Monday, August 31, 2009

Sketchboook Selection of the Day X

Sketch today is a goth girl drawn on the Cintiq in Painter and vectorized in Illustrator. I love the great trace feature in Illustrator, which allows me to maintain my style while producing scalable, printable images.

I still need to do an illo for Illustration Friday - the word of the week is Magnify...what to do? Nervous this week because school starts for Kelly on Wednesday, perhaps my fears are magnified by the dramas of kindergarten last year.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sketchboook Selection of the Day IX

Today's sketch is unusual because she was drawn while I was on a exer-cycle at the Y. I had forgotten my book to read while I exercised, so I drew this in ballpoint pen on the moving surface of my pad.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sketchboook Selection of the Day VIII

Today's sketchbook is doing double duty on my other blog as the Doxie Doodle of the day and is actually a couple of studies I developed for a 5x7 watercolor I did a few years ago. I felt this was apropo to post for today because yesterday I was at the Tulalip Casino with my husband, playing a really neat fortune-teller themed slot machine called Clara T. I was impressed by the fun, creative graphics and game play.
I seem to remember that the original painting (shown below) didn't generate a ton of bids; it is rather a narrow niche - tarot reading Dachshunds. Still, it might make a fun greeting card to re-create with a lab or some generic dog, or maybe a cat or llama? While browsing in my old files for the scanned, finished painting I was amazed at the hundreds of paintings I've sold on eBay over the years. Considering that my take-home on Cafe press is now under $50 month since their commission re-structure (yes - ouch) I might be doing a lot more originals to sell in the near future. I imagine that after 6 years of being self-employed the time to work for someone else again may be here. Maybe a fortune telling weiner dog could look in a crystal ball and see where my art is going to lead me next.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sketchboook Selection of the Day VII

Today's illustration is a loose watercolor of a dragon/sea serpent. I love the eyes on this one. I really need to do some dinosaurs because I already have a store on Cafe Press for them, but so far I haven't uploaded any.

Lederhosen Pirate Party Pics

As promised in my earlier post about Kirk and Gary's Birthday party, here are a few pictures of the day:The Birthday Boys, Gary and Kirk.

Kelly, Gary, Bobby and Kirk, at the end of a long, fun day.

The Fabulous Tiki Dean, who says he'll wear Lederhosen next year, if we don't opt for kilts instead.

Kelly - I don't know if she's pretending to be a moose or what, but clearly she's having a good time.

Now if only we can get the deck cleaned up in time for next year's party.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sketchboook Selection of the Day VI

Quick sketch using my Cintiq - a mermaid contemplating an air bubble. I think I spent 20 minutes on this - 10 longer than I meant to.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sketchboook Selection of the Day V

Character study/watercolor and ink pen of two men from my SB. Comments appreciated!

IF: Caution

Illustration Friday: Caution

One should use caution lest the hunter becomes the hunted. Created in Photoshop for IF .

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sketchboook Selection of the Day IV

Today's painting, another loose and quick character sketch in ink and watercolor:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sketchboook Selection of the Day III

A couple more sketches from my collection. Still working on my new scanner's settings - it wants to sharpen everything and I haven't had the patience to fiddle with the preferences much. My old Epson scanner died a few weeks ago. I think my electronics are in cahoots trying to make me buy as many deductible items for my business as possible before the end of the year - the scanner, then the printer, and my treasured laptop has a fan that sounds like a wooden roller coaster. Hoping the new part I ordered to replace the fan isn't too difficult to install since I don't relish begging Kirk to do it for me according to his time schedule (anywhere from a week to a year depending on how often I mention it - more mentions=longer wait)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sketchboook Selection of the Day II

Posting three things today. The first is also on my other blog,, but I felt it deserved a viewing here, too.
The other two are also from my all-media sketchbook. The first is a mermaid hugging a fish:

The second is a woman in braids. Both are watercolor and ink.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yea - I fixed my printer!

The other day my Canon i9900 printer began acting hinky, and after wasting a lot of time running diagnostics on it I figured out that the Photo Cyan printhead was clogged. I removed the print head and used a zillion alcohol saturated q-tips to clean the printheads. Still no photo cyan. Seeing that printhead replacements run about $100 I figured I was going to have to buy a cheap printer to replace what has been a rather nice photo printer. Then I got tough. I soaked that printhead in a container of alcohol and water and kept at it, rinsing and cleaning. I ordered fresh new inks (confession: I tried a generic ink, which is what caused the problem) and the printer is working again. The 8 new ink cartridges cost as much as a cheap consumer printer, but I feel lots better having a Giclee quality printer even though I get few print orders these days.

Sketchbooks selections I

I have been meaning to scan and post my daily sketches for some time. I decided to start with this full page of ballpoint pen drawings from back in February. I wish I had done them in my all-media sketchbook so that I could also paint them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Lederhosen Party

Today is my husband's 41st Birthday. We had our annual joint birthday party for he and our good friend Gary and our kitty Wuggles, all born August 17th, on Saturday. The theme this year was Oktoberfest/Pirates/80's. I will post pictures soon, but imagine the birthday boys plus Uncle Bobby wearing Lederhosen and pirate hats and you get the picture. I wore a white dress with a green bodice for that St. Pauli look. I cannot rock a bodice like in the old days and felt quite the frau, but fortunately no one managed a picture of me. We had good attendence - about 20. The usual over the top food selection cooked by Kirk - steak, pork and spaetzle, chicken and dumplings, bacon mashed potatoes, tiramisu and peach cobbler - all made from scratching as Kirk likes to say.
I've put together two videos of the event, taken with my little Flip camcorder. Check them out on YouTube: and
Anyhow, as tonight is the actual DOB, we're contemplating our favorite local casino, the Tulalip. Unfortunately, our favorite local cover band, The Afrodisiacs/Spazmatics ( won't be playing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

IF: Modify

This is my entry for Illustration Friday: Modify. To avoid extinction this Velociraptor's parents sent it for the first day of school following the motto: "Modify...or die." Any other motives for a dinosaur to go to elementary school are open to interpretation. This was also inspired by my 6 year old daughter, who enters first grade soon and wishes all of her classmates (and teachers) were dinos.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

American Doxic

Several years ago I created an illustration I called American Doxic, a Dachshund parody of sorts of American Gothic, the classic painting by Grant Wood. I didn't like how my weiner dogs turned out, so after about 6 months I discontinued the design, intending to someday re-do the dachsies.

I recently completed the new version, using the original background I had created in 2002 with its weenie dog whirligig and bone-pattern curtains but with all new doxies. The farmer's wife also has a dashund cameo and rabbit patterned dress for extra weiner dog fun. This fresh version with either two red Dachshunds or one red and one black and tan and are now available on a bunch of products in my Cafe Press shop.
I framed a print of the new version for myself and it always makes people laugh. I think it is one of my favorites.
The original Grant Wood image and my old version with its weird dogs are also shown here. You can see why I retired the first version so quickly! My mother has an old t-shirt of the original design and gets comments whenever she wears it while I stand by and cringe as she directs them to "the artist".