Tag Archives: drawing

Illustration Friday : Mysterious

Wow, two weeks in a row, can you believe it?

I’m still pretty sure the muse is on sabbatical, but perhaps she’s drawing nearer as I honestly have no idea where this illustration came from. I was just messing around in my studio, lamenting the fact that the near 100% humidity in our house has rendered much of my paper supply to a curled-edged mess.  Seriously, it is so humid from the constant rain that surfaces in my house are actually wet, as if it were raining inside as well as outside. And then, of course, there’s the flooding. But, I digress.

I did this with watercolor, pearlescent watercolor, alcohol, and brush pen. I also sort of carved out the outlines of the trees using an awl (no idea why I felt compelled to employ such a technique). The man showed up very near the end, when I decided the trees just weren’t interesting enough on their own. I’m not quite sure what he’s up to, but considering my current state of mind, I’d say it’s probably no good.

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Friday Favorites : Disguise

My apologies for the rushed nature of this week’s post. It’s been a little crazy around here. Please don’t misinterpret my lack of time for lack of enthusiasm. This has actually been one of my favorite topics and the submissions this week were top shelf for sure.

This week’s favorites come sans commentary. Suffice it to say, they’re all awesome.


Disguise by Jeremy




Disguise by Emma Bazan




Disguise by Hannah Robinson




Disguise by Bill Nagel




Loan Shark by Kier Eyles




Disguise by Tom Knight




Disguise by Cristian Bernardini




Disguise by Elina Ellis




Disguise by Rafa Mir




Disguise by Stacy Curtis




Disguise by Jeff Schinkel




Disguise by Faye Dennett




To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

all images © their respective owners – if you wish to have your thumbnail removed for any reason, please contact me.



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Illustration Friday : Disguise

They could disguise their love no longer.

Okay, okay, I know this one’s a stretch. For weeks now, I have been in a terrible creative slump. I’ve tried everything to get out of it, including spending WAY too much money on art supplies. Nothing is working.

Every week, I try to come up with something for Illustration Friday. And every week I fail miserably. The image above was not what I intended to submit this week. I spent a couple of hours last night working on something that seemed like a good idea in my head, but just would not translate to paper.

What you see above is actually a little illustration I did as a gift for a friend of mine. She is a dental hygienist and I framed this little piece for her to put in her sons’ bathroom to remind them to brush their teeth (as if having a hygienist for a mother isn’t reminder enough!).

It didn’t scan very well, probably because I used pearlescent watercolors (from one of my art supply binges), but it is actually kind of cute with the mat and frame.

Please don’t ask why the tooth appears to have a unibrow. I have no idea what happened there.

Anyway, it was the best I could do in the absence of my muse.

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Friday Favorites : Influence

I don’t know what it is, but I have been in a foul mood all week. Perhaps it’s the inevitable ‘coming down’ after having a really, really good week or it could be the earthquake-with-a-shot-of-hurricane natural disaster cocktail Mother Nature is serving up to my little corner of the world, but I am not a happy camper.

I have accomplished nothing this week (unless reading the Regretsy archives, scowling, and dropping a lot of f-bombs can be considered worthwhile accomplishments). And being unproductive makes me very unpleasant to be around.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, because Cranky Ruth is extremely hard to please. And yet, Cranky Ruth found the following Illustration Friday submissions worthy of her crabby/grouchy/I-want-to-punch-everybody-in-the-face approval. And that’s a feather in your cap!

So, here it is, this week’s Friday Favorites : Crankypants Edition.


Influence by Sophie Corrigan

Chaos and a bird. Cool.



Rain Maker by Helen Wheeler-Shaw

Another nicely rendered bird.



Influence: Thank You Jack by Hazel Ang

A very lovely tribute.



Influence by Adrienne Trafford

Such a gorgeous, rich color palette.



Influence by Moira Birch Swiatkowski

The heavy lines and limited use of color make this a very striking image.



Influence by Jennifer Orkin Lewis

A great interpretation of the topic.



Influence by Tanya

Check out the animation. So cool.



Influence by Rod MacGregor

Warning: Naked people. Heh.



The Queen’s Influence by Eric Barclay

Awesome and adorable.



Influence by Pat



To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

all images © their respective owners – if you wish to have your thumbnail removed for any reason, please contact me.


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Vintage Craft Monday : How to Draw Pre-Teen Angst

Ahh, here we are, facing yet another Monday. Does it make you feel grouchy, grumpy, crabby, angsty? Yeah, me too. Maybe a little 70s-style creativity is what we all need to get us going this week!

