Thursday, January 31, 2013

Buttercream Basics

Yesterday, I took a buttercream basics cake decorating class at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes with my friends J and Jasra.

I have decreed it to be my party dalek cake.

I am really glad to have had the opportunity to get to try this. The companionship was fabulous of course, and it is a skill I have not tried to learn before. I appreciated the opportunity to try the techniques and specialized equipment without having to make a huge investment.

The Oakleaf folks were great as well. I am not a huge cake or frosting person, but theirs was good. And they energy and enthusiasm was what got me through the 3 hours in what felt like considerably less time. I have to say that having the change to see and try each of the steps of the process was really empowering. And in the end the result was really of my own work rather than being strongly guided by then hand of someone more experiences. Nifty!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Polymer Sheep

I mentioned that I hadn't managed to do any drawing due to Arisia, but that does not mean that it was craft free! I have finished a few projects I will be sharing soon, and I started a new pair of socks for Salvbard.

I also found this amazing polymer clay artist who goes by She-Jackal Arts. Seriously how cute is this little sheepy guy? (Picture taken with permission.) 

Currently she does not have a ton up on her Etsy shop, but I bet she would be happy to list a custom animal on request. I was super impressed by the sheer volume and creative breadth she makes. I ended up picking up a different keychain and several sets of earrings, and I have been very pleased by how well they are made.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

White-breasted Nuthatch

Unfortunately I did not manage to get a drawing done for last week's Illustration Friday prompt (myth) due to Arisia. I do still plan on doing it though, but it seemed like a better idea to put up this week's prompt (wings) first.

Today Majes and I saw a number of small white-breasted nuthatches over by the Sheepfold in the Fells. They are quite small but they have big voices and lots of personality. I can relate.

Crayola colored pencils (black, brown, cerulean, cool gray, gray, light orange, slate, taupe) in Moleskine

One of the thoughts in the back of my mind in starting these prompts was that I would really like to figure out color. My tendency is to work in black and white, just since it seems simpler. So it was good to push myself a little. I didn't use anything fancy for tools, just some colored pencils that we had around the house.

PS. I had a really hard time figuring out what style to consider this for Illustration Friday. Generally I default to figurative rather than realistic, but I am not sure which is more applicable. Thoughts on the difference?

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Sunday, January 13, 2013


This week's Illustration Friday prompt is "ocean." Please excuse the scanner artifacts. In the end, I just opted to post despite them. The important thing is doing the art, and I need to not agonize over the digital image to put up. I have a fondness for mermaids and naiads, so I decided to step a little out of my comfort zone by relying less on a single reference image.

It turns out that much like last week, a number of people had similar ideas about directions involving merpeople. In particular, I really loved this sweet mergirl and this lovesick octomaid.

B pencil

These things seem to go in cycles, but at the moment I have a number of women in my life who are expecting new additions to their families. I wanted to do something more with the radiant beauty of a woman carrying new life. Apparently my vision of merpeople bear live young.

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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Knife's Edge

I am very lucky that my incredibly talented friend Allen Holt agreed to join me as my accountability buddy to start making art more regularly. As I have managed to get myself active again doing several different media, so I am hoping this will encourage me to actually blog more regularly. Go us!

To that end I am going to be trying to among other things, to start doing the Illustration Friday prompts again. It has been a while.

This week's prompt is "edge." I had some interesting ideas about working with negatives and silhouettes  but in the end I opted for the more straight forward route in an effort to actually finish. As I gain momentum, I definitely want to play more away from my comfort area. For now though the important thing was to be just making the time to sit and make art.

graphite pencil (B-6B) and charcoal (4B and white)

This is my favorite knife in my our kitchen, although I have a little paring knife that is a close second. I have little hands so it is about as big as I am comfortable working with, and the blade is just the right width to be great for chopping prep.

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