Every Day Original: Aife

My latest piece for EveryDayOriginal.com. It sold pretty quick and I will admit that I'm slow posting my EDO announcements on my blog. However, I always include images of my next piece and its price in my newsletter before my EDO pieces goes live every 10th of the month. You can sign up for my newsletter by clicking here.  And my social media (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram) usually get sneak peeks and announcements right when it goes live.

Anyway, I was inspired this week to draw a hardcore female warrior after finishing the Mistborn series. That was an amazing read and I love the characters. I highly suggest it. Also, I truly love Jon Foster's cover images for all 3 books. Beautiful. I named the piece Aife after a female warrior from Celtic mythology.

My inspiration gallery. A lot of this was found with Pinterest. Please forgive me for not having proper credit to the artists. If you recognize any of them, please comment below.

Crimson Peak: Thomas

After watching that movie I was bouncing in my seat from all that art eye candy or as Guillermo Del Toro put it "eye protein." Every frame was breathtaking. There is one scene at the beginning of the movie featuring a social event. And I swear frame by frame it looked like something out of a painting. And the house...I could go on and on about how beautiful that movie was. You could tell all the designers put their heart into that production.

With all that said, I really wanted to do an illustration in honor of that amazing film. Even though I was rambling to my husband as we left the movie theatre about how gorgeous my next illustration was going to be, I was actually overwhelmed by the time I got to my studio. I want to say SO much, but what to say and how to do it?

So while I try to dissect this more involved illustration for Crimson Peak, I had to do something to satisfy this desire. Thus this chalk pastel portrait Thomas

My time lapse video of the making of Thomas. This is my first time doing this, so I hope it is informative. I'll try to make this more of a habit for future work. And maybe add music next time :P

My tool of the trade: Nupastels. I'm trying out a method were you store the pastel sticks in rice to keep them cleaner.

My tool of the trade: Nupastels. I'm trying out a method were you store the pastel sticks in rice to keep them cleaner.

Every Day Original Sale Tomorrow! And New Piece Update

Here is a sneak peek of Crimson Peak fanart I'm working on. I should finish it up this evening. I'll also be posting a time lapse process video later this week here on my blog and my other social media.

In other news, TOMORROW starting at 10am EveryDayOriginal.com is hosting a Month of Fear Sale event! You’ll be able to purchase some of your favorite pieces from October’s Month of Fear. My pieces include Trial and Reflection will be included in 11x14 frames matted.

Month of Fear: Styx

Happy Halloween! My last submission for Month of Fear: Dance ofMacabre: dance of death. Done with chalk pastel and Photoshop

The meaning emphasizes that in death we are all equal regardless of our social status and former life. This made me think immediately of the Underworld where all souls go in Greek’s mythology. It was said you must place coins on the deceased’s eyes, so they had money to pay the ferryman to cross the river of Styx and enter the Underworld. I really loved the imagery.

It has been a fun ride with this year’s Month of Fear. So many great pieces and new artists discovered. I want to thank Kristina Carroll for starting this great tradition. I really look forward to it next year. Until then, Month of Love is just around the corner!
 

Month of Fear: The Eyes

My third entry for the Month of Fear. Learn more about this monthly challenge at MonthofFearArt.com

What Lies Beneath
There were many ways to run with this. I was interested in deception and what lies beneath the trees. In folklore throughout the centuries, forests have represented a place of wonder and fear. Deogen “De Ogen” or The Eyes is a ghost often seen as a fog form haunting the Sonian Forest, in Belgium.

The challenge with this piece was controlling the values and keeping the viewers eyes moving around the piece.

Next week: The Dance of Death unites us all.

Month of Fear: Sabbath

My second entry for the Month of Fear. Learn more about this monthly challenge at MonthofFearArt.com

This weeks word: Sabbath
This topic was a bit overwhelming for me. You can go a million directions with witches and demons and witchcraft and spells and Harry Potter...

In my last piece I was exploring death and I decided to continue that motif with the Salem witch trials. In Reflection there is a victim and in Trial there is a fighter. I really enjoy the comparison of the two. Each piece has a different energy when dealing with the same subject of death and murder.

