Monday, August 15, 2011

Faeries, Sprites and the Handmade Life

Oh, our poor, neglected blog...It's not that Mrs. Handmade and I don't have anything to say, summer has just been BUSY. I don't think that either of us were ready for how full our schedule would be with two wild active little girls, my freelance work, working at Fusion keeping inventory up and getting extra inventory ready to put in I Am What I Am On Mainstreet, a shop down on Mainstreet, Saint Charles that features handmade art, jewelry, clothes and decor.

Handmade family is the featured local artist(s) for the month of August, and we're so happy to be there! We did a little interview with them over on their blog, you can check it out here!

In addition to all the wonderful items Mrs. Handmade makes, like children's capes and masks, and key chains. We also feature illustration by me to fill in those gaps in your perfect children's bed or playroom. I did 6 new illustrations to be featured downtown this month, and thought I'd share a little bit about them with you.

Here they are after being inked and taped down to boards for coloring. Each illustration is 6 X 6 inches. This gave me enough room to really make a scene, but was still small enough that I didn't get over my head. I've been interested in faeries and sprites since I was a kid, and well...I felt like drawing some. Ha-ha-ha!
So after inking, I put in a light sepia wash to give the paper some tone, and then using transparent washes start laying in colors and textures.
Here it's almost finished. I was originally planning on those being big teeth on his front, but as I thought more about it when coloring, I decided that it made more sense for them to be like flower petals. Add a little splash of color.
Here's the finished piece still on the board, next to one of it's mates. You can see that I use a pretty big scrap area to test my colors before putting them on the picture. Maybe one of these days I won't be quite so timid in my painting.
The finished piece under glass. Usually I scan things before framing them so that I have a good head on picture, but...It was late, and I forgot. Anyway, that's why it's kind of tilted at an angle. The flash just wrecked it otherwise.

Got this pic of the girls playing house the other day. Unfortunately it took too long to find the camera, so I missed the part where Olive was laying on the floor looking through the front door. Those kids inspire me every day.

Until next time, take care and be good.
Your friend,
Mr. Handmade


  1. I am jealous of the control you have over watercolor :)

  2. I think the color is perfect! I like the eggplant-ish shape and the suggestion aubergine in this little shmoo, and the hint of calyx at the unexpected wide end.

    And I like everything about Abby and Olivia, especially their curls and their sweet, round little faces...perfect models for Mary Cassatt.

  3. Beautiful work!

    You should cut off the scrap and sell it separately as abstract expressionist works. They have interesting shapes and colors...

  4. Mary- Thanks! I feel like I still have a long way to go, but I'm getting there slowly and surely.

    Nance- Thank you so much! My mom had a Mary Cassatt print in her bedroom all through my childhood, and I used to sit in there and look at it a lot. It was a mom giving a little girl a bath in a large bowl. I don't know, there was just something so comforting about that picture.

    Fr Matthew Green- Thank you, and welcome! That's not a bad Idea, really. I never really thought about about those scraps being anything but scraps before.