Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sand Trial #1

Remember back in June when I posted this colorful little pony?

This sand art medium has still been on my mind all summer, and since Ohio isn't exactly brimming with beaches, it was recommended that I try the sand at Alum Creek State Park.  Oddly, I've lived in Ohio my entire life but have never been there, so my hubby and I took a road trip last weekend.  The verdict?

While it is a BEAUTIFUL place full of lovely trails and recreational activities, the beach may not be the most conducive for drawing.

First, we set up our beach towels and I drew in the dry sand.  I ended up with this:

I swear there's a turtle there somewhere!

Unfortunately, the sand was just too rocky to do much of anything.  Even after outlining the picture over and over again, my hubby declared, "I still can't see it!"

So, I moved my art spot elsewhere. 

The sand was much more solid next to the water, so I plopped down and tried there.  This time, I managed this:

Can you see me now?

Trial 2 was a significant improvement over the first, and my hubby even said he could see it this time.  However, I had to make the turtle over-sized and really dig into the sand to make him clear.  I was also constantly worried that the waves were going to come up and wash my poor turtle away despite my speed-scribbling.  My hands were stained bright orange when I was done, and people stared at me like I was bonkers the entire time.  Clearly, my second spot was not ideal, either.

I had hoped I might be able to do my Northern Ohio SCBWI calendar contest piece in the Alum Creek sand, but my two trials quickly nipped that idea in the bud.  So it's back to the drawing board!  (Or perhaps sand box...)

Even though my field trip for sand scribbling didn't turn out quite the way I'd hoped, it was still a lot of fun to spend the day walking some trails and sitting on the closest beach to home.  Of course, I couldn't let all that effort go to waste, so I still colored my little guy when I got home.  :)

Turtle says, "Glub, glub, glub!"

At least I know I can always go back to Alum Creek for little doodles from time to time! 

Now, if I could just figure out how to transform my backyard into a seaside art studio...  (Complete with palm trees and a beach cabana of course!)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

2013 COSCBWI Gallery Piece

Today, I'm happy to finally show you the big project I've been working on:

My 2013 COSCBWI Gallery Piece!

On November 2nd, 2013, the Central & Southern Ohio Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators is hosting a gallery at Amy Clark Photography Studio in the Short North.  While the gallery may be a few months off, the illustrations are due now to give writers ample time to create their part of the project.  (Which is to choose an illustration and write an accompanying short text or jacket copy.  How fun!)  The text and illustrations will be displayed together at the gallery event for everyone to see.  The theme is, "Open a Book to Find the Road Less Traveled," and I had a lot of fun making my gallery piece!

I knew I wanted to create something with animals for this project, and these little mice just popped into my head.  They're ready to embark on an adventure, and have their trusty "Explorer's Guide" to lead the way.  (And I have a feeling they'll encounter plenty of shenanigans along the road!)

You may have noticed that this style is a little different from my usual illustrations.  I've recently wanted to experiment with textures, and this was the perfect opportunity to try something new.  I aimed for a "digital watercolor" look, using a variety of brushes in Photoshop and tons of layering.  I also wanted to practice painting fur, which is something that's always intimidated me.  I rather like this softer-style, and I definitely think I'll play around with it some more in the future!

And now you know what's been keeping me (very) busy over the last month!  I can't wait to see the other gallery illustrations, and read the writers' pieces, too!  :)

Now, it's time to move on to my next project!  (Or take a little nap first...)

Note: Art is (c) Kathryn Powers. Please don't use it without my permission. Thanks!