We’ve been enjoying lots of fun in the sun over here. (And napping in the sun)
I’ve also been working on a new children’s book (don’t forget about Finnegan!), and because my son is who he is, it features sharks. I’ve already written a manuscript, which I’m sure I’ll continue to edit. The trickiest part has been making it short enough to be a picture book, not a chapter book.
I think I’ve gotten it short enough now, so I’m starting to sketch out some of the characters. It features 5 different kinds of sharks (cause sharks are seriously so cool! ). I assigned myself to draw 2-4 sketches of each shark type. I finished that step today. Here are the sketches!
Looking at them all up there makes my heart happy. 🦈 ❤️
Except for maybe the goblin shark. They are terrifying.
Next my plan is to decide how to divide the words into pages, and then start sketching out the scenes. I am a big believer in dividing a big project into tiny tasks.
Like that. ☝🏻
I will for sure keep you posted on my progress.
When I first started using my iPad to create art, I would often start with a scanned ink drawing, and add some flair. Such as . . .
All three of those designs started their lives as drawings in black ink. I added the “watercolor” via my Apple Pencil and the Procreate app.
Lately, I’ve been playing with flipping the process. Painting in watercolor paint the old fashioned way, scanning those paintings, and doodling on top of them in Procreate.
I’ve really been enjoying the process and the results.
As you may or may not know, in the past few years I’ve self-published two coloring books and illustrated a bilingual children’s book (you can find info on all of them here). I’ve quite enjoyed the process between dreaming up the book and then having it in my hands, so I’m working on some more.
I have two more coloring books in the works. If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you’ll be getting pages of these books delivered to you for free every month. My monthly newsletter printable freebie is great motivation for me to keep plugging away on new coloring page designs.
One book features birds, the second features mandalas. I find the bird designs take a lot more thought and time. The mandalas are much more quick and relaxing to draw. When I need a break from the challenge ofthe birds, I’ll draw another mandala. I’m in the middle of some puffins right now, as you can see. Below that you’ll see me coloring the mandala from last months newsletter.
I also just adore picture books (being a mom of a 6-year-old, I read a lot of them) and so would love to create another one myself. I’ve decided to embark upon writing and illustrating one on my own, because I do also enjoy writing. My son’s love of sharks has inspired to write a book featuring sharks (they’re so freaking cool!). I’m currently working on the manuscript. More on that to follow.
We woke up this morning to snow on the ground. That is always kind of magical around here.
Even so, I know in just about a month we’ll start seeing early spring blooms. I just can’t wait for that so I’ve been developing some spring designs. I’ve create some watercolor beetles, a watering can with flowers, and a gardening gnome.
The bugs are already available as an art print and greeting card. The watering can flowers can be purchased as a sticker. The gnome so far just exists on my iPad (and now this blog post). I think it would be fun to create more gnomes, as a little collection. We’ll see. I think a lot of things and they don’t all happen.
Oh, and today happens to be Valentine’s Day. I hope you or someone who loves who is treating you well today. Here are some cuties I created in the past in honor of today.
A few weeks ago Ransom (my six year old son) was looking over my shoulder as I drew this mandala coloring page (it was the printable freebie for my newsletter subscribers last month).
It's magical to watch these drawings come about. I use Procreate's Drawing Assist tool. Whatever I draw on one part of the page automatically gets repeated throughout the page, making designs in perfect radial symmetry.
It's pretty fun, so Ransom wanted to have a go at it. I handed him my Apple Pencil and iPad and he cranked out about 20 radial symmetry designs. Here are some highlights.
It was really fun to watch him drive into drawing and be delighted at the results.
I thought I’d take a moment to share some cozy art by other artists on Society6 (by the way you can click on the image to get taken to the art print, and they are affiliate links so I get paid a bit if you buy from them as well)
Looking through all that cozy art makes me want to create some art! Just like walking through a bookstore makes me want to go home and read.
If you follow along with me on Instagram, Facebook, or my monthly newsletter then you already know that my 2022 holiday design features a jolly sasquatch.
My first thought when I work on a Christmas design is cards. So that’s where I started this year. This one is available in my Etsy shop.
My second thought is wrapping paper. So after designing the card I create a repeating pattern with the same elements. I partner with Society6 to sell wrapping paper, and have been impressed with their quality year after year. You can find the Sasquatch wrapping paper here.
Now that the initial card design and repeating pattern has been created, this jolly sasquatch is now available on a lot of other fun products in my Society6 and Redbubble shops. Here is a sampling . . .
If you're interested in having a merry sasquatch in your life, I’d encourage you to order now, so you have time to enjoy it for the holiday season. 🎄
I’m going to pause in sharing about my own art making and share two fun projects I’ve done recently with my six-year-old son. Last year we turned our 4th, over-sized bedroom into an art studio and one of my favorite things is to go down there with him to make things. Saturday afternoons will often find us tackling a new project
Such as tape-resist spider webs. We used masking tape to create the webs, and then painted over the entire paper with liquid tempera paint.
Before the paint dried, we sprinkled on some glitter.
We intended to let the paint dry before pulling up the tape, but we just couldn’t wait. So we made a big mess and took off the tape while the paint was still wet, and then used sharpies to add some spider.
Last week, we created these lovely sun catchers. First just in the shape of fall leaves, and then made some ghosts. I won’t go into detail on the process, but you can find instructions on this blog post. This project took a little more prep on my end (but still not a ton), but the end results is something I think we will save and put on the windows every autumn.
I thought I’d pop onto the ol’ blog and update you on the state of things. My baby boy has started kindergarten 😯 and so I have had a luxurious amount of time to catch up on things. Here’s a sneak peak on my current projects.
After publishing my newest coloring book last month (get it on Amazon!) I started diving into drawing for my third book. The theme is birds, but I have yet to think of a snappy title (that’s usually one of the last things I do). I have 4 drawings done so far (my goal is 15ish). Currently I’m working on an eagle flying over Mt Hood. Here’s sneak peek of where I’m at so far.
I also recently got a request for some gardening stickers, so I have some designs in the works for a gardening collection. These would be fun to turn into a pattern eventually as well. I’m most excited about the gnome.
Finally, it’s also time to be working on my Christmas design for 2022. My goal is to have it done by the end of this month. I’m taking inspiration from our Sasquatch friend named Harry. He watches over our Airbnb near Mt Hood. He’s going to be wishing everyone a very hairy Christmas, of course.
Phew, so that’s where we’re at! It’s been so fun to have bigger chunks of time to work on these projects.
Ransom is loving kindergarten by the way. I’m so stinkin’ proud of him.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook this isn’t news, but I just have to announce it here too — I’ve published my second coloring book!
It’s available on Amazon for 8.99 with prime shipping. The coloring book features 15 original drawings by yours truly, all inspired by the deep blue sea. Some are inspired by real experiences, such as the reef fish featured on the cover, and others are more fanciful.
When my author copies were delivered, Ransom (my 5-year-old son) got right to work on his favorite page, the great white shark.
My favorite is the baby beluga.
I’d love to see what you do with these designs!
A place to share the process. A space to be honest about the triumphs and trials of my daily life as an artist and mama. Writing motivates and refreshes me.