Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fun With Glazing

This little gal was painted in acrylic mixed with matte medium on watercolor paper, using the layered glazing method. I got carried away and outlined her in black ink, then regretted it instantly and ran to the sink to rinse her off.

It worked! (phew!)

(More) Doodle Fun!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Library Run: Anna Dewdney & Leslie Patricelli

It's time I've begun to do some more library runs! In order for me to learn more about children's books, I need to read more children's books. So from now on, I will be regularly posting my finds as "Library Runs," where I will tell you what I've learned and what I like about each book. Yes, I know the title makes you giggle...

Keep in mind that these Library Runs are not book reviews- I haven't the slightest clue what I'm talking about, professionally. These are just mere musings from a person who loves looking at pictures and reading silly stories, and wishes she could do it all day long!

My first batch of books consist of stories illustrated by, (and most of them written by), artists Anna Dewdney and Leslie Patricelli. Let us begin...

Artist/Author: Leslie Patricelli

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas Paper

Books I Borrowed: "Big, Small," "The Patterson Puppies and the Rainy Day," and "The Patterson Puppies and the Midnight Monster Party." I am also quite fond of "Higher, Higher," "The Birthday Box," and "No No, Yes Yes."

My Thoughts: I really enjoy Leslie's cute and simple style. It reminds me a lot of how I draw things when I'm in that kind of mood. I enjoy her bright colors and the scuffed paint texture that comes from painting on canvas. At the end of "Big, Little," there are two pages that show a bunch of big and little things. My favorite? The Binkie! Her Patterson Puppies are also super sweet. Each one has its own personality, likes and dislikes, and it is evident which puppy is which throughout both stories. It gives kids a chance to identify themselves with one of the characters, and therefore helps them to learn from the puppies' silly mistakes (such as making a puddle in the livingroom!). My little 18 month nephew loves her books, too.

Artist/Author: Anna Dewdney

Medium: I cannot say for sure, because it isn't written anywhere that I can see, but I'm fairly certain she paints with acrylics on canvas.

Books I Borrowed: "Llama, Llama, Red Pajama," "Llama, Llama, Mad at Mama," "Grumpy Gloria," "Little Pangolin," "What You Do Is Easy, What I Do Is Hard"

My Thoughts: I have been dying to read Llama Llama Red Pajama for ages now, and I'm so glad I finally did! The story rhymes in a fun way, and I find the words feel nice the way they roll off my tongue. The sentences in all her most recent books are short and quick, and the stories deals with topics that toddlers can relate to. I have always been drawn to Anna's art from her book covers, but looking at them more closely makes me like the painterly quality even more. It makes me want to pick up a paintbrush and do some of my own! I noticed that most of her characters are the same brownish-tan color, and they all have the same eyes, yet each character stands on its own. It's a good way for her to keep her work looking familiar, so people can say "Oh that one MUST be by Anna." I also like her use of color- the moods are captured and the action feels real. Like 'em a lot!

Other Ways I Spend My Time: Castle in the Clouds Cake

Since I am oh-so-creative, I am often given the task of decorating cakes for my husband's side business.  He is unfortunate enough to not have a single creative bone in his body, so I'm always the default decorator. However, I am fortunate enough to have a husband who cooks AND bakes for me, so that's a pretty even trade I think!

This week's cake is chocolate, with a vanilla bean mousseline filling, with vanilla butter cream. It took us 10 hours to assemble, frost, and decorate this sucker!

It isn't perfect, I'll be the first to admit, but had someone given this cake to me for MY birthday, I think I'd be pretty happy! An entirely edible castle?? Yes, please!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

At Last...

...my studio is complete!

All it's missing now is that homey, lived-in look, (and a giant cork board on the wall) but I'm sure it will get there quite soon. I'm so fond of it, I took pictures! Let us gaze upon the loveliness...


While cleaning and collecting all of my art supplies that have been dispersed around the house over the past few years, I have learned a few things:

1. I am the Queen of Post-Its. *see proof at the bottom of this post
2. I actually DO have enough rulers and straight edges. It always seems like I only have one, and I can never find it. Apparently these things like to hide in weird places.
3. Finally putting together my studio is the BEST thing I could have done for myself. Seriously, I love it.

Since its completion, I have already spent a few creative hours in my new studio space. I'm trying out some new techniques to see what works best for me and my drawing style. Today I took page out of Judy Schachner's book and tooled around with the technique she uses to illustrate her Skippyjon Jones stories. I LOVE the textures she achieves using acrylics on watercolor paper, and the way she layers her vivid colors like so:

Spread from "Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones," by Judy Schachner

I figured it would save me some time to work with an image I already had lying around, so I tried out this new look on my little logo. I outlined with black Prismacolor pencil, and added a few touches with some Caran d'ache water soluble crayons. Not bad, but it seems to be missing something:

I'm also going to play around with this pelican that I drew a while back, and see how that goes.  I outlined him in pen and ink, which I find to be very satisfying...much more so than a black pencil. I guess I'm not into colored pencils that much right now.

And, since I've achieved the goal of making my little creative space, it makes sense to attempt yet another goal:
Get on a Schedule! 
I've got a log sheet on my door so I can write in the times I work, and I will also set aside working time from 10 am until 2 pm, four days a week. That's sixteen hours each week I will be devoting my time to illustrating.

Sounds like Awesome-ness to me!

told ya so...