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Viewing Blog: Sarah's Sketches, Most Recent at Top
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1. Etsy Print Shop Now Open!

Hurrah! I have finally opened an Etsy shop! More prints will be added over the next few weeks.


Please let me know if there is anything else from my archives you'd like to see available as a print, or if you have any thoughts on subject matter for future prints. :)

0 Comments on Etsy Print Shop Now Open! as of 3/23/2015 2:55:00 PM
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2. Robot Rescue!

(Click on the image to see a larger version.)

This was originally meant to be a promotional illustration postcard, but since that never quite happened, I'm happy to give it a home here instead. :)

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3. Happy Halloween!

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4. Witches, Witches, One, Two, Three.

0 Comments on Witches, Witches, One, Two, Three. as of 8/19/2014 2:57:00 PM
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5. Character Design Book - 21 Draw

I've posted about 21 Draw on Twitter and Facebook, but I wanted to mention it here, too. I'm contributing to another art book, which essentially is a collection of character model sheets created by a wide variety of artists. It's already been funded on Indiegogo, and it should be a really interesting book. If you would like a copy, the campaign runs until the end of May. Details can be found here.

The girl above isn't the character I'm creating for the book, but I like all my blog posts to have new art. :)

0 Comments on Character Design Book - 21 Draw as of 5/15/2014 2:16:00 PM
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6. Troll and Dancer

Quickie-quick troll for Sketch Dailies, and another novel character.

0 Comments on Troll and Dancer as of 3/14/2014 11:15:00 PM
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7. Jem

For Sketch Dailies! I like how this drawing ended up looking a little Take-on-Me 80's.

0 Comments on Jem as of 2/28/2014 1:57:00 AM
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8. Book Girl

This is the main character from a novel I'm revising. You'd think I'd sketch my book characters more often, but for some reason they seem less real to me if I do. And so it goes... I like this drawing, but it's not quite her.

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9. Fall, Winter and the Holy Grail

Here are a few promotional illustrations I did for my wonderful agency, New Leaf Literary & Media, as well as a character sketch to test out a digital painting technique.

Finding a method of digital painting that's easy, loose and works well with my sketchy style has always been a holy grail for me. I can spend a kazillion hours and paint something that looks like an oil painting, but I don't have a kazillion hours these days. Besides, that sort of approach doesn't lend itself to the children's books I write, and is far too labor-intensive for comic work -- other than covers. The above technique feels comfy, cozy and very me. And even better, it's super fast! I don't want to jinx it, but I think I possibly just "chose wisely." We'll see as I continue to test it out... :)

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10. Evil Von Purple Cape and the Masters of Anatomy!

I like posting with artwork, so here's an unfinished painting of a supervillain.

But really I'm posting because I'm super excited to announce that I'll be contributing to a Kickstarter for an art book called the Masters of Anatomy.

Here are the official details;

Masters of Anatomy is a one-of-a-kind anatomy book drawn by 95 animators, illustrators and comic book artists. It features work from world-class artists like Francisco Herrera, Pascal Campion, Florian Satzinger, Warren Louw, Loish and many others. The result is a volume unlike anything that exists today. A must have for any aspiring artist; digital or traditional. www.mastersofanatomy.com - Support this Kickstarter on Friday, October 11th.

3 Comments on Evil Von Purple Cape and the Masters of Anatomy!, last added: 10/23/2013
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11. Little Watercolor Sketches

I posted these on Instagram a while ago, but I thought I'd properly scan them and put them on the blog too.

Watercolor and I don't always get along, but I really do love the look of it. Here's a self-portrait and two of my kiddos!

11 Comments on Little Watercolor Sketches, last added: 10/13/2013
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12. Medieval Rabbits

My daughter tells me these two are named Briar-Rose and Peachen.

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13. Castleville!

Here's some of the freelance work I did for Zynga Dallas' Castleville game last year. Of all the freelance gigs I've had, this was one of my favorites; nice people, solid pay and fun assignments.

When I first toured the studio, I brought my children with me, then an infant and toddler. It resulted in a harrowing kid-vomit-art-department-greek-yogurt-incident. Super horrifying/embarrassing! It's still amazes me that Zynga wanted to work with me after that, ha ha, but I'm glad they did. It was a great gig.