You see that kid over there? The one with the dour expression. The one with the erupting skin. The one who may or may not be a young Eminem. Yeah, I guess we’re supposed to draw him.

Hmm, I don’t really see how that’s going to put any of us in a better mood. I mean, look at that poor kid. He can’t be more than ten or twelve and he already has frown lines for god’s sake!

I bet his mom is one of those stage mother types. She probably answered some not-quite-on-the-level ad to get him this craft card photo shoot gig. He probably kicked and screamed all the way to the studio. Probably sat in the waiting room praying they wouldn’t choose him so he could get back home and lie around his room brooding and fantasizing about Cheryl Tiegs.

And then they picked him.

He made his way grudgingly down the hall while his overbearing mother repeatedly spat on her hand to wet down his cowlick. He was forced to sit on a hard metal stool like on school picture day, while some guy with a Bob Ross ‘fro combed down his mom-slobbery hair. ‘Okay, now smile.’ he said.

‘Screw you, buddy. Screw you.’

So, um, anyway, feel free to find your own surly kid to draw. Or, if you find today’s youth as frightening as I do, just draw the kid on the card.

If you give this craft a try, please let us know how it turns out by leaving a comment or emailing yours truly at hello @ hello7arts.com (include pictures if you have them) and I will gladly share the results of your efforts with the group.

Looking for vintage craft supplies? Check out Box Full of Awesome!


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Friday Favorites : Swell

So, this week was kind of exciting for me for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that the Illustration Friday topic that you see up there in the title of this post was contributed by none other than Yours Truly!

I know. So exciting. For me, anyway.

Having my suggestion chosen meant that the link to my humble blog was on display on the Illustration Friday web site for a whole week. And that meant a huge influx of visitors! I’m really hoping some of them decided to stick around. If it’s one thing I know how to do well (and there’s a very good chance that there is only one thing I know how to do well), it is take care of my readers. Right, readers?

(This is the part where you all say, ‘Right, Ruth! We love you!’ Or something. Heh.)

But, enough about me. After all, this is Friday Favorites and that means it’s all about the awesomely talented people who creatively illustrated this week’s topic (MY topic! Okay, seriously, enough about me.) And here they are…


Swell by Robyn Jorde

Everything about this little illustration is so fantastic – the colors, the perspective, the little bit of backstory – wonderful.



Swell by heike

Love the progression shown here and the way this fish quickly becomes a bit too big to fit in the frame – oops.



You’re Swell by Kaitlyn McCane

The characters, the colors, the swirling waves all combine to make an adorable illustration.



Swell by Joanna Pass

Simple, clever, and very well done.



Swell by Valerie Lorimer

Gorgeous details. Gorgeous colors.



Swell by Hajnal Fekete

Sweet and simple.



Surfer by Matt Richards

I love the retro feel in this illustration.



Leave it to Beaver by Mary Reach

A wonderful homage to classic television.



Swell by Deniz Yegin

These girls come up with the most unique ideas (if you don’t believe me, look at this) and their submission this week was no exception.



Misadventures in Confectionery by Amanda Pollard

A great illustration with an equally great story.



Swell by evans mbai

I just cannot look at this without laughing. I just looked at it again. And now I am laughing.


This week I have to tack on an honorable mention. It goes to Elizabeth Rose Stanton of Penspaper Studio for Most Creative Commenting. I’m pretty sure she managed to work the word ‘swell’ into every single comment she left this week. Bravo! (psst, she’s also very talented, so be sure to check out her blog).


To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

all images © their respective owners – if you wish to have your thumbnail removed for any reason, please contact me.


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Friday Favorites : Imperfect

Obsession followed by imperfect…wow, it’s like Illustration Friday is looking into my soul. Heh.

Here are my perfectly imperfect picks for this week.


Imperfect by Sharon

Love the technique here. This one leaves me wondering about her past.



Piecing it Together by Christine Peloquin

Love the way that the separate elements come together in this piece. Beautifully done.



Imperfect by Deborah Davidson

Wabi-sabi is an amazing concept.



Imperfect by Toby Allen

For a moldy onion, she seems pretty sweet.



Imperfect by Oliver Flores

Great concept. Great execution. Those leaves are jerks.



Imperfect by Michael Robertson

Love this little girl’s retro style. I just hope her parents aren’t too disappointed.



Smile! by Ana Carmichael

Everything about this is just, well, perfect!



Imperfect by James Davies

This is just the sweetest thing. The #1 dog brings a little tear to my eye.



Imperfect by Charlotte Cheng

Dr. Horrible!!!!!! ‘Nuf said.



Imperfect by Roberta Baird

That Gomez always was a lusty one!


