Tag Archives: gamine

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

Jo’s Journey (A Somewhat Irreverent Guide to Doing Anything Better) – Working With a Pain in the Neck

I slept very badly last night.  And after thrashing around all night, I awoke with a severely cramped neck.  Which got me thinking that maybe instead of running around the house today doing the cleaning in preparation for my husband’s return from being out of town, perhaps I should just take it easy.

(Taking it easy is not something I’m good at.)

So in the spirit of play and “taking it easy,” I decided to do a timed