Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sandpiper-like bird

I decided it's time to get the photo references out for wings and legs. I started this one and realized that feathers are also an issue.
This is my dunlin, in transparent watercolor (no gouache this tine).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stack number 2

Here is my second stack of birds inspired by Carla Sonheim's Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop. Yes, that's a yo yo.
Thanks for looking.

Birds on a twig

I am enjoying my new book, Carla Sonheim's Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop. Here is my first stack of blob birds.
Birds on a Twig

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I am experimenting with color using this sketch, which I compiled from drawings I did at the beach.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sketching at the Beach!

Quick! Draw fast. Kids move.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 21, 2014


This is a practice gelli print that I made when my mother was here. Off and on we talk about collaborating on a project in which I provide window fabric and she sews it into something wonderful. This print is on deil paper. I drew on the print with a thin liner, and then added color with colored pencils.
High rise 
This image was inspired by the children's book, The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown.
Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I have coined a new word: illustriteration. Pronounce it "ill-lust-ritter-ation."
In my infinite wisdom, I have engaged in another art form, the art of illustration.  I am finding that much of illustration is iteration, hence the new word. I like creating with some constraint, making pottery that's functional or jewelry that's wearable.  Now, I am learning to make 2-dimensional artwork that illustrates.

The internet is a fabulous resource to learn about illustration. Children's book illustrators use their blogs and websites to post their portfolios, advice, and wonderful trailers for their new books. An ad for this Craftsy class crossed my newsfeed just as I was considering this, and on a whim, I signed on.
Here is a link to the class on Craftsy.
The class is great; the instructor Shadra Srtickland gets right to the point, inviting her students to create character, spreads and story and then illustriterate to make the whole project one piece. (See how useful my new word is?) For my class project, I have a story written by a friend, and I have started the process, but I feel pretty inexperienced. I decided simply drawing more stuff is an efficient way to move forward.

Again through facebook, I happened onto the 52-Week Illustration Challenge. Tania McCartney, an Australian artist and author, launched an illustration challenge, with a topic for each of 52 weeks, announced in advanced. The participants show their work weekly in a facebook group. These folks include published illustrators, children and everything in between. This seemed to me to be a good source of practice material. Today's illustriteration is for Week 39: Planes.

This is a good topic for me. I know loads about planes, thanks to my engineer husband, pre-engineer children, and the plethora of Hotwings die cast models that fly around my living room. I started by brainstorming. I almost went the educational route.
But then, this happened.
Which became this.
And THEN...

Ooh. Spray. I like to spray. So I sprayed. And I got an idea for my "story." I thought, "I've almost got it."
"Hannah the henna artist traded detail work for rides in her sister's plane."
Then, just before I started on the words for what I thought was my final illustration, I heard Shadra Strickland's voice in my head (from her Craftsy class videos). She said, "We need to connect with your characters. The decoration on the plane gives us something to look at, but not a connection to the people." Yeah, I see what she means. That's when this happened.

Now we're talkin'.  On my last trip to the library, I read a fabulous book, Cat Tales by Michael Hall (click for the trailer), and I was inspired to add to my "story" just a bit.
"Hannah the henna artist traded detail work for rides in her sister's airplane. After all, she wouldn't want her sister to have a plain plane."
Is this the final version? I don't know. Should I do the lettering by hand? I don't think the process of illustriterating ever ends; we stop because the deadline pops up and we move on.

So, what are you illustriterating today?
Thanks for looking.