November 9, 2012
We’re expecting our first big Colorado snow storm in the next 24 hours. Here are some new drawings to welcome the white stuff. I’m not a big fan of winter, but as long as I’m in my toasty studio making art, “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!”
October 7, 2012
So I just knew I hadn’t quite nailed that Racoon Moon illustration. It was cute, but somehow not cute enough.
This has been a learning curve, so I thought I’d share my discoveries. Below is a progression from my first *final* draft, yesterday’s edits, and this morning’s breakthrough. (Click below to see as slide show.)
The biggest difference is the eyes. I was told by an friend and one-time Hallmark artist that the character must be making eye contact with another character or the viewer. My first raccoon wasn’t doing either. (Maybe I’ll go into eye contact/eye highlights in another post, because I’m still learning that trick.)
The other thing I learned was big eyes get a bigger “awww” response. I definitely think small eyes can be super cute and expressive (think Snoopy), but we naturally associate big eyes with babies, and babies are super cute, right? (At least mine were. There are definitely some ugly babies in the world!) Babies also have big heads, small noses and small-ish mouths. My raccoon was already good on those items, so no adjustment needed there.
Now here’s the thing that you probably won’t notice right off (I know I didn’t)… pointy edges vs. rounded edges. Did you know that humans naturally associate pointy things with danger? Think JAWS. Got an immediate visual/fear response, didn’t you? So, even though my raccoon wasn’t sporting jagged, deadly teeth, he was pretty pointy, and therefore gave off a prickly vibe. So I rounded off those corners and voila! Cuteness!
Granted, I’m still learning, but I have a feeling that my illustrations are going to get a much bigger “aww” response with the use of these new discoveries.
General cuteness characteristics recap:
-Eye contact is key
-Big head/small body
-Small mouth and nose
-Soft edges/no “pointies”
Please feel free to comment and add some tips of your own. Again, I’m totally in learning mode!
Oh, and if you have a chance, check out this great article:
October 4, 2012
It’s hard to draw all adorable when your kids are acting like real life monsters. Considering the week so far, I actually think this turned out pretty good…. Look ma, no rabies!
Greeting card available HERE.
September 19, 2012
Our regional SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference is coming up this weekend, so I really wanted to have some new work to show. Here’s something I’ve been noodling on the last couple days:
If you want to know why there’s a guinea pig on the back of the sled, she used to be a ground squirrel and had a species change a few minutes ago. Maybe she’s an escaped city pet going on the adventure of a lifetime with a couple backwoods critters. She seems pretty brave, but she should definitely keep an eye on that fox… that is, if she survives her first sled ride. Weeeeeeeeeeee!
September 23, 2011
If you have a pet business that needs promoting, please think of me!
Mention this post and receive my friends and family design rate.
Contact: Karen Windness, email@example.com
April 27, 2010
I’ve been busy with other endeavors (some creative, others mundane) so it’s been a little while since I’ve posted an image.
Some artist friends really liked this drawing in my sketchbook, so I thought I’d flesh it out. Just a little something for the cat fans!
April 8, 2010
I was trying to figure out what was missing with the squirrels and it occured to me that it would be pretty hard to eat a nut without teeth. So, after some minor dental surgery (and a new paint job), this little critter is back in service.
April 7, 2010
This looks like a squirrel, right? I think I’ve been looking at my computer screen for too long.
Well, the shrinky owl turned out (after a couple tries). The photo makes the white feather outlines more pronounced than they are, and the but otherwise it looks pretty much like this.
I think this one will be the magnet. It will need to be smaller if I make a necklace or earrings.
April 6, 2010
A girly owl with a little bow.
I’ve been playing with shrinky dink art lately and am going to try this image as a necklace or magnet. Maybe both. I’ll post if it turns out!