Some WIPs ...

(...a sample of which is shown here....)

...complete with drama and peril...

...are posted in full over at the home blog....

Boat Art

I call this "boat art" because this piece is an example of the art I was working on last spring when I was traveling regularly to the mainland on the ferry. I found it was the perfect time to work on small pieces (this one is about 5"x6" right now) and helped make the time pass more quickly. I haven't been traveling on the boat much lately, so this piece kinda got buried. But I found it again recently and am planning on having it finished for Illuxcon.

More tiny Moleskine...

Larger faces -

-and quickie smaller ones (mostly smaller than a quarter).

More on the blog...


Well, here it is. I had to stop somewhere, but I was so tempted to work to the edge of the paper. Must move on to other things now. Anybody got any ideas for a title?


Tarot Card - work in progress

This is my progress on the Knight of Cups card I'm doing for a "Who Killed Amanda Palmer?" tarot deck. The card size will be 3"x5.5" but I am working up to a 12"x16" and I will crop and resize the digital file.
I still don't have a set methodology but this how this one went.
Thumbnail sketch in ballpoint.
Tried a drawing on tracing paper in pencil but it didn't have the same feeling as the thumbnail so I scanned the thumbnail.
Messed around with color and mash-ups in Elements.
I enlarged the main figure so the lady in the bowl would be larger, too.
Printed out on Bristol board and trimmed to 12"x16".
Laminated the print to gessoboard.
Worked in with color pencils and did some inking.

A note on the printer: I just bought an hp officejet 7000. It prints up to 13"x19" and only has 4 ink cartridges. I got it for $179.99 at Staples. It printed the 2-ply bristol board with no problem and looked perfect. I have yet to check out how good the photo prints are.

Sketching in the Dark...

Me and my tiny purse-Moleskine go everywhere together... Last night it was to the theater. The play was cute, but not gripping so I felt free to sketch some of the fun costumes and sets and profiles. Made even more exciting by the fact that I couldn't really see what I was drawing.

You can see more location sketching in my latest blog entry.

Drop Caps

So....I've been pretty lax about posting lately so it's time to get back on it! This is a sketch for a current project I'm working on for a client. Drop cap for a gardening story. I'll take it into Painter and finish it in black and white. It's an interior ... no color! I have more on my personal blog if you want to check them out. I will also be posting sketches of the key and spot for the stories as well.

Painting on Vellum ala Sergio Martinez

I've been a fan of Sergio's every since I discovered his illustrations for Max Lucado's "You Are Special". His composition and line work are wonderful and strong. He creates his luminous colors by drawing on both sides of vellum. I've been a fan of drawing on vellum for years now so I was very interested in his technique. In one of his blog posts he mentioned that his whole process was explained in an out-of-print edition of Step by Step Graphics. Fortunately, someone on ConceptArt who owned that edition scanned and posted the whole article. UNfortunately, the link is now down. If anyone would like to have a copy, let me know and I can email it to you. This is my experimental sketch & value study. Next I will cover the sketch with a sheet of heavy, 90gm vellum and redraw with a carbon charcoal pencil. Hopefully, I will be ready to post the next step tomorrow.

Edit: So I'm not hogging Mistress Sketchbook blog space, you can follow the rest of this experimental process on my art blog.

Sunday Sketching -

Tried to push the stylizing a bit. (there were kids sitting behind me watching. They didn't think I captured the essence of the people I was drawing at all... Needs work apparently).

partial sketch

Doing a little sketching from a photo on my pc screen. Need to get better at capturing likenesses so I will leave out the subject do avoid embarrassing myself.

Life Drawing -

- has started up again for me for the season the first three Fridays each month. Results (successful, or not so much) will be posted on my blog....

Fun with a Cintiq

Fellow IMCer McLean Kendree introduced me to this exercise. You simply take a screen snap of a scene from a DVD, set it to one side, make a blank canvas that's the same size and then start sketching. If you watch the sequence that your image is from a few times before you begin sketching you'll have a sense of the mood, environment, and character(s) that you just won't get when working from a photo alone.
Since I struggle with color, this exercise helps me to learn to see the colors more correctly. I first guess at what they are, then when I finish a section I use the eyedropper tool to sample the colors from the screen snap and check them against my sketch. Wow, were my shadow areas way off! But now I know what I really need to work on. McLean can finish one of these in about 15 minutes, but it's taking me closer to two hours! With time I hope to catch up to him, and finally get all of those shadow areas right the first time around!

