Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cash & Tucker sketch and a sprinkle of self-loathing.

Well, I finally finished one of three commission sketches I've been working on. After a mental block, Casey's transmission going out, a short trip (and long drive) to Colorado Springs, and last but not least, getting in a car accident yesterday, I'm glad to at least have this done. I'm still pretty pissed that I deformed my car. I started on a happy cloud pillow for a customer in NY and plan on getting supplies this week for a tomato slice pillow for a friend. SO, do you wanna see these pups? Ok, ok, here you go. 
Cash & Tucker Dominate at Croquet
Now everyone will see how extremely messy I am with my sketches. I usually start out on a 5x7 sketch pad and then copy what I've drawn so far to complete the drawing on regular paper. Later I'll shrink or expand it with a copier to fit it onto illustration board. Bigger sketch books are bulky. They also intimidate me. Stupid since I have several that are barely used. Also weird considering I used to paint giant canvases without even sketching first. Oh well, that Amy is long gone and won't ever return. Self-doubt came with age. 
I decided to put Cash & Tucker on a croquet field. Why? Because beagles and bassets seem like outdoorsy dogs. I mean... They're hounds. Anyway their owner, Meighan, said they usually just laze around the house so I couldn't make them too active. Once I started dressing them, croquet just seemed to fit. I'll admit part of the mental block was because I had no idea what kind of setting or attire to put them in. These types of dogs make me think of farms and hunting and I don't think that's what Meighan was looking for. Hopefully she approves of this choice.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

drawings & paintings

I have to admit, I just recently started drawing and painting regularly again after a long dry spell. Sometimes I get tired of it... No, not tired of it but rather uninspired. After my second attempt at college, I kind of hated art. I don't regret going but I don't regret dropping out either. Art school killed my creativity for some reason. However, it also enhanced my skills, taught me painting trickery, and gave me a new media to work with that I otherwise wouldn't have ever tried. <3 gouache <3 Here are a few examples of stuff I've done in the past few years. It's a depressingly small of number pieces. I've really been wanting to get prints of most of these so I can sell them on my etsy shop and get the word out that I can do custom illustrations. Sigh. I don't really want screenprints of them because I want to be able to sell them at a relatively low price. I'm tragically ignorant on getting good quality prints made commercially. Well, here we go.

I did this drawing for my husband's now disbanded band, Dear Human, a few years ago. It was used as cover art for a CD they released which I am so very proud of. It was my first time in a long time to do such a big pen drawing. I think I had only really done so in the past when in drawing classes. Working with pen makes me so nervous but I kind of like it when I have different sized Micron pens to use. I wanted to try digitally painting it but that shit seriously confuses me and I have come to realize that I kind of suck at technology. SAD. This is one that I would love to get prints of and I would even consider doing some screenprints of, but I don't have a screen anymore anyway.

Why did these two pictures not go in the center? What did I do wrong? Told you I suck at technology. So I was sitting around one day when I had just moved to Denton and reunited with my best friend Brittney. I didn't have a job yet and thus got pretty bored throughout the day. I had been crafting a lot but decided I wanted to do another pen drawing. I started sketching and drew a pretty nice looking beak. Onto this beak I added a chicken and beside that chicken went another chicken and before I knew it, I was looking at Brittney and I as chickens. Obviously I'm the chicken on the left.

Brittney's mom has a pack of beautiful dogs. Two whippets and two small Italian greyhounds. My personal favorite is Claire the whippet. Though I depicted her as reserved and graceful in this painting, she's actually rather hyper and a little dopey at times. She also likes to rear up on you which is pretty painful. I left the claws out of the illustration. There are some flaws in the paint on the background walls but other than that, I love the way Claire turned out. Also, if you can't tell yet, I really love playing with wood grain in illustrations. 

BUNNY! I don't know, I love cute animals. I just wanted to draw a sweet, innocent, shy little bunny sitting in a field of billowy grass and dandelions. Unfortunately, this original is damaged. I had it at a craft show, framed and sitting on my table, when it got knocked over and off. Glass went everywhere and made a little cut or two on the background where it's flat green. I was all :_: because it was my first craft show and I was already nervous. Oh, hey, I'm the embarrassing one who destroys part of her display before the show even starts. I don't really like selling originals that I do for my own pleasure anyway. ^^^Reason I will never make much of money off of paintings.

