Tag Archives: liquid frisket

An IF Misfire, and Lessons Learned

Jumping Colt in Copic Markers with Digital Sky

For a day and a half I was stumped over Jump, the Illustration Friday topic for this week. Things I considered: kangaroo, jerboa, jackrabbit, dog with frisbee, cavorting goat/colt/donkey/alpaca, leaping cat or bighorn sheep, lemmings jumping onto a bouncy castle. Jump starting an airship. Though I am posting this pony, I do not consider it a successful execution of the IF topic.

So why post it? Did I learn some things that might be useful to someone else? I hope so! And I will also say I don’t think it’s all bad, sort of a pony and pattern study. I like the flowers. I am going to post just a few progress pics and talk a bit about where I think I went wrong.

New Forest Pony

This is the extremely adorable photo I finally settled on. It comes from Northern New Forest Ponies of Western Yorkshire. I didn’t have much of a plan beyond drawing him. I thought I would figure out what he was jumping over later. This was a mistake!


Jumping Colt Ink 1

So here he is, cute enough, but not very interesting for an illustration. I was already inking before I decided what would go in the background (or the foreground, for that matter). And the horizon line was a mistake to include without knowing what else would be added.

I think the lesson of this enterprise is that one cannot expect wonderful things all the time if one does not plan ahead, and for me that means the sketching stage. Sure, sometimes things go GREAT with very little planning, but I suggest this is the exception rather than the rule.

Jumping Colt Masquepen

Flowers were added, but they look a bit like an afterthought because well, they were a bit of an afterthought.

Jumping Colt Color 1

Should have left him blue. Arrgh!

Jumping Colt Copic Markers

Jumping Colt Copic Markers, Digital Sky

I went with a digital sky this time because I didn’t want to spend any more time on it. I may yet add a Copic sky if I put the original in my Etsy shop, otherwise I will move on to the next thing.

And speaking of the next thing, and because I thought I should add a successful enterprise along with this unsuccessful IF entry, here is a green puppy ACEO (2.5″ x 3.5″ art card), that I also did this week. I must admit I think he is terribly cute. And I think that is a good way to end this post!

Green Puppy ACEO, Copic Markers and Multiliner

Thank you for stopping by! And thanks to everyone for their super nice comments lately, I really appreciate every one!

Tiny Things for Monday Artday, with Copic Markers

Tiny Things for Monday Artday, 9 x 6 Copic Markers

Tiny Things Close-up

I wanted to put this post off just a little longer in case someone hadn’t seen the Llama Genie Airship advertisement. I thought the Cat Ship was my favorite thing but now it’s the Llama Genie Airship.

So here is my “Tiny Things” entry for Monday Artday. It has dovetailed nicely with a recent fascination: hand-drawn sneakers. I swear the Illustration Friday topic “Heights” included many entries with sneakers. And I think I commented on neat sneakers in at least 5 of them –  red sneakers,  black and white sneakers, old-fashioned ones, and others – if I commented on your sneakers let me know and I will add it to this list!

So, one brightly-colored sneaker for scale.  And one flower pot treehouse, perhaps for a pixie. Or a sprite. Or a small shrew. In and around the treehouse you will find many tiny things: a tiny rope ladder and treehouse door, a tiny reading nook, a tiny table and tiny tea set,  a tiny rooftop garden, and a tiny red cat. (I may update this image with some kind of text in the empty space above the sneaker, but nothing obvious has presented itself.)

And now, the pics:

Tiny Things Sketch1

Tiny Things Sketch2

Tiny Things Ink

Tiny Things Frisket

Tiny Things Color 1

Tiny Things Color 2

Tiny Things, 9" x 6" Copic Markers

Thanks for having a peek!

Llama Genie Air for Illustration Friday

Llama Genie Air Advertisement, Copics with digital text & background

The topic is “Heights” at Illustration Friday. Though it wasn’t a conscience decision, this marks the second in a series of ancient vessels, the first being a Cat Ship for Monday Artday. I am a big fan of the Cat Ship and it is one of my favorite recent things.

