Paper Lanterns

We went to Animal Kingdom last week. One of the streets in the back near Asia had colorful lanterns/flags and lights hanging over the ‘village.’ It looked so pretty that I knew I would have to work it into one of my posts. Disney can truly make magic out of something so simple.

And today’s stamp was supposed to be holiday lights but morphed into something more abstract.

Absence

Absence 

You were the last thing

we wanted

You came to us

on a warm summer evening

Tiny and sick

dark as the night

We took you in

and you grew on us

You thought you were

a chihuahua

You ingratiated yourself

into our hearts

Soft and silky

svelte and lanky

A queen in your own right

Gardening with your company

Birds and mice brought

into the house 

There were those times

we pulled our hair out

You ate almost  

 a whole cake

But we loved you

You went to Florida 

with Erin

a companion and

a friend 

We enjoyed your company

during lockdown

Then one tragic day

you fell ill

No vet could save you

You were only five

We didn’t want you 

to go

But we had to let you

We feel your loss

every day.

Monster Self Portrait

This is another sketch in my “skull” sketchbook. I love this refillable journal. It’s black Italian leather and it was made by Innovative Journaling. It comes with two refills of Arches Text Wove paper. The nice thing about this refillable journal is that I can use the paper that comes with it, or make my own refill from paper that I choose. I love the black leather with skull beads. Perfect for my Halloween themed sketches.

Today’s sketch is based on my interpretation of last month’s Drawlloween list. The first day was “Monster Self Portrait” which, I think the intention was to make a monster self portrait of ourselves, but that light bulb came on and I remembered the Norman Rockwell self portrait. I recently did a sketch of Cary Grant and I laughed thinking about Frankenstein painting his self portrait but it looking like Cary.

Now that I look at this, I should have made Cary green, too. It Frankie more flesh toned. I don’t know why Frankie is depicted as green anyway. I like the version from “Penny Dreadful.”

This is just a sketch and hasn’t been polished digitally. But this is where a lot of my ideas start.

Frankie paints his self portrait…”
My Halloween Journal

Little Witch (on the side)

I did work a little on my little witch series while doing the “TheyDrawtober Challenge.” The food challenge took up more time than expected, and I wound up doing that challenge on Procreate and as you can see from last month’s posts.

In the meantime, monsters, witches and other beasties were sidelined. I have been debating on posting them in November, or holding off on them for now. Although it isn’t October, it is still before Thanksgiving, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to post a few fall themed sketches and maybe a monster here or there. There will be time enough for holiday posts after Thanksgiving.

Those of you who follow my Little Witch series might remember that Cleopatra (aka Kitty) passed away last year of an unknown neurological event right before Inktober. We were all grief stricken and it was hard for me to put a kitty in the series last year.

This year, there are two new grandkitties that my daughter adopted. Plus my son also has a diabolical kitty that I could add so kitties will be making a comeback. Cleo was found by my husband and I and was the family kitty even though she came here to Florida with my daughter. We all still miss Cleo.

So back to the story….

The Litttle Witch made some caramel apples. She put one out to have as a snack, and to see how they taste before packaging them up as gifts. However, the Dragonet and Toffee, the muted tortie kitty, have other ideas.

This sketch was done on Arches text wove paper in my refillable Innovative Journal . It’s black leather with skull beads. Really cool!

Inktober, Drawtober, Artober, TheyDrawtober, Drawlloween…whatever

It’s October…again…and that must mean it’s time to do art! Ink, pencil, paint, digital. You name it, you’ll see it this month. I am not sure who really started the whole October challenge. Inktober was started as a way for one artist, Jake Parker, to challenge himself and his friends. Drawlloween was a way Mab Graves challenged herself and her followers. The THEY DRAW websites of Salli Swindell and Nate Padavick, also have their own challenge and lists split between the three themes.

You can do one, all or none. Or go rogue and do your own thing. I actually prefer the going rogue route. Although the lists can be quite handy when you are stuck for an idea.

This year, I’ll be surfing the lists to see what I want to do. This is my favorite time of year, I love fall and Halloween so creating Halloween and autumn art is my favorite thing to do. I am usually not at a loss for ideas in October. I’ll be experimenting this month. Maybe trying some different things. But then, I do that all year long.

Today’s prompt was started as a sketch that I pulled into Procreate. The prompt is “caramel apple” from Nate & Salli’s They Draw and Cook’s list of THEYDRAWTOBER. I love caramel apples with peanuts (which I haven’t seen down here in Florida) so it was a no brainer for me.

Lemons and….

I belong to an illustrator’s group and a couple of times a month we get together to draw or learn a cool trick or tip.

The guest this week was Jennifer Orkin Lewis and we were working in our sketchbooks, drawing a collection of objects that she had assembled.

I drew mine directly from gouache and I didn’t screen shot the images so I had to wing it once the camera was directed at Jennifer’s sketchbook.

The lemon had a sticker but I forgot what was on it so I let it go. This whole sketch was unplanned, or I would have placed flowers a little lower and I couldn’t remember the flowers so I winged it.

Overall, I did find that since I had to wing it anyway, I was less stressed about the exercise and just enjoyed the “play.”

Morning routine

These sketches are part of my morning routine. I do these every morning for my daily warm up, which is similar to the drills that soccer players do everyday for ball control with their feet. My drills are for eye/hand aka “seeing” and the boxes are thinking creatively and drawing spontaeously.

I use the Sktchy App for drawing faces or animals in the vertical sketchbook. In the other sketchbook, I separate the page into boxes and I put something in the boxes every day. Some of the morning routine sketches have turned into full art or illustrations!

Daily page
Morning portraits

And now for something different…

It was a quiet day in the woods, until Raleigh and Lotus got lost.

Carla Sonheim has a book and classes called “Imaginary Creatures”. They’re excellent for finding ways to create creatures from your imagination, or even real ones with personalities you wouldn’t normally thought of on your own.