Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Santa's Valet"

Happy Boxing Day! I hope everyone, who celebrates it, had a lovely Christmas Day! Santa's big night is done and it's time for him to put away his working clothes for another year. :)

This sticker design changed after my sketch was approved and submitted, as it turns out I completely forgot his hat! I thought the pajamas and slippers were a cute addition, but I totally understand having to lose them in favor of including Santa's hat.

Enjoy the holidays & relax… I'm sure that's what Santa's doing right now!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Christmas Stockings"

Just 4 shopping days left until Christmas, have you hung your stockings by the chimney with care? Mine aren't… and probably won't be, but that doesn't mean I don't like them. Christmas stockings have gotten so much more fun and individualized since I was a kid. They've practically become works of art. Anyway, they are always significant & fun christmas icons.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Reindeer Trees"

In keeping with the holiday theme, here is one of the more fun and unusual themes I've been asked to work on. I love drawing animals, but since scrapbookers usually scrapbook about people-activities, I don't often get to draw them for sticker projects. I was actually really surprised how closely they followed the original sketch on this. So cute & fun!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Christmas Candies"

It's December, and that means everywhere you turn you are bombarded with Christmas: decorations, shopping, music, food… and candy! I've actually never been a huge fan of peppermint candies, but they sure are pretty. I will say, my favorite winter treat is mint-cocoa… not the same, but close enough. ;)

Oddly enough, on this assignment I stylized the candy canes in a curvy, rounded way… and my client requested that I straighten them out in revision. As you can see, they decided to go with the curvy version in the end anyway.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

PiBoIdMo Winner!

This year, for the first time, I decided to join in and participate in Picture Book Idea Month (#PiBoIdMo for short). It was a totally new experience, one I really enjoyed (even if my last three ideas arrived just this morning… for me it was more like 30 ideas in 32 days). I actually think this would be a great thing to do on a daily basis, idea generating is sometimes the hardest part! Developing a habit of collecting ideas for any kind of ongoing or long term projects is a good habit to incorporate into a daily routine, IMHO. Now if only I can practice what I preach. ;)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday, "Gingerbread Townhouses"

What is this time of year about really, other than to make yummy treats and decorate everything to the hilt. Well, lots really… but let's focus here. ;)
This was a very fun theme to work on. I LOVE gingerbread. I also appreciate gingerbread houses, although I can't say that I've actually ever made one… that I remember (maybe I've blocked out the memories because I can draw better than I can decorate with icing?!). I knew I had to do something to mix things up so I could make this an interesting sticker sheet, so I threw some townhouses in there, lost of icing, and yummy candy accents. :) I love the little colorful gems the production team has added.

I have to add though, I never really GOT gingerbread houses. It's seems like an awful lot of time and effort and yummy goodies to put into something that no one really ends up EATING. So disappointing, but VERY cool looking. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday, "Giving Thanks"

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
This was a fun and interesting subject to tackle with stickers (and scrapbooking in general). We usually try to avoid people in scrapbooking stickers, because… well, they probably won't look like the people that are being scrapbooked about (and let's face it, it's hard to translate faces into simple cut paper shapes). With this theme, we were able to fudge the scenario a little more, since the subjects shown are not meant to be the actual people your scrapping about, but accents to highlight holiday photos, school projects, or anything else you like. You can see that they kept the bottom icon the same, while changing the top icons so the cornucopia was the largest, instead of the hat and headdress. Makes sense to me. Personally, I think the faces still came out a bit funny, but overall a fun sticker sheet for a wonderful family holiday.

Eat tons this week, ENJOY IT and be thankful for it! (Not guilty! No guilt for Thanksgiving - we can feel guilty at New Year's when we don't fit in our party clothes. ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday, "Making Cookies"

In keeping with the baking and various cooking preparations that usually take place this month (and next) here is a sticker sheet about one of my favorite activities - Making Cookies!! Yum.
Here we get to see a little more process again, as several things were changed at the production stage. My sketch was a solid go this time around, not many revisions or changes there. In my final vector art, I used a lot of light gray - intending that it should be silver foil stamping on the actual stickers. In the final product photo, these areas appear black (silver foil stamping is reflective, almost like a fuzzy mirror surface, so it does often look black at certain angles). They also decided to change my blue accents to Red. Okay, I get it. Hey, I painted my OWN kitchen red. Must have been a last minute change since they didn't ask me to do it in revisions. :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Monday, November 08, 2010

New Work: Sticker Monday, "Bakery"

Happy November! Thanksgiving is coming up and I thought I'd share a vector sticker sheet this week, based on FOOD. Sweet, yummy, baked food. I don't know if you all go the the Bakery in preparation for Thanksgiving, I usually don't -- but how tempting it is!

