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It's a place where I share both my thoughts and the works which are private enough to not be shown on deviantart.com :)
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Some time ago I've created a set of 3 big pet portraits (for the same customer as this one; hello Bea!). And it was great. I mean - amazingly great! It's been such a long time since my last big watercolour illustration that I was literally astounded how great they can look. Because of concentrating on small pictures I have almost forgotten how beautiful those big ones can be.
Let me introduce: Chewy, Dexter, Chloe, Emmie and Maggi. Now guess which one is which :)
Take a look:
(warning, there's like 100 photos here - it may take a bit to load)
First idea sketches.
Colour and composition sketches.
Sometimes I see clearly that I need a bigger desk...
Here are the cheeks :)
My little helper (or big mess-maker? I just can't remember ;P) in action.
And here's my most favourite from the 3. I just love that slightly dirty sky, rocky shore and the lighthouse (I think I might have a thing to lighthouses..).
Pirate cat *meow-arr* I should totally paint a pirate cat someday!
Don't you think they look fabulous? :D Why have I not painted an illustration like this with my 3 silly cats, yet? Every pet should have an illustration like this :)
Wow, that was quite a long time since my last post! But although nothing new appeared on blogger, lots of new things appeared in my sketchbook (or rather on those thousands of sheets of paper stuffed in every possible free space on my working desk :P).
Just kidding, in reality I'm a very tidy person so those sketches are quite organized. At least in my point of view!
Here are just a few of my sketches done at work:
This one is already changed into a silkscreen print. I think I have shown some snapshots of a finished vector illustration on my Twitter
or my Facebook
This little skater boy is also a silkscreen print already ^^
Mr. Unicorn will be my upcoming week project.
Hanging doggie is a remake of something I did earlier, but this one turned out super cute ^^
And there's also a fishing fox, of course :)
All those projects were made while I was looking for an idea of a simple print on toddlers' clothes and onesies. It still hasn't hit me.
Victorian fox. It seems that those two on the left are begging for something; don't remember for what though..
I have a ton of drawings like this - warm up sketches made before drawing something which actually presents an idea. Almost all those warm-ups are cats ;P
That's all for now :) But I still have photos of some custom illustrations I did during this holiday season.
Everything in my shop
is 35% off till Monday! :)
Come and take a look at all my goodies:
During those two Thursdays I did not create anything personal (though created lots of commercial stuff) - I did however cook a bit. Have I ever mentioned that I really enjoy cooking? :)
I don't really like to make basic food and all those Polish dishes that we eat on and on, in every home, every week, always the same - kurczak, schabowe, mielone, pierogi (oh I love them), kopytka, rosół, pomidorowa, ogórkowa and all the rest. I like cooking things that are weird or that take a lot of time to do, things that you don't really have time to do during the week. Or sweets. Oh, those sweets I could bake them everyday :D
So during Thursday #8 I made (together with my Love - it's his hobby too) those delicious stuffed shells.
Gosh, they were amazing. They took about... I don't know.. 2 years (?!) to make but it was totally worth it.
We've changed the recipe a bit because on that day there was a national holiday and all shops were closed. So for the stuffing we've used not only ricotta but a mix of ricotta, Camembert and standard cheese.
So if you have a whole day to spare - I recommend! My family was delighted :)
During Thursday #9 I was getting ready for my littlest sister's birthday party - spooky themed (she was born on 31st September). She has found somewhere on the web an idea for muffins changed into graves. They were quite fun to do :D
But since we were not supposed to eat them and I was in a really big need to eat sweets I also made those cute cupcakes.
They were sugar flavoured with sugar icing - exactly what I needed :)
I think I could share here some of other interesting recipes I've tried and recommend, why not? :)
This week I've got a bit more sketches to show (+ plenty of super sketchy sketches in which only I can see some sense; they are not here).
First I started with drawing myself as I warm up, then suddenly an idea for last week's Illustration Friday topic 'haunt' popped into my mind. I have not done anything more with it since. But who knows what I'll be doing on my Personal Thursday
Here's a set of Purr's sketches. I've named them 'Purr in college' ;)
And here are few drawings I've done for a secret project I'm working on right now. Can't wait for the process to move a bit further than sketches!
