Too much new artwork

Long time, no update. I guess I tend to aim to update this when I have more than one piece to share, but in the end, it always slips my mind! I have a lot to share this time, five paintings, in fact so I hope you all enjoy them.

Now that it’s near its end, I suppose I should share what my goal for 2016 was: paint more backgrounds! Prior to this year, I mainly went with solid colors or backgrounds added in digitally in post. Sometimes I still want to go this route, but it really is a lot more satisfying to have it done and over with when I scan the piece. I feel like you really see that goal a lot in most of these pieces.

These are my last two Christmas card designs for the year. So far, the little bunny and the letterbox seems to be the favorite with other people and with myself. The sketch was atrocious, so I’m really glad I turned out a happy with it as I did. I am, however, very happy with the trees in the Santa painting.

beesmall
I’ve always wanted to do a painting like this, sort of like a scientific illustration but prettied up a little more. I just really like bees? The big fluffy ones especially. They’re so helpful.

autumnbunnysmall
I always try to get an autumn-related painting out if I can manage, so that’s where this guy came from. I’m particularly fond of his purple vest. He’s very stylish. This painting especially is where I think “more backgrounds 2016” helped. All that grass took forever, but I feel like it was well worth it.

elephantpaisleysmall
This is my most recent! Sort of back to the solid backgrounds of old, but this piece was obviously meant to be more stylized. I did an elephant with a similar motif a few years ago, but I thought he could use something of an update.

That’s all for now. I hope Canadians had a good Thanksgiving earlier last month, and I hope Americans have a good Thanksgiving next week!

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New work!

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who entered my giveaway earlier this month. The winner was chosen and contacted, but I hope to do another in the future! I do have a couple of new pieces to show now, though.

First of all is one of my Christmas card designs for this year. I’m trying to complete three of them before November and I normally scramble to finish, so I had to get a head start this year!

santasmall
I like a more elegant Santa than the norm, so I went for a semi-art nouveau inspired Father Christmas for this one. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and I’m looking forward to doing more Santas in the future now that I know I can make it work out for me.

These cards are already being sold on my etsy shop.

Next is my little postman bunny again!:

postmansleepsmall
I love this little fellow too much to stop painting him, so I thought he deserved to be painted having a little break at the end of a hard day.

This picture is actually very similar to something I painted in 2013 for a Christmas card.It’s an interesting and sort of embarrassing comparison, but I’d like to share that old painting with you anyway:

tearabbit

It’s kind of amazing how much of a difference three years can make! I was just learning to use gouache in the above painting. You can see how washed out it is compared to what I do now. It’s definitely become one of my favorite mediums, though, and I’m always happy to use it.

Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. The winner has been contacted via email. Thank you to everyone who entered!

In celebration of passing 300 likes on Facebook, I’ve decided to put together a special giveaway. I want to thank each and every one of you for your support, even those of you who may be watching from the sidelines or just may be passing through. Every like, comment, follow, and quick peek at my work means more to me than I can express in words, so I may as well express it in gifts instead.

giveaway

Here’s what’s included in the giveaway package:

-One 8.5″ x 11″ print of “Breezy”, signed.
-Three 5″ x 7″ greeting cards, featuring all three of my postman’s appearances to date. Envelopes included.
-One 2.5″ x 7″ bookmark featuring “Terracotta Garden”
-One 5.5″ x 7″ hand-bound notebook featuring “Terracotta Garden”. 57 blank pages.
-One fat quarter (~21″ x 18″) of fabric featuring “Tea and Sweets”. Printed by spoonflower.com.

Here’s what you have to do to enter:

Comment here.

That’s it! Just go to the bottom of this post, type your comment (which can be just a simple ‘hello’ if you like), and you’ll be automatically entered. Please only comment once! You don’t have to say anything special, and you don’t have to be following me on Facebook or other social media. Just remember that only comments on this blog post will be counted, and that you must use a valid email address so that I can contact you if you win.

A winner will be randomly selected on August 3, 2016 and contacted via email.

Thanks very much, everyone!

Breezy

Yet again, it’s been quite awhile, hasn’t it? I have plenty to share, though.

Lately, I’ve sold quite a few of my original gouache paintings which is wonderful and greatly appreciated, but it’s leaving the walls of my booth at my more recent shows looking rather bare. I’ve been working hard to try to create more before show season really picks up in autumn–and also working on a few other projects.

First up is this collection of woodland things:
woodlandsmall

It features acorns, a bee, woodland forget-me-nots, wild strawberries, a mushroom, and a European wood mouse; all things you can find in the woods somewhere in the world. I was inspired by those pieces the talented Oana Befort does with all the different spring flora on one sheet. They’re beautiful and I love them very much, so I thought I’d try out something similar in my own way.

I was also commissioned to do a few pet portraits:

Not much to say about these. I’m always honored to paint peoples’ pets, though.

