Lettering on Adobe Live by Pro Designers

lettering sweet dreams art framed inside a heart
Sweet dreams, dear one

Check out Adobe Live Lettering Tutorials

Lettering on Behance by pro lettering gurus has sucked up 3-days of my life again this week.

Anytime lettering and illustration are slated for broadcast on Adobe Live, I click to tune in when possible.

Watching pro artists and illustrators teach their work flow is a valuable use of time. Adobe Live Streams showcase guest artists and designers weekly, Tues.-Thurs., with replays  that live on the Web infinitum on Behance and YouTube.

Each week features an unique area of design, art, animation, videography, lettering, typography, editorial design, illustration, UX design, or website architecture and layout.

Lettering Pros Share Tips and Workflow

Adobe Live lettering challenge style letters for Adobe Live using four colors
Day #1 lettering challenge was to hand-letter “Adobe Live” using four colors

Four lettering pros shared tips and workflow this week,

Aug. 28-30.

For those in the chat, Adobe sponsored daily lettering contests, Day #1 and Day #2, awarding winners a free year’s subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud and 100 stickers from Sticker Mule.
Continue reading Lettering on Adobe Live by Pro Designers

Contest Crazy Led Me To Winsor & Newton Contest

The words Prize and Free always turn my head

So, when Winsor & Newton hailed a new line of ink pen and brush markers with an art contest centered on their ProMarkers and BrushMarkers and having a grand prize of a complete set of their ProMarkers, I was in.

Contest Pay to Play

The catch was, I didn’t own any of their markers, and I had only used gel and ink markers in lettering and calligraphy – not illustration. Still I jumped in, cannon ball style, to win their prized markers.

To enter, I bought the required Winsor & Newton ProMarkers and downloaded their template. They didn’t want random art, they challenged artists with a template of five flowing lines taken from their iconic, winged lion logo.

Winsor & Newton ProMarker Contest template
Winsor&Newton contest template

Inspired by those five flowing lines and a table full of newly purchased W&N ProMarkers and BrushMarkers, I began a month-long obsessions to create my very first masterpiece.

contest entry with pumpkin, fish, turtle, leaves
“Summer’s end” – Farewell to summer … hello, autumn!

In the end, I submitted Summer’s End, the first layout I had inked. I knew it was a flop, but I had worked my heart out and felt compelled to enter the contest if for no other reason than to validate my month-long obsession. Summer’s End got four Likes on Instagram.

I had allocated so much time to the initial layout and idea phase that little time remained for the final work and inking. No time for a re-work and no time remaining to ink my favorite layout, Kitty Diva.

Contest Entry Kitty Diva in Fish Repose
Kitty Diva lounging on a chaise lounge, surrounded by fish, line work for inking

Contest over. Winners announced. View their work.

Still a winner! I have a drawer full of newly-purchased Winsor & Newton markers and a feeling of accomplishment.

The beauty of entering art contests is that you challenge yourself to think outside the box. I mean, I never would have drawn Kitty Diva lounging on a chaise sofa and in a room decorated with fish, were it not for the contest and those five flowing lines.

So, everyone wins when you challenge yourself to be better.

You can color your own Kitty Diva and Summer’s End on the Color page of my website.

Original Contest Rules for Winsor & Newton’s 2016 Contest

  • Create your artwork – it can be anything you like, but you must use the lines displayed on the template below
  • Your artwork must be made using mainly ProMarkers and/or BrushMarkers
  • Upload your picture to Instagram using the hashtags: #InspiredByProMarker and #WinsorNewtonChallenge. You can enter as many artworks as you would like and the closing date is 31 October 23.59 GMT. (Check out the talented artist who entered the contest on Instagram.)

Winsor & Newton

Founded in 1832 in London by William Winsor and Henry Newton, the company continues to supply artists with paints, brushes, and art papers world wide. Headquartered in England.

Check out their new travel watercolor palette and brush set for sketch books and their professional compact palette for your masterpieces. And watch some art tutorials. Maybe there’s an art contest in your future.

Illustration for Children’s Books

Annual Talent Search For a Children’s Book Illustrator

illustration of birds on teacup for global talent search 2016
Birds Chatter on Tea Cup, my entry for GTS2016

I’ve emerged from my cave after sleeping through the fourth annual Lilla Rogers’s Global Talent Search. I would still be in the dark about the talent search if not for artsy friends on Instagram. Fortuitously, a hash tag led me to a talented network of artist and illustrators who had entered a contest to win agency representation by Lilla Rogers Studio.