To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

all images © their respective owners – if you wish to have your thumbnail removed for any reason, please contact me.

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Friday Favorites : Obsession

(Psst, before you go any further, don’t forget to enter the BIG giveaway!)

As my friends, family, and loyal readers can attest, I know nothing of this concept called ‘obsession’. Nay, I have never spent hours lying awake in the dark wondering if the walls of my pool might spontaneously burst and flood out half my neighborhood. Nor have I ever arranged every single one of my (over 900) books according to height or painstakingly made sure that every time I set my glass of wine down at dinner it was in the exact same spot on the table from whence I picked it up. For I know nothing, nothing of obsessions, obsessing, or obsessive behavior!

(I am also most definitely NOT a master of sarcasm.)

With that being said, here are some people who apparently do know a thing or two about obsessions and how to do a damn good job of  illustrating them.


Obsession by Louise Taylor

The concept and execution of this piece are both fantastic and the story included reminds me of my uncle…maybe I’ll tell you all (what little I know) about him someday.



Sense Memory by Karen Eide

A gorgeous piece – beautifully done. I am fascinated by this medium.



Obsession by Elli

Beautiful color palette and certainly an obsession that many of us artsy types probably share.



Obsession by Marta Tesoro

I know this look very well and I have to say it is captured perfectly here.



Obsession by Paul Zdepski

A fantastic interpretation of the topic. I love this!



Obsession by Lisa Graves

The typography and all around style of this piece are very nicely done.



Marble Man by Ella

I just love this little fellow – there’s something very endearing about him.



Obsession – Bears and Food! by Hollie L. Hibbert

Food obsessed or not, these characters are just adorable (oddly, I hope that’s what people say about me too – heh).



Obsession by Paige Keiser

Such a great expression of imagination. Love how the grass is swept up like a wave carrying him away.



Obsession by Kaitlyn McCane




Obsession by Angela Pascale

Heh, this is so great. And it totally reminds me of my friend, Marie (although I’m not sure she’s ever gotten quite this up close and personal with her Nutella – heh).



Obsession by MAGYARiX

SO clever. I adore the overall retro feel.


To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

all images © their respective owners – if you wish to have your thumbnail removed for any reason, please contact me.


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Friday Favorites : Perennial

Yeah, yeah, I know…it’s Saturday – my perennial tardiness strikes again! Better late than never though, right?


I’ve decided to try a little something new this week. You’ll notice that there are only ten favorites instead of my usual fifteen. Part of the reason for that is the fact that I’m a day late in posting my favorites (due to a quick family trip that we took this week). The other part is that I wanted to try adding thumbnails to the list and it is a little time-consuming.

Let me know what you think of the new layout and I’ll see about making it a weekly thing!


Perennial by Martin Hoogeboom

I love the idea and the execution behind this.



Perennial by Sophie

Such a sweet illustration with lovely colors and patterns.



Perennial by Ryan

I’m a sucker for ‘four seasons’ illustrations, so I couldn’t pass this one by!



Perennial by Megan Moran Smith

Love the crying clouds.



Perennial by Erika Barriga

So delicate and pretty.



Perennial by Katarzyna Zalewska

Simple and beautiful.



Perennial by Sandra Jessop

The colors in this piece are just gorgeous.



Bountiful Crops by Alyssa Nassner

Love this farmer and his basket full of deliciousness!



Perennial by Laurie French

Sir is completely obsessed with cows lately. This illustration was a favorite for him too!



Perennial by Michael Villegas

So clever!


To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.



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Friday Favorites : Gesture

What? Could it be? Am I really back?

Meh. Sort of.

As much as I have missed blogging, drawing, painting, and fully participating in Illustration Friday, I just can’t seem to get it together enough to fully recommit myself to any of those things. My reasons are many and varied, but for now, I’ll take the easy way out and blame it on the oppressive heat we have been experiencing.

It is no secret that summer is my least favorite season, mostly because I cannot handle the heat. The current heat index of 119° has me longing for the crisp, cool breezes of autumn. Instead, I am holed up in my house with all the shades pulled and the AC cranking, watching my son sit around in only his diaper in order to avoid completely melting into a puddle on the couch.

But, I digress.

