Sketching Out Your Life

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With my work, everything begins with a sketch. Characters come alive. Their personalities appear with each line. Their story develops with the addition of each line.  Sometimes lines must be erased before I move on. It’s a wonderful thing to sit with pencil in hand and play with ideas. All things are possible!

But, what if real life was the same? With the stroke of a pencil we plan our future? Our personalities change? Our destination is discovered? What if with the eraser we could re-chart our course or re-do something in our past?

Actually, I truly believe this is possible!  Take a pencil and make a list of what you would like to do. Be specific. Is it a trip somewhere you have never been to?  Is it to become someone you are not?  …YET?  Is it to meet someone? Is it to accomplish something?  Allow yourself to dream a little. Imagine that whatever you write out or draw, really could come true! It will free you up.  It might unlock a place you are stuck in!

Writing it down on paper is only the beginning.  On paper you can try it out.  You can sketch it all out. You can erase and start all over. If it is to change, do a character sketch of just who you want to be.  A person who does not smoke? A person who loves others, someone who is NOT shy?  Try on all the possibilities. See yourself fly!

You may not be able to draw, but you can dream!  Write it down with your trusty little pencil!  Get yourself a brand spankin’ new sketchbook and give it a try! … and then let me know how it comes out!!

Spring! Cometh!

 

 

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Winter is on the way OUT!  I say this as a huge storm is coming into Colorado right NOW!!  No, I did not go to the grocery store in freak out mode stocking my cupboards. Instead, I spent a bit of time today digging in my garden resisting the urge to acknowledge the storm at all!  ha!

Alas, tonight I will hunker down with my pens and paper and continue to work towards deadlines for up and coming trade shows. That is the good thing about storms!  They keep me focused.  I wonder how many artists are like me?

I have one problem.  I can’t seem to go out to my studio to work.  It’s covered with papers, receipts, file folders etc.  It is my new book-keeping system in progress. Eeeeek!  My friend is helping me set up my Quick Books program.  She entered all my checks, deposits etc, and sent me the disk. I bought the program, installed it, imported my files… … then I went to reconcile the two bank statements that my friend did not add and suddenly I am thirty dollars off!  What on earth?  What could I have done?

So, I did what I do best,  I locked the studio door and went in the house. ha!  My right brain is not in the mood for numbers!  Happy Spring everyone!

 

Page by Page

Peepsqueak Rock On!

Progress on book 2

Peepsqueak’s second book is well on the way to meeting the deadline of November 15th. My next step in the process is the fun part!  Adding COLOR!

What you are looking at in the picture (above) are all my pages laid out. There are scans, sketches, finished ink drawings and notes from the editor for each page. Here is an example of an unfinished page. I started coloring the deer and the fox!  Stay posted!  I will show you the finished page later!

Which Came First? The Chicken or the Egg?

The P E N C I L !

Many have asked me what my process is for creating my characters.  Here is the low down with my “Peepsqueak” chick.

1. First I sketch him with a simple pencil. 2. Once Peepsqueak is sketched, I lay a piece of tracing paper over the sketch and draw him with an ink line. (I use a #3 Micron pen) This inked-in image is then scanned. 

3. There are always specks and lines in the scan that I might not like. At this point I open this inked-in image in Photoshop and clean it up. You can see in the image below how I cleaned up Peepsqueak.  4. The next step is to bring the cleaned up jpg into Illustrator. I open the image in Illustrator. I select it and then go under Object in the menu, select Live Trace, then Make and Expand.  After that process I save Peepsqueak as a pdf. Look how nice and clean and smooth the line is now!!

The last step is to color him in Photoshop!  Voila!!!

So, as you can clearly see,  the Pencil came first!!  Do you think God sketched us all out on paper before he made us?  Ha!  fun thought!

Ready to Go!


Pencil in hand, papers scattered across my old green kitchen table.  Poised and ready, I begin work on another book.  Perhaps I should say two books!  I have two in the wings.  The second Peepsqueak book and Shivery Timbers!  I can already hear the farm animals in the barn and the crazy Snofolk tumbling down the hills.  Blue Skye Studio, you ROCK!!

Crazy Busy With My Cartoon Family

It has been busy busy busy in the studio!   The place is jammed packed with characters waiting to be famous.

Newton has had his day in the sun with a new Baby Journal out in January. 

“Yes You Can Man” wants a bit of the action for himself. He has been waiting in the wings with his REALLY BIG ideas!

Peep Squeak?.…  he is always “On the Move!.  There will be Peepsqueak fabric out in February and a Peepsqueak‘s children’s book in the works for 2012..

Lae Dee Bugg is hoping for a July release at Christian Art Gifts for the TWEEN market.

Bitty Bot?…  she and her bot friends really wants to be on fabric. They are waiting to hear back from a recent submission.

Hen Rietta fabric is in revision mode. Hen Riettas friend, Grace is serving us up some hot cocoa. She is standing near ……. Shivery the snowman!  Brrrrr!!! He has high hopes for a children’s book someday.

There is no forgetting Bea Bunny.  She is always trying to get in the picture. She will debut in the Peepsqueak book.

This is life in my studio.  Never a dull moment!

Oh NO! did you hear that?  It’s Zippy! That little hedge hog came in late and missed the photo shoot.  I will not hear the end of that!

“Zippy!  Next time try to be on time.  Remember, you snooze  you lose!”

There are also bears, clowns, birds and more. It is never boring in the studio!

Solitude

My work seems to have different phases.  Last week was full of wild creativity!  I browsed pages and  pages of magazines with scissors in hand, blasted through bins of children’s books, and treasure hunted for color combinations in just about anything that came into view. If you could have seen into my brain you would have been scared. hahaha!

This week the tide has turned. My days will be spent without any other human beings in sight and only a sleeping puppy or two at my feet. It will be this way until my ideas are sketched, inked in, scanned, and colored. For me it means many quiet solitary days. Someone singing on the radio or a person talking on the television might scatter my thoughts like a stiff wind blowing a newly finished puzzle off a card table into a million pieces!

I don’t mind quiet days. In fact, when life gets crazy hectic I often retreat to this quiet place.  It’s a source of strength to sit with my little cartoons that smile up at me.  Call that crazy if you’d like … but its my little part of the world.