Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I had been wanting to draw some geese for the holidays, but I didn't know what they would be doing, and then the topic, 'voices' was chosen, and it all came together. I've been quite a blog bum with the not posting in so long. I hit a big creative fall/winter funk, and lost my mojo for a while, and also had some other priorities that I had to focus on.
But, now it feels great to draw something new again, and get back to Illustration Friday especially since tomorrow will be my 3rd year blog anniversary! Thanks so much to everyone who has visited, and been so encouraging. It means a lot, and fuels future posts. This blog and IF have helped me build up a portfolio, and with the help of my dad I was able to launch my website this year. I still have planned to build a shoppe, and to start selling some greeting cards and prints through Imagekind. And I'm very excited that I'm all registered, and I'll be attending the NY SCBWI conference in January 2009. Is anyone else planning to go?
I want to wish everyone a very Happy Winter Solstice! Yay!, longer days are soon to come in the northern hemisphere. Also, have a happy, jolly, fa la la la la-filled fun and safe holiday season! I'll be traveling the roads to go home for the holidays later today, and they're calling for tons of snow, so I'm hoping for a safe trip.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Sorry for the ugly copyright notice, but I've found this image stolen & used on several blogs without my permission. I know it is old art, and I shouldn't care, but it irritates me when people don't respect an artist's work. Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it is free to steal.
Baking cupcakes with mom is a lot of fun, but it does cause quite a bit of clutter all over the kitchen countertop. :)
I'm not yet sure where I want to go with the colors, so I'm posting a work in progress sketch somewhat colored in photoshop to squeak in before the IF deadline. I need to work more on a final technique, but I've also been working on making progress with my drawing skills. I've been feeling the need to step it up to make my children's illustration portfolio stronger.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
hand drawn sketch digitally colored in photoshop with multiple texture layers
I just sprinkle on:
a dash of chili powder
a dash of cayenne pepper
a dash of salt
a dash of sugar
a sprinkle of lemon juice
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I've never shared work from my day job, or my freelance work on this blog, so if you'd like to see the other sides of me that pay the bills please head on over and check it out. We see it as a work in progress that will continue to evolve, so I'd be interested in opinions and critiques.
My new website: www.angelamatteson.com
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Also on Friday I attended panels for Family Guy with Seth MacFarlane, and Seth Green, and Prison Break, which was missing Wentworth Miller. :( On Saturday my friends and I walked to the end of the longest line I have ever seen for the Heroes panel. It was literally over a mile long, and went way past the convention center, and then when hope appeared to be lost it actually started moving, and we made it into the hall amongst cheers of 'You made it!' The 6000 of us were treated to an airing of the entire first episode of the next season, and a very brief chat with the entire cast. Later, on the exhibit floor I saw Adam Baldwin with his son, and proceeded to stalk him for a few paces for a few pics. He was then at the Chuck panel where he stole the show in front of a crowd that contained more than a few Firefly fans sporting Jayne knitted caps. I somehow ended up at a Battlestar Gallactica panel, a show I don't watch. It was still fun because Kevin Smith, who I enjoy, moderated, and the cast members attending were hot! :) The last panel I made it to was for Fringe with J.J. Abrams and star Joshua Jackson. Walking around the Gaslamp District we saw a herd of cows penned up in a parking lot presumably as viral marketing for Fringe. It's still too soon to tell if this show will be any good.
It was then back down to check out more booths, and take more photos of people in costume. I was impressed how everyone came prepared with their perfect pose for photos, but I still found it sometimes more fun to catch those candid moments.
I ended up picking up anything they were giving away. I figured with the popularity of reusable shopping bags, we'd see the studios take advantage of this form of advertising, and it definitely was the year of the bag. The poster size Pushing Daisies bag was my must have Con accessory.
It wasn't all just tv and movie booths, although they were the loudest presence, and attracted the most wall to wall people. The Ugly Doll booth was bright and cheery, and I got a few pics of the life size dolls roaming the halls. Sights like this meant standing in line was never dull.
Seeing so many of my favorite illustrators was a real treat. Chatting with the great Stephen Silver was a special highlight.
I ended up with a bag full of cards and postcards of inspirational artist's work that caught my eye that I'll be looking into more online. I didn't bring big enough luggage for all the books I wanted to buy.
