Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Kraken

Kraken, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.Add caption
I'm chugging along with my "Uncharted Waters" sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project! This one was really fun to draw!

This time I drew Krakens; they're giant squid-like sea monsters that attack ships somewhere in the North Atlantic near Norway. Although the line "Release the Kraken!" is the most memorable from "Clash of the Titans", Krakens were not a Greek invention (although they have plenty of sea monsters that might have inspired Kraken stories later). 

Rumors of Kraken attacks reached their height in the 17th and 18th centuries, and they were widely accepted as real creatures. Carl Linnaeus even classified them, and gave them a scientific name in his writings (to read about more crazy stuff that he classified, I recommend Naming Nature by Carol Kaesuk Yoon.)

Although these Kraken stories are interesting, I really drew them so I'd get the chance to draw all of the tentacles!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Illustration Friday: Separated

Hibernating fox, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
This hibernating fox is separated from the winter weather; he's snuggled up in his warm burrow.

Here's a close up of the fox since it didn't photograph so well:
I hope everyone is staying warm too! It hasn't snowed in Philadelphia since late October, but it's finally gotten cold enough again for some of the white stuff.

Update! (1/6):
 Here is a nice scanned version... the colors are much better than my photos:
Look for prints soon!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Uncegila

Unceglia, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.

 I'm still working on my "Uncharted Waters" sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project.

This time I picked a creature from Native American mythology. Uncegila was a giant river snake who polluted water (notice my little fish skeletons in the background). She was killed by twin brothers, and when she died it created the badlands in Nebraska.

I love snakes and reptiles... they always seem to get a bad rap in mythology and world religions!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Charybdis & Illustration Friday: Round

Charybdis, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
I'm continuing to work on the Sketchbook Project with my theme, "Uncharted Waters". So far every page has been a water creature from various world mythologies. This time I drew Charybdis, the whirlpool from The Odyssey.

Charybdis was the daughter of Poseidon who was changed into a sea monster by Zeus. The whirlpool is caused by her swallowing water three times a day. She was the downfall of many sailors!

This drawing also works for this week's Illustration Friday because whirlpools go 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round...

PS: I finally got with the times and made a Facebook Page! I know a lot of people who follow this blog have had one for ages. Like my page or post your link in the comments so we can find each other!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

RedRock Fashion Illustration

RedRock, graphite, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 12.5 x 16", 2011.

I took some time to work on Illustration Rally's fashion illustration rally. It's in collaboration with RedRock which is a fashion label from the UK. I really had a lot of fun drawing the clothing on this illustration. They specialize in re-working vintage clothing; I wanted to give the illustration a retro feel, but still look appealing to a modern-day customer.

Here's a close-up:

and a peek at my preliminary drawing:
I don't usually draw fashion illustration, but I saw this as a good opportunity to try something new and maybe expand my portfolio.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holly Go-Lightning & Illustration Friday: Vanity

Holly Go-Lightning, graphite, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper , 15 x 15", 2011.

I finished my Audrey Hepburn illustration! It also fits with this week's Illustration Friday. Holly Golightly was certainly vain... although I think that that was just a cover for all sorts of crazy.

I LOVE Audrey Hepburn movies; she's such a classy lady. My favorite is probably Sabrina, but Holly was so fun to draw.

I usually photograph my drawings, but this time it's scanned (and stitched together by my multi-talented boyfriend, Zack). The scan is certainly a lot neater than my usual photography!

If you'd like to see the preliminary drawing go here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Blue Men of the Minch

Blue Men of the Minch, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
 I really need to get moving on the Sketchbook Project to finish by the end of January deadline!

My theme is "Uncharted Waters", so I've been drawing mythological water creatures. This time I drew the Blue Men of the Minch. The come from Scottish mythology and are said to cause shipwrecks and storms. They are a little like merpeople .... except they're blue! They can be outsmarted by clever sea captains by either answering a riddle or speaking in rhyme and making sure to have the last word.

I had fun drawing the beards... I guess you can tell!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Illustration Friday: Scary

Candy Skull, pen, watercolor, graphite & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 6.5 x 9", 2011.
Happy Halloween!

I've always wanted to decorate a Mexican candy skull, and this week's Illustration Friday gave me a good excuse! It also works well for the Illustration Rally Halloween Rally.

I also needed to paint something to test the watercolor paper I'm using for my Audrey Hepburn illustration. Hopefully that will be posted later this week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

5 Blogs You Should Be Reading!

I've made it to 50 posts!!!

When I started this blog I figured that it would be read by a few members of my immediate family and my boyfriend. I had no clue how supportive the online illustration community could be. I've been overwhelmed by the great comments and new art I've seen by illustrators I've met through Illustration Friday, the Sketchbook Project, Illustration Rally, and Flickr.