I knew I wanted to drawn an airship. Then the traveling section turned into a genie’s lamp. Then the genie airship needed a company mascot, so I figured a genie, and it had been at least three posts since the last llama. (It’s weird because dogs are actually my favorite but I’ve been doing lots of llamas so perhaps there is a comfort factor.) I included a couple extra sketches, in case it might be of interest to someone:

Llama Genie Air sketch

Llama Genie Air sketch2

Llama Genie Air sketch3

Llama Genie Air ink

Llama Genie Air color1

Llama Genie Air color2

Llama Genie Air color3

Llama Genie Air Ad, 8.5" x 11" Illustration

The fonts are Penshurst and Quaver Sans. One of these days I may try my hand at handwritten text. But not quite yet!

Also yes, I have resorted to the digital cloud effect again! I am a big fan of this color combination. And I am happy not to “waste” my Copics on the whole background. But I have very mixed feelings on a digital versus Copic background. To tell the truth, it makes me sad that such a lovely background can be done with a few mouse clicks in like, a minute. Anyone with their free copy of  paint. NET could do an almost identical texture in under sixty seconds. A Copic background would take an hour or two, maybe more. And it would not be as easy to replicate. Ah well, I doubt the history of man has seen many Llama Genie Airships. So that’s something. Thanks for visiting!

Cat Ship for Monday Artday

Flagship Nepeta Cataria, Copics with Digital Background

And so it was at Monday Artday that the bi-weekly word was “Flood”. I thought I would do a ship prepared for a flood. And then I started murmuring “cat ship” under my breath. And it sounded like catsup (also ketchup), but I did not care. I was going to put a crew of dogs on the cat ship, but in the end of course it was a cat ship. For cats, man.

It started with a cat.

Cat Sketch for Cat Ship

I did look at many cat and ship photos, but used no particular photo extensively. Along the way, these happened:

Cat Ship Sketches 2 & 3

Cat Ship Inked, Cat Ship Frisket

Cat Ship Progress, 3 & 4

Cat Ship Progress, 5 & 6

I could have stopped here. I thought about it. I’m not sure I have a handle yet on when to stop adding stuff. I think this is a common problem among artists, even ones much more experienced than me (of which there are many)! This may suggest I need to do some minimalist type beasts. (Perhaps a platypus, as suggested by Gay McKinnon!) Who knows what might happen!

Cat Ship Color, 7 & 8

I messed around with a lot of backgrounds before settling on, uh, more digital clouds. I need a new bag of tricks! Or maybe just one new trick. No, actually I am really pleased with the texture and color of the clouds in the final version. But I am a tad irritated they are digital and not Copic. Alas! I hope you enjoyed your tidbit of ancient cat history. Thank you so much for taking a peek!

Shouting Fox for “Vocal” at Illustration Friday

Shouting Fox, 8x10 Pen and Ink

Illustration Friday again! Hooray! This week the topic is “Vocal”. A couple more incarnations (in chronological order!):

Fortunately all three of these great quotes include the “AAAAAHHH” that makes it work with the wide open mouth.

When I read the topic for this week, I thought I would search yawning animal photos for ones that looked like they could be shouting. That led me to this great specimen:

The Ninety Degree Yawn by Andrew Salveson

Which led to these:

Shouting Fox Sketch

Shouting Fox Ink


Shouting Fox Frisket

Shouting Fox Color 2

Shouting Fox Color 3

Shouting Fox Color 4

I deliberately left a much finer outline than my normal, because I am usually too heavy on the outline. In this case instead of the 3.0 I probably could have gone with a 5.0 multiliner, but I decided to stop here. Of course the frame and text are digital, and the rest is Copic markers, multiliners and Micron fine liners. The font is Bolton Light.

Thank you for stopping in!

Re-Imagined Album Cover, Asia in Copic Markers

Re-Imagined Asia Cover, Copic Markers

It’s Re-Imagined Album Covers over at Monday Artday. My first thought was artist Roger Dean, because I like his strange creatures and alien landscapes, and I knew he’d done a boatload of album covers. I settled on this, Asia’s self-titled debut album, so I could do my first sea serpent. Thank you, Roger Dean!

