A page spread develops – artistic process

These are my sketches for a page spread that I am doing for my children’s book course. I had a ton of ideas and I did a bunch of thumbnails, but I opted for the simplest design in order not to get frustrated, and could complete it within the time frame allotted. Advice that I received from Koosje Koene many moons ago…. Keep It Simple Stupid, and that’s what I did.

I didn’t realize I had to include text, too. I added that at the end.

My scene will have seagulls. I have tons of reference photos that I have taken over the years…and I took more to ensure I had enough poses. Seagulls are easy for me since I have sketched them so many times before. My favorites are laughing gulls and they are all over the place here so that was a no brainer for me. I think there are laughing gulls in half of my sketchbooks.

These are my process sketches on how I developed my page spread:

Thumbnail…which you will probably look at and say “Whhhhaaaatt?” Yes, this thumbnail led to the following sketches:

Below is the next stage. They don’t quite look like seagulls, do they? I put notes about where to look for my references…I actually had to go in and find all my seagull photos that I have taken over the years and name the photos so I could find them easier. I really need to do a better job organizing the photos I take with my iPhone.

Here is my draft. I sketched the gulls in pencil on vellum so that I can erase easier. Those two lines in the middle are the “gutter” where the page will be split for binding so I have to allow for that. I transferred this image to two 9×12 mixed media sheets of paper so that I can scan the final product on my scanner. I will show the final on tomorrow’s post.

The Zen of Kitty

September is almost over and Halloween is coming. My mom is a big lover of all things Halloween, horror, etc. she grew up reading horror comics and is still addicted to that genre.

It takes about two mailing days for my mom to get her cards that I mail. I always have to allow for that two day buffer when I want something delivered by a specific day.

That said, October 1st is Monday. OMG! Already? Yep. Since my mom loves Halloween so much, I am starting the Halloween cats tomorrow so that she receives the first one Monday and she’ll get a daily Halloween themed kitty until after the Day of the Dead.

So for all of you macabre, horror, gothic and Halloween fans out there, you’re in for a treat!

Today’s kitty

The technique I used for this kitty is a mixture of ink and pencil. It was demo’d in Carla Sonheim’s 365 workshop of prompts. We used the technique with chicken sketches but I aksi used it for this kitty and a 5 minute Sktchy portrait.

I’ve included all of the sketches here. I really liked doing the chicken sketches, they are a lot of fun.


Aura kitty

This kitty is totally by chance. I used a thick brush of gesso to paint a kitty on white paper. The interior of that white gesso’d kitty is the final orangey kitty that you see here.

Update on my mom:

She looks forward to these cards that I send her. When I am on the phone with her, she talks about them. She makes up stories about them. She compares them to her cats. Mailing her these cards is helping her in a way because she has a connection with them. She says when she’s feeling sad, she looks through her book of cats. Dementia can be hard on the patient and it’s little things like these cats that make all the difference.

Today and yesterday’s kitty

Ooops, forgot to post these two kitties yesterday…water color blobs and drips turned kitty…the idea of using random shapes is sometimes it enables you to see an angle you normally wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

Today’s kitty is a mixed media kitty, the shape was actually inspired by the background. I pulled this card with the prepared background, turned it onto it’s side and I saw this shape so it became today’s kitty. Sometimes that’s all I need for some inspiration.

Striped kitty

One thing I like about doing these kitty postcards for my mom is it gives me a chance to play with different media and techniques. Today’s kitty is one of those experimental kitties and I really enjoy doing them. It’s more about mixing things up to see how it turns out. This even includes what colors I choose, and which media, to see how they interact.

This kitty was done with a mixed grey watercolor, one tombow, 2colored pencils, and black & white ink.