May recap

In May I continued participating in weekly character prompts, including a girl reading her book on a secret rooftop, chefs posing for their employee photo, a girl admiring her library and a kitty cat posing for the rooftop camera, using photo prompts provided by @housecatillustrations. I’ve been participating in these challenges for over a year which has been wonderful practice so I plan to keep going with it.

I like to go for a walk in a park near my office for lunch breaks, where I found some fun trees to draw and ended up dreaming up these fun scenes.

I also went to my first Urban Sketchers club meet-up, and illustrated this gnarly tree. It was great fun to hang out with a group of local artists and draw together. They meet every two weeks so I’m excited for our next meet-up this weekend.

I also practicing drawing a character based on a stuffed animal I found in my old toy box. Turns out this mouse has a little teddy bear friend. I really loved doing these character sketches so I’m hoping to do this more with the childhood toys I still have.

So many ideas to illustrate, never enough time!

April recap

In April I continued participating in weekly character prompts, including a guy skateboarding with his furry pals, girl smiling for the camera, and a girl chilling out with her kitty cat, using photo prompts provided by @housecatillustrations.

I went for a walk in a park near my office for a lunch break and came across a great horned owl feather, a pearl crescent butterfly and lots of violets in the grass – a lovely spring day – so I filled up a page in my sketchbook. I finally got a new computer so I can scan my illustrations and Photoshop them again. I used this illustration to test a new art print/postcard.

I watched a replay of one of Sarah Von Dongen’s Patreon live drawing sessions with floral photos for inspiration . I used to draw flowers a lot but I’ve been focusing on drawing people and animals so much lately. This was a really relaxing page to work on.

I continued to practice drawing faces and portraits in the month of April, and finally started life drawing, which was quite fun. I have a lot of unfinished sketches in progress with lots of ideas in-the-works that I hope to share soon.

So many ideas to illustrate, never enough time!

March recap

In March I continued to have fun participating in weekly character prompts, including two girls sipping drinks in a magical garden, a sparkly lady ready to go dancing, a fella and his doggie out for a bike ride, and three ladies enjoying coffee on a park bench, using photo prompts provided by @housecatillustrations.

I participated in a zoom live drawing session recently and the challenge was to draw famous masterpieces. I was intimidated at first so I just dove in with the Mona Lisa first, which was so much fun that I couldn’t stop so I kept going with a few more famous portraits.

I dreamt up this fun fashionista character sheet full of accessories that could tell his story.

I’m always practicing drawing people in action so it was fun to fill up this page with people golfing.

I also filled up a couple more pages with water and woods wildlife characters.

So many ideas to illustrate, never enough time!

February recap

In February I had fun participating in weekly character prompts, including a sharp-dressed man, a garden girl, a girl and her lil pig, and two fellas who love butter, using photo prompts provided by @housecatillustrations.

I illustrated this girl rockin her green jumpsuit with her poodle rockin a matching green bow, using a photo reference from @sarahvandongenillustrations Patreon.

I’m close to filling up a sketchbook, working on finishing a few spreads. I illustrated these sharp-dressed guys in three-piece suits, which I don’t see too often in real life anymore.

And I had fun illustrating this page of portraits of famous people from history.

I have been practicing mixing paints for a variety of skin tones so I prepped a few pages in my sketchbooks to practice drawing more faces and fun portraits.

So many ideas to illustrate, never enough time!

January recap

January characters

In January I had fun participating in weekly character prompts, including a neon girl, a boy with his bread basket, a colorful woman at a cafe, and playing dress-up to read a children’s book, using photo prompts provided by @housecatillustrations.

I illustrated a few more characters using photo references from @sarahvandongenillustrations Patreon.

I’m close to filling up a sketchbook, working on finishing a few spreads I started last fall. I’ve been drawing people so much lately so this spread of animals from water to woods was fun to do, using a variety of media from gouache to watercolor and colored pencils.

So many ideas to illustrate, never enough time!

2022 Recap

I went through my photo library from 2022 to find the good moments, and there were a lot considering it was a weird year.

I filled up a lot of sketchbooks and made a lot of art. Looking back through my sketchbook art, I always wish I made more art but I am excited to finally be drawing people! Here’s my top nine according to Instagram:

Here’s some of my own personal favorites, some duplicates with my Instagram friends:

I am so grateful I got to travel to Naples, Florida early in the year for some rest and relaxation and one of my favorite things – beach time. I also got to spend time at the lake house on Lake Michigan in Door County and go on a few adventures close to home. If I had to pick some of my favorite adventures from this past year, I would choose these top nine, and some fun nature photos below that:

My dad unexpectedly passed away this year which was tough so I’m happy to have found some good moments that made me happy. Cheers to 2023!

December Art

Art Challenge from December was #Advent_Challenge2022.

I love making Christmas art and I went more playful with this year’s challenges.

12/1 Christmas Dinner – I illustrated a fox and a bear wearing their Christmas sweaters, sharing hot cocoa under a starry sky with mixed-media – gouache, colored pencils and gold ink.

12/7 Surprise Visit – St. Nick stopped by to make sure you’ve been good this year.

12/13 Grandparents – portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Polar Bear in their Christmas sweaters.

12/19 Elf – a fox and a bear wearing their Christmas sweaters and elf hats, decorating a tree under a wintery sky.

12/25 Snow globe – Peace on Earth from a snowy gingerbread house.

I had a lot of fun with last year’s Advent Challenge so I was excited to participate again this year.

Hope you’re enjoying a festive holiday season! I will be back soon with my year-end recap.

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.