Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just a Quick Update...

Hello all.
It's been a long time since I posted anything here so I am not sure anyone who isn't on facebook even reads this anymore.
However, I am writing to say, I'm back!
With Hurricane Sandy I was out of power for a week and a half and then with transportation stress and painting like crazy, I haven't really had time to post.
I have good news though. I have finally opened my etsy store and am selling a 2013 calendar and prints!
click here or on the link to the left of the page to see it.
I was super happy with how these came out, after going through some printing panic. And the pictures aren't so bad themselves. I will update tomorrow with pictures, but for now check it out on etsy.
I personally think it would make a great Christmas present for that impossible person on your list.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Marigolds

Hey all!
just a quick update before I get back to painting. (I have A LOT of work to do).
Here is the painting for October of my calendar. Marigolds are the flower for October, and we happen to have a lot of lovely marigolds in our yard, so I was able to get lots of great reference. The birthstone for October is opal, which I ran into problems with. Since I have been painting SO graphically, I wasn't sure how to do opal, since it is iridescent. However, after talking to my sister who happens to have an October birthday, she said a lot of people use rose quartz as the birthstone for October. Because opal does have some pink in it, I thought this was a good compromise for the painting.
What do you think?
 Now on to August!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Illustration Friday: Mirror

I took a break from what I should be doing (my calendar) to illustrate this week's Illustration Friday topic since I really REALLY wanted to. This is an illustration of me and my sister (much younger of course!) I tried adding a little colored pencil to the illustration this time as opposed to only using gouache. Let me know what you think! (I, of course, am the left handed one, and in yellow)
"Elizabeth and Anne had always been told they were mirror-image twins. They, however, didn't really care as long as it meant they always had someone to play with"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

March Daffodils

It's been a long time since i posted anything here. I have been in a creative funk for awhile, feeling uninspired, and unmotivated. Finally, I felt the need to do something creative again and was able to get a painting done. Somehow, I need to find a way to push through these funks when they happen so I can still paint. Really, once I start, I remember how much I really do love this, no matter how frustrating or tedious a painting can be.
Anyway, I decided to steal an idea from one of my good friends and do a calendar for 2013. (my friend Paule, you can see her awesome work here) . In many google searches, I found lists in various places of monthly flowers. Similar to birthstones, there is apparently a flower for each month. No site seems to agree on what they are, so I just picked my favorite ones for each month.
Every spring I am a maniac with a camera and take tons of pictures of flowers when they first bloom. Because of this I had some great photographs of daffodils. Therefore, for March, I went with daffodils. The birthstone for March is aquamarine so I went with a blue background for the piece.
Here is an abbreviated overview of my process for this painting.
First I picked the photographs.  I like to use reference when working on a flower painting so I used this photograph combined with another. I played with moving the flowers closer and flipping them around and came up with a composition

Then I do a rendered drawing to understand shadows and highlights.
Then I trace the drawing making the shadows and everything into shapes.
From here I do a color comp in photoshop. It's fun because it is kind of like coloring in a coloring book. I usually simplify the shapes at this point of the project. When I am satisfied with the colors, I transfer the drawing to a piece of hot-pressed watercolor paper and start painting.
painting the background first
progress report

And here is the finished product
The scan came out a bit brighter than the actually painting, but I kind of liked it. Daffodils are such bright cheerful flowers it made sense. I realized while painting that my process has become like a paint by number I create for myself. It was a fun realization, and makes me think that those years of doing paint by numbers did not go to waste (just kidding). Sometimes, it does get a little tedious, and I do need to figure out a faster process, but for now, it does work for me so maybe I will just try to get faster.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm Back!: First Summer Project

It's been pretty quiet here on this blog, sorry for the lack of updates! Summer seems to fill up so quickly, with family visiting, work and trips to the shore (of course!) and I haven't been able to take five minutes to update. I have been working on a couple of projects though that I will retrospectively post here.
The first project that I finally finished this summer was a tattoo design I did for one of my friends. Sunflowers are her favorite flower so of course they are the star of the tattoo. She has a degree in biology so asked that one of her favorite things, caffeine, be included as a molecule in the design. This is what I came up with for her.
I first sketched a bunch of ideas and this is the one we decided to go ahead with. First, I painted it with gouache, but did it again in illustrator to get a cleaner effect. She seemed to be pretty happy with the result so I am glad. I have never designed a tattoo before so it was a challenge for me, but I was very excited to do it. What do you think?
There are some other things I have been working on but they will have to wait for another time to be posted here. I feel like I haven't been in my studio in a long time, and I am itching to get back to painting! No worries though, I will get back to updating again regularly.
I hope everyone is enjoying the hot summer weather!

