Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Five Wonderful and Spooky Halloween Coloring Books

Oooo there is a little nip in the air--so that means Halloween can't be too far away!

I have gathered up five wonderfully spooky coloring books for you to enjoy.

1. The Beauty of Horror: a GOREgeous Coloring Book by Alan Robert.
This is for anyone that might be a bit sick of flowers and mandalas. But buckle up! Not for the faint of heart.

Image result for the beauty of horror
                                                                    Click to Buy

2. Jasmine Becket-Griffith Halloween Coloring Book. This is perfect for Becket-Griffith fans, or anyone who loves the dark side of pretty.

Image result for jasmine becket halloween

                                           Click to Buy

Penelope's Garden, An Enchanted Coloring Book by Dea Lenihan. This book is filled with zombie mice, a nightshade garden, and an adorable witch named Penelope. Spooky cuteness for all ages.

Image result for penelope's garden

                                           Click to Buy

4. Night Magic Gothic and Halloween Coloring Book by Selena Fenech.  Sweet, sexy, and magical witches, vampires, and more!

Image result for night magic gothic and halloween coloring

                                                   Click to Buy

5. Hanted House by Jade Summer. This easy to color book shows all the spooky rooms of a haunted house. Old fashioned Halloween fun!

Image result for haunted house jade summer

                                            Click to Buy

With three spooky/witchy books and one straight up horror and a haunted house--how can you go wrong!

Each of the designers listed has more coloring books to buy--check them out!

Happy (very early) Halloween shopping everyone!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Squirrel Appreciation Day 2017!

Awww Willow!
Some of you may know that I have a God-squirrel named Willow. 

Willow fell from a tree as a four week old baby five years ago. Thankfully he ended up with a licensed animal rehabber who took him in and nursed him back to health. Circumstances did not allow him to be re-released as usual, and he lives in her home, cage-free to this day.

He is adorable, and active, and smart as a whip...and he wreaks havoc on her home daily. He thrives because he is with a professional rehabber. I would not suggest trying to raise one or keep one for a pet yourself. They live about 20 years in the wild, and only 5 years in cage. :( Willow has run of the house, and has chewed endless cords, molding, furniture, cabinets, and a few potentially dangerous items. Take my word--leave it to the pros. 

That being said, Willow inspires me all the time. He is a beautiful thing, partially due to genetics, and partially, I am sure, due to his perfect diet. As Willow's mama says, he is the Brad Pitt of squirrels. 

He is going to appear on my Etsy site soon, as an original graphite drawing, then as a limited edition of reproductions.

Click here to see him in my Etsy shop.

He is so pretty, I draw him all the time. 

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day, about a month late. ;)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Follow Your Dreams!

As a job I write and illustrate.

I love to see my ideas come to life in stories and in pictures.

The Good Samaritan movie poster
When we are young everything is new and interesting--everything is a first. As we grow, we become familiar with things in our lives. As we get older many of these things become more commonplace, and to keep things interesting and exciting we need to create our own firsts.

My latest first is to produce a short film.

This film is a mature thriller called The Good Samaritan, written and directed by Brooklyn Hudson. I supplied the art for this project, including the photography for the posters and campaign.

I am thrilled to be part of this project and can't wait to see it on the big screen. 

Life is short and precious. If you have something you want to do, do not hesitate. Create a first that you will never forget.

I hope some of you take advantage of the perks of this project which range from an advanced screening of the film, to an IMDb credit and personal thank you from the writer and director. There is even a Hollywood makeover and a chance to have your child in the film!

Click here to support women in film and to read about The Good Samaritan.

Then get out there and start following your dreams.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Drawing and Coloring Realistic Water Drops in Line and Greyscale

Here is a video that shows how to draw realistic water droplets.

You can add them anywhere on your coloring page as a fun and whimsical addition.

I used a BIC Pencil Xtra Life, Medium Point (0.7 mm), 5-Count (Even the eraser is good!)

I also used the Tombow MONO Zero Eraser Value Pack, Round 2.3 mm (I LOVE this mechanical eraser! Buy it now :)

The image is from my book COLORING DREAMS. It has 14 painterly one sided images and no repeat patterns.

To just purchase the greyscale image shown in the video click HERE.

So as you can see the materials you need are super basic. The video is straightforward and I think you will find it simple and easy enough to recreate the images.

Have fun and happy drawing!

Here is the final product, drawn by me, colored by the wonderfully talented colorist Ronda Francis. Thanks Ronda! <3 font="">

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What Coloring With One Graphite Pencil Taught Me

I was tired after Christmas, but not tired enough to fall asleep.

Watching TV is never enough for me on its own, so I either doodle, draw, write, get the idea.

But I was determined to take the day off, so as I was watching The Sopranos then The OA, I picked up one of my own coloring books and a pencil.

At first it was a bit like doodling on a newspaper or magazine, and I had no predetermined outcome on my mind. I just wanted to relax.

Then I got into it.

Picture as seen in coloring book.

