Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Diandra-The Apple(s) of Her Eye

Or alternately titled "While the Cat's Away." haha! A mother just can't leave her kitchen in the middle of baking (even if the phone is ringing) because look who decides they need a sample of goodies! 

Fall is on its way, and it can't get here soon enough. I'm already planning all of the goodies to be baked: cobblers, muffins, pot-pies...all kinds of yummy goodness! My three year old really loves helping in the kitchen, and will even mimic my actions in his play kitchen as well. We bake together quite a bit and he knows that he always gets to lick the beater or spatula. The baby is too little to do much besides smile at us, but I have a feeling that this scene will be playing itself out in my own kitchen soon enough!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Priscilla ~ Back To School Apple

This sketch started out pretty standard.  Sweet and thoughtful little girl bringing a perfect red apple for her new teacher.  But, then her mom decided to step it up and get in good standing, right at the beginning of the new school year, by having her daughter bring in instead, a beautiful red candy apple!

Of course, I never did this.  =0)  But it actually doesn't sound too bad of an idea. . . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

The "Joy" of walking to school!

My whole pre-college, educational "career" I always walked to school. All three institutions, Elementary, Middle and Highschool! Luckily we lived really close and I had good friends to travel with.  It was always a nice way to start the day, even though it was hecka early!

I'll always remember the excited yet nervous feeling that first day back. Seeing classmates again that you haven't seen all Summer. The new supplies you get to break in. Thinking how you're older now and just can't wait to grow up.

It's the first day of school for these two. Both are excited, but I think one is looking forward more than the other. The Wiener dog is home awaiting their return at the end of the day.

This is just my usual mechanical pencil with 0.7 HB lead drawn in my sketchbook. What can I say, nothing too fancy.

Thanks for stopping by and for any comments!

- Joy

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to School Perils

The first day of school! Into the backpack goes scissors- folders- paper towels- wipes- markers- pencils- crayons- rulers- 5 marble cover composition books - erasers- tissues- and more. Off those little kids go.. looking like giant tortoises crawling under the weight of their enormous shells. I just wait for one of them to tip. - Oh it'll happen! - and their feet will be stuck up in the air- and they will be unable to right themselves. (And it will be amusing.. as a Mom- who will now go get a super venti non fat latte and enjoy the quiet until 2:45 pm.....Aaaahhhhhhhhhh.)

I sketched this in prismacolor pencil- I like to do that more and more - because it is unforgiving. It forces me to loosen up- knowing there is no erasing and fixing going to happen. As an artist with crazy perfectionist issues- it's good therapy.

The saddles are an homage to Lucy Van Pelt - my personal fashion icon.;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to School - Heather

Wasn't the best part of school the art projects?  The holiday crafts, poster paint, pinch pots, presents for your mom (usually something with Popsicle sticks and your school photo) - ah good times.

Regular art classes in public schools are a rare luxury.  
Here is a website with some great advocacy resources for keeping art in the schools. http://www.keepartinschools.org/

Invest in the future - volunteer at a local public school
You could do a drawing session, a bookmaking session, many schools have mentor reading programs or participate in a career day. 

Get Schooled with the School Visit Experts
If you are a published author or illustrator this blog has all the information you need on creating successful school visits as part of our career.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back To School Supplies

I don't know about you, but for me back-to-school was always about the school supplies, never the clothes. I reveled in the smell of new pencils and paper, agonized over which kinds of pens I wanted to use...color coordinated my spirals w/ the binders they'd accompany.  Yeah, I was a big time supply nerd.  When I became a teacher, it didn't get any better.  I practically skipped down the halls on the day the principal handed us the office supply catalogue to choose what we'd need to restock our classrooms for the year.  Oh, man was THAT fun!

Now I have no excuse to be lusting over the supplies in stores...my babies are too young for that.  But that feeling still hasn't gone away.  However....there is the art supply store with its inks, paints, pencils, papers....oh my, oh my!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Priscilla~ back to school treats

With Summer days winding down ~ calendar-wise, perhaps more than weather~wise, it's back-to-school thoughts on our minds!
This little girl loves, loves, loves bugs and especially grasshoppers, but didn't expect to see one her first day back to school!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Joy- Flea Circus- Take 2

So, I don't know if you remember my original sketch for the post Sketch Dummy Beginnings: Breaking up the text but this is my second pass at the first page layout of a side project I'm working on. I wanted to make it a bit more dynamic and I definitely think this is an improvement at least. I don't know if it's the final composition yet, and unfortunately it's been pushed farther down on my priority list due to my busy schedule. It's a really fun story and I can't wait to get to work more on it. Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

A quick sketch this morning

I have wanted to participate in "Dueling Banjo Pigs" 
for awhile now!What has kept me too busy to do it? Hmmm- I don't know.... must be something
But a girl's gotta have some fun!!  So this morning I did this!!! Wait for it.........


Wow - sometimes- I amaze myself. :)

That chicken scratch is how I begin every drawing. Can you tell what it's going to be? A banjo playing pig - of course- but- it's a vaudevillian banjo playing pig- and three showgirls in the wings - just completely besotted with him.  Those  thingies in front are going to be old fashioned foot lights - and those wavy lines everywhere are the curtain.  Here's where I left off....

They're pretty cute- but not sure If they do the trick.  I may just change it completely and have all 3 girls playing banjos. More action needed. Alas- this is all the time I have today- as that other something is in need of attention now.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Forever Summer

Some more fox sketches, I'd like to turn these characters and their day at the beach into a mini booklet. (Thanks to Kelly for the inspiration - she is such a genius!)

I'm not ready for summer to end! Well, we will enjoy the sweltering heat for a few more months here in Texas - but it's the carefree days and no schedule that I will miss.  I'm back from 3 weeks of travel and not quite ready to face school and work again!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Feeling a Little Sketchy?

