Weekly Drawing: Portrait Practice

Magazine ads are great for practicing portraits. Even if my drawing isn't completely accurate, it's good practice to try different angles and test out various styles of drawing.


Weekly Drawing: Self Portrait



I recall teaching a class full of kids about the importance of proportion, and one student had an interesting way of thinking about it. He said,"It's kind of like, when you change the size of a bug, it can either be a monster about to step on a person, or a person about to step on an insect." 7 years old and already knows his art principles.

The subject featured in the photograph is my parents' cat Sophie. The baby has yet to be named.


Weekly Drawing: Not a Drawing

You may have noticed, this is not a drawing. It's a watercolor. I didn't use watercolor pencils either, so it is truly not a drawing at all. The fact is, I need to take more pictures of my drawings. Another fact: I need a new camera. So today you get a painting. Self-portrait, actually. Hope you like it.


Weekly Drawing: Stegasaurus

Sorry about the quality of the photo, I took it with my phone. This was a design I did on craft foam for a mouse pad. Unfortunately, the marker ended up smearing :/ 


Weekly Drawing: Meditation


Weekly Drawing: Cat in Window


Weekly Drawing: The Toad


Weekly Drawing: Diversity

Note: I know my updates have been few and far between.  Life has thrown me a few curveballs and my priorities have been rearranged.  I am still drawing almost daily, but my camera is busted and I have no scanner, so posting art is going to be tricky.  I will do my best to get back to posting weekly.

Thanks to those of you who have chosen to stick with me!  You are super wonderful, and you should know it.


Weekly Drawing: Avocado?


Weekly Drawing: Detached

Ever feel like your head is floating away from the rest of your body?... Just me?


How to Draw Poop

Yes.  I found a video.  You know you want to watch it.


Weekly Drawing: Burn-Out


Interview with Artist Robin Richardson

If you enjoy intricate illustrations of animals and people with a morbid storybook feel, then Robin Richardson's artwork would be right up your alley.  Not only does she sell original pen and ink drawings in her Etsy shop, but she also sells prints and incorporates her work into jewelry pieces.  I recently had the privilege to interview Robin and learn more about herself and her work.  Enjoy! 

Where are you from?
I'm from Toronto.

Do you live with family (significant other, kids, pets, houseplants, etc)?
I live with my boyfriend in a charming little attic apartment.

What made you want to be an artist?
I love to make things and I really like the idea of having a career that allows me to move around and make my own hours. That’s one of the biggest perks of any art in my opinion.

Where do you get ideas for an artwork?
I get ideas from everything: film, books, and other artists…. Usually when I start a new project I surround myself with reference photos and nature books that I’ve collected over the years. I also tend to start a drawing without any specific idea in mind just to see where it takes me.

Walk us through a typical day for you.
The first thing I do in a day is head out to a cafĂ© and do about two to three hours of work on various projects. The rest of the day goes to whatever part time job I have at the time.

What do you like to do when you're not making art?
When I’m not making art I’m writing. I just graduate from OCAD with my BA in illustration only to decide to go ahead and get my MFA in poetry of al things. I’ll be leaving Toronto this Fall to attend Sarah Lawrence College, where I will hopefully be able to get a lot of writing and art done. I’m really hoping that my Etsy sales might help subsidize the whole thing. My hope is to one day combine my art and writing somehow, maybe an illustrated book…

Name two of your favorite artists (living or dead).
  1. Aubrey Beardsely
  2. Arthur Rackham
What advice do you have for new artists?
My only real piece of advice to young artists would be to work hard. Never settle for something when you know you can do better. Almost everyone I know who has any real success got it through sheer determination and had relentlessly high expectations of themselves.


Weekly Drawing: Celebration


Top 5: Television Shows

This is a list of my five favorite TV shows of all time.  You will notice the majority are comedies... I like to laugh :)

1. 3rd Rock from the Sun
This show was consistently hilarious.  It was very well cast, and wasn't afraid to be excessively goofy for the sake of a laugh.  I'm almost positive that I watched every single episode, and was really sad to see it go.

