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1. 100 Bicycles

Here's another of my current projects and obsessions. I'm not entirely sure where it came from but it's quickly taken over. Bikes, bikes and more bikes.
 It probably really took hold when I visited the Eroica Britannia festival this year. It's a festival and celebration of cycling. The cyclists ride through the gorgeous Peak District on pre 1987 bikes. So lots of wonderful vintage, classic and iconic bikes to look at and draw.
 The thing, I find with bikes is they are not easy to draw. With all their angles and proportions and round wheels and whatnot, they are difficult little blighters. But I love the challenge of something difficult. Once you get to grips with it and start getting it right there's a great feeling of satisfaction.
So, I think that's where this all started. The bike thing. I always remember reading, when I first started drawing, that you've never really got the handle on drawing something until you've drawn it a hundred times. Now I'd probably agree with that.
 And so in September I'll be holding an exhibition, with a friend of mine artist Kate Yorke, called 100 Bicycles. Yes, the title pretty much explains it. We'll be exhibiting one hundred bicycle drawings. Sketches mainly.
I really can't stop. I really mustn't stop. And while I'm loving it why stop? I'm adding some of these sketches to my Etsy shop at very reasonable prices (cheap!) so if you're into bicycles grab yourself a bargain HERE. You'd better hurry though, they're going quick!
 PLUS, for this weekend only, anyone who purchases my Andrea Joseph Bumper Pack will get a FREE bicycle sketch. Check that out HERE.

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2. A Dr. Seuss Celebration for What Pet Should I Get?

It is the release day for the newer-than-new new book from Dr. Seuss, What Pet Should I Get?

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3. Step-by-Step: How to Draw Hands


I have finally tackled the remaining teaching-drawings for the book. The publisher calls them step-by-steps and some of them are exactly that, like the one I did on using colour as a framework. There's also one on 3 stages of drawing eyes. 


However, quite a few of the so-called step-by-steps are not actually a series of stages, but sets of little graphic features, to help explain how to draw certain aspects. Since hands are always so tricky, I thought I would do some teaching-drawings, looking at how you can use the position of the knuckles to help judge whether you are getting things right or not.


It's a trick I always use. Though the knuckles are staggered, rather than in line, the shape you get when you join them up is echoed in the next set of knuckles, as well as the finger ends. This helps you get finger length right - another thing that is easy to misjudge.



I sketched three line-drawings, (actually, I drew 5: the other 2 were a bit rubbish). I tried to get really different poses. Then I placed a bit of tracing paper over each sketch and circled the knuckles in a coloured pencil. As soon as I joined them up and then drew in the finger-end line, I knew the drawings would work really well.


I scanned both drawings and tracings, then put them together in Photoshop. 


Job done.

The rest of the spread on How to Sketch Hands uses drawings from my archive of sketchbooks to talk through some other ways of thinking about the various problems, including creating montage sheets, drawing just hands, over and over for practice. This is useful for stopping you getting frustrated when people move. It's also good for making the individual sketches seem less 'precious', so you are less inclined to worry if they go a bit skew-whiff here and there:


It's a great way to pass the time on a train. Try using a couple of different coloured pencils, to stop things getting too confused. 


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4. Urban Sketching People - No More Scanning!


I think (think...) I have now done the last of the scanning for the urban sketching people book (hurrah!). We lost one drawing completely though. This boy was going into a new section I added last month, on things to look out for when drawing people of different ages. 


Because he was a last-minute addition, he didn't get sorted out with a reference number when we tagged everything, to remind me which sketchbook he was in. John and I scoured the pile several times (now nearly 100 books). We had a clue - we could tell from when I originally uploaded the sketch to my website sketch-space that it was done in 2012, which narrowed the field at least. We couldn't find it anywhere though. Total mystery. 


In the end we gave up and I substituted this one instead, which is a nice sketch, but not as clear for demonstrating the teaching-point: how children's lower lips are often set back, so the upper lip protrudes slightly. Hey-ho.

