Today is Christmas and all over the world people are celebrating. Here in Mexico we are getting ready to eat lunch while in Europe people are getting ready to go to bed... It is my first Christmas back at home in almost 10 years and eventhough my parents are no longer here to celebrate it as a family, I am very lucky to have friends who have made me feel part of theirs. I am having a really special time, singing carols, singing the traditional Posadas, breaking pinatas, drinking hibbiscus punch and just speaking in Spanish and being with people.
I hope all of you are having a wonderful time with those you love.
PS The Epiphany or Dia de Reyes is an Spanish tradition which is quite strong still in Latin America. It is celebrated on January 5th, but to us Spanish speakers it is also a symbol of the Christmas season. That is why I whose this subject matter for my Christmas cards this year.
I registered for a hand painted exchange at Swap-Bot. This is my entry which I created in the spirit of Gaëlle Boissonnard, a Frech illustrator which is quite hot now and who's one of the favorite artists of the lady I am sending this card to.
This is an example of her work.
I am looking forward to seeing what my exchange partner will create for me!
Next week one of my friends from Scottish dancing will be 80 years old. He is charming, straight forward and quite a leader that the least I can do is to dedicate this post to him. He is an excellent dancing partner and in his youth he must have been quite a looker.... So here is to you Jean-Claude and to still many afternoons doing the strathspey and the reels together!
This week's illustration exercise from IF was to create an image to depict the word 'round'. I drew a russian doll. I really like the colors that came out and the illustration itself which I find kind of mysterious as far as the treatment of this subject goes.
I have recently joined Swap-Bot, which is an American site that puts you in touch with other people to swap postcards and similar memorabilia. So I bit the bullet and signed up for an exchange of handmade ornaments... Being artistic doesn't mean that you are necessarily crafty!
I had to create an ornament and since I don't knit or sew, I decided to use paper, glue and scissors to create something. I then added a little Christmas wish in the shape of a peacock-blue owl, but then decided to turn my drawing into an ornament itself. I am really happy with the drawing and not so hot about the actual ornament. Hopefully my Canadian partner will like them both. :-)
A warm hello to all those readers who celebrate Thanksgiving today.
I have fond memories of all those Thanksgivings I spent in the U.S.; first with host-families and then with friends. I loved the food, the warmth of the people and the relaxing family-atmosphere that I would not have encountered, had I stayed at the dreary dorms each year during this holiday.
So... what I am thankful for? Weeell... I am thankful for my health, my friends, my art and my cat... and that folks is it... in a nutshell!
Exceptionally I am posting 2 entries for this week's Illustration Friday as I did this self-portrait after I had already posted the other piece. This one is more of an adult take on vanity as well as it being much more of a personal image.
Two new cards... one for my Scottish Dance teacher who just turned 70 and another for a niece who turned 8. I just love creating personalized cards for those I love. Hopefully one day I will be able to market my illustrations as greeting cards.
I am currently working on my illustration portfolio and I came up with this idea for a cover page. I like the intensity of the pastel colors on the figure on the right (although a friend from Oregon has told me that it reminds her of a character from Willy Wonka). If I had to chose the image that most resembles me after having applied a color treatment to it, I would say it would be the watercolor one. Don't know if I will use it or not, but thought I would post it anyway.
Another Thrusday come and gone... Carla Sonheim has posted this blob in her blog Snowball Journals:
And this is what I found living inside it:
A bunny rabbit! Not very original and yet... I couldn't see for my life what other creature was hiding in there! Oh yes... if you look at this blob sideways it looks like some kind of funky duck, but I thought the bunny was much more evident to bring out.
This week's topic for Illustration Friday is "silent".
One of the things that brings quietness and silence to my life is stepping out into the garden to contemplate a starry sky or a full-moon sky. It is not possible to be chatty while looking at the grandeur of nature!
This piece is called Luz de Luna and belongs to an ongoing series of images where pears are in their own private universe.
This week's topic for Illustration Friday was "stripes". These are two images to illustrate this topic. The top sketch was done using color pencils, whereas the bottom one was done using color pencils. Which one do you like best?
This week's topic for Illustration Friday is Scary.
So my illustration for this topic has to do with the celebration of the Dia de Muertos which takes place on the 1st and 2nd of November in Mexico. A few days before those dates most Mexican households will set up an offering (called "ofrenda") to their beloved departed. The offering has to include the following items: water, bread, salt, fruit, candles, photos of the people who have passed and some religious images. It can be big or small and we cut paper in little colorful squares to decorate the area. We also include sugar skulls for decoration. There are also a kind of orange marigold (called Cempazuchitl). Soooo.... this year in France I don't have much space to set up a large offering, but each year I do put my offering as it is important to me to remember the people I love. My personal touch includes a shot of tequila and a baguette (no Mexican bread in the surrounding areas... LOL!).
Since you cannot find any sugar skulls around, last year I drew the ones that appear in my offering, but if I was back home I could get some really nice ones, and instead of Cempazuchilt flowers I put some dry lavender, very typical of this region. One does the best with the materials at hand. N'est ce pas?
Drawing Lab N° 7 tells you to draw a monkey using a couple of colors of markers and one pastel color. This is my take on the assignment.
I like the looseness in the sketch and I think that my blue monkey fits rather well with my blue girl... LOL!
The traditional costume of Tehuana comes form the area of Tehuantepec in the coast of Oaxaca in Mexico. It is believed that the headpiece came to be when the indian women who where supposed to wear European underskirts thought that such undergarments (heavily decorated) should be worn on the outside instead of underneath the other garments... and so the headpiece was born!
This a pastel sketch showing this garment.
Frida Kahlo painted herself in several occasions wearing this traditional garment which nowadays is worn only when performing traditional dances.
These sketches are the result of Lab 6 from Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists.
Basically you must draw a minimum of 20 images on individual flash cards, then you scan them and afterwards you can work on them, color them, enlarge them etc.
These are my original cats:
I then chose two drawings I particularly liked and worked on them.
These are the results:
I am a big fan of Downton Abbey, the British series which is broadcasted on PBS (if you are in the US) or ITV4 (in the UK). I had it on while sketching and suddenly this girl sort of popped-up in my mind... Do not ask... One of the characters in the series has a short bob... and I would say that the period drama is more Edwardian than Art Deco, but I just felt inspired by it.
Here´s an image showing the wonderful costumes some of the cast get to wear:
Previously gracing the top of this blog, this older version is now taking a break in favor of the new one. I think changing the images on the heading makes it more fun for readers who get a fresher version of the blog every now and then.
This drawing was done using oil pastels (so no erasing possible my dear readers) and the paper size is A3 (29.7cm x 42cm).