Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 2017: Working from Photographs

Costa Rican-based artist, Maria Jose Da Luz’s illustrates infants and toddlers based on photos. Here is a sample of her work.

It looked like so much fun I decided to try a few myself. 

I started off simply and got lured into more complex images as the month went on. (I actually NEEDED drawing practice on the computer.)

Some of my images got a little funky and others captured the spirit of the original photos. I think the secret here is to keep it simple and NOT try to make an exact copy of my model photos. (Hard for me since I know several of the models.)

I want to thank all these friends for allowing me to use their photos this month: Holly Strobeck, Jennifer English, Rhonda Vercellino, Jennifer Lewis, Lori Degman, Mindy Savant, Abby Ryan Mattes, Stephanie Wilson, Jamie Schmidt and unknown faces from the internet.

Find more of Maria’s inspirational work here: https://www.facebook.com/MjDaLuz.DG/

Friday, May 5, 2017

My Illustrations: April 2017

Dancing Elephant

Patterned Pig
I started out the month on a "safe" note. The gelli prints were SO complex I was hesitant to use them. My first two pieces, "Dancing Elephant" and "Pattern Pig", reflect that hesitation.

In the next series, I found my groove and figured out how to use the prints.  In the "Experiment", bubble wrap print became the background of a witch brewing a potion.


Storm Clouds

Green Man

A doily print was used for the background in "Inspiration".

Black and gray swirls became thunderclouds in "Storm Clouds".

"Green Man" emerged from a green layered gelli print and "The Painter"'s canvas (below) was a gelli print.

I think I'm going to have to stick to simpler patterns and textures to keep the prints from becoming the most important thing in the illustrations.
The Painter
The Pioneers
In "The Pioneers" I made an effort to use some of my patterned files. It was very time consuming and I'm not thrilled with the result.
Three Long Haired Sheep


"Three Long Haired Sheep" was created with a gelli print as their fleece. "I used a gelli print for the background in "Dancing". I like the style of dancing.  In the final two images I'm focusing on digital painting an area that I know I need to work on.

I saw the work of an illustrator who interprets photos of children in an illustrated style. I think I'm going to try a few next month. This was actually based on the following photo. My intent was not to COPY but to reinterpret in my own style.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


I've had a busy month experimenting with gelli printing. If you haven't tried it I highly recommend it. I ordered a gelli plate but it hasn't arrived yet, so I made one of my own and wasted no time trying it out. Here are some of the pages I used in the illustrations that follow:
Gelli Print purple and green
Heading to the Beach

Gelli Print: orange dots
Polka Dotted Elephant 

Gelli Print: Yellow dots
The Eames Chair
Gelli Print: Yellow Leaves
The Geisha

 I've also been doing the 52 Week Illustration Challenge. Here are this month's prompts and my responses:
Fish Pond: prompt: Perspective



Happy Place
A few other illustrations from the month:
Green Horse: Tissue paper collage, digitally cut.
Textured Monster

Night Frog
Trees cut from painted papers with digital painting added.

More experiments with trees.

Friday, March 10, 2017

February 2017: My digital journey.

1. I'm continuing to participate in the 52 Week Challenge (on facebook). Here are my responses to the following prompts: garden, botanical, pastel and baking.

The Garden
Pretty in Pastel Pink

The Baker

 2.  I was able to spend some time at the studio creating painted papers and tissue paper papers. I scanned them and then cut them out digitally. (Not nearly as messy as using scissors and glue.) Although some look too "Eric Carle" I think I can make this media my own. In most cases I let the background suggest an image. I realize after seeing them all together I need to concentrate on storytelling. Guess that will be my goal NEXT month.
Brown Bear
Blue Ape

Girl with a Bow

Butterfly Banner

Cat Lady

Circus Elephant

Frightened Horse

Birds in the Treetop

Study for Woods

Striped Cat

Frog at Night

Colorful Turtle

Yellow Cat

Brown Cat