Monday, December 31, 2012

HohoDooDa #28

Still playing catch up on sketches... Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

HohoDooDa #23

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

HohoDooDa #22

Starting to get the hang of this app... Have been busy visiting family and friends for the Holidays. Hope to finish up more sketches later this week. Happy Holidays!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

HohoDooda #21

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Hohodooda #20

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Hohodooda #25

Ho ho ho!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tomie dePaola entry 2012

(Click on image to enlarge)

This was my entry this year to the Tomie dePaola competition. Such a great experience and practice to take words and turn it into pictures. As I read through the book, vintage images popped into my mind, but on page 222 at the beginning of chapter 24 this part of the story started to melt my heart. Right before they go on the hunt for the wolves, this tender moment takes place (sort of) between Jody and his mom. She is not very warm towards him usually because of the loss of her other children & her fear that harm will come to him if she cares for him. You can tell here though, that she loves him and it shows.

A little later in the story her feelings really come out but this moment in the story filled my mind with an image that I could see in great detail...

I imagined standing outside the window peeking in. It was still dark early in the morning & the air felt crisp & still. You could see the crackling fire and the boy slowly approaching his mother cautiously. As it states in the story she tolerated him a moment before pushing him away. But before that moment she probably could feel his love in his ginger touch and the way he got close to warm his hands under her coat. How could any mother push their son away? I can also understand how she might have felt, as a mother not ever wanting anything bad to ever happen to your children. I guess back then emotions were not expressed as much and pride was too strong to admit when people were wrong. Regardless this moment that was squeezed into a small paragraph seemed so powerful I had to illustrate it!

You can see all of the amazing entries that were submitted to the unofficial gallery. CLICK HERE >>> I know a few others who submitted to the contest that are not on the gallery site. Everyone really put in a lot of hard work and should be so proud! I look forward to meeting some of those talented people at the conference in February!

Friday, December 14, 2012

HoHoDooDa #11-14

It has been one crazy week. A little burned out from the Tomie dePaola entry that I finished up on Monday. So I took a little break from the tablet this week. Here were a couple of loose sketches from my sketchbook. Also it has been a busy work week so it was nice to get away from the computer for a couple of days.

Then today's event in CT left everyone pretty numb. Our hearts are with those families and the fire fighters and everyone who had to be around that horrific scene today. Can't even begin to imaging the pain they are going through. They are in our thoughts and prayers!

- sent from iPhone

Thursday, December 13, 2012

HoHoDooDa #10

Playing catch up after finishing up the Tomie dePaola entry on Monday. The last 14 straight hours burned me out for a couple of days, but now I'm finishing up a few sketches that I started on Monday night. #10 is a group of jolly carolers.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

HoHoDooDa #9

Quick little doodle for the night. "Tacky Dancing Candy Canes" :)

HoHoDooDa #8 / IF Explore

We were supposed to have a wonderful Raclette Dinner party and game night, but the entire house was blessed with the stomach bug. My husband and I were feeling a little better this evening so we enjoyed a nice Swiss meal. This doodle was inspired by Christmas in Switzerland.

Friday, December 7, 2012

HoHoDooDa Day #7

Not much time to sketch tonight. This was inspired after assembling many gingerbread houses last night and helping earger kindergarteners decorate them today. It was a lot of fun!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

HoHoDooDa Day #6

Not much time to doodle tonight. Had to help the oldest child's school assemble over 200 gingerbread houses for the classes to decorate tomorrow. But here's my moose who has finished Christmas shopping, decorated the tree and has time to relax and take a break. I envy that moose :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

HoHoDooDa Doodle #5

This little image popped into my head today. Pinecones have always reminded me of Hedgehogs. We have a few on the mantel & I keep thinking they are little hedgehog figurines. It's funny where inspiration can come from!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

HoHoDooDa Day #4

More holidays on the brain after finishing the tree a couple of days ago. Our 2 year old is fascinated with the ornaments that play music. Most are fragile, and he has broken three already. Wish there was a Christmas ball that was tough enough for a toddler but still looked nice on a tree...

HoHoDooDa Day #3

Day three I still have Christmas on the brain. This doodle came to mind.Kind of reflection on how a child feels after building a beautiful snowman... like a super hero!

Monday, December 3, 2012

HohoDooDa #1 & #2

Have been a little busy this weekend with Birthday celebrating, but had a few minutes to doodle a little. Day one was my birthday and every year my Grandmother calls and sings Happy Birthday. I starting thinking about what a simple woman she is and how a cup of tea & some toast is all she needs in life! The first doodle is a memory of how simple her purse was too. She still carries with her: pink lipstick, wet ones, a little comb, some square shaped gum (that has juice inside) and sometimes she has a bottle of water. These images will forever be etched in my brain! Love her so much.

Today I was practicing creating characters from random lines or squiggles. Since its almost Christmas and Easter products should start showing up on store shelves soon, it seemed appropriate to pick this doodle of the bunch to share.