2. Seinfeld
I loved this show for a number of reasons, but my number one reason is because it really reflects on how friends behave.  Seinfeld always brought out the worst in people, in the funniest way.  It was unfortunate that the last episode was such a stinker, but considering the successful 9 year run they had, it's forgivable.

3. The X-Files
I must admit, I didn't watch this show when it was on air.  My husband and I decided to check it out a couple of years ago, and once we started watching we could not stop.  We watched the entire series in under a year, and were rarely disappointed.  It was a good dose of science fiction fun.

4. Bullshit
If you haven't checked out Penn & Teller's show Bullshit, please do.  It will change the way you think about a lot of issues.  It's just... incredible.

5. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
All of the characters in this show are absolutely despicable, which makes for a very amusing show!  Everyone's logic is completely bogus, and each episode is more ridiculous than the last.  What's not to love?


Weekly Drawing: Balloon Heads


The Secret Joy of Not Acting Your Age

Sometimes, I just can't help myself.  I know how to act appropriately in public and when to keep my mouth shut, but when something unexpected happens and is only witnessed by you and maybe one other person, it can be difficult to maintain maturity.  Allow me to demonstrate.

I went to Conner Prairie Park today with my sisters and nieces and nephew.  This place is an indoor and outdoor history museum that's really pretty cool.  We were walking around and we wandered into a little blacksmith hut where a man was hammering metal and talking about his trade to a group of people.

Suddenly, a bird swoops in and hovers over my sister's head for about 3 seconds, then takes off.  It was so bizarre, it just hovered right over her head!  I start giggling and tell her what just happened, which then got her laughing and saying things like,"I kind of wish you hadn't told me that!" and "I'm glad it didn't poop!"

I am also holding my infant nephew, who enjoys little games like blowing lightly on his face.  He was so entertained by my sister and I doing this to him that he would squeal with anticipation and throw back his head and laugh every time.

We are now giggling uncontrollably.  Though I attempted to muffle my laughter a few times, we got some dirty looks from the smithy and my other sister.  I'm sure we looked like utter fools, but it was a hilarious five minutes that I wouldn't ever take back.


Weekly Drawing: Smoke Break

I used to smoke cigarettes.  I could sit here and tell you all the negative consequences of smoking, but actually I really enjoyed it and don't regret the 5 or so years that I indulged in this habit.  It was great while it lasted, but I started to realize that it wasn't for me any more, and quit last January.


Etsy Shop and Blog Hop - Post Your Shop Here!

I found this great little idea at the Etsy blog HOST (Helping Others Street Team):

Looking for a little bit more exposure for your Etsy Shop and Blog?

Why not join our Etsy Shop Hop?  Here is how to participate.

1. Add your shop Avatar to the list below and use your etsy shop URL for it..
2. In a blog post on your blog, link to your favourite items from the two shops ahead of you on the list.
3. Add the Shop Hop code to your blog with these same instructions on how to participate.
4. Post your blog URL below in the comments.

So - when this is done, not only do you get at least two new links to your items from another blog which helps you be found, but you also might get more followers to your blogs and visits to your shops.

My favorite items from the two shops ahead of me were these:

From DareDream:


20 Things That Don't Inspire Me

There are plenty of articles on the internet about what inspires people.  You may read them and feel uplifted and ready to take on the world.  Good for you.  Today has not inspired me in the least bit.  I keep trying to paint, write, draw, or find SOMETHING productive to do, but the inspiration ceases to come.  So I decided to write a list of what doesn't inspire me.

1. Rain.
2. Cereal that gets soggy two minutes after you pour milk on it.
3. Slow internet connection.
4. Running out of gum.
5. Not being able to paint the vision in my head.
6. Stubbed toes.
7. Heartburn.
8. Dead gnats in my juice.
9. Crappy erasers.
10. Burning my tongue.
11. Mosquito bites.
12. Cheese that gets a rind on it from being left out too long.
13. Holes in my skirts.
14. Stepping on the cat.
15. Pimples.
16. When the DVR cuts off the last part of a recorded show.
17. Back pain.
18. Falling down in public.
19. Dead batteries in my camera.
20. Menstruation.

What bums you out enough to distract you from doing any productive?


Weekly Drawing: Pear and Plums

This is a drawing I did in college with conte crayons.  I asked a friend (@sushirevenge on twitter) to take bites out of the plums and pear because at the time I wasn't really a fan of those fruits.

I should draw food more often.


Weekly Drawing: Hieroglyphic?

This is a drawing I did for A Beautiful Party.  Pretty random, no?


My Top 5: Pizza Toppings

I could eat pizza every day.  Here are my 5 favorite toppings.
  • Black olives
These are so addictive.  I say I like them on pizza, which I do, but I could also just eat them straight out of the can.  I lust for them.
  • Zucchini
Thinly sliced zucchini is so awesome baked on a pizza.  Unlike cucumber, it's not very juicy, so you needn't worry about it getting weird and slimy.  Great crunchy texture!
  • Tomato slices
Tomato slices help bring out the flavor in the marinara sauce.  I get excited when I see pizzas topped with tomatoes :D
  • Artichoke hearts
I've always thought that artichoke hearts looked totally gross and weird, but they're one of those mysteriously amazing foods.  Excellent sliced up on pizza.
  • Feta cheese
The absolute best cheese to have crumbled on top of your other pizza ingredients.  

Hungry yet?  I am!


Irresistible Etsy Shops: Part VII

Good things come to those who wait!

My cats would tear this off, but it would be cute for a minute :D

Bright colors make my day.

Some people wear their brain on their back (get it? like "heart on their sleeve"? I made a funny!)

A little off-season, but I couldn't resist posting this awesome beard hat!

Miss last month's Etsy post?  Here it is!


Weekly Drawing: Group Hug


Bonnaroo 2010

Bonnaroo was unlike anything I've ever experienced.  If you are a music lover and have considered attending this annual festival, be prepared to sweat 20 gallons a day and share close quarters with 100,000 other people.  Here's my experience:

  • After driving a little over 5 hours to Manchester, Tennessee, we spent another 8 hours waiting in line on the shoulder of the interstate.  Everyone was re-routed because the farm that Bonnaroo is located on was apparently a big mud hole after the previous night's rain, and they wanted the ground to dry up before people drove in and got their cars stuck.  People were getting out of their cars to go pee behind trees near the road.  One girl close to our car picked a rather leafless tree to hide behind, and she wasn't peeing.
  • There is virtually no shade.  The heat got up to 99 degrees and the handful of trees on the farm were always surrounded by people.  Four days of boiling sunshine.  Oh we wore sunscreen.  Still came back lobsters.  Sweaty, sweaty lobsters.

  • It's a bit of a culture shock.  If you live in a big city, or are used to being around several thousands of people, no big deal I suppose.  Myself, I have always lived in small cities and mid-sized towns, so I was kind of boggled at first.  I would say the majority of people were in their twenties, with some middle-aged folk, and even a few kids.  Everyone was practically naked because of the heat, so we saw a lot of skin and a lot of tattoos (some were cool, some were god-awful).
  • Not five minutes after we set up the tent, someone asked us if we wanted any hash.  Drugs are everywhere.  We were offered mostly weed and ecstasy.  If that's your bag, I don't think you need to worry about bringing any.
  • We of course could not see every band we wanted to.  We did see Tenacious D, which put on a really awesome show, as well as Weezer, Regina Spektor, The Gossip, Stevie Wonder, and Ween.  As badly as we wanted to see The Flaming Lips perform Dark Side of the Moon, the crowd was intense.  We arrived at the stage early, but people were constantly pouring in and we were getting stepped on and overcrowded.  Not to mention it was midnight and we were absolutely exhausted.

Over all, I'm glad we went, and the shows we caught were amazing... but never again.  Too damn hot, too damn crowded.  For $250, I'd like to be able to actually see the band playing and be allowed to bring in my own beer.  If money and heat and crowds are no problem to you, I say definitely check it out.


Blue 'Do for Bonnaroo

So right now I'm at Bonnaroo.  I scheduled this post before I left, because I knew you'd be dying to hear from me ;) I really hope the rain holds off, and I hope we get to see all of our favorite bands.  

I dyed my hair blue for the occasion.  Wanna see?

This is a couple of days before, at our yard sale.


See you when I get back (hopefully in one piece)!