Artist, illustrator, vagabond 4 beauty.
Thanks a bunch
|IF - Book (c) Liz Stevens Illustration 2012|
|IF - Crooked (c) Liz Stevens Illustration 2012|
Here's one I've been working on for Illustration Friday. Being that it's feeling much more like fall (and when I think of fall, I think Halloween of course), and the fact that I've been drooling over Edward Gorey's luscious illustrations, I decided to try my hand at a Gorey-like image for this topic. This couple is "crooked" but in a different sort of way! You can decide if it's good or bad, no judgement here! ;)
The main thing I discovered is how easy great illustrators make things look - and how hard it really is to imitate someone's style. My poor attempt needs some more line work for sure, but I thought I'd share it anyhow.
|Lothlorien - The Golden Wood (c) Liz Stevens Illustration 2012|
|Dragon - progress! (c) Liz Stevens Illustration 2012|
|Dragon Detail (c) Liz Stevens Illustration 2012|
|Lothlorien - The Golden Wood (c) Liz Stevens Illustration 2012|
I am also inspired by Elizabeth Malczynski Litton who illustrated Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsong trilogy paperback edition in the 70's. I met her at the con and she was just the nicest lady. Her work makes me want to draw and draw and draw so I can maybe get to someday be as good as she is.
My entry for last week's Illustration Friday topic - Remedy.
When I think of a 'remedy' I think of hot tea with honey and lemon. My Mom used to make me tea and toast when I was sick as a kid. With lots of sugar and milk. I loved dunking the toast into the tea and eating it all squishy and buttery.
I also had a friend in Kentucky whose grandmother would give her a teaspoon of white raisins soaked in gin for just about anything that ailed her. Not sure what the medicinal qualities of that one are...but she said it worked great.
I plan to color this one in Photoshop and I'll post the images when I get them finished. Just wanted to post this one before it was too awfully late!
When I think of shadows, I think of campfires and ghost stories, deep, dark woods and the power of the imagination to see things in the dark. I also wanted to work on my cross hatching. I did this one with regular and fine point Sharpie markers on bristol paper.
Hope you like it!
Here's one in honor of Jannie Ho aka @Chickengirl, a new friend from twitter! I really am loving twitter for the networking and being able to find and follow lots of illustrators who are working and fabulously talented!! And Chickengirl, well, her work is really great and so...with no further adieu, here is my chicken...well, actually it would technically be chickens but who's counting?
I actually did these illustrations a while ago. It's kind of a funny story...a cautionary tale I think for all of you newb illustrators out there...
So, I was living in southern Indiana and every year in a little town called Corydon, IN (the FIRST capitol of Indiana as the residents proudly say) they have a Cock-A-Doodle Days celebration! This is probably because the town's main employer is Tyson Chicken. Anyhoo...I knew a guy who owns an art and frame shop there and he sets up a booth for that weekend. So I go home and whip out these 4 illos and give them to him in hopes that he'll be able to sell them and I can make a little "scratch" for my artwork!
Well, I didn't know this guy very well, and it turns out I never saw my little chickens again. Every time I went back to his shop and asked for them, he would tell me he had them put away somewhere and would get them out for me "next time" I came by.
So the moral of this Chicken Tale? Don't ever give away your originals without getting some cashola up front first!!! I suspect he sold them and just didn't want to give me any credit. Or somebody pinched them from his booth, or maybe he was telling the truth and he misplaced them. I dunno...I'm moving back there soon...so I'm gonna look him up again and bring a baseball bat this time!
In the spirit of the season, I decided to do something a little different and try my hand at colored pencil. I really do like working in colored pencil. Something about the medium makes me slow down and really enjoy the process. Since I love birds, I thought a nice winter cardinal would be fun. So without further adieu, here is my Illustration Friday "Winter" entry. - L
Thought you might like to see how my son's web comic illo turned out.
As you can see, it's quite a bit more refined than the previous post. I worked really hard trying to give it a feeling like a video game cover.
|Figure Detail 1|
Keep making art - L
This week's topic is renewal. How appropriate. We've just renewed the decade. Welcome to 2010. It's hard to believe we're ten years into a new milennium...especially considering that we all thought (or at least some people thought) that the whole world including the internet would come crashing down in the year 2000. It's been a tough ten years, but through it all I've tried to keep my faith and maintain my focus and drive to become a successful freelance illustrator. On that note, I've just gotten asked to bid on a new gig that hopefully will start my year off with some cash-ola in my pocket! Groovy!
So here's my take on the Renewal theme. I think of sleep...a chance for the body to renew, and chance for spirit to refresh, a chance for mind to soar. So sweet dreams! I hope you're feeling "renewed" in the morning!