I don't have many drawings of children, because they are generally such a pain to sketch. Babies are even scarcer in my sketchbooks. Luckily I did find this page, done on a plane:



The montage system is definitely the easiest way to deal with the constant motion of babies and it was great for the book, as all the different angles gave me loads of observations to talk about. 

Things might be a bit thin on the ground for younger ones, but I have plenty of examples at the other end of the scale - I just love drawing older faces. So much character. As we age we get more and more individual. 



Fortunately, there are some constants to watch for when you're drawing older people, like the tiny, vertical creases we women get above our top lip, the deepening shadow between eye and nose, the loose neck... oh goodness, I've got to stop - it's all too depressing!!


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5. meet blossom....

blossom~original drawing
graphite/tinted graphite on bristol 7x9
©the enchanted easel 2015
second in a series of three summer/flower girls.

the ORIGINAL DRAWING is FOR SALE here. also, sweet little Flora can be found in shop as well...and then for the winter lover like myself, well there are three pristine ice princesses in my shop FOR SALE also. 

with Blossom and Flora complete, there is only lovely Camillia left in the series...COMING SOON! :)

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6. People-Sketching Book: My Last Few Weeks!


Goodness: the deadline for the book has suddenly jumped out of the bushes and is frantically waving its arms at me! I have until August 20th to get everything done. It's about a month, but counting only the free days I have to work on it, it's actually 3 weeks. Trouble is, that is also the only remaining time I have to prepare for filming the Craftsy class too - same deadline. Yikes. 

I clearly need to get my skates on. I hate to be so busy when it's summer though. I spent last Sunday working at my computer with the blinds down, while other folks were prancing around in the sunshine. Sob.


I have gone through the design layouts for almost all the book now. There are about a dozen new images to scan, because of rejigging the content at the design stage, then I have to choose sketches I want to feature as full page images for each of my chapter-header pages. It's hard to do that without having a proper overview of the content, so Quarto are about to send me a definitive version of what we have done so far. 

Once the final sketches are scanned, I will at last be able to get rid of all the sketchbooks piled around the studio. I'm really looking forward to a good tidy up.


There are still a few little bits of text that need doing: extra sections that have appeared as we have made changes (it has been very much a project that you have to allow to evolve as it goes along). That won't take long though. The main job left is all the step-by-step drawings dotted through the book. 

I am going to do some of them live to camera, so we can choose stills from the film to use to illustrate stages of the process. It's a wee bit scary, to be honest. I am going down to London to sort that out in a fortnight. We have 1.5 days to work on the filming and sort any photography, like taking pictures of all the elements of my sketching kit for instance.

Right. Back to it...

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7. Space Cat Portraits

Today I drew people as Space Cats, as part of the Galactic Fete at Creation Space London.
I especially enjoyed drawing families - I asked them to do a space pose. 







I managed to forget my drawing pen, so I had to hack a writing pen by adding a pipette I happened to have in my brush roll as a reservoir for drawing ink. I also cut a nib from a beer can and used some correction fluid and a toothbrush for stars.


Well, that was fun.

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8. SDCC ’15: Drawing with Jim Lee – “Do You Know the Difference between Law and Justice?”

JimLee001

Jim Lee

By Nick Eskey

One of the happy-highlights of San Diego Comic-Con is when DC Comics co-publisher, writer, and artist Jim Lee just sits down and draws. Well he doesn’t just draw. The talented artist also has the chops to be a regular comedian. Every year on Sunday, his “Drawing with Jim Lee” is a highlight of the convention.

The panel this year had a slight hiccup however. From what we were told, he had it on his schedule that it would start at 3pm to 4pm, not 1:30pm to 2:30pm. We wouldn’t have to wait till 3pm, but he wasn’t going to be there till 2:15pm. A number of people left, but a majority stayed the extra forty-five minutes.

