Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Art Drop Day

There's some art hiding at Kroger for you to find and keep! #artdropday

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

IF: Skull

I told myself I was going to do Illustration Friday this week, but when the topic was "skull," I was disappointed. Anyone who knows me, knows that skulls are not my subject choice. But I am happy I pursued the assignment anyway because I was able to find a way to paint a skull so that I like it.  There's a story behind this one. Even if you don't know the story, the painting speaks to me Memento Mori. (Remember you're going to die.) As dark as that seems, it's actually a positive thought that puts priorities in their proper perspective!


The Littlest Birds Sing the Prettiest Songs

I painted this old sketch inspired by a song of the same title by the Be Good Tanyas, a favorite on my children's Pandora station.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Kids Do Not Distract Me From My Art; My Art Distracts Me From My Kids.

It took until April for me to realize I JUST CAN'T make as much art this year as I have in years past because this is the first year EVER that I have one kid home all day, depending on me, not entertained by his brother, not in school yet, who does NOT take a nap. Patience, Brittany, patience! This is a precious year, and after it is over, I will have SIXTY more years (God willing) to paint, and to spend missing those preschool days. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Big Hair & Knees-and-Elbows

Sometimes I observe my son and think, "How does his little neck support that enormous head?" But then it's mostly hair. I also notice that he's developing the lanky all-knees-and-elbows look characteristic in older boys. When did this happen?!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Car Seats

I was sitting in the back seat of the car between my two sons when I sketched this. I didn't finish because I started to get carsick. :p

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hopes & Dreams: Wild Animals


"That is why the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind." - C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas 2014

I painted this year's Christmas cards for our family.  The biggest news of the year for us is that we moved. As it turns out, the new house has the perfect colors for Christmas!
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tail

This week's Illustration Friday word: Tail.

I wasn't planning on participating this week, but then I got a drawing bug... I'm glad I did, I like this one! I'd love to put it in color with a nice backlight and cast shadows. I'll have to file this in my book of ideas for another time!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Moustache

Illustration Friday: Moustache
For a several weeks last Halloween, my 3-year-old son would steal my eye liner and pretend to be Zorro.
 
 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blooms Like Heaven

I found this old sketch of my boys, and thought I'd share. I did it about a year ago. I have moved away from realism so much since then! Stylization is much more expressive and fun, but realism sure looks good!

Monday, September 23, 2013

IF: Together

I did this for Illustration Friday's word of the week, "Together." 
To be honest, I don't really like this piece. But since it is IF, I went ahead and finished it. However, I'd like to spend a little time figuring out what is about this piece I don't like, and maybe sketching around with some solutions. Anyway, here it is. But my other IF's are better. :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Roller Coaster

Here is the boy's dream to be a roller coaster when he grows up.
"Invincible Me" by Shawntay Schmidt



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sharks Rule!

 These are my favorite two illustrations for "Invincible Me."  What boy would want to be a mere fisherman if he could be a shark and rule the ocean?
 
 
 



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Invincible Me!

Presenting "Invincible Me!" by Shawntay Schmidt, illustrated by Brittany Du Pont
 
Shawntay and I are a great fit, both of us having two boys about the same age. This is my #1 favorite topic to illustrate: boyhood! Here a mother dreams of a bright and successful future for her son, but his imagination is much more far-fetching. He'd rather be the rocketship than the astronaut! It's a lovely, charming story, and I enjoyed these paintings immensely!
 


 
 
 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Orange Hat Publishing


 
This book, "Little Mouse Finds a New Home" by Liz Siivola is coming soon.  It will be published through Orange Hat Publishing, a small self-publishing business, family-owned, based in Wisconsin. If you're interested in self-publishing, I highly recommend checking out Orange Hat. They are personable, affordable, and fun, especially the owner. Here is the website: www.orangehatpublishing.com
 
I would say this opportunity came to me by chance, but we all know God has his hand on every detail of our lives.  Certainly, I did nothing to seek out illustrating.  I have been a stay-at-home-mom for six years now, taking care of two little boys, now ages 3 & 6. Before that, I was an art teacher. My degree is in art education, with a minor in English.  While staying home, I have volunteered at the youth center in town, where I led an after-school art program for 5 years. The plan was to go back to teaching in a couple years when both my kids are in school.
 
Who knew that this year I would be making art for children's books? Who knew a friend would introduce me to a friend who would introduce me to illustrating? And now, this is my 4th book! I owe so much to Orange Hat, who opened my eyes to a world of possibilities!
 
I often wonder if I will return to art education, or if God will lead me somewhere new with illustrating?
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fair detail

Here is a pic from my phone of the sketch I did tonight. Well, it's a detail of one of my busiest pages for "Invincible Me".

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Grabbing Moments in my Sketchbook

I've been super busy painting for a commissioned project. I haven't done any personal projects for myself due to deadline crunching, and also because my husband and I decided to buy a new house.  Golly, that takes a lot of time on the phone! 

But there are always moments here and there I can put into my sketchbook.  My friend Sara bought me this adorable little 31 purse for carrying my sketchbook. It's the exact size of a moleskin, unzips to lay flat, and has a built-in pencil pouch. Perfect! I've been toting it everywhere and pulling it out even if only for a few seconds.

I did this one, "The Littlest Birds Sing the Prettiest Songs," based on a song that comes on my kids' radio. I think it's adorable. I grabbed these moments every day, a few minutes at a time, in the parking lot, waiting for Kindergarten to let out.


This one is based on my father-in-law's true story about a time he took the train in the summer-time, and a little boy was curious about his white beard, sure he was Santa, but trying to act skeptical. Very cute! I want to finish this one, 4 panels, in watercolor and ink.  Someday when I finish these commissioned pieces!