This time only few sketches - I've been working on projects that have already been sketched in and out and had not much additional time to just draw aimlessly, and that's a shame... Hopefully this week I will draw more ^^
In one of Etsy interviews I've read this fabulous quote 'She believed she could, so she did' and I've decided to play a bit with typography. I hate typography. Yuck! But nevertheless I should be able to make/draw some decent looking letters, don't you think?
*I know that 'believed' is misspelled in some places but I finally got it right, no worries!*
Finally something that will end up as finished illustration! It's for last week's Illustration Friday's topic 'sky'. I know it's late but who said you can not use those topic later on too?
I have almost forgotten to show you those cuties! :)
Here you can see sketches for them --> click
And they are available, as a set, in my Etsy shop
I have so many small pieces of watercolour paper like those ^ that I could draw little sweetnesses every day!
Hmm... I could say 'challenge accepted' but I must get ready for the holiday season. Will accept this challenge in December :D
Here are my newest sketches. This time I have even few from my work to show you ^^
First page: a project for my Personal Thursdays
- I did something else this week but the kitty lost in the woods is still waiting for its turn! Second page: Purr on a boat
. It could be a short story of how boring fishing can be ;)
First page: sleepiness! Second page: secret project :3
And here are bits from my work :) Some flowers and cute animals. They will be changed into embroidery or a silkscreen print. We'll see.
And here's Purr (again; oh Purr, you're everywhere!) explaining how to print printables from my Etsy shop
. The final instruction looks super cute :)
This week I was quite sick but I still wanted to create something for myself - not a very good idea! I decided to sew a tablet case made of denim (from old pants) + old scarf as lining + a little felt pocket for a screen wiping cloth.
I felt as if my brain was almost turned off. It was as if I had zero control in what was happening. Constant coughing and running nose were not helping me in this situation either. I should have gone to bed!
But I didn't and my tablet has got a new home now :)
Everything that could be sewn crookedly, attached on a wrong side or cut uneven - has been done so! But it's still cute. And the ladybug button is a sweet cherry on top of that cuteness :D
My advice for you - do not sew when you are sick.
Purr is fishing for her breakfast.
I've made few sketches that would be a pretty cute picture story about going fishing. Maybe I will draw them all when I have the time ^^
I will put the original drawing for sale in my Etsy shop
I feel like it's been ages since I drew something just for myself. And it was such a nice feeling to do so finally! No deadlines, no specific expectations - just drawing cats :3
This is a kitty lady lost in the woods. And she's been lost for a quite long time! But no worries - she can handle anything.
Maybe I could write an accompanying story?
I have shown part of my newest sketches in this post (about making a postcard illustration) but I've got something more going on here!
On Halloween my youngest sister is turning 12 and I wanted to create party invitations for her birthday party. Of course, they will be Halloween themed and probably everything at the party will be about ghosts, monsters, witches and black cats. I've started sketching and then I thought that maybe other people are making Halloween parties too and would love to use some cute party invitations! That's why those 4 designs will go to my Etsy shop
as printable PDFs. Hopefully I will make them during this weekend so they can be up and running for a while before 31st of October :)
You may not know it (I have no idea if I have mentioned it before) but for some time I have been making an illustrated diary. I've started drawing small and silly pictures on my wall calender back in the first year when I started dating my Love. On the next year I bought a notebook calendar and was able to draw more. Now it's always a spacious diary/journal/calendar and I draw my bunny story every single day.
The best thing is, when I start reading some of the old calendars, it's actually pretty funny to see what stupid things I've been making. And this bunny-me is quite hilarious! :DDo tych, którzy są w stanie przeczytać co tam nabazgrałam - ja-królik używa sporo brzydkich słów. Na codzień nie posługuję się tak soczystym językiem, ale do opisywania moich przygód brzydkie słowa nad wyraz dobrze pasują ;)
About making a spinach cannelloni: *Is it ready yet?* / *Not yet! Why are you in such a hurry?*
I was not in a mood to work that day ;P
What, wait! But where's number 1, 2 and 3?
Will get back to that in a minute, promise! :)
Some time ago I've decided to dedicate one day of a week to my personal stuff. That would be one day that I would do absolutely nothing for my job, for my shop or for my customers - just personal projects. It's a time to try new things, new techniques or just watch movies all day without guilt and without this nagging feeling of everything being more urgent than myself.
