MATS Bootcamp: Main assignment February : Cuckoo clock iPhone cover

Our assignment for this month was to create art for an iPhone cover.

Somehow in converting my sketches from the mini assignment to the iPhone dimensions, it became more about the birds than the cuckoo clocks. I'd still like to take some of the sketches and turn them into something more - patterns maybe? But here's what I submitted to the Bootcamp gallery for February:

You should DEFINITELY go check out the gallery and see what everyone else has come up with… as usual… Blows Me Away! so much talent!!

Here are some of my faves:

MATS: main assignment - Week 5 - Gift market

This week was all about the Gift market - which could be anything really. From little pouches to pencil cases to jewellery to books to tea towels to magnets. So really wide open, and again a range of art being used.

I have to admit that I skipped the mini assignment this week. We were supposed to take photos or make sketches of some collections we might have around the house - things we collect purposefully or not, such as buttons or flowers or pencils. Well I have a pretty good collection of brushes and other painterly things, but I ran out of time and just decided to see what the final assignment would be.

Our final assignment of the class was to create a design for a "hyper-lush" item such as a zipper pouch. We were encouraged to 'throw everything at it' - layer our little hearts out, and even bring in items from previous weeks if they could work.

I wanted to work mostly digitally for this one... It's been a long time since I've done much digital art (for myself) and definitely not vector, so this was pretty fun. Though I couldn't keep it all computer-based!

I decided to build on the Indian-y theme and came up with the idea of an 'Elephant Tea Party'. To start, I drew out a few mandala-type things and indian motifs which I then scanned in and traced in Illustrator so I could change the colours easily.

And then I just built and built it up and up....
I used some of the patterns (in the corners) from last week
We were encouraged to use photography, but that just wasn't 'me'

getting there...
until I came to this....

At this point I posted it to our class Facebook group for feedback because I still wasn't quite sure. The consensus was to bump up the colours to make it more 'lush', so did that, added a few more details, and here's what I ended up with:

And here's how I presented it for the class:

Very happy with this! (finally!) I feel like I've ended the class on a high note and feeling good after some weeks of not-enough-time posts and not feeling like I was pushing myself enough.

We have a few more 'bonus' information posts to the class in the coming days, and then after that I will do a wrap up post here. Stay tuned....

see last week's assignment in Wall Art

MATS: mini assignment Week 3 - Children's books

OK! Week 3 of 5 is Children's books! woohoo! Home territory. Hoping to feel a bit more comfortable with this one. Although 4 days which includes some 'day job' work and looking after a toddler isn't time to do much of anything, I will soon see what our main assignment is for this week.

But first! The mini assignment for this week, Part 1: Draw Birds.
It's very funny because coming into this class I said to myself "no birds".... EVERYONE does birds, right? (although this class is very much about trends and birds are a 'high trend' animal. I think I tend to run the other way when someone says trend but maybe I shouldn't.) - but I had to laugh because I ended up using birds in my first assignment. and then we have to draw birds this week. ha.

Part 2 of our assignment was to try some hand lettering for the title "The Language of Birds". This is SO exciting because this is one of those things I've been wanting to try but never sat down and gave myself the time.

so... off I went... and for some reason the only bird I wanted to draw was perhaps the most 'overdone' bird of all: The Owl. But I just went there. 

and had fun!! 

I started sketching but then did a few pages of paintbrush and ink, which is so fun, quick, and loose. I think I'd really like to do some more of this.

and this little guy sort of appeared. So, let's see how he will be used in the main assignment.... wish me luck!

Click here for the main assignment this week

Click here for last week's main assignment in Home Decor if you missed it!

Omeo & Alice

I spent a blissful few days in the mountains last week, in and around a beautiful little town called Omeo (wherefore art thou..) We had beautiful weather so a lot of my time was spent in the sunshine by a burgling creek, and the rest was spent in a rustic little cabin with a log fire.

Here is a little painting I did while sitting next to said burgling creek:

And here is another one I did (in a very different style!) for What is the Use of a Book Without Pictures, where illustrators are illustrating the entire text of Alice in Wondeland in B&W!

My paragraph, #415, was
"I mean what I say,' the Mock Turtle replied in an offended tone. And the Gryphon added [to Alice] `Come, let's hear some of YOUR adventures."