- sent from iPhone

Friday, November 30, 2012

IF- "Stretch"

SkADaMo #30

This has been a fun month thanks to Linda Silvestri's SkADaMo idea! I still have a few loose sketches in my sketchbook that I have not had time to scan and add to the blog. (Maybe this weekend I'll get them up here)

You can view all of the other SkADaMoers by CLICKING HERE

Thank you again Linda!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

older sketches (SkADaMo #12)

Have been busy working and sketching, but have not had a chance to post the rest of my sketches yet this week. Hopefully tomorrow night. In the meantime here is #12 that I finished coloring this past weekend. More to come... It has been a fun month!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SkADaMo #21... Happy Thanksgiving!

Looking forward to Apple Pie, Turkey and lots of family laughter! Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

SkADaMo #20

Have been busy catching up on more work this week so I tried doing a super quick sketch on my phone tonight. It's amazing how free you feel, yet limited when trying to get detail on such a small phone!

I'm sure turkeys all around are shaking at the knees with only 2 (almost 1) day left until Thanksgiving!!

- sent from iPhone

Sunday, November 18, 2012

SkADaMo Day #18

Have not been strong enough since surgery on friday nor have I had any free time to sketch lately... During the Ravens Game tonight I felt inspired to sketch the lovely outfits of the Steelers. (No offense to the fashion designer who came up with that little number, I realize they were supporting history, but they still looked like a bunch of yellow jackets...) Thankful the Ravens won! Go Ravens!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

SkADaMo #9 & 10... (Sort of)

Had open hernia surgery on friday so have not been too coherent lately thanks to the wonderful Oxycodone. "Tried" to draw a couple of sketches last night in a haze... This is what came out of my pencil :)

Not crazy about either of these but glad I was able to squeeze in a couple of sketches (& hold a pencil for any length of time)

I'll try more today in between comas.

Happy Veterans Day!

- sent from iPhone

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SkADaMo #8

During story time tonight while putting the kids to bed, this story of a little mushroom trying to find the sun was created... the kids loved it, and this image was created in my mind. (Although it always seems to turn out better in my head.)

SkADaMo #7

Thinking of all of our friends & family in NY & NJ. Praying everyone is able to stay warm tonight and that things start to look a little brighter tomorrow.

Can't even begin to imagine what you all have been through or are going through, but we are keeping you all in our thoughts & prayers... wish we could do more!

SkADaMo #6

SkADaMo #5

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

SkADaMo #4

This originally was just a sketch, (and it's not really complete) but I couldn't stop coloring it in :) Maybe I'll finish it over the weekend...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

SkADaMo #3

Inspired by the time change I created this little sketch called "Fall Back". Don't forget to change your clocks back tonight!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

SkADaMo #2/ IF-Shy

This was last night's sketch (November 2nd)... working on one tonight still. This sketch is also for the Illustration Friday word Shy.

This little shy puppy sitting outside in the mud, is just shy... one full bowl of food. (Kind of worked for both meanings of the word.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

SkADaMo #1

Just saw another inspiring idea Created by Linda Silvestri, and reposted by Roberta Baird.

Since I work better under pressure (and had so much fun participating in Diandra Mae's Sweet Square Challenge, I'm joining along for 30 days of sketches.

Tonight's sketch is a little random, but this is what I drew while watching the CMA's. Looking forward to working on more sketches this weekend. Probably won't be as detailed as this, but we'll try!

Happy Sketching!

Monday, October 29, 2012

IF- Haunt

Illustration Friday word "Haunt"

Been a while since I have had a chance to finish a new piece. Felt great but I crammed two drawings into one short evening. We've been waiting to lose power since early afternoon, but we are high enough elevation that I don't think Hurricane Sandy will effect us too bad after all. Still early, so we'll see.

Anyway I started this doodle last week one night and wanted to finish it before the power went out... maybe I can get ONE more piece done tonight :)

Have a safe & Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Couple of quick doodles lately...

Working on a lot of character studies/sketches lately. Here are two I did tonight. Still in rough form but very fun to draw!!

- sent from iPhone

Friday, October 5, 2012

96 more projects to go...

Okay I talked enough about myself in the last post. Here are some of the items I have already crossed of the list from Dani Jones fabulous post on 101 Projects for Artists & Illustrators...

#88. Start a blog.
Well here we are, started in 2009 I think, not knowing what the heck to write about, but wanted to document this wonderful journey.

#92. Look at other artists’ work through portfolio sites and blogs.
See the links on the right side of the blog. Some of these talented folks I know, some I have learned from & some are just too ridiculously talented not to mention!

#91. Find and study online tutorials.
Here are a couple of great resources:
• Folio Academy (inspiring Will Terry videos & other artists)
• Schoolism
• Dani Draws: Tutorials, Tips, etc.
• Youtube ( it's amazing how many useful videos are out there!)
• Carlyn Beccia does amazing work in Corel Painter
• 50 Illustrator Tutorials every designer should see

#93. Subscribe to Drawn! Check...
#94. Subscribe to Lines and Colors. Check, Check!

