The Lantern Tree

December 30, 2015
I have a long to-do list right now, so naturally I'm inspired to do anything but that. This little idea was quite an effective method of procrastination. I can't decide if I like the pale or dark background better--what do you think?

Prints (& more!) of both versions are available at my Society6 shop!


Catching up!

December 02, 2015
The last month or so has been really busy for me, but here are a few recent pieces, all pen and ink linework with digital color. a giant terrarium, perhaps? Growing up, I'd scour the woods for interesting lichens, and I think something like giant pixie cup lichen found its way into this picture! Check out my Tumblr for a process gif.

Winter's just starting, but it's never too early to think about spring, right?

If Rapunzel had a smartphone, I think she would have been addicted to posting Instagram selfies and surfing Pinterest for embroidery designs and hair tutorials. You can see the colored pencil version of this on my Instagram--no selfies! ;)

fairy tale

Pumpkin Art

December 02, 2015
My sister and I decided on an "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" theme for this year's giant pumpkin carving. It's not quite as large and impressive as the dragon we carved a few years ago, but this is one of our favorite fairy tales and it made us happy. :)

Dr. Who Came from the Stars (fandom mashup!)

August 22, 2015
What do you get when you combine Dr. Who with the Korean drama You Who Came from the Stars? "Dr. Who Came from the Stars," of course!

Here's the time lapse video showing my inks. I scanned the linework and colored it digitally. (Full disclosure: as you can see on my instagram, I also watercolored the original, but with very indifferent results . . . I'll blame it on the first time trying this paper, ok?) Despite my sometimes wibbly-wobbly perspective--don't look too closely at the Tardis!--I really like the finished piece.

Check out my Society6 shop for printsiphone cases, and t-shirts!

My sister still can't believe that while I was traveling last year I passed up not one--not two--but three opportunities to take a selfie with cardboard cutouts of the hero from You Who; do you think she'll finally forgive me if I give her a print of this picture?

Princess Ida (IF: Pointy)

August 13, 2015
I usually don't pay money for game apps (hey, Sudoku is my go-to game) but I made an exception for Monument Valley--and thoroughly enjoyed it! Here's my version of Princess Ida in what my youngest sister and I decided was definitely the most beautiful level.
AA Milne

Happy Thought, Indeed!

August 03, 2015
Although I would never want to compare Edward Bear (Mr. Sanders?) to Mr. Collins, I can imagine a Regency Winnie-ther-Pooh proudly displaying his closet of honey pots to visitors, which prompted this non-canonical '95 Pride & Prejudice/Winnie the Pooh illustration!

The elaborate border and general Regencyishness were inspired by C. E. Brock's watercolor illustrations for Pride and Prejudice, and of course Pooh's design and the general color scheme were taken from Ernest H. Shepard's illustrations. Here you can see some of my thumbnails and the initial sketch (also on my Instagram account last week!) in Non-Photo Blue Pencil. Inking with my favorite Sepia Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens and watecoloring took about two hours.

Subscribe to my youtube channel and stop by my Society 6 shop!

*Some links are affiliate 

IF: Grow

July 31, 2015
My littlest sister said she had an idea for an epic story–except … the characters were vegetables. I decided to draw an anthropomorphized version. How do you think this Romeo-and-Juliet-as-a-garden-romance will resolve?
illustration friday

IF: Nature

July 30, 2015
Here's my picture for the Illustration Friday word, "nature". I've always loved the idea of aeolian harps--somehow the wind and the tree playing music together seemed like a fitting thought for this week's theme. It took about 45 minutes to ink and color--and yes, I think I'm getting addicted to recording these videos! 


Subscribe to my youtube channel and stop by my Society 6 shop!
fairy tale

The GIFs Told Me!

July 27, 2015
"There's something good coming up in this episode!" my sister will say as we start watching a show. "The GIFs told me!" I always get a mental picture of The GIFs--don't they sound like mischievous little flying creatures?--hovering around and whispering spoilers in the unwary fan's ear. Only solution? Avoid Tumblr until you've watched All the Episodes! 

