Baby boy card

I'm making a gift for my boss' going away party. She is having a baby boy!

I'm sad this card didn't scan vey well, it actually looks much softer in real life. I used markers, pen and pastels.

I really like the "stork bringing a baby boy" concept... and I've never created a card like this. I'm feeling pretty good about it.



Alpaca card

I made this card for Caitlin, a co-worker of mine. She is a very talented fibre artist, and she loves alpacas. She always goes above and beyond to help get things done well, and on time. I figured it was about time to make her a card!



Pretty girl

Still on the mission to improve in photoshop! Here is a painting I did this evening after getting home from work and watching 3 episodes of Buffy! I'm sure I can do a lot more to improve it, but here it is for now!!!

I don't really like adding colour to a greyscale image... I find them to be drab and ugly. I really enjoy working with just colour, so this tonal was a pretty big change for me.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I am definitely improving! Still not quite where I want to be, but feeling better overall! woot woot!



Snow Bird

Here is a cute little concept I came up with last night. It is a bird that is so fluffy he makes snow... or snow that covers a bird.

I'm still not overly confident with my digital painting skills yet, but I am getting the hang of it. Practice makes perfect... or, in this case, a funny looking bird!



Little Monsters...

I don't usually paint with watercolour/gauche very often. I decided to try my luck once again with some paints...

It seems obvious to me that many of the artworks I produce have lighting issues. It is really hard for me to make the shapes look three dimensional. I suppose I should do some studies... I really don't enjoy doing them very much though!!!!

I saw the art of this german girl. I couldn't figure out her name, but she's pretty flexible with her style and incredibly talented. I was inspired by her little monsters and wanted to try some of my own!!! I think if I could create art like the stuff she does, I would feel pretty good about myself!!! Not yet... but hopefully soon!!!!



Literary Genres - Humor

I was looking around for ideas on how to practice my design skills. I came up with the idea of trying to visually show genres from different types of literature. I'm going to try working with fonts, colours, and characters to portray each genre.

Here is my first one...

Cute little monsters. We'll see what other ones I can come up with!

Enjoy :)

Oh, and please excuse the watermark... I'm not sure how I should go about doing this... I feel like I should start... but It really takes away from the design. Any suggestions on how to properly watermark your work? Should I even bother?


7-year-old Inspiration

Hi all!

So I have been thinking a lot about my blog lately. I don't think it is very focused and I never really meant for it to be anything other than a place to put up my artwork.

Of course, I've been working in the creative industry for about a year now (practicing for about 4) and I believe my skills have improved enough that I am comfortable selling my artwork and helping some other people visually communicate their stories, ideas and whatever else they might have in mind.

Deep down, my passion is to be an illustrator. I love cute and appealing characters and I strive to create these very things every day. Children's literature is another realm I am eager to explore. Becoming a children's book illustrator is one of my many dreams.

I am also interested in working in game design. Only the fun/cute/appealing ones though. I'm not that into army men vs. ninjas.... unless they are super cute army men and ninjas... with nerf guns.

Pretty much anything beautiful, pretty, fun, or cute is what I am after!

One thing to keep in mind is that successful companies market the cute stuff.... and that is simply because people LOVE cute. If you have an app that functions a little bit better than another app, but the lower functioning app is beautifully designed and has cute characters in it... I am pretty sure the aesthetically pleasing app will win out!

BTW, I also am interested in GUI design for apps. I believe a clean, intuitive design with that little bit of juvenile fun is the key to an enjoyable app experience!

Why am I saying all of this?

I have decided that I am tired of acting like a "grown-up". There is no reason why you can't be an organized, hard-working, motivated individual with a little bit of 7-year-old inspiring your creative side.

On that note, I would like to introduce my new header. (Complete with tagline and awesome little monster)




Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a rockin' show. It's making me really miss the 90's.

I had some fun drawing some characters last night... here they are...