Lilla Rogers at Make Art That Sells sponsors an annual  Global Talent Search competition to find talented children’s book illustrators. The Grand Prize winner receives agency representation from Lilla Rogers Studio; career development support in illustration; and numerous product licenses. Zowie!

Stop the presses: Lilla Rogers announced the winners of the Global Talent Search 2016. Entering the finals, Five Finalists were selected! Also, Mara Penny’s menu cover for Sunny Spindler’s cafe received the People’s Choice Award! See their work!

Continue reading Illustration for Children’s Books

Painting Pool Balls in Spots and Stripes

Billiards anyone?

montage illustration of pool balls
Pool ball jumble

In high school, I learned to shoot pool, AKA billiards, thanks to Saints Hubert and Ellene Watson, our church youth leaders. They adopted me, so to speak, as an honored guest into their home when I was a teen.

Friday nights, Ellene would bake her famous chocolate cake with butter cream frosting and  Hube racked up the pool balls for a spirited game of pool.

I have no recollection of helping with dishes and I no doubt scratched the green felt on Hube’s pristine pool table. Nevertheless, they rolled out the red carpet for me, week after week.

On Cue music box by Enesco with mice playing pool: Karen Hahn designer
Mice shoot a game of pool in the vintage Enesco musical “On Cue” to the tune of “The Entertainer”: Enesco designer Karen Hahn

Pool balls with stripes and spots

Today, I have my own set of pool balls, displayed in a crystal bowl. They remind me of friendship. I love peering at the ivory balls, much like watching goldfish in a fish bowl.

Beautiful, ivory white balls, each numbered and splashed with bright stripes and spots, ready for a game.

Why not make a painting of pool balls?

You draw what you love. Unfortunately, drawing and painting pool balls for me has led to a stash of failed attempts.

sketch of shading to add dimension to a flat object
Darrell’s quick-sketch to show how shading gives dimension to a pool ball

Hubby Darrell had compassion on me and sketched a pool ball with shape in front of my eyes — in a nano second.

Choose a light source, he said. Add shading to give shape and dimension, he said.

Suddenly he transforms a circle into a pool ball.

For me, it does not. So, I continue to study the elusive pool ball.

Back to the Drawing Board

Hopelessly, I asked Darrell to photograph our pool balls, thinking I could draw from the photographs. He photographed each one, individually, with the same light source.

I made a montage illustration in Photoshop by masking and arranging balls to my liking, resizing some.

Undaunted with my failures at painting, I played around with the pool balls in my digital art programs to make a poster.

illustration of pool balls
Play Ball!
Digital Pool Balls Spin Around on My Computer
Pool ball photography
Montage of pool ball photography
Photography: pool ball montage

Bearnadette Goes Mardi Gras

Miss Bearnadette attends Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans
Globe trotter Miss Bearnadette was spotted at Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans.

Bearnadette loves beads, candy, confetti and parades. She began as a doodle for March. I follow artist Ello Lovey, who publishes a Doodle-a-Day list each month. Day 4, Fat Tuesday, was all about Mardi Gras.
When I get an idea and start doodling on my iPad, I can’t stop until the fun is over. After spending eight hours on the design, I had made a friend. Bearnadette.  I posted a digital image of Bernadette for sale on Etsy in the spirit of Mardi Gras and a city that is rebuilding its history.
My how to: Continue reading Bearnadette Goes Mardi Gras

WWII Airplane …. Veteran’s Day Cake Art

WWII Airplane, Baby Blue

Just finished “Blue Baby, ” a WWII airplane illustration

I’m fascinated by planes because they take me all the places I want to go.

On the other hand, I’m amazed that anything so heavy can soar through the sky, and I’m the first on the plane to grab a  barf bag from the pocket in front of my seat at any sudden jiggle the plane makes.
This is my first plane illustration. I named it “Blue Baby” because WWII pilots liked to name their planes. I hope to do some research and illustrate more planes with those foxy names and amazing stories of heroism.

Recently, I saw a photo of President George Herbert Walker in an airplane during WWII when he was a pilot, and written on the side of his plane was “Barbara.”

I can’t help but love planes

My sister was a pilot. My husband flies in his dreams and drew bomber planes having fights in all of his grade-school books.