 
 
 
Have you ever had the experience of being confronted by an unpleasant person, who has the perfect face for a cartoon? I am so much better able to tolerate the person if I focus on how to draw her when I get home. Ha ha. Maybe instead I should try to find out how to love said person.

 
 
 
 
One artist whose work I admire, John Hendrix, illustrates the Sunday sermon, so I thought to try the same thing one day in church.






Also, in church, sometimes I sit where I can get a good view of others on the other side of the sanctuary, and they don't know I'm drawing them. ;)



In our small group, Katie is one of the pretties mommies I know with such a beautiful little boy. I had to draw them, too.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There's so much time to draw in church! Here is the pastor.
*Don't worry! I always absorb the sermon. I often remember more when my hands are busy!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I drew this one in church too. My favorite fantasy when I was a little girl.





Here's Mark, who gives announcements at our church.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pecos Bill

I had a bit of a break in the illustration process, so I grabbed the time to paint a variant cover for my husband's indy comic. It also coincides perfectly with this week's Illustration Friday topic, "Wild."  Here is the link to purchase Pecos Bill #1 here: http://indyplanet.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7435

For updates on the progress of #2 coming SOON! And more fun from Brian Du Pont at Colring Book Press, click here: http://colringbookpress.tumblr.com/


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Land Ahoy!

 
I might have gotten a little carried away with this character sample. The client only asked for a boy with red hair, wearing a towel like a cape. It sounded like a specific boy, and I couldn't decide on the hair. Or the nose. Or the shape of the face. I took it as a chance to experiment with drawing different faces. It was fun!
 
 
 
As I drew, I was inspired by my son's imagination. I drew other sketches. A boy on a tire swing. A boy pretending to fly "up, up, and away." And a boy looking through a telescope. I loved the latter, and decided to take it all the way with a watercolor. 
 
 
Drawing little boys is definately my #1 interest. Even before I had sons, Peter Pan was my favorite character. Since then, I fell in love with "The Little White Bird" by J.M. Barrie. I love the magic of childhood and imagination, and the adventures of boyhood are the most exciting! I plan to read that book again sometime. Just think of the inspiration!
 
 
 


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sketchbook full of studies.

Behind every strong illustration is a sketchbook full of practice sketches and studies.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hair

Rendering this hair was soooo much fun! A nice break.

Hmmmm... What does it mean when you take a break from drawing by drawing ?

 
 
April 21 - I colored the hair!

Peek

 
 
 
 
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Another sketch for the mouse book. I think this one looks great as a sketch and will look even better finished in watercolor!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Party



A rough sketch for a personal project I want to paint. I have some exciting watercolor plans for it. I don't know when I'll get to work on it again, though, because I'm illustrating the mouse book. Maybe Sunday... if I keep up with the mouse book?? 

Coffee Can

The next few sketches I post will probably be for the new book I'm illustrating, "Little Mouse Finds a New Home," by Liz Siivola.

I thought this page was cute. :) 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pecos Bill

A variant cover I did for my husband's awesome comic book, "Pecos Bill." Since the legend of Pecos Bill has no ending, Brian's imagination ran wild with the idea of Pecos Bill, living in the modern day West. It's full of action, entertaining villains, and wild references to the American legend.
 
Check out the comic at:
 
And see the progress as he works on the second issue of Pecos Bills Here:
 
 

Glass Jars

 
 
The mouse was a cinch to draw! I have a live reference any time I want. My boys have pet rats.  (Believe it or not, they actually make excellent pets for kids!)

Thumbnails & Roughs

The process of creating an illustration page will have 5 steps: 
1. Thumbnails
2. Rough sketch
3. Transfer to watercolor paper
4. Ink
5. Watercolor
 
This first picture is a thumbnail sketch. I keep my thumbnails so rough, no manicure can fix them! (har har) I just want to play around with various compositions before I commit to greater detail in the final drawing. I do all the thumbnails at once before I begin the sketches. This is so that I can see the book as a whole, make sure it flows with problem, climax, solution, and be sure I don't have a lot of redundancy.  I even plan color schemes to match the flow of the story, and emotion of the scene.
 
The second picture is the final sketch. With this particular page, I added all the details and even did a bit of rendering. But I am not sure doing so is helpful. On one hand, it takes a lot of time to add texture and details, which in the end is wasted time because I'm just going to re-draw it on watercolor paper. On the other hand, it lets the client know the kind of quality and detail the end product will have.  And if I were a client, I'd be a bit nervous, hoping the new artist I just hired will deliver what I hope she will.   I think I might be able to make my sketches looser as the pages continue and the client feels more confident. But we shall see. It is a learning process for me.   



Here is the final piece! You may notice the position of the mouse has changed. The author thought the mouse needed a little more personality, and it was a very positive change. I love how it turned out!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

IF: Wool

I am going to experiment with a new process. Here's a sneak peek at this week's Illustration Friday word, the sketch for "wool"
 
I inked it! I think it looks great! I saw another artist who does this before she lays down watercolor. I thought her watercolors lacked color, but then, she didn't spend very much time in the color, trying to deliberately achieve an aged look. So I wonder what will happen if I added bright colors to this?  I've never been a believer in adding black for a darker hue. Yet this isn't mixing color. It's painting over an ink wash. Hmmm... I wonder what it will look like? Update to come. I think it's fun to experiment!
Here is the final piece. I can't decide if I like it or not.  I love the limited palette, the structure, and the textures, but those things could have been done without the ink wash.  What did the ink wash underneath contribute? Is it worth repeating? I think grey for value changes is not as powerful as adding more color, layers upon layers of beautiful color.  But then again, the muted colors give a comfortable feel. Is that it? I can't put my finger on it.  Is this a process I will try again?