To celebrate my 50th post, I want to share some great art and illustration blogs I've found since starting mine:

1. Victoria Semykina Art

Victoria Semikina is a Russian Illustrator living in Italy. I love how she captures people's expressions and behavior. I especially admire her illustrations of Armenian tales like the first one above. Check out her blog and website for more work.

2. Herbstkind

Julia Humpfer is an illustrator from Germany; I first saw her work through Illustration Friday. I love her line work and use of patterns. She also created illustrations based off one of my favorite fairy tales, Donkeyskin; (the first piece above is one of them). Check out her blog, website, flickr and etsy store!

3. Pretty Little Thieves

I am crazy about the drawings of girls on Pretty Little Thieves! I love their sullen mouths and graphic hair. There are also great etsy treasuries and photography posted for inspiration. Check out the website, blog and etsy shop!

4. Step on Inside / Tipi Thieves
If you want to see super impressive ink work stop by Step On Inside. The subjects vary from rappers to Native Americans to animals and the moon, but they are all impeccably drawn. The drawings are incredibly detailed and the colors are so vibrant. It's one of my favorite blogs to follow.

5. Oana Befort

 Oana Befort is an artist from Romania. She paints whimsical watercolor and ink birds and animals. Her paintings always make me smile. She posts photography that is equally beautiful; what a talented lady! Check out her blog, website, and etsy store!

Go ahead! Visit their blogs and hit the follow buttons!

I have been following so many great blogs that I could have made this post ten times longer; I'll have to have another post like this at 75!

Bonus: visit my brother and sister's blogs!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Carcinus

Carcinus, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
 I completed another page for the Sketchbook Project. Since my theme is "uncharted waters" I've been drawing mythological water creatures. This time my subject is Carcinus, the crab.

Carcinus is a very minor character in Greek mythology, and a large part of the zodiac. He pestered Hercules while he was busy fighting Hydra, and ended up getting stomped on. Hera appreciated the crab's effort, and put him up in the sky as the constellation, Cancer.

If you still want to participate in the Sketchbook Project, it's not too late! The deadline for registration is October 31st.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Work in Progress: Holly Go-Lightning

Holly Go-Lightning: Preliminary Drawing, graphite & colored pencil on bristol board, 15 x 15", 2011.

Get it? Holly Golightly... Holly Golightning??? I think I might be the only one entertained by this idea... I've definitely watched "Breakfast at Tiffany's" way too many times.

I'm going to be posting a lot more projects in progress because I'm starting longer term drawings that could be considered as potential portfolio pieces. The final version of this one will be scanned, so the lighting won't be as weird and the edges won't looked warped; forgive my photography skills!

The background is based on Tiffany glass designs; I find them far more interesting than the jewelry. Did I put too much effort into the background just to cover it up with lightning? Probably! I'm hoping it will be more visible with some color in the final version.

What do you think?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Illustration Friday: Scattered

Freckles, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
It was fun to paint the freckles scattered across her skin.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Work In Progress

guess who?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Sirens & Illustration Friday: Ferocious

Sirens, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
I was working on another drawing for the Sketchbook Project when I realized it fit with this week's Illustration Friday too. What's more ferocious than a monster who appears as a beautiful lady?

My theme for the Sketchbook Project is "Uncharted Waters", so I've been drawing mythological water creatures (do I sound like a broken record yet? I think I've written that in every sketchbook post). This time I drew sirens. Most people have had to read the Odyssey at some point in their lives, so you're probably familiar with them. Their songs lure sailors to their deaths. Some stories describe them with bird bodies ...I obviously skipped that part.

This sketchbook has been a pretty good exercise for me so far. All of the drawings have been done without any real plan, so there's a spontaneous feeling to them. They're also in pen, so there's no erasing for me! I've got to stick with my mistakes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Shen

Shen, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
I didn't complete the project I was working on for Illustration Rally, so I worked on a page of my Sketchbook Project sketchbook. That way I'd feel like I finished something this weekend!

My theme is "Uncharted Waters", so I've been drawing mythological water creatures. This one is new to me; I had never heard of it before I started researching different water myths. A shen is a giant clam kind of thing that creates mirages. It comes from Chinese legends, and is supposed to really be a dragon disguised as a mollusk... pretty tricky! The mirages were never specifically described in anything I read. I decided that since desert mirages show water, underwater mirages must show something with land.

People who pick up this sketchbook when it's on tour are going to be super confused because it won't come with an explanation! I'm going to look like a crazy person who draws space-forest-clam things... which I guess is true...

Friday, September 16, 2011

In Progress: Baba Yaga

I have been working on the Children's Book Rally for Illustration Rally. The challenge is to complete two double page spreads for a children's story by the end of September. I'm going to have to work like crazy because I'll be away for the last week of September.