This is a pretty straight forward design, not much changed from sketch to finish. I really enjoy this kind of theme, because I'm not only illustrating yummy goodies, but I get to make up a fake little identity theme for the bakery as well.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


The new Colored Pencil Society of America's Signature Showcase book is out! I received my copy this past weekend and got to see my very own piece in print… in a book!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday, "Happy Halloween!"

Happy Halloween! In celebration, here's one of my favorite recent sticker sheets. I just love how they produced these stickers, I couldn't have picked better materials & colors myself.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday (Tuesday Edition), "Halloween Party!"

I've never been one to get really into Halloween, but I do enjoy it. These are a couple Halloween themed projects I worked on a while back - one, a general Halloween themed Party design; the other is more focused, Halloween Cupcakes and was one of THE most fun halloween designs I've worked on.

Although I would never go to this much trouble personally, it was really fun researching various Halloween recipes and goodies that might be served at Halloween parties. Everything here is based on actual recipes I found. Of course I had nothing to do with the color selection, but I'm very happy with the resulting product. Can't say I'm wild about some of their font selections… but you can't win 'em all. ;)

This one was REALLY fun. I loved looking up all the wonderful cupcake designs out there. My favorites are the spiders and the mummy, although the translation from sketch to product isn't quite what I wished it would be… it's still fun. Gotta love sparkly glitter. :)

If anyone has questions at all about these or any other designs I post here, please feel free to ask in the comments section!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Halloween Gravestones"

This week's Illustration Friday theme is "Spooky" and I just happen to have some fun spooky sticker projects that were recently released into stores. But, I feel it's a bit of a cheat to post work I've already done for IF, so I'm not going to do it. Instead, I'm REALLY going to try and carve out some time this week to work on a new Illustration Friday inspired piece.

This was a really fun project. I'm not a copy writer, so while the client gave me the theme of "funny halloween gravestones", I turned around and asked THEM to provide the text content. I felt there was just too much liability involved with words and text, and since it's not my area of expertise, I didn't want to be in the position to be held responsible. I was pretty happy with the list they sent me though, and it was fun making the gravestone designs to go with them, and finding fonts to fit the spooky mood.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Counting Sheep"

In continuing with the baby theme (for the time being)… here's one I had some more fun with. It's not often I get to put much personality in these sticker themes, but this theme left some room for interpretation. Since counting sheep is something one imagines, it's not such a literal subject. It was fun to see the materials that were chosen and the how color was applied, since I was not involved at all beyond that actual sketch. I do wonder why they chose to make color treatment of the number 3 different than the 1 and 2 - I may never know. ;)

Monday, October 04, 2010

New Work: Sticker Monday - "Baby Food"

Oops! I totally forgot about Sticker Sunday yesterday - being out and about with my houses guests ALL day. So here's a special edition of Sticker "Monday".October is my brother's birth month, so in honor of that joyous occasion, here is one of those more… peculiar sticker themes I've worked on -- Baby Food. I got a little designer-y with the labels on the formula and jarred food, always fun. Sometimes I am asked for specifically boy or girl colors, but this one needed to be unisex, which always makes for an interesting color palette.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Work: Bella Sara MOONFAIRIES

I'm pretty late with this update - this set came out way back on late spring, but I've only just got around to posting the artwork I completed. I was fortunate enough to be asked to work on four characters, two of them special promo cards (the dancing couple: Woodlock and Twilight). I don't have any actual samples of these cards, but I'll be keeping an eye out. As always, it was a super fun project.

This is Sylphie and the only card for which I worked on both the character and the background art. The rest of the designs were character art only.




Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "School Years"

Last September Sticker Sunday and the last of my school themes for a bit… here are three other school year designs I did:

Once again these stickers were producted in layered mylar (a metallic), which you can see just a bit of in the Sophomore sample image - I don't have actual samples of Freshman and Junior. I don't actually have a sample of Sophomore either, but EK just happened to have a scanned image on their website.

