Tag Archives: steampunk

Whole Lotta Fancy, Ink and Pencil

Emily the Munitions Expert and Mara with Veil
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

A couple ATCs for the week. Work has been busier than ever. Ugh! But as long as I can get a few pieces done in the evenings, I can muddle through.

Very Fancy Antelope
5″ x 7″ Staedtler Mars 2H pencil

This is more pencil than I usually do. Can’t decide whether to ink it. Or maybe get colored pencils? But I don’t think I like colored pencils. So I can’t decide!

Thanks for stopping in! Progress pics!

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Sir Valance Surveillance for Illustration Friday

Sir Valance Surveillance
5″ x 7″, Copic Markers, Micron & Prismacolor fine liners

Made for the Illustration Friday topic “Surveillance”. So I was just going to do a dapper fellow called Sir Valance who liked valances. But Bert thought I should make him standing behind the valance, and then I thought it should be an ad for his detective agency. I thought the idea was too complicated and I didn’t think I’d be able to illustrate it.  But then I did. Which is very satisfying. (And the result of  a lot of practice. Tons. If you wondered.) ;)

Murmak Cogwrench ATC
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, Microns, gel pen

And this is an art card for a “People of Planet X” swap, which is third in a series after People of the Forest and People of the Sea (see previous posts)! I tried to get some vital statistics so I could introduce this fellow, but the universal communicator reverted to ones and zeroes and I wasn’t able to fix it in time for this post.

Thanks for visiting! Progress pics below. Questions and comments always welcome!

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Exercises in Unknown Styles: Clarke, Bilal, Gauguin

After Harry Clarke ATC
2.5″ x 3.5″ Micron Pens

I was recently involved in an art card swap with the theme “favorite artists”. The other members of the group pick their favorite, and the others make a card in that style. (I chose Daniela Volpari, who is a contemporary artist I happened to find on Etsy. I haven’t gotten my cards back from the other folks or I’d show ya how they turned out!)

The card above is based on a part of this Harry Clarke illustration. I took some liberties with some of the patterns but for the most part I copied the original. Usually I am no fan of copying! In fact, when I was in high school I refused to copy another artist, famous or otherwise, for any assignment. But I can definitely see the value in this type of exercise where you are forced to go outside your comfort zone.

Style of Enki Bilal ATC
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, Microns, Signo Uniball gel pen

The next card was based on this Enki Bilal illustration. Tragically, mine looks quite a bit more like markers than I’d like – despite it’s actually being markers. Didn’t quite get there, but I did get closer than expected. ;)

Style of Paul Gauguin
2.5″ x 3.5″, Copics, Microns

I must say I was most pleased with this one, though I would not call Paul Gauguin one of my favorite artists. Again it was my intention to copy his painting, but it does not really look like the original, shown here. But I really appreciate how painterly it is, and how different than my normal style. In fact, I had to convince someone close that I’d actually made it!

Steampunk Geisha
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, Microns, gel pen

And finally, here is a crazy mash-up maiden, a steampunk geisha. She is Maiden Number 94, and was made for a trade.

Thanks for stopping in! I didn’t do progress scans for all of these, but I did for a couple!

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A Story That Was

This is a story I wrote once about two roommates and their cat.  [Technically not a story at all. Would not even qualify as a short short. But that’s ok.] These are the two roommates:

Dean, a steampunk goat and Chaz, a steampunk llama
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ pen and ink, circa approximately October 2011


Dean starting inventing eyepieces in seventh grade. The first had a rudimentary long-focus device which he made in order to better see Eliza, a popular and adorable Nubian, across the playground. Yes, of course they had a playground in seventh grade. These are farmyard type creatures, after all. Need their sunshine. Just like people actually, but that’s another story, isn’t it?

It is many years later now, and in that funny way life has of going in circles, Dean and Eliza are now dating. She doesn’t even remember him from seventh grade. Which he couldn’t be happier about.

Dean is also Chaz’s roommate (Chaz is an inventor and a llama). They have a blue and green cat named Phil who has about as much interest in their inventions as he has in other cats, which is to say, absolutely none.


Chaz the blue llama is an inventor, first. The bird shaped device he is wearing over one eye is made of leather, brass and various metals. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, he is particularly proud of the tiny wing fashioned from an orange washer. The mechanism, with a cable connected to a power source in his front pocket, has both long-focus and enhanced night vision capabilities.

