October  :  haunted 

October 1, 2017

October. It is my favorite month.
Not only do I love the weather, but the haunted feeling is very exciting. 
I think I could go on and on painting ghosts in white dresses,
but I will be taking the online school next 5 weeks and probably will 
have to take a brake from finished works.

Haunted room

9"x12" acrylic on paper

More ghosts in the woods

Cute  :  card design  

September 26, 2017

I felt like the bunny from my previous 
painting needed more attention and play a bigger role.
May be I should make a card with this character?

Honey bunny

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.


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!


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.


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.

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