So let me introduce my Personal Thursday blog posts, where I'll show what personal projects I'm currently working on :)
It appears that those four Thursdays were just a warm-up for the true PTs - getting used to doing whatever I want, no matter what's on my to-do list can be quite tricky!
PT #1 - I went to sleep. That was exactly what I needed :)
PT #2 - I was reading 'The Magician's Apprentice' by Trudi Canavan. It's so hard to find time to read! Then I finished this cover illustration. I know it's not my personal project but after reading for about 4 hours I felt ready to do something not-personal :)
PT #3 - I was on a watercolour workshop that day
- painting just for myself.
And this week it was Personal Thursday #4 and look what I did!
Some photos' quality and colours are dramatic - they were taken during night and there was not much I could do to rescue them...
This is a wedding gift that my school friend assigned me to create. It's still not a personal work but I could paint almost whatever I wanted and however I wanted. And it was totally new for me to paint with acrylics on a canvas, then add soft pastels and coloured pencils. Loved the effect, though! That's all for this Thursday - I will show you new projects next week :)A.
It's a rarely seen thing here - more dogs than cats!
Some time ago I've been asked to create a super cute illustration with plenty of animals for a postcard for District Dog, a pet shop in Brooklyn, NY. I liked the idea and I fell in love with the overall look of the shop - it's so much different from those I see here in Poland.
But let's get back to the illustration! Here's a bit of the process :)
I've started with finding my way in drawing animals that were supposed to be on the postcard. I have never drew a parrot so it took me a while to 'feel' it. But I skipped the cat and bunny process - I draw them a lot and didn't really want to make them look different than they usually do. They look just fine as they are :)
Then it was time for few sketches of the composition. I start with the tiny thumbs, then make a bit bigger ones where you can actually see what's there.
Then I re-make them to look clean and pretty, for everyone to see and understand what I mean. Green and orange areas are the places when text can be put.
Transferring the sketch.
Artistic mess :)
And the finished picture. I like it a lot :) And this paper is superb - so thick!
And here you can see a colour composition I've made and the final image. I've made only few minor changes along the way (blanket on the left has got a bit different pattern, there is an additional tea cup, a tea towel hanging on a handle is green, not blue). I usually make changes while painting and add details without further consideration :) It's just how I like to do it.
Hope you like it ^^
I will update this post with a printed postcard photo as soon as I get one :)
This time I've finished my lighthouse picture. It's my favourite but photos don't show all its beauty :/
I will scan it later on and we'll see what comes out of it. Although I'm pretty sure that the scanner will eat all those light colours...
You may remember from the previous day
that I've covered the sea with paper tape (so it wouldn't get dirty from the rocks). It appears that you can use that technique to make really nice walls or rocks ;)
I've managed to rescue that part, however :D
Everything all over the place got really dirty while making textures.
We were playing cards and chess while waiting for the layers to dry :)
And remember, never take off masking fluid before the paper dries completely - otherwise your lighthouse's window will get bigger than intended :/ Of course I knew about it - but my sister was too impatient to wait and scratched it off!
And that's the end of the workshop. There's also a day 5 - architecture, but I was at work during those classes..
Today I started with finishing previous day's trees.
New topic was a lighthouse which appeared to be very nice! I did not expect that :) I have not finished this painting unfortunately - waiting for the paint to dry before starting with next layers took too long (I've used way too much water in the first layer and then it only got worse with every next one :P).
I was trying very hard to make the paper not wave (because I hate it when it does so). As you can see - one of the paper's edges freed itself from the glue with which it was stack to the rest of the papers and waved anyway. Bad, bad paper!
While waiting for the layers to dry a bit I was re-designing my Etsy shop's
logo and everything connected to it (stickers, business cards, labels, banner, etc.). Hopefully I will get down to it this week and you will be able to see everything in action :D
I have no idea what I'm doing...
It starts to look well - but there's still plenty to do!
This time we were painting trees. I like to paint them but all my previous trees were painted with oils or digitally. And surely not by using splashes of paint ;)
How to paint trees with watercolours? Go wild with the paint and water, then add some little leaves and trunks ;)
It's not finished yet - but I'm quite close to that point!