One of the best parts of this trip was reuniting with my most awesome college chums, Bob, Trevor, Sean, and Eric. After all the chaos of the Con it was nice to kick back, and enjoy the beautifully perfect weather of San Diego.
We had some great fish tacos at Tin Fish near the convention hall, and the taste of Shanghai at the Red Pearl Kitchen another night, and a nice relaxing day of sightseeing along the beaches of La Jolla. I was excited to see the seals swimming in the ocean, and while strolling along the shoppes we stopped for some most delicious gelato! I had a scoop of blood orange with raspberry fudge swirl on top. So good! :)
We also took the trolley to Old Town, which had photo opportunities a plenty. We had some great Mexican food, and went ghost hunting at the Whaley House.
I took around 900 photos and videos, so this post could go on forever, but I'll end it here so I can get back to doing some illustrations. :)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The last few weeks I've been working on some other projects which I hope to share here soon. Tomorrow though, I'm off to San Diego for 6 days to meet up for a mini-reunion with some of my ol' college chums, and to attend Comic-Con. This is my first year attending a conference of this magnitude, and my first time on the west coast, so I'm unbelievably excited!!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
When I saw the IF topic, worry, I almost was going to do a collage of some of my past illustrations since so many of my characters end up with a somewhat worried look on their faces. I think I'm drawn to that worried look because you can see that something is churning in their brain. I find the mystery of what that may be intriguing.
I'm not sure what this bunny is worried about. I know he wasn't so sure he'd make it to post before the deadline, and he's not sure where he came from. He just showed up about 5 minutes after I started sketching. I'm not so sure he's worried about anything in particular, and instead is just generally neurotic.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I've been meaning to post some photos I took a couple years back of the actual wardrobe that inspired C. S. Lewis to write The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was on display along with his writing desk, and other items. I was most interested in the wardrobe, which although it was not the one from the movie it was more special because it was the catalyst to the entire Narnia series. I thought it was timely to post it now with the new movie, Prince Caspian out in theaters now.
This sign was some cute museum humor. It warned, "Enter at your own risk. The Wade Center assumes no responsibility for persons who disappear or are lost in the wardrobe."
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The other day I was reading a post on Eric Orchard's blog about his typical day, and I couldn't help thinking about my own day, and so when I got to the end of the post, and saw that I was tagged, I thought what a fun surprise! But, sorry to say, my days are quite boring, and I don't have myself on a schedule for the illustrating stuff you see on this blog. I'm thinking I may have to fix that. Oh well, here's a typical weekday:
4:55 am - The alarm goes off. I hit snooze to turn the buzzer off. Also, my wakeup light turns on, and I have my thermostat set to make it hotter, so I'm forced to throw the covers off.
4:57 - The radio alarm turns on, and listen to the weather, etc for a little while, although lately all I hear is the rhythmic creaking of my neighbor's bed above my apartment. More incentive to get up, and leave I guess.
5:15 - give or take - Take a shower, and make myself presentable to the world. Make a protein fruit smoothie if I have time.
6:10 or so - Pack my lunch from whatever frozen meals I have prepared in the freezer. Grab my protein smoothie, if there is one, otherwise just grab a yogurt. Leave for work. It's so nice not to have to clean the ice and snow off the car anymore.
6:30 - Arrive at the office. I'll check my email and horoscope, and maybe a few blogs. Also, I have my breakfast smoothie, or the yogurt with cereal. Then I look at what projects I have. Right now I'm designing Christmas. So everyday is fa la la la la, and holly, holly, snowflake, snowflake. A few other projects also cross my desk.
midmorning - I start to get hungry. I might nibble some Trader Joe Multi-grain Pita Chips, and then a few Tollhouse chocolate chips. I would say I check my email again, but I've probably already checked it 5 times by now.
about 5 to 10 minutes before noon - I go to the cafeteria to heat up my lunch, unless I have a cold salad. Lunch is almost alway brought back to my desk to eat, and internet browse.
after lunch - Back to work.
2:00 - small break
3:15 pm - The benefit of starting so early pays off. It's time to go home!! :) Now here's the variable part of my day. I'll either:
a) Run some errands
b) Drive to the bike path for a 3 mile walk followed by relaxing outdoors
c) Go straight home, and do my Yoga Booty Ballet exercise video followed by a shower
d) Go straight home, and browse blogs, or draw, or work on other projects
I didn't do much of b and c over the winter, so I'm trying to get them back into the routine, so I have more energy. Yesterday, I did 16,585 steps, according to my pedometer, approxiamately 8.29 miles to make up for all the slacking. I'm feeling it today. Good pain though.
between 5:00 and 7:30 - I make myself some dinner. I'll usually have my favorite Discovery channel shows on, "Cash Cab" and "How's It Made".
7:00 - 10:00 - Watch tv and maybe draw, or visit blogs, or work on some procrastination project like making a necklace, or work on a freelance assignment. What I do in this block of time depends on how tired I am.
between 9:30 -11:00 - I often fall asleep on the couch with the lights and tv still on. This is an awful habit I'm still trying to break.
2:00 am - I awake to find that I'm still in the living room, and some horrible infomercial is on, and those messed up dreams I was just having are starting to make sense. I now try to go to bed, but end up not being able to fall asleep, and I toss and turn for hours, hopefully, eventually getting a little more sleep, before the alarm goes off, and I do it all over again.
Whoa, sorry this got to be so long. Probably way more then you ever wanted to know.
I will now tag-- Eric Smith, Andi Butler, David Sones, and Sheree Boyd
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Interestingly enough, I just read that Ben just missed meeting the aging Newton. So it feels good to be able to bring them together at least in spirit. Ben actually did invent the Franklin stove, but it wasn't electric. For more real facts follow the links above.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
This was the first idea that came to mind this week. Mostly likely influenced by last week's episode of Reaper. I wasn't sure I wanted to finish sketching this idea, and had started a 'prettier' second idea, but bounced back to this one. I've got to get working on these earlier in the week, but then again having no time means quick decision making, and more unexpected results.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
This is a sketch color blocked in photoshop. The other week I was busy painting some of my decorative wooden boxes to give my little place a little spring makeover, and I was sanding a painted surface, and ended up scanning that, and I used it here as the background texture.
My apologies to chipmunk lovers. No chipmunks were directly harmed in the creation of this illustration. The same can't be said for what happens in the wild.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Jillian Curtis contacted me about the Holocaust Memorial that she is building in her front yard I was more than happy to participate. It's a wonderful way to teach her children that every life is precious, and that we can never let hate overcome.
Jillian is asking that stars of any sort be sent. As I thought of what to illustrate I remembered the striking imagery of the girl in the red coat in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. While the girl in the movie wasn't based on anyone in particular, Roma Ligocka said that when she saw the movie she saw herself. She was wearing that same red coat when she was a little girl at the door to the home of the polish family that took her in, and secretly housed her.
You can follow the star project on Jillian's blog: Blog Me Til Midnight
••• update: The Winona Daily News did a story on the project. There's a sweet photo of Jillian and her boys holding my star. The article is here.
•••• 2 News stations covered the project for Holocaust Remembrance Day. You can read the articles, and watch the videos at these links:
KAALtv story and video
WEAU story and video on lower right side
Sunday, March 30, 2008
This was a commission that I completed for someone as a christmas gift for her father. She wanted a portrait of their dog, Cocoa who had passed away. I used gouache on this acrylic paper I found which had a linen finish, and held up to the paint better than the bristol I had been previously using. I was given a few photos to work from, and I asked for a list of his traits. She said he liked the snow and liked riding in cars, so I incorporated that into it. (The snowy background is a little hard to see in the scan.) Trying to get some kind of likeness was difficult, especially since I couldn't see his eyes in any of the pics. When I gave it to her she said she loved it, and said I got the eyes perfect. Whew! He ended up younger than the pic, but she liked that since the painting was about remembering the good times when he was still alive.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I had the idea for this little illustration back in the fall when I was remembering one autumn when I was viciously attacked and bitten by multiples of ladybugs, or rather it was most likely the fake ladybugs who masquerade as the nice benevolent ones, but are in fact nuisance worthy Mexican been beetles which feast on crops, and apparently exposed flesh. Anyway, it got me thinking that maybe the real ladybugs should have a showdown with the impostors, and the idea of the ladybug sumo wrestling bout was born. I had tried a few sketches at the time, but couldn't get the positioning right. 'Heavy' seemed like the perfect topic to make another attempt at it, and I have to say I had fun with this one. Some ideas just need extra time to marinate.
