Drawing Faces

As part of my efforts of drawing people and illustrating characters, I’ve been practicing drawing faces in a few different ways. I’m not going for portraits or realistic renderings, just fun characters.

I adore how this page turned out! I used a photo reference of faces from Ukraine and gave each person a little frame.

This page started out as watercolor blobs and I added facial features with colored pencils. It feels silly which is fun because some of the faces are based on photos of people in my day-job office. Shhh! I also started a page of color swatches for skin, hair, highlights and accents for reference.

You know my motto, practice, practice, practice! Keep checking back for more progress and experimentation.

Characters with Pets

I’m having fun continuing to practice, practice, practice drawing people and illustrating characters. Lately, I’ve been adding a little buddy to each of my characters, which just adds that little extra sparkle to a character’s personality and the sketchbook page.

I am also really loving working with colored pencils these days. Most of my illustrations over the years have been graphite, ink and watercolor, so it feels like trying this medium is really expanding my illustration skills.

Character Development

I came up with a new illustration project that it would be fun to draw ancestors on my family tree so I’ve been practicing drawing people using the weekly photo prompt provided by @housecatillustration.

I’ve also been practicing using colored pencils which has been a nice break from my usual watercolor illustrations.

When I first noticed the character drawing prompt photos on Instagram, I was intimidated and apprehensive to try. Now I have become obsessed with drawing people and characters!

The Prompt was Celestial

The latest art prompt I worked on was celestial. This prompt really resonated with me because I go outside every night the skies are clear to look at the moon and stars. I’ve been on a mission lately to learn more constellations.

I had a lot of fun dreaming up illustrations with a celestial theme, from the sweet stargazing animals above to the steampunk-framed vignettes below.

I had to experiment with some hand-lettering and a “wreath” of planets, stars and celestial icons floating around the sayings.

Of course, I always adore painting the beautiful planet Earth, dreamy planets and moon phases, which are a fun way to play with watercolors and lots of water to see the cool blooms emerge.

I am working on a new prompt for my next series of illustrations, but I plan to continue with the celestial illustrations since the ideas keep flowing.

Christmas Preparations

For our Christmas celebration, I created a lovely set of place cards to help decorate and personalize our tablescape, similar to the set I made for the Thanksgiving holiday.

I created a set of wreath greeting cards a few years ago as an experiment. Illustrating wreaths always seems to be a trendy thing so I wanted to try it.

I love how they turned out so I used them as inspiration to create matching place cards.

I’m on a roll so I’m going to try these for our New Year’s Eve festivities, even though we stay home, make appetizers and watch movies. Check back to see how those turn out.

I think it would be so fun to sell custom name tags like this as a little side gig. Would you order a set for your family gathering?

If you celebrate Christmas, cheers and enjoy your time with family, good food and a little break from work.

Hello December

Hello December! Lots of nature experiences and inspirations this month for my sketchbook art and storytelling.

A few years ago, I created a daily doodle project where I set up a monthly grid, illustrated a seasonal border, hand-lettered the month and days, and filled in the squares with nature doodles and tiny illustrations.

It’s one of my all-time favorite personal illustration projects I’ve ever done. The best part is I frequently refer to these pages for inspiration. I’m planning to use these little spot illustrations to create larger illustrations and prompts for my character design development, vignettes and storytelling.

There are so many wonderful stories to tell from this month of doodles!

Thanksgiving Preparations

We are only having four of us around the table for our Thanksgiving celebration so I thought it would be fun to try creating a lovely set of place cards to help decorate and personalize our tablescape.

I created a set of wreath greeting cards a few years ago as an experiment. Illustrating wreaths always seems to be a trendy thing so I wanted to try it.

I love how they turned out so I used them as inspiration to create matching place cards.

I’m so happy with these lovely additions to our place settings! I’m so excited that I’m going to try this again for Christmas and maybe even New Year’s Eve – check back to see how those turn out.

I think it would be so fun to sell custom name tags like this as a little side gig. Would you order a set for your family gathering?

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, cheers and enjoy your time with family, good food and a little break from work.

Roxy’s Forest Illustrated Map

Since I love to read and illustrate maps, I knew immediately wanted to do a map for the end pages of my first picture book.

Each book comes with an art print insert of the illustrated map of Roxy’s forest adventures.

I always start my illustrations with a thumbnail sketch and then a pencil drawing, which is actually my favorite part of the process. I just really love to draw! My concept was to draw the map from left to right as the story takes place, traveling across the spread.

The next step is to transfer the drawing to watercolor paper and paint it, which is my next favorite thing to do.

Each of the books in this Daisy Books series will have an illustrated map printed on the end pages showing the location of the story’s adventures. I’m excited to see the future books and future maps all together on a bookshelf!

Book Release Party

We had our book release party over the weekend with family and close friends to celebrate the release of our first picture book, Roxy the Fox!

It was fun to share our story with everyone and to release Roxy the Fox’s story into the world!

Click here to learn more and click here to buy your own copy!