This is another time-lapse process video attempt--hey, I think my filming setup is improving somewhat--maybe next time I'll be able to keep my head out of the shot completely! Again, I started with a Non-Photo Blue Pencil  sketch, inked with my favorite Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens (dark sepia, fine and superfine points) and then added watercolors.The whole inking/painting process took a little over an hour.

Subscribe to my youtube channel and stop by my Society 6 shop!

*Some links are affiliate
fairy tale

Cinderella's Swing

July 01, 2015
Um, yes, this is a rather obvious mashup of the 2015 "Cinderella" movie and Fragonard's painting "The Swing". But as soon as I saw the movie I knew this needed to happen!

I started with a light sketch in Non-Photo Blue, then turned on the camera when I started to ink with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens and add watercolors and a touch of Watercolor Pencils--but my camera ran out of space so the whole coloring process wasn't recorded. Oops. 

The entire picture took maybe almost an hour to complete?--the video captures the first 45 minutes. It was a good challenge to do the whole thing (except for the blue sketch, which I'd done earlier) in one sitting with minimal correction--just keep scribbling and hope any mistakes can be fixed as you go along--certainly good exercise for any paralyzingly perfectionistic tendencies I may have!

This is my first time-lapse video, so it's kind of an experiment. Hopefully next time I will have learned to keep the camera focused and steady, figured out better lighting--and remembered to keep my head out of the way!

Stop by my youtube channel & subscribe to see if I get any better at this time-lapse thing! :)

Prints are available at my Society6 Shop!

*Some links are affiliate

A Sudden Caterpillar

June 19, 2015

We're in the third year of a tent caterpillar invasion here; they're finally starting to disappear, but there were several weeks when you couldn't venture outside without having them drop on you from above or squish underfoot (most unpleasant in bare feet, as I know from unfortunate experience)!

Jane Austen Dress Up App--now live!

May 14, 2015

So, I've been rather absent from the blog for the last month, but that doesn't mean I wasn't drawing! If you follow me on Instagram you probably know what was keeping me busy--Jane Austen Dress Up!
Above is the menu screen graphic, which also found its way into my Storybird shop.

This project involved lots of dresses, and lots of hair--some of my favorite things! I'm still not comfortable enough with my tablet to go all-digital for the initial linework, so here you see my inks, all ready to scan, clean up, and digitally color.

I learned a lot about things like spritesheets. It was super fun to see the spritesheets full of colored dresses and accessories!
Here are some screenshots of the finished app and the different item selection screens.

 One of the (many, many) screenshots I've saved with the app--you know, what I've been spamming Instagram with. ;)

pen and ink

Only a Paper Moon

April 21, 2015
This was a just-for-fun piece I did a while ago, though I'm only now getting around to posting it! I enjoyed designing the stylized stage scenery--I wanted the stage to be colorful, while the framing curtains look pale and monochromatic. And of course that's my favorite-ever sort of dress to draw!

Prints available at my Society6 shop!
fan art

IF: Ruckus

March 23, 2015
They passed several Stirlings, who groaned and reflected that now spring was come they would encounter that shameless pair everywhere. 
My sister gave me The Blue Castle for my birthday last week. I'm remembering again just how much I like this book, and suddenly I had to draw Valancy and Barney out for a drive in Lady Jane Grey.

Visit Society6 for prints of my illustrations, including this one!
illustration friday

IF: Strong

March 19, 2015
My great-grandfather fired on a steam shovel in the late 1890s. The story is that the ornery engineer went through a lot of firemen because he complained they weren't keeping up. He came back to chew great-grandpa out because he wanted more pressure--and just then the safety valve popped off! That kind of took the steam out of him. (Heh, heh.) 