I hope you enjoy this one!

BTW, I'm still trying to come up with a cool story for a film... hopefully I'll get it figured out before the end of the month!!! COME ON IMAGINATION!!!!


Short Film!

Dan is starting his 4th year film at Sheridan this year… so, being a “grass is greener” kind of girl, I figured I would hop on the film train and see what I could do. I’m hoping to gain some experience, improve my skills and hopefully end up with a great portfolio piece.  We’ll see what happens! I’m giving myself 12 months to complete a 1 minute film, 100% on my own. Hopefully it won’t take me that long!
To start it all off, I am going to show you my first few concrete ideas I had for a film. The story is changing every day, so I am hoping if I stick a polar bear as a main character, it might rein in my ideas!


Ballet Practice

I started a new wordpress blog, but I'm still in the process of switching everything over. Here is something I worked on this morning!



Paleontological illustration of a porcupine?

I was at the AMI (Association of Medical Illustrators) conference in Toronto on Saturday. I met an awesome young lady by the name of Nicola Wong-Ken. She was showing everyone how she handles making accurate paleontological illustrations. We had an opportunity to use some of her supplies and make our own renderings.

We were given a sheet of paper with a line drawing traced from a photograph of a skull. This skull is of a porcupine. Skulls were borrowed from the University of Toronto and we could look at them while we rendered.

I got bored pretty quickly, so I started adding my own flare!!!

Thanks again to Nicola for this really neat workshop. It was very enjoyable!


Unicorn... or bicorn!?!?!

I was thinking about unicorns.... why on earth don't people talk about BICORNS?!?! It makes more sense... it seems more realistic... I just don't understand how these have passed under the radar...

So I checked out wikipedia and apparently, bicorns are mythical creatures which devour kind-hearted and devoted husbands.... oh my!

I feel like there must a be better name for a two-horned horse... or extra-horned unicorn. Maybe an extracorn?? haha who knows!


Azula and Mulan.... combined!!!!

Dan and I have been watching "Avatar, the last airbender" quite a bit recently. I was inspired and tried to draw a pretty Azula, but it ended up looking kind of like Mulan!!!!


80's Neon fun colours!!!!

I've noticed I've been focusing a lot on character sketches much more than backgrounds/layout... I really enjoy drawing people and animals.

I had fun drawing this girl. I'm loving the crazy colours that everyone is wearing lately! I really need to get me one of those neon yellow/green shirts for when I am out and about on my rollerblades, bike or running! Then everyone would see me!!!


Toronto Zoo 2011 - Rhino

Hi Everyone!

Sorry for not posting in such a long time. It's been so busy lately and I haven't even had the time to finish my schoolism course in digital painting!!!! I only have a few weeks left so hopefully I will finish it and can provide you with some feedback on how it all went.

Dan and I did manage to make it to the Toronto Zoo again. We've gone a few times this year, but haven't had much of a chance to actually DRAW!!!!

I've been drawing every day at work over my lunch, so I have been working at it (I just haven't been posting!)

I would also love to share this wonderful Zoo Moment:

While Dan and I were checking out the rhinoceros, this russian family walked past us and we overheard them talking... 

The dads said, "Hey kids, that is exactly what the dinosaurs used to look like millions of years ago"

Then the mother makes this hilariously sarcastic remark in here super cool russian accent...

"Yah.... like a rock."

So, of course, I would like to present you with my illustration of the rhino.. er... dinosaur.... rock....



Schoolism - Introduction to Digital Painting with Andrew Hou - Lesson 1

So I've been wondering for a while whether or not to try out the schoolism online courses. I was hesitant because they seemed a little expensive and no matter where I looked on the internet, I couldn't find any decent consumer reviews on the "Introduction to Digital Painting" class.

I was also hesitant because I am not sure how advanced this class gets... I wanted to take the advanced lighting class with Sam Nielson, but I wasn't positive that my lack of Photoshop skills would not impede my learning.