This post is supposed to be about this week’s Illustration Friday awsomeness. And so it shall be…

  • Define Pleasure by Filipa Sotomayor : Simply.Gorgeous.
  • Gesture by T. Matthews : So sweet with a lovely color palette.
  • Gesture by Elly Chen : BIRD!!
  • Gesture by Jackie Kirk : MORE birds!!
  • Heart Gesture by Doris Redrupp : Just a very cool design all around.
  • Gesture by Naomi Orana : Just beautiful and such lovely colors.
  • Gesture by Rosalia : Very unique design and I love the watercolor wash.
  • Gesture by Cécile : I like the lines and her red lips.
  • Gesture by Andree : Love the retro style here.
  • Gesture by Wendy Howarth : So, so sweet.
  • Gesture by Tina Kugler : Very cute and a little retro.
  • Gesture by Becka Moor : Love this monster!
  • Pencil + Paper by Maria Alejandra Rivera : A very nice gesture, indeed.
  • Gesture by Amie : Yum!
  • Gesture by Dave Palmer : If that guy was the current weather, that hand would totally be mine.

To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.


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Friday Favorites : Shadows

As I write this week’s Friday Favorites post, I am currently (albeit, quietly) freaking out. My overactive imagination has me convinced that someone (or something) is lurking in the shadows of my backyard.

You see, not two hours ago, I was out back watering my garden. My big, old, wooden garage doors, which are always a huge pain in the tuchis to open, were securely closed. Less than an hour later, I looked out the window to see that one of them was open. It was very windy at the time, but I am still not convinced that wind was able to blow the door open that way.

I tried to send my fearless watchdogs out back to check things out, but they were having none of it. So, the door remains open and who or what is inside remains a mystery for now. I suppose if you don’t hear from me again, you can assume that whatever is hiding in the shadows claimed me as its victim.*

And so, here is what could possibly be my last Friday Favorites.

*insert dramatic pause*

  • Shadows by John Cox : I’m pretty sure that whatever is coming to get me looks like this. And that is frightening.
  • Shadows by Aimee Lockwood : Although, I find it hard to believe that there are any ‘dodgy’ neighborhoods in the charming city where I spent my honeymoon so many years ago, I suppose it is possible. Still, I’d rather live in a dodgy neighborhood in Edinburgh than a dodgy neighborhood in Baltimore.
  • Shadows by Jean Wogaman : Okay, now I’m really starting to freak myself out. I guess that means this piece has done it’s job (and quite well).
  • Shadows by Alice Carroll : Whew, that’s better, much less frightening. And, actually, very cool. I love illustrations that incorporate actual photos.
  • Shadows by Yvonne Vlaar : Such a simple and basic interpretation of the topic rendered beautifully. Sometimes it really is best not to overthink things.
  • Famous Lines Never Scripted by Chris Wilson : This is just cool.
  • Shadow by Kylie Knott : Truth.
  • Shadows by Roberto : Everything about this illustration is just beautiful. I’m especially fond of the sky.
  • Shadows by Swapnil Gaikwad : Another gorgeous night sky and a very sweet illustration.
  • Shadows by Brooke Boynton Hughes : I just love the all-blue color palette and the way the moonlight casts such long shadows.
  • Shadow by Tomás Serrano : Speaking of looooooooong shadows. Heh.
  • Shadow by Sarah Lawrence : This is such a fun illustration. I love the expression on his face and, of course, his pajamas.
  • Shadow by J O o L i :  Pink hair! Pink hair! Pink hair! Pink hair! Have I mentioned that I LOVE pink hair?
  • Shadows by Reginald Swinney : This is sixteen different kinds of awesome. Plus an epic mustache.
  • Shadows by Ted Blackman : I think the lesson here is pretty clear – never piss off a penguin. Yow.

To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

*This just in from Big Sir: At least our ferocious black lab finally went in there and sniffed around this morning. Nothing to see here people, move along.

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Friday Favorites : Asleep

Having recently been stricken by the plague, I spent the greater portion of this week asleep or wishing I was asleep. And I must say that looking at illustrations of people and creatures in various states of repose has not helped in my struggle to keep my eyes open. But, I will fight this urge to drift off to Dreamland and instead, share my Friday Favorites.

See what I do for you people? You’re welcome.

And now, let the snoozing commence (for the aforementioned creatures, of course – not yours truly)!

