My latest finished illustration. I have some process photos of this one I will add later. In the end, the Photoshop file included 102 layers. I don't mean to make so many, but generally it takes me more time and effort to be conservative. I do a lot of transparencies, when I try to combine semi transparent layers the level of transparency ends up changing. This illustration was put together with several mindful but separate drawings in my sketchbook. I dislike making backgrounds so much, but if I put a group of elements together that can be moved around almost like stage props, then it feels freer to me and less stressful. I made my own textures that I use lately and I am also toying with the idea of creating some patterns that I can reuse at times... such as the leave pattern on the bushes behind the wall or the stone pattern on the ground. I have another big piece to work on next week. Will try to post soon.
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Things have been rushing along already this year. I used this piece as my first color challenge piece of the year. The color is Rose Quartz, which seems to mean rosy light pink. I mostly like how it turned out but I am constantly questioning my process with regard to the cut paper effects. A professional artist recently complimented that element of my work and advised me to push it further. He said other things which were also very encouraging. It was a nice exchange. However his expertise was admittedly not in children's books but in another art field. Still having a pro say that my style has merit was a great boost.
I recently had trouble getting much sketching done. Something about the new year and all my excitement to get more productive back fired and made me unwilling to just sketch freely in my sketchbook, trying to hold out for more finished drawings. I solved this by buying a separate sketchbook just for carrying around and working out shapes and practice stuff with. This has been very successful. I have been filling at least a page a day. Also I the sketches have been fun to post on Instagram and I have gotten a good response from that.
So I have lots of work in the mix. Many many sketches and plans that sit back and wait for a project to come together more before I share them. I have basically one book that is laid out with lots of character design and visual development hours put into it and two projects that are just a group of ideas with a pile of sketches behind them. I'm looking forward to every chance I get these days to sit and work. It is really the funnest "career" in the world and as hilarious as it is to say- I love being an Illustrator regardless of the amount of paid work I get. I know that the time is coming in the future when I will have the chance to get paid for this but at the same time have the deadlines to go with it. Both the preparation time I am in now (that I call the self-led apprenticeship) and the time later when I am an active illustrator working on contract work ... both of these seasons come with both blessings and curses. My blessing now is to work at my own pace. Something I am not willing to give up just yet. This is my chance to improve and prepare for that time ahead.
Thanks for reading
Well it's a new year and I have tons of things to get done. I am taking another class through SVS to improve skills before continuing with the book I am working on. I have already gotten tons of help. I haven't done much drawing this week but have worked on more planning. I have a bundle of related illustrations that I did major work on months ago that I would like to finish up in the coming weeks. Last night I was able to get lots of layout organization done for the book. I have a contest coming up that I have done design work for already, but the finished piece will take time.
In other news, I found my missing sketchbook! And with it was another missing sketchbook I didn't even miss. When I did my count of all the drawings from last year I knew something was missing. Now I have counted all the drawings in the two missing sketchbooks and found an exact 100! What a funny number to find. So no the final count for last year is 791. Including the above sketch. I am thinking of using that one for an upcoming color challenge.
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!
It's been a busy year for me as far as artwork. I have made a deliberate effort to spend time working on my portfolio for Children's Book Illustration and gaining the skills needed for such work. A mentor of mine recently took an inventory of his year to see how productive he had been with his art career. It inspired me to do more next year. He had lots of tips for being more productive and I look forward to implementing some of them. In the meantime, I figured it wouldn't hurt to take a quick look at what I have completed this year, before moving on.