If you spend any time at all on Twitter, Facebook or blogs you may have heard about a little something called The Sketchbook Project.  Lots of artists are doing it.

Well, I got my book in the mail the other day, and have been spending quite a bit of time planning it out.  It's a tiny book really.  Soft cover, super thin pages.  I may end up resheeting the book, or gluing in pages though. There's no way the paper in there now will take paint or ink without bleed-through. 
I'm tempted to just go nuts and scribble in whatever I feel that day. But I know that without a little planning, my inspiration is likely to dry up due to a lack of focus, and those blank sheets will become more daunting as the days go on. (I'm also hoping that this project will help to springboard some of the ideas I've had percolating for some time into dummy books or finished pieces.)

My theme is "A Day in the Life" and I hope to share with you some of the sketches I create for it here on the blog.  I'm going to go with an ongoing narrative, as I already have the beginnings of a story forming in my head. Ooh, maybe I'll get to do some of that fantastic hand-lettering like Priscilla showed us yesterday as well. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Priscilla ~ Handlettering Summer Fun

Have you noticed picturebooks with wonderful hand-lettered text woven throughout in a sweet dance with the illustrations?  Something very satisfying when it is a perfect pairing for the story.

I love sketching out lettering, and here I was just playing around with what could end up as part of my art business card or promotional image!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Joy of TV Sketching!!

So, you say you don't have a zoo near you? No pets you can draw? Oh, it's raining outside and you can't go sketch people at the mall, coffee shop, wherever? Well, here's a solution for you...

If you've got a TV set ( I think most of us do) and you have a DVD player, TiVo or even Netfix streaming you can sketch from a "model"! My husband and I like to watch shows with characters in great costuming or just interesting looking people. Twilight Zone episodes are the coolest! You can watch what ever interests you of course, but the costuming makes it even more fun. It's a good exercise for your eye in looking for great poses, too. When you see something you want to draw, you hit the pause button. Voi-la!

These sketches above were done in anything from blue pencil, regular graphite to black marker. The Twilight Zone episodes were fun to explore shapes because of their being shot in black & white. It's also fun to take real people and create characters or caricatures out of them.

If you want more action poses, try renting some of the Cirque du Soleil DVDs!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I.O.U. a Ripple

Today is a big day over at Ripple. The blog has passed it's $10,000.00 goal! Along the way- I have had requests for art done by me. Me? - oh yeah- I draw...  I have not done much art for Ripple so- it's about time I fulfill these paid orders!! Here is the first.

In it's scribbly first draft - "They'll be there when you scuba...."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project: 2011
Can't get enough of sketchbooks? 
Fill them up in no time flat? 
Love a good theme to explore in sketch form?
 Like participating in national group art projects?
Yes to all - then check out the Sketchbook Project and Exhibit.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eye on the Prize: Mini Goals

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things (with unlimited stops and starts, of course.)I find it helps my focus if I have a set of small goals to concentrate on when I find a few minutes to work in my studio. No surfing the 'net for me. I get right to work on whatever goal I hope to accomplish that week.

This week I'm using the zero2illo's newest challenge to focus. There is no way on earth I'll be able to brainstorm, draft, paint and blog about a new piece of work a week, but that doesn't mean I can't create.  So I am picking up where I left off with the 12 week challenge and doing my version of the Musicians of Bremen.
And while I am very, very tempted to rush through the sketching process so I can hurry up and start painting some new pieces, I am forcing myself to slow down.  This week I am creating at least two pages of studies for each character before I even move on to creating the compositions of the spreads. I will probably work on one page a week, trying multiple points of views, compositions etc. before moving to the next one.Once those are completed, then it's off to paint!

I know this will be a lot of work, and it will take a long time to do. But this story is one of my favorites from childhood, and I want to do it (and the characters) justice.  If it takes me until the end of the year to finish the six pieces I have planned, then so be it.

What do you do to keep your focus and drive going?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Priscilla ~ Vivid Inspirations!

I ask you, can one ever have too much of pinata fun, chiles, fiesta celebrations, and the delicious treats they provide?  Not talking about the food ~ I'm saying a fiesta offers a feast for our artistic souls!

One of my favorites are the very colorful handmade tissue fiesta flowers!
Either strung up as garland, or placed as a bouquet in a handpainted mexican clay pot.
I just love yummy fiesta colors and hues!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Joy- Doxie days of Summer

Here's a quick one for "dog" days of Summer. It seems nothing says Summer like dogs and kids (foxes, too!) playing at the beach on a warm Summer day! Well, add the ice cream and then you're talking... I was just trying to picture what my dog would do if she came across a sea creature wandering the sands. Curious? Scared? But it wouldn't keep her from sniffing and tracking it!

Happy Summer everyone!

- Joy

Thursday, August 5, 2010

conference sketches

LA was chock full of good stuff to draw!!  And I do now have a HUGE art crush on E.B. Lewis!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sketch to Finish - Heather

Isn't it fun to see the sketches come to life?  Above is the print - lino block and handcolored with oil pastels. 

Of course, the sketch is the liveliest version.

I've been working on adding another medium to my portfolio. I may redo this watercolor later. It was my first larger painting and getting a handle on large surfaces and adding interesting textures is something I'm in the process of discovering.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Folks, we've entered August, and in Texas that means one thing: The Dog Days of Summer have begun!

So there will be lots of staying indoors and keeping cool any which way we can.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Priscilla ~ Dog & Kitty Days of Summer

With just a hint of mom or grandma nearby, these friends are amusing themselves with the characters they brought to the beach, escaping the heat of the city. . .
and i'm not talking about the kids.