Coloring within the Lines....

I thought it would be fun to share a little update here on one of the black & white illustrations I was working on earlier this month. You can refer to my "Back to the Drawing Board" post for a peek at the early stages. My whimsically fun dancing cat is now complete with color and CATitude! I scanned him and have been cutting him out on the computer and adding this character to various notepads for my Primitives by Kathy fall 2011 submission. I think he will be quite fun on T-shirts and bags as well once I open my Zazzle Shop! But first, I would like to order a few samples for myself to make sure he is looking just right. Stay tuned for that, and for now, enjoy the photos......

~ Johanna

* JP took some fun "Artist at work" photos of me the other night..... This time I came prepared and didn't have to shoo him away!... :)

* Just a crop on one of my new Halloween notepads for fall 2011..... If all goes as planned, you'll be able to purchase these through Primitives by Kathy!

* Another crop on this silly character against a field of purple yumminess... I was just playing with color here!

* And one more peek-a-boo style version of this cat slated for a list format notepad from Primitives by Kathy. Notice his right arm is waving in this one.... Oh the magic of Photoshop :)

PS.. I still haven't finished inking in the fanciful owl yet! There have been too many distractions around here, but he's waiting for me on my drafting table and he STILL has no eyes!

Back to the Drawing Board....

February is that time of year for me to pull out the 'ol sketch pad, pencils & erasers, and then the ink pens and crisp illustration board naturally follow. It has certainly been a while since I have spent days upon days at my drafting table, drawing fun characters for future products, and I must admit that I am thoroughly enjoying it. I was a little nervous that I would forget how, but luckily, the whimsical ideas are flowing well. Sure, at this stage, the drawings aren't perfect, but I have learned to "breathe through" the lines as my pen touches the board and to allow my breath to help keep the lines flowing and smooth. At the end of the day, my right hand feels a bit stiff, so a little yoga here and there is helping keep the balance. If only I could keep to this nice relaxing pace for the rest of the year.... haha! I will enjoy it while it lasts though and draw as much as I can now before I must revisit the workshop to sculpt and sculpt some more!

* I dreamt up this fun dancing black cat illustration the other day when imagining characters for wearable products, such as Tees and totes. JP and I had a brainstorming session, and decided to open a Zazzle Shop where I can offer my drawings, photographs and such on clothing, bags, greeting cards and more! It's not open just yet, but I'm working on some fun ideas that I promise to make available to you! So, stay tuned. And while I'm at it, why not put this cutie-pie cat on notepads and charms...

It was late the other night when JP snapped a few candids of me while I shooed him away. I just loaded the photos today and decided to share a few after all. As many of you know, I LOVE incorporating owls into my designs. They have such fun character and texture, so this particular illustration has been a fun play on stylization. It's certainly taking its time to evolve, but I have a feeling it will be a hoot! As you can see, I like to wait till the end to add the eyes, partially because I hesitate out of fear to add them, but also because they truly bring the character to life.

* Eventually I will paint this owl, but for now I need to "commit" to the eyes and finish the whimsical chandelier-style branch that surrounds him. He will be quite stylin' on a shirt or bag or card or or or....... We'll see!

* Another candid of me busy at work on my stylized owl. Off in the distance are recent sketches for Halloween box containers that have been approved by Bethany Lowe Designs for 2012 production. Now, I just have to illustrate those graphics too! The to-do list is growing!!!!

* Another black cat candy pail image that I am almost finished with has been staring at me for days. The shading and highlights are created by a series of dots or lack there of. I find myself using stippling in both my illustrations and on my painted folk art pieces. I know it sounds odd, but I love dots! This drawing is slated for a Primitives by Kathy notepad and perhaps some Zazzle products as well.

* Here, another notepad design is in the works. Of course, a splash of orange in various hues will bring this image to life!

* And while I'm at it, some whimsical snowmen and Santa-themed notepad designs are taking shape was well. My due date for these various designs is fast approaching next week, so I really should step away from the computer and go back to the drawing board! I hope you enjoyed the little peek from within my studio...

Happy creating,
~ Johanna

It Starts with Black & White...

Today, I thought I'd mix things up a bit, and I don't mean papier mache this time! I spent the majority of the day designing, sketching and illustrating Halloween party hats. Like the title of this post states, it all starts with black and white! My ink pens and illustration board were my main focus, and I began illustrating fanciful jack-o'-lanterns, expressive moons and stylized bats. These whimsical images will decorate the one of a kind party hats that my sculpted Halloween folk art characters will be wearing this fall. It's all part of my signature mixed media look that I began dabbling in back in 2003. I was looking for a unique way to apply my love for illustration with my fascination for sculptural work. Now, it's a tradition for me to make 2 - 3 new illustrated hats each year. Stay tuned for their finished look in full color!...

~ Johanna

* A series of thin arched lines reveals the darkened wings of a bat....

* Jack-o'-lanterns from my imagination take shape on illustration board....

* You can see the hats slowly come to life, anxiously awaiting a warm wash of Halloween hues...

* I look up to stretch my neck after hours of intensive drawing.....

Hope you enjoyed the peek in my studio!.... By the way, I have good news! As a token of my appreciation for all of my supportive collectors and friends, I will be hosting my first ever Blog Giveaway soon! I'm working on a special one of a kind to share with one of my lucky fans... In order to enter, I ask that you do one or all of the following (for multiple chances to win) = Follow my Blog.....Follow me on Twitter.... Leave me a nice comment on the upcoming Blog Giveaway post. So, stay tuned and keep checking back. :)

© 2009 Johanna Parker Design * Illustrations are the property of Johanna Parker and may not be used without permission.