Who would have known that sponges are not only for washing oneself ;)
My sister :)
For now this is my favourite part of the picture - those trunks with a bit of light coming from between of them. They're just awesome :D
I like painting with watercolours a lot. Like - A LOT! But there's always something new to learn about them. Especially if I always use them to paint the same thing - cute illustrations. That's why I've decided to give it a try and attend watercolour workshop held in my sister's drawing school. Those will be 5 days filled with watercolours that I don't yet know. Sounds interesting :)
Those are my clouds. On this photo they are not finished yet.
My sister's warm up.
And here' she works on her clouds.
My youngest sister also came to disturb a bit ;)
Oh, and here's the first horse-chestnut of the season. I like to keep the first ones from each year ^^
Freeze! It's the Super Cat!
Some time ago I bought a pair of cheap white sneakers with a purpose of painting them. And the time has come to do so!
(Especially because my old sneakers are falling apart)
When I first thought of it, while being in a shoe shop, I was quite sure they will be blue and will have clouds on. Today I decided that it would be interesting to go with the flow and not plan what else will appear on them.
So I've set everything up, prepared my paints (acrylics) and brushes, started playing Star Wars II on my computer and... BAM!... a Super Cat appeared from nowhere! :D Well, he's a super cat - they tend to appear from nowhere ;)
Here are some progress photos:
Oh, how I love those shoes! I will surely make more, it's so much fun. And there are never enough of super-cat-and-stars shoes!
Finally, I've shown the shoes to one of the cats, and it seems he approves. Thankfully! :D
I think I can treat this shoe painting as one of my Challenge's topic
- limited palette. I've used only white, black and light blue acrylic.
How do you like them? :) Maybe you've got some propositions for next shoes?
I'm officially 26 for almost a week now, so let's see how I've managed to complete my list. I already have some ideas for the new one, like making the tasks more 'sit down and do it' so I can do at least some of them without so much preparation.
Here it goes:
1. Get driving licence. At last. DONE!
2. Write and illustrate my own book. I've got lots of sketches but none of the stories and pictures I've made can be named a Book.
3. Make my web site. Changed my blog's layout to make it look more pro. That should count for something ;)
4. Create a T-shirt design (and get that Tee to wear!). Partly done; there will be no problem with it next year since I work at a silkscreen print production.
5. Learn to sew. No progress whatsoever.
6. Sew something for me to wear. Not even a handkerchief.
7. Sew something for the house to have. Not even a pillowcase.
8. Make an inspiration board (because it's not so inspiring right now..). DONE!
9. Learn Italian (go through the whole beginning course I've got). Nope.
10. Learn Finnish (same thing) Nope.
11. Get a new pretty tattoo :) Got a feather tattoo on my right side.
12. Keep my weight. Got it.
13. Get more girly. Longer hair will have to do it.
14. Make Daily Sketch vol. 2 for at least a month. DONE!
15. Read all books by Trudi Canavan. DONE!
16. And 'Witcher' books. Almost done.
17. And all 'Moomins' books :3 Almost done.
18. And finish reading all those books I've started and stopped reading for some unknown reason. Not done. But I at least haven't started reading new ones!
19. Find a representative in UK and/or US. Not done.
20. Win a contest. Tried!
21. Buy something valuable for my Love. DONE! :)
22. Get more into zen. Partly done. But it's worth doing better than that.
23. Practice yoga. A bit done.
24. Take my Etsy shop to a next level. Partly done.
25. Visit two places I have never been to before. DONE! Been to Prague and explored my city's closer surroundings.
26. Get out to my own place. I guess I'm waiting for my Love to move on with him.
To sum up:
Done - 9/26
Partly done - 9/26
Undone - 8/26
So it's only 30,77% of a total failure ;)
I'll post a new list soon. Maybe one of the points will be to lower the failure percentage to 25% ;)
When I see this list I start to think when I will find time for all this, but a whole year is a lot of time. And it's good to push oneself harder to do more and do it better.
Here's a list for this year. Deadline - 12th August 2013.
