nature and my surroundings, whether it's walking our doggy, pulling open the blinds in the early morning hours to see a half dozen bunnies playing in our front yard and so forth.

Sometimes, I'll take a picture of what I see in order to reference it later. For example, when walking downtown a few weeks back, I spotted a squirrel perched at the top of a fence with a half corn cob in its hands. Quite cute, actually, and reminded me of Beatrix Potter and all the wonder she must have spotted as a child which she then transitioned into beautiful illustrations as well.

How do you put your ideas on paper?
Step 1: After tossing out countless sheets of nice (and expensive) watercolor paper due to smudges from constant erasing, Michael gave me the idea to sketch my ideas out on tracing paper first. This allows me to easily make changes without ruining quality paper. Take a look at this example.  You'll be able to see me sketching out my idea for Miss Lilly's house. In fact, if you look close, you can see where I'm trying to decide on whether to include a second rabbit by the window.

Step 2: Once my idea has been completely sketched (see image below), I then flip the tracing paper over and trace with a pencil the entire image. Flipping it over again, I place it on top of the watercolor paper of my choice, trace it for the last time and it's now transitioned to actual paper for me to paint (as you see in the image above).

I've plenty of other wonderful and creative techniques you can learn more about when signing up for my online class, Watercolor 101: My Illustration Secrets. It's great for anyone desiring to learn not the just basics of watercolor but what I do personally, within my own creative world for children's illustrations!

OK enough about me. I'm off to see what everyone has been up to this week and looking forward to it!
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!


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Scribble Picnic (Cabin)

Here I am again....scrambling with my basket in hand, hoping to make the scribble picnic party this week...and I made it just in the nick of time! CABIN is this week's theme and let me tell you just  how much it kicked my butt! There were many lessons learned throughout the entire process of this piece.  At one point, everything in my 'cabin terrarium' seemed like one giant, green blob, leaving me feeling discouraged. Thankfully, hubby came to my rescue, showing me how to create more depth by balancing out my colors more and so forth. It's a beautiful, finished piece, and I couldn't be happier! And I'm really thrilled we make such a great team! (wink)

For more Scribble Picnic contributions, pop on over to Michael's blog and join everyone! 

Good morning, sunshine!

There's a lot going on this week in the studio so I may not get a moment to write before this Sunday. So, enjoy a sunny peek out our kitchen window in this cozy, bungalow home we live in. So grateful for our little cottage in our favorite place here in downtown Fort Collins.

Happy Tuesday! I'd love to hear about your day and any plans you have for this week!