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14. Escape Character Design!

Yes, I'm still here! I know... five months, no posts, but I had baby in January, which is my third munchkin if anyone is counting. This means 90% of my day is spent kissing hurt fingers, reading Richard Scarry books out loud, making Star Wars shaped lunch items (wookiee tortillas anyone?) and having dance parties in the living room. As for the other 10%, I was, and still am, busy with work-related art projects -- which are fun and exciting, but like most work-related art projects, they aren't something I can share here yet.

However! While I was off sleepless and zombie-like in cute newborn land, this movie came out. I worked on it back in 2007 until I learned I was expecting my daughter and no longer wanted to commute to Vancouver. I'd long ago buried this artwork on an external hard-drive, but now that the film has been released, I thought I'd dig out some of my favorite pieces.

Since little babies and theaters don't mix, I still haven't actually seen the film, but I can't wait to!

The drawing above is of the film's villain. I had no idea at the time that he would eventually be voiced by William Shatner. I probably would have gotten all starry-eyed and too nervous to actually do a good design.

This design never made it out of the art department, as far as I know anyway. But I liked him!

There were several character designers and we all collaborated. I ended up focusing mainly on Shanker -- the villain, and Gary -- the protagonist of the film. Working on Gary meant I was also helping establish what his race looked like. The painting above is an early idea.

This is another take. I still like his curvy legs and space shoes.

This was the painting where we all said "Okay! Yeah! That's him!" But then we needed to figure out what his body looked like and define his face more.

I believe this was my next attempt. I thought it would be neat to have more alien shaped feet and hands, but I think there were concerns that he wouldn't be relatable if he was too unusual looking.

My painting here is a little flat, but you can tell we are narrowing things down.

Here's a lineup of Gary's family with an even more finalized Gary. The Scorch sketch on the left was something I did one afternoon because no one had done any designs for Scorch yet. When I left, he was not a major character, but he seems to be all over the film now. That was probably the coolest surprise for me when I saw the trailer.

This is a version of Io. I think Io is a female now. I based this painting on someone else's design. I think it was either David Krentz's or Fred Gambino's.

And this was another design that didn't make it out of the art department. I liked all his ears, though! Super hearing!

I've mentioned David and Fred, and I should also mention that the talented Michele Graybeal, Gary Glover, Sarah Airiess, Tim Guyer, Daniel Leech and Greg Spalenka, along with our production designer, Barry E. Jackson, also all worked hard on the character designs and look of the film. (Please forgive me if I've forgotten anyone!)

Anyway, since my newest little love is nearly five months old, I'll hopefully be posting more often. Stay tuned. :)

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15. Merry Christmas!

Thank you Stephen for distracting the kiddos so I could color and post this. :)

Hope everyone has a great holiday!

12 Comments on Merry Christmas!, last added: 1/20/2013
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16. Me! (Sort of...)

So yes, this is sort of me, because at the moment I'm nine months pregnant with baby #3 and not nearly this slim. But like the picture, I DO need a haircut.

I painted this for my illustration profile for the New Leaf Literary website, where I'm now represented by the awesome Suzie Townsend.

If I don't get the chance to post again before Christmas, I hope everyone has a great holiday!

6 Comments on Me! (Sort of...), last added: 12/27/2012
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17. Fall

My kids are in love with Miyazaki's Totoro. Lately, the Catbus is all my daughter talks about. Here's something both Totoro and Fall-inspired. :)

10 Comments on Fall, last added: 10/30/2012
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18. Random Character Drawings

I like to attend my writing group with a sketchbook and handful of sharp pencils. Here are some doodles from the last few meetings.

1 Comments on Random Character Drawings, last added: 10/5/2012
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19. Page Five, and Page Five, and Page Five... and Glen Keane!

Don't pay attention to this first version of page five. It's horrible. But my post makes the most sense if I start with this image.

Last week I was really lucky to hear Glen Keane speak. If you don't know who Glen Keane is, it would be worth your while to do some googling. He's the incredible talent behind many iconic Disney characters and his beautiful artwork has been a huge inspiration to me and many many other artists.