So here is my year in review in art-
691 Drawings in sketchbooks (plus one missing sketchbook full)
50 Finished Digitally painted Illustrations
19 Color Challenge Pieces
4 SVS Contest Pieces
1 Local Community Art Contest Entry Completed
2 Illustration Courses Completed
22 Art Blog Posts on Website
128 New Twitter Followers
519 New Art Related Tweets
133 New Instagram Followers
230 Art Posts on Instagram
922 Followers on Pinterest (some were from previous year)
1 100 Things Project Completed (100 Mice Drawings)
3 Personal Children's Book Projects worked on throughout the year.
A million family and life events took place in, around, and among these accomplishments. That is why I am very satisfied with what I was able to do this year. I can also see how I am growing in my ability to focus and to make better choices with the time I have. I hope to then better manage my hours in 2016 so as to accomplish even more. My goal is to do this without taking anything valuable away from my family. Protecting the important time with them is an utmost priority. I believe that by cutting out much of the mindless entertainment activities we often do, we can find the time for both our family time and personal projects. Balance is key, Moderation is essential. Instead of staring at Facebook for an hour at night before bed, I will be at my drawing table, instead of sleeping an extra hour in the mornings, I will be up an hour earlier and digitally painting an illustration. This won't be a new thing for me, but a continuation of the way things are now. It is only through God's blessing that I have been able to do this, and it will be only by His provision that I be able to continue. If it is in His will for me to be a published illustrator one day, then I am going to do the work to get there. If I am presented with circumstances which inhibit my ability to focus on this, then I will except that. We cannot say what we will do tomorrow, only what we hope to do.
Thanks for reading.
Busy time of year. Working on custom artwork for others instead of illustrations this week. I am doing pencil pet portraits this year. I have discovered that I like doing them on the toned tan paper with white pastel highlights. This is working well so far. I was a bit disappointed that there aren't many sizes available for these types of sketchbooks, the largest I could find was 11 x 14. Here is an example of what I am doing.
In other news I have a contest coming up, a color challenge tomorrow and I just finished a commissioned painting for a friend that I will hopefully post soon. Thanks for reading,
My painting of the week. Finished the color challenge and a mouse illustration together in one. The color of the week was a very light greyish lavender that they referred to as "Rose Quartz". I really like how the mouse turned out, great pose and props. I think I may like to go back and give the background another go however. Might see this one again soon.
Still working on the Christmas Coloring book idea. I have about 10 good images for it. I'm getting a lot of requests for an adult coloring book (which isn't as risque' as it sounds lol)
Thanks for stopping by
An example of my process using my final Inktober sketch... Scarecrow Buddy... First the pencils then the ink, gives me this-
Next I bring it to digital by tracing all the outline Also gave him his white outline too...
Next painting in the base flat colors in Photoshop...
Then accented special brush for some nice color touches...
More textures, a background, also highlights and finishing touches.
All done! It's a process I have been tweaking for a while now and I am finally really happy with it. I have been very busy during October doing lots of ink work, but glad to go back to finishing a few pieces now. This print will be available for sale in my shop soon. Thanks for reading! Happy Fall Ya'll!
After missing the last three weeks of color challenges, I managed to finish this one just in time. It is from a mouse sketch I did earlier this week and the color of the week was "Rose Quartz" which could also be called 'light grey lavender'. I really like this piece, I felt like the pose came out really good.
More work coming soon, Thanks for reading,
I've been working each day this month on the annual Inktober challenge. Drawing and posting an ink drawing for each day in October. I have combined this challenge with a project in doing. Most days I'm posting these Coloring Pages for a Christmas coloring book I want to have printed in order to sell for Christmas. Here is one of the images for that project.
I'll be posting more about that soon.
Thanks for reading.
So this week's color challenge was Russian Violet. I pulled this witch out from about a month ago and redid it with a new style background. There basically wasn't one before. It already had the correct color and was very Octoberish so I thought it would be a good match. I like how it came out. Here is the original-
Also I am very busy right now with Inktober drawings every day this month and also using that challenge as an opportunity to work on the Christmas Coloring book I have wanted to produce for a long time. I will post some of those pieces soon. Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for stopping by. I'm a published illustrator working on getting better every day. My goal for my work is for it to be charming, bright and endearing. I share my ongoing work progress online because I welcome all the encouragement and feedback I can get as I try to improve my skills. I currently have a children's book project that I am nearing the end of.