When Mr. Lee did show, a wave of applause went through the room. He took to his chair, and looking out at the crowd said, “Thanks for staying. It’s a real testament to your guys’ love of a free sketch.” Everyone erupted with laughter.

He continued to thank the crowd as he pulled pencils, “Pigma” pens, inks, and brushes out onto the table. “Now, you see this? It’s a Pigma marker. It gives you a fine tip and you can go thicker. You can use it for defining, or shadowing… They always send me a bunch of these, so I use them. I’m still waiting on this year’s crate.” More laughter. “You’ll have to excuse me, it’s Sunday at Comic-Con, so I’m not all here. But really guys, I do enjoy this panel a lot. Compared to the other days, this one is just very intimate, and a fun atmosphere. So thank you.”

JimLee003

He proceeded to trace the lines on a “Wonder Woman” sketch that he had started earlier. “I thought I would get some drawings done beforehand so I had more to pass out to you all. So I… I got ONE. Yay!”

As he put the finishing touches on, he addressed the convention staff. “Is there anyone in here that works for Comic-Con? Do you know the difference between ‘Law’ and ‘Justice?’ Well, Law is what should be done. Justice is what needs to be done. So I know there’s some sort of rule forbidding panelists from handing out food to attendees in the room. But I got all these ‘Twix’ bars I want to give out.” Low and behold, Twix bars were passed out to everyone in the room. “We did an ad campaign back in June that took up a whole page… So yeah. That’s Law and Justice.”

While he finished his Wonder Woman, he had the crowd ask him questions. One person asked if he still did personal drawings from his Marvel days. “I’ll occasionally draw Marvel things for friends who like Marvel… It’s fun to draw these characters every now and then.” He was then asked if he would draw one. “Fine, I’ll draw Wolverine… but he’s got to wear the Batman suit.”

Jim gave out the first sketch, and then began on the second. He began with a circle, and built upon it. “Trace basic shapes. They are like the blue print.” With the skeleton of the drawing done, he started the detailing. “Wolverine is like Batman. But smaller nose, bad breath, and… 2.8 billion dollars.” As he began the lining, he added “Batman is a lot like Wolverine, but less feral in nature… DC has less angry characters.”

It’s obvious how much Jim Lee enjoys his art, and sharing it with others. The amount of care he puts into his work looks effortless. It comes from years of practice. As he’s working on Wolverine’s nose, he smiled and said, “Add the nose and the teeth that make him look like he’s going to drop a deuce.” The room erupts again in laughter. “No, see? He’s kind of hunched over. He’s about to sit on the toilet.”

JimLee004

“Add the nose and the teeth that make him look like he’s going to drop a deuce.”

Finished, he gave Wolverine away, and took the request of doing “Harley Quinn.” As he drew, an attendee asked, “With nine kids, what do you do to relax?” Jim Lee looked at him, and laughed a little. “I make nine kids… No really. What do I do to relax? I draw. When I draw, time goes by. I fall into my pocket dimension, which is full of shirtless, muscular men.”

As he finished the drawing and was going to give it out, another person asked, “Who’s your least favorite character to draw?” Without hesitation, he answered, “Spiderman. I do believe he’s one of the best creations of Jim Lee, but I don’t like drawing Spiderman. He has all that webbing…The webbing, it creates the form of the costume. And when it moves around and curves, it’s just hard to plot.”

For his last drawing, he asked who he should draw next. A flurry of responses came through. But the one he latched on to was “Aquaman.” “Look, this girl is putting her hands together and pleading! That’s the international sign of ‘I have to draw this.’”

While he drew the last sketch, the question of “What’s your favorite part of the costume to draw” came up.  And this was probably my favorite response of the night. Jim Lee answered, “Oh you’re not going to trick me with that.”

