Saturday, December 31, 2011

Inspiration Avenue: Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue-- and Happy New Year's Eve!

I have been very remiss in submitting to I.A. lately. Better time-management, planning, and making sure to get done everything I need to, and participate in everything I need to, are definite things on my mind because of the time of year, and the very day, that it is. So, I hope to be more regular and back on track in the future.

But-- to close off 2011 on an arty note, and to make it in before the deadline expires, here is my entry! You can see one clip of my submission above, and another one below, that's a bit more of a close-up. As yet, it is untitled. I found this challenge to be a great one, especially since it was cool to see an old adage adapted to artist-world, and not used as it was traditionally. The borrowed/blue/old/new sayings really do apply to art-making --!!

To make things a bit easier, I'll sort of bullet point what in this piece fits the various requirements of the challenge.

OLD: The paper this was drawn on (Arches Watercolor paper that I bought a year ago), as well as the fact it was done largely in pencil. Pencil was a technique I used a long time ago, and with getting back into it, I'm considering it as a return to an "old" medium.

NEW: The piece itself. I think I am going to extend it into a full illustration and possibly pin-up drawing, so because it is still in process and flux, it is new. Also, I just got a great deal on a set of pencils of various hardnesses, so I used all my new H's and B's for the drawing.

BORROWED: The idea of a girl, or mer-girl, being friends with a marine creature (a Narwhal here, and a Seagull in the original)-- and brushing her hair with a fork. I kind of want to title the finished piece "The Dinglehopper," for the many Disney and Ariel fans who will understand the joke, although I am afraid that might not be allowed? In any case, my borrowing was more conceptual, but borrowing nonetheless.

BLUE: Blue will probably be more used throughout the finished piece. However, for now, her eyes are a (very dark gray) blue. And also, her Narwhal friend has bright blue eyes, perhaps as blue as the ocean they play in.

I have loved participating on this blog very much. Looking at inspirational ideas, works from others, and getting kind comments on my blog gave me many smiles throughout these past three hundred and sixty-five days.

Here's to hoping that everyone is having a great close to this year, to prepare for an even grander opening for next.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Creative Tuesdays: Twelve Days of Christmas (Four Colly Birds)

First of all, lots of Holiday and Good Future Tidings to everyone!

I was late this week on Creative Tuesdays, but it turns it has been postponed another week! I am very grateful and excited to get to partake in it one final time for two-thousand-eleven (I felt like typing that out; and no, I am not sure why).

So, I am lucky, and still get to submit. Below is my piece:

The theme was to illustrate one of the days featured in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song, and so I chose Day Four.

Day Four is often misheard as "Four Calling Birds," but in actuality, it is "Four Colly Birds." Which means Blackbirds. And so, I have two Christmas Angel Characters, playing with Heavenly Colly Birds. Since they're a happy couple, I thought it would also fit with the part of the song that says, "My true love gave to me," etc.

I thought it would be fun to give them clouds and fluffy happy things to fly about in, particularly since (as I understand it, given the old nursery rhyme with the "four and twenty black birds" lyric) back when the song was first written, Colly Birds were often given as a food item for pie. I wanted to create a Christmas illustration where the Colly Birds had a chance to celebrate the holiday, especially since they have a whole verse of a song dedicated to them.

To submit (rush rush, you have until January third with the pushed back deadline!) for the Creative Tuesdays "Twelve Days of Christmas Challenge", please go to the most recent link at:

Full directions as to how to pick a song verse and properly illustrate it are here at:

In closing, I am really grateful to have stumbled upon Creative Tuesdays, because Mister Toast runs a great ship, which is co-captained by the many great artists who submit to the blog. There are always fascinating themes, multiple interpretations, inspiring art, and positive energy from everything I read and experience through this forum. Tuesdays are a day to look forward to (-:

So, thank you Mister Toast, thank you artists, and thank you everyone, and I hope you all enjoy the rest of the year <3

Friday, December 16, 2011

Illustration Friday: Sink. Also, an argument for dating girls who read (or better yet, write!)

The lovestruck boy below is rather afraid that he will "sink" under the weight of the books he is carrying.

Even though she dons a princess crown, in these many books she is reading, she is far more interested with being the knight in her own story than being locked away in a tower (either metaphorically or literally), hoping some boy will come by and save her. Doesn't stop the lovestruck guy from trying, though. He is a bit afraid of what her magical to-do list says at the moment. Luckily for him, she plans on switching (he can look at the list and help her check off activities), and carrying the books herself, now.

And while we're on the subject of girls and reading, I have copied and pasted a great blog, and what I find to be a great argument. Originally at:

A Girl You Should Date

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes. (Highlighting my own, because 'tis so true ^_^ )

– Rosemarie Urquico –

Score! That post totally made my day.

To close this entry, here are some links:

Illustation Friday, for viewing or submitting:

My own website spot illo section, from whence this came:

Thank you for reading my blog. Now, go read some novels, graphic novels, and poetry! That blog made me smile, and for once, allowed me to read something that made me think, "Sisters, this IS the way!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Snuggles and Fuzzles

Snuggles the Bear was awesome, but so is snuggling the marsupial.

Alternative universe version of us <3

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rain rain pug away, cats, pomeranians, and snowmen today

A few pictures for purposes of warming the heart. They've helped me, at any rate, as my nose and toes are froze.

