Tag Archives: whimsical

Stepping Back to Look at the Easel…

Because of my busy schedule and a trip out of town recently, I’ve had an illustration “in-progress” for a lot longer than I usually like.  Although I completed what I thought was going to be the final color rendering over a week ago…

Turning heads version 1

I was not entirely happy with the background.  Stepping back to “look at the easel” also gave me more perspective on the size of the figures in relation to one another.  So I’ve spent the intervening time mulling over my options and figuring out if this is an illustration that can be salvaged, or if I should restart from scratch.

Here’s what I came up with last night…

Fleet Week

And I’m liking where the story is headed!


Filed under art, illustration, marker and ink illustration

Turning Heads – A Shift in Focus

The progress on my latest illustration – which I’m calling at present “Turning Heads” – has been slow, to say the least.  Although I did flesh out a lot of the details of the background, the transferred fine-line outline drawing is all that I have to show at this time.

Turning Heads outlined illustration

But if you’d like to hear Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances,  the full-length Cinderella Ballet and a handful of other gems from the orchestral repertoire, you can stand on the sidewalk outside my window as I do some serious (as we call it in the business) “wood-shedding.”  Or, better yet, come to see the San Francisco Ballet over the next two weeks at Lincoln Center.  (After all, hearing the entire orchestra together with the dancers on stage will probably be a lot more interesting than just hearing a single viola part.)

And after all of this practicing, my playing might even turn a few heads.

(Here’s hoping…)


Filed under art, drawing, illustration, Influences, motivation, New work, New York, support the arts

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

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

Jo’s Journey – A Somewhat Irreverent Guide to Doing Anything Better (Accessorizing a Pixie ‘Do)

I’ve been so busy recently that there’s been no time to schedule a haircut, let alone take much time to make myself presentable.  So I turned to Josephine for some inspiration.

Being a “Josephine,” her first suggestion naturally was to go retro – like REALLY retro (circa 1800 to be precise)…

Josesphine with Laurel Headband

When I went searching online for a headband similar to the one she suggested, I found exactly what I was looking for here.

I was about to buy it, but since headbands sometimes pinch the sides of my head, I asked Josephine for more hair accessory ideas.  She showed me this look which I thought was darling…

Fancy Josephine

An online search for purple rose clip brought me to a very similar-looking product here.  I immediately bought the clip but realized I might need something less sumptuous for every day.

Josephine suggested something sunny, playful and fun like this small bobby pin flower.

Winking Josephine

Imagine my surprise when I learned all three lovely hair accessories are made by a friend and violist colleague from my Milwaukee Symphony Days!

(Coincidence?  Hmmm…)


Filed under art, Josephine, marker and ink illustration

In the Mirror – New Twilight Version

I created a fun illustration a few weeks ago and then decided to redo it with a new background.

Here’s the “old” version…

In the mirror final signature erased watermarked

And the new…

In the mirror new final cropped watermarked

Although it wasn’t my intention, I love how the pink of Josephine’s hair towel along with the green upholstery of the chair are suggestive of a rose in the new “twilight” version!

This illustration will be available on a new product debuting in my shop at Etsy soon…but for now (like Josephine’s hair) I’m keeping the project under wraps.


Filed under art, drawing, illustration, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy, Josephine, marker and ink illustration, New work

My Favorite Things – Reworking An Old Illustration (and seeing the progress!)

About a year ago I switched from working with watercolors and gouache to using markers and ink for my fashionista illustrations.  I made the switch for several reasons; I wanted more vibrancy to my colors, and I wanted to work with a more translucent paper without having to worry about the paper buckling under the wetness of the paint.

My first attempts with markers were fairly clumsy and heavy-handed, but I feel now like I’m really growing into the medium.  Today I brought back an old illustration to rework.  I always liked the drawing, but knew when I originally finished it that it would need to be reworked at a later date.

Here’s the old version:

Good Health and Happy Birthday old illustration

And here is the new re-worked version:

Good Health and Happy Birthday reheeled blog

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


Filed under Andre, art, drawing, illustration, Joana Miranda Studio, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy, Josephine, marker and ink illustration, My Favorite Things, New work

The Long and Winding Road to (Almost) Completion for My Latest Illustration

The process of completing an illustration takes me quite a few steps sometimes.

In this case, the first sketch was done about a month ago in a hotel room in Saratoga, NY…

in the mirror prelim pencil sketch

Then a few days ago, I redid the sketch so that “Josephine” would look more playful and flirty…

in the mirror sketch

I thought she looked really good, so I proceeded to the inked outline stage…

in the mirror pen outline

But when I finished coloring her in, I was dismayed.  Not only had I overworked areas (the hand gave me a great deal of trouble), but I realized the eyes weren’t right, and I needed a better solution for the window frame…

In the mirror old final

I felt like I was getting somewhere with this version, but I hadn’t resolved the background issue yet…

in the mirror prelim ps resized

And here’s what I came up with.

In the mirror final resized

But wait, there’s more!  You can look forward to seeing this illustration on a new product very soon.  Stay tuned…


Filed under art, drawing, Josephine, marker and ink illustration

My Favorite Things – A Treasury of Artists I Admire on Etsy

Here is a collection of a few of my favorite images and artists from Etsy. Each photo is a link, so I invite you to click through and get to know these artists’ shops!

‘The Fairy’s Kiss’ by ATalentforDesign

A whisper of the magical and ethereal…

Pencil Drawing OOAK Pen and …

Baby Room Decals Kids Wall D…

Dandelion Photograph, White …

Back Fringe-Elegant Necklace…

Off White Bridal Clutch

Lone Tree

Angel Kiss, Lovers 8×10 Art …

Original fashion illustratio…

Beaded Lace Art Deco 1930s I…

With a newly fashioned heart…

5 Large Nesting Bowls in Cle…

Chocolate Chocolate Candy To…

White wedding shawl,hand kni…

Vintage Hobnail Milk Glass W…

The Tennis Pleat Hat

White Sparkle, High Glitter …

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

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Filed under art, Influences, My Favorite Things

Drawing Inspiration from the Far East and the Masters of Shin Hanga Woodblock Prints

When a prospective client recently asked if I could create an illustration with Josephine on the beach, I was stumped.  Somehow, all that came to mind was wide swaths of yellow sand and blue water – nice if you’re experiencing it, but not so interesting in an illustration.

Then, last week, I had the good fortune to see the Women of Shin Hanga exhibit at Dartmouth’s Hood Museum.  While my illustrations don’t originate from wood block carvings like the Japanese prints that made up the exhibit, my concept is still similar in that I always start from a clean line drawing.  Like the Shin Hanga prints, the outlines remain visible in my finished artwork.  The elegant sense of line in these artworks is perfectly balanced with the use of sparse and contrasting colors which create visual geometry and a unifying sense of composition.

Although I wasn’t able to find an online reproduction of one of my favorite prints from the exhibit (a print that featured a lady in a black and white striped kimono), I did find reproductions of some of the other prints online.  Drawing from my memory of the black and white kimono striped print and this Shin Hanga print…

Shin Hanga snow fall print

I created this new illustration.

beach going babe

She might not be a geisha, but she’ll be the belle of the (beach) ball!


Filed under art, Influences, Joana Miranda Studio, New work, print

New Thank You Card Debuts at Joana Miranda Studio

Available as either a folding 5×7 card or a horizontal note card

Polka Dot Thank You mockup

horizontal polka dot thank you card mockup

(Because everyone appreciates a thank you!)


Filed under A Talent for Design Shop, art, drawing, Joana Miranda Studio, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy, Josephine, marker and ink illustration, New work