The Jim Lee Sunday panel is probably the favorite of many. The fun and playful atmosphere is one that can be greatly appreciated on a Comic-Con Sunday. Though it doesn’t really explain much of the techniques in his drawing, it does allow everyone to see one of comic’s greats make wonderful art. Let’s all hope it continues for a years to come.

1 Comments on SDCC ’15: Drawing with Jim Lee – “Do You Know the Difference between Law and Justice?”, last added: 7/17/2015
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9. Twins

I'm having a lot of fun doing portrait commissions.
Here is a matching set of twin girls.

Get a treat for someone while I still have the time to draw these! Once I'm getting into the next big picture book project I'll be too busy...

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10. Artist-in-Residence: the 'Atmospheres' Conference


I am sorry for my uncharacteristic absence of late. After my last post, everything suddenly stopped here, because John got rushed to hospital and has been very poorly. He had a big operation and is now into about 3 months of recuperation, but the very good news is that we now know he is going to be fine. It's been quite a roller-coaster though.


I went back to work at the end of last week, because I was booked to spend two days drawing at Manchester University, recording the fascinating 'Atmospheres' conference for the Morgan Centre team. It's a precursor to my residency, which kicks off in October, and I really, really didn't want to miss it.

Various friends and neighbours volunteered to step into my shoes at home and keep an eye on the poor old invalid, so I packed my sketching gear and hopped on a train, a little nervous, but mostly very excited. I have once before done a similar job, on that occasion for the library service, and it was good fun. My pencil finger was itching to begin!


The idea was that I should sketch as much as possible, recording the various speakers and capturing something of the atmosphere of the conference since, after all, the theme was 'atmospheres'. 


Apart from the fun I had meeting the sketch-challenge, the conference itself was fascinating. It covered a huge range of sociological issues around the theme. I particularly enjoyed a paper on shared atmospheres at heavy metal concerts and the rules of audience 'moshing' (jumping up and down, crashing into one-another in an apparent frenzy). There was a paper on snobbery, another on beer festivals, one about the weather, one on taste, another on Goths... it was extremely varied and totally accessible to a layman.


I was working in the concertina books I made. I scribbled away the whole time and filled 6 metres of paper! 


Near the end, I gave a 15 minute presentation about urban sketching and then used a visualiser to show everyone the drawings I had been doing over the two days. This was one of the reasons that I was a little nervous... 

Thankfully it all went fine and, as far as I could tell, everyone seemed to approve of my drawings of them. Then, straight after my presentation, I co-delivered a paper with Professor Heath, the director of the Morgan Centre, talking about the upcoming residency and what we hoped to achieve from the year. 


The final key-note was the wonderful Simon Armitage, who talked on 'The Language of Where we Live' and read us some of his spellbinding poetry. When it came to questions, there was an embarressing moment: the first questioner apologised to Simon and then addressed their question to me instead! It was a good question, about the parallels between my way of recording detail through images and Simon's gathering of detail through language. It sparked some good discussion, but I did want to floor to open up at first, when all eyes, including Simon's, shot to me, brush in hand, mouth open in surprise. 


And then suddenly it was all over. I decided that, since I had recorded part of my journey there, I would carry on working and record my journey home. The train was packed so I was very lucky to get a seat. I was tucked tight against the window, so it was quite a challenge, frantically scribbling impressions of the passing landscape with my concertina paper unfolding all over the place and the man next to me being terribly British and pretending it wasn't happening!


Unfortunately, extrapolating from my output at the conference, it looks like I am going to need to wrestle with another roll of watercolour paper before the residency, as I will need approximately twice as many sketchbooks as I have already made. Rats.

A big thank you to the team at the Morgan Centre for hosting a really interesting event and for looking after me so well. An even bigger thank you to Sue Heath for commissioning me to take part in such a fun project. Can't wait for the next bit...

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11. GET A PORTRAIT!

You can now commission me for portraits, as long as you're happy to be an animal in it.



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12. School visits

I had a few wonderful school visits recently...