This year is ending up pretty well so far! Just found out I'll be moving to the LA area and have already secured a place to live in Marina Del Rey. On the water and just a short distance to the beach!!! So far so good. To celebrate, here are a few holiday illustrations for you! Have a Happy New Year! 2010 is gonna be GREAT!!!
I have been working on a painting recently for my son who is developing a web comic series. He has some great ideas and asked me to paint a "cover" illustration for his soon to be unveiled (like Christmas or soon thereafter) site.
The illustration has evolved in stages, and I photographed each stage to send to my son. I thought I'd share that here as an ongoing "work in progress" blog.
The criteria for this illustration were:
It should feature his "furry" character who is part fox, part human. He was inspired by his avatar in Second Life. The character is involved in an ongoing war-type scheme involving "world domination". Don't ask me, ask him. I'm clueless here cause when he tries to explain it, my eyes start to glaze over and roll back into my head. (sorry joey!) Anywho...one of his favorite MMORPG games is Call of Duty, so he asked me to make his cover art similar to CoD's artwork. Basically I looked at the image and took it from there.
Here's stage one and you can see the composition is really similar:
Joey has drawn lots of what he calls "mechs" which are kind of Star Wars meets Halo mechanical battle-type vehicles. He asked me to add in several of these, most specifically a battle helicopter and a couple of walkers. So here's stage 2 and 3 showing that:
As you can see, the background is developing and I'm trying to get some depth. Also the figure is becoming more detailed. The surface I'm using is a very textured one. It's basically a gessoed canvas with rough sand poured on top and gessoed again. It's a wonderful, gritty texture and I think it adds a lot to the piece.
I'm really liking where this project is going and am having lots of fun collaborating with my kid on it! I had no idea how really smart and creative he is!
When next I asked him for more detailed information on the figure's armor and weaponry, he sent me some images and I incorporated those into the next stage:
Ok, so it's been a little longer than a week since my last post. Managing 2 blogs...what the heck was I thinking??? Oh well, you can only do what you can do.
I've been thinking alot about marketing myself lately. I have this book called Art Marketing 101. It's a great book for any artist who really wants to know how to run his or her career as the business it really is.
Now, I know some of you out there will disagree that art is a business. So to you purists, I apologize in advance! I personally want to be able to do what I love and hope to be well rewarded financially! So if you want to paint and never sell a canvas, more power to you! That's just not my style.
Anyways, back to this art marketing thing. This book says the first most important step to fulfilling your dream of being a full-time artist is to create your identity as an artist. When you meet people for the first time and they ask you what you do for a living, what do you say? I say "I'm a freelance illustrator". I may not have made a dime in the last week from selling my illustrations, but by saying it, I become it. Every time I say it, I believe it a little bit more, and gain a little bit more self-confidence as an illustrator! Amazing the power of positive thought!
So back to the book to figure out how to do all this stuff, and then figure out some kind of story to use for a picture book dummy. Whew. Ok, deep breath...go for a run, clear my head. More research required! Here's a sketch of some characters I was fooling with a while back. I like the little burrowing owl character. I even did an "emo" version messing around one day. I'm off to run. Later!
I created this blog to have a place to show my artwork...my illustrations, really. So that's what this blog is about. I want to be a full-time, freelance illustrator. The blog is supposed to document my process and progress. I guess I just really have a short attention span, because in the past, I mostly would post some recent (or not so recent) work and then forget about it. But you can probably tell that from reading this.
So what is this process of becoming a full-time illustrator? Can I really do it? Will blogging about it help? Let me tell you what I'm doing so far...
1. Posting to this blog...committing to post at least once a week?!?
2. Posting to my second blog...http://www.trailsketches.blogspot.com...committing to update it once weekly as well.
3. Listing myself at several freelance sites such as: www.ifreelance.com and www.guru.com
4. Drawing, sketching, painting daily.
5. Working on development of my own children's picture book
6. Deciding on and executing a body of work (fine art) for a future gallery show.
7. Finding ways to market myself and my work.
I need to get serious about this if I'm going to make any progress before I'm old and gray! Ok, enough of my rant...now let's get to the good stuff...artwork!!!
It's been a while since I've done any hiking or camping! I miss it very much. I remember when I was in my 20's, I totally turned my back on outdoor activities like that - which is pretty weird considering it's such a part of who I am now. I guess we all go through times in our life when we search for who we are and what we enjoy...
