Week 36 Animal Art Series: Raccoons

In order to continue my mission to draw all the time and fill up more sketchbooks in 2016, I’ve been busy working on a new theme of drawings each week. At the end of the week, it’s nice to have lots of new drawings and a full page illustration. And I’m learning how to draw so many new things this year, which is really exciting!

My theme for September is backyard wildlife, so week 36 in my animal art series features raccoons.

week 35 raccoon illustrationsAfter doing a quick pencil sketch of my concept, I started out with a watercolor wash for the background colors of each raccoon, trees and other nature elements. Then I love to dive in with my tiny paintbrushes to add details and give them personality.

week 35 raccoon pencil sketch week 35 raccoon painting

Can’t wait to turn this sketchbook page into fun new digital art! Drawing and illustrating always makes me happy!


Click here to see my Weeks 1-16 illustrations, ranging from bears to owls to whales to saltwater fish

Click here to see Weeks 17-20: Backyard Birds, Flamingos, Peacock and Macaws

Click here to see Weeks 21-25: Bugs: Neon Insects, Monarch Butterflies, Butterflies, Neon Spiders, and Moths

Click here to see Week 26: Nature is new every morning.

Click here to see Weeks 27-30: Wildflowers + Pollinators

Click here to see Weeks 31-34: Freshwater Fish

Click here to see Week 35: Squirrel Shenanigans

Week 17 Animal Art Series: Backyard Birds

In order to continue my mission to draw all the time and fill up more sketchbooks in 2016, I’m working on a new weekly theme to do daily drawings, while experimenting with watercolor. At the end of each week, it’s nice to have lots of new drawings and a full page illustration.

The theme for my week 17 sketchbook page is Backyard Birds. I used watercolor for the base layers and all the outlining and details. I’m becoming more obsessed with illustration using my watercolor pans and tiny paintbrushes.

week 17 sketchbook page backyard birds

Can’t wait to turn this playful sketchbook page into fun new digital art! Happy drawing!


Click here to see my Weeks 1-16 illustrations, ranging from bears to owls to whales to fish

Field Notes: July Backyard Blooms

July is the time of year when everything seems to go wild in our gardens. The roses and other perennials will continue blooming for throughout the month, our butterfly garden looks crazy and overgrown, which we love, and the lilies start to bloom together like a choir.backyard coneflowers

coneflower gardenbutterfly garden backyard red bee balm

backyard blooms

lily collagebackyard roses

Hope you’re making time to go outside and enjoy summer!


June in My Garden

Our gardens continue to fill out and bloom as June brings us lots of sunshine and rain. It’s always a fun adventure during the summer months to go exploring in my own backyard, looking for different shapes, colors and textures. Lots of plants blooming these days – peonies, irises, weigelia shrubs, roses, bellflowers, and strawberries.

our backyard in Juneour backyard in June

pale pink peony

fuschia peony

hot pink flowers

I love having containers of annuals – petunias, zinnias are pictured above and below – which bloom continuously throughout the summer.

zinnias in June

first rose of June white bell flowers in Junepurple iris yellow irisstrawberry picking

Hope you’re out enjoying Summer too.



A Favorite Place for Inspiration

One of my favorite things to do is sit in our backyard and watch and listen to nature.

These days we have robins, cardinals, chickadees, yellow finches, and house finches hanging around, along with a few types of butterflies, cabbage whites, sulphurs, monarchs and swallowtails passing through.

We also have lots of chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits digging, gathering and munching.

I have a few favorite places I like to go for inspiration, including the botanical gardens, the farmers market, the lake and beach, and hiking trails, but I am lucky to have such a fabulous backyard sanctuary to relax and soak up some fresh air and fresh inspiration.

I also like to collect things along the way to save for experimenting in my sketchbook. Here’s an example of a few things I picked up over the weekend that I put together in my sketchbook:

If you’re feeling stressed or running low on fresh ideas, do you have a favorite place (or two) you like to go to relax and be inspired?

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekending Makes Me Happy

I don’t have much to report today.We just spent a relaxing weekend with our out-of-town guests.

We made it to the farmers market on Saturday morning. I was surprised there wasn’t more produce, but there were lots of flowers. I heard strawberries will be available next weekend.

We also made it to the student union on campus. It’s such a great outdoor patio on the lake to people-watch and have beverages.

We spent a lot of time hanging out on our backyard patio.

We were surrounded by the next round of flowers in bloom for the season. Our rose bush exploded with flowers over the weekend.

Our peonies burst open too.

We planted new peonies a couple years ago, but it has taken awhile for them to get used to their new environment. This is the first year they have bloomed, and it’s so nice to know we have these lovely pastel pink peonies.

I found this cool caterpillar hiding out in the grass!

We always have a great time hanging out with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. (They are the family we visit when we travel to NYC.)

I have at least three patchwork projects going on my sewing table, so I hope to be back in a day or two with some productive results to share. Hope you enjoyed your weekending too!