Monday, December 24, 2007

A Little Holiday Cheer...


Here I am visiting my parents for Christmas, enjoying the holiday goodies and cheer, and I thought, on this most endless of days--Christmas Eve-- I would draw a Santa. Pretty standard, as far as santas suit, white beard. I kindof wanted to make him different--like Viking Santa, or some different kind of ornate santasuit--but I didn't want to spend a very long time on it (read: lazy). He was looking rather boring in the early stages, so I made him coming out of the shadows, and experimented with blue core shadows, and yellow highlights. Overall, a Jolly Ole' Elf, methinks :-).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another Portrait In Prog...

I've never done a portrait of a man before, so here goes. This is a whole new set of problems to solve. I think the hardest thing is making men look like men (and not women). So far, not so good, (the sitter said "are those my lips?"), but more adjustments will fix it (I hope.).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

German Portrait Finish

DONE, ZOMG! Lots of good things learned here, like a little bit about rendering jewelry (and maybe I'll do it better next time). In looking at various portrait styles from this general time period, I notice a really big difference in technique, regionally. I'd like to try the dabs-o-paint method that Vermeer used...that's what I call it anyway, since once you get up close to it, it's really just little spots of light and shadow that make up this incredibly realistic painting. Something to experiment with...:-)

New Gown Photos...

This fiddled-with photo is to inform you that new shots of my renaissance Polish gown and 16th century undies are up in the "COSTUME" section of my website. Go check out sewing expertise! (or lack there of)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

German Portrait Progress...

The painting isn't finished, obviously, but I went ahead and played with the aging techniques I was thinking about. I remember an interesting lecture on painting restoration, and that varnish, over time, cracks and yellows, giving old paintings that warm glow and distinct pattern. So in Photoshop, I added a light golden yellow layer on "multiply." You can use a photo filter (warm) as well. For the cracking, I hand drew squiggly lines, mostly vertically, in the pattern I saw on a detail of a Vermeer. There are different patterns of cracking depending on the varnish used, but this seemed like the easiest to reproduce. I made this texture as a repeatable tile, and changed the color to a very light brown (hue/saturation - colorize). When I applied it to my painting, I shrunk the tile down very small and covered the whole painting with pasted versions that I had flipped horizontally and vertically. Finally, I changed the layer to "multiply" and reduced the opacity to about 35%. Other ideas I might try...adding a very subtle canvas texture over the whole thing.

Pandapparel Pt.2

Panda says, "c'mon, you know you want know you want to wear a t-shirt with me on it!" I say, "Panda's shameless, but if you really do want a t-shirt with him on it, click here." Just sayin' is all...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

German Portrait WIP

Here's another in-progress painting based on German portraits from the 16th (and kindof 15th) century. I want to create a couple of these to frame and display at Faires in an attempt to generate some commissions. Plus they'll just make the place look nice, I think. Portraits are a good way to practice rendering skills, too, as often there are many different materials to create, from velvet, silk, fur/hair, to skin, which is perhaps the hardest to render. When she's done, I plan to experiment with some digital aging techniques that will hopefully mimic the varnish cracking that very old paintings have. At any rate, here's the inital sketch and scribbled-on color, followed by my progress on the portrait today...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Thing I Drew On Paper...

...hard to believe, I know! Well, the drawing only, as the color was done in the 'Shop. I couldn't help it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Redesign, etc.

I spent today revamping my website. I added a new front page last week, and realized that the rest of the site no longer matched, and also that certain pages were not accessible from the menu. So I made a new menu and header, and cleaned up the galleries a bit. I've also added a "prints" section, where people will hopefully buy things. I was so very excited by the idea of selling products (not just prints, but t-shirts and other things), that I set out to do a t-shirt design this afternoon. And here you have it :-). Syruppy cute, yes, but I like him :-). I slapped him onto a bajillion t-shirts, and whatnot, and put him up in my "design" gallery, hopefully to convince some people that yes, I am capable of designing for apparel! Anyway, you can click on this link, or the pretty t-shirt image below, if you want to buy something with this design on it :-). Shameless? yes, of course.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I love scribbling...and letting them remain scribbles :-).

Tiger Warrior - Finish

Atmosphere! I was inspired by Anthony Ermio's work for the background. I lit my tiger, but it may be a greater challenge to next time work with a flat-light environment, for a snowy scene (like Anthony's). Since it's winter, and I miss the snow and mountains (hello, sunny california!), I might do a number of these cold-feeling drawings. I don't know...something about them appeals to me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tiger Warrior Work-in-Progress

Hey all. I've been working on my painting/rendering skills with Photoshop, and taking a rough, messy sketch all the way to finish. I thought of my favorite "Magic: The Gathering" card from way back when, an anthro tiger-man named "Jedit Ojanen," and thought I'd make my own version of him (special thanks to Jehan Choo!), so here's the work-in-prog. I've still got more rendering to do on his hands, legs, weapon, and whatever else I'll add to him. I'm not sure about the background yet...maybe something snowy/misty?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Winter Ad

Hey all. I thought I'd make a new Christmas/Winter themed girl, and advertisement for Craigslist. This is the first time I've used Illustrator for one of my girls, and I really like the way the linework came out. It was just a lot easier, less time-consuming, and more consistent. I switched back and forth between the programs--illustrator for line, Photoshop for color. Not a bad deal. Here's the original, and the ad. --L

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


A night of listlessness results in...

