Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter's Eve

Somewhere in the frozen north, a girl and her fox gallop through the snowy landscape. Only the soft pad of the fox's paws break the frosty silence.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The 4" x 4" Sketch Challenge - Halloween Edition

This is the first in my new series of tiny sketch challenges. I thought it only fitting that, given the season, the theme should be Halloween. The rules are simple: make a small piece of art (4" x 4") with a Halloween theme. Use color, black and white, paint, pencil, charcoal, photos, collage - whatever medium you choose. And you don't have to be an artist to take part - it's just fun to try to make a picture in such a small space, like writing a one-line short story or doing a gesture sketch in life drawing. If you decide to join the challenge, post your tiny masterpiece on your blog or website and send me a link in the comments section so I can share.

This challenge is also posted on Facebook, and I'm happy to say some of my friends took up the gauntlet with style.

The first entry is from Suzy Block. She combined the 4 x 4 sketch challenge with her Doodle-A-Day project to come up with this fearsome pirate and his sweet Mini Me. Visit Suzy's Monkey 2 Monkey Blog to view all of her Doodle-A-Day entries.

Illustrator Kat McD has really gotten into the Halloween spirit by painting the Man in the Moon's face and using a couple of cleverly-placed clouds to suggest a ruffled collar and wisps of clown hair. I wonder if that's the Great Pumpkin he's watching over?

I really love Laurie Young's entry: a cute little trick-or-treater with vampire fangs and a bat headband.

Look at the way the moonlight silhouettes the witch's hat in this mysterious and moody entry from illustrator Steven Corvelo Those hauting yellow eyes really pull you into the picture.

From the mind of Jake Gordon: the Big Three of 1930s Universal Studios horror flicks: Frankenstein, the Mummy and the Wolfman.

Carah Smith's image evokes a sense of frantic danger, with the jagged wings of the bats mimicking the jagged teeth of the leering Jack O'Lantern. And is that a horde of zombies on the horizon? Yikes!

Mary Peterson has a unique take on the usually gloomy Edgar Allen Poe. This sunny yellow background makes him look (almost) cheerful!

This big-eyed black cat by Lois Keller reminds me of that old Groucho Marx quote: "A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Little Witch on a Scooter - From Sketch to Finished Illustration

I scanned my original sketch at 300 dpi into Photoshop, then used a few standard Photoshop Dry Media Brushes (graphite pencil, charcoal pencil, and #2 pencil) to color it in a soft black, orange, and brown Halloween palette. As I worked, I made some changes to the original drawing, mainly to the cat and the little witch's face. In the sketch, the cat is facing backward. I turned him around so he is now facing forward and visually engaged with the little witch. Originally, he was a long, lean critter, but I decided to change him into a plump, sleekly satisfied black cat. I made the witch's face softer and wider and moved her hair so you can clearly see her sweet expression. In addition, I made her feet smaller (no need to give the poor girl boats for feet!) and added the pumpkin lantern as a finishing touch. Finally, I added texture by scanning in a sheet of watercolor paper. I scaled it back to 12% and placed it on a layer behind the drawing. I multiplied the drawing layer so the texture shows through. My goal was to retain the original feel of a hand-drawn illustration, and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

You can find "Little Witch on a Scooter" at my Etsy shop, Raven and Renn.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Montana Avenue Art Walk 2014

Remember that old saying: "A good time was had by all?" That pretty much sums up my feelings about this year's Montana Avenue Art Walk. I met so many lovely people who were out for a stroll on a fine summer's evening, and who stopped by to look, to chat, and to buy my art. And a very special thanks to my hosts, the fine folks at Whole Foods, who went out of their way to make sure the evening was a success.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Rose Red

Rose Red - another painting inspired by a beautiful vintage dress.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Calla Lily

One day when I was doing costume research online, I came across a picture of a stunning dress from the 1920s. I could just imagine the kind of girl who would wear such a frothy creation: someone lovely and ethereal and other-worldly; a girl who would wait, a little impatiently, for the world to begin.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014



A character sketch for a story I'm writing about the adventures of Meira, a girl who lives in the forest with her pet owl Wiggins.