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!