A little something for a poster contest for an art and musical festival here in Florida:
guitarsmall

I can’t share much about this right now, but it’s definitely the largest thing I’ve painted on paper. It measures 16 x 24 when I normally work no larger than 9 x 12. It was a bit of a challenge, but it turned out almost exactly as I intended and I’m really pleased with it. Fun fact: the guitar is roughly based on one of James Taylor’s famous Olson guitars. The one in this photo, to be specific. Why? I don’t know. I always liked that guitar, and I like slipping references to things I like into my art without taking away from the actual piece.

Last up is my most recent, another illustration of my postman rabbit:
postmanbikesmall

I’m so unbelievably pleased with this one. The entire time I was working on it, I was afraid it would turn out terribly because I wasn’t actually sure where I was going with it. In the end, I hardly had to do any color correction in photoshop and there was no digital adjusting or fading out of the background, which is kind of a big deal for me. I’ve been working in gouache for two years now, but I painted in acrylics and nothing else for many years. There are some things you can do in acrylics that you can’t do in gouache and if I had my choice, I would paint my characters in gouache and all backgrounds would be done in acrylics. I think I made a pretty big step forward with this one, though. Not to mention that I love this little character and have big things planned for him.

Tea and Sweets

Well, I did fail to update again later in February, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t busy! Lately, I’ve trying out some different and new things. The first is this little repeat tea pattern:

teapurple

I’m so unbelievably proud of how this turned out. I did the different aspects of it separately in gouache (minus the heart), then took it into photoshop to arrange as I liked. I feel it’s much better than my previous digital attempt, and even put it up on Spoonflower as a fabric, gift wrap and wallpaper. I’ve been printing it on cards and bookmarks to sell at shows as well, and people seem to like it!

My next piece I’m not quite as proud of, but I spent a long time on it. Probably a bit too long:

shoessmall

I really loved the concept of this piece, but I think I failed in the execution. It’s something about the background, I think, which I initially had looking quite different. It had dark red bricks which were much more detailed. I felt it threw the piece off, so I trimmed everything else out and put it onto a new background. Maybe I’ve just been looking at it too long and it will grow on me later, but it was an interesting experience none the less. Any bit of painting helps, as far as I’m concerned, but I am a very slow painter, so I decided to make up for my failures here with a quick but colorful piece:

flowerhellosmall

I have a show next week taking place on Easter Sunday so I thought it would be nice to put together a spring-ish looking card to sell. I just wanted something simple and bright. I may use those flowers to put together another pattern later on, though. I think they’d look nice, but that’s something I’ll have to give a go later on.

Stars

I think they need to rename the so called “sunshine” state. It’s been nothing but gloomy and rainy here for a month. It makes it hard to find the motivation to do anything, but I did manage to churn out one last painting in January:

starrabbitssmall

That’s the Lepus, or hare constellation in the middle–of course. Truth be told, this entire piece was really just an excuse to use silver leafing on something–but I couldn’t track any down in stores, so I had to settle for this silver leafing pen. It worked surprisingly well, and didn’t scan too badly either. It’s more metallic and brighter and shinier than just a silver sharpie, so I would recommend it if you’re looking to do some quick and easy leafing-looking stuff without the glue mess. I’ll definitely be looking for ways to use it again, as it adds a nice special touch to the original piece.

I hope you all had a good first month of 2016. Personally, I’m hoping for some big art-related happenings this year! I have a few shows already lined up, so I need to get busy on filling out my print inventory again. Prints of this new piece, as well as my previous piece with the postman rabbit, can be found at my Etsy shop.

Here’s to an equally productive February!

Snow or shine

I’m still here! The holidays were especially tiring this year and I basically had to skip December art-wise. I don’t think I managed to finish a single thing between family stuff and stomach sickness, but I’m finally back with some new art.

First up are a few commissions:

The first is a pet portrait and the second was commissioned as a wedding gift for a couple who got married on a Disney cruise. I would have liked for their names to stand out a little better, but I couldn’t get them white enough no matter how many layers I used. They liked it well enough in the end, though.

Last but not least is this little fellow:

postmansmall

I painted this poor little postman in an earlier piece, but I’ve given him a proper uniform now rather than just a hat. I’ve had a few comments concerning his lack of pants. I don’t know where these people have been, but it is socially acceptable for rabbits to not wear pants.

Pants or no pants, you may be seeing this little guy in future projects. I’d like to do a story based around him if I can ever get myself to just start writing. My Christmas gifts included the books “The Encyclopedia of Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books” and “Writing With Pictures“. Both have been very helpful in getting me started, especially the latter. I recommend them to anyone who wants to get into writing/illustrating but doesn’t know where to start.

I’m not sure what I’m working on next, but I’ve resolved myself to paint more backgrounds this year. We’ll see how that works out.