Cowboy on a Parrot

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I am so grateful for Alicia starting Twoodle. It has been a wonderful exercise for making new illustrations and finding new members of the community. Thank you for pulling us all together.

This is my finished illustration of last week’s twoodle, cowboy and parrot. For my current twoodle go to my tumblr to see my sketches for this week’s.

the Fun Part

“getting there is half the fun; come share it with me” – Kermit

As I work my way back into an illustrating routine which, is guaranteed to be interrupted again in just 8 weeks, I have changed up my color comp stage. Instead of using the computer or watercolors, I am working with wet pastels. I do a color wash over my whole page then dip my pastel in water before I draw. This medium is very forgiving and lets me push color on top of color as I find the color balance I am looking for in my illustration.

Also, drawing like this is a ton of fun!

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This is the horse I drew for a word-to-image match game for my son. In this instance the pastels are the final but, this is the image that made me realize I should be using this for every illustration. The pastels take me out of my desired highly controlled zone that is colored pencils. They give me room for error and quickly show me where I should push color that I wouldn’t otherwise test with pencils.

It’s easy to neglect process on an illustration especially when you are strapped for time, as most working moms are. However, it’s necessary to get to know the illustration you want to create, in whatever way is comfortable for you, to end up with the best finish possible. My path to final was make a sketch, think about color, then head to final. I kept feeling let down by my finishes, seeing them get overworked as I tried out directions and then had to double back to cover up the failures. Drawing a piece a few times, applying color a few times, means once at my final everything comes together and I don’t end with the question is this finished. It is clear to me when I’m done.

In digital illustration you see this done through the undo button and layers that can be removed. (Many people choose to work this way because in general it can accomplish a finished illustration faster.) If, you are still working traditionally you have to find other ways to apply the undo tool. Generally it comes down to, do it again. When you are working with watercolors especially, they are unforgiving when you have over worked them. It is almost always better to start over but, don’t fret on this taking more time. Every minute you are drawing, you are practicing, growing into to the best you you can be. Eventually you won’t notice how long something took because, you know it took as long as it needed to take.

Enjoy the process. We draw because we love it, if you aren’t having a good time, you’re doing it wrong.

Hiccup

Well, the regular scheduled programing of my blog has fallen to the wayside again. I’m afraid I am going to have to admit defeat of keeping up with it at least until mid June. Work, other responsibilities, and being a mom are all asking for the whole amount of my time right now.

As we go through this time where blog posts are few, I am looking into revamping my schedule to provide my own work a solid and regular chunk of my time. So, until June when I set things back up and get a flow going I will try to post when I have new work. Today I have my twoodle!

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I also wanted to post some thoughts about time management and being a mom but, I hesitate as I wonder if that is appropriate. I feel this blog reaches other illustrator moms but, I’m hoping it reaches art buyers too. I will keep writing it but, give me some feedback if you definitely want to read it.

Final Page

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“Criss Cross Apple Sauce!” A T Rex sitting cross legged. That was a mind twister to draw. Bringing the book to a close I wanted to have a few of the dinos from the book give one last look to the read.

I’m now on the fence deciding if I want to get a sketchbook for 2014. My time is fairly limited and there are many projects I want to be working on. Such as a May Day at my son’s preschool where we will be learning about story telling… obsessively making Gak, a goopy playable mass for kids events… sequin darned disco dancing monkeys… playing with textures and layers in photoshop as I finally have a Yiynova Tablet Monitor for my computer! If I wasn’t moving so darn slowly I would say most definitely. I know that in just a few months I will be up at all hours but, drawing isn’t easy with a baby in your lap, although, I have done that.

Transitions and growth continue! I appreciate your continued attention. I also just got some new jars for specimens, we will see what I find to put in them.

 

Sleepy Plesiosaurs

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Did you know technically Plesiosaurs weren’t dinosaurs? They were large swimming reptiles instead. I feel I should say “were” because, of all of the currently believed sitings they really couldn’t have happened. Sadly scientific evidence doesn’t support it. This doesn’t stop me from hoping they still exist today.

However, with all of the stories I do imagine Plesiosaur to be super cuddly creatures.

Dino Yoga

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Continuing with making animals do yoga here is a Euoplocephalous in downward dog. I chose to put this specific dinosaur in a yoga pose because generally when I see him, he seems very stiff and immobile which, in reality probably isn’t the case. I’m sure those back legs have a good deal of flexibility for being able to swing that sledge like tail around at predators.

This page leaves us with two pages left. No fear that the blog posts will be ending. I am actually planning to begin one more post a week. I’m not sure yet what the theme will be but, within two more weeks most posts will happen.

Gallimimus Playing Tag

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I like to make my base drawings in a reddish hued pencil. I feel I can better build up my line. I enjoyed this for the Gallimimus as I wanted to give them feathers, since it seems very likely they had them. The lighter pencil color lent itself well to the creation of texture.

Today’s post is a little sparse because I am getting over a cold. I was in Boston last week and neglected to take good enough care of myself. I first got laryngitis and then due to too many cough drops, I believe, I got a sinus cold/infection. Flying home was a treat. Thankfully it’s spring in California and the weather is actually humid so, my healing as been expedited. I keep hoping tomorrow I will finally feel almost myself. Maybe tomorrow.

Brachiosaurus Mama and Baby

I think some variation of a long necked mama and a baby is in everyone’s mind. In part because that long neck is so fun to loop in your drawing and second because this is a large animal with it’s tiny offspring.

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I blame my childhood plastic Brachiosaurus toy for why every Brachiosaurus I draw ends up blue. Here’s the culprit and yep this toy still lives at my house. This set of dinosaurs was the one thing I saved up my allowance for. I remember being so proud the day I could afford this big mama. Yes, currently this dino is super too.

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Begging Dino

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This isn’t any breed of dinosaur in particular. He just came to mind while I was sketching. He’s definitely a mixed breed, big human-like toes, puppy attitude and  feathery covering.

I feel like you can see a Seussian influence as well. Seuss was definitely the first children’s book illustrator I started mimicking when I was in my early drawing years. I’m not sure why I strayed so far from a cartoon style and went more realistic overall. College classes and influence at that time? My hope this year is to finalize addressing my focus and make a more solid and consistent portfolio.

Transition! It seems like this has been the moto of my life for over a year now. I look forward to a settled life for more than two years at a time. This includes moving house. Maybe this will be the year?

How big do you imagine this dinosaur to be? Is he human height or dog height or chicken height?

Mirror Image

I can’t get enough Parasaurolophus, they are my favorite dinosaur. That love to see many of them is what spurred the idea to draw them reflecting. Their shape is just marvelous to me, they are the center dinosaur below.

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This was another piece that I started early then rushed the finish. I feel if I had not been pregnant sick, yep the pregnancy was why I was so sick in January,  the mirroring could have gotten more complex. I’m still happy with how it came out and it was a nice study to draw. Like the Spinosaurus I hope to take this piece further.