And this is the cat:

Phil the Cat
2.5″ x 3.5″ Art Card, pen and ink


This is Phil, a serious, colorful cat with one green eye and one golden eye . He lives with a llama (Chaz) and a goat (Dean). Phil is interested in tin foil and the mythology of the cat goddess Bast. Phil’s theory is that Bast was a space traveler whose ship experienced a major electrical malfunction that not only forced her landing in the Nile Valley, but caused her to bestow upon humans the scientific advances that she intended to give to cats.

Phil does not like other cats, believing they squander their superior intellect in the misguided pursuit of the perfect sun spot.

I was going through some older Etsy sales recently (in the case of Dean, above  – October 2012) and ran across my little tale about Dan, the steampunk goat, and Chaz, a steampunk llama. And their cat, Phil. And I realized I had forgotten it. So part of the reason for this post is to remember! But I thought you might like to read it, too.

Thanks for reading this far! You’re the best. ;)


Whiskered Tinkerer Dog for Illustration Friday

Jasper the Tinkerer
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

For “Whiskers” at Illustration Friday, a rather late entry!

Jasper has always been a tinkerer. As a youngster he fashioned a rudimentary mechanical ball thrower so Felicia, his younger sister, would give him a few moments peace. It only threw three balls before jamming, but his fifth prototype several years later would regularly work for a full thirty-two minutes. He moved on to snack-delivery devices after that -snacks being the primary canine motivator. He won’t show anyone yet, but I think that device beside him is one end of a conveyor belt.

I’m not actually sure that the whiskers are working here. I used a white prismacolor pencil because the gel pen leaves too thick a line. I think these whiskers are too long, but it is a whiskers experiment for a whiskers topic.

So as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been making lots of art for secret santa swaps. It is fun and I can’t wait until things arrive at their destinations. But it has also harshed my blogging vibe because I can’t post any of it. (But I will later!) Here is one card that didn’t make it into a box:

Celestina Calavera
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Celestina is a Day of the Dead Calavera girl, similar to ones I posted a few weeks back. Many of the ATC folks do really elaborate and realistic ones which are super cool. Mine are more cartoonish (and the hair highlights are funky) but they are very fun!

Thanks for stopping in! I hope to get back to regular posting again.

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Steampunk Maiden and Christmas Cat

Georgie Gears ATC
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Despite being raised with six brothers, Georgie was always the one their father came to for help with the family tractor. No one was surprised when she went on to found her own airship engineering company. Reference photo.

Made for a steampunk swap at illustratedatcs.com. I am very pleased with the style of this one. On the one hand it’s a rather typical “pretty girl” image. But I think she has some charm and personality. And I’m sure my 100 Maidens Project made a difference. I recommend these projects – repeated practice with a particular subject.

Nikolas the Christmas Cat
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Nikolas wasn’t always a Christmas cat. At ten months old he ate some tinsel and that soured him on the whole subject for several years. But then he found his person – a woman named Lizzie living firmly in the spirit of Christmas six months of the year – so Nikolas gave it another shot. It was much better the second time. Made for a trade at illustratedatcs.com.

It’s very odd the number of cats and sheep I have been doing! I am a dog person. But I’ve gotten the most trade requests for cats and sheep, so I’ve gotten a bit quicker at them. But it’s still several hours each. Or more.

I’m going to try my hand at glass tile pendants with prints of my images, and these two are on the list. We’ll see how it goes! Thanks for dropping in!

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Steampunk and Fantasy ATCs, Tales Included

Geoffrey Teeth and Lilah Steampunk, Artist Trading Cards
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″, Copics, fine liners and white gel pen on smooth bristol board.

Because of a cleverly designed spring mechanism in his lower jaw, Geoffrey’s mouth can open and close in speech every once in a while. Because the motor takes so long to re-charge, he makes sure to save it for something important. The last time, several days earlier, produced the cryptic phrase, “Toads cannot move roads.” Made for Robots, Rocketry and Rayguns swap at atcsforall.com but I had to keep him.

Lilah is an adventure girl. She was raised among wild animals by a rural physician and his military-trained wife. As a result, she can fly most small planes and stalk unseen through dense undergrowth. She can also set a broken leg and makes very neat stitches. If needed. Made for a Steampunk swap at illustratedatcs.com.

