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.

December Art Prompts

There were so many wonderful art and illustration prompts circulating in December. I’m excited to share the new illustrations I created in my sketchbook for the #Advent_Challenge2021, many of which were inspired by my own December daily doodle project.

Traipsing through the snow

Christmas Robin

Candlelight

Visiting a Christmas Market

Rooftops

Cabin in the Woods

Christmas Star

I love how these turned out so I’m excited to do something fun with them.

It’s the most wonderful time of year!

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!

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!

Start Your Art Summit Sketchbooks

In September, I participated in an online summit called Start Your Art, a summit full of art lectures, videos, demonstrations and inspirations to help restart an art practice. As promised, it provided lots of empowerment, inspiration, ways to overcome fear and connect with yourself.

I watched each of the sessions and did the creative exercise on the same day they were released because I knew if I got behind, I would have trouble catching up.

I adore sketchbook art so I completed almost all of the daily demos and challenges in two sketchbooks. Here’s what I got out of most of the sessions, with only a few incomplete (ideas still brewing).

So fun to have all of these ideas captured in my sketchbooks! I’m excited to finish some of the pages that are blank, and to flush out some of these characters and vignettes and scenes into something more. This summit definitely restarted my personal art practice!

Flashback Friday – Inktober for October

I love looking back through my own sketchbooks and illustrations for inspiration for new ideas to draw and illustrate. Here’s one of my favorite illustrations, a daily doodle for the month of October which was part of a year-long daily doodle challenge I did.

I really loved this challenge and hope to make time to do this again!