Side by Side Asia Covers, Roger Dean and Cindy Dauer

I stopped short of a handmade font because I haven’t done many and I didn’t want to muck it up. I could have done it on a separate sheet but I felt like I’d taken this project as far as I was going to take it. The frame and font (Carmenta) were added digitally.

His name is Horace. If you want to know why he looks mildly irritated, it’s because the damn sea urchins get all camouflaged against the sea floor, and tickle poor Horace as he swims past. This usually causes him to shoot straight up out of the water and amuses the urchins very much. By the time he hits the top of the water he is no longer surprised, merely annoyed about forgetting to avoid the sea urchin bed again. I can’t give you any information about Roger Dean’s serpent, however. That one is a mystery.

And here’s how it went:

Re-Imagined Asia, Sketch

Re-Imagined Asia, Ink

Re-Imagined Asia, Frisket 1

Re-Imagined Asia, Color 2

Re-Imagined Asia, Color 3

I was really worried about the colors at this point. Too many colors! And the red planet idea was not so good. But it worked out.

Re-Imagined Asia, Detail 4

Re-Imagined Asia, Detail 5

Re-Imagined Asia Cover, Copic Markers

I wasn’t quite happy with the sky, or the planets, but decided to put down the pens at this point. I am pretty happy with doing something a bit outside my usual style. Not a ton outside, but a little. Thank you for visiting!


A Flock of Misfits for Illustration Friday

Flock of Misfits, Copic Markers with Digital Help

She worries over them all, her adopted family. Sometimes they stay just a little while. Some, like Vicente the sleepy fellow to her right (and her common law spouse), have been together since the beginning. Some say Mariella is the oldest bird living. Others say she is immortal. Only one thing is certain: she’ll never tell.

The topic is “Return” for Illustration Friday. I like the idea of a misfit family of birds, though I am not happy with the execution. You’ll see in the progress pics below that the original background had a friskety swirl like many of my recent entries. But the color was too close in tone to the birds, and though I started to darken it, I kept smudging the black ink so I decided to repair the background by replacing it with some digital clouds (one of my few Paint.NET skills!)

And here’s how it went:

Flock of Misfits Sketch

Flock of Misfits Frisket

Flock of Misfits Color 2

Flock of Misfits Color 3

Flock of Misfits for IF Return

Flock of Misfits with Digital Background

I think I have decided I like my illustrations best where I’ve referenced a photo, even if I only use it for the initial sketch. Though I like many of these silly birds, the tallest one didn’t work out quite right and some of the others might have benefited from just a bit of photographic inspiration. Live and learn and all that!

[On the off chance some of you wonder their names: Top row: Jodi, Podi, Bodi, Kodi (sometimes grumpy). Branch 2: Moppet (sometimes ornery), Braenwyn, Quoc, Afri (top), Bobek. Bottom left: Mariella, Vicente, Radhika (the sweet Auntie, everyone’s favorite), Deva. Right branch: Tiki, Fatima.] The font is Gisha.

Thank you as always for visiting! Brutal critiques (within reason) welcome!


Stork and Chameleon for Illustration Friday

Stork and Chameleon 8x10 Copic Markers

She rather liked the company, if you want to know the truth. Other storks were so… tiresome, always talking about the latest bugs they ate, always trying to outdo each other. Lucille preferred to spend her days hunting for snacks and shiny objects in a plodding, unhurried manner. The chameleon was welcome to tag along, even if she had to pretend he wasn’t. In her mind she named him Douglas.

Swamp is the word at Illustration Friday. I believe I have veered somewhat from my normally goofy characters, though I suppose making them pink and purple helps. Considered adding leaves or plants, or some flying bugs, but didn’t want to busy it up too much. I am pretty pleased about the wood stork. Inspirational photo came from For the Love of Florida photography blog (last updated 2008!). Undecided about the color scheme. I was going to do a blue swamp, with only shades of blue, and you can see how that worked out.