Anyway, luckily I had some rope from a previous reference shoot and I tied my first ever noose! I love how you can Google anything. I've never done an illustration where the subject is back lit. I felt this value structure would compliment my subject matter and be a good exercise for me.

Below is some of my process work and a close-up shot of this piece.

Above are some of my thumbs. I really liked the top row. I may explore that further for a future piece. I decided on the straight forward comp because I really wanted an intense look and the opportunity to play with bold shapes. Below is a small collection of the inspiration I used.

Month of Fear: Mirrors

I wanted to participate in this year's Month of Fear, which is " a weekly art challenge created by Kristina Carroll for the month of October. It was designed to inspire artists to get together, shake things up,  push themselves  and create a bunch of new personal work. We do another monthly challenge in February called Month of Love."

This week's word was Mirror: Reflection, deception, spirits and secrets.This is darker than most of my current work, but I wanted to step a little further out of my circle and challenge myself with a more serious piece. This one is titled "Reflection". Next week's challenge is:  Sabbath Witches and devils.

These process images are crude and taken with an iphone, but in my defense these were intended for my own personal documentation and not a demo. So here it is: I sketched in my base drawing with nupastels. Next, I went over certain areas with a sponge brush soaked with water. It gives the pastel a "paint" quality and dries with interesting textures that I knew would work great for this concept. I want to stress that this was done on BFK Rives cotton rag paper, so it doesn't buckle. Once dried it was a process of refining my shapes and trying to give it that foggy mirror look, which was an interesting challenge. The solution of using a fogged mirror helped make this story less gruesome and more appealing to a broader audience. ;)

Gypsy

My husband and I have been big fans of Ink Master, a reality competition tv show. Tattoo artist compete against each other weekly with different challenges. There is always an American Traditional style challenge. I love the bold line work and and big eyes of the stylistic women. I had to do a tribute, which would mix my style with the bold decisions making of Traditional.

WIP Shopper Girl Spot

Straight forward spot illustration intended for teen magazines, blog, etc. Still a WIP.  Need to add a pattern to the dress, tweak some things (left foot needs fixing) and add shopping bags. Initial sketch (left) and current, uncleaned up version (right.)

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Color Studies in Photoshop

Next spot illustration in this little series.

Every Day Original: Hermes

Hermes on sale at EveryDayOriginal.com on
Aug 10th, 10am EST.

8x10" chalk pastel on BFK Rives paper. Matted and in 11"x14" frame.

See the process and close-ups below!

Progressive photos of this portrait. There are a few gaps as I got into the details. I kept forgetting to pick up the camera as I got into it. I'll try better next time ;).

Alice in Wonderland

With this illustration I really wanted to play with bolder colors than my previous illustrations. It seems appropriate for our character Alice:

"What sort of people live about here?" asked Alice.

"In that direction," the Cat said, waving paw round, "lives a Hatter: and in that direction," waving the other paw, "lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."

"But I don t want to go among mad people," remarked Alice.

"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."

"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.

"You must be," said the Cat, "or wouldn't have come here."

The Other Mother

As you can see from my portfolio, I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman's book Coraline. I'm in love with the visuals and the way it is written. 

I wanted to do a spot illustration of the other mother when she is first introduced to the reader.

It sounded like her mother. Coraline went into the kitchen, where the voice had come from. A woman stood in the kitchen with her back to Coraline. She looked a little like Coraline's mother. Only...
Only her skin was white as paper.
Only she was taller and thinner.
Only her fingers were too long, and they never stopped moving, and her dark-red fingernails were curved and sharp.

'Coraline?' the woman said. 'Is that you?'
And then she turned around. Her eyes were big black buttons.
'Lunchtime, Coraline,' said the woman
'Who are you?' asked Coraline.
'I'm your other mother," said the woman. 'Go and tell your other father that lunch is ready.' She opened the door of the oven.

I've gathered a lot of inspiration from Dita Von Teese

I've gathered a lot of inspiration from Dita Von Teese

Brain storming sketch.

Brain storming sketch.

             One of many 1950s references for "the perfect mother, wife, and home." Yick.

             One of many 1950s references for "the perfect mother, wife, and home." Yick.