Okay my brain is a little fried so we'll take a break for now. There are just so many great things on this list that I wanted to share a few. Have a great night!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New Challenge in 101 days... inspired by Dani Jones

Dream Big & Follow Through...

Still working on Sweet Squares from the lovely Challenge that Diandra Mae started back on September 3rd, 2012. It really has opened my eyes to new techniques, and really pushed me to learn more and improve in all areas.

There have been a few people who have really inspired me lately and in the past who have shared their knowledge and experiences to help out another fellow Illustrator stay straight on the path towards Children's Book Illustration. I read a good quote once (which I'll try to find later). It basically said, when you have something, use it, appreciate it and then pass it along to someone else who needs it. In a competitive market, these wonderful people have shared their knowledge and given advice to a person that they have never even met before. If you get a chance please check out their amazing talents: Aja Wells, Vanessa Newton, Rachelle Anne Miller, Renèe Kurilla, and all of the lovely people I met at the Advanced Illustrator Workshop at the Highlights Foundation in Aug/Sept. (Some of those people are listed among the links on the sidebar)

So back to my point of this Challenge, I was watching one of the videos from the talented and generous Will Terry, and learned so much in a short time that I kept researching and kept coming across the very talented Dani Jones. She has so many wonderful tutorials also & shares a ton of helpful information. I stumbled across a post this evening called: 101 Projects for Artists & Illustrators. As I read through some of the items on the list I felt a little better knowing that I had already accomplished some of these things along the way. It really inspired me to take on the challenge of the rest of these great ideas on this list. (Just so happens there are 101+ days until January 16th...)

Since the Advanced Illustrator Workshop I made a promise to myself (and my husband) that by January 2013 I will have postcards & business cards ready to mail out to publishers, magazines and art directors to see what happens. I have a few pieces to use in the promotional material, and although I have a couple of areas to continue working on, I've made great strides in a short amount of time. I am not expecting to break right into this business, but am open to spot art projects, commercial Illustrations, editorial work and maybe a children's book if my style fits with the right text. You can learn more about my background by visiting my website in progress:

It seems like all of the puzzle pieces are suddenly falling into place, and I would be a fool to just sit on it. My motto has always been DREAM BIG & FOLLOW THROUGH... After 15 years in advertising, a life time of illustrating and over 5 years of attending SCBWI conferences (entering contests, building a portfolio and absorbing more information than a new sponge...) I am ready to push even further and see if I can check off everything on this list BY JANUARY 16th, 2013... here we go!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

25+ days of Sweet Squares...

I have not finished all 30 days yet, but here is a compilation of 25 of my squares so far... started a little behind so I have a few more to go. Honesty I don't think I'll stop at 30 either.

It has been a joy doing a new drawing or trying a new technique each night and I feel that I have improved in a couple of small areas. I have many sketches and things that I've Illustrated in the past few weeks that have not made it on to the blog, but I hope to turn them from sketches to compositions soon.

Thanks Diandra Mae, for sparking more creativity in this fun challenge, and thank you Aja Wells, for your great insight & inspiration over the past couple of weeks! You have been so kind!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Relaxing Sunday OFF

I decided that I needed a little break to avoid getting burned out. I have been trying to learn SO much, and improve in certain areas, and just honestly I can't... stop... drawing! But house projects are calling and our kids need a little more attention than usual, so we are taking a little break today to slow down before the rush of Monday comes.

While I was cleaning, my mind was still running 100mph trying to remember everything that needs to be done for work on Monday and going over upcoming bills in my mind, and a million other daily stresses that we all go through. Then out of the blue as I'm cleaning out the Laundry room I found these little gems that I did a few years back: Whimsi-kits by the scrapbooking company My Minds Eye.

It was my first "paying" illustration job, and usually when you look back on older work you think, "wow I've come so far", or "oh how embarrassing". Well this time I thought to myself, "I had SUCH a great time doing these!" and realized that my "style has sort of come full circle and I'm back to a similar way of drawing that I have always done for years, except now I'm mostly digital. So now I feel ready to continue forward improving on subject matter, and creating more interesting compositions with characters that have more expression. But the same style I had in high school drawing in sharpie and then painting with watercolor using a paper towels, or back before kids when I would draw for hours using a ball point pen, water color pencils and spit to blend... it's all the same!

Now I draw in my sketchbook in pencil each night after I'm done working and if I like a sketch I go over it in pen using the inkling. That transports into the computer keeping all of my sketchy pen strokes that I love, and then I color everything in using photoshop. Sometimes I'll go over it again with a pencil brush to form stronger shapes or even add more texture. It really feels organic and natural... just like it has so many times before!

Anyway, here are a few pics close up. It had a short shelf life as they decided to go all digital the following year using only graphic patterns. That's how fast industries change. I'm glad to have found an area in children's Book Illustration that allow the pen strokes to stay the same and they can grow along with trending colors, subjects and mediums. Feels like home :)

Have a wonderful weekend!