SO! I took the intro to digital painting class with Andrew Hou and I watched the first lesson, completed the first assignment and watched some of the video feedback. I did the "self-taught" one, so I don't get feedback on my own work.

One thing you might like to know is that with the self-taught class you have access to like... 60 different critiques of people with all different types of art styles. So if you are like me and are not willing to spend the extra money, it's okay. Just take some time and look through the many critiques available.

So I started the first class today, and I handed in my first assignment (The ballerina at the end of this post). I started drawing with Mr. Hou while he was talking (I drew a very similar silhouette) and my first character ended up looking a whole lot like his!!!

mine ->

Mr. Andrew Hou's ->

I feel like I already knew this method of sketching (using many layers, multiplying the layers and building up the shapes). BUT! I do think that actually sitting down and doing this with another person talking you through it changes the subtle ways you approach photoshop sketching, and it is for this reason, I feel like the first class has helped me a lot.

I also feel a little more motivated to sketch directly into photoshop. I always used to do the scan/trace method. This is really unnecessary.... if anything, taking a pencil drawing and re-drawing it into photoshop from scratch (no tracing) is actually a nice way to refine characters. You can look at your original pencil sketch, draw the silhouette in photoshop and refine the silhouette to be more readable, more exaggerated, and tweak the drawing to be exactly the way you want. By not tracing the original sketch, you are looser and you may come up with something completely different than what you started with!

This first lesson only covered sketching. I think we are going over tone in the next one.

So far so good. I think I'm getting my money's worth!!!!

Here's my assignment I handed in... a simple sketch in photoshop (no tone except for the original silhouette, simple shadow and white to clean up the edges and add a bit of detail).


I love squirrels

Squirrels are one cool animal! They don't eat garbage like other types of urban wildlife. They chill out in the trees, they are cute, they are smart and do the little tree shuffle to escape predators. Come on! Who doesn't know the squirrel tree shuffle? Where the squirrel hides on the opposite side of the tree so you can see it, and then when you look behind to tree to see what is there, she shuffles around the other side.... once again eluding you.

Of course, many of them can be seen on the road... flattened.... it is very sad. But I still blame that on their risk-taking behaviour. (Of course I love that Geico commercial with the squirrels causing the car accident)

Pretty much, squirrels are awesome. I think it would be cool to have a pet squirrel... but squirrels are too cool for me.


Robot Walk - FAIL

So I picked up some super string magnets to help the little robot stand up properly... sadly, they were pretty difficult to work with. He kept falling over and I never ended up getting him to walk!

Here is a pretty bad stop motion animation of the robot... Dan pointed out he seemed as frustrated as me...

I also have a nice new platform for him to walk around on! I think I am slowly getting the hang of this. It is just a little frustrating when you can't get it right! I'll keep trying!


More Stop Motion Animation!

Back by popular demand.... well, sort of....

This is another attempt at using my puppet for stop motion. After the last video, his ankles broke, so I made some new legs for the little guy. I'm slowly learning how to be consistent with how I make the limbs.... it is surprisingly hard!!!

In this video, my character finds a ball and is happy when it rolls over to him. Sadly, the ball begins to melt and in his sorrow and frustration, he stomps all over the remains of the ball. I am sure I could have played up the emotions a bit more. It is funny trying to show emotion using only body language! I'm a big fan though.  

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the results of my new hobby!

Stay tuned for more stop-motion! I can't wait to try it out with new puppets!  woohoo!


Check out my amazing stop motion animation skillz!!

So last Thursday Dan and I went on a trip out to good ol' Home Hardware and picked up some supplies so that I could make a stop-motion puppet... or at least the armature for a puppet.

A couple days later, and a trip to Canadian Tire for Epoxy Putty, I made my first animation with the little guy. Obviously, it is pretty bad... BUT, considering I have absolutely no experience, I am feeling pretty proud of myself!  The second animation is a lot better in my opinion.

