Tag Archives: social art

Some Neat Folks and Their Art Blogs, Part One

I have been meaning do a few posts on some of the art blogs I found last year, so here’s one of the posts!

Leslie White teaches watercolor and drawing. Her blog is filled with neat techniques using rice paper, masa paper, liquid frisket, and other things I knew nothing about before I read about them at her place! She is really great about explaining her processes and often posts progress pics.  I picked two of my favorites below. (Click on the painting for a link to that item’s blog post)

Elephant by Leslie White

Moose and Calf by Leslie White

José Luís Ocaña is an established freelance illustrator from Madrid who I found through Illustration Friday.  He frequently does more than one piece per week on a given topic, usually with great colors and great characters. And though I sadly do not speak Spanish and probably miss some things as a result, he often answers comments in English. Some of his excellent characters:

Aurora by José Luís Ocaña

Cuento con Violin by José Luís Ocaña

These are just two of the great blogs I found last year, and I hope to post about others in the coming months.  I didn’t want to put too many in one post!

You, too, can find many wonderful blogs in the following places, should you feel so inclined:

  • Etsy. If I find an artist whose work I admire, I will usually check their profile for a blog address.
  • Artists in Blogland and Web of Whimsy were two of the first  places in which I found lots of blogs listed in one place (and could add my own, hooray!)
  • Illustration Friday. I don’t work for them, I swear! but I have been singing the praises of Illustration Friday since I started participating at the end of last year. Why it’s so cool:
  1.  Many different styles, mediums and skill levels.
  2. All art blogs all the time! While I do love some crafty blogs, knitting blogs, art doll blogs, etc, usually I am looking for 2D-art style blogs for inspiration, tips and techniques
  3. So many cool and friendly people, many of whom will visit you back if you drop by their blog and leave a comment (many won’t, but don’t let that discourage you!). In fact, there’s about a 71% chance that if you are reading this, you found me there (or I found you!)

Speaking of IF, we’ll have a new topic in a few hours and it’s snowing in the Chicago area. Between you and me, I’ll probably call in to work tomorrow (treacherous roads plus a much reduced workload in winter) and I look forward to my second IF entry in 2012.  Thank you so much for visiting!

Illustration Friday’s Vanity (sort of!) with Progress Pics

Whimsical Vanity in Copics



This week’s Illustration Friday prompt was “Vanity”. The boyfriend suggested I do the Vanity from Prince’s band. This did not interest me for many reasons, primarily my reluctance to do people at all, let alone likenesses of actual people. So I settled on an illustration of a vanity table, despite “vanity” being an excellent opportunity for a little visual social commentary. But there would be creatures, of course! I don’t believe this blog has one drawing without at least one creature. It is The Slumbering Herd, after all, not The Slumbering Inanimate Objects. :o)

So, that window was originally a mirror – this being a vanity, and all.  But I just couldn’t get it to work out.  I had the bird looking into the mirror but uh, yeah, no. I hope nobody minds that I took some liberties with this vanity in that its owner was sick of the mirror and preferred looking out onto lovely sky.  As for the bench one might normally find at such a table, in fact it has a beautiful brocade orange bench, but the dog pushed it out of the way in order to sit and watch the bird (his favorite thing to watch in all the world).

So let’s see how many entries have been posted in this day and a half since the prompt came out! 136 and counting.  Sheesh. I’ve taken to commenting primarily on those entries that fall into the “children’s art” category, and sometimes I miss some. So many great artists and blogs!

This week I also ended up at the Artists in Blogland Show and Tell Saturday, so I’m going to link there, too! Welcome to my place, wherever you came from! If you care to comment, leave your address in the form thingie so I can visit back.  And now some progress pics:


Vanity Sketch

Vanity Color 1

Vanity Color 2

Vanity Color 3



9″ x 6″ with Copic markers and pens on 150 lb. drawing paper. Thanks for dropping in! (Also, arrrrgh, working on some formatting issues.)