This is a peek at my preliminary drawing for one of the spreads. You could either choose to illustrate a classic or an original story; I'm illustrating a traditional Russian Baba Yaga story. The crows will look better in the final... they were a last minute addition.

I have so much to do...yikes!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Illustration Friday: Mysterious

Mysterious, graphite & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 9 x 10.5", 2011.
I'm supposed to be working on another project, but I liked the word for this week's Illustration Friday. So, I took a little break to do this drawing.

I was inspired by the Mystery! theme animated by Edward Gorey... especially the lady on 0:13-0:16 and the roses at the end.
I used to love watching the animation, but I don't think I've ever watched the actual show!

This is totally unrelated to Illustration Friday, but two blogs posted my Sketchbook Project work last week. I really appreciated it, so I want to mention their blogs here too:
- Sketches & Jottings is an awesome site that posts sketchbook pages for inspiration.
- Concertina Press is a blog kept by Ruth, who designs beautiful nautical themed stationary.

Thanks, guys!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Leviathans

Leviathans, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
Here's another finished page for the Sketchbook Project! I still have tons to complete, but I feel like I'm making some progress. I chose to draw leviathans as the mythological creature on these pages... AND I got to use my new green micron pens. (Woo! I'm guessing that's one of those things that's only exciting to me)

Leviathans are giant sea monsters usually depicted as whales. I based mine on angler fish because they look way more monstrous than whales... even the really scary one in Pinocchio. Angler fish aren't huge in real life, so I added the buildings for scale.

I'm still painting the ink over wet watercolor on all of the pages, so they don't get too stiff looking. I actually like how the ink bleed on top of the fish to the right's head; it looks like a leviathan crown!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Selkies

Selkies, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
I've been on vacation in Sea Isle, and worked on some Sketchbook Project pages there. Since my theme is "Uncharted Waters" drawing there seemed appropriate. I continued with mythological creatures and drew selkies.

Selkies are seals that can transform into people by shedding their skin. They are found in Irish and Scottish stories, and they are usual depicted as beautiful women. I can definitely say that I wouldn't mind being a seal sometimes... especially this one.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Illustration Friday: Obsession

Bibliophile. graphite, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
It's another little drawing! Before I started this blog I was very uncomfortable with working on a smaller scale... I guess that's changed.

This week's theme for Illustration Friday is "obsession". I work at a library, so I see absolutely no problem with someone who has an obsession with books.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Illustration Friday: Perennial

Jackalope & Cactus study. graphite, watercolor & ink on watercolor paper, 8 x 9", 2011.
This week's theme for Illustration Friday was perennial. I've drawn (and am still drawing) so many flowers this year, so I went for a different sort of perennial. I think cacti are really interesting. Why did I draw a jackalope? I know it has nothing to do with the theme; I'm using jackalopes for something in the future, and I thought this was a good opportunity to practice.

Last week I used a circle frame for my drawing, and liked how it turned out, so I decided to try an oval frame this time. The photography came out a little better too, but still not as well as I would have liked... I guess I have to keep practicing!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Illustration Friday: Gesture

Gesture. watercolor & graphite on watercolor paper, 8 x 11, 2011.
Here's this week's Illustration Friday; it was a lot of fun to draw.

... but not so fun to photograph.  I love working with pencils, but I can never get them to photograph as well as pen.  If anyone has any secret techniques I'd love to hear them.  If I win the lottery I'm buying a large format scanner!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Kappas

Kappas, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
I worked on another page in my "uncharted waters" sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project. This time I drew kappas.

Kappas come from Japanese folklore.  They're pretty strange... they like cucumbers, pranks, and politeness.  They have a bowl-thing on the top of their head that carries waters, and it has to be full when they leave water or they can't move.  Kappas also seem to like drowning children and horses, and there are still warning signs about them all over Japan. They're also supposed to be the inspiration for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... but the Turtles eat pizza... and don't drown stuff.

When I started this drawing I didn't have a clear picture in my head of what my kappas would look like, so they kind of evolved with the drawing. It's weird how some things come out without being planned. For every drawing so far in the sketchbook project I've painted ink on top of wet watercolor, so it bleeds and comes out very loose looking. This one is especially out of control, but I guess it's a sketchbook, and I shouldn't obsess about it!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Illustration Friday: Stay

Leone Study, micron pen & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
This week's theme for Illustration Friday is "Stay". If I were told I had to stay in one place forever (and I couldn't pick Philadelphia) I would pick Venice.  I've been lucky enough to visit Venice twice, and I'm in love with the whole city.

My illustration is a study of my favorite lion statue in Venice.  You can find winged lions throughout the city; this one is on the base of a monument for Manin.  The orange shapes in the background are elements found on the Doge's Palace.

