Tag Archives: beasts

Fancy Goldfish are Fancy. Also, Sheep.

Maureen, A Goldfish
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

This is Maureen. She is best friends with a starfish named Dinky. This is my favorite ATC to date. I don’t know what happened, it just flowed. :)

Emilio, Another Goldfish
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Then, another fish. Emilio wanted to be a seahorse when he grew up. Once he learned it was never going to happen, his expression turned into a scowl which has been with him ever since. Much too heavy-handed compared to the first one. Must stick to the tiniest nibs. Arrrgh! But still happy with him.

Then, after Maureen and Emilio, I did several new cards that I was not happy with. I panicked a bit. Have you ever done something you really liked and then worried you would never do anything good again? Well, I did that. I mentioned it to Leigh of Colorfulleigh and she said the same thing happens to her. So, I guess it’s a thing that happens but we keep pushing forward. ;)

I seem to be doing lots of sheep. Here is another.

Blue Swirl Sheep, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Grant the blue sheep was born in Hawaii. But he is allergic to macadamia nuts. Speaking of nuts, I’ve gone a bit nutty with the white gel pen! I think it’s an interesting effect for this sheep, and I think it also repaired a few ugly spots, but I probably need to lay off the gel pen a bit. Or just practice more. I thought it would be cool to see all the sheep together:

Five Sheep ATCs, oh my! From left to right: Pinky Mae, Patrick O’Keefe, Deeba, Grant, Arwen

Thanks for visiting! I totally skipped an Illustration Friday but plan to do “Freeze” this week. Probably!

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Adventures in Color, More Copic ATCs

Orange Tapestry Sheep, 2.5″ x 3.5″
They call her Deeba because her wool is magically silky. She was born to normal Chokla sheep parents two days after a mysterious shaman passed through the village.

Earth Elemental Maiden, 2.5″ x 3.5″
This daughter of Gaia has a magical chameleon familiar who delivers messages and sometimes heals small animals.

Strange Chameleon Five, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics
Ari is a Wish Lizard. If you catch him (nicely), and know to feed him figs and dandelion, he will grant you a wish.

Strange Chameleon Four, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copic
Her name is Julie Goolie and she is an insect archeology hobbyist.

More Artist Trading cards for various trades at illustratedatcs.com (where my handle is CindyD). These are some of my favorites, though I do think I am still overworking them somewhat. I may need to do another pair of complementary chameleons so I can make a print with all four. But I’ve also got to finish more sheep and foxes and maidens. Oh my. Oh! And I’m up to ten on the 100 Maidens project.

I’ve included some progression pics below (though I’m not doing a whole set for each and every card). And now I must get to work on my “Bounce” entry, for Illustration Friday. Thanks so much for stopping in for a visit! I think I have a pretty good rate of visiting back – but I can only do that if you leave your address.

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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

Chameleon, Wombat, and Kettle in Copics

Strange Chameleon Two, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Edgar Wombat 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics



Perhaps you are shocked to see more ATCs. For those of us joining for the first time, I started doing Artist Trading Cards about three weeks ago, and I’ve done about 20 now. Which is crazy. And I must mention illustratedatcs.com again because they are to blame. I mean, to thank. :) (They also have a bigger site, atcsforall.com.)

The thing about tiny cards is: instant gratification, nearly instant satisfaction and practically instant feedback. Ah, internet, you have reduced our attention spans to approximately 45 seconds. But I will try to work with you.

Edgar the wombat is a huge fan of the movie My Neighbor Totoro. Wombats rock.

Gnome Portal Kettle 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Slideshows for all three! If anyone wants to see. Thank you so much for visiting. :)

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Chameleon photo reference, wombat photo reference.

Another Art Trading Card Post: Cat, Kingfisher, Dog


Purple Peach Peterbald Cat ATC, 2.5″ x 3.5″, Copics on Bristol

I finally decided I should document these tiny arts just like any other. Or, some of them at any rate. So here you have the latest three (I am most pleased with the Cat), with a slideshow for one of them. It’s funny to see them in a blog post. I’ve saved them at 5 inches and on my screen they are the exact size of the original. Still trying to decide whether to list them for trade or for sale in my Etsy shop.

Green Crested Kingfisher ATC, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics on Bristol

Orange Barclay, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics on Bristol

Barclay the dog got a bit overworked, and the lighter background was probably a better choice. I thought about leaving him out  but this blog was not intended as a best-of production. (For one thing, way fewer posts!) Both the cat and dog could use whiskers and I just got a new Uni-ball Signo white gel pen, which came out on top after rigorous testing at ArtTrader magazine. I skipped the whiskers for now but I did use it on their eyes to good effect.

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Three Beastly ATCs – Llama, Horse, Sheep

Fuzzy Green Llama ATC, Copic Markers


This evening I was inspired to complete some Artist Trading Cards because I have joined a new community called  IllustratedATCs and it is all about trading art by mail. They do lots of stuff besides the ATCs, like moleskin journal swaps and inchies and twinchies and holy cow, tons of stuff. They have provided a helpful list of definitions (thank goodness).

I think I saw their link initially through someone at Illustration Friday, but I don’t remember! You have to apply and whoa, there are some seriously cool (and many professional) artists there. I got accepted (it takes 3-4 days), but then I was instantly intimidated. Super nice folks so far, though.  They have another site called ATCs for All where there is no application and everyone is welcome to join.