In St Christopher's School I helped with a project where the kids made their own picture books. I did a day of tutorials, some sketching and in the end made a whole dummy book on stage.
They had a biology lesson in the gym, handling exotic animals, which was great fun to draw.





 In the Haberdasher's Aske's School for Girls I visited for a day with Alexis. We read them our books and drew monsters together.


Very important to have a party stomach. 
modular beasts.


It was awesome.
Thanks everyone!



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13. Brazil Kids Art

Brazil Kids Art lesson!

We learned about the country of Brazil, the Amazon rain forest and artist Romero Britto today.

We started off class learning about Romero Britto, a Brazilian Neo-Pop artist whose work really resonates with children. I’ve attached several examples here:

Romero Britto cat Romero Brito dancer

Then we created our own Romero Britto inspired art using crayola markers and black line work.

Flying Heart by Katie, age 7

Flying Heart by Katie, age 7

I Love Olivia, by Vivian age 5

I Love Olivia, by Vivian age 5

White Rabbit by Jeffrey, age 7

White Rabbit by Jeffrey, age 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also learned about the Scarlet Macaw and the Brazilian carnival.

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

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We even made our own carnival headdresses!

 

The post Brazil Kids Art appeared first on Scribble Kids.

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14. meet Flora....

flora~original drawing
7x9 graphite on bristol
©the enchanted easel 2015
the first in a series of three summer/flower girls i will be releasing FOR SALE this summer.

*NOTE~this is an ORIGINAL DRAWING not a print. i will not be selling prints until the original drawing is sold. you can find here FOR SALE here.

also, in my etsy shop, i have three winter girls (ORIGINAL DRAWINGS) available. try not to be biased but they are my favorite. well of course they are, they represent WINTER...one of my obsessions (because God knows i have a few of those...;) )

ok, back to business.....i have also added share buttons to the images here in my blog. i have been trying to add pinterest buttons to the gallery images on my site but due to the format (carousel) i have the images displayed in, well that's the only format in which the pinterest buttons do not want to play nice. kind of stuck on the carousel format so i apologize for the lack of ease in sharing any images you may love on my site onto your pinterest pages. please feel free to share from my blog here though...if the mood strikes you. always remember, ALL of my images belong solely to ME. NONE of them are to be reproduced by anyone but myself. i see lots of artists have their hard work taken by others unknowingly and popping up all over the internet without consent/permission. so wrong but don't get me started....

so now that Flora has made her little debut this first full week of summer (thank you God for the gift of air conditioning....) her lovely little friends, Camillia and Blossom will be following...soon! :)

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15. ELCAF: Catifying The Public!

I did portraits of people coming to ELCAF today.
Here are some cool cats who turned up:










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16. Anti Austerity Protest: SKETCHES

I went to the Anti Austerity Protest today and took my sketchbook.
The march started at Bank. Here are some people assembling and wondering if they are in the right place.

Here they worked out that they are in the right place. 

Still at Bank. The streets are closed. The athmosphere is friendly. Drumming, chanting, leafletting.  Every few minutes a sudden cheer goes through the crowd, not sure why.

Lots of families here. The crowd is starting to move.

There's not much police, surprisingly. Much less than I expected. A lot more protesters than I expected... really a lot.

Some surreptitious tagging going on at Bank. There's the first helicopter.
The chap in the background is inviting people to join the Socialist Party, I think.

Moving into Fleet Street.
There's an overwhelming amount of groups. Goths against austerity, Chefs against austerity (here in the foreground). The blimp is tethered to a fire engine crewed by the Fire Fighter's Union. Lots of local groups turned up to protest about hospitals, council housing and assorted public services (there's Haringey).

Here's a cluster of artists, mostly.
And some music.


Someone was asking "why don't they chant back?" Because they are the National Union of Sign Language Interpreters. They are chanting, look.

The Strand is packed. There's a tired child with a CUTS KILL paper hat, she perked up afetr a few minutes of being carried.
Sisters Uncut had an impressive presence, their crowd spanned the width of the road.