Where would you stay?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Illustration Friday: Remedy

Garlic & Citronella, graphite & acrylic ink on bristol, 10 x 16", 2011.

Mosquitoes are the worst!  Luckily this girl prepared a remedy!

I've been working a lot with micron pen, so it felt good to loosen up with some pencils for this week's Illustration Friday. Unfortunately, I'm not so good at photographing pencil, so I included a few close up photos. I think I definitely had more fun drawing this one than you'll have looking at it... especially the garlic!  The girl looks like she's having some sort of mosquito seance... definitely weird!

Garlic really is a great home-remedy if you have a mosquito problem.  My dad makes a garlic spray for his entire lawn... my mom says it makes their house smell like caesar dressing, but it works!  If you live in the eastern United States be prepared for a super buggy summer; we have fewer bats to eat them.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Hippocampus

Hippocampus, pen. watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
I just finished another page of my "Uncharted Waters" sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project.  I'm using this theme to draw mythological water creatures.  I've already drawn mermaids, so I guess this hippocampus isn't branching out that far... next time I'll try something weirder.

My past few posts have been small scale drawings;  I think it's time for me to get moving on some bigger projects...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Illustration Friday: Midsummer Night

Midsummer Night, micron pen & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
So... Hot.... Can't.... Sleep....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I Wore #2

What I Wore 2, pen & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 10 x 14", 2011.
Here is my second drawing for the "What I Wore Today" flickr group!

I wish my hair was really that color... the summer sun faded it to a semi-normal looking color.
I was going to put nail polish and other stuff on the side like I did for my first drawing, but I liked the empty space too much.  I don't think that this drawing looks as much like me, but I like the clothes better.

What I'm wearing in this drawing:
- Kimchi & Blue dress
- Oh Deer! shoes
- Vera Wang tights (I think... I couldn't find the tag)
-  Poketo bag (my favorite!)

What I Wore #1

What I Wore 1, pen and acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 10 x 14", 2011.
The "What I Wore Today" flickr group put out a call for submissions for a book based on their group and blog.  I thought I'd give it a try because I like to draw and I wear pretty crazy things.

It also gave me an excuse to use my new inks and red micron pens!

What I'm wearing in this drawing:
-sequin oxfords from forever 21
-cut-off denim skirt
-blue tights
-chevron top from Old Navy a billion years ago
-blue feather earrings
-Revlon nail polish, color: minted
-leather Phillies bracelet (I wear this almost every day!)

I want to try to complete one more of these drawings today, so check back tonight for another post (maybe!).

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Mermaids

Oops!  I haven't updated the blog nearly all month!
Mermaids, pen. watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 5 x 7", 2011.

I rebound my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project and finished the first page. I was very nervous because I don't think I've ever drawn on such a small scale before. My own personal sketchbook is 11 x 14". I know that doesn't sound much bigger than 5 x 7", but the difference seemed huge to me!

My theme for the sketchbook is "Uncharted Waters"; I'm focusing on mythological creatures starting with the most obvious, mermaids!

I really like how the colors in this drawing contrast with the bright red-orange design on the inside cover:

I arranged the drawing so the mermaid's face would show through the cut-out part of the cover:

If anyone's looking for instruction on rebinding their sketchbook this video was pretty helpful (but long).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Inside Cover

Inside cover, acrylic & marker on cardboard, 7 x 10", 2011.
I recently signed up for the Sketchbook Project, and chose the theme "uncharted waters".  I took my book apart so I could bind it with heavier paper.  This is my design for the inside cover; the outside cover design can be seen here.

I LOVE seahorses... they're one of my favorite animals, so I knew I wanted to incorporate them into my cover design somehow.  I also wanted to use a bright bright red-orange because the outside of the cover was so muted.  Now I wish I had a red dress with white polka dots and seahorses...

If you would like to participate in the Sketchbook Project there's still plenty of time to sign up!  You can register up to October 31st.  If you sign up find my profile here and follow me!  I'll follow you too... I'm really curious to see how other people are completing their sketchbooks.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Illustration Friday: Asleep

Sunburn, watercolor, marker, pen & acrylic paint on watercolor paper, 9 x 12", 2011.
Don't fall asleep at the beach, or you're gonna need a lot of aloe!!

I know a lot of people are heading to the shore for the Memorial Day holiday; this is just a friendly reminder to pack sunscreen:)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Illustration Friday: Soaked

Downpour, watercolor, graphite& marker, 6 x 12", 2011.
I kept things super simple this time.  I feel like this is more of a composition or color study than complete illustration, but I like it that way. 

It rained almost all week here. That's the only thing I could think of when I heard this week's word was soaked.  I definitely got soaked a few times because I can never remember an umbrella!
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