Tag Archives: illustration friday

Illustration Friday : Scattered

The Nightmare Carrots gather with other assorted evil vegetables to mourn the loss of their fallen leader. You may or may not remember what happened to him last week. His shreds will later be scattered on the evil compost heap.

© 2011 ruth blohm-hunter

More cool stuff:

Illustration Friday : Contraption

Recently, I had a run-in with some baaaaaaad carrots.


Not only did they make me sick, but they also gave me nightmares. And they weren’t just any old nightmares, they were nightmares within nightmares.

This band of Nightmare Carrots has a leader, a head honcho, if you will, by the name of Evil Carrot. You can see his early incarnations here and (with some evil cohorts) here.

To be honest, I have no idea how to fight an evil carrot. I’m thinking that employing the services of an evil rabbit might work. Sadly, I live quite a distance from Caerbannog, so I’m hoping the contraption above (also known as a grater) might work.

© 2011 ruth blohm-hunter

More cool stuff:

Illustration Friday : Hibernate

There are a lot of beautiful places in my home state. Recently, one of them was named the Most Beautiful Place in America.

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore is situated in the Northwest corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The unique terrain, marked by lakes, streams, forests, sugar sand beaches, and towering dunes was carved by glaciers. But the Chippewa tell a different story.

According to the legend, an enormous forest fire on the western shore of Lake Michigan drove a mother bear and her two cubs into the lake for shelter, determined to reach the opposite shore. After many miles of swimming, the two cubs lagged behind. When the mother bear reached the shore, she waited on the top of a high bluff. The exhausted cubs drowned in the lake, but the mother bear stayed and waited in hopes that her cubs would finally appear. Impressed by the mother bear’s determination and faith, the Great Spirit created two islands (North and South Manitou Island) to commemorate the cubs, and the winds buried the sleeping bear under the sands of the dunes where she waits to this day. The “bear” was a small tree-covered knoll at the top edge of the bluff that, from the water, had the appearance of a sleeping bear. (Source)

There, now you can say you learned something today. Heh.

As a child, I visited Sleeping Bear with my family. Early in the trip, I got sand in my eyes and, honestly, that was all I remember from that particular vacation. When I was in college, some friends and I went snowshoeing there. I remember it being a tough hike, especially since I had never been on snowshoes before. When we made it to the top of the bluff, the view of Lake Michigan was amazing. I took some snapshots on my old bottom-of-the-line 35mm camera, and they didn’t even begin to do the scene justice. This is a place that just has to be seen (preferably without sand in one’s eyes) to be believed.

This little illustration certainly doesn’t do it justice either. As much as I liked the concept, I just couldn’t seem to get it to work the way I wanted it to. I plan to revisit it in the future though, as I have some ideas about changing the perspective, etc.

I have also come to the conclusion that I need a new scanner. This version looks nothing like the original illustration and I place the blame squarely on my scanner. If anyone has any recommendations for a good, reasonably-priced scanner that can scan watercolors well, please do let me know.


More cool stuff:

Illustration Friday : Ferocious

Years ago, when the Mister and I were still in college, we started on a long journey of ill-fated impulse buys. This illustration was inspired by one of them.

About 15 years ago, shortly after moving into my first apartment, we were strolling through the aisles of Meijer (as we were often wont to do), when we happened upon the pet department. Oooo, I thought to myself, I want something soft and cuddly and cute to love and take care of! And now would be the perfect time because I have my very own apartment! Yay!

Ugh, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve been able to rationalize, on the spot, a bad idea…well, I’d still have less money than I have spent over the years on said bad ideas.

And so, the deal was sealed. I was buying a hamster (and all of the supplies required to care for a hamster, which is really more than one would think). We flagged down an employee to fish out our new little fluffy friend and in no time, he was in his travel box and we were headed back to my dumpy lovely little apartment to get him all set up for his new life of adorable unbridled cuteness. Aww.

On the way home, we named our new ball of love and fluff Fulford. Aww.

