Wednesday, November 25, 2015

City for Illustration Friday

I don't do a lot of city drawing or painting, so for inspiration, I dug through some old photos I took while in Spain.  I chose this one from Zaragoza and tried to simplify so I could finish before getting frustrated.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Harvest Counties map

Just for the fun of it, I've been working on a map of Star Stable's newly opened land, the southern Harvest Counties.  I drew the top portion earlier in the year so it feels good to have the rest completed.  It's like finding the missing puzzle piece.  We think it resembles a rhino.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Game map and photo album

My focus was elsewhere today, but got some work done on a map I've started based on the game I play with my daughter.  Star Stable.  This is Epona, in the southern Harvest Counties.  We finally got in and have been exploring.  I also finished making a photo album for her for Christmas, based on similarities in our real life road trip and places in the game.  Here's an example:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Animal for Illustration Friday

Animal House

I went outside the other night to look for shooting stars and when I turned back towards the house, this is what I saw, minus the quail.  (I had been drawing quail in my sketchbook, so I added one).  Also missing from photo: another dog, smaller birds, and the fish.  No wonder it sometimes feels crowded.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I wish I could say what kind of cactus this one is, but I forgot.  We picked it out from the cactus farm and everything, but that was years ago.  The spiky needles are ridiculously long.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


It was one of those days where I only had short chunks of time spread throughout the day.  I started this piece outside but didn't get very far when I had to leave the house again.  So I snapped a photo of the sunlight I was using and played a little more with it after dinner, but then a science experiment called for help.  Have you ever extracted the iron from breakfast cereal with a magnet?  Now I have.  I'm worn out from figure skating, driving kids to appointments, karate with my son (I am still working towards a yellow belt) and I am giving myself permission to finish this tomorrow.

Monday, November 16, 2015

more rain

Another cold and cloudy day in the valley of the sun.  To celebrate, I stayed indoors and painted the view from the window and wouldn't you know it, as soon as I set my brush down the sun poked through and highlighted just the peak.  I am forever painting this mountain.  She has so many moods.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rainy day

Rainy desert day kept me indoors, but I love watching the mountain disappear into the clouds.  That's how we judge how serious the weather is.  By the time I finished this tiny little landscape the mountain was mostly invisible and the rain was coming down steadily.  I tried to lighten up parts of it, but then remembered I didn't use the good watercolor paper.  I would try this one again a few more times.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Prickly Pear Cactus

When I lived in the forest, I painted trees all the time.  Now I live in the desert so I should be painting cactus all the time, but I don't.  I am working on that.  For this I used a technique that used to be one of my favorites, dropping in color wet in wet, waiting for it to dry, then defining the shape by coloring around the edges.  Ideally the needles should be golden, but it wasn't working.  So I used a dark gray to make them stand out.  

Friday, November 13, 2015


Racing the setting sun, to catch the light on a single cactus in the wash.  A good exercise for me, as I had to focus on what was important and not get distracted by the background, or the adorable little quail family parading in front of me.  Quick observations and decisions.  Not half bad.  Saguaros are fun because at first glance they appear tall and green, but upon closer inspection there's so much more than that!  I think I'm actually pretty happy with this sketch.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Art Every Day Month

I made a mini watercolor book this summer to take on a trip but never used it.  Now I intend to fill it up with plein air color sketches with my Sakura pocket paints and water brush.  I tend to get overwhelmed by the whole scene so I'm trying to focus on smaller areas.    I'm really not too happy with the branch in the bottom one, but at least I know I'll do it differently next time.
Day 11 and 12

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


This is one of the ideas I was playing around with for Illustration Friday's topic, Whimsical.  I am hoping this will be the year we will make a snow globe. The big question is, what will we put in it?

Waiting for Epona

This is a watercolor sketch of a scene from the StarStable game I like to play with my daughter.  She found a way to get to the other side of that locked gate, but I couldn't.  So, while she ran around exploring, I sat down and painted the view to pass the time.  Someday DreamShadow and I will gallop into Epona!