Friday, July 21, 2006

IllustrationFriday: Opposites


This sort of sighting is not unusual in our house. Our daughter has a couple dinosaur toys and enjoys them a lot. It almost looks funny to see this sweet little curleysue bringing along ugly, pokey dinosaurs to the store, but what is funnier is when I find a dinosaur mingled with her other feminine toys--the inspiration to this illustration.

Here’s a real picture of a scene she made with her dinosaurs one day--they're taking over the playground:

One really fun part of designing this illustration was the subtle design in the background color—here is a close-up: It has dinosaur-ish symbols on the doll’s side and girl-ish symbols on the dinosaur’s side!

Just for a laugh, here are more arrangements of toys I have discovered my daughter has left behind after she cleverly played with them, as she was between only 1 and ahalf to 2 yearsold: the one above was accidentally amusing: it looked like her pig pigged-out and then decided to lay down. (there's a cat in the bottomleft, just trying to nap in his bed)

StudioFriday: StudioSidekicks

My studio Sidekicks are my characters in my illustrations. Please view these kids Here ! ... Anyway, this little gal has been on my art desk for years: (it says "angel of genius in art") Although i've never supersticiously believed that's where my talent comes from! She is just a cute artdesk decoration. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, & a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. (phil 4:13 & 2tim 1:7) & In case you missed last week's SF post, I also have a parachuting monkey over my studio. :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

StudioFriday: ViewFromAbove

This "view from above" illustration is based on an old "Deep Thoughts of Jack Handey" that goes like this: "If you're an ant and you're walking across the top of a bowl of pudding, you probably have no idea that the only thing between you and certain disaster is the strength of that pudding skin." (Read more deep thoughts here). ...And here are two things that make up this illustration... 1. The pencil drawing, varied darker and to a red hue for more drama: &2. The textured shapes alone: Well I really like the look of that one without line. But for this, it is just too happy...there's just no dramatic feel to it without the red line. The line drawing is on a layer above the textured shapes layer, on "Multiply." By the way, the tight vertical format and the way things are set on diagonal are other tricks to communicate that there is a drama. (Cuz of the possibility that the ant could fall into this bowl of pudding--hence the quote above.) After I did this, I found that apparently this subject was kinda supposed to have something to do with my studio itself. So here is a photo of somebody who is hanging above my studio every day: it's a parachuting monkey

IllustrationFriday: Sacrifice

Although the word “sacrifice” means wonders to me, and I could think of it in various profound ways, (please click here for that “take” on it), I will remain focused on my pursuit of illustration for children’s markets as opposed to deep or abstract painterly-type art.

My solution to the word “sacrifice” involves a child offering one of his crayons to a girl who has broken hers. It can be hard for small children to learn to sacrifice….hey, isn’t it hard for us all? Let’s face it: we can all be very childish sometimes when it comes to putting others first—especially when it may leave us with a different color crayon we didn’t beforehand plan on coloring with.

Since I am taking these weekly projects as a chance to experiment, here is my process for this one: 1. the sketch/thumbnail: 2. the final drawing (which is placed on top of the colors/textures): 3. flat color added: 4. textures (scanned fabrics) replace the flat color--and hues or saturation are adjusted as you can see. Also is interesting how much the texture adds to the look of it all: 5. Finally, I offset the color from the line a little, and revealed some of the white I put underneath. This created even more interest and the white adds a sort of highlight too. Notice also I decided a green background matches better and pops out the important yellow crayons more. Also since the yellow was the same value as their skin, I made this green a darker hue) : 6. In case you were curious, here it is without the white edges: 7. By the way, before all this I experimented with a different and simpler style--to have a single color for a whole kid (I decided against this and also realized a kid's face should never be blue. Kinda creepy.) :

Sunday, July 16, 2006


When we are asked to think of the word "sacrifice," we generally either think "strange & bloody religious stuff," or "giving up something we want such as junkfood." And for those of us who have had a baby, we think of that new-parent way we’ve learned about sacrifice.

But for me to hear the word "sacrifice," it is one of the beautiful paradoxes of a life in Christ that this word speaks to me of joy through suffering.

God first forever touched my heart the day I learned of all Jesus sacrificed for me. The joy found in that gospel is the fact underlying it all that He counted it all joy to suffer because it was out of His great love for me and it was to fulfill every purpose. Sacrifice is not just to give something up. Sacrifice has to do with giving something up for another thing [or person] considered to be of greater value. And so when someone sacrifices something, they are willingly putting another before themselves. And when Jesus did this for us, it was without resentment and He was not wishing He didn’t have to do it.

Though we may pause for a moment to consider His sacrifice, it does not end there in the portrait of blood and sorrow—because He lives! The sacrifice was the beginning of, and the catalyst for, the life of abundance God calls us to have with Him. To say that is of course not to diminish the Passion of Christ, because it is only because of His death and resurrection that we can be made new and have that abundant life in unity with God through Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:5-11 reads:

“Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant, in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! Therefore God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Friday, July 07, 2006

Illustration Friday: Skyline

(click to view larger!) "Skyline" is this week's topic for IllustrationFriday. I always strive to design something further than the first things that come to mind... Tada! It's a line of things in the sky :)

Studio Friday: 7layers

(click to view larger) I am curious... is Strawberry Shortcake pretty much an American thing? Let me know by leaving a comment please :) This week's StudioFriday topic is "7-layer salad." Including the plate, this dessert is seven layers, and it is assembled with different layers of textures. My favorite media technique, these textures are scanned fabrics and I assemble them and adjust the hue/saturation/lightness in Photoshop. The line is a pencil drawing. And finally, I always love a matchup of typeface and image.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Studio Friday: Time

After I became a Mommy, time has become split into two categories: time spent on things I need to do, and time spent on things I want to do. And so for my less-often-but-more-precious freetime, I've learned to do the most important things first. What I've found to be the most important thing to do when I end up with freetime is to spend time with Jesus, letting Him renew me. In time spent drawing near to God, seeking His face and soaking in His Word, I have literally seen Him "take an ordinary day and turn it into flowers like the month of May"--as one Bethany Dillon song goes. He makes me new. He makes all things new. It's only in this time with God that we can be filled up again after the duties or worries of the day empty us out. So this quick drawing is my interpretation of my allowing the Lord, through His Word make me new, as the left side is a cold and dry place leading to the right side which is watered, warm and beautiful. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Every single day we have the choice: to choose life or death. "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live. That you may love the Lord your God and that you may obey His voice and that you may cleave unto Him for He is your life and length of your days." ~Deuteronomy 30:19 "Choose you this day whom you will serve;... As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." ~Joshua 24:15

Illustration Friday: Sticky

After trying to think of some kind of more unique way to illustrate the word "sticky," camping with my 4-yr old cousin reminded me of the stickiest thing I know: marshmallows!