Fulford sat quietly in his box as we carefully set up his new abode, complete with running wheel, water bottle, food dish, and toys on a bed of comfy wood shavings. We even tossed in a nice toilet paper roll for him to hide in, because, well…aww. Yes! He was to be the cutest pet on the face of the planet. And we would love him and feed him and play with him every day. Aww.

Then, the screaming started.

Neither I nor Big Sir had ever owned a hamster before, so we were both blissfully unaware of a hamster’s ability (or in Fulford’s case, propensity) to scream. As I attempted to pluck him from his travel box, he backed himself into the corner of his cardboard prison and began screaming in a most unnatural and high-pitched manner. Then, the little f*cker bit me. And he drew blood! WTH?

Now, I’m not sure if this was Fulford’s first taste of human blood or if he had played his vampire game with unsuspecting pet department employees in the past, but one thing became clear very quickly. This hamster was bloodthirsty and EVIL. He was not the cute little pile of fluff we thought we could put in a ball to cavort happily around the apartment. NO. This hamster was not to be trifled with.

Any attempt to put a hand in his cage, whether to feed him, give him a toy, or fish him out for cleaning purposes, was met with constant screaming and teeth-baring. It was so bad that I had to buy a pair of leather gloves to wear when taking him out of the cage in order to protect my hands from being peppered with hamster bites.

Eventually, Big Sir and I both began to fear him.

Aside from giving him food and water, I mostly ignored him. I dreaded cleaning his cage and after the deed was done, I went back to completely leaving him alone. I didn’t even make eye contact with the little bastard, lest he begin screeching like some kind of crazed fur-covered banshee. He hated us. And we hated him.

Sometime in October of that year, he began a regimen of extended wheel-running. He would run for unnatural amounts of time. I’m not sure, but he may have been bulking up in an attempt to escape from his cage and kill us in our sleep. Fortunately, his plan never came to fruition.

On Halloween night, I went to bed as Fulford was entrenched in one of his wheel marathons. In the morning, I awoke to find him dead, an ex-hamster, if you will. He was still in his wheel, his legs outstretched in running position, as if his Dark Master had come to retrieve him in mid-stride…on Halloween night (because, you know, he was evil).





More cool stuff:

Friday Favorites : Mesmerizing

This week’s Illustration Friday topic was ‘mesmerizing’ and, honestly, there were many entries that I could have easily stared at for days. But, then I wouldn’t have been able to pick my favorites to share with you. And that would be sad. Maybe. Right?


Mesmerizing by Kathleen Jennings

This looks exactly like a page out of a vintage book. So well done.



Mesmerising by Suky Goodfellow

Wonderful use of colors and texture to create the swirling tendrils of smoke.



Sin Título by Belén Moreno

Beautiful and truly mesmerizing.



Mesmerizing by Caitlin Rose

Nice to look at and educational. It doesn’t get any better than that. Also, I love the expression on the little fish’s face.



Mesmerizing Koi by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

So tranquil and beautifully rendered.



Mesmerizing by Roberta Baird

I have always loved Vincent Price and his expression is captured just perfectly here.



Mesmerizing by Gynux

Such an excellent expression – truly captures the essence of being mesmerized.



Mesmerizing by Jane Grant Tentas

A great interpretation of the topic and so nicely done.



Mesmerizing by Nelleke Verhoeff

Completely mesmerizing. Just try to stop staring at it. Really, go ahead, try.



Mesmerizing by Bethanie Murguia

Such an adorable illustration – the dogs’ inquisitive posture is captured so well.



Mermaid by Audrey Ang

The colors, the textures, the details – what’s not to love about this one?



Mesmerizing by Ray Ferguson

If Smokey knows what’s good for him, he’ll back out the door very slowly right….NOW!


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.

More cool stuff:

Friday Favorites : Boundaries

This week’s Illustration Friday topic was ‘boundaries’. As always, there were tons of amazing submissions. And, as always, I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites. But, I did. And here they are (my apologies for the lack of commentary this week)…


Boundaries by Vincent Desjardins




Boundaries by Monica Indelicato




Boundaries by Corey McCarty




Boundaries by Maja




Boundaries by Wilme




Boundaries by Lori Weitzel




Boundaries by Bill Nagel




The Pequod by Ernie D’Elia




Boundaries by Aino Anto




Boundaries by Stephanie Smith




Boundaries by Carla Martell




Boundaries by Nikki Cooper



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.


