Friday, October 28, 2011

Monkey Business

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!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Illustration Friday: Fuel

One of the things that gets me going in Winter is a cup of hot chocolate, so you can say that this is my favorite fuel.
Banania is a popular French chocolate drink. It is made from cocoa, banana flour, cereals, honey and sugar.
You can also buy Banania memorabilia, such as reproductions of old adverts, or mugs and even postcards. This is truly a French item.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tehuana

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.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blob Thursday N° 7

So this week's blob looks like this:
And this is what I found hiding in it: A mayan portrait!!!!
This is an example of an original Mayan fresco found in Palenque. I hope you can see where I got my inspiration from... LOL!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mermaid Tales

Which one was your favorite fairy tale when you were little? One of mine was The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. This is a quick rough for an upcoming piece.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Index card multiples...or how to produce tons of gatos at once

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:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Twenties Girl

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:
And this is my Girl:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Here comes Bluegirl... again!

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).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bédoin

Voila! Another view from the tiny village where I live. Population 2,300. Claim to fame: being the last village before the Mount Ventoux (best known by cyclists who come from abroad to ride to the top). Main activity: tourism. Average age: it feels like 68 (as there are not that many people under the age of 65 around here).... soooo.... another sketch that includes the local church, the most prominent feature in the landscape (other than the afore mentioned Mount Ventoux).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Illustration Friday: Scattered

This week's theme to illustrate is the concept for scattered. First thing that came to mind was "scattered brain"....
So I pursued the idea a bit more and this is what popped-up in my own scattered and creative brain.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blob Thursday: What is it?

Basically each Thursday, Carla Sonheim posts on her blog a blob... you then printed it out and "find" within it an image, then you post it here. This week's blob looks like this:
And this is the image I found within it:
Who would have thought that Mozart would be hiding in a blob?... me and my silly imagination! eh?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stroll at the virtual zoo

Labs 4 and 5 from Carla Sonheim's amazing book Drawing Lab for Artists, tell you to go and draw animals at the zoo... But what to do when you live in the countryside and there are no zoo's around? You can either look at domestic animals who live nearby or you go to the internet. I am a google girl and so I went for the second option. These are two quick sketches I did using markers.
But then after having looked at some animal pictures and of course being more of imaginative kind of gal, I came up with this Frog Prince illustration

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Great idea: Put a self-portrait at the end of your sketchbook

While reading a post the other day on Jana Bouc's blog, I came across a very nice idea which consists in creating a self-portrait as the closing image for your sketchbook. Since I was about to come to the end of one of my current sketchbooks I got to work on this idea today and this is what I came up with:
I have to say that sketching with inks means that you cannot erase or correct anything, so my self-portrait is not as life-like as it would have been if it had been first sketched in pencils; but then, it was a quick one, as the only mirror in my flat is in the bathroom and I therefore drew it standing at the sink... no exactly the best way to create... and yet... it was certainly a fun thing to do. You can go here to learn more about this idea and to see Jana's lovely sketches.

Illustration Friday: Contraption

This week's theme for Illustration Friday is contraption.
My idea was to create a stylish hat that would be more of a fashionable contraption. My Bluegirl has just become much more of a Parisian Mademoiseille Bleu... N'est ce pas?
These are some preliminary sketches concerning my development of the concept of contraption. Some of the icons/objects that I thought of as being very Parisian were: a poodle, a croissant, the Arch du Triumph, one of the gargoyles from Notre Dame, a fleur du lys, one of those metal plates that show the name of the streets in the oldest part of town and of course... the Eiffel tower.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A view from the little French town where I live

The weather is finally turning cold. In just one week we have lost 15 degrees Celcius. This means that we have gone from 29°C (84°f) to around 15°C (59°F°)!!! But yesterday was very cold and sunny, so I braved the elements and went outside to sketch. This is a view from outside the village. As you can see the Mount Ventoux (which literally means the Windy Mountain) stands over the village. The population is around 2300 people... Honestly, I find it a tad small, as I used to live in Mexico City (30 million people)... but then all is relative!!!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The clock is ticking and we need to do SOMETHING!