I know my fiddlage with photos I take is no great feat of retouching genius, and it's borderline artistic, but it's fun. It's FUN! to do on a night when you're a little bored and uninspired. FUN I TELL YOU! And hey, it does explore some tools in Photoshop that I haven't used, or don't use on a regular basis. :-)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bankrollin' Along...

Here's a sketch...I'm enjoying messy color sketches like this, since so much of the work I do professionally is ultra-clean vector or tediously hand-lined stuff. I've been working on a set of 10 caricatures that I will post up here soon (my faves anyway), since I retain the rights to them. It'll be nice to be able to post work on the website without having to wait for the go-ahead!

Monday, November 05, 2007

The O-Zoo

I dashed away to the O-Zoo today, to draw from life for the first time in a LONG time. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny, and I had a great time hanging out with Ian, drawing elands, and making business deals :-). Here's a page of sketches, and a highly retouched photo :-)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Photo Retouching

I've been retouching and fiddling with some photos, just to see what I can turn them into. I don't have access to any high-fashion, couture-type photos, so I have to work with what I have already, which are pictures of, well, me :-). I like experimenting with filters, correction tools, cropping...perhaps I'll start collecting these into little "before and afters" like this one, and set up some kind of spot for them on my site...maybe get some photo gigs, eh?


I'm still getting the hang of Illustrator...I felt compelled to do something, and experiment more, although I did not feel compelled to do more tutorials, so what we have here is just more exploration. I like the work that has all the shapes and whatnot piled onto it, but it seems so overdone...I want to try something new, or take it in a new direction, or even take it backwards, and be more simple than all that. We like our senses to be bombarded these days, though, so maybe I should try it before I veer away from it. Perhaps it's just a matter of building up your components over time, and then combining them (like Marguerite Sauvage, or Barron Story). "Bits." They're all just high-tech "bits" pieces. Worth a shot. I'll be adding to this one, then...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Snow Bride

Today I walked about in my little town, looked at antiques, thought about Christmas...ended up in a bookstore, perusing a "Bride" magazine,and looking at the lovely dresses. I suppose that's the starting point for this painting, which is a combination of thoughts and feelings about winter, beauty, being most uninspired as of late, a little listless, looking for something...I like the way snow gathers on fur...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Website Design!

Hey everyone! I've just spent a little time redesigning my website. The concept is the same, but the navigation and organization is better (IMO). Click the link above to go check it out! I would be much obliged if anyone could send me comments about anything that's going wrong, not formatting correctly, images too small, etc. Thanks!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Back to painting in feels so free, after working in Illustrator, but I was already thinking of ways to combine them. This is a good thing, since I was having trouble coming up with reasons why I would use Illustrator over Photoshop for my art...but we'll see what comes from the marriage of them later :-). For now, here's a random painting. I painted a bunch of stuff and deleted all of them when they weren't working...griffens, angels, evil cupid girls...this sassy goth chick is what resulted.

Random Explorations

This is me ecstatically playing with brushes in Illustrator. Weeeeee!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Illustrator Goodness

So I'm learning Adobe Illustrator in the hopes that I will be able to get more jobs. Here is my first attempt at something. It's nothing special, or even cool, since I've only learned a tiny bit, but I feeling quite accomplished at this! :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Here's a logo I designed for, well, myself. I'm setting up a "design" section of my website, that includes product and logo designs I've done. It needs some beef, so here's some wolf-beef for ya. I don't know much about kerning, and all those crazy design things that have special names, but I do know my way around a decent composition, and what makes a memorable piece...and knowing is half the battle.

Ordered a book that will help me learn Illustrator...but for now, this one was done in Photoshop. :-). --L

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Mesa Pegasus"

I've been playing Magic: The Gathering lately, for the first time in, oh, about 15 years. My brother was really into it, which made me "really into it," but as I never won a single game against him, I soon became out of it. However, now I've picked it up again, and play with friends, and it's actually really fun! I've been inspired by the cards I remember--Serra Angel, Mesa Pegasus--but not so inspired by the used-to-be-cool artwork that is now pretty lame. Since nothing is new in fantasy-land, I thought I'd do a new take on the archetypes. Here's my version of the "mesa pegasus."

