It’s all relative

Big tree

The Illustration Friday theme this week is “small.”  Sitting on the porch, watching a crew of guys take down an enormous tree in the yard across the street, that’s how I felt…

It was a pretty amazing show, and took most of the day.  When the trucks finally left, only a few small leaves were left on the sidewalk to show what had happened.

Strathmore toned paper sketchbook and Vision Exact pen.

Just my imagination

The Illustration Friday theme is “monster.”  Like Dr. Frankenstein, I cobbled this together from bits and pieces, though instead of Igor, my assistant was Photoshop.

Monster IF final

The quote reads, “The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”  A nice thought…

This is a combination of three separate illustrations. All three are (mostly) watercolor and colored pencil on Canson Montval paper.


Move it

The Illustration Friday theme is “wiggle.”


This was done for a regional SCBWI art contest.  The challenge was to illustrate a nursery rhyme, and I tried a couple of different layouts for this idea.  The piece was a lot of fun to work on —  and won a second place award, which was definitely icing on the cake!  The original’s about 7″ x 10″, and was done in ink, watercolor and colored pencil in a Canson Montval watercolor book.  I used Photoshop to add the background and clean up the finished art.

A window onto the city

Thanks to my friend Karen, I finally found the local Urban Sketchers group.  I was excited (and a bit nervous) to join them for the first time earlier this month, when they headed out to draw in the old warehouse district.  As I’m not generally a landscape artist, I spent quite a bit of time drawing one of the other sketchers, but toward the end I finally got in the spirit of things and inked the (very unusual) view of the skyline.


(The Illustration Friday theme this week, by the way, is “window.”)

Thanks to the Urban Sketchers, I heard about an Urn Show this past weekend at historic Oakwood Cemetery.  Despite a heavy rain, I went to sketch a bit, and found myself in a mausoleum packed with people (more alive than not, for the show) and an array of gorgeous urns of every type.  There were ceramic urns, polished wood urns, a leather urn, and some that appeared to be made of cloth.  It was a bit difficult to sketch, partly because it was so crowded, partly because people were constantly moving, and partly because I was a little freaked about the location, but I managed to do a couple of quick pictures.


The guy on the right, Bill Wallace, is a fabulous artisan who works with wood.  He had a lathe at the show, and was demonstrating some of his wood working techniques to the admiring crowd.

These pictures are all ink (Vision Exact) on Strathmore gray toned paper.  I drew on site, and added Faber-Castell colored pencil later.

On your mark, get set…

Gumball Card 2015

I just mailed off a dozen of these cards to someone who’s involved with the Disney Gumball Rally.  I’d never heard of the rally before; it’s a race to see who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day.  That might be more exhausting than running a marathon!

The original of this piece is colored pencil on bristol board.  (The letters are just the white of the paper — I outlined the words and then colored around them.)  I scanned and reduced the original, and then printed, folded, and trimmed to make 5.5″ x 5.5″ cards.




The Illustration Friday theme is “outside,” and right outside my front door daffodils are blooming.

Daffodills 3

There are lots of ducks and geese at the pond at the little neighborhood park.  Last week we saw a great blue heron by the edge of the water, which was pretty amazing. Sometimes the geese will “pose,” but most of the time I find myself watching the little kids at the park.  They’re *so* delighted by the geese and ducks! Outside 1

I’m looking forward to seeing the baby geese and ducklings. They should be showing up any day now…

Both pictures were drawn with a Uniball Vision Exact (best pen *ever*) in a Strathmore bound  5.5 x 8.5 sketchbook with toned paper.  (The paper’s grey; I don’t know why it always scans as tan.) The color in the top picture is courtesy of Nouvel Carre pastels.