Horse with Blue Swirl Sky ATC, Copic Markers

I am pretty happy with all three, though the horse in particular is sort of caught between cartoonish and realistic as if I could not choose which way to go. I really like the blue sky on that one, achieved with the help of a Masquepen.

Pink Orange Sheep ATC, Copic Markers


Both the llama and sheep were done on top of light-colored swirly backgrounds also done using a Masquepen. I worked on all of them over the course of a few hours, doing some reading and IF visiting in between.

Thanks so much to everyone who visits! All comments welcome, of course. (Except spam.)

Llama reference

Horse reference

Sheep reference


No Room at the Couch Part II, Copic Markers

Cow, Donkey, Cat, Dog, Shrew with Couch in Copics 8 x 10

The topic is “Nursery Rhyme” for Monday Artday. Until I looked it up just now to link it, I was sure it was “Fairytale”, so that will explain what comes next. (There could very well be a nursery rhyme about this story and I hope Mike at Monday Artday will be ok with that.) :D

McCalls Books, The Enchanted Princess & The House in the Forest

I wanted to do another pile of animals and I remembered a story called “The House in the Forest“, which was part of McCall’s Storytime Treasury series. Do you remember those? (It goes back to the 70s! But maybe you got some hand-me downs. Ours went to a second cousin. I may have to reacquire some.)

In any case, though I could not find a summary of the story (and my memory is a bit hazy), it was about a girl who lived in a house in the forest with all her animals. One night a magical guest disguised as a beggar came to test her, to see if she would feed herself before she fed her animals. She had a cow, a dog, a cat, a donkey… I think! She almost certainly did not have an elephant shrew in the original (but clearly should have). I don’t know if she had such a fancy couch. Probably not. I’m not sure there was any delivery service for one thing, and she wouldn’t have been able to afford it if so.

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Thank you for visiting! This is my second consecutive couch full of creatures. I was actually going to do these all in blue but decided on browns and I think blue would have been better. I also considered some fancy detail on the couch but worried that would take the focus off the critters. More outlandish experiments coming soon.

Cow face reference photo, sleeping cat reference.

No Room at the Couch, for Illustration Friday

No Room at the Couch, 8×10 Pencil Sketch for Illustration Friday

Marcelo, a large hound with the patience of, well, an extremely well-behaved dog, could never get a spot to himself anymore. When the stray cat came and shortly after, the kingfisher, he begrudgingly helped them settle in. And then the meerkat showed up, and he likes to argue – particularly with the llama, who simply waltzed in one day and made himself at home. By the time the koala showed up, Marcelo was resigned to living in a zoo. The bunny is the most recent addition, found by the cat as he was limping around the garden with an infected ear.

If you ask Marcelo, he will tell you they are rude, unruly and troublesome. But they all love him and call him “Poppa”. And he’s just a big softy, after all.

Holy cow, no color! Actually, I am so pleased with this sketch that I am scared to ink it. I will probably do it soon, I just didn’t want to rush it.

The word is “Space” at Illustration Friday. (Apologies for the muddy scans below. I spent some time cleaning up the final but not the others.)

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Thanks for coming over! Have a great week!

Animal reference photos:

Koala, Great Dane Cleo, Russian Blue Amanda, Llama by Rusinka, Blue-banded Kingfisher.

Kingfisher and Mouse Deer, Copic Markers

Kingfisher and Mouse Deer, 8×10 with Copic Markers and Multiliners

This is a kingfisher named James who allowed the king thing to go to his head a bit. You may be asking yourself how he got a notoriously shy mouse deer to act as steed. Well, it’s actually a cardboard stand-up with metal supports for James’ weight.  He has another in the shape of a French bulldog. And the crown? Belonged to a doll named Emperor Imperious. Oops! I meant “action figure”. Don’t tell him I told you.

I originally started the mouse deer (not to be confused with a deer mouse!) a week or so ago. But her legs were too short and she was too close to the bottom of the illustration board I was using. Then a couple days ago I thought about what I might add and this kingfisher seemed like a fine candidate.

I think I like the sketch a bit better than the color version – probably because I didn’t plan the color very well. Ah well, back to the drawing board!

Kingfisher and Mouse Deer, Pencil

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Thanks for visiting!

Mouse deer reference. Kingfisher reference.

Mole Dee for Monday Artday, in Copics

A Mole Named Dee in Copic Markers with digital text

You may have seen the shy tarsier named Nee in my last post, for the topic “Shiny” at Illustration Friday. And now, a mole named Dee for the topic “Moldy” at Monday Artday. Perhaps you sense a trend? Time will tell!

She was halfway out of her den before stopping for a breath, and also to rethink her evening plans. Yes, it would be nice to visit her sister Dinky for grubs and gossip about that new family of field mice. But Dinky had insisted on moving so far away, and only eighty percent of the route was reachable by tunnel.  After a moment’s more thought she turned and went back inside. A nap sounded mighty fine.

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I think I went too dark overall, from fussing with it too long. Wasn’t happy with the colors though they ended up not too bad. She’s also a tad lumpier than needed. Aaah!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Reference photo from the University of Zurich; font is Ugly Qua.