These were actually pretty tough assignments - making "icons" to represent the subtly different years of high school / college - well that's pretty obscure. I'm really happy with how they turned out - and I hope there are some scrapbooking moms out there that are really enjoying them on they're kids' pages. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SPECIAL: Ripple Donation

"We don't have to feel helpless. We can help. Our small actions together will ripple outward."
I've finally finished my sketchcards for the awesomest of awesome art charity fundraisers: RippleSketches, benefitting the animal victims of the Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill. The four Non Profits benefitted are hands-on groups on site cleaning animals: International Bird Rescue Research Center, The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, The Sea Turtle Conservancy, and Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research. My cards will go live on the site next Wednesday and will be available for sale at $10 each.

This has been a really great project to work on. These aren't my typical style either, I really wanted to so some experimenting and thus didn't have an entirely clear idea of what I was going to do as I started out with each piece. Here's a deatiled list of info for each piece:
Brown Pelican: Pen & Ink, Colored Pencil and Gouache on Rag Board, 2.5" x 3.5"
Dolphin: Pen & Ink and Colored Pencil on Arches Hot press Watercolor paper, torn/deckle edges, 2.5" x 3.5"
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle: Colored Pencil and Gouache on red cardstock, 2.5" x 3.5"
Great Lakes Piping Plover Chick: Colored Pencil and Gouache on blue, ridged cardstock, 2.5" x 3.5"
Sawfish: Pen & Ink, Colored Pencil and Gouache on blue, ridged cardstock 2.5" x 3.5"
Shrimp: Colored Pencil on Arches Hot press Watercolor paper, torn/deckle edges, 2.5" x 3.5"
Sperm Whales: Colored Pencil and Gouache on red cardstock, 2.5" x 3.5"

I did do some homework to find out which animals were or might possibly in the future, be most effected by the tragic oil spill in the gulf. Most of my sketches are based on these already at-risk animals: Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle, Great Lakes Piping Plover, Brown Pelican, Smalltooth & Largetooth Sawfish, & the Sperm Whale. I also felt shrimp have been under the radar during this disaster - everyone's talking about the fisherman at risk of & losing their livelihoods, but what about these tiny creatures that they harvest daily for their own financial gain - now being threatened by the very water that sustains their life?

It seems like every day we are finding new and terrible ways to destroy our own planet, and it's always an accident. Big risk, big rewards. For industry, it's another blip - the accidental disaster either destroys them and they're replaced by someone else - or they recover and keeping on doing the same. It's not totally unlike natural selection… only we CAN MAKE CHOICES… and we keep making the wrong ones.

*please note: the red stars on the cards have no particular significance other than to add a somewhat three-dimensional element to the designs and identify then as mine, and part of this group.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "School Senior"

Still in September, continuing along the school theme… here is an interesting sticker project I worked on a while back. It's a more "designy" illustration style and you can see I put a lot less detail in this sketch - it was more about concepts than beautiful rendering. This is one of the ones that changed the coloring after I had approval and the final art was delivered:The client gave the instructions for a fun graphic style with icons that included words. I also did "freshman", "sophomore", and "junior" - and each one had a dominant color theme. They didn't make many changes to those, but they obviously decided they didn't like the color way I'd chosen for this and changed it at some point. This is part of the production process and really doesn't bother me - they are still really fun stickers!

I had no idea what material they would be producting these stickers in when I completed the designs. Turns out they did layered mylar! Super fun and fancy! I happen to have some samples and snapped a few pics - they really don't do them justice, but you can get an idea of the layering and dimension, as well as the glossy metallic sheen.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Last night I attended the opening reception for my local Colored Pencil Society of America Chapter's group show at the Wooden Cow Gallery here in Albuquerque.
We had a great turn out. It was a fun evening of admiring our group's lovely work - such variety! There were several awards presented, including "The Cow's Choice" and three "Awards of Excellence" awarded by the Gallery owners. As a board member of our local chapter, I was not eligible for these awards. But there was also voting for a "People's Choice Award" at the opening reception - and my piece, AquaLuna was the winner! Excellent!

You can see pictures of all the award winners over at the CPSA NM Group Blog

Friday, September 17, 2010


So, the very funny and talented Jarrett J. Krosoczka tweeted a random image this morning - in his tweet, he included the title: Dueling Palettes. I fully expected to see a charming drawing of two palettes dueling… but I did not. The image was actually from his drawing table this morning, two colorful paint palettes.
So I thought, heeeey… I should DO that drawing I saw in my head. It's been a long time since a fully completeed image popped into my head, and even longer since I did a fun little drawing in my sketchbook, so I decided to go with it… I even managed to take some process photos (not the best, apologies - hey, I need a new digital camera! What can I say… it's on the list.)

