Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring time: Rabbits abound

I have several projects underway, and they all involve rabbits!
I redrew a portion of "The Lost Coin" to use for my logo/art cards. I am looking forward to working on these with my talented friend Meg, the designer behind Moglea.

Last week my husband and I put a chalk board behind our dinning room table bench and I drew this rabbit jumping over our clock. It was fun to use chalk again, it feels so natural I don't even have to think!

A couple days later I received a chalk commission from a woman who saw my work in Shenandoah. She requested a chalk illustration of a rabbit and turtle planning a grand adventure. Here is the sketch:

After these projects and an illustration assignment for the SCBWI conference in April, I will be shutting down the studio (aka kitchen table) to prepare for our camp season. Just a couple more weeks to go!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

IF: Yield/Mustard Seed

It has been in the 70s all week! This is the time of year when I am torn between the garden and painting. While doing one, I am dreaming about the other. I hope they both give a high yield this year.

I have recently admired the work of Becky Kelly. I used her painting to select my color palette for this piece. As a result I feel like I have painted something fresh! I normally would have painted the sky with blues and the tree browns. It feels good to be painting outside my box.

The inside work, errands and painting are done. I can't wait to wake up in the morning, make some coffee and head outside!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Mustard Seed

Father Mole taught his little mole children, "The  kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."
Matthew 13:31-32
This is the first drawing I have done with out looking at any references. I am pretty proud of it! I hope to start painting it on Monday.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

IF: Intention/The Lost Coin

I am really excited about how this illustration turned out. It came with a lot of work and rework. Here are the first two attempts:

I got about half way painting this first one and found that I was having a hard time painting the light and shadows. I had made the lighting too extreme. The composition was really cluttered with everything happening on a linear plane.  The rejoicing friends also seemed disconnected from the retrieval of the coin.

 I worked on redrawing with Sara in her studio. She let me use her light box to move my animals around and rework the back ground. I liked it and began to go over my lines with pen and realized that my new pen was a lot thicker than my normal one. So I had to trash it. I started tracing again until Sara came over turned all my illustrations upside down and told me to just start completely over. Er!.....ok. I worked and worked and took about 3 days to redraw it. But I am so glad that I did! I feel like the piece is a lot stronger.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Lost Coin Revised

I had trouble painting my last "Lost Coin" illustration. I was able to identify 3 reasons for the difficulty: new watercolors that I am not used too, all of the activity was on the same plane, and the lighting set up was weird.
After much trial and error I have successfully redrawn my illustration. I changed the perspective and tried to create more interaction between the characters. The lighting will be softer too.
I have a hard time reworking my drawings because I can never imagine them being better than the first. Redrawing them really pushes me to think, problem solve and improve. It also forces me to swallow my pride and be teachable. Hard lessons, but worth it.
You will also notice that my lines are softer. I am going to try let my colors do the defining work my lines usually do. I need to paint this very carefully and thoughtfully.