Tag Archives: colored pencil and gouache renderings

From My Sketchbook – Week 27

Over the past few years I’ve struggled to find the right words to describe my artwork.   “Whimsically fashion-based” is the closest I’ve come to describing what I’m after since neither the terms “fashion illustration” nor “cartoon” exactly apply. Works in progress? Perhaps, but that is the nature of creativity.  My end goal, however, has always been to make the viewer smile, laugh or feel amused somehow.  Call it a reflection of my own outlook on life or maybe just my survival technique, but I do feel that life goes a lot smoother if manners and a good dose of humor are applied.

Hold your beliefs lightly….

hold your beliefs lightly

(Because this option isn’t as pretty!)

open to discussion



Filed under Art, colored pencil and marker illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, fashion illustration, From My Sketchbook, illustration

A Design a Day – Day 362 (Being Silly with Cilantro – A Rendering Dedicated to Mr. Sill)

Over the past year, my husband has often provided me with ideas for my daily design a day project.  Tonight, out of the blue, he said

“I think you should design something around cilantro.”

After digging around in our mini-fridge for a specimen to study…

Photo of a sprig of cilantro

I found myself inspired to do this colored pencil earring rendering:

Colored pencil drawing of "cilantro-inspired" earring by Joana Miranda

Colored Pencil Drawing of "Cilantro-Inspired" earring by Joana Miranda

Tomorrow, I may be inspired to eat it (the cilantro, not my rendering.)

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Filed under Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work

A Design a Day – Day 355 (Assessing Progress)

As I’m finding my “NY City legs” – figuring out how to set up my drafting table, hooking up my printer and getting my scanner to work – today’s rendering felt a bit forced.  When I finished it, my thought was

“Oh, this isn’t original…I’ve done this exact same design before!”

So I decided to dig through my design archives to see just how much I had plagiarized myself.  Much to my surprise, I realized that while today’s design is, indeed, a reworking of a motif that I seem to love, it is significantly different not only in rendering technique but in feel.  In a more critical vein, I’d say that I’m still seeking that “Ah hah!” moment with this motif.  However, with a little distance (nice that I’ve saved my designs) I see merit in each of the variations to date; proof, too, as George Balanchine once said

“There are no new steps, only new combinations.”

I’ve posted the new variation below with the previous incarnations, in reverse chronological order underneath:

Pen and Ink Gold and Diamond Leaf Earring with Gold Tear Drop Dangle by Joana Miranda

Pen and Ink Gold and Diamond Leaf Earring with Gold Tear Drop Dangle by Joana Miranda

Colored pencil and gouache bud and leaf earring rendering by Joana Miranda

Watercolor and Gouache Leaf and S-Diamond Drop Earring by Joana Miranda

Colored pencil and goauche leaf and flower dangle earring rendering by Joana Miranda


“Success is steady progress towards one’s personal goals.”

(Jim Rohn)


Filed under Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work

A Design a Day – Day 341 (Posy Rings Along with Some Poesy)

Pencil, colored pencil and gouache stackable "Posy" Rings Rendering by Joana Miranda

Pencil, Colored Pencil and Gouache Stackable "Posy" Rings Rendering by Joana Miranda

Since I’m writing this from the great beyond (ok, I’m in New Hampshire hanging out with my parents for a few days), I’m scheduling the post of this “oldie” design for today.  Isn’t technology great?

And…for my husband, this great quote:

“Absence does not make the heart grow fonder, but it sure heats up the blood.”

(Elizabeth Ashley)

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Filed under Design A Day, Influences, New work

A Design a Day – Day 331 (A Subjective Look at Style)

Pencil and gouache rendering of stackable rings

Pencil and Gouache Diamond Stackable Bands by Joana Miranda

I’m all into piling the jewelry on, as long as the “piles” make some sort of sense.  Of course, I realize that my style preference is subjective, and that one person’s style is another’s raised eyebrow.  Take for instance the gentleman who came into the salon where I was waiting to get my hair cut yesterday.  He only caught my attention when he started talking to the receptionist about ballroom dancing.  Since I love dancing, I was distracted enough from the magazine in my lap to focus on the figure attached to the voice.  Imagine my surprise to see a rather sweaty gentleman sporting a baseball cap, untucked polo shirt, small khaki shorts, bare legs…and a pair of high-heeled black ladies dance shoes.

He was taking great care to point out that women are better dancers than men – the reason being that they do everything backwards and in high heels.  I wasn’t sure exactly if what I was seeing wasn’t a little backwards, but the risk-taking surely got my attention.

Vive la différence!


Filed under Design A Day, Influences, New work

A Design a Day – Day 318 (Keeping Things Lacy)

I’m a fan of delicate, feminine and lacy designs.  Here is my latest take on the heart pendant idea:

Colored pencil and gouache "lace" heart rendering with gold and diamonds by Joana Miranda

Colored Pencil and Gouache "Lace" Heart Rendering with Gold and Diamonds by Joana Miranda

This rendering is more a fantasy sketch than an actual technical drawing.  To be really precise, I’d either have to make a model, or render this using CAD.  Since I had to delete some of my gem files due to my recent computer hacking, I’m forced to hold off on my CAD renderings for the time being.

But my imagination wasn’t hacked and it seems to still be going strong!  See you tomorrow!


Filed under Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work, techniques

A Design a Day – Day 317 (Nurturing Both Creativity and Confidence)

Colored pencil and gouache diamond flower pendant rendering by Joana Miranda

Colored Pencil and Gouache Diamond Flower "Lace" Pendant Rendering by Joana Miranda

My husband and I have been watching the Next Food Network Star TV show each Sunday night this summer.  (If you don’t know what it’s about, check out the contestant’s profiles and the description of the past weeks’ challenges here.)  For fun, we’ve drawn up a list of who we think will be the final winner and have created an order for each week’s eliminations.  Last week we were right; this week, the five remaining contestants threw us for a loop, and contestant Brad got eliminated when we had predicted that one of the other contestants would go.

Coming into today’s show, the five contestants were almost equally strong, so it was hard to figure out which one would be eliminated.  Most interesting, in my mind, is how the ever magnetic Aarti is showing signs of flagging confidence when she has proven herself week after week to be a standout as both a chef and a TV personality.  Perhaps, though, what makes her so appealing on camera, is also what could bring her down.  In addition to her remarkable culinary skills, she’s obviously got lots of smarts and a mature sense of her own personal strengths and weaknesses.  In her case, the ability to look inward might prove to be her downfall since she seems to self-talk herself into a hole at times.

I’m no stranger to the self-talk demons myself and I am a card-holding member at times to the Smart = Stuck club.  I suspect that with even more maturity, I (and people like Aarti) would learn the following….

Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness.

(Jean Vanier)

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Filed under Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work