It was fun to play with ink again!

I-F: Reverse

I just got an email from the Art House Co-op saying they received my sketchbook project book! It made me realise that I hadn't posted all of my pages here - so I'm doing of all this in reverse! Anyway, here are some selections only. You can see my entire submission here.

I was unfortunately a bit rushed at the end to finish this, but playing with ink on paper was really quick so that was good! It was fun to be free and use big long strokes. I've always enjoyed painting in ink.

Sketchbook Project: Pages 2-5

I finally signed up for
The Sketchbook Project: 2011

and am starting to fill up my book. My theme is "Secret Codes". Juicy eh?

At first I thought I would create a code and make the sketchbook into a secret message itself. I started on this, but it was taking a bit too long-- time is an issue here. We all have until January, but there are - count em - 80 PAGES TO FILL. Ack.

Then, while sketching other things tonight, I found I kept sneaking in little sketches of my cat who was sitting there watching me (rather unimpressed, I might add.) And I realised that would be a fun way to fill up 80 pages. Hence, The Secret Code of Cats.

And I remind myself over and over to Keep It Simple. It is a sketchbook after all! Each page doesn't have to be a finished artwork right? So I am having some fun, not worrying too much, and trying to stay loose with this one.

So let me know what you think about the first few pages!

Pick me! Pick me!

One of the amazing things about going to an industry conference is that you just.. never.. know.. who.. will.. be.. there.....

In my case, it could be the publisher of my dreams, the agent of my dreams, or someone else of my dreams (except for husband, I already have that!)

And the only way they are going to find you is if you stand out from the crowd in some way. I guess, truthfully, your art should make you do that. But promotion is a such an important thing, though sometimes irreconcilable with being an introverted artist.

But I do my best to talk the talk, and um.. paint the paint? So here is my promotional postcard for the SCBWI conference in all its glory!

My folio is also being printed and bound this week, and I have a few other little tricksies up my sleeve... heh heh....

t minus 4 days to lift off!

My first WaWe & I-F: Satellite

I have joined Watercolo(u)r Wednesdays! It is watercoloury version of Illustration Friday. (Coincidentally, this piece works for IF too this week!) Themes for WaWe are more involved than IF's one-word prompt however... for instance last week was 'my strange pet' and this week is 'Archimedes or Galileo'.

I reckon Galileo must have started out like this....

Had some fun with ink this time, which i haven't played with for a while, as well as watercolours (of course) and collage. Hope you enjoy!

I-F: Impatience

I think these parents are getting a bit impatient with their chicks!

Thank you to everyone for your nice comments on my previous post about experimenting with new watercolour techniques - it really encouraged me to try more!

I actually did the monkeys (below) first, following the book, then muscle memory from my one calligraphy class years ago took over and I had an urge to do brush painting again.

I love painting with ink - it is so fluid, and so black.


21 days creative exercise: Days 17-19

Here are a few scribbly sketches I did (on post-its!) of a few ideas:

Day 17: "I am an island" - I look forward to painting this one...

Day 18: Thinking about 'Electricity' for I-F .. green electricity!

Day 19: This is today's endeavour - my friends just had their baby so now that I know the baby's name (clay) I could finish this up :) It's ink on brown paper with collaged japanese washi paper. Now on to some work!

I-F: Garden

I wish there was one tree in my "garden", just ONE! But I don't think we can even call it a garden yet, it's more of a field. Yes... a blank canvas we keep telling ourselves... we can do whatever we want! but unfortunately (as much as we really love this house) just about EVERYTHING needs doing, and a garden is a bit further down the list. But it will be fun once we get to it!

I-F: Extremes

something a bit japanese inspired...

I can think of nothing more extreme than the contrast between pure black and pure white. Japanese and chinese art and calligraphy especially are so beautiful in their simplicity and use of black. I would love to study sumi-e someday, maybe when I GO BACK TO JAPAN! (no trips planned, but one day, I promise myself I will. I loved it and 5 days was definitely not enough there)

and while i was skulking around looking for some examples of sumi-e painting, I came across this woman's art that completely blows my mind. Her name is Susana b. Endo and lives in New York. I think this is my favourite.