Elegance is an Attitude – New Illustration from Joana Miranda Studio

I just put the finishing touches on my latest illustration and I’m really excited to post it!  This one was done using the ink blocking technique I tried on my last illustration (see here), although I used colored pencils for the outlines this time.  I love her elegant, yet soft look…and I so want her dress!

Antoinette for blog


(Coming soon to my shop at Etsy!)


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Filed under Influences, illustration, art, pencil and marker illustration, marker and colored pencil illustration, marker and ink illustration, fashion illustration

Friday’s Thought – Threads

spider web

“Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.”

(Chief Seattle)

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My Favorite Things – Drawing From Experience (Mine, and a Few Others, too!)

Since  Monday when I arrived back home from being away, I’ve been in a frenzy of activity at the drafting table.   I suppose there’s nothing like time and distance away from what you love to motivate you.  In my case, the time off has also given me some fresh perspective on my work.  One thing figurative artists are always after is dynamic movement.  With that in mind, I went in search of some good “gestural drawing” how-to videos online.  I was delighted to find this one, and highly recommend the other videos in the series.  Not only are Stan Prokopenko‘s videos clear, helpful and extremely well produced, but they’re also entertaining!

As a result, this week I’ve been warming up each day with a series of quick gestural drawings and I plan to continue to start my drawing sessions this way in the future.  Drawing in this manner is incredibly freeing and fun, and I’m already beginning to look at figures differently.  Today, in fact, as I walked the 4o blocks to the art store (I was multi-tasking getting in my workout) I studied each person I passed and imagined them being reduced to a gestural line drawing kinda like this…

gestural drawing

Of course, my finished illustrations are usually more fleshed out, but since I seem to be on a quest for simplifying my work, I also researched fashion illustration videos and found this fabulous (though not as professionally produced) free-hand fashion illustration demo:

Using the information in the video above, I worked on a new illustration.  Here’s what my step-by-step process looked like:

Step 1 -

Step 1

(Gestural line and blocks of color for skin and dress have been mapped out in marker.)

Step 2 - 

Step 2

(Green dress feathers and facial features are added.)

Step 3 - 

Step 3

(Tones in dress have been darkened and lines for hair are added.)

Unfortunately, I got so wrapped up in my work that I forgot to take a picture of some of the next steps  - outlining the figure and adding the final highlights.  Here, however, is the finished illustration!

Red headed beauty for blog

Like what you see?  Then come back for more tomorrow!


Filed under art, illustration, My Favorite Things, New work

A Demurely Dotty Departure (My Latest Illustration Takes Shape)

Today’s illustration was a departure of sorts for me.  Inspired by Donna Mehalko’s wonderful illustrations in this book (currently on my Amazon wish-list), I decided to start from a style board and then imagine a character and pose for the clothes.

This was the style board I chose.

blue polka dot dress board


Because I’ve been feeling like I need a drawing refresher of sorts, I went back to this wonderful illustration tutorial by Alfredo Cabrera.  Following his step-by-step instructions, I first created a “skeleton” outline for the figure made up of mostly geometric shapes.

(Pardon the faint image!)

skeleton sketch for illustration


And after fleshing out the details, this is what emerged!

polka dotted dress and chihuaha for blog




Filed under art, illustration, marker and ink illustration, materials, motivation, New work

Back at the Drawing Board…Sort Of

I’m embarrassed to admit that I let two weeks go by without working on a single illustration.  Not good.  While I sort of have an excuse for the first week (playing 6 shows and 3 rehearsals in 5 days doesn’t leave much time for anything else), my only excuse for last week was that I was too busy eating gourmet meals, swimming and loon-watching at my mom’s lakeside cabin in NH.

Not surprisingly, today when I sat down at my drafting table, rusty is an understatement for how I felt.  As a result, I don’t have much I’m proud to post, but here at least is a sampling of what I attempted…
detail from cafe sketch


(Trust me when I say that you don’t need to see the rest of this composition!)



Filed under art, illustration, marker and ink illustration, materials, New work

Loons (and a Few Loonies, too!)

This morning the annual Loon Census on Goose Pond took place.   My mom and I set our alarms for the crack of dawn (7:45 a.m. is the crack of dawn in my book) and headed down the hill to our kayaks.

The dense fog pretty much obscured the lake at our launching point…

green kayak

into the fog

And made the neighbor’s dock appear to float in midair.

Alans dock

My mom waited patiently…

is that a loon

While I indulged in a selfie to commemorate the occasion.

Joana selfie

Although we were supposed to start our search in the direction of the dam…

house at the dam in the fog

We went towards the mountains instead.

off we go

Goose Pond in the fog

Just 10 minutes into our journey, my mom spotted a loon…

mom spots a loonAnd I got close enough to get these shots…

Loon swimming in the fog

loon in the fog

Loon preening

Before it spread its wings and took off!

taking off

The fog began to lift, but the water stayed calm.


And though we didn’t see any more REAL loons, this specimen might still qualify to be included in the census.

fun with the binoculars




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Friday’s Thought – How to Eat A Frog

green frog

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

(Mark Twain)

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