Chinese Elements for the Rawlings Conservatory

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!)

Chinese Elements

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.

Ink Drawing of Bamboo

Ink Drawing of Wormwood (Artemisia)

Ink Drawing of Chrysanthemum

The plants were all drawing on bristol with ink, scanned in, and layered with textured files. Some of the photos came from my personal collection, and others came from sources on Bamboo forest background, , Fire background, Metal background , and the paper strip

Welcome back!

So, once again I find myself blowing the dust off my blog. Oh my, has it really been so long since my last post? I could have sworn I’d written something here in November at least!

Then again, I was quite busy through the end of 2010: in addition to working on my own drawing projects, I had a few for other people. More about those later! In the meantime the alphabet continues on:

F is for Fuschia H is for Hyacinth I is for Iris J is for Jasmine K is for King's Spear L is for Lily M is for Morning Glory N is for Nasturtium O is for Orchid P is for Pansy Q is for Queen Anne's Lace R is for Rose

I’m in the home stretch for this series, and am already thinking of my next project. I’ll have more of an update later, hope this big mega-post makes up somewhat for all the lost time!

Illustration Friday: Subterranean


It Starts Underground…
click to enlarge

With such a deeply evocative word for Illustration Friday this week, and feeling bad about missing last week’s word, I spent a little extra time to play with my watercolors. It’s been way too long since I splashed around with real paint…. ahhhhh. I’m also clearly feeling the spring, as the bulbs in my garden are already popping up all over. So much energy goes on underground before we see those tiny green shoots….

I’m not quite sure if I’m completely done with it, but here it is.  Micron pen and watercolor on 140lb Canson watercolor paper, 9×12 inches.

For those who are interested, RedBubble has recently introduced some new products to their lineup: Greeting cards in two sizes, postcards, and the option to print images on the backs of shirts instead of the front… with the promise of more to come.  So far everything I’ve ordered from them has been gorgeous, and they have some of the nicest T-shirts out there. Check out the offerings in my RedBubble Gallery and see if anything catches your eye!

IF – Wilderness


Wilderness Sketch
click to enlarge

One of the things I like about living where I do is that even though we’re near a big city, we’re also just a short drive away from a stroll in the middle of the woods. We’re a day-trip away from pathless forest and parkland, but just a 15-minute drive will take us someplace where we can forget all about the traffic and the city and all the people and wander under the trees for a while.

My sketch for this week’s word for Illustration Friday, “wilderness,” is from a photograph I took in Gunpowder Falls State Park, one of the more easily-accessible parts of of the massive Chesapeake Bay watershed system. I find tree-roots fascinating and these right on the shore of the lake were tangled in a confusing mangle that I spent much longer than I’d planned on puzzling through. (The fox was an addition; we used to get them in our neighborhood regularly but it’s been a few years since I’ve seen one here.)

Drawn with 05 black marker on regular surface bristol paper, 9×12 inches.