Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Back to the Drawing Board....

February is that time of year for me to pull out the 'ol sketch pad, pencils & erasers, and then the ink pens and crisp illustration board naturally follow. It has certainly been a while since I have spent days upon days at my drafting table, drawing fun characters for future products, and I must admit that I am thoroughly enjoying it. I was a little nervous that I would forget how, but luckily, the whimsical ideas are flowing well. Sure, at this stage, the drawings aren't perfect, but I have learned to "breathe through" the lines as my pen touches the board and to allow my breath to help keep the lines flowing and smooth. At the end of the day, my right hand feels a bit stiff, so a little yoga here and there is helping keep the balance. If only I could keep to this nice relaxing pace for the rest of the year.... haha! I will enjoy it while it lasts though and draw as much as I can now before I must revisit the workshop to sculpt and sculpt some more!

* I dreamt up this fun dancing black cat illustration the other day when imagining characters for wearable products, such as Tees and totes. JP and I had a brainstorming session, and decided to open a Zazzle Shop where I can offer my drawings, photographs and such on clothing, bags, greeting cards and more! It's not open just yet, but I'm working on some fun ideas that I promise to make available to you! So, stay tuned. And while I'm at it, why not put this cutie-pie cat on notepads and charms...

It was late the other night when JP snapped a few candids of me while I shooed him away. I just loaded the photos today and decided to share a few after all. As many of you know, I LOVE incorporating owls into my designs. They have such fun character and texture, so this particular illustration has been a fun play on stylization. It's certainly taking its time to evolve, but I have a feeling it will be a hoot! As you can see, I like to wait till the end to add the eyes, partially because I hesitate out of fear to add them, but also because they truly bring the character to life.

* Eventually I will paint this owl, but for now I need to "commit" to the eyes and finish the whimsical chandelier-style branch that surrounds him. He will be quite stylin' on a shirt or bag or card or or or....... We'll see!

* Another candid of me busy at work on my stylized owl. Off in the distance are recent sketches for Halloween box containers that have been approved by Bethany Lowe Designs for 2012 production. Now, I just have to illustrate those graphics too! The to-do list is growing!!!!

* Another black cat candy pail image that I am almost finished with has been staring at me for days. The shading and highlights are created by a series of dots or lack there of. I find myself using stippling in both my illustrations and on my painted folk art pieces. I know it sounds odd, but I love dots! This drawing is slated for a Primitives by Kathy notepad and perhaps some Zazzle products as well.

* Here, another notepad design is in the works. Of course, a splash of orange in various hues will bring this image to life!

* And while I'm at it, some whimsical snowmen and Santa-themed notepad designs are taking shape was well. My due date for these various designs is fast approaching next week, so I really should step away from the computer and go back to the drawing board! I hope you enjoyed the little peek from within my studio...

Happy creating,
~ Johanna


Machelle said...

I love them each and every one. So cool to see you at creating!

Chicken Lips said...

You never cease to inspire me! These are going to wonderful, as always.

Tallowberry Primitives said...

What a joy to see a bit of your creative process. I love them all!
I'm sure the finished pieces will be amazing.

Birgit said...

Hi Johanna,

Your illustrations are just wonderful. It's easy to see that you put your heart and soul into them -- and that you know what you are doing. :)

Can it be that you also hold your pen with both the forefinger and middle finger? That's how I write and draw. When I started school, my teacher wanted me to hold a pen properly with just the forefinger. Whenever I didn't think about it, the middle finger was back in place. The teacher told me that I will never write fast enough. Well, the rest is history... I NEVER had a problem with writing not fast enough, and I have often gotten compliments on my regular handwriting. I still write and draw with with both my forefinger and middle finger -- and it feels right! :)

Happy creating,

Johanna Parker said...

Ahh, thank you all! I'm glad you are enjoying this behind the scenes post :)

Birgit, I guess we're both holding our pens wrong...LOL! I didn't even know it was wrong, but it feels right to me. I do have an unsightly bump on my middle finger where my pen presses up against it. I've had it since I was a child as I was drawing so much then too.. OH well... It's padding... hehe!

Shirley Hudson- Hudson's Holidays said...

I love seeing behind the scenes! Your drawings are full of fun and give all us artists hope...Thanks!!!

Cat (darklingwoods) said...

Love seeing your new designs, they are delightful! Thank you for the behind the scenes peak!

yeevon said...

Your artworks have a lot of delicate and whimsy elements in them :D :D Love it and can't wait for you to finish them!

Len said...

I love the black cat treat pail, but really all of them are delightful.

Everyone loves to see the behind the scenes that go into creating products, what a great post.

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Oh to be so talented ~ I enjoy each and every one. Can't wait to see what your going to have in your new shop!
Prim Blessings! Robin

Rue said...

Oooh - do let us know when your Zazzle shop is up and running. I'm such a note-taker and list-maker! It would be so much more fun if my notepad had your happy sketches on it!

Cameron said...

I loved this behind the scenes peek! You are so fantastically make it look so easy, and I know it is NOT :)

Can't wait til the zazzle store is open!

indgiotwin said...

So absolutely inspiring! It's great to se another artist at work and I enjoy seeing your process.

Liz Revit said...

Johanna, it's so neat to see your work behind the scenes. Thanks for sharing. I love, love, love your work.

Enchanted Productions by Joyce Stahl said...

Oh Johanna! These are going to be lovely! It's wonderful to hear that you're going to open up a Zazzle shop too! I'm so excited!

Now I have to go look at the picture of how you hold your pen...I didn't even know there was a right and wrong way! I also had to pick up a pen to see how I hold it! LOL! Silly!

Enchanted Blessings,

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I look forward to wearing your illustrations around town :0)


Heather S. said...

Beautiful! As always! =)

Anonymous said...

How fascinating to see your work in progress! Thanks for sharing.

PEA said...

those dots you use to fill in must take hours and weeks. WOW! I do love the look of it though. I am very fond of dots as well.
Love all the new works. Looking forward to your new shop. Will be wonderful!

canvas printing services said...

reall nice read, wish you well

Donna Lynn said...

How do I purchase the holloween Bulldog? Love all your work!!!

Johanna Parker said...

Thank you everyone!.... I'm still drawing away :)

Donna~ thanks for visiting! The bulldog pictured here on my blog was sold a while back to a collector. You can join my e-mailing list for occasional updates regarding my folk art, and if you'd like to request a special dog, you can certainly let me know what you are interested in! Here's my email:


Victoria Sayer said...

Yes, yes, I loved the little peek inside your studio. You come up with such whimsy. Isn't it funny how we think that our ability to draw will somehow disappear if we do not keep drawing! Thank goodness, that is usually NOT the case. I was surprised to learn that you leave the eyes till last. As I, on the other hand, was told to always start with the eyes. To each his own, I suppose.
Oh, your latest post for Valentine's Day: Your beautiful black kitty cat, with the red heart tipped hat, is adorable...and very obliging! What a wonderful feline! (I miss mine, who sadly passed away about 9 years ago, at the age of 17 years)
Bye for now.