Tag Archives: liquid frisket

Milliner Maiden for Illustration Friday

Milliner Maiden, 9″ x 6″ Copics, fine liners on smooth Bristol

Those very fortunate, and very few, who get to meet the legendary Marta the Milliner are imbued with a mystical power of millinery and a haunting habit of haberdashery. Serious hats, is what I’m saying. This is maiden number nineteen.

For the topic “Tall” at Illustration Friday.

I have been saying for ages I wanted to do a cityscape or streetscape of some sort. Also, I like hats. So this is what happened! I still need to do lots more maidens to get the face just right. Or at least more interesting. Also had a few muddying issues. AND the background is a lovely gradation into peach but the lightest colors are always rough to perfect when scanning and then bumping up the contrast. (Any suggestions appreciated!) Thank you so much for visiting!

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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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Maidens and Foxes in Copics, Oh My!

Water Elemental Maiden Voda, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Fire Elemental Maiden, The Flame Queen, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Air Elemental Maiden, Whisper the Wind Walker, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Elemental Maidens for the Elementals swap at illustratedatcs.com. Haven’t quite worked out “Earth” yet. Tree Nymph or Rock Golem? Mix of the two? Hm.

That makes eight maidens complete for the 100 Maidens Project. Not quite impressive yet, but working on it. The excellent artist Richard Ewing at Visual Cogitations has recently suggested I add bodies to these maidens. To which I say, “One step at a time, sir!” (Check again about number 40.)

And next, a pair of red foxes, made by request for trades. I think I can do better and I expect to, because foxes are seriously popular and more have been requested! The smaller fellow is Sydney, a rare non-mischievous fox. While the other foxes steal things, Sydney naps. But then he will sing to them for a share of the loot.

Red Fox One, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Chelsea is the second fox. She was raised with cats and thinks she is a cat. Except that whole tree climbing thing. And dang, has she tried! (She climbs trees better than other foxes, at any rate.)  Reference photo.

Red Fox Two, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Thanks for visiting! I hope you aren’t sick of the tiny art cards yet!

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100 Maidens Project and Illustration Friday

Celestial Maiden Fara, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Celestial Maiden Deia, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics


The topic this week at Illustration Friday is “Lonely” and there are few lonelier than the Celestial Maidens. Whether walking the stars or talking to planets, they walk the heavens and rarely meet. These are the final two in a group of four created for a swap at illustratedatcs.com. The first two can be found in my last post.

I joined that swap as a challenge because I so rarely do people of any kind. But I had so much fun I decided to embark on a new project called 100 Maidens. I figure after 100 I will be much better at drawing women, at any rate! It’s not 100 in 100 days or any madness like that. Just 100 in the next year or so, hopefully a really nice variety (and not 100 young, beautiful blondes, for instance). I’ve got a Flickr set created to collect them.

The one below was created for a trade by someone who liked the second maiden and wanted a version with warm colors. Thanks for visiting!

Maiden Number 5, Pharandra, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

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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

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


Kookaburra Holding Court, Copic Markers

Holy cow, 100 posts!

Kookaburra Holding Court, 8×10 Copic Markers with digital corrections & digital sky

The topic is “Suspend” at Illustration Friday, and Thadeus the Kingly Kingfisher is holding court in an abandoned tire swing. He looks a tad cramped in there, if you ask me. His attendant today is a juvenile Boobook Owl, a smallish species. The elder Boobooks find Thadeus rather tiresome, if you must know. But he can usually get one of the kids to stand in. This one is called Lorna. She is very impressed by Thadeus, particularly the jeweled necklace.

The Kookaburra is the largest species of Kingfisher. Thadeus is a Laughing Kookaburra, though he tries not to laugh. He thinks it unkingly. This is my second kingly kingfisher! The first one with his mouse deer steed can be found here.

About 3 scans before the end I considered scrapping the whole thing! But I will be unable to do another this weekend, and I did spent quite a few hours on it. So here it is! I did some fixing up in paint.NET. The main issues were not enough refinement in the sketch and then trying to fix mistakes as I went. But each new drawing is a learning experience, whether it be post number 1 or 100.  Thanks for looking!

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Kookaburra reference photo from TrekNature, Boobook Owl reference photo on Flickr

Meow Tai, Mai Tai for Illustration Friday

Meow Tai Mai Tai Cocktail, 8×10 with Copics, digital background

The topic is Refresh at Illustration Friday. And they’ve got a whole new look. I find it looks lovely but is not as user friendly as the old. If you agree or have issues and want to let them know, may I suggest you do so on the blog post announcing the new design.

I started off with a teacup, intending perhaps to cover it with odd creatures or add a silly beast swimming inside. But then the teacup became a cat cup and the cat told me, in no uncertain terms, that a Mai Tai or other liquored beverage would suit us all better in these trying times. I agreed.

Actually I was thinking Margarita, but fortunately someone more schooled in the bartending arts let me know the garnish I had chosen was all wrong for a Margarita. And anyway, MEOW TAI! The same knowledgeable fellow went on to disagree that the “Meow Tai” thing worked very well. I disagreed.

Went a little crazy beach bingo party neon with the background, but it seemed to fit. ;)

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Thanks for visiting! (Oh! And I wanted to drop this note for Illustration Friday folks. Be patient on the new IF page because the images load slower now, so if you scroll through a group, you may need to wait a moment for the next group to load. And as you may know, there are always hundreds of entries. /end PSA) :)

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.