Category Archives: Josephine in the City

Tres Chic, Tres Loosey-Goosey…

I’m back!

Back working at my drafting table, that is.  And I decided to go a little more “loosey-goosey” with my approach today.  Instead of creating a line drawing and then rubbing the back with charcoal pencil for retracing and transferring the drawing, I did two quick pencil sketches…

Loosey Goosey sketches

Then laid a piece of marker paper over the second sketch and loosely traced it with a brush tip pen.  I decided to keep the color palette minimal, too, because I wanted to have just one pop of color (the red) contrasting with the delicate green of the trees.

I think she’s looking trés chic…

Ciao Bella for blog


What do you think?


Filed under art, drawing, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, materials, motivation, New work

Channeling Edison – Part Two (A Success Story)

As promised, I’m back today with my redone “Love Letter to New York” illustration along with some tips on Copic rendering techniques.

For comparison purposes, here’s the old illustration…

Love letter to NY

And the new!

Love Letter to NY redone with stars and lighter yellow3 signed

You’ll notice that I not only broke up the blocks of grey with the shading (more on that below), but I also created some architectural interest and added a few chinks of sky (along with some stars!)  Josephine’s costume is more elegant and her features are softer, too.

Besides learning a thing or two about composition, my journey with this illustration has also taught me some successful ways to work with Copic Markers.

#1.  If you’re creating an illustration for print purposes (in this case, this design is for a new business card for MOI), you don’t need to render the original at a large size.  As you can see, I actually shrunk down my original line drawing so that I would have less area to color in…not to mention that it saved me on ink.  Woo hoo!

original illustration and resized version for comparison

#2. For the actual rendering techniques, I did a refresher art school course (oh wait, I didn’t go to art school!) by watching this helpful YouTube video on laying down initial color and blending with Copic Markers :

And, although I used grey from the same family of Cool Grey Copic markers as in the first illustration, I broadened the range of grey so that there would be more visual depth.

#3. I added light touches of white pencil (I used a Conté a Paris pencil since I don’t have a white gel pen) to bring out the highlights in Jo’s dress:

Detail of redone Love Letter to New York illustration

#4. I did the final details (i.e. adding the shadow underneath the ledge and adding the text) in my Corel Paint Shop Pro X5 photo editing program…

love letter to NY elbow redone

And that’s a wrap business card!


Filed under art, drawing, education, Jo's Journey, Joana Miranda Studio, Josephine, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, New work, New York, print, techniques

Friday’s Thought – A Love Letter to New York

Love letter to NY




Filed under art, Friday's Thought, illustration, Influences, Josephine, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, New work, New York

Black Tie Affair – The Finished Illustration

This afternoon, with the sun streaming into our New York apartment, I sat at my drafting table and put the finishing touches on my latest illustration.  It was a balmy 65° out, but working on this illustration put me in a festive spirit.  Can you tell I’m looking forward to the holidays?

Black Tie Affair picture frame blog

(The greeting card version is now available in my Etsy shop!)


Filed under A Talent for Design Shop, art, drawing, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, New York

A Black Tie Affair – My Latest Illustration Begins To Emerge

My latest illustration is beginning to take shape.  After transferring my sketch to marker paper, the line drawing looked like this…

A Black Tie Affair line drawing

Just a little while later, she’s beginning to look fleshed out.

A Black Tie Affair partially rendered

I’m excited to continue working on this project, but seeing as it’s past midnight, I think sleep is the best course of action!

‘Til tomorrow!

Leave a comment

Filed under art, illustration, Josephine, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration

A Character Emerges – Moving Forward with my Latest Illustration

Last week felt like it lasted a month.  Eleven services with San Francisco Ballet, two students, and playing a few solo pieces for a colleague left me exhausted, not to mention that I had absolutely no time for my other passion – my illustrations.

But today was a day off, so I took the opportunity to sit down at my drafting table and do some work on my “Turning Heads” illustration.

She’s beginning to take shape nicely…

a character emerges

As you can see, I often work from compilations of photos.  A scene, an outfit, or maybe an accessory jumps out at me; the trick is to combine them all in a way that makes sense for Josephine.  (So far, she’s pretty excited with where I’m going with this one.)

And I’ll keep posting my progress.

In the meantime, if you happen to be in NY City this week, I hope you’ll come see/hear Prokofiev’s Cinderella danced by the San Francisco Ballet at the David H. Koch Theatre.

(I’ll be playing my heart out in the pit.)


Filed under illustration, Influences, Josephine, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, motivation, New work, New York

New Illustration In Progress – Turning Heads

My latest illustration is still in the sketch-and-revise phase.  But I’m hoping that it will be a head-turner once it is finished!

Here’s a sneak preview…

Military Josephine

Leave a comment

Filed under art, drawing, Josephine, Josephine in the City

The Paparazzi Are Lurking – New Whimsical Illustration by Joana Miranda

Josephine’s got a new look and she’s getting a lot of attention!  Come back soon to see the illustration in color…

Jo and the paparazzi

Leave a comment

Filed under art, City Girl Designs, illustration, Influences, Josephine, Josephine in the City

Happy New Year from Joana Miranda Studio!

Happy New Year

With all best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2013!

(Embrace the Moment greeting card now available on Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy)


Filed under art, Josephine, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, New work, New York

The Cougar – New and Improved Illustration by Joana Miranda

When I posted this illustration last week….

The Cougar for blog

I knew something didn’t quite look right.  After setting it aside for a few days, I realized that the problem was with the placement of the man in relation to the woman in the foreground.  I wanted him to be trailing behind her at a distance, and that’s why I made him significantly smaller.  However, according to the rules of perspective, the figures should share a common horizontal plane – in this case, their waistlines.  Because this plane was slightly off, the man ended up looking diminutive which was not my original intention.  (I admit, size matters!)

Fortunately, since I’m fairly facile with Corel Paint Shop Pro X5 (my photo editing program), I was able to make the necessary changes in placement digitally.  To do so, I had to separate out each element – the girl, the man and the background – so that I could play around with re-positioning the man in the overall composition.   Once I did this, I created new shadows for the figures, and reassembled the illustration digitally.  Here is the final result…

The Cougar new placement blog

And it’s now available at Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy!


Filed under art, City Girl Designs, illustration, Josephine, Josephine in the City, marker and ink illustration, New work, New York