CONCEPT SKETCH:Rough, silly, fun.

WATERCOLOR UNDERPAINTING: Again, rough. And we all know how the lovely thick moleskin pages take watercolor.

COLORED PENCIL w/some INK: Oops! I jumped into the inking before I took the colored pencil picture - so the girl palette is partially inked. Anyway, colored penil is where I through in the details and shading, mostly covering up the watercolor. But I did like some of the speckling that happened, so I tried to let it show through a little in the background.

FINAL: I don't usually ink on top of my colored pencil work, but since this was a pretty silly little drawing, I decided, what the hell. Hope you like it!

Those of you in the know may have noticed that my dueling palettes are actually RGB and CMYK - and for the rest, now you know!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NEW WORK: School Sticker Designs

Hello, my blog. Nice to see you… it's been a while. A looong while.
Anyway. I'm back. I'm planning to draw more, post, more and overall share more. I've been away FAR too long. I've missed you!

In honor of September and all the kiddies going back to school, I've decided to post one of my school-themed sticker designs. On the left is the original sketch - that was my part of the job. On the right is the actual product that was released. I had nothing to do with the selection of materials or colors. In a way, it's very freeing and like getting a little present when I walk into the shops and see my designs in living, layered, color. :)
You can also see, they've changed a few little things - the font on the chalkboard, the title on the textbook, the wording on the ruler. Nowadays I deliver vector text with the drawings, but they'll still change things up from time to time. Always a surprise!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Illustration Friday: SLITHER

Sleepy Snakes. This is a sketch I did last year, it was meant to be the follow-up piece to my Sleepy Bears (that will be traveling to the CPSA International Exhibition in a few weeks). I really liked how it was developing, but I think I got hung up on that fact that snakes doesn't have eyelids - so while they're sleeping underground, they won't LOOK like they're sleeping. Anyway, this is my rough of the layout. I got as far as the final sketch, but haven't been able to get past the eyelid issue. Thoughts? Should I keep going?

I am SO bad at keeping up with my blog. This is a desperate attempt to post anything, as opposed to something good, since I've been so… distracted lately.
Of course, distracted is an understatement. Crazy big events going on here, for me. Work, travel, packing, travel, work, work, and more travel. Then… moving? ;) More on that soon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Update Masterworks: It's Official!

I received the 1st Place award for miniature art in the colored pencil category from Masterworks. All three of my pieces were accepted into the show for New Mexico artists. I'm relatively new to miniature art, but it's right up my ally because I love detail. I'm so honored to have received this award - and to top it off, I SOLD one of the pieces (see the little red dot in photo below). I look forward to entering in other categories next year as well (possibly graphite/pen & ink).

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Masterworks Update

I got the call yesterday, all three of my colored pencil miniature submissions have been accepted. Yay! While I was not officially notified of having been awarded anything, I was told that I MUST attend the reception on Friday evening.
Meanwhile, I heard through the grapevine that I've been awarded first in the colored pencil category. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Work: Masterworks Miniatures

I'm submitting three pieces to the Masterworks Miniatures show this year and I've just finished the last one - so here they are to share with the world. If you'll remember, last year I submitted just one, but I was awarded 3rd prize in the colored pencil category. I'm going for 1st this year - do you think one of these could manage it?

The frames are being cut & joined now and I'll pick them up and fit the artwork myself on Saturday - I'll try to photograph & update the completed pieces here before the drop-off on Sunday afternoon!

Enchanted. 2" x 3.25" On Arches, 120lb. Hotpress, mounted to museum board.

Pueblo. 2.25" x 2.4375" On sandpaper.

Bandelier. 2.75" x 3.75" On Arches, 120lb. Hotpress.

These are the pieces matted (it is TOUGH to cut mats this small!).

UPDATE: 3/29/2010
Framed Pieces…

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

New Work: Bella Sara SUNFLOWERS

I know it seems like lately all I do is Bella Sara, all the time. It's not, it's just that Bella Sara releases their product lines with nice defined schedules… unlike several of my other clients. ;) I'm particularly proud of the work I did on this set, not only because I got to work on the title character, but I also got to experiment & have quite a bit of fun - designing pendants and crowns, as well as a grass-green, iridescent horse!