Roland One Eye, 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATC
Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

A veteran engineer of the Mechanical Horse Wars, Roland disappeared from city life for many years. But when a second generation of the Merrano Gang started causing trouble in New Chicago, Roland was reluctantly pulled from a quiet retirement.

Floria the Fey Queen and The Dogfaerie Queen
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Floria the Fey Queen was the result of a forbidden union between a Valkyrie and a rare tree spirit. Hers is the final word on all matters of justice and death in the Wonder Woods.

The DogFaerie Queen was the first of her kind, created by a mad wizard’s experiment. He made four more before his death, and from these five all the others came. Nobody remembers her name. Only that she outlived the rest of the original pack by three generations. Both made for Winged Queens swap at illustratedatcs.com.

Lots of stuff outside my comfort zone but surprisingly pleased with the outcomes. Which is nice. Because that is hardly always the case! Thank you very much for stopping by! I am still looking into issues with my email subscriptions. Arrrgh.

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Steampunk Elephant with Cat, Copics

Steampunk Elephant with Cat, 8.5″ x 11″ Copics with digital background

The topic is “Carry” at Illustration Friday. Another blue cat, this time a lovely creature called Delilah. As the eldest daughter, she will be inheriting the ancient elephant vehicle and the title Elephant Princess when her mother retires. She is both excited by, and dreading, the entire affair. Excited by the thought of riding the elephant in the parades, but dreading the procession of merchant cats and their tedious complaints about one another.

So glad I stopped before filling in the cat, because I think she makes a nice contrast with the very busy elephant. A bit too heavy on the outlines, but overall I think the steampunk elephant makes a worthy companion to the Cat Ship and Llama Genie Airship.

And one more thing. I’ve been listening to a great podcast while doing art over the last few weeks. It’s called The Dork Forest and is the podcast of comedian Jackie Kashian. She  talks to other comics and comic book people and movie people and loads of others about whatever it is they are really enthusiastic about. Very entertaining.  If you need a new thing, go see! Thanks for visiting!

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Elephant photo reference;  Siamese Cat Hybrid photo reference

Steampunk Wombat and Cat, Copic Markers

Steampunk Wombat and Peterbald Cat, Copic Markers 8.5 x 11

I wasn’t sure whether to call him Steampunk Wombat or Aviator Wombat. He has asked me repeatedly to simply call him Taz, his given name. (Actually, I wasn’t sure if I should even call him a wombat, since his appearance has strayed somewhat from species norms. But that’s ok.) Along with Taz today is his good friend Hastings, a reserved yet wily cat.

Because my last post’s piece suffered in the sketch stage, I have included some extra sketches. Here goes:

Steampunk Wombat Sketch 1

Mostly wombat shaped. Reference is an un-attributed photo on this page, which must be Australia’s version of the Franklin Mint.

Steampunk Wombat Sketch 2

A much-needed friend (adding interest to the composition, hooray!) Reference is Sir Mauri Vilendor, hailing from a Lithuanian Cattery. (Ah internet, what wonders you still hold!)

Steampunk Wombat Sketch 3

Now that’s a sketch. I decided against an ocular device obscuring one of the wombat’s eyes, and I didn’t leave enough room for a dandy-ish Victorian scarf or suit, so I went with aviator-ish goggles and a curious yet stylish pipe. Very happy with this sketch, I must say. Slowing down at the sketch phase = good. It also means the sketching takes all of one evening, leaving the rest for a subsequent evening.

Of course it also suggests that taking more days for sketching might be better still, but I must work up my patience slowly.

Steampunk Wombat Initial Ink

Recently I’ve been doing an initial ink in a color other than black. They smudge less when erasing pencil lines, for one thing! But they are also somewhat less final.

Steampunk Wombat Masquepen

Steampunk Wombat Color 1

Steampunk Wombat Color 2

Steampunk Wombat Color 3


Steampunk Wombat and Peterbald Cat

The background is white because I could not decide on a color. Probably peach or something dark. I did some digital backgrounds to test.

Aviator Wombat and Peterbald Cat Peach

Aviator Wombat and Peterbald Cat Purple

Leave it white? Any preference?

Oh also, new banner! Thank you so much for dropping in.


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!