Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yellow Warblers!

I've been doing a lot of work lately, a lot of sketching and drawing... because I want to be able to relax this Christmas. But every once in a while I like to just make something.
I did a series of "bird song" pictures a while back. And I decided to make some companion pieces.

This is one of the originals:

And these last two are the new ones. I hope you like them. They were a delight to create.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Picture Story: chickadee in autumn

"chickadee in autumn" is available at sarahkdesigns

Freddie Mercury may have professed his love for his car (in that he had a feel for his automobile)... well, I apparently love my little black-capped chickadee.

I finished this picture on Wednesday morning, much to my own delight. It wasn't planned, it wasn't sketched out or mocked up. It just kind of happened. And sometimes, those are the ones that are the most fun.

Most of the illustrations I do presently are digital collage. I usually end up sketching something, inking that sketch, and scanning that into photoshop where I manipulate it with color and texture fills, and fills created from my drawings, paintings, or photos... so I tend to just have a lot of stuff around, which I suppose might seem a little aimless: piles of salt on watercolor paintings, a stack of paintings that are acrylics smeared across illustration board, plus the many many folders I have filled with my colored pencil drawings of birds or flowers or butterflies... and then there is my massively full iphoto...

I have a lot of graphic material hanging around.

And sometimes, I just have a moment where the idea just comes to mind and the parts just fit together... and I think this was one of those moments.

I've been working lately on the calendar... because, really, after 5 years, I don't want to be finishing my traditional family Christmas gift on the 24th of December. Miraculously (although I do keep changing my mind) I have 5 of the pictures fully completed, and at the very least a sketch for each of the graphics... January, December, and November are the least completed, as usual.

Anyway, it occurs to me that I usually wuss out and chuck a landscape photo into the September slot (although, this year's September is already complete). So, although I have a seasonal illustration for most of the year, I tend to have a very sparse selection of work involving autumn, which is part of the reason I made the chickadee in autumn picture: to add some autumn to my catalog of work.

Hopefully, you enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Snowflakes!

I've been busy lately. Yes, it was the end of August, and it is the beginning of September — but it's snowflake season!

For the past several years I have been creating snowflakes. I believe I began doing it in 2005. I designed my first snowflakes for my Christmas cards — because I wanted to use something of my own — not glyphs from a wing-dings font.

Inevitably, I designed a template on which I could create my snowflakes. The template isn’t particularly eye catching, and I suppose it probably looks strange to anyone who happens to catch me drawing on it. It’s 4 rows of 60˚ angles, 3 per column; which yields 12 snowflakes per page.

I sketch the snowflake arms, and then fill them with black ink. I then scan the page into photoshop, where I do all the necessary editing (making sure that all I have is the black portions). And from there each arm is transferred to another file which is inevitably a template of new snowflakes. That new file is genially referred to as the snowflakenator, because that’s where the real snowflake magic happens.

Each snowflake has 6 arms. Some of the arms have bilateral symmetry, some don’t; it depends on what I was designing at the time…

Anyway, these are some of this year’s new snowflakes:

Look for them on prints at sarahkdesigns, and on my snowflake Christmas cards at!