Monday, May 28, 2012

And here it finally is. . .

I have finally updated my website with all the new work I have been doing! I tried to make my website a little more fun than it was, after all, I do want to do children's illustration.
As you can see, I have also updated my blog a bit too. I thought it would be nice to match the new site.
check it out here.

I do need to edit the banner here a bit still. . . but there is always tomorrow for that!

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Rainy Day

As I mentioned in my last post, the weather here is blah. We actually had a beautiful weekend, full of sun and warm weather; a perfect way to spend Mother's day weekend. I painted a picture of pansies for my mom as a gift, since pansies are her favorite flower. Unfortunately, I can't get the colors to scan right so you will have to be patient before I post that.
So here we are again, with it raining buckets outside. everything is wet and gray and gross. I actually don't mind rainy days; I love the gentle staccato of the rain against the leaves, the glisten of the water against the grass, the feeling that you either need to get a lot done indoors or snuggle up with blankets and a cup of tea. . .I really do love rainy days. However, I like rainy days few and far between. This constant gloom not only literally gives me a headache, it makes me feel depressed and antsy (not at the same time, obviously).
It also, as I mentioned in my previous post, has been coming up in my art. Here is the last of the rainy day pictures I had mentioned. (although, most certainly not the last one I paint!) Hopefully, it will give you some joy on this miserable day. It is meant to be a fun piece. Enjoy!

A mother bird tries to keep her babies dry in the rain. I wouldn't want to be the one on the end!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rainy Day Magic

The weather here has been kind of blah the last couple of days. I realize this may be coming out in the pieces I have been doing recently. This piece is the third piece I have done recently that I have painted that has to do with rainy days. (I haven't posted one of them yet but it will be posted soon!)

I don't know if this actually has to do with the fact that the weather has been blah or the fact that I loved rainy days as a kid. Me and my sister would always go outside and play in the rain, stomping in the puddles in our driveway. Unlike my illustration here, we did not wear rain boots. I wanted to capture the fun of puddle stopping with the magic of having an imagination as a child, where really anything is possible (maybe even falling leaves turning into goldfish?)
I used the flat style I have been using recently with some more textures in the background and in the puddle. I don't know if I love the result yet or not; however, this is a piece that has been on my mind for a long time now, and has been sitting on my hard drive as a color comp for almost as long, so I decided it was time to give it a go and try and paint it.
Hope you like it!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Illustration Friday: Jump

I am really happy to be doing Illustration Friday for the 3rd week in a row. I know I keep submitting my take on the topics last minute, but hey, I am still getting them in right?
This week's word was jump. I decided to redo a piece that I did last summer for promotional material. I wasn't happy with he outcome then so I wanted to try and redo it. The colors here are a bit brighter than the painting itself; I don't usually paint with fluorescent colors. I think I need to play with my scanner a little more and try to adjust the colors better in photoshop.

Rosie loved to jump really high on her pogo stick

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Illustration Friday: Heights

Hooray! I am doing Illustration Friday for the second week in a row. It helped that this week's theme fit in with a project I was already working on. I am also happy to be getting it done before Thursday at ten.

As a kid I always loved flying kites. Once a year, my street use to have a day where all the little kids would go to the end of the street (we lived on a cul-de-sac and there was a field there) and run around, getting our kites up in the air and seeing how high they could go. Of course they got tangled often, but as long as you could untangle them, that was part of the fun of it.
Hope you like it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Illustration Friday: Puzzled

This is totally last minute, but I FINALLY did Illustration Friday again! The word for this week was puzzled. Since two of my sisters are totally obsessed with pandas, they were the first thing I thought of for this piece. So, I did a red panda (yes they really do look like red raccoons) looking at a giant panda (what most people think of when they think of pandas.) I thought it could be a cute and original idea. What do you think?
But I'm a panda!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Promotional Materials: Business Cards

So I have decided to put up the paintings I did for my business cards as promised in my last post. It was time for a new set. I may or may not use all of them, what do you think?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring: New Beginnings