More cool stuff:

Illustration Friday : Boundaries

When I saw this week’s topic, all that I could think about was the thin line between normalcy and utter destruction. That line was crossed this week as the typically tranquil waters of many rivers and streams breached the boundaries of their banks and became raging torrents, inundating homes, businesses, roads, parks, and a zoo. Lives were lost. Families were displaced. Property was damaged. Trash floated down streets, as brown, murky water mixed with heating oil spilled from flooded homes.

Truly, Mother Nature observes no boundaries – and every now and then she feels the need to remind us.

Please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross to assist in disaster relief around the country.

More cool stuff:

Friday Favorites : Mysterious

This week’s Illustration Friday topic was ‘Mysterious’. Here’s a sampling of the great work submitted this week.


Mysterious Woman with Friend by Sonja Salinas

Wonderfully bizarre with a striking color palette.



Mysterious by BeBe

So deliciously surreal.



Mysterious by Liz Jones

I have such an affinity for anthropomorphized trees…or, in this case, people who look like trees.



Mysterious by Caroline Soer

One of my favorite watercolor techniques with very cool results.



Mysterious by Jess Racklyeft

A floating lady wearing a mask, I don’t think there’s much that’s more mysterious than that!



Mysterious by Jessie Lilac

Love white ink on watercolor.



Mysterious by Charlotte Knowles

Such a clever interpretation of the topic.



Mysterious by Kathleen Meany

Love the black and white with just a hint of color and the dog’s apprehensive stance.



Mysterious by Angela Pascale

This one was just too fun not to share!



Red Herring by Linda Silvestri

That is one mysterious (and hilarious) fish.


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.


More cool stuff:

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.

More cool stuff:

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.



More cool stuff:

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.

More cool stuff:

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.


More cool stuff:

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.


More cool stuff:

Two Exciting Things (and some other stuff too)

Exciting Thing (the first): The powers that be at Illustration Friday have chosen MY suggestion for this week’s topic! Wow. I could hardly believe it when I stumbled across it on Twitter Friday morning, but there it was!

I have to say, looking at the submissions has been a completely different experience this time around. When I chose the word to submit, I had a specific set of ideas in my head. Seeing how others are choosing to interpret the word (which, by the way, is ‘swell’) has been very interesting. Probably going to be hard to narrow down my Friday Favorites this week.

Since my blogiversary, I have been meaning to post my list of goals for this year. One of them was to submit a topic worthy of being chosen for IF. Mission accomplished! Now, it’s time to conquer the Mobbies (a.k.a. Maryland’s Outstanding Blogs). Heh, I wish.

As an added bonus, the hits on my blog have gone ballistic over the past three days! I’d better step up my game.

Exciting Thing (the second): A friend of mine recently decided to awaken her muse by taking a drawing class. One of her pieces will be featured in the student art show in October. She can invite only 8 people to the show’s opening and she chose ME to be one of them!

I’m so honored (and excited)!

Other stuff: I don’t know if it is the promise of a week of temps in the low/mid-80s or the fact that the stores are busting at the seams with school supplies right now, but I finally feel like I may be emerging from my summer slump. I have even considered digging out my knitting supplies and getting to work on some monster, dragon, and owl hats. I’ve noticed more knitted items showing up on Etsy these days, so it may be time for my cast of wooly headwear characters to make their seasonal appearance. What do you think? Is it time or would I be jumping the gun? Are you ready to think about winter hats?

Lastly, a note to anyone who may have just stumbled upon my humble blog this weekend – I’m usually not this boring. I promise. Stick around a while, you’ll see. Heh.

photos : someday sweaters (my very first submission to Illustration Friday) and a purple owl hat by yours truly



More cool stuff:

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.

More cool stuff: