Behind the Scenes: Hogwarts

This piece has been a long time coming!

My thoughts behind that is two-fold: first, I’ve wanted to draw the Hogwarts castle for a really, really long time. And second, this drawing has been on my shelf as a commission for a YEAR.

Now I HATE making anyone wait for anything, especially an entire year. But this one was delayed for a lot of reasons: finding the right reference image and then having it sent to me the day before my phone decided to lose EVERYTHING on it, not being able to find the perfect reference image again, me selling and buying a house, and then still not being able to find the right image again. But, it was found and I had the drawing in hand ready for delivery less than a week later.

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Drawing a Day Challenge 2018: What I Learned, How It Went

Is it really over???

I know I’ve said this a lot, but man, it feels like the challenge just started, yet somehow it feels like it went on forever.

I was so tempted to surprise you all and do one more week of the challenge to do some of the top requested drawings that are left, but my family is home on vacation this week and as our youngest has a birthday this week as well, that had to be my priority. I promise to get to that list soon though!

On to the recap!

What I learned:

The biggest thing I learned was that taking almost a year off from working is not good for me mentally. Every time I saw the boxes for my studio and office still in the sunroom waiting to be unpacked or my future office/studio still in shambles, I’d get more frustrated, anxious and agitated. Every day that I got to do a drawing, I felt all of that melting away. Yes, my boxes are still there and the office is no where near finished, but I had my joy back.

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The Wrong Direction Easter Eggs

This blog post is extremely overdue. However, it’s Easter weekend, so I thought it might be appropriate to finally post now!

The Wrong Direction is the 3rd installment of the children’s book series The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse, and I have the honor and privilege of illustrating them. This book came out in April 2017, almost a year ago!!!!

While I was illustrating this book, I had some fun with it and included Easter Eggs, just like I did with The Cat and the River ThamesIf you’re unfamiliar with Easter Eggs, they’re fun little details included in movies, whether it be hidden details or references to other movies (Disney and Pixar are well known for these!). One thing I’m trying to add in each book now is a cameo of the person I’m dedicating it to. I didn’t do it for Book 1, and Book 2 was my parents.

Book 3 was originally going to be dedicated to my daughter. I was going to go in age order for the kiddos, but once I read the book, there was one scene that changed my mind:

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Sick Day Painting

My youngest was home for a couple days this past week with a fever. After what felt like his thousandth movie, he decided he was bored and was looking for a change of scenery. He loves to paint, and as I was behind in Boathouse illustrating, I suggested breaking out our watercolors. He jumped at the chance, and we got to work.

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Sick day snuggles

It was so much fun watching him be creative! He puts colors together that I wouldn’t think of, puts more detail and thought into each painting than I would imagine, and even watching him try to work through his struggles inspires me.

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My Most Challenging Commission To Date

Usually when I get a commission, I’ll have some sort of idea of how challenging it will be. There may be aspects of it that I’ll expect to be easy, and others that I’ll know will be harder. Most of the time I’m fairly close in my assessments, and there will be some areas that will surprise me a little bit.

But this one? This one was completely off base.

This was my biggest jewelry commission to date: 6 cardinal necklaces, with 3 oval pendants with my current Cardinal design, and 3 round pendants with a new Cardinal desgin. I assumed that it would be pretty straight forward and simple: make up a new cardinal painting, print out both cardinal paintings as smaller pieces, glue them to the glass domes, insert into the metal trays, and boom, done.

Easy peasy, right?

So very, very, wrong.

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Behind the Scenes: Horses

I hate letting my customers down. I really do.

When I say I’ll have a piece done by such and such date, I do my best to make it happen. Usually it works out well, but there are times where life decides to get in the way.

I got this commission around the same time I was asked to do Lassie. They were both on track to be finished by the appropriate date, but if you recall from the Lassie reveal, life happened and I hurt my drawing hand. Both pieces were forced to go on the back burner for a lot longer than I had hoped while I healed.

Finally, I healed, was able to finish both pieces, and then had to wait and wait until this one was hand delivered a few days ago before revealing her. It’s been a long time coming to get here, and I’m pleased to share with you this drawing:

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Behind the Scenes: Lassie

Waaay back in April of this year, our church held it’s annual short term missions auction. I entered a gift certificate for an 8 x 10 unframed drawing again, and anxiously awaited it to sell so I could start planning a new drawing.

This year was a little different; normally, the certificate will sell, and I will have absolutely no idea what the drawing will be until I meet with the winner (like any normal commission I do). However, I knew what it would be before the winner even was presented the certificate.

Don and Linda are dear friends of ours at church. Earlier this year, they lost their beloved sheltie, Lassie. As soon as I saw Linda bidding on the certificate, I knew I’d be doing another pet portrait if she won:

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Behind the Scenes: Lieutenant Promotion

One of the highlights of my job is that I get to help my customers create that one-of-a-kind gift for special occasions. I’ve done pieces for birthdays, Christmas, Father’s Day, and new houses, but now I can say I’ve done a piece for a promotion!

Almost a year ago, my friend Cheryl contacted me about doing a drawing for her husband who was expecting a promotion to lieutenant in the police force. We talked about various options for the drawing’s layout, and hoped to have it ready for Christmas as long as the promotion came through. The promotion ended up being delayed, so we aimed for his birthday in January. When that deadline came and went, we put the project on the backburner.

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Middlebury Sky

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve revealed a new piece on the blog, and even longer since I’ve revealed a painting! I thought we needed to resolve that problem, so I present to you Middlebury Sky!

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Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 8″ x 10″

When: Spring/Summer 2016

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Office Tour

When I’m talking to someone about my work, my office tends to come up in the conversation. I think people’s reactions are usually one of two things: 1) how in the world can I fit an office into our small house, or 2) an office, so fancy!!!!!

My office space isn’t much, but it suits my needs for now. And, since it is clean (or was clean when I took the pictures…), I thought I’d take you all on a little tour!

Welcome to my office!
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It’s about a third of our finished basement space; the other part is the kid’s playroom area. Excuse the curtain panel hanging down in the middle of the view; it’s there for when the kids have friends over, we close up the curtains and it helps detract them from going over into my space.

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