Cloud nine. Engagement, wedding or Valentine day card illustration. #illo52weeks theme clouds. Dogs in love.
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Drawings memories and making cards

It is nice to create cards for your loved ones. For a bit of fun (don’t laugh) I thought I would show you the birthday card I made my daughter from an old sketchbook image. The drawing is of my then little girl holding her favourite bunny toy. I sketched this portrait in 1996. This is one good reason to date your drawings. Old sketchbooks are like diaries and can preserve precious memories like this.
Sketchbook drawing from 1996 of my daughter. Old sketchbooks are like diaries.
There is something gorgeous about sepia art work. Maybe it is nostalgic of old photographs and history. Creating new history this week my eldest daughter (yes the one with the bunny) will be officially engaged to be married. I am refusing to feel old–okay!

I couldn’t resist using my cloud 9 illustration from of the #illo52weeks illustration challenges, clouds, for a card to congratulate the happy couple. It was drawn in my toned sketchbook so I printed it on photo paper. I then added some bling with some heart embellishments.

I am not sure weather I will colour this illustration any further. I quite like it as is. What do you think?

Cloud nine. Engagement, wedding or Valentine day card illustration. #illo52weeks theme clouds. Dogs in love.

Cloud nine. Engagement, wedding or Valentine day card illustration. #illo52weeks theme clouds.

Owl Costume: Childrens illustration
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5 more illustrations for #illo52weeks

I am doing a post catch up with my illustrations for the 52 week illustration challenge. I have been consistent in my artwork but no time to blog piece by piece. Here are weeks 26 -30.

Children illustration 52 week challenge. Weeks 26 27 28 29 and 30. Clouds, snow, feather, plane and Sydney illustrations by Kayleen West

Children illustration 52 week challenge. Weeks 26 27 28 29 and 30. Clouds, snow, feather, plane and Sydney

  • clouds: Following my daughter’s engagement announcement, naturally I had to make this theme a congratulations card. Ah, cloud number 9 – my favourite cloud. Pencil on toned paper.
  • snow: (Watercolour) Australia/NZ Christmas card illustration. The Kiwi bird, Koala and Kookaburra.
  • feather: A combination contribution to Daily Doodle (Owly) Pencil on toned paper.
  • plane: Plane was drawn whilst waiting for my sleeping beauty roomies ay the SCBWI conference to wake. I had started the night before while we were chatting (okay laughing our heads off) I was too pumped to sleep past 5am and besides I couldn’t miss my week’s challenge! Thankfully you can draw in the dark on my new potable Wacom.
  • Sydney: While in Sydney last month, I was making a call home when dozens of BIG bats flew overhead. They are so HUGE! Creepy and cute at the same time. Meet Melba, Phantom, Pavlova and Picasso hanging around the Sydney Opera House – naturally. Sketched in my journal and coloured in Photoshop.

The next 2 will be a little surprising. I have begun a new adventure into surface design not realising it would be so exciting!

Get Well Soon gift card illustration. Child with chickenpox taking temperature.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #25 Dots

Get Well Soon gift card illustration. Child with chickenpox taking temperature.

Get Well Soon gift card illustration. Child with chickenpox taking temperature.

Week 25 – Dots: I have a few friends going through illness and my whole family has been affected by this horrible cold/flu going around. Naturally it was time for a get well theme. Dots was the perfect excuse for a get well card don’t you think?

Birthday card illustration. Feast of cupcakes and a very greedy mouse.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #22-24 Eye, Feats, & Octopus

Watermarks on my work.

I have had too much of my work stolen on the internet and so I have decided to watermark my work. You may have noticed me putting my web address over the images lately. Unfortunately as much as I would rather not, it is unavoidable. I have even had someone claim that my work is their portfolio as they advertise themselves for hire. I would hate to see what the clients end up with. Possibly an empty bank account and no goods.

Week 22 – Eye: This theme became a video not a card illustration. Short 3 minutes of creative inspiration for even the most intimidated of beginners. Check it  out  if you haven’t already.

Week 23 – Feast: This was a really quick sketch in a small sketchbook. I finished it with ink and Intense water soluble pencils. I am using these a lot in my sketchbooks and like to travel with them in my bag.

Birthday card illustration. Feast of cupcakes and a very greedy mouse.

Birthday card illustration. Feast of cupcakes and a very greedy mouse. Look out for that candle!

Week 24 – Octopus No1: My youngest child was turning 9 and wanted me to illustrate a card for him. He was first asked for the teddies in the tree house but later asked for drums. He is learning the drums at school and we were surprising him with an electric drum kit for his birthday. As I was drawing for the theme octopus so I combined the two.

Boy's birthday card sketch rough. Octopus drummer.

Boy’s birthday card sketch rough. Octopus drummer.

Boy's birthday card illustration. Octopus drummer.

Boy’s birthday card illustration. Octopus drummer.

Boy's birthday card sketch rough. Octopus drummer.

Boy’s birthday card sketch rough. Octopus drummer.

I decided to use the white background in the end. The progress images show a splotchy yellow background in the last image but I decided it was too busy and distracted from the funky octopus.

Week 24 – Octopus No2: I ended up with a second octopus. I was winding down from a tough day and pulled out an older sketch to illustrate in colour. My eldest daughter’s boyfriend proposed this week so I had this on my mind as I developed the sketch. The octopus has big sad looking eyes but they reminded me of my daughter’s eyes. They are big, beautiful and bright when she smiles, always sweet, but some times sad. I am sure her now fiancee often gets swallowed up in them. This isn’t a final illustration – only a sketch but still fun to put up for show and tell 🙂

Romantic gift card sketch rough. Octopus with love heart and flowers.

Romantic gift card sketch rough. Octopus with love heart and flowers.

Welcome to your new home gift card illustration. Boxes word illustration challenge #illo52weeks
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #21 Boxes

Welcome to your new home gift card illustration. Boxes word illustration challenge #illo52weeks

Welcome to your new home gift card illustration. Boxes – Word illustration challenge #illo52weeks

A “welcome to your new home” gift card illustration – sketch stage. Of course one must unpack teddy first. Her mum has opened the kitchen box for accessing coffee ASAP – I soooo understand that. Caffeine is essential in any house move, several in fact. I shudder at the thought!

My last move was 4 years ago and still a nightmare I remember. The home owner hadn’t moved out when we arrived and left the house in a very dirty state. We had to do a frantic call out for help to half clean the essentials before we moved in. The removalists damaged several things, took cigarette breaks every 5 seconds and left us that night with half of our possessions on our front lawn. Yes we were expecting rain too and NO the removalist wouldn’t repair or compensate for the damage he caused. I won’t be moving again in a hurry.

I am thinking of adding a cat in the kitchen box to magnify the curiosity of the pets. I’ll have only its tail seen, poking up out of the box. Cats get into everything and know no boundaries. What do you think?

Interestingly, an obscure theme like boxes seemed impossible at first but in fact was easy once I began. I avoid painting the subject like a still life. Those days are over. I prefer more story. I also wanted to ensure I did a gift card illustration this time. I need to finish it in watercolour now. I will pop it on my blog when it is done.

The next word challenge is eye. I have already been working on this and it turned out to be an even bigger surprise. I’ll have something very different to show and tell next time; something I use as an activity in schools and hopefully a fun video idea. Stay tuned!

Kids Show and Tell Invitation

Teachers and parents: If you children are inspired by anything I share on my website blog I would love to see what they are creating and celebrate some of those creations. I would love to start an online gallery for kids to show and tell. If you have anything you want to share email me via my contact page. I would love to see!

When your wold lacks colour, you can share mine. My inspirational quote and illustration for the them colour.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #20 Colour

This was done in a bit of a hurry while waiting for my husband to finish for the evening. I pulled out my sketchbook after seeing a photo of children playing in a tepee. I was battling to think of something original for the theme colour. The boy in the tend has a bit of a stretched neck but I post my sketches warts and all. The idea is to share my experimental work good and not so good.

When your world lacks colour, you can share mine. My inspirational quote and illustration for the theme colour.

When your world lacks colour, you can share mine. My inspirational quote and illustration for the theme colour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 52 week illustration challenge is still going strong. You can see what others are doing on the Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418616991575037/

School of fish. Mixed media children's illustration.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #19 Fish

This would have been the most busiest months ever for me, but I am still on board with this personal challenge. I can’t believe we are up to week 19 and I have actually kept up! I feel like waving a superwoman cape at you 🙂

It was time for some mixed media and collage. Why? Because my sketchbook had a few blank pages from Copic markers leaching through the pages. The moleskin book is thick but those inks are pretty powerful.

I re-purposed an older classic, Alice in wonderland, that was sadly falling apart. It wasn’t an antique (I did check) but had those lovely aged-coloured pages in it. My 20 cent purchase from the COM opportunity shop has not only been read by 3 extra children, but will now be recycled into many future mixed media creations. What a life this little book has lived and what a bargain!

I might turn this one into a thank you card for teachers. A profession that is much appreciated in this home.

School of fish. Mixed media children's illustration.

School of fish. Mixed media children’s illustration.

Angels watching over me. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration in ink and coloured in watercolour and Photoshop.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #18 Celestial Body

Two very different style illustrations from me this week for the 52 week illustration theme challenge: Celestial bodies.

I have been experimenting with pattern in my sketchbook and they have evolved from that. The lower illustration was evolved whilst listening to revelation on my iPad. A rather eventful book in the bible, especially when Michael and his angles fight the devil.

On a very different note, the whimsical reflection of angels going about protecting and praising makes me feel pretty happy when I look at it. I did a big whoopsy though. I drew it with a spelling error – thank goodness for Photoshop! I spelt guardian – gardian!

You will see more pattern form me. I will be launching from this idea for a picture book – fun!

So where does the “gift card” part of the challenge come in? Well, I haven’t deviated too much. In time, I will pull some of the image from the top illustration and use it for that and a surface design project.

Angels watching over me. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration in ink and coloured in watercolour and Photoshop.

Angels watching over me. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration in ink and coloured in watercolour and Photoshop.

Celestial Bodies. Michael the angel. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration Photoshop. Revelation 12:7 Then there was war in heaven. Michale and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.

Celestial Bodies. Michael the angel. #illo52weeks challenge. Illustration Photoshop.

52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #17 Donkey Illustration in digital pastel.
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52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #17 Horse

Work in progress. I have been wanting to finish this for ages! I have too many illustrations started that need some time on them. Sorry not exactly a horse but close. The mouse was pulling his tooth with a string but I am going to change it. I am almost there.

52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #17 Donkey Illustration in digital pastel.

52 Week Gift Card Challenge – #17 Donkey Illustration in digital pastel.

Bunnies swimming. SCBWI illustrator's portfolio. 52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge
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Bunnies for SCBWI Illustrator’s Portfolio.

This week I have been working approximately 16 hours a day and 12 of those hours on a new book. It is difficult to stay super-enthusiastic after a several weeks of working on one project without creative breaks in between. It is counterproductive not to spend time doing other illustration work. It also increased my learning and growth as an illustrator as I experiment and give time to my learning.

Bunnies swimming. SCBWI illustrator's portfolio. 52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge

Bunnies swimming. SCBWI illustrator’s portfolio. 52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge – Final Version

I have been using a weekly challenge to stop any monotony slipping in. Experimental time on the computer is no different to playing in my sketchbook; I mess around with ideas and try out different methods to see what I can produce.

This illustration is one I began for an earlier theme challenge: water.
I need an online image to represent my illustration portfolio for the new SCBWI online illustrators portfolio gallery for the upcoming conference in July. I decided to finish one of my bunny illustrations as it has got such a wonderful response. I guess if other illustrators ooh and arh over them so much, hopefully publishers and art directors will too. I am very fond of the little fellows too I must say.

You may remember the earlier beginnings…

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks water - baby rabbits

My bunnies at an early stage.

So what do you think now?

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #1
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Simplify Creative Breaks and Downtime.

Is there any such thing? Yes in a strange kind of way – in my world anyway.

I have an unusual style of visual or creative downtime. Usually my downtime results in free creative time. I will be working on a book or attending to business duties and need a break, what do I do? Usually more illustrating or writing – lately illustrating.

The creative challenge I am involved in (#illo52weeks) is really satisfying me artistically. I get to scribble and experiment to my heart’s desire (time restricted) and come up with fresh work for my portfolio (once finished) or blog (work in progress).

I have been flat out working long hours over the past month and have welcomed the latest theme, simplicity. This theme gave me permission to back off the complexity of my illustrations and to my delight resulted in some pretty cute stuff.

This is what I came up with:

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #1

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #1

All these were done in Adobe Photoshop while listening to a rather helpful audio eBook by Katie Davis. Yes I will have to re-listen as I was somewhat distracted.

My bunny theme from the last 2 weeks:

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #2

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #2

This one was at the end of today using a sketch from my sketchbook doodles. I thought I would try a little more texture in the background.

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #3

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks simplicity #3

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks architecture - Candy Land
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Illustration Challenge Catchup – architecture, numbers and water

3 weeks of Illustration Catch up

Topics: architecture, numbers and water. These are the beginnings of some illustrations in progress. I think my little rabbits below may appear in future challenges also. I am very fond of these little guys.

All 3 illustrations are works in progress and painted digitally after initially drawing them in my sketchbook with a 2B pencil. Candyland was painted on my iPad and the others in Photoshop. I hope to finish them once my next book is finished, in-between working on the following.

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks architecture - Candy Land

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks Week 11- architecture – Candy Land

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks numbers - baby rabbits

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks Week 12 – numbers

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks water - baby rabbits

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks Week 13 – water

You can see the finished illustration for water here: http://kayleenwest.com.au/portfolio/bunnies-for-scbwi-illustrators-portfolio/