Colored with one Pentel GrapGear500 0.3 2B lead

The pencil is a mechanical is a GraphGear Pentel 500 with 2B 0.3 lead. You can buy it here: Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil Brown (PG523E) 

The book is Coloring Dreams. It is printed by CreateSpace and has 14 one sided images. You can buy here:  Coloring Dreams: 8 x 10 Version with Borders

 I learned that using just one pencil is not only enough to color, it is super relaxing. (I found it to be even more relaxing than using colors, and can be just as striking.)

I learned to appreciate the images in a coloring book as art, and how to use shadows and light to make the image stand out, and even look beautiful.

I learned that 2B lead has a huge variation in depth of color, and that I love to use softer lead.

I also learned that if the lead is thin enough you can use a softer lead in a mechanical pencil and get a big variety of results.

I am not saying to get rid of your colored pencils, but maybe to give this a chance.

I loved it.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Accidental Coloring Discovery with Tombow Pens and Faber Castell Pencils

I love happy accidents.

Today I discovered that working with Tombow watercolor markers and colored pencils, Faber-Castell Poychromos pencils to be specific, is a match made in heaven.

If you put down a layer of color with the Tombow pens and wait about a minute for it to dry, you can color over the top with colored pencils. This allows for subtle shading and detailing which can be a problem when using markers alone.

I also went over the top of the whole thing with a Uni-ball Signo white pen. This also worked well.

Here is a quick video with a demo. Stay tuned--I'll be doing a whole picture soon.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Top FIVE Coloring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

From COLORING DREAMS Coloring Book
We are still riding the adult coloring wave, and it does not look like it will crash anytime soon.

From cute fairies to exotic fantasies and explicit curse books, we can't get enough of our favorite new past time.

But are there certain things to avoid in the relaxing coloring world?

*DISCLAIMER* Coloring is just plain old fun. If you are doing it, having a ball, and do not want to change a thing--keep on coloring! Read on, what I write might surprise you.

Do you:

1.  Use the same pressure on every area when using colored pencils?
 Some color with a light touch and some are heavy handed. If you want an artistic look to your pictures, vary the pressure you use. Pressing very hard gives a very bright, opaque finish to the area you are coloring. If you press very hard you will burnish the area which means there will be a shine or gloss to the area you are coloring, and any tooth on the paper will be flattened. This technique is great for some areas, not for others. Don't be afraid to experiment. Pressing lightly gives the area a more translucent feel, and layering with color and even texture is possible.

2.  Color in every single space on every single picture?
Occasionally you will be stuck to figure what color to use. This might mean that you don't need any color at all, and the space should be left white. Some pictures look gorgeous with every area filled in with bright and vibrant colors--but some do not. Sometimes the negative space around the subject of the picture helps the focus to remain on the subject. Other times the negative space may be an interesting design itself. 

3.  Only color what you already like?
When we are kids, we are fearless and we learn what we like from trying practically everything, at least once. As we get older, we fall into patterns and feel we already know what we like, and do not like. I spoke to some colorists recently, and many said they didn't think they would like to draw people, or houses, or any number of things, and when they tried, they loved it! So give it a whirl. Throw yourself at some new coloring themes and see where you stick.

4.  Have the feeling that more is better?
How would it feel to have an endless supply of colored pencils or markers? Or enough gel pens to cover an entire wall? Sounds divine. Sure having a choice is nice, but having a smaller amount can be wonderful, too. When I illustrated a children's book many years ago, the only thing I used to color it was a set of 24 Conte charcoal pencils. It got published, and spent one lovely weekend featured at The Eric Carle Museum of Storybook Art. Practice blending colors. Using a blending stick or turpenoid helps too. You may surprise yourself. Also, having less pencils is a great study in color theory. You are forced to make new shades out of necessity, and the skill translates when you have even more pencils. Oh, the colors you will create! (Now that being said--I think almost everyone agrees the seemingly endless choices we have in coloring books styles is GOOD.) You can try this too: choose three or four colors and finish the entire picture using only the colors chosen. You may be in for a treat if you have not done this before. (BTW--my coloring book COLORING DREAMS is based on the children's book I illustrated.)

5.  Try to make every image perfect?
Yes, there is beauty in photo realism--to have that wonderful ability to recreate what already exists. But there is another kind of awe in creating something that has never existed before. Use your imagination--no one is stopping you. If you color, you are an artist, and you can use your creativity in any way you like. Unlike a job or a duty, coloring is YOUR thing, and you can create any world you like. If it makes YOU happy, DO IT. No one gets hurt here, and in my humble opinion, putting a smile on your own face helps you spread the joy. Even if you are not the best colorist on the earth,(there is only one and no one knows who that is) do what thrills you. Everything has cracks--that is how the sun gets in. (Leonard Cohen)

Even though I named this article The Top Five Coloring Mistakes, in reality, I truly do not think we can make mistakes when we color. We may learn what we like to color, or what pencils are our favorites, and even new techniques, but one of the truly beautiful things about coloring is that there aren't really any terrible mistakes, just things we might learn. 

Now go grab your pencils, I have wasted enough of your coloring time.



Click HERE for my website and see my additional coloring books.

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