Friday, February 27, 2015

Haunting a House

The address has been obscured.

This is a custom haunted house portrait that I recently completed.  A client sends me a couple of clear pictures of their house and I draw it in pen and ink as a whimsical, creepy-cute haunted house!  For this one, my customer wanted their address included in the art and their dog chasing a black cat.

This was an 8"x10" paper size to fit in a standard frame.  I used Strathmore watercolor paper, a crow quill pen (Hunt nib 102) and Higgins Black Magic ink.  Here are a few process shots:

First pencil rough on left, Photoshop edit on right

Retraced final sketch

Transferred to watercolor paper and ready for ink

Inking in progress, address obscured

I do these custom house portraits through my Etsy shop.  For now the listing there is for 4x6, but 5x7, 6x8 and 8x10 can be requested.  Below is another completed house, this one at 6"x8".

The ravens were my client's idea!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Illustration Friday: "Jagged"


Happy New Year, everyone!

I'm looking forward to Spring more than ever this year.  And when I think of Spring (and Summer), I think of bunnies!  Oh, who am I kidding?  I'm always thinking of bunnies.

Bunnies are surprisingly hard to draw if you don't want to draw "real" bunnies but you don't want to draw cartoons, either.  I've been working on a way to draw bunnies I think are just right.  This set comes pretty close for me.  But aside from the style of bunny faces, the motivation for this set was that I really wanted to paint cute bunny outfits with watercolors.  :)

These are all drawn with crow quill pen (Hunt nib 102) and Higgins Black Magic ink.  The watercolors are a mix of Grumbacher and Winsor & Newton.  The paper is Strathmore.

These are all ACEOs (ACEO stands for "Art Cards, Editions and Originals"), so they measure 2.5" x 3.5".  They are available in my Etsy shop here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014 Halloween Art Collection

Hello!  I'm sorry my last post was so long ago.  I've been working on several things, one of which is my new shop on Etsy.  It's been more fun than I thought it would be and I find myself thinking constantly of work I might create to list there!

Starting at the end of August, I did a series of Halloween ACEOs.  That stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals.  Anything goes in creating ACEOs as long as the size is 2.5" x 3.5".  My set was all done with pen and ink with some orange watercolor.  A few of these are still available in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for looking.  I appreciate your visit!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Illustration Friday: "Peace"

This piece is graphite on Bristol and in a slightly different style than I usually use.  But I loved drawing this.  Working on the details and shading while listening to my current music favorites was very relaxing!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Elusive Miss Dashwood

This Spring I did an ACEO pen and ink drawing of Marianne Dashwood, a character from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (see it on this blog here).
I liked how it came out and I even printed it on the back of my newest business card.

That being done, I wanted to do an illustration of Marianne's older sister in the story, Elinor.  What I did not anticipate was that capturing Elinor Dashwood in a small portrait-type illustration would be a tricky thing for me to do!

Here's my first attempt, which was designed to be a "sister" piece to Marianne.  Play on words intended.

I like her as a piece of art, but there was more I wanted to say about Elinor than this illustration was saying.  What's going on in her life during the story isn't easy, but at the same time she's resigned to be content with her situation and make the best of it.  She's responsible and understands where she fits into society.  When it comes to emotions, Elinor doesn't show hers easily.  Elinor #1 looks too open somehow and doesn't have the hint of hidden emotions that I think a picture of Elinor Dashwood should have.  

Here's my second try.

It was fun to use so much color!  I like Elinor #2.  She looks like something silly is going on nearby and she can't get herself to join in. However, I think she looks a little younger than I intended even though her age at the beginning of Sense and Sensibility was supposed to be only 19 (source).  The elusive Miss Dashwood was proving to be a hard character to draw!  

I think I'm happiest with my third version, which at the time of this post is still in my sketchbook.

As a matter of fact, I might leave this version as a pencil sketch complete with messy lines and eraser marks.  Somehow the work-in-progress suits Elinor!