This is for a personal project I just started, tentatively entitled "My Great-Grandmother's Accidental Double Wedding". Family history, picture-book style! Next I'll do an ink wash and add some watercolors.
pen and ink

Queen of the Pond

March 16, 2015
Although the pond in front of our place is still covered in ice and there will be no frogs and turtles for a while, there's all sorts of hopeful springishness (is that a word?) in this picture!

IF: Path

March 11, 2015

Breaking a path through the snowy woods is excellent exercise--though I'm not too sorry that our snow is almost gone already!

Pen & ink sketch, scanned and digitally colored.

Here you can see the steps of the coloring process.

I've recently picked up stranded knitting, and Norwegian Selbu patterns definitely influenced the boy's sweater and mittens! The girl's coat detail was inspired by Norwegian rosemal designs.


Lighthouse Island

February 28, 2015

Several years ago I got to visit Isle Royale in Lake Superior. We did lots of boating, hiking, and of course took lots of pictures! Here is one of my favorites: Menagerie Lighthouse. I used this photo as my inspiration--and color guide!

Pen & ink, digital color
Find it in my Storybird shop!
CS Lewis

IF: Reflection

February 27, 2015
Mentioned briefly in "The Last Battle" is Swanwhite the Queen, so beautiful that her reflection lingers in the forest pool for a year and a day afterward. I imagine that the dryads would come out and look at it after she'd gone.

Pen and ink, scanned & cleaned up in Inkscape and digitally colored. There's a bit of the sketch on my instagram. And hurrah!--we are two months into 2015 and I have so far kept my Not-Officially-Resolution to post something every week for Illustration Friday. 

Sailing on a Leaf

February 25, 2015
I sketched this last fall for Inktober. It took me a while to get it scanned, cleaned up, and colored, but this adventurous little lady is now featured in my Storybird and Society6 shops!

Here's the original idea scribbled in a margin, and the pen and ink sketch:

The time has come, the artist said...

February 24, 2015 get an Instagram account 'specially for Art! I usually post more process and sketchbook shots on instagram than on my blog, and maybe I'll get out some of my Very Ancient Sketchbooks for throwback Thursdays. Come follow me! AmandaIllustrates

Hermit Fairy--Process

February 20, 2015

Yes, I'm still thinking about seashells! 
I enjoyed creating the designs for this pair of friends. 
Here's a look at my process:
Inks, scanned and cleaned up--I like to use Inkscape for a clean vector image
Next, flat colors and colored linework done in Corel Painter X.
Final step: highlights, shadows, and a bit of texture!
illustration friday

IF: sleep

February 18, 2015
Sleep? What's that supposed to mean?
A super-quick pen and ink sketch for Illustration Friday.

illustration friday

If: noise

February 12, 2015
This week's word was "noise". There's been a lot of this kind of noise around our house this week. :)

Yikes, remind me never to use this particular nib/ink/paper combination again! It was rather dreadful. And to top it all off, halfway through my pen dropped a big splotch of ink, so my girl got an unfortunate impromptu hairstyle adjustment.

IF: Passion

January 29, 2015
...the feeling you get when that book you've been waiting for finally comes out!

illustration friday

Illustration Friday: Toy

January 20, 2015
This week's Illustration Friday word is "toy", and while I suppose shells and snails aren't exactly toys, arranging, labeling, and drawing my extensive seashell collection occupied many, many hours growing up!

New Storybird Shop!

January 19, 2015
When children look over my shoulder while I'm drawing they almost always ask, "Who's that? What are they doing?" There must be a story behind the picture!

Sometimes there will be a story, and sometimes I just say, "What do YOU think is happening?"

Storybird is a website that lets you answer that question for yourself! On Storybird you can write your own story, poem, or picture book, choose illustrations to accompany your words, and even buy a downloadable or printed copy of your book. I am excited to join the inspiring artists at Storybird and very pleased to introduce you to my Storybird shop!

So, what do YOU think is happening?


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