Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I have really wanted to paint a portrait for a while now. Well I have finally done it. Next time, remind me not to use gouache though. I thought it would make for easier clean up- and it did. But man! It is ridiculous to make good color and value transitions! I already knew this, but I went ahead and did it anyway. If you have ever used gouache you know what I am talking about. The value changes as it dries. The darkest colors get lighter, the lightest colors get darker, and everything in between shifts too! well some how I got through it and came out with a decent looking piece. Not a perfect representation of my oldest son, but it's  pretty close. I particularly like how well the ear turned out. Below is the drawing under all that paint.

My trip to Barcelona and Copenhagen

I went on a trip with my husband to Barcelona and Copenhagen. It was such fun! The two places sound random but we were piggy backing off of his business trip. So we only had to buy flight tickets for me. It was amazing to explore the streets of Barcelona. The Museums were awesome- there was a chocolate museum! The tickets were chocolate bars! (note the gift bag in the above picture: it's full of chocolate) Both Barcelona and Copenhagen had a lot of bikes but Copenhagen had more, hands down. Copenhagen was covered in bronze statues. I particularly loved the Assistens Kirkegard in Copenhagen, it was a park and a cemetery rolled into one (I love cemeteries, more particularly old ones). Hans Christian Andersen's grave was there. By the way, I was happy in both places in spite of the fact that I am not smiling in the first picture!

I could go on, of course, but I really just want to share my sketchbook pages. 
Click on the pictures to view them larger.


I like bottles…

Near the Arc de Triomphe

 View from the room we were staying in while in Barcelona.

Just a pretty street with a place to sit.


Direct painting (drawing with my brush)

I love this one. The colors are nice

I flew home a week before my husband  (business trip, remember), so I had a long flight home with no one to talk to. So I drew! And they are all done with just a Bic Pen. I was pretty pleased with myself for skipping the pencil.

I was listening to a audio book so I could draw.
I really like the first dragon, he's cute. (Iron Hearted Violet is a book not his name!)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Seer

Two days ago, I was browsing through Behance and saw a painting that triggered my art bug. It was a digital painting of a seer woman floating in a white, layered dress with a lace veil covering her eyes. She was holding out one hand with an eye on it (the eyes on the hands thing totally creeped me out in Pan's Labrynth and was only slightly less unsettling in Once Upon A Time). So I decided to try my own version. I was especially intrigued with the idea of painting lace, I haven't really done it much. And I liked the idea of the obscured eyes. I painted this in Procreate on my iPad. I like how it turned out.

Friday, June 14, 2013

another one

Another painting made on my iPad. I used a photo as reference. I didn't follow the reference very closely. I like how it turned out.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

iPad Art

Here is some iPad Art I made recently. For the top one, I used reference from deviant art for the figure and winged it for the background. For the bottom one, I used random photo reference from the web but exaggerated her features for fun.

Friday, May 31, 2013

the mermaid and the deep sea diver

So I have finished my little watercolor studies. Ideally they would be super simplified but I wanted to flesh them out. I think I will probably stick with the first one for Reality Not Included 2 but I want to take some of the others to finish for myself. 

 This one is the most interesting one to me.

 I like the mermaids face and hair in this one. Other parts need work.

 I want to take this one to finish as well.

The original watercolor of this didn't turn out so good so I digitally reworked it to make it feel better.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

watercolor study

I'm working out some ideas for a piece I want to submit for Reality Not Included 2. I've done a study from one of the thumbnails. It has some anatomy/foreshortening problems to work out. I think I want to play with some of the others too. I should probably do more thumbnails too...

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Dragonologist

I made this for the ArtOrder Challenge- dragon world. I thought that in a world with dragons, what are some of the ways you could study dragons? This image shows a glimpse into the perilous life of the professional dragonologist. 

I picked my favorite composition out of the 20+ tumbnails I made. Then I refined it on the iPad, then printed it out so I could transfer it to watercolor paper. I made the watercolor below first. (I did a Vine while I was at it!) Then took it into Photoshop and  simplified the background and darkened the cliffs. I decided to make the dragon green and digitally painted more lights/shadows and refined certain parts on the dragon and the glider/man. The results of the contest will be up next week. I'm kinda excited! I bet there is going to be a lot of cool art!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

IF- "wool"

Here's my Illustration Friday contribution. The prompt is "wool." So, I decided to draw a shepherdess and a goatherd. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

IF- Storm

The moment I read the Illustration Friday prompt "storm" I had an image come to my mind of a storm wolf - whatever that is. This image is pretty close to what I saw. I don't remember ever hearing of a storm wolf before but it feels like it should be a thing of myths. It was drawn and shaded with pencil on paper, then colored it on my iPad.

Friday, February 8, 2013


This is just an old painting from about five years ago or more, it was for a class assignment where we were learning about masking. I got a lot of practice masking this one! I don't like the colors so I'm sharing a grayscale version. The texture is nice.

So I've been experimenting with the app Vine. It's not perfect but it is fun and with a few changes could be awesome. Anyway, here's a link to one of my Vines: my nose itches vine

I've linked more to my facebook page and my twitter ( @jmlshirley ) it's a diverting little app! Go and try it!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

fun in the sun and self portrait

Not much to say. A couple pictures I just finished. Just a fun experiment. Drawn on watercolor papers and colored in procreate on my iPad.

Friday, January 18, 2013

IF-Myth (iPad Art- fish tail)

Mermaids are a myth, right?

So, I got an iPad with Retina for an early Christmas present! I invested in a couple nice styli and several art apps to try out. I just made this one in Procreate App which I like quite a bit. Another App I like for recording ideas, coming up with concepts, or just playing, is Paper by 53. So far I'm very pleased with my purchases.


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