I love that Spring has finally come! I get so discouraged by the winter, being cold all the time, gray skies. . . it just gets depressing and is very much not a motivating season for me. But Spring! I love all the flowers, especially at this time of year, so many of them are yellow! My family knows I am OBSESSED with this color. It's just such a cheerful and hopeful color! Soon, I hope to do some more flower paintings like the poppy painting in my last post (and yes, many of them will probably be yellow). I took a lot of reference pictures yesterday, so hopefully those paintings will be popping up here soon!
Any way, I am hoping that with this new season in the air, I can start a new season of creativity. I am hoping to get much more done, which of course I will share here. I thought a good way to start would be with some new promotional materials. I have started working on some paintings I hope to use for business cards, and I think they are coming out nicely. They are a bit more representative of what I want to do than my last bunch was, which is a good and needed change. I have painted three of them already, and will share them all with you eventually. For now, this is the one I just finished.
The colors didn't scan perfectly which I have to figure out. The orange is lighter than it shows up here. The rest are almost accurate. If anyone has any suggestions about getting accurate scans, I am all ears!
Now, I am going to go enjoy this lovely weather. Maybe I will get some more reference pictures, maybe I will bring my sketchbook out and draw. However, I think I will most likely lay in the sun and soak up the inspiration nature and Spring always share.
If you are in the New York area, go outside! enjoy this beautiful day. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Poppies for a Cause

My sister every year organizes Coffeehouse for A Cure; a coffeehouse and raffle to raise money for the Children's Tumor Foundation (a cause very near to our hearts). Each year, I like to donate a painting to be raffled off to do my part in helping. Of course, I always decide to do things at the last minute, and so couldn't post a picture before the actual event. I did decide to document my process a bit with this project so you could see more how I work.
the thought process
First I started with a sketch in my sketchbook. This was quick, and unfinished, but I wanted to scan it in and do a color comp (yes I am impatient with that). The first row of the above picture is the original picture of the flowers I took a couple summers ago, the quick sketch and the quick color comp.
The second row is a cleaned up sketch that I did with tracing paper and pen, from there I got the color comps to the right. The gray background was a happy accident. I went to fill the background in Photoshop with a blue but had scanned the file as a grayscale file so it came out gray. I liked the way that looked against the orange so I kept it. I also decided to keep the grass in the background gray as well, simply outlined in white so that the flowers really popped. I was really happy with this as a color comp.
the painting process
After I had printed this out, I mixed my colors and got to work. For this piece I used gouache. Gouache and watercolor are my favorite media, and for this, since I was going for more of a graphic look, I decided to use gouache. Basically this is all the different stages of the painting.
the workspace. Pretty neat for me actually. and of course my coffee is always near.
the final painting (before I signed it)
Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of it when it was framed and looked all nice and pretty. I did scan it before I framed it, so I put a black frame around it in photoshop so you could get the idea of the final project.
I was really happy at the event because the painting seemed to get a lot of tickets, more money for The Children's Tumor Foundation!!! The winner was my younger sister's friend, who was ecstatic (she told me afterwards she was one of my biggest fans).
I love being able to share my talents to raise money for such a cause, and actually had a lot of people come up to me afterwards to say how much they loved it (always a good ego boost :) ).  I would love to be able to do this more in the future. But back to the drawing board. I hope not to leave this blog for as long this time without a post. Also need to get the much promised revised website up. Well, as an illustrator, your work never seems to be done.
Hope you enjoy the painting!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pandas, Pandas, Pandas Everywhere! (and a hippo)

One of the things we did often in school was draw from life. Unfortunately, I've fallen out of this habit a bit since then. However I have decided as a New Year's Resolution to do more drawing from life.

Therefore, the other night I was sitting on my bed looking at my twin sister's bed. She LOVES pandas (and that is an understatement.) I think she has about twelve pandas at the end of her bed, all in a pile.
So I pulled out my sketchbook and a pen and drew them. (there is also a hippo, a tiger and some sort of brain cell there. yeah she's a science nerd too)

"my sister has a lot of pandas. sometimes it's hard to tell where one begins and another ends"
This was a fun ten (maybe fifteen?) minute drawing. It is just a inky pen drawing. I thought people may like to see some informal art, as opposed to the finishes I keep posting. Hope you like the pandas!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Illustration Friday: Grounded

I realized that some people who read my blog might not know what Illustration Friday is. I was so proud that I actually got something done in time for it last time that I didn't even bother to explain what it was! My apologies.
Illustration Friday is a website on which there is a weekly Illustration challenge (given every Friday, hence the title of the website). Each week, illustrators who wish to participate illustrate the theme for that week and post links on the website to their blog where they have posted their version of the theme. At the end of the week, a piece is chosen as the pick of the week and a new theme is posted.
Last week's word was grounded. I had an idea for this, and then unfortunately got sick so was unable to post it in time. However, I was happy with the result so I decided to post it here anyway.

Sammy's mom said he could have a komodo dragon for a pet when pigs fly. Much to his disappointment, Delilah remained very much grounded. 
I used collage as the main medium for this piece, with micron pen for the facial features. I am really enjoying collage, let me know what you think!