Some masked people. Most wore their masks on the back of their heads, like this girl with the princess backpack and the YOUTH FIGHT AUSTERITY placard, and her mum.
That dragon statue is quite alarming from the back.

I've never seen so many people marching together, and I didn't see anyone being aggressive to anyone else. I just watched the news, they did get some footage of "fireworks" (smoke bombs, the colourful sort, I stepped over a pretty bright purple one in passing) and people dressed in black with masks trying to block a road. They didn't try very hard. No point anyway, the city was full of people peacefully protesting.


(This is all scanned with my handheld scanner, excuse any wobbles.)

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17.

There's an Opera Flashmob happening in London, and you can be part of it...



The amazing Katherine Kontz devised a new piece for the Tête à Tête opera festival. I drew the poster for it and I'll be participating in some way or other... will you? Sign up if you want to be come a part of the art.


An invitation to bring your rolling suitcase along and embark on a musical journey of boisterous wheels and beatific voices in sunny King’s Cross. Prepare for a dose of flip-flopping holiday fun!
Read more here... It'll be great.

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18. It's Almost Here

Are you ready???





What do you plan to learn?

Perhaps some words in a new language:
         Spanish for Beginners by Helen Davies
         This book not only has plenty of words and pictures but an online website to help you with pronunciation. ¡hurra! (Hooray!)

Or maybe off-the-wall baseball trivia:
            Odd Ball by Timothy Tocher
         This comic book provides funny, surprising, and truly unbelievable facts on America’s favorite summer sport.

 Or how to draw monsters:
         Master monster drawing and amaze your family and friends with your spooky artwork! 
        
Or how to make healthy snacks:
         Holy Guacamole! by Nick Fauchild
         Pass up the sugary snacks for yummy treats you can whip up          yourself.

Or how to write a poem:
         How to Write Poetry by Paul B. Janeczko
         Find lots of tips and techniques that will inspire you to put pen to          paper (and learn about alliteration like in this sentence.)

Or how to write a story:
         Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine
         From beginning to end, this book will help you shape a super story—perhaps even a monster story that you can illustrate!

Whatever you’d like to learn tomorrow—or throughout the summer, remember a good starting place is your local library or bookstore or online sites like For Kids here on my website or at the American Library Associations Great Websites for Kids.  


I’d love to hear about some of the cool stuff you’re learning!

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19. Today's chapter of the 'Busy Drawers For Fun Club'


In today's chapter of the 'Busy Drawers For Fun Club' I'm drawing a farm. This is about as close as I'm going to get to illustrating a scene from Charlotte's Web - so I quite enjoyed it. The girl reminded me of Fern. I just wished the script called for Wilbur - since I do love drawing pigs. In fact my nickname as a stout young lad was 'Pig'.

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20. More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink...


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21. The latest 'bear update'

And of course everyone is waiting for the latest 'bear update' - well here it is. As you can see if you scroll down through a little, the figure began in a swirl of vague forms driven by the gesture.  But now it's coming right along... taking care not to lose the spontaneity of the rough sketch.

My secret sauce will add some rough splashy color to increase the spontaneity. 

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22. Illustration Submission :: Alice Pattullo

By Chloe

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CL2_1000

 

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breakfast_1000

Alice Pattullo is an illustrator based in East London. Her work is inspired by British folklore, traditions and superstition. This has created a distinctive vintage style within her work with a handmade quality. It is full of character and texture. Her work depicts a variety of subject matter from food to whimsical scenes of people and animals.

To view more of Pattullo’s charming illustrations, please visit her portfolio.

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23. I Think I'm Flying Now

This year, like many others, has carved new paths in my art career. I have two fairs now under my belt, Times of Future Past (a Cos-Play faire) and the Iowa Metaphysical Fair. All thanks to an amazing woman named Lisa, who has taken me under her wing in the affairs of selling your work at a craft fair.