At any rate, I do get outdoors every day, it's just that right now, I'm in the city! Los Angeles is wonderful and Marina del Rey even better. I get the big city and the beach at my doorstep. There are a LOT of people here!!! So when I go on my runs, in my mind I'm thinking back to my Denver Half-Marathon training and running on the back trails at Grand Canyon National Park. Dirt roads, Mule Deer, Elk, the occasional Mountain Lion - and human. ;) Now that was a cool place to run - and hike, and backpack, and - everything!
|Can you see the "Standing Stones"?|
|From the breakwater back toward the bridge to Playa del Rey|
|Wishing I had a sailboat....|
|Looking toward Marina del Rey|
|Sailing - takes me away... (singing) Regatta Season is here!|
|Can you see the standing stones now?|
|Now this is what I call "Earth Art"|
Welcome to my world - where a trail is a state of mind! :D Happy Journeys!!
I attended the annual meeting of ALDHA-West the last weekend of September with "Meadow Ed" Faubert and my partner, Gary Kirk. ALDHA is an association of long-distance hikers. Several there recieved their "triple crown" awards, meaning they had thru-hiked the 3 major US trails - the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), and the Appalachian Trail (AT). The PCT is 2,650 miles, the CDT is 2,588 miles, and the AT is 2,168 miles long. All together that adds up to 7,406 miles!
Long distance hikers are a peculiar breed, but the folks I met at ALDHA-West were very cool, and very friendly and eager to share tales of the trail, fun and not-so-fun experiences, and their best advice on what, why, when, where, and how to accomplish your hiking goals.
I got to sketch a few of them over the weekend. They're not great sketches, but they were fun to do at least, and these folks have certainly inspired me to consider becoming a thru-hiker someday myself!
All images were sketched on location with either a marker or black ball point pen.
It's fun to do faces, but I have to admit I'm not so great at capturing the likenesses. But, practice makes perfect! So, hats off to all you distance hikers out there. I cut my teeth at Grand Canyon, but you all inspire me to take on some much longer hikes in the near future!
Thanks, and Enjoy! --L
I recently completed a volunteer term at Grand Canyon N.P. working for the science & resource management dept. I worked in the nursery/greenhouse, mostly watering and caring for the salvaged plants and helping with propagation. Whenever the park has a construction project, to their credit, they try to save as many plants as possible beforehand. The nursery is where the plants go to live while they're building whatever it is. Currently, the park is building new parking lots at the Visitor Center in hopes of eliminating all the roadside parking that occurs at the ever-popular Mather Point overlook. It will be so wonderful to be able to enter the park (eventually) and not have to contend with hundreds of cars and pedestrians along the side of the road there!
In the nursery/greenhouse I really learned a lot and it was wonderful being outside with the plants! I also worked with several of the seasonal employees there. Emily, Em, and Ash were so knowledgeable, bright and hard working. It is cool to see young people who are so smart and willing to work hard while also having fun! I miss them already and I've only been gone a couple of days. Thanks for a great summer, guys!
As a naturalist, I was hoping to do more sketches while I was there, and I still intend to take some of my time off to hoof it down to the bottom of the hill with my sketchbook, pens & pencils to capture some of those happy plants. So in honor of my "Reveg" stint, I'm posting these sketches I did in the past. The top two are plants you'll find right now in Grand Canyon - Cliff Rose and Scarlet Penstemon. The bottom one is a gorgeous something or other that used to grow right off my front porch in southern Indiana. I have no idea what it is, but it had gorgeous red flowers and a wonderful variegated leaf. It grew really tall...like 5 feet and the hummingbirds just loved it!
I spent about 3 weeks this past summer on the north rim, staffing the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project table. I just LOVE it over there. It's about a 5 hour drive north from Flagstaff, OR you can do a through-hike "rim to rim" from Bright Angel Trail, across the river and up North Kaibab.
This sketch was done from the porch of the North Rim Lodge. A grand old dame of a hotel with two huge stone terraces where you can sit and enjoy a flawless view of the canyon from the "other side", or you can sit inside the sun room on the comfy chairs and couches provided just for that! Don't forget to attend a condor talk in the auditorium, and you absolutely MUST have breakfast at the lodge! The views are incredible!
Because the North Rim is higher in elevation, it gets LOTS of snow this time of year. The road closes with the first big snow or on Dec. 1st, whichever comes first. The closest you can get is Jacob Lake right now, unless you want to ski in or hike thru! Either way, it's definitely worth the trip!
I'm on my way to being a "gear tester" for BackpackGearTest.org. I discovered this site by accident while cruising the web and looking for gear reviews. Click on the link at the bottom of my blog page to see their site. It's a place for folks like us...outdoorspeople...to get honest reviews of all kinds of gear. I've posted one "owners review" on Cabela's 7 pocket hiker shorts. Click here to read my review. Anyone can join, although they have lots of rules. But I'm hoping to get my 2nd review posted soon, and then I'm eligible to get free gear to test! (I sure could use a good pair of hiking poles - hint, hint)
This is a sketch I did of O'Neill Butte from Cedar Ridge on South Kaibab Trail at the canyon.