My brother, who was a paratrooper in Vietnam, loves military planes to the extent that he treks to air shows in California, Wisconsin, wherever,   to ride these historical planes.
I’ve listed the plane art for sale on Etsy.com at my Swim Yellow Duck shop. It was a rather fun project. I started with a sketch my husband made me for a cake I was decorating for Veteran’s Day.
I scanned the sketch and turned it into a line drawing on my iPad in the Inkpad App. I love having my portable easel, the iPad, with me whenever imagination strikes.

If you like to color or doodle, I removed the color layers to make a color page so you can have some fun with your crayons and pens.  Click to download the WWII airplane to color!

Coloring Page of a WWII plane
You’re the pilot! Color this plane and add a name to it.

Early Snowfall and Pillowcase Art

Snowy art for pillowcases by Darrell Wiskur to color
Snowfall in the Ozarks

 A dreamy, deep snow came early to Arkansas, 2013.

We hope for snow in the Ozarks

We woke one morning to a mid-December snow, 10-inches deep, over a slick layer of ice. We were glad for the surprise snowfall.

It is always super nice not having to fret about if or if-not we will have a Hallmark snow before Christmas Day … always a quandary in the Arkansas Ozarks.

Snowbound and off school, the grandchildren went sledding, built snowmen, and decorated gingerbread houses … putting everyone in a holiday state of mind.

School buses, parked. Our world stood still.

As we were on the verge of cabin fever, the sun came out and melted the snow. Alas, we were as happy to see the snow go as to see it come.

How To Tutorial

Pillowcase art for a snowy Christmas

The snowy woodland scene is an illustration by hubby Darrell Wiskur for a book daughter Wendy O’Dell wrote and designed.

The book, Mommy’s Days, Planning Daily Activities with Infants and Toddlers, was published in 1998 by Heir Press.

Darrell’s illustrations were pencil line-drawings. The book was printed in black & white. I wanted to color it, so I scanned the art and turned it into a vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator.

I created shapes, which I filled with color, then added a gradient to the background in Photoshop.

I love the art and the verse:

Stars shining brightly
Soft snow on the trees
The ornaments of God
All nature can see!

Art for a pillowcase

So much in love with the art, I printed the snowy woodland scene on pillowcases for our grandchildren to color.

Our family likes a calming craft for the children before Christmas dinner. I thought this wonderful verse and snowy woodland scene would make a perfect Christmas craft.

I had the line-drawing printed on pillowcases at a specialty printing shop.

Oops, didn’t think that through

Grandchildren paint pillowcases on Christmas Day
Drew coloring a pillowcase with washable fabric pens.
Grandchildren paint pillowcases before Christmas dinner
Stephanie loves art and working hard
Painting a snow pillowcase on Christmas
You would have to be a surrealist to paint snow anything but white.

Coloring snow is less than a perfect idea. After-all, snow is white. Fortunately, we have creative grandchildren.

Merry Christmas to All, and to All, a Good Night!

Merry Christmas‘Tis the joyous Christmas season

A favorite Christmas quote from A Christmas Carol, says …

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its Mighty founder was a child Himself.
-Charles Dickens

The key to happiness is to hold on to that child-like wonder at Christmas.

Bah Humbug! cross stitch needlework
Bah Humbug!

Alas, the holiday season can bring a mix of good and bad memories. Once, during my  Bah Humbug! period, I cross-stitched another Dickens quote, Bah Humbug! And beautified it with a gilded frame.

Foremost this Christmas, cherish the simple things of the heart. Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes. -Charles Dickens

Merry  Christmas to all and to all a good life!

How To TutorialMy digital how-to artwork for story illustration:

In Adobe Illustrator, I penned a blue gradient for my snow bank.
rolling_snow300x
I created layers of art in Photoshop. On top of the snow, I layered my Santa art, created in Illustrator.
Then, I duplicated Santa and skewed him, dialing back the transparency for a red shadow on the snow. I imagined Santa’s suit would reflect a jolly red on the snow rather and not gray.
Santa and his Shadow
To complete the illustration, I added a lens flair above the snow for a heavenly light.

Christmas Greetings illustration of the nativity
“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its Mighty founder was a child Himself.” -Dickens

And cropped line work of the Nativity by hubby Darrell Wiskur  from a Merry Christmas letter he designed years ago, commissioned by a dentist for his office Christmas letter. 

Read Luke 21:1-40, a Biblical record of the incarnation of Christ … Emmanuel, God is with us.