Oh, and another tip: try working in three layers when you start one of these (sky, background, foreground). I had to move Orlando to the Southwest halfway through, and if I haden't used layers to begin with that would have really slowed me down.

Reclining nude on toned paper

One of my favorite methods of doing figure drawings is on a toned paper with white prismacolor or conte crayons, and a brown or sepia pencil. I did this one on a pad called "Bogus sketch" (weird name for a sketch pad, eh?) from Sam Flax, but if you can't find something similar in your area then the inside of a paper grocery bag works just as well.

The drawing was done at a private figure drawing class in neighboring Winter Park, Florida. I was asked later by someone if her head is a bit small; no, those are really her proportions. She held her poses beautifully and was a wonderful model to sketch from!


Well I sat down to draw a treehouse, *actually*--and a battlesteed came out. I'm not sure what Freud would say about that, and I'm not going to ask him, either. ;)


Book Signing -

Tonight I got to attend a book event/reading/signing for the last of the Spiderwick Chronicles, by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi (both heroes of mine)-

-sketched them in the semi-darkness of the audience... Love trying to draw moving targets...

(but if you think trying to draw in public places is tricky, try drawing live, in front of an audience full of fans like Tony did - several times over!)


Quick sketch done on my Cintiq 21ux of my Maine Coon Oberon. He looks so comfortable when he snoozes that it's hard not to join him in a mid afternoon nap!

Sunday Sketching -

My teeny purse Moleskine (it's one of the 3.5x5.5 ones) is starting to look worn. I'm more than three-quarters of the way through it, so it ought to survive til its remaining pages are filled.

I continue to feel vaguely guilty for only doing some sort of drawing-from-life only once or twice a week, so am grateful for the impetus to do some sort of sketching more often! Thanks again Madeline.... (you can see more Sunday sketches on my blog).

Thank you for the Invite

Hey Fellow Mistresses. I'm glad to see this up and going and appreciate the invitation to contribute. This will motivate me to sketch more. Have a few fairly recent sketches. Here we go.

pen doodles 09/09/09

A couple of big-eyed ballpoint doodles.

TV Doodles

This started as a doodle while I was watching TV in the evening, trying out some new paper I just got. It's now become a bit of an obsession, still in progress, and it just keeps growing. But I think it's close to finish. I really like the swirly stars and bubbles around the edge...


Knight of Cups thumbnail

Here's a quick thumbnail for the card the Knight of Cups for a tarot deck the Amanda Palmer people are putting together.
Since it's using real people I had to submit it for approval.
I hope it's ok'd because it's what I got!

Sunday Sketching-

Over the last few years of heavy work, I've become fairly nocturnal in my sleeping habits. Church on Sunday comes much too early. I've taken to pulling out my tiny purse Moleskine and drawing people around me to stay awake. Here were the ones closest to me this week.

(And I think a tree house would be awesome! :-)

The First Post

Okay, this blog was started because the blog Drawn Today seemed to be adding members but shucks if they weren't all boys! Honestly, none of us had asked to joined but an invite would have been nice.
So this place is to show off all that little stuff we do in between BIG projects meant to be viewed by the masses.
I hope we learn a lot through sharing our stuff and commenting on it.
I know we're going to see some cool stuff going on!

And gentlemen are always welcome to join our ranks.

Email me at if you want to contribute and I'll add you to the authors list.

Here's my first thing. As I was writing the blurb for this blog, I knew I had to paint it. Anyone else who feels inspired to create their own tree house, please do!

About this blog

Here are the sketches done by a number of artists working in the realms of fantastic and surrealist art and illustration.
Email to join us.
Everyone working in fantastic art is welcomed!
All works presented on this site are copyrighted by the artist that created them. All rights are reserved. Contact the artist directly regarding use of any of their images.