  • Asleep by Richard Morden : First of all, this.is.AWESOME. Secondly, the color palette is quite excellent.
  • Dream Stuff by Heidi A Monteleone : I believe Elizabeth Rose Stanton said it best, ‘…wonderfully surreal.’ Yep, couldn’t have said it better myself.
  • Asleep by Morderska : Another delightfully surreal sleep image.  Love the way the wallpaper and the sky were done here.
  • The Tea Time by Lucas Manoel : So many interesting details in this piece. It has a very soothing color palette as well.
  • Asleep by Pia Drent : The pattern, the lines, the birds – all so appealing.
  • Asleep by Kathleen Jennings : A very cool take on this week’s topic – I especially like that the shoes reference the original Oz books.
  • Asleep by Oana Befort : This piece really is amazing. At first glance, I was sure that it was fabric and certainly not watercolor. The texture and the way the image seems to stand right off the page are fantastic.
  • Asleep by Tracey Long : The combination of ‘real’ and drawn characters in this piece is so interesting and, dare I say it again, surreal.
  • Asleep by Stephen Cavanagh : There are few things that appeal to me more than a beautifully painted night sky. I love this sky and the adorable characters.
  • Asleep by Megumi Lemons : Such a sweet scene. This piece has wonderful texture.
  • Sleeping Bearded Pig by K-Fai Steele : This unlikely pair is quite irresistible!
  • Asleep by Beatrijs Brouwer : I am no fan of bats, but these guys are just too cute – unlike real bats, which are scary and remind me of one of the creepiest dinner parties I’ve ever attended (ooo…I smell a new blog post!).
  • Sleeping Birds by etringita : Such a fun take on the topic!
  • Asleep by Sarah Stirling : This never, ever, ever happens in our house. Ever. *ahem*
  • Asleep by charrow : This never happens in our house either, but only because Sir doesn’t own a snorkel.

To see more great illustrations check out IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

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Illustration Friday : Asleep



…as the clouds approached, nearly everyone was fast asleep.

This is my second attempt at watercolor pencil on wood. I have to say, I am quite happy with it. I may even put it in the Etsy shop!

The most difficult part of the process is inking over the pencil sketch – too much pressure and the ink will bleed quite a bit. I am loving working with the watercolor pencils on wood though.

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Friday Favorites : Soaked

I just love doing Friday Favorites. Not only does it give me an excuse to look at every.single.entry for Illustration Friday each week (and I truly do look at ALL of them), but I also come away with so much inspiration every week.

What I don’t love is having to narrow down my favorites to that mere fifteen. Some weeks are harder than others and this week may have been the hardest yet. I had such a long list of awesomeness and it was awful having to whittle it down. I don’t know what it was about this week, but everyone seemed to have brought their A-Game. So, to everyone who participated this week…well done!

I know I always say this, but really, check out IllustrationFriday.com and all of the awesome submissions there. This list of favorites is only the tip of the iceberg!

  • Soaked by Tia Mushka : I have an ever-increasing love for paper cutting and this piece is a beautiful example of this type of art. The colors are gorgeous too.
  • Java Sea I & II by Cally : This is such a beautiful use of watercolor. I love how you can see the shafts of light coming down through the water.
  • Soaked by Rain : Another gorgeous watercolor piece with the added bonus of some great process shots.
  • Soaked by bjorgnin : And one more great watercolor – I love that the color palette is not typical of a mermaid painting. Very nice.
  • A Rainy Birdy Day by JS Daniel : Guess what! It’s time for the obligatory bird illustration (my bird-love knows no bounds) – yay! This illustration is completely adorable and I love all of the textures.
  • Soaked by Eric Barclay : More birds and great patterns. I just hope that cat doesn’t get hungry.
  • Soaked by Mike Barnett : Anyone who owns a particularly ‘jowly’ breed of dog (much like this one), is all too familiar with this scene. I am highly impressed by what an accurate representation this illustration is.
  • Soaked by Vhrsti : The colors are perfect for creating the feel of a cold, dark, rainy night. I also love the wispy clouds in the sky.
  • Downpour by Sarah Ryan : Love, love, love the perspective here and the shadowy figures. Very nice how the rain has motion.
  • Rain by Koosje Koene : This is how I usually feel on a rainy day (and sometimes on non-rainy days).
  • Soaked by Sara Boggs : This is how I would like to feel on a rainy day.
  • Soaked by get zapped : Love the clean lines and, of course, the mysterious, faceless man.
  • Soaked by Rose Lloyd : This illustration is cool for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that it reminds me of an umbrella with a goose neck handle that my aunt and uncle used to have.
  • Soaked by Jen Norton : Beautiful design on the cloud and I love the colorful rain.
  • Soaked by Kanako Shimura : Heh, heh. Fish with feet are usually quite clever.

As always, you can find tons more great illustrations at IllustrationFriday.com. And if you’d like to see past Friday Favorites, just click here.

Have you entered the GIVEAWAY yet?

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Illustration Friday : Safari

This piece isn’t really finished, but since I don’t know if I’ll get it done any time soon, I decided to post it as-is. I’m not sure what to do with the background and rather than rush to finish it and inevitably screw it up, I’m just going to let it sit for awhile until I’m inspired.

This has been a pretty fun topic and I’m really looking forward to sharing my Friday Favorites this week. In the meantime, you can check out my previous Friday Favorites here.

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