I can't wait to make more!!! 



What a beautiful day!

It was actually very difficult to drag myself out to life drawing the other night since the weather has been so beautiful!

I was trying some new techniques and experiments. I was really tired and I just let my hand flow around the page. It was a nice exercise. The three below were 5 minute poses.

This was an hour long pose... I am a little rusty with my rendering. We used light and dark pencil crayons on a mid-tone grey paper. As we get closer to the end of the course, the poses are getting longer.


It begins...

I decided that I would like to try making some short stop-motion movies. I really like the way it looks and I think working with my hands would be a nice way to spend my evenings!

When I was little, I never made those stop-motion lego movies, so I decided I would take a few minutes and try making one with a cute eraser and the webcam on my laptop.

I'll probably start investing in some better materials as I learn more... for now... a simple stop-motion animation is all I can really do!

Enjoy the magic! haha!

Hopefully you will see more of these as I learn more about stop-motion. I seriously have no clue what I am doing, but it seems like a lot of fun! I can't wait to start making puppets!!!!

I used photo booth to take the pictures and AfterEffects to compile them.

Thanks for stopping by!


Toronto Zoo 2012!!!

Dan, Annie and I went to the zoo today to check out the animals. I am pretty sure I saw the hyenas AWAKE for the very first time. We spent some time drawing them... SOOOO COOOOOL!

Below is my pencil drawing and a rendered version.

I have more zoo drawings, but nothing worth showing.... 

Not that anyone follows my blog... but I have a question...

How does everyone feel about drawing from life versus a photograph? I always draw from life (when I am not at work) and I find it to be a lot more challenging, but I also notice I learn a lot more about structure and form....

Any thoughts?

Life Drawing Tips

So I have been going to life drawing classes for about two months now and I feel like I can share some of the things I have learned (not that I know much, if anything at all!!!!)

I think the most helpful tip I could give anyone who is struggling with life drawing is to make sure the feet are flat on the floor. It is super hard to make that model stand on a surface as if they are a MASS putting pressure on the surface they are standing/sitting on. I'm still trying to figure it out, but when I get it right, it feels really good! They are usually placing their weight on one side, one leg. You can push the drawing to exaggerate it and make it more readable.

Another shortcut I have been using is to start with a bean-shaped body. I love the bean! I'm not sure how else to explain it, but if you look below, you might notice it in my drawings.

Draw feet as triangles to begin with... it makes it much faster....

As far as heads go, draw the neckline and note the placement of the ear first. That way, your heads are at least kind of in the right place. I used to just throw a circle in, but now I draw the head last and I always do neck and ear first.

That's all I know so far!!!!

I'll keep doing figure drawing until the summer, then you will probably see a lot of animals instead from my multiple zoo trips!!!!

I really hope I am improving and this isn't all for nothing!!!!!








Below is a 20 minute drawing from class. We used the skewers to check our proportions and try to draw a perfectly proportioned person... I'm not really sure how well I did...




The following drawings are from extra life drawing. No instructor.. just drawing. I find these a lot more enjoyable since we are not being stopped (for a lesson) and can get into a groove. I think I was a little off this night, but I'm still noticing an improvement.








The last two drawings I was really starting to feel it. If you look at the legs of the 15 minute one, you can see the structure lines of the planes of the body (if you look really carefully). I was feeling pretty good!



Thanks for the support everyone!

Cutest Eraser

I got this eraser from a co-worker for valentines day. I just love it!


Extra Life Drawing

I think I am actually getting better! I had a really good day (by my standards) on Thursday at extra life drawing. I didn't realize until this week I was allowed to practice at Sheridan with the Art Fundies kids outside of class. I can't express how much of a help this is. It isn't that the class I take is not helping me, but we don't have enough time to apply what we have learned. I think I'll be going as often as possible from now on... I only have a month left!

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