Monday, January 29, 2007

Illustration Friday - Red

This week's Illustration Friday topic is "Red". Immediately, I thought of drawing a cat with a bold, red background. The cat pictured is Molly, a calm, sweet girl. On most afternoons, she prefers to curl up among the red blankets on my bed. The walls happen to be a muted red as well. I love the contrast between her black and white coat and the bold walls in the background. Comments and critiques are welcome!

Golden Illustrations... The Movie!

I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to display my artwork. With the popularity of Youtube, I thought it would be cool to post a slideshow movie of my work for the world to see. I uploaded my pictures to iphoto on my Mac and made a slideshow set to music. iphoto is great. You can customize the transition between images with neat animations and even add a Ken Burns film effect. The result of my efforts is posted above. The only complaint that I have is that the images are a bit blurry, due to the low quality that the file was saved at. Other than that, I feel excited to share my artwork, set to music!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Take The Leap

I decided that it was time for more wildlife portraits. It's been a while since I have drawn a wild animal and was missing the task of rendering warm, fuzzy critters. I fed this urge by drawing a cold-blooded critter (a snake). Now, I have progressed to drawing a creature that doesn't send me into the fetal position in fear - the penguin.

The reference for this piece was taken at the zoo on a sunny afternoon. I was almost trampled by a mob of children, eager to see the penguins splashing around in their simulated environment. This particular penguin seemed unsure of whether he wanted to jump into the water. Kind of a metaphor for where I am at in life. I am scared of taking the leap and sending my work to art directors.

I think that my biggest fear is that they will look at me as a fine artist. Not a bad thing, but I am wondering whether my work is marketable to big companies and publishers. I want to take the leap and get my work out there. In the meantime, I am researching publishers and am building promotional materials. If the penguin can jump in the cold zoo water, then I can be brave and jump into the world of publishing.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Fear of snakes is my biggest phobia. In fact, my fear is so serious that I will hyperventilate at the sight of a garter snake in my yard. This drawing was a step toward facing my fear. I took the reference photo at a reptile exihibit at a zoo. Of course, the snake was behind glass and could not harm me.

However, drawing this creature took stamina. I had to pay detailed attention to its scales and shiny skin. Still, I cannot tell whether it is placidly taking a nap or hunting a rodent. Regardless, the picture gives me chills.

Now that the project is complete, I can say that I am still afraid of snakes. However, I am proud that I took a step to face my fear and express the shadows of fear in my piece.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


There comes a time where an artist ponders whether to do a promotional self-portrait. A self-portrait shows who you are, in your style. During a recent slow-period, I thought that the time had arrived to attempt a self-portrait.

My last self-portrait attempt occurred in college, in the Syracuse University illustration program. We were to complete a self-portrait in black and white. I drew myself in pen and ink. I was holding a flashlight up to my face in a creepy way. I wanted to play with light and illuminate my face from below. I thought that my piece rocked. In critique, one professor told me that my fingers looked like male appendages. Only, he didn't say "male appendages". He was much more frank.

So... Scarred from my previous attempt, I move forward. Again, I wanted to play with light and reflection. Except, this time I wanted to use bright colors. And I made sure to hide my hands. Didn't want them to resemble "male appendages".

Friday, January 19, 2007

Illustration Friday - Super Hero

The drawing above is of my grandfather, my superhero. He served in World War II, battled cancer for two decades, and taught me how to draw. He also taught me how to stand up to bullies and to respect myself. This picture will never be good enough in my mind. I wish a reference could show how amazing this man really was. Then again, he would have smiled and told me it is great if he were alive.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Illustration Friday - The 80's

This week's Illustration Friday topic is the 80's. To me, nothing screams "the 80's" more than mullets and Full House. So... I have loosely rendered John Stamos in pastels. I tried to use the bright colors that were "so popular" in the 80's. I think I had leggings the color of the background. Comments, critiques, and rotten tomato throwing are welcome...

Distinguished Cat

The image above was a fun project that I completed in between commissions. A few months ago, my aunt made a trip to visit a friend in Canada. While she was there, she snapped a few photos of her friend's cat. The cat happened to be napping on a beautiful tapestry chair and looked rather distinguished. I came across these photos in my downtime and felt that they would translate well into a colorful drawing. I love the positioning of the cat in the composition. It's almost as if it wanted to wake up and reach to get attention, but was far too comfortable to be bothered.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sophisticated Kitty

The picture above was a holiday gift to friends. I loved the original photo that this drawing is based on. The light hit the kitten just right through the window, creating dramatic shadows and highlights. For this reason, I thought that this picture would translate beautifully into a black and white drawing.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Children With Puppies, Is Anything Cuter?

The picture above was the final commission that I completed before the Christmas holiday. I needed to combine three compositions into an 11x14" image area. I combined the reference photos in Adobe Photoshop and drew the picture in pastel pencil. I love how the light reflects off of the children and puppies. Although the background is simplified, it seems that the subjects are drenched in sunlight. All in all, it's a bright, cheery picture. A welcome change from the grey weather in central New York!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Kids Love Mickey : )

The picture above was a fun holiday commission. The reference photo was taken at a Disney park with the fabulous... Mickey Mouse! I was very excited when I received this commission request, because I had just returned from Disneyworld at the time. I had taken several pictures of Mickey posing with random park-goers, because I was too lazy to wait in line for my own pic. Plus, I like taking pictures more than appearing in them...

Monday, January 08, 2007


The piece above is a special one. It is a conte crayon drawing of a rottweiler. For those of you who don't know what conte crayons are... They are a sepia-toned drawing pencil that creates the look of an old-fashioned photo.

Here is the story behind this drawing... Several weeks before Christmas, I received a call from a client that found me on Google. She was getting married shortly after Christmas and wanted to give a pet portrait to her new husband as a wedding gift. I could not say no to this project! I squeezed this commission in, even though I had a large backlog to finish before Christmas. I remember how difficult it was to come up with a creative wedding gift for my own husband. I think that she had a unique idea and really hoped that her husband loved the piece. I am flattered that she chose me to create this milestone gift...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Three Brittanies

The piece above was a Christmas commission, featuring three purebred Brittany Spaniels. Putting the composition together was a challenge, because I wanted each dog to stand out with their own personality.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


The picture above was my second holiday commission. The smiling boy in the picture is Lucas, a friend of my husband's family.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

German Shepard

The picture above was my first Christmas portrait commission. It's a black and white portrait of an adorable German Shepard. Enjoy!