This was painted in photoshop, and was enhanced, as the last post, using some free brushes offered by the brilliant artist, Alex Dukal.
Monday, March 17, 2008
This second photo is my little Ikea computer desk which I'm constantly changing to try to make it more comfortable. Currently, I've decided it works better without the front panel on the drawer, and I finally removed the bottom shelf that was driving me crazy although this means my printer now sits directly on the floor. The clearance chair that I bought to go with the desk didn't work for sitting on, so it became a table for my scanner. That bit of shiny corner on the wall is the mirror I use to keep an eye on the tv when I'm too busy to take a real break, but want a little entertainment while I work. It's funny to see everything backwards. It makes it look like everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road. :)
I feel like I'm a bit out of the loop with who's already done this meme. I'd love to see everyone's workplace, so if you've already posted some photos of your space, or would like to share some pics please send me some links to your posts. :)
Thursday, March 13, 2008
(Digitally painted in Photoshop)
Monday, February 18, 2008
Nutritionists are always telling us their latest theories---eggs are bad...no wait, eggs are good. Real sugar is evil, but now they say most sugar substitutes are even worse. My theory is that we already know what's good for us. A meal of home cooking with fresh garden vegetables is about as good as it gets. Mmm mmm!! :)
I did a rough sketch of this last week, but didn't have time to take it any farther. It's one of those images that popped in my head. I just bought 2 of Rébecca Dautremer's children's books, Princesses, and Cyrano. I've been wanting them for awhile, but my US Amazon wasn't carrying them. I happened upon Amazon France, and decided to give my password a try, and I was surprised that it worked. It never occured to me that all the Amazons worldwide use the same information bank. I decided to order from Amazon Canada since it is closer. Shipping only took a week longer, and there were no customs fees, so I was super pleased. I find her work very inspiring. In this sketch I focused on the big sweeping shapes, and then refined a few areas. I really want to try a traditional painting of this, but this digital photoshop painting helped me work out the colors.
Here is how it works:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the “You Make my Day Award” logo with a link to the post that I wrote. (Optional)
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.
I know this has already made the rounds to all the great artists out there, but I still want to pass this along to some awesome friends who are always making my days sunny! :)- Eric Smith (glimbit)
- Eric Orchard
- David Sones (pickeldog)
- Andi Butler (gee, that's swell)
- And everyone who has stopped by to comment. Your input, support, and critiques are much appreciated as I continue on my artistic journey.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Was this tale created in the days of old to convince young girls to marry toothless ugly men? Just wondering.
I was reading my horoscope for next month over at Astrology Zone, and Susan included this interesting tidbit, "Social scientists say that creative breakthroughs occur in 90-minute cycles. When you first sit down to begin working on your idea, you won't know exactly where in the cycle you are entering, so it is important that you keep concentrating for at least 90 minutes."
They say this is the way our sleep cycles work, and also our daily energy cycles, so perhaps there's some truth to it. So when things aren't working next time I'll have to keep at it consistently for 90 minutes. I guess it's worth a try.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This was inspired by the GI Joe Throwback contest going on over at Channel Frederator. I remember watching the cartoon everyday after school with my little brother. This is my kid sized version of the character, Scarlett who was know for being mighty handy with a crossbow. I decided to take this into Painter, and I had fun with the pastel brushes. I'm not sure if this is 'Joe' enough to submit to Frederator. I'd like to hear your critiques and opinions.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I feel like I'm a bit late for my first post of 2008. I took a creative break for the holidays, and then came back, and had a hard time getting into the swing of things, and then some freelance projects took priority. Well, hopefully, I can get back on track. I'm actually super excited about this year, and all the possibilities it may hold. All this newness is exhilarating! I feel like this is the year to make my hopes, dreams and wishes come true. At least that's what my horoscope said, and when it's that positive I'm perfectly happy going along with it!!! :D