From My Sketchbook: Trail Treasures

I recently finished the Make Art That Sells course with Lilla Rogers, which was a five-week e-course that gives artists everything they need to know to make and sell commercially-viable art in the hottest markets, such as bolt fabric, home decor, children’s books, wall art, gift, and more.

The topic for this project was the gift market. Our first exercise was to gather the things we collect, so I gathered all the trail treasures I have been hoarding.

collection of trail treasures collection of bark collection of trail teasures collection of feathers collection of trail treasures collection of leaves

Then we had to draw our collections which just happens to be my favorite things to draw and illustrate, along with a few flourishes and swirls.





Then we had to arrange our collection of things into a hyper lush design for a zipper pouch. I used a couple previous pages from my sketchbooks for inspiration on layering and layout for my new design.

sketchbook forest floor drawingsketchbook painting forest floor

I’m so happy with how this design turned out!

trail treasures

I ended up experimenting with three color palettes and submitted the most hyper-lush (crazy bright) palette for the course project. But the color I’m showing here, which I call Frost, is my favorite. I’ve got plans for this new illustration, so stay tuned!

Trail Treasures collection in frost

Hope you’re on the look-out for things that inspire you and challenge you!


Hand-Lettered Friday

I’ve been practicing my hand-lettering more lately, traditionally and with my drawing tablet, so I thought it would be fun to share my latest hand-lettered page from my sketchbook this fine Friday.

I mentioned the other day that I’m taking Lilla Rogers’ course Make Art That Sells right now, which is the inspiration for this sketchbook page.

make art that sells

A common style I’ve noticed with my hand lettering lately is that I like to add serifs and swirls to my letters 😉

Hope you enjoy a great weekend!


Inspiration Wednesday: From My Sketchbook

I’m immersed in Lilla Rogers’ course Make Art That Sells right now, so it’s great fun to have assignments to work on in my sketchbook.

sketchbook painting root vegetables

The first assignment has to do with root vegetables so I bought a variety for in-person drawing reference. I really wanted vegetables that still had the stalks and leaves on them because some of the leaves are so beautiful.

sketchbook root vegetables - carrots

sketchbook root vegetables - beetssketchbook root vegetables - radishessketchbook root vegetables -parsnip

sketchbook root vegetables - sweet potato and turnip

One of the many things I’m learning is to pay closer attention to my own process and how I work when doing illustration. That is helping me figure out what I like, what my style is and what I like about other artists I admire.

1. First I do research, learn about the subject matter, make a word list, find photo reference and live examples if possible.

root vegetables reference

2. Then I do a couple quick, rough doodles with a ball point pen, sort of like an outline.

sketchbook root vegetables word list3. Then I do a detailed drawing with pencil and loosely go over it with a Micron pen.

4. Then I might try to do a realistic rendering, which I go over with a Micron pen so I can scan it later for digital work.

5. Then I go back to drawing my own interpretation of the object, sort of realistic, sort of stylized.

Similar to most illustrators and artists, I really want to have my own unique style, so it’s important to me to also understand and develop my own process. I love drawing with pencil and then Micron pens, so I enjoy this process of illustrating. I also like using my travel watercolor paints, but I love the digital process so I’m excited for the next step in this assignment.

Now I’m looking forward to baking roasted root vegetables!

Hope you’re on the look–out for things that inspire you.