Earlier this spring, I participated in the Doodle Swap Project again. As usual, it was great fun: a quick, sketchy project and on one of my favorite themes: Fairy Tales. The challenge was to keep the concept simple enough to fit on the tiny sketchcards, since the original art could only be 2.5 x 3.5 inches! Once again I broke out my Copic markers; one of these days I’ll have to use them for something larger than this, they’re lots of fun.
I also received some wonderful artwork in exchange, big thank you to all the artists in Doodle Swap who participated! Take a look at all the great work from this and other swaps.
Spring has sprung and the flowers are in bloom… in fact, they’re blooming all over the place! At Irvine Nature Center not only are their woodland trails and habitats sprouting, my Flower Alphabet has taken root in in their gallery. … Continue reading →
I tried to capture their respective personalities, but in reality my cats are rather ambivalent to Halloween… of course, in reality I would never try to dress them in costumes. Well, “never” may be a strong word…
The truth is, that while my tuxedo cat Simon may very well frolic in a costume, he’s equally likely to become inexplicably terrified of it. The end result is more-or-less the same: running around the house like a maniac, except in the latter case he will end up under the bed, with his impressively bushy tail even more bristled out than usual.
And my little tabby Tinkerbell? She wouldn’t even be in the picture, because the instant I attempted something like this there would be just a puff of smoke as she vanished, never to be seen again (until dinnertime).
I suspect that I may have to come up with a project that forces me to draw Simon over and over again until I get over my hang-ups about drawing black fur… I’ve used him and my previous black-and-white cat as body doubles in past projects, but usually chickened out and made a light-furred cat rather than dealing with their actual coat color.
This was a quick ink drawing on 9×12 inch smooth bristol paper with my micron pens. I was going to practice my brush pen with this one (it’s usually great for fur) but was already dealing with having no power or heat due to Hurricane Sandy and had to make do in the room with the most daylight instead of the one with my drawing table in it. Oh well!
PS: Be safe this Halloween! And please keep your cats indoors tonight, so they can be safe too.
Just in time for the season, another client piece! I wonder how many more-modern Halloween parties in the Northeast US this year will be disrupted by the storm currently bearing down on us…
This might be the last picture from the series I’ve made for Cactus to promote scratch-off tickets for the Colorado Lottery, although they were a joy to work for and to draw so I can only hope there will be more. I posted one of my sketches from this piece on my Critterwings Facebook page, and plan to do that more often so you might want to mosey on over that way…
All the pieces in this series were created for an e-mail campaign about traditional holiday celebrations (with scratch tickets) and the coloring is deliberately subdued. Original drawing 12×14 inches, ink on smooth bristol paper, colored digitally.
This weekend, the Rawlings Conservatory of Baltimore begins their annual Mum Show, and they needed some decorative banners for this year’s theme: The Dragon’s Garden: Elements of the Chrysanthemum. (On display now through November 11!)
If you’re in Baltimore, it’s always worth stopping by the Rawlings Conservatory with their beautiful gardens and historic palm room. It’s like a tiny (and free!) version of the more famous nearby Longwood Gardens.
This ended up being more of a design project than just illustration, but I wanted to be sure to include plants from the gardens to tie the theme together. And that meant new drawings! I didn’t have time to do anything more elaborate, but I’m pretty happy with how they worked out.
I haven’t had much time lately for personal work, and that’s because I’ve been working on more client work than usual, including this project which was finally released last month. This was a pretty large animation project for which I created all of the artwork as well as the animation. Because it was being animated, I had to use a much simpler art style than my usual ink drawings, and make something more in keeping with my infographics work. But it still needed to have some personality and playfulness.
As big a challenge as the animation was, working to simplify the subject matter while keeping it accurate and entertaining was even bigger. Fortunately, I had a great team to work with. We did a TON of iterations in both text and storyboard form, and I drew many, many pictures along the way. I’ll be posting some of the work-in-progress with a little more info about how it was made over the next week, but now, with no further delay:
Here are a few more of the “doodles” from my “Fantasy People” set of trading cards. These were all just quick little drawings — warm-up exercises, really — rather than finished artwork to share with some of my artist friends. Maybe I’ll turn them into something more, or maybe they were just a fun practice project. In either case, I hope you enjoy them too!
I finally have some new art to share, once again thanks to the DoodleSwap!
This time around I had a new toy to play with: Copic Markers. These are refillable alcohol-based art markers which are a dream to color with. I only used a handful of colors to make these cards, but you can bet that I’ll be adding more to my set before long.
I’ve finally gotten around to posting the Artist Trading Cards I drew for the last Doodle Swap I participated in. For those who don’t know, Artist Trading Cards are 3.5 x 2.5 inch mini artworks. The Doodle Swap Project lets creative-type folks sign up, draw a batch of cards however they like, send them out, and get some back in return.
This time around I kept it simple: dragons. Well, little bitty dragons at least. They’re sketchier than usual since I had to rush through them to get them in the mail in time. And after all, they’re just “doodles,” right?
I don’t know why I’ve been drawing little bitty mythical creatures lately. I guess it’s a palate-cleanser from the more formal client work I’ve been doing. Or I’m just doing warm ups for some more big dragon art that’s waiting in the wings. Either way, these guys just make me happy, I hope they do the same for the people who found them in their mailboxes.
This year for the first time I joined Art House Co-Op’s Sketchbook Project. They collect sketchbooks from all the participants and send them on the road for a tour before permanently archiving them in the Brooklyn Art Library for anyone to see. When I signed up I chose the topic “Encyclopedia of…” and took it from there.
I tried to use this as an opportunity to do something quick without overthinking it, as close to my real sketchbooks as possible. It’s actually quite a bit cleaner than that; my real sketchbooks are full of false starts and piles of scribbles where I’m trying to perfect an idea. This time I wasn’t aiming for perfection, even though I was inspired by incredibly detailed books like Rien Poortvliet and Wil Huygen’s classic Gnomes and Brian Froud’s Faeries
I wish I could have spent more time on these, but it was a very busy fall/winter. Still, you can see where I first pulled together the idea for my little house-gryphons and it also sparked a few other ideas that I may develop further.
The show is now on the road, making its way across the country and around the world before returning to the library in Brooklyn, NY. Check the tour schedule to see when it will be near you! Soon the entire book will be available for viewing online, I’ll be posting the link when it’s available.
Scribbles and Scribings is the sketchblog of an illustrator/graphic designer doing the work-life juggling act. Here you will see quicker, more unfinished drawings, sketchbook pages, and musings on my creative life.
To see my formal portfolio, please visit Stephanie Smith Illustration linked below.