I don't really know what this next one is...just a color sketch, or some brainstorming, or something that evolved out of some marks I put down. It's good to conceptualize like this. I need to work on making more action-packed, dynamic works...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Panda-Kitten Lovin'

Lots of work stuff has been happening, the fruits of which I hope to show soon. I'm rather excited to see the final products of my designs for South Seas Enterprises...I'll probably post the design sketch and photos of the finals when I am at liberty to. In the meantime, I was mean to my Panda this weekend, so I drew him a card in hopes that he'll forgive me...--L

Sunday, September 30, 2007

That Queen Again...

I think she's done. She was looking entirely too smooth and mooshy, so I used some textured brushes to rough her up a bit. I like that you can imply a lot of things with textured brushes, where they would normally look bad with a regular round brush. I wanted the focus to be on her face, so I think the roughness of her gown works. I like to do portraits like this, but they really have no story...I guess you could come up with a story for her, but really, she's just a portrait. It's a good exercise in painting, but not that great from a vizdev/storytelling point of view. I like her nonetheless :-).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Queen on Progress...

I was so very flattered by the comments I got on my first post of this sketch, particularly by Keath! My current contract has just about wrapped, so in a moment of serenity, I decided to work a little more on this lady. I've learned a lot about rendering and lighting while working on "Polly Pride," and it's coming out in this painting. I haven't really ever had the patience to really work on a digital painting more than, oh, a day or two, but I like her so much that I want to really render out every little bit. This whole sketch is pretty much directly from my head, so I guess it's an exercise in visualization as well. There's not really anything period about her's a bunch of different styles thrown together, but hey, it looks cool :-). Anyway, here's some progress... --Lauren

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Another Evil Queen (WIP)

Here's a work in progress sketchup for some ideas I've had in my head. I promised myself I would get to draw something fun if I did 10 panels for work...I only made it to 8, but that's okay. I didn't intend to take this sketch so far today, but it just sortof happened--it's hard to not knock in just a few values here and there, and maybe work a little on her face...just a little! Eventually this will be a full painting, but for now, it's a scribble :-) --L

Friday, September 14, 2007


Allen kindly checked in on me, so I drew him this griffen. I'm still alive! I've been working like crazy on my current contract, and the deadline is on the very near much all my drawing has been going towards that. When the contract is up, I'll be back to drawing stuff. This guy just popped into my head...he started out as a german shepherd :-) --L

Friday, August 31, 2007


It's just one of those days where you wanna cut people up with glowing wind-swords and wear an orange and black catsuit...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Halloween Costume Sketch

Ok, so I know this is the third costume sketch I've posted, but oh well...they're quick to do, get all the kinks out when I've been drawing other people's stuff all day, and are on my favorite subject :-).

So this dress is for Halloween, hence the orange and black. I got three striped taffetta curtains that will hopefully be enough to make something 1870-80s-ish. The fabric is such that it's not blatantly HALLOWEEN, so I can wear this concoction to other events and dances. I know people will want me to wear something sexy and risque, like all the other 23 year old girls, but what better time to play dress up (and not feel foolish) than Halloween?

Another Costume Sketch

Here's another costume sketch for my Polish noble dress. I acquired my fabrics, which ended up to be nothing at all like what I thought. Now the dress is a chocolate brown damask jacquard, very thin in weight so it will pass for silk. The accent fabric is a dark turquoise damask jacquard (and three time the price of the 10 yards of the chocolate), and I will use it for the sleeves, slashing, and piping here and there. I usually only get 7 yards of whatever fabric I'm making a dress out of, and often have plenty left over, so with 10 yards, I should be able to easily make two bodices, several pairs of sleeves, and a couple hats (plus the skirt). I have two yards of the turquoise, but at 60 inches wide, I should have plenty to play around with for sleeves, and maybe a corset. So here's a costume sketch that's much closer to what I'll end up making. I need to explore more sleeve options, since there are so many different and cool things one can do :-).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Keepin' It Real-ish

Another gotta-make-crazy-lines drawing (you can't tell, but the last post was that way in the beginning). This is the kind of drawing that will keep a girl sane, and also inspire her to keep working, hahaha. It was fun, now get back to work!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Costume Sketch

I just HAD to draw something with rhythm, flow, and appeal, and far far from the world of what I've been drawing for work. When I get some free time (and money), I want to start building my Polish costume, which will look something like this.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Have a Gator!

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, I swear! All of the work I've been doing recently either doesn't legally belong to me, or I am bound by law not to talk about it or show it. Soooo.....yyyeah. But just to appease you all, have a gator! This one's part of pack (tribe? pod? herd?) of 4 others, done on commission for a prep school mascot/logo. Catherine Richards is the creative director, and all around great-gal-to-work-with. I finally learned vectors too, although in Photoshop. I haven't broken the cryptic Illustrator code yet, but that's on my list of things to do, in 6 weeks when I'm a free woman again.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Special thanks to everyone who comments here on my blog! It means a lot to me, and I really appreciate it :-). --Lauren

Friday, July 27, 2007


So I did this stuff for some people, hopefully to impress them...