Blog Things that are Art Things that are Social Things

I was going to name this post “What I’ve learned as a late adopter to the blogging game, six months in.”  It’s a bit wordy. And it might, at another blog, lead to a section on the art of titling posts. But I’m not sure I have much insight in this area.  I believe key words related to your post are important for web search algorithm thingers, which is to say, gibberish will not be helpful (except in rare cases).

Anyway, I decided the world wasn’t ready for my six-months-expert blog advice.  And anyway, I wanted to talk about three Blog-Art-Social things I’ve recently joined. Many people who find themselves here are already familiar with these things – but if you aren’t, I recommend them! I thought I would give my thoughts about each one, because I have seen other people’s thoughts about them, and I find it very interesting. If you don’t find it interesting, I would skip this post and read the previous one, which is an art progression post (one of many!) with Copic Markers. You know, if you have any interest in that sort of thing. (Alternatively, you could skip to the bottom of this one and see the strange bird illustration I included).

And now, without further ado (though I do love my ado):

1. Web of Whimsy, a once-monthly challenge in which you can use the suggested prompt, or not use the suggested prompt as you like.  Further, you can submit more than one entry. I am currently doing a second month and the average number of entrants seems to be 25-35, with a variety of styles and skill levels.  I have found some artists I really like there, including a very entertaining Australian artist named Gay McKinnon (who is not terribly fond of wombats). The best way to participate in Web of Whimsy (aka Whimsy Lines) is of course to visit all the other entrants’ blogs which is quite easy at this size of project.

It’s so interesting what you find yourself coming up with when given a prompt in this way.  I think it expands your imagination.  The “whirlygig” prompt for October helped inspire this steampunk rabbit!

2. The Sketchbook Project. Such a really cool idea.  I got my book in the mail over a week ago but I am totally over-worrying it.  In addition to worry about content, I am also worried my Copics will bleed through the thin pages.  One is allowed to substitute paper as long as the final book remains under a certain size, but I don’t have a lot of interest in re-making the book. I think the main reason I haven’t started yet is that I can’t decide if I want a cohesive narrative or a looser structure. Also, I don’t want it to suck. I really love stumbling onto a post on some blog where someone includes examples of their current Sketchbook Project work.

3. Illustration Friday, a once-a-week illustration challenge with prompt. One is allowed to post old works but new work created for the prompt is preferred by many. This thing has been going on since early 2007, and has something like 800 entrants lately (probably more, because most don’t do it every week). Holy cow.  Many of the entrants are working illustrators with amazing portfolios. I am on my second week, and I’m getting double my previous highest comment number (about 20, small potatoes still!) Both weeks I have commented on 80+ posts of others, and although only maybe 10% respond in kind, the fact remains that I have visited a whole heck of a lot of blogs more than I had been. And found quite a few really inspiring artists doing these challenges that I am doing also! Which is pretty cool.  Lots of nationalities represented, which is great!

One result of 800 entries over seven days is they get some links that don’t have anything to do with the challenge (they do seem to be removed fairly quickly). Then there are the people who are doing the challenge but also doing a hard sell on whatever they’re selling (which isn’t so great, imo, but isn’t against the rules). There is an enormous spectrum of new, part-time doodlers, to very established artists in a variety of fields. Children’s illustration seems particularly well represented, which I love! Mostly, I’ve just found so many great artists and great blogs that I would totally recommend doing it, particularly if you’re looking for art blogs rather than craft blogs. And that’s only because I’m more interested in people who are doing work that is more like work I am doing/trying to do.

Egad that all makes for a long-winded post. Here is a strange bird beast I did a while back and haven’t decided whether to revisit. (This was in response to a Doodlers Doing Doodles challenge with the prompt “Dragon’s Tears”. My idea was a creature created when a dragon’s tear hit the forest floor. In some future post I will tell you about my final entry):

Kiwi Bird Beast, Copics

Thank you! Nice to see you! All thoughts on the above welcome!