After Mr. Keane's talk, my husband asked me how it went and I said, "Meh."

At first I couldn't pinpoint why I was disappointed, I mean, Glen Keane did a great job speaking. But then I realized that a silly part of me thought that by listening to one of my art heroes speak, some of his awesomeness would rub off on me and I'd be magically transformed into a better artist. And another equally silly part of me thought I'd leave that lecture with some powerful art secret I never knew before. Ridiculous. I know.

But as the week's gone on, Glen Keane's talk keeps coming to mind; things he said and things I observed about his work. Much of it is stuff I should know, or used to know when I was fresh out of college, but somehow got lost along the way. So thanks from the back row, Mr. Keane! And since one of his points was how important it is to share what we know with other artists, here goes:

- Think of your line drawing as a three-dimensional sculpture.
- It's all in the eyes.
- If you're not satisfied with the first drawing you do... redraw it. And then redraw it. And then redraw it, pushing the pose, the design, etc, until it's as awesome as it should be. I used to do this a lot, particularly when designing characters for people. But for some reason it never occurred to me to approach comic pages the same way.
- As long as you understand how something is built, you can draw it.
- Ebony pencils pretty much rock.

So... above is the artwork for page five of a comic I've been working on. I did this artwork several months ago, tried to ink it by hand, loathed it, and then inked it digitally, which although it's better, it's still stiff and soulless;

Yesterday, thinking about Glen Keane's talk, I decided to dig a bunch of ebony pencils out of my dusty art supplies and apply some of the things I learned to my comic.

Since I was using that first image as my reference and haven't worked on this book in months, I forgot that I got rid of the blindfold... but you can see that I'm thinking about the characters more three-dimensionally. And since I knew I could redraw the page if I made a mistake, my line work is bolder and more confident.

So here's another take on it. (By the way, if you'd like to do this kind of workup to your art, semi-translucent animation paper is a good way to go... I recommend chromacolour. Vellum will als

11 Comments on Page Five, and Page Five, and Page Five... and Glen Keane!, last added: 4/27/2012
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20. Same Page With Color

1 Comments on Same Page With Color, last added: 5/5/2012
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21. Frappuccino

Pencils for an illustration I may or may not finish.

One of the challenges of parenting for me is maintaining enthusiasm for creative projects. I begin with a lot of energy and excitement, but where I used to just sit down and work on something for several hours/days until it was done, I now must work in small increments, stopping and starting over and over. After stoping and starting five or six times, it feels (even if it's not true) that the art is going nowhere and I should probably just start something new.

Writing seems to be the one exception to the rule, thank goodness. And I think it's because even if I can only sit down for a half hour, I can still knock out a couple of pages and create something that, even if needs polish, still feels complete.

11 Comments on Frappuccino, last added: 5/11/2012
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22. Fabric Bike by The Deadly Nightshades

We've been busy attempting to sell our home and buy a new one since May, so pretty much everything else in life -- including working on new art -- has been put on hold.

But since I miss updating my blog, I wanted to share my sister, Laura Mensinga's amazing short film, which she shot, directed and filmed with Kirsten White. It features their bike gang/art collective The Deadly Nightshades and toured with the 2011 Bike Film Festival. I think it's awesome, and I'm excited it's now online. Enjoy. :)

4 Comments on Fabric Bike by The Deadly Nightshades, last added: 7/22/2012
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23. Dancing!

I'm back! We've finished moving and my studio is all unpacked. Here's a quick sketch I did today. Hopefully a lot more new art will follow... :)

Also, Austin Broder created a free rig of my 2007 caveman illustration! You can download it here.

5 Comments on Dancing!, last added: 9/8/2012
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24. Another Lady

After looking through some old Comic-Con finds, I drew this Chris Sanders inspired girl. I love how he makes things both solid and pudgy (especially feet!) and how delicate and confident his line work is.

8 Comments on Another Lady, last added: 9/22/2012
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25. Merida

I drew this after seeing Brave and finally got around to adding color last night. Wish my hair was this curly and this red.

10 Comments on Merida, last added: 10/2/2012
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