Once again, months passed without me doing much as far as drawing is concerned. Then I started sketching again. I decided on three paintings I wanted to get done out of these sketches. My dog, Golly, being the first and most important one. I have a tattoo of Golly as a samurai on my leg but I had never paid tribute by drawing him myself. So he became a pirate. Then there's a basset hound who's looking at a pocket watch. (I actually recycled, with a few adjustments, a body that I had originally meant for the Dear Human drawing from earlier.)And finally a tabby cat who ended up looking like some kind of dangerous gypsy pirate guy.

Pirate Golly
It took me a while to finish this because I was being lazy. I tried some new techniques that I kind of made up on the fly and in one case because I dropped a paintbrush saturated with an orange from the background onto an already painted Golly. After immediately bursting into tears, I decided to try to fix it because there was no way it could have gotten worse. Everything worked out and I took a lot away from that experience. Doesn't he look great as a pirate? I had a lot of fun painting this other than when I dropped that brush. I wish I hadn't painted all the way to the edge though... Not sure why I did that. I left no room for matting. Well I posted Golly on my facebook and that led me to THIS-

Brutus before framing
Framed Brutus and Brian

You know those people you're friends with on facebook who attended the same high school as you but you never really knew? I went to a small school so most people knew each other to some extent and lots of people that graduated within a few years of me, before and after, have found me on fbook. One such person ended up being a great connection. At one of the first art shows I was in, I sold a painting to this particular guy's mom which is just something I'm adding in because I think it's cool that they've both bought stuff from me. Anyway, Michael saw Pirate Golly and wanted to commission me to do a painting of his dog Brutus for an anniversary present to his beau Brian. I was thrilled! He gave me freedom to do whatever I wanted with Brutus' appearance and surroundings. I looked at pictures of Brutus and immediately pictured him as a contemplating professor in his study. I used some of the techniques I accidentally came up with during Pirate Golly, but on purpose this time, and loved the outcome. Then Michael asked me to go ahead and frame it, so I found that heavy, distinguished looking frame and did the damn thing. BTW framing is kind of hard when you don't have all the appropriate tools. Nevertheless, it got done and a week or so later Michael said he had a friend that wanted to commission me to paint her dogs :) I'm working on that one now and hope to be finished in about a week and a half. I also have two other commissions for friends of kitties that I'm going to be doing after this one is finished. Lots to keep me busy.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I guess I'll start off by posting some recent and not so recent projects. I'm hoping I can keep a record of all my custom works as well as what I'm doing creatively in my life on here. Maybe this blog will encourage me to do more. I keep hitting a wall with a commission illustration I'm working on. I really need to get a move on it because that money is going to help me out a lot this month and I don't want to keep this girl waiting. Frustration to the extreme. Here's what I've finished this week even though my sewing machine is totally fucked up. 

I really love making these chicken legs. I think I'm almost out of that fuzzy tan fabric which really blows because if I remember correctly, it's kind of expensive. This was the first time I used fleece for the bone. I usually use muslin but the fleece looks 10000x better and makes it more *plushie* like. 

I also made my nephew a birthday present which I will be delivering to Colorado in person a week from now!
Giant fleece bacon. I thought it would look good with my happy egg wall hanging. Anyway, Jacob REALLY loves bacon. More than any two year old should. I hope he doesn't try to eat it. I'm reasonably pleased with the results. I wish it didn't have that weird pointy part at each end. Honestly, I could have easily fixed that but I was tired and ready to finish the damn thing. 

I also made a pillow cover a couple of weeks ago out of some fabric used for table runners at my wedding. 

Riveting, I know. I have a ton of fabric from IKEA left over from the wedding. Probably enough for twenty-some-odd pillows. I will not be making that many pillow covers.

Are you asleep yet? I guess I'll just keep this post to sewing things I've done recently. If I start adding in drawings and paintings, it's going to get really, really long and my attention is waning. I'll just save those for next time.
bai bai!