My next hiking adventure is planned for New Years Day. I'll be hiking down to the bottom of the canyon. Got a 4 day hike planned, so I'm hoping to get lots of sketching done down there. I'll post them when I get back 'up top'. We've had lots of snow here lately, so I'll let you know how my "YakTrax" work on a snowy trail, and hopefully how the champagne tastes after a great day hiking in Grand Canyon.
Itinerary is as follows:
Jan 1 - South Kaibab trail to Bright Angel Campground
Dinner at Phantom Ranch
Jan 2 - Bright Angel Campground
Jan 3 - Breakfast at Phantom, then hike out Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden
Camp at Indian Garden Campground
Jan 4 - Hike out Bright Angel Trail to the rim
This will be my first time all the way down to the bottom, so wish me luck! I'm not too worried as we're spreading it out pretty good, and I did the Indian Garden to the rim in a little over 4 hours last time.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. See you on the trail!
I learned the difference between a pictograph and a petroglyph at Canyon Tsegi. A pictograph is drawn or painted on top of the rock, a petroglyph is carved or etched into the rock. There is a great book called A Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols of the Greater Southwest by Alex Patterson. It has lots of photos and drawings of different symbols, grouped by type and tells what they represent.
My guide at Canyon Tsegi, a young Navajo guy named Rolando, was really knowlegeable about where to find some of the many drawings there, and even let me sketch them. We talked about his culture and he even coached me in my pronunciation of the few Navajo words I know. We rode around for a couple of hours and had a great time. He was friendly and had a great creative, quick sense of humor. He talked about his people and how hard it is there on the reservation to support himself and his young family. He also talked about the loss of the Navajo culture among the youth, especially the language. I encouraged him to teach his baby daughter his language despite her mother's objection. It was a real treat to be able to speak so openly and honestly with him!
So here is a sketch of a female figure from one of the sites at Canyon Tsegi.
In this blog I plan to approach hiking and backpacking from an artist's point of view. I'll let you know what I bring with me, what works, what doesn't, and whether it's worth it to lug the extra weight around in the long run.
I'll also post my photos when I can, but mainly I'll feature my sketchbook.
I'm looking for feed back from other artists and hikers, and would love to generate fresh ideas for making it easier for us art buffs to 'get out there' and draw in nature!
So, with that I'll post some artwork I did and let you decide.
This picture came from a trip to Canyon de Chelly (Tsegi). It's a sketch of the "White House" ruin. This is the only unescorted trail you can hike in Canyon Tsegi. All other access has to be with a Navajo guide. The canyon is absolutely gorgeous and well worth the price of a horseback ride. It's a sacred place to the Navajo, and has been continuously inhabited by them for hundreds of years. Go there to see Spider Rock, and lots of other sacred places. It's worth the trip.
See you on the trail!
Dammit I dint win the powerball and I was so gonna make a crap ton o' filmmakers' dreams come true. :-[
RT @skottieyoung: I wish more artist sketchbooks were spiral bound. Love books that lay flat and fold over if needed.
Hey @didlr favd my tweet! Thx for the follow & fav didlr :-)
@see_pete_tweet thx 4 following. Did u no twitter says ur similar to Texas Roadhouse? o.O Hugs 2 u & the fam Pete!!
“April Showers bring May flowers” by liz.stevens.art: http://t.co/31AIR8nhkg via @didlr http://t.co/F3e6e4fgfL
Having fun playing with a cute drawing/social networking app called didlr. If u have a touchscreen u can draw &... http://t.co/fmqe50g9cd
@childrenebooks thanx 4 following. Appreciated mucho. :-)
@ThuliumBand @DigitalDuckInc @MeatShieldComic thanks for following, guys! Happy #caturday to y'all. >^-^<
@RandySiner @rdlln @DavidDisspain @aquariumdrinkin @KarlBimshas Well Meet & thanks for following. Hale & hearty all.
RT @NathanFillion: “@robertmcnaught: @NathanFillion I heard batman asks you for advice. true?” His catch phrase used to be, "I am the aft…
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@wilw did u no ur twitter handle was a question on Jeopardy tonigh? Helz Yeah! ;-D
"@RobertKouba: We're making a movie y'all! We hit our goal! http://t.co/KjgM8QGg6i" congrats Robert!
@SophieBlackall just followed u. Ur art is brilliant love the new book.
Holy cr@p, so many to followback.... just looked @ my stats. Bear w/me as I go thru the list! Will get 2 u soon. :-S #whatwasithinking
@4krills thanks for following, beautiful friend. How are you? Miss u girl. :-)
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