I will also be at the World of Faeries Fair in Illinois this August, having been invited from the Times Faire. AND there is the possibility of doing two more fairs before the end of the year!

I have also committed to submitting my work to three SciFi Fantasy conventions; DemiCon, which was this past May; CONvergence in July, and ICon (Iowa Icon) in October.

It is crazy to think that I would be setting up tables and doing in person selling. I have been selling online for over 10 years because of my fear of small talk. Yet, I found selling in person rewarding in a new way...I got to meet the people, and they got to meet me!

I had a couple customers say they had either seen my work or bought my work online, and now they got to meet me! I would be so excited if I could do that with an artist I admired.

Once the weekend was over, I came home to this, the reality of life in the art studio. I too am a huge fan of looking at artists' studios....so preen and airy. But I fear in real life, it's a bit more like this....more often than not.


Flash Sale Summer 2015
This Friday, June 12th, I will be having my second EVER flash sale. How many times until it becomes tradition? Well, I plan to have one every six months to help clear things out. So far, here are some peeks into what I have going up on the site.




What's different about this flash sale is it'll be on my website, www.sarabillustration.com, and everything will be listed at the exact same time. The page will go live at 3pm CST. There will also be special "peek a boo" items that will not be advertised, but available during the sale as well. 

So mark your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, tac up a sticky note, and get ready for a week of sneak peeks, and a fun sale at the end of the week! What a great way to start the weekend. :)

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24. An Amazing Day: Plein-Air in Winnats Pass


I have been more or less padlocked to the computer during the week, which is really frustrating on sunny days. So, when I saw a forecast for particularly lovely weather, I decided to sneak a day off to go out sketching in the landscape. I knew exactly where I wanted to go:


Well wouldn't you? Isn't this an amazing photo by the way? The sky doesn't look real, does it?

John and I had already hiked through Winnats Pass, in Derbyshire, one Saturday afternoon recently. 
It was windy and cold that day, but the light and the shapes were so extraordinary, I had to sit down on the spot and do a quick sketch:


This time though, I could relax and luxuriate in the sunshine. John dropped me off and went on a long walk while I settled down to try and capture the fabulous sharp shadows. I took A3 sketchbooks, because it's such a massive landscape. It's very unusual too, because the really rugged crags are up close on both sides, giving you the ability to see detail and grandeur all at once.

This is my favourite from the day I think. I tried all different media, but compressed charcoal seemed to really get across the contrasts:


I tried watercolour, but couldn't seem to get the results I wanted. I am really still learning how to use paint, whereas I am totally comfortable when I am drawing. This is my first attempt. It started out quite interesting, but got a bit flat as I worked into it:


I tried again. The second one has kept more spontaneity, but still doesn't do interesting enough things or properly exploit the effects of the watercolour:


I did various other sketches in charcoal, getting black ingrained into my fingers and fingernails...


...but I also tried experimenting with watercolour pencil to add definition to the paint and combine the different sorts of mark-making:


I tried using my Sailor pen, but the line variation which I love so much is not as powerful at A3, so it couldn't hold the page without colour, which definitely helped:


It was a really enjoyable day. Even when things weren't going quite right, it was impossible to get grumpy! It is such a magical place, I will have to go back again. I've really only scratched the surface.


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25. Papa's Suns Coming Soon!

I'm thrilled to announce that my latest picture book, Papa's Suns is scheduled to be released shortly.  Below is the official blurb for this book which should be coming out at the end of the month.

Jacob and his grandfather like to spend time drawing pictures together. But after
Papa has a stroke, Jacob is afraid that his Papa will be different. Although Papa’s
body is healing, Jacob discovers that the love between him and his grandfather will
never change.

This book is close to my heart because it based on the relationship between my father-in-law and my daughter. Here is a sneak peek at the cover.  The illustrations are beautifully done by Samantha Bell.

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