Colors of this week :  turquoise and purple  



September 22, 2017



These are my happy colors.
 They are the key that open that door.


Blue Ghost


Blue Ghost

I was very excited this week mixing cadmium red, violet and turquoise.
Adding little white and black paint into the mix was giving 
delicate shades of purple from warm grey to cold blueberry.  
I don't even know why I need characters when there are colors like this.
But then the ghost came over and I let her stay.


Filling in the sketchbook page with florals was easy and relaxing.


Free flowing floral page



Then just shapes.

colors

Children's books :  cover illustrations  



September 18, 2017



These book coves were made during MATS classes I took as a part of
 Lilla Rogers' online school.
I am preparing to take another very intense 5 week illustration
 class in October, cleaning up my entire studio, 
going through loads of paper and supplies.
Below I am sharing my thoughts about the class.

Book cover design

Book cover design


Lilla's classes are very intense and could bring you up on a new level but you need to have a clear idea where you want to go during these 5 weeks. 

But be prepared to change styles, mediums and art tools in the middle of the class and if you are stuck, ask questions in a Facebook group. 

The decisions you make during the class help you grow as an illustrator. Try new ways to paint/draw traditionally or digitally, explore something different. Go outside the box!
In my case I tried and loved using paper collage for one of the final pieces. 

If you use traditional painting/drawing techniques it is very helpful to have knowledge of Photoshop basics, know how to do a mockup, how to add lettering to your image, color manipulation, image cropping and resizing, etc. 

What I do before the class and it is something I like to do periodically is to line up what I think my most successful recent pieces in front of me and analyze them in regard of all points the illustrations are judged by. 

My list consists of : colors, composition, overall style, mood, textures, use of lettering, character's facial expressions, movement, how the characters interact, so on. 

I take notes what qualities I want to keep in my next series of illustrations and what I want to get rid of.

I also have a digital folder where I keep inspirational art I need for motivating myself. 

It is also helpful to have your own little library of ready to use Photoshop textures, icons, your own font or lettering samples to grab really fast for the assignment.

Going through loads of favorite illustrated books is a good idea to get inspired and to see what techniques are used.

After the class is over, you will end up with millions new ideas, sketches, finished and unfinished pieces. 
Many things will look not so scary any more and you will have a big appetite to go forward and try new things. 
You might be even ready to put your portfolio together and make a pitch to a publisher!

Both times I took the class I started with one style and ended with something completely different. And this unexpected new result is the best part of this Lille's class, this is something I really wanted - to come up with a new and better work.
 My pieces were reviewed by Lilla and Zoe most of the times and this part was the most valuable.
My cover designs as the final assignment
brought together everything I learned during the 5 weeks and my covers do look kind of close to what I envisioned in the beginning, but I still don't have a cohesive look of all my class works.
I was going back and forth between paints and Photoshop and had to make really fast and sometimes not best decisions on the final look.
I re- did most of the work after the class, though and was amazed by how much I liked my illustrations after that. 


So this time around I am taking my time and preparing for the October class already. 

It is going to be so much fun and hard work, and lots of new things will sprout from there. 
See you in the class!
-Sofia








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Sketchbook :  review and thoughts   



September 15, 2017



This week I chewed on some ideas in my sketchbook.

Sketchbook moment


Mostly I wanted to see what colors would look the best as the contrasting background 
for the little pinkish figures. 
These are the ideas for my series that I call "Enchanted garden" for now.
The second and the third sketchbook spread are in more green/blue shade 
and have a bit wrong mood. 
I don't know. They look more cheerful and spring-y when I wanted to have heavier 
and kind of ominous and threatening emotion coming 
from the color combination. 
I think, I am going to keep the dark blue/grey palette for this series and 
leave the light green/turquoise combination for spring! 

Sketchbook moment


Sketchbook moment

Last week :  what was on 



September 11, 2017

Last week I posted on Instagram some of my progress pictures as well as finished works.

Daydream


I am going to try and sync my blogging with Instagram feed so that I have 
a better record of everything I have been doing lately and give little more 
explanation for those of you who follow me on both platforms.
Instagram is not meant for long texts under the images,
when the blogging is good exactly for this purpose (too bad it is getting less popular).


These works here don't have clear titles, because they are mostly 
color and shapes explorations. 
Woods painting in progress

I started with mixing paint to see what color palette I was going to like 
based on green/ grey/ brown shades. 

Woods painting in progress

Then the characters took place.
They are parts of some story that I don't really have control over, 
the images just visit me when I am ready to place them on prepared backgrounds 
and they tell me how they want to be shown.
Untitled 12"x9"

in progress

I have been trying to keep some kind of consistency of my artwork lately 
in regards of a subject as well as colors and techniques.
I look at it as a step forward and also the consistency makes my practice little easier. 
For quite sometime I felt like all over the place in my painting/drawing style and it was frustrating. 
Now I can understand that probably it is just a phase that I need to go through and it is quite typical for artists. 

Thank you for visiting my blog!
Talk to you later.
Sofia

September:  desert and mice 


September 8, 2017



I am totally late with this iPhone screensaver I made 
for my phone for the month of September. I don't know how it is connected 
but the occasions of my cats catch and bring home mice have
 been more often since I painted this illustration. 
So, for all the little desert mice that are fallen in the deadly chase, 
this is for you!

September screensaver



For those who don't know, I live in a Las Vegas' suburb near the park 
that is more of a desert than a regular park, with most desert 
flora and fauna represented there.
Happy September!