And now, progress pics! By next time I may have figured out how to post a slideshow, which I think is a cooler way to view progress pics. No plans on videos though. But then again, I don’t own a cell phone. (Unless you count the pay-as-you-go one that has been sitting unused for eight months because I can’t be bothered to look up the code for adding minutes.)

Stork and Chameleon Sketch

Stork and Chameleon Ink

Stork and Chameleon Color 1

I thought this was pretty cool and I tried to decide whether to leave the trees or the animals white. But then I couldn’t do it. Arrgh!

Stork and Chameleon Color 2

(The eeek, why did I pick these colors stage!)

Stork and Chameleon Color 3

Stork and Chameleon Detail 1

Stork and Chameleon Detail 2

Thanks so much for visiting!

Miscalculation Leads to Llama-Cat, Copic Markers

Miscalculation Leads to Llama Cat, 8×10 Copic Markers

Miscalculation, for my second Monday Artday submission. My main regret with this is that I didn’t take the time to create some eye contact or other communication between Figgy and the Llama-Cat. Also, maybe there should be some indication of magic at the end of the wand. (I added some silly sparks digitally in a version at the end of this post.)

Figgy was captured here in a bit of a state of shock right after the event. You might expect the same of the Llama-Cat, but she didn’t seem very bothered. Of course it’s several months since the events pictured above, and the two are (usually) great friends, sharing a love of buttered croissants. Also repeated viewings of Milo and Otis.

Many work in progress pics:

Llama Cat Sketch


Llama Cat Ink

Llama Cat Color 1

Instead of my usual swirls, I kept the masquepen down the whole time and did messier swirls. I don’t love it as much as the kind with the curly-q ends but I am trying to expand my toolkit!

Llama Cat Color 2

Yes, this is the point where I say yack! These colors are not working! Mainly the clownish blue and green stripes on the robe. But I have learned to stay the course through these stages.

Llama Cat Color 3

Llama Cat Detail 1

Llama Cat Detail 2

Llama Cat Detail 3

Llama-Cat with Digital Sparks!

This was fun. More full figures (rather than heads only), a different color palette (for me), and some general silliness. Thanks for dropping in!

Umbrella for Monday Artday with Copic Markers

Artemis Umbrella, 9" x 6" with Copic Markers

My first challenge for Monday Artday! The challenge: “Umbrella”. An interesting creature Artemis, and I do love the flowing locks of an Afghan Hound! But I wish I’d used a larger piece of Canson 150 lb. Fanboy Drawing Pad. See, I haven’t found smaller than a 9×12 pad and my scanner only does 8.5×11, so I have to choose between not scanning, cutting the paper down slightly and wasting the edges, or cutting it in half and doing two 9×12’s.

I have been doing Illustration Friday since October 23rd, 2011, and I could not love it more (I missed a few, as to be expected). Well actually, I could love it more if spammers didn’t link there but otherwise, it is such a great thing I can hardly stand it and I cannot thank Penelope Dullaghan enough for creating it.

However, in my continuing quest to DO LOTS OF ART, I have been looking for another challenge in case I need a content nudge between each IF topic (as my goal is 2-3 new art posts per week). With all my bouncing around to the hundreds of artists at IF and their favorite links, I ran across Monday Artday a few times, and finally took the plunge.

In any case, here are some Artemis Umbrella progress shots:

Artemis Umbrella, progress sketch & frisket

Artemis Umbrella, color 1 and 2

Artemis Umbrella, 9" x 6" Copic Markers

Some things I like (she was too small to go overboard with detailing), and some less so (her right arm is odd and the angle of the umbrella/parasol is off and the cropping is not ideal). But otherwise not too bad. I didn’t mess with the background after peeling the frisket. Oh! I used a masquepen recommended by Mardi Speth and holy cow, so much better than a brush or other struggle. Thank you, Mardi!

Thanks for stopping by! (Tactful) criticism always welcome!