1. Do something nice every day.
2. Illustrate 1 old fairy tale.
3. Publish 2 of my books on the Internet.
4. Create and wear my T-shirt design.
5. Sew and decorate 2 pillow cases.
6. Get prints in my Etsy shop.
7. Make a set of pendants to sell.
8. Introduce 3 new ideas to my shop.
9. Draw at least 1 cat comic a month.
10. Create a short animation.
11. Make a 2013 calendar.
12. Learn basics of Finnish on my own.
13. Go to a language school and study hard.
14. Finish reading 'The Witcher'.
15. Win a contest.
16. Wear more skirts and dresses.
17. Make 5 recipes from my pasta cook book.
18. Go on a long car trip.
19. Fly on a plane.
20. Create a Book Of Adventures.
21. Try 3 new things.
22. Learn 2 new things.
23. Visit 3 new places.
24. Make my life more Zen.
25. Practice yoga.
26. Control anger.
27. Work hard.
Lately I've noticed that I'm getting more and more mean and angry. Don't know if I'm just surrounded by wrong people or in a bad moment of my life or just getting old and turning into a vicious crazy cat lady - either way it's not very good. Just bad, actually. So I've decided to go through a project of doing something good to someone every single day. I've read somewhere about it and it seems to be a great change from a normal day to day life. I don't want to be an angry weirdo! That's why two points from my list are dedicated to this attitude change.
Another problem I'd like to solve is my always-lurking-somewhere-behind-me self insecurity. There are those days when I feel completely out of place and without any set purpose, like a little ant waiting only for some shoe to squash it. Not really a nice feeling, I must admit. So I've decided to create a Book Of Adventures to comfort me during those bad moments - it will be filled with all those good things that happened to me which show that I'm not just an ant. That I've made and I'm still making my mark on this planet, and this mark is not just a wet squash spot ;) It's a bit like in 'Up' movie but with art achievements included.
The rest of the points will keep me rollin' all year long, busy with my personal growth. Can't wait to start ^__^
Here's the last year's list, if you'd like to see how it went.
It's hard to scan from this spiralled notebook, so photos will have to do ;)
Snot the mini cat :) Comic about her is on the way and will appear soon on The Meow Blog
You will see more of those tea cup animals soon :D Oh yes, you will! And maybe some dachshunds too!
Custom gift on the way. I think it will be a bookmark. The cat on the top is my Purr :)
Sketches for this illustration
. Of course I didn't do any colour sketches and really hated myself for that later on...
In the past I was drawing fashion illustrations quite often. Now I make them only on rare occasions, don't really know why.
I've written a short story about a bouncing bunny - to commemorate my topic being chosen by Illustration Friday as a weekly topic ('bounce'). The text is ready, now I only need to work a bit on the thumb illustrations. And then you'll see a mini dummy book, I suppose :)
That's all for now. My new sketchbook really gets me going with all my ideas. I just want to draw all the time.
Not all teachers are cool. Some are like shadows from medieval times.
Short anecdote: When Harry Potter first arrived in Poland and there was that big BOOM over this book, some teachers decided to do something about it. In my sister's school (elementary) the headmaster announced that Harry Potter books are evil and all pupils caught reading the books during breaks will be punished. Wicked :) Of course it didn't stop anyone from reading - it even made a big storm between parents and the headmaster and brought new readers who wanted to see where this evil in the book actually is.
Wonder if that headmaster even read the book in the first place...
There is a bit of story written on this illustration. It's about a rabbit princess trying to find a Royal Carrot ;)
I've made this illustration in a different way than I usually do. It stressed me a bit - for most of the time the picture looked rather wrong :P But I guess I've managed to get it right in the end. What do you think?
Purr is quite excited :) It's well past her birthday but with a new friend, Milla, they just party hard all the time!
This illustration is a Purr's birthday giveaway gift - custom made for Milla the cat :) The rest of the gifts you can see on Purr's (and Teddy Cat's and Bobek's) blog - The Meow Blog
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Some time ago I bought six Moleskine Cahier notebooks, in small size with plain pages. I wanted to see what will come out of them and I had no specific idea of what I want to achieve. And I'm very very glad that they ended up as they did! All those notebooks look fabulous, if you ask me :)
They all are available in my Secret Drawer shop.
How do you like them? Do you have some nice ideas I could use too? :)