The little guy above is demonstrating how I am going to feel (and the face I will probably be making) when I venture through the hills, rain, and towards Barnsdall today. Is a watercolor lesson redundant in the #LArain? Perhaps, but as I have occasionally worked with the Department of Redundancy Department ( ;-) ), it is what I am going to go over in Cartooning Class later today.

It's a cold and Windy day out right now-- I'm used to way worse from New York, but I am always cold no matter where in the world I am, so I do not blame being out West for having weakened me. Truth be told, I kind of like wintery and cold weather out here, because eighty degree Decembers still confuse me. Anyhoo, onward.

If I were a pug, I would rock this raincoat. Actually, I love the pattern. I'd wear it if it were made for people. Are they doing a human edition? Probably not, but I can dream.

This doggie is adorable, and I am sure she works the heck out of anything they give her, be it booties, scarves, or rain slickers.

I heard about these, and then Google Image Search became my friend: Kitty Measuring Cups! is where I got the picture (she also posted about these very cute things), and her art is beautiful! I love unexpected finds, whether in person or via cyberspace.

For the first time yesterday, I discovered Little Tokyo's Four Leaf Tea Room creperie-- very cute, very good crepes (you can request coffee batter!), and a great place to get work done in.

While there, I finished an illo I've been working on for a project that centers around illustrating every paragraph of "Alice in Wonderland," while making sure to use absolutely no words.

It's called the "What is the use of Words without Pictures?" project, and the paragraph I was given centered on Alice, the Gryphon, and the Mock Turtle (who, bless his heart-- I had forgotten just what a manchild he was). I might post the picture later directly, but for now, here's a link to the image via the project's Facebook album:

This last picture of a friend's Pomeranian thanks you for your time.

(Fluffy, huggable, and very yippy, I <3 little dogs, no matter how much they yap)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Illustration Friday: Separated

I posted this page in the past for an Inspiration Avenue challenge, but I think it also applies to the Illustration Friday challenge this week, of "separate." It's a page from the story I did for the "Samurai: The Graphic Novel" anthology, which in part depicts two people who were once on the same path, but end up on journeys that are very separated.

This page is where they first physically separate, as the girl is going on a quest to the underworld, and the boy is staying behind on earth.

I won't say too much more about it so as not to give it away, but I'll direct any interested parties to a link about the book/other anthology creators, and to an interview I did about it last year.


Page from publisher, Karl Alstaetter of Hyperwerks, about the book with creator page samples:

For now, I am off to a holiday fair. Hope to see some friendly faces at the Majestical Roof, right off of Fair Oaks in that little courtyard near Union street, that will be full of artsy goodness :-D

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Illustration Friday: Brigade

According to Miriam Webster's second definition online, "Brigade" means:

: a group of people organized for special activity

So, the above illo I think qualifies. Not subject matter chosen by me; I did a couple of test drawings last year for consideration for an L.A. Sheriff's project. I did not end up doing it, but it was an interesting exercise. Obviously, those in law enforcement constitute a group organized for a special activity. Two, is small, but is still a group, of sorts. In this case capturing outlaws (or in this scene, just one outlaw) is the special activity at hand.

Anyway, I figured I'd submit this illo and put it to use, since it's sort of sat around and not had a use since I did it around ten months ago. And I fell off the I.F. bandwagon for a few busy weeks, but am happy to be back and participating.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Creative Tuesdays: Mistletoe

EDITED POST! Below is an image that properly shows Mistletoe-- before today, I actually thought Holly and Mistletoe were one and the same, except one version was red with fewer leaves, and one was white with more leaves. In any case, my corrected submission for Creative Tuesdays is below, and below that is my original submission (that shows Holly-- phew, confusing!).

Above, the card (a little bit "Nightmare Before Christmas" esque, as it's two girls, with witch-ish hats, for the holiday season), is captioned:

"Here's a little note to say, you look just bewitching today!"

Also, on the C.T. front: I was bummed about missing last time's Creative Tuesdays! Especially because I did not even miss-- I made my entry, but posted it to the site via my Android... and despite it saying on my phone it had posted, the sad truth was that it had not. Mercury in Retrograde is following me around, chuckling gleefully and caushing havoc. I didn't realize my image did not post, until the challenge was closed. But luckily, Mister Toast was kind enough to post a link right to my image on that week's blog, so, yay!

Again, my contribution to "Three" was here:

And below was my original contribution to this week's challenge, "Mistletoe!" Except, that one is more like "Holly," since, those are floating holly leaves (and apparently, not mistletoes).

I just made this card for the Holidays, and I captioned it, "Hope You Have A Magical Season! As they are playing with magic, hearts, and magical mistletoe.

To submit to this Creative Tuesday's Challenge, please go to the most recent entry on December 6th, 2011:

To see other Christmas Cards I have done, please go to:

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Inspiration Avenue: What is In Your Christmas Ball?

I've had a couple of weeks of complete madness, and so, am sad to have missed the past two challenges. Everyone's works were wonderful, and I think that "Aged Beauty" and "English Literature" were two very inspirational prompts. This week the theme is holiday related, and the question is: "What is in Your Christmas Ball?" And for this card below, her Christmas Ornament Balls are filled with snowflake, pattern, or heart designs.

Perhaps the more important question, though, is what is in her cylindrical present box? It appears to be a little seal, helping her juggle and balance those ornaments as only a seal can. Seals are wonderful animals, and once they're done playing together, I hope she gets him put back properly into his habitat-- whether he's at the zoo, or in the wild, he's going to need a bit more room than just that box to splash around in!

To submit to I.A. for this week, please go here:

Thank you for reading <3