Desert mice

Old artwork:  painted cabinet 


September 2, 2017



This project was done last year and I was in such a hurry 
to enjoy painting the those hares that I forgot to take more 
process pictures and document the steps. 
I used the regular acrylic paint and varnished 
with a furniture varnish at the end. 
Inspiration : William Morris (of course).

Painted furniture project

New artwork:  exploring the colors 


August 28, 2017



I have painted these two pieces during the past two weeks. 
My goal was to keep a certain color scheme for each painting. 
So, I created backgrounds with plants and flowers using only a few shades
of green and brown.


untitled 9x12


untitled 9X12


As it usually happens (not always, unfortunately)
after a certain point of working on the pieces they have gotten their own mind and 
started telling me what they wanted to become. 
So they became a sleeping panther (first) and somebody walking through the woods (second).

Both paintings are available for sale.
9x12 acrylic on paper.
Matted.
Contact me at
www.sofiya.moore@gmail.com

Many thanks "Welcome to Night Vale" podcast I was listening to 
while working and being inspired by!

work in progress











Giveaway:  notebooks with birds


August 22, 2017


Popping in to announce a giveaway that is going over at my Instagram.
If you would like to win a set of these cute notebooks with birds and strawberries
stop by and leave a comment!
Designed, printed and bound by truly yours.

Handmade notebooks


Для моих русскоговорящих читателей -
Зайдите ко мне на инстаграм, чтобы выиграть два 
блокнота с птицами и клубникой, которые я сама напечатала и сшила (красной ниткой).

New  artwork:  sketchbook and a unicorn


August 14, 2017


These three paintings were started as sketchbook try outs of some ideas 
that grew to finished works, unexpectedly.


White mouse


My main intention is usually to try a new color combination 
and just to "see what happens if." 
Ah, the power of a sketchbook. 


Blue dog

The downside is that the paper I painted all these painting is 
thinner that I prefer, but still fine.
(I used Canson Mixed Media blue album with 98 lb weight paper) 
I know how it works with me, the moment I have 
a thick expensive white bristol sheet in front of me, I freeze. 

unicorn yoga


A unicorn character is kind of not very me, kind of outside of my language zone.
Not my vocabulary. This is me pretending speaking the unicorn language. 
I hope you understand me.
(I was overdosed on "Welcome to Night Vale" podcast).


unicorn yoga

All paintings are available for sale.
Contact me at sofiya.moore@gmail.com

 August  :  lizards and bugs


August 7, 2017



It's August


another take of this story
One of my favorite characters to draw and paint is a lizard.
Last week I painted two almost identical illustrations 
depicting the lizard watching a lady bug
and since it was a beginning of the month, made a screensaver for my phone. 

Now I have two.
Follow me on Instagram here to see what paintings I post for sale.
Since I don't have my web shop set up yet, I sell originals 
through my Instagram account.
Or you can drop me email here
sofiya.moore@gmail.com
Have a wonderful August!

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Almost August  :  sketchbook page


July 31, 2017



Today I want to show you a short tutorial of a technique
that I used in my handmade sketchbook to paint this page.

sketchbook page

First, I gessoed the page with white gesso.
Let it dry and painted first layer with blue acrylic.
On top of blue I randomly laid strokes of green paint keeping the center clear. 
I used 3 shades of green to have some color variation.
Then added a couple of bright orange spots planning some flowers.

sketchbook page

After the paint dried I outlined leafy background with white pastel pencil. 
Painted the negative space with dark blue acrylics.

sketchbook page

Added some branches and missing parts..

sketchbook moment

Took a coffee break :)) 
and sketched some sitting figures on a separate paper to decide on a pose.
Painted the girl and flowers, added final details.

sketchbook page

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Sketchbook overview  :  live drawing


July 25, 2017



Once a week live painting sessions 
are becoming my favorite art thing to do these days.

live painting sketchbook

This is a second year of me practicing to draw/paint live and finally 
it is slowly becoming more of a free flowing and spontaneous process.
 I noticed that I need to see a model for only 20 min for a reference 
and after that the sketch/mini painting is taking its own life.
I try to not worry about correctness of anatomical structure.
My main interest lays in that moment when the image start showing its own mood 
and start telling me what to do next. 
Most of the times its telling me to add contrast and texture.


Live painting sketchbook

This sketchbook is almost done and becoming one of my most valued possessions.
When I go through it I feel that I grew and most important I am not scared.

Live sketching/painting night

I lay few layers of messy paint strokes on a white sheet in advance. 
Very often I paint the sheets in this sketchbook with paint leftovers 
left from other projects.  

2-28-17 live dwg


LIVEDWG 2-21-17

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Strawberry thieves  : acrylic painting 

step-by-step


July 17, 2017


1
Available for sale
fits in 11x14 matting
Email me at sofiya.moore@gmail.com

This is how the process looked:

collage

 It was an intuitive and free flowing painting session 
when I did not set my mind onto an end result.

I started with messy first few layers to get rid of white background. 
I gessoed mix media paper and then painted first acrylic underlayer 
to add texture and set the color scheme.
I wanted the warm peach tone to shine through.



                   Materials I use :
                   paper
                   gesso
                   acrylic paints (assorted brands)
                   colored pencils


I outlined flowers and birds with colored pencils.
Loosely adding color and sometimes just smudging paint with fingers.

4

Working on smaller details.
Layering the background.

12


13


14


15

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This week  : bits and pieces


July 9, 2017


Something I have been working on this week...
  Mostly picture books characters, sketches, textures and an unfinished still life with ballerina. 
My cat loves the mess I have created and makes himself very comfortable in the middle of it.

mouse king


Mouse illustration in progress


detail of the process


on the floor