I first read about the Girl Effect from a blog on design. I opened the link to a youtube video that showed in a very effective and graphic way how young girls who live in poverty and in developing countries get trapped into early marriage, thus creating a vicious cycle. The cycle goes like this: Once you hit puberty you are considered a woman. You are then married by age 15, then you get pregnant and in many cases you have to sell your body to support yourself and your family. You get exposed to HIV, which then you can transmit to other people. But this is not all. Let's say that your baby is not a boy but a girl... this girl will then be married to someone else by the time she is 14 because she is a woman and not a girl... and so on and so forth. What do we need to break this cycle of poverty, lack of freedoms and of education? We NEED to invest in education and health care for these GIRLS, who will not be married off at an early age, who ideally will continue to be considered to be children for much longer. These girls will continue their studies, then find jobs and eventually they will choose to marry and have a family. There will be no prostitution, no lack of education or health care, no HIV transmission and they will not be forced into an early marriage. Sooooo.... contribute to this campaign. We accept donations so TODAY in your corner of the world but also in distant corners, girls like the one in the animation will continue to be considered GIRLS. You can also tell people about this grass roots campaign by either writing a post on your blog and/or sending emails to your friends and colleages so they themselves can help to spread the awareness. You can go here: or here to learn more about this.

Bottoms up! It's the weekend!

Quick sketch of my Margarita done under 10 minutes....
Have you ever tried a Margarita? You just need ice cubes, tequila, brown sugar, lemons and French orange liqueur called Cointreau. You squeeze the lemons and put the juice in the blender along with all the other ingredients. Blend. Then you wet the rim of the glasses you will be using to serve the cocktail in and place them upside-down on a plate where you have previously poured some salt. Once the rims of the glasses are frosted you can pour the drink on them... and Voilà!

My first Mac

Back in the fall of 1993 I was a grad student at the University of Oregon and I was preparing my comps for Art History. I thought that having a computer would make it easier to write the term papers, so I applied for a loan and bought myself a mac Classic. 18 years later I am living in France, my life has turned out as I would have never expected it and I am currently working on my illustration portfolio and typing this post in the latest desktop iMac. But this post is not really about the kind of Macs that I have owned over the years, it is about how Apple products have entered our lives and have been witnesses to all sorts of changes in technology, but also in the lives of their users. I was saddened to hear that Steve Jobs passed on Wednesday and even though I didn't know him personally I felt kind of odd knowing that he was not going to be around any longer... 18 years ago, there was no internet, no blogging and no iPhones, iPods or iPads. If you wanted to hear from someone you called them on their home phone or wrote them letters. If you wanted to do research, you had to write to other libraries to borrow the books or you had to travel to the sights in person before being able to even look at one work of art. Now things are so different and it is in part to the products Apple created and Steve Jobs supervised that I can actually see in real time if someone has looked at this post. Life is magical, more magical that all the technologic gizmos put together... and yet, it is quite nice to be able to have these high-tec objects around. So here is to Steve Jobs and to my first Mac. The king is dead, Long live the king!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Scottish dancing: an acquired passion

Have you ever practiced Scottish country dancing? It can be fun and physical but it is always quite courteous. The music rarely includes bag pipes and it can be quite fast passed or almost waltz-like. And... it is one of the few activities in France where eventually you will meet some English-speaking participants. I did this sketch at last week's session in Avignon. I really love dancing with guys in kilts, don't you? :-)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Venice

I have been doodling recently and this image popped-up in my mind... go figure... it is not even carnival time! Size A4 watercolor on regular drawing paper.

Monday, October 3, 2011

coffee break

Every Monday is market day where I live. Today after enjoying what it seems to be one of the last "indian summer days" of this year, I sat down at the local baker's terrace and had a cafe au lait and a brioche pralinée (a kind of French pastry that has sugar-covered almonds inside). So, since I had my sketchbook with me, I did a quick drawing of what was left at my table, after having finished my snack.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Illustration Friday: Hibernate

Of winter's lifeless world each tree, Now seems a perfect part; Yet each one holds summer's secret, Deep down within its heart. ~Charles G. Stater
I started to think about hibernation, then about bears and other animals sleeping, then about winter 's desolation and cold colors... and this what I came up with. I wanted to accompany the illustration with a poem and I couldn't believe my luck when I found this one, which I think suits the image perfectly!
This is a modified version. I used a Photoshop filter called dry brush. I like the quality of the line and the contrast of the shapes which is accentuated by the dark contours.