Thursday, January 31, 2013

Snow Day!

Miffy Watches the Snow
We got a little snow last week and I could not resist doing a quickie sketch of Miffy watching the snow fall. Both cats were at my painting studio windows. Spike ducks and paws at the window.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Portrait Studies

Benedict Cumberbatch
I was showing my class Tuesday about quick studies for portraits and did these in my sketchbook for them. Great fun!

These were from class requests and let's just say Benedict Cumberbatch was suggested with much swooning.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Signing at Blue Manatee!

I will be signing A Warm Winter Tail on February 2nd, 2pm at Blue Manatee. I will be doing a drawing demo and then sign books!

It is also Groundhog Day! Sadly, no Puxatony Phil though...

Event here:

Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Austin Sketching II

Sketch of the Driskill Hotel where the Anniversary Party was held
As promised, more sketches of Austin.

Our purpose for the trip was for our friends' Bob and Maureen's 20th anniversary party at the Driskill Hotel. It was a lovely bash. This sketch is our gift to them.

Congress Street leads to the capitol building...

Troy and I walked from our hotel to the capitol building on Saturday. It was only in the 60s but so humid. I can only wonder what it is like when it is actually hot.

The Frost Bank Building AKA the Nose Hair Trimmer Building...
On Sunday, Troy and Bob hung out and I went to the South Congress Bridge to sketch. It had cooled down quite a bit and I got a bit chilled sketching. I should have brought my fingerless gloves...

My next post will have a couple pictures of the city (We also spent a bit of time shopping on South Congress street.) as well and a bit about the BBQ in Lockhart.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Woozy Frog

Definitely a picture in need of a story...
I have more Austin sketches to post, but I also finished this sketch over vacation. I have been working on it when my computer is restarting, crashing or causing me to wait. It is good therapy and better than throwing the computer against the wall.

I have been listening to a lot of Tolkien podcasts on The Tolkien Professor site while finishing The Fort on Fourth Street for Sylvan Dell. (Out Fall 2013!)

I discovered the podcast listening to Geeks Guide To the Galaxy, another podcast I highly recommend.

Anyway, after 30 or so hours of listening to Silmarillion discussion, fantasy is on the brain (in addition to the Fort on Fourth Street)...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Austin, Texas and an Ode to Grackles

The view from the patio of our hotel in Austin.
Our hotel was very clean, meticulously so. It was odd to me then when I went to sketch on their lovely patio, it was covered in Grackle droppings... I had to cover my chair in a towel as a protective barrier.

I was later informed by our friends that grackles are the bane of outdoor eating and patios and keeping areas "poo free" is very difficult.

I suspect that these are the birds that Hitchcock was depicting in his movie...

So I did this:

On the last evening of our vacation, we had another encounter. We went to see Django Unchained at the insistence of our friends at the Alamo Drafthouse. After, we got dinner at a Chili's at one of those fancy outdoor malls they have been building.

The trees were so covered in grackles that you could hear their calls in the car. Even to me, who is hard of hearing, they were loud. As we left, Troy had to dodge poop.

NOT an exaggeration...
It reminded me of Walton Ford's painting of carrier pigeons...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Little Bowie Interlude

Happy Birthday David Bowie! A quick sketch...
I have been trying to sketch a little here and there in my sketchbook as much as I can.

 This is a doodle of David Bowie. I think he looks more distinguished as he gets older.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Encyclopedia Britannica Kids TouchTAB Illustrations

From the Sensational Beginnings website
I did a selection of illustrations for this Encyclopedia Britannica Kids touchTAB toy and just found out they are available for purchase!

I illustrated the Mammals in the basic pack and the Ocean Life expansion pack.

It was a fun project! As usual, I had to illustrate some animals for the first time including the right whale.

I have a couple new animal projects on the horizon and am learning a lot about more animals I had no exposure to.

Expansion Pack!

Monday, January 7, 2013

More Characters from The Ultimate Sinister

The Sinister blows off a little steam in the library...
I actually did these a couple weeks ago but am posting them in honor of Downton Abbey. Season 3 premiered in the US last night.

I really think Shirley MacLaine needs a spin off show. She is a wonderful addition. I love the flashiness of her character design.

As promised, a character based on a chinchilla...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Little sketch done at my friend's New Year's Day brunch
Happy New Year! A lot of great things happened in 2012 and I am looking forward to a year with lots of cool art to work on!

Those who have kindly commented that they enjoy the sketches I post, thanks! You are all enablers to my addiction... But it is a good one right??!!

Actually, one of the benefits of sketching a lot is the general improvement of painting and drawing skills overall. I have a long way to go but I feel it helps me grow in expected and unexpected ways.