Monday, April 21, 2014

My friend, Fox

and the sweet crow he swindled out of some cheese ....

This is my book cover art for The Fox and The Crow, an Aesop fable.
This was the 3rd assignment for MATS 3A class with Lilla Rogers
Read more about the course and see sketches in last week's post, if you'd like.

You can see by his collection, he gets around!
The title could look cuter if reworked, I think. I didn't leave as much time for that,
but I wanted something quirky to offset the traditional look of my painting style.

This poor girl was surprised and thrilled by Fox's flattery,
only to lose her tasty snack to him.

Don't worry, these guys are onto him.

 To Be Continued ...

thanks for taking a look!
xo, A

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Sketchbook : Easter : Chick, Bunnies, Fox & foxes

Easter Bunnies and Foxes are on my mind this week.
Here are some pen drawings in my Moleskine notebook, love the paper.

These buns appear to be confused, suspicious, sleepy, loving &/or distracted.

I imagine this rabbit is gathering instructions for this year's Easter route. 

I sketched a bunch of foxes for my class MATS3A with Lilla Rogers
I'll let you guess what the theme is ;) 
I'll use one of these characters for the final, but thought I'd share bc I always like 
the way sketches look together on a page.

This was a very quick sketch. The class can choose to illustrate a cover or a spread from Aesop's fable.
This is also a chance for me to work on lettering. 

I think this one might have the right mischievous look :) 
We'll see. I'm sure I'll share whatever I come up with next week.
If you'd like to learn more about this class - licensing your art, 
I wrote much more about it in my previous post on Monday.
Thanks as always for taking a look.
Enjoy the rest of your week and get those Easter baskets ready!
xo, A

Monday, April 14, 2014

Make Art That Sells, Allyn! you can, too :)

The 1st two weeks of MATS 3A class taught by Lilla Rogers
has felt all encompassing and incredibly fun!
This is the 1st online course I've ever taken. It's a collaboration between the much sought after 
and influential Licensing Agent, Lilla Rogers and Beth Kempton, founder of Do What You Love,
who is producing the class and sharing interviews with various artists represented by 

Today, I'm sharing the 1st two assignments from the 5 week course. My latest finished piece is shown above - Assignment : Create 1-4 pieces of art for a collection of ceramic plates. 
Below, the 1st Assignment - Make a piece of art that would be ideal to send to a Bolt Fabric 
company to attempt to get a collection.

What I particularly enjoy about the class is the way Lilla eases you into each
assignment by giving specific exercises, sketches to play around with
on Monday. On Wednesday of each week, we receive the 
Final assignment which will then incorporate these initial sketches.

It sounds simple, it is, and it works :)
We receive some reference, visit Pinterest, of course! and for the 1st assignment I 
even referenced some of my own previous paintings like the women below,
I used to love creating loose patterns as background for all my pieces.


What pushes me is that we are given specific exercises.
This was to sketch Tropical Fruit and vintage Pyrex dishware.

I really liked my loose pale blue design, but in the end went another direction.

These are some initial sketches in sketchbook, then onto watercolor paper ...

I started using wet media acetate, which I hadn't for some time, just to play around with ideas before committing. That's right, Kristine Lombardi, tell your class - Wet Media Acetate!

I've been sharing some sketches on Instagram with #makeartthatsells, yes that's
what MATS stands for. Here's hoping!
Many in class share images in our private Facebook group. Everyone is super
supportive and encouraging. I try not to go on there too much once we get our 
final assignment, so as not to be too influenced by what others are doing. 
There's quite a range of work and about 250 artist/designers, in this class alone.
My friend, Yuko Katakawa is now in Part B of this course, 
being taught simultaneously.

Back to me... after placing this pineapple on my grey sketchbook, I decided to go with 
a dark background for my entire piece. Lilla encourages playing with palette,
not doing the usual. For this, we were encouraged to look at retro pieces and combine 
Pyrex *style dishes with the tropical fruit icons we created.

She also talked to us about including coordinates to share your ideas/smaller patterns that
would work well with the main piece. I created two patterns and a pineapple tea towel design.

I shrank down my tulips for the final coordinate, but think these are kinda sweet, too.

Onto week 2 - "Make plates that YOU would love to have!" -LR
I adore painted ceramic plates from Italy, Spain, etc. so I went in that
direction, keeping in mind what I tend to buy at Anthropologie, 
my favorite shop, especially for home goods :)

Our initial sketches were to be of Succulents. This was challenging for me
because they aren't my favorites, although I've developed a little affinity for them.

I wanted something warm and summery. I literally drew in the sun.

My idea was to create a big blossoming world where a little bird looks up with wonder at it all.

Below, I made a simple and I think pretty dessert plate.

Here, you can see the simplified version above. Below, is a slightly more defined 
version where I draw more lines & add more color to the overlay.
I like this because this way I have two physical versions before doing anything in photoshop.

After deciding this saucer was just too busy? English Rose? Chinese? looking 
for the assignment.
I went back to simple sketches before making another small plate
and deciding my cup did not necessarily need a saucer.

Below, is the main larger plate design. I wanted to keep the sun, but after playing around, it felt more
sophisticated without it. Looking again, I do like how bright and fun this first version is. 
The great thing about class and others have expressed this- once you're done,
you immediately want to make more versions.
In order to have Lilla see your work you must upload your final to our Flickr/class group 
by 5p each Sunday. I think she visits the Facebook page some, but in order to have a 
shot at being reviewed by her personally, you gotta get it submitted on time, fair :)

This was a long post I know, but for anyone considering taking the class, after only two weeks,
I think it is well worth it. 
I haven't even touched on all the information and interviews shared each day for the class. 
There is a very encouraging, generous feel to everything presented. 
Personally, I really needed this push, something to feel excited and motivated by. 
It can be hard working on your own in somewhat of a vacuum.
I'm fortunate to have only had 2-3 day scenic jobs over the last couple of weeks.
Granted, I can't afford to turn down jobs, but it feels good to put some real time into this.
This week, is Children's book illustration!! 
I want it all, but my friends all know, kids' books is a big dream :)) 

Thanks for taking a look at what I'm currently up to!
*Have a great week*
xo, A


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