Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sailor, Illustration Friday

Marker  on paper

One night after dinner, everyone in my family took a piece of paper, their favorite markers and started drawing.  It was an unplanned event, but so much fun!  This is what I created that night.  A girl sailing on the moon to the island of sheep.  It's an idea I've had floating around in my head for awhile, and I was hoping to have a different version to share, but never finished.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ice Cream Shoppe watercolor for Illustration Friday

©SandraJessop, Ice Cream Shoppe, watercolor, 6x8"

For Illustration Friday's theme "ice cream".  Overall I'm pretty happy with this design.  I really like the way she is walking off the bottom.  I wanted to keep the colors light and sweet.  My kids approved the use of pink for an ice cream shop.  I sort of wish I had colored the door window panels differently, with maybe a glimpse inside the shop.  I made a bunch of line drawings on my ipad using Tayasui Sketches, something new I'm trying.  I've been admiring some digital illustrations and wanted to play around with that. I'm still figuring out how to use it, and how it works best for me.

...another ice cream illo from earlier this year. "Scoop"

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Macaw Painting a Portrait of a Parakeet, watercolor

©SandraJessop, Plato Paints, Watercolor, 6x8

For Illustration Friday's topic of "Portrait" I thought it would be cute to have our macaw, Plato, painting our blue budgie, Rain.  I definitely had fun working on this, though I kept looking to Plato to see how her colors combined and she wasn't very helpful.  First she was preening and had her head tucked every time I looked over at her.  Then she was playing with a toy on her cage and I still couldn't see her head.  The next time I looked she was taking a nap with her face hidden.  I think maybe she was being a little shy.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Illustration Friday: Love. Horse and Elephant watercolors

©SandraJessop Summer Love Watercolor, 5x7

©SandraJessop  A Mother's Love Watercolor, 5x7

Love, for Illustration Friday

These are both subjects that have been on my list of things to "color" for awhile, elephants and horses.  I recently found a picture of my daughter hugging a pony and that inspired the first one.  After drawing the elephants, I came across a video of a baby elephant being rescued from a well.  It was very touching to see the little one running to his mother and I enjoyed that happy feeling as I finished painting.  

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hello little sprout! Baby bird watercolor for Illustration Friday

©SandraJessop Sprout watercolor

A quick, fun watercolor for Illustration Friday's topic "Sprout".

I giggle to myself when I look at this now, because the little bird reminds me of a watermelon.  That was unintentional but I am enjoying it!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

One Two Three! Summer fun watercolor

©SandraJessop One, Two, Three! watercolor 8x10

Another topic from Illustration Friday: "Three"

One, two, three, jump!  It's been record setting hot in Phoenix and we are all trying not to melt.  Jumping into a pool is good, clean fun and it works!  This illustration is inspired by my own kids, neighbors and relatives.  So many creative games have been invented in the backyard pool and this celebrates those memories.  

To see an "extra friend" that was created in the pool go here:

This is the initial sketch and the final in progress.  I decided to move them onto an angle to give more of a "falling" into the water feeling.  

©SandraJessop, watercolor

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ice skating on the frozen canal

©SandraJessop, Ice Skating in Hindeloopen, watercolor, 8x10

"Hallo!  Goedendag."

This week I remembered seeing pictures of people skating in frozen canals somewhere in northern Europe.  I searched images for different countries but couldn't find what I was looking for.  As usual I sketched a bunch of ideas from things I did see of Hindeloopen, Netherlands, and eventually worked out this idea of two skaters near a bridge.  Besides being a picturesque location, it was also fun to say as I drew: Hindeloopen. Try it.

I knew I wanted the colors to be very light and feel like the aurora borealis in pink, gold, blue and violet.  When consulting with my daughter as to which of the drawings she most wanted to see painted, she chose the bridge and said to be sure to include a horse.  I was sort of leaning towards a windmill myself, but I like the way this turned out.

For ice skating illustrations from last year try these:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Imaginary Travel to Machu Picchu

©SandraJessop Machu Picchu, watercolor, 6x9"
It always seems that I get the idea to paint an outside wall at the beginning of summer, you know, when the temperatures are regularly above 100ยบ.  Wouldn't it be better to do it in the winter?  Of course!  So why does the heat bring on the urge to paint outdoors?  Maybe it's because I start spending more time looking out the window, or dreaming of a vacation somewhere, as people talk of their summer plans.

Last year I was remembering a trip to Michigan, driving past all the wonderful sunflowers fields, so I painted sunflowers on a naked wall outside my house.  I blogged about it for Creative Every Day and you can see that here.  We originally planted trees/bushes strategically outside windows to cover the view of the block wall.  One year, a fierce storm removed one of those trees (also leaving behind a crack in the window) thus the sunflowers were planted.

Shortly after we moved into this house I painted a toucan scene on a corner wall, to brighten up  a view from inside.  I've alway wanted to continue the mural onto the next wall incorporating some sort of ruins.  In keeping with the South American theme, I decided on a place that fascinates me: Machu Picchu.  I've been scouring the internet for pictures and reading articles about traveling to Peru.  I am a bit saddened by the fact that the number of tourists has increased so dramatically, the area is experiencing problems with pollution and over-crowding.  Last year Peru imposed restrictions on the Inca Trail to limit the number of people and also raised the fee.

Since I will probably never see it in person, I'm making an imaginary trip.  I am still at the beginning of this journey, but wanted to share.  Incidentally, this is a good time of year to visit Machu Picchu, just in case it's on your bucket list.

This is the hidden wall where it will go, near the air conditioner. I did cut a few more branches so I don't get poked in the eye while painting, but I like the idea of it being partially covered.  Lots of drawings, color sketches.  I began chalking the wall to test the placement, as this is something to be seen through the windows of the house.  I'm glad I did because I needed to move the whole thing over about 6 inches.  I also decided I wanted roofs on my buildings.

Figuring out the stonework
Making decisions

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Feed Your Mind" watercolor, Illustration Friday

©SandraJessop, Feed Your Mind, watercolor, 5x7"

As the summer begins all the children will be looking for things to do.  While there are certainly camps, games, computers, ipads and swimming pools, I hope they will also remember books.  Printed words can help us travel to distant locations, open our imagination and plant ideas that will feed our minds.  I'm a little old school, in that I love the feel of actual paper in my hands (sometimes even the smell of it too), the sound of the pages turning.  the gradual moving of the bookmark, and the texture - is it one of those new velvety smooth covers?

I hope you find a good book to read this summer!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Horse Team for Illustration Friday

Sandra Jessop, Team, watercolor, 5x7"
Illustration Friday

During my initial "idea phase" for this topic I came up with some really boring sketches and then one day brilliance struck!  A team of horses.  At first I was thinking of something like the Budweiser clydesdales, but when I grabbed the nearest writing implement, I sketched only two stylized horses and left it alone.  I figured the details would work themselves overnight.  

Unplanned, I found myself watching a NOVA program entitled, "Building Pharoah's Chariot"- A team uncovers the advanced engineering behind an ancient Egyptian war machine.  I probably wouldn't have chosen it myself, but nevertheless I was fascinated.  

Using hieroglyphics in tombs and other artifacts, historians and horse experts worked with local craftsmen to recreate Egyptian horse carts.  They used current knowledge and ancient pictures to figure out the harness, mechanics of the cart, and experiment to figure out why it was done that way.  By the end of the show they were testing them with horses that had also been chosen and trained for that purpose.  

The experts obtained one pair of horses and a back-up pair, just to be prepared for anything, I guess.  One of the pairs was two stallions, who didn't get along very well.  Honestly I don't remember which team they finished with, as I only saw parts of the end of the program, but I do remember it worked.  The project was a success.

When I went back to work on my drawing, it suddenly had an Egyptian feel, but it wasn't right for me.  I then had to research different horse carts to see which fit best with what I wanted.  I grew up riding and showing horses, and we even had pulling ponies at one point (which is another story altogether), but I had no knowledge of harnesses or structure of carts.  I looked at various "chariots" and after more sketches, found the one I liked for this particular illustration.

At some point I have to make the decision to research or fake it.  I think in general I research, find so much variety, I have to create something all my own anyway. "Team" for Illustration Friday.

If you are interested in the NOVA program, I found a link here: