Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beauty Rococo-Inspired Character Study - Beauty and the Beast Illustration

I'm working on some illustrations of Beauty and the Beast that are set in Rococo France. This piece isn't a particular scene or part of the story, just a character and mood sketch that I did before anything else. There are some full compositions forthcoming!

This piece was drawn and assembled completely digitally, though the larger areas of color are from watercolor washes I painted and then scanned. It's meant to be printed at 9"x12".

Below are some details and the "pencil" layer (drawn with a Monoprice tablet).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Big Orange Splot - rooflines

The Big Orange Splot is a great 1970's children's book by Daniel Marcus Pinkwater about creativity and individuality that I never owned, but remember getting from the library over and over again. The concept stuck vividly in my mind all my life. If you haven't read it you should check it out from your library immediately, but the gist is that Mr. Plumbean lives in a neighborhood where all the houses are the same. When a seagull suddenly drops a bunch of orange paint on his roof, he decorates his whole house and roof with murals and plants and a hammock rather than paint it over to match his neighbors' houses. The neighbors hate it and every night send someone over to convince him to paint it back to match, but one by one all of his neighbors end up decorating their houses in outlandish ways. Soon every house on the street is a unique creation reflecting the owners' dreams and personality.

Part of why this book was so special to me is that, growing up in the Bay Area, I always assumed that it took place in Daly City. Anyone who has driven past Daly City on the freeway will have seen all the "little boxes" that cover the hills: near-identical, boxy houses in an array of creamy pastels. The only irregularity is the curve of the streets and cul-de-sacs over the hills.

So this piece is my re-imagining of the first big scene, based on Daly City. It's based on a sketch I did by hand, while the rest is a collage of watercolor washes and individual watercolor elements (the street lamps, the biggest gull's feet, and the paint bucket) that I did by hand and then scanned. I like working this way to focus on the shapes of objects and the atmosphere of the scene. My goal was to emphasize the sameness and boringness with the repeated pattern of roofs, combined with the weirdness and drama of the seagull dropping the paint bucket over them.

Below are some details and a rough scan of the hard-copy sketch. The piece is designed to be 12" x 24" as a full folio spread, so each individual page would be a square.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Necklace

I made this miniature book library necklace for my sister last fall, but didn't quite finish until about a month ago. These photos were taken as I made final repairs before heading out of her apartment in Brooklyn to fly back to California! My sister loves books and is studying to become a librarian, so I made her some librarian bling. 

They are hand-sewn and even have little headbands in them. The pages open and they're covered in found leather and everything. I don't normally work with leather because I'm a long-time vegetarian and animal-lover, but the Depot for Creative Reuse had some beautiful leather scraps, and I'm a lot more lenient when it comes to upcycling / reusing / used materials. The photos are of my wearing them, and should give you an idea of the dimensions. 

This piece isinspired by The Black Spot Books on Etsy. I have no plans to sell a product like these as they are, because they're so close to her work. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Satyr in the Woods

This is the final project from the digital drawing class I took last fall.

It's based on a photo I took of my boyfriend Avery and then drew in pencil, by hand on hard copy (at about 18"x24"). Obviously, I made him a satyr.

In case you're wondering, one of my pet peeves is the lack of body hair in fantasy art. Are you tell me a satyr would wax his chest? I had a lot of fun figuring out the lighting and learning how to draw body hair with a tablet.

Then I drew the forest scene and the horns and put them together in the computer, then colored the whole thing with the class Wacom tablet. The composite pencil sketch is below, followed by a couple details.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Beetles Wallpaper - April 2014 (or anytime!) Spring Desktop Background - FREE DOWNLOAD

Happy April! Here is this month's beetle / bug wallpaper desktop background. Since it's tiled it should work on any size monitor or even a mobile device. 

I painted each of the beetles separately in gouache, then tiled them together in Photoshop. 

Click the image above to make it bigger and then save it or right-click and set it as your desktop background. Drop me a comment or email if it doesn't work, or you need a larger size!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Skipping Stone Part 2

More pieces from the Skipping Stone. Don't forget to check out the website of the magnificent Oona Risling-Sholl!

The top pieces was the first one I did for this series, and it helped me set the color scheme for the whole book. I wanted to let Oona's linework stand out and not be overpowered, so I tried to focus on texture and light. Not hard with such a great foundation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sketchbook Project 2014, Part 1

A little late as usual, here's my 2014 Sketchbook Project!

The Sketchbook Project is a collection of creative works in the form of sketchbooks that are contributed by individuals from around the world. Thousands of people are adding their voice to this project annually. Together, they have formed a library of over 22,000 sketchbooks from over 130 countries and growing.Anyone – from anywhere in the world – can participate in the project.
My sketchbook is already on tour. It will be in Oakland at Art Murmur on June 6 and 7. It will be It will be in San Francisco at the San Francisco Center for the Book (where I love to take classes, volunteer, and blog!) fon June 8. See the tour page for more information, and to see if my sketchbook will come to your city! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Skipping Stone Part 1

Last year I had the pleasure of collaborating with Oona Risling-Sholl on some illustrations for a children's book called The Skipping Stone. She did the pen drawings and I colored them with watercolor and digital edits. 

These were done with liquid watercolor and a lot of Photoshop edits. The drawings were generally about 11"x14". 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Digital Drawing Class

Sorry for the long absence! I have lots to share with you.

The above is a digital drawing I made with a Wacom tablet, based on a photograph. I didn't trace, just copy. Last fall I took a class at CCA on digital tablet drawing and I loved it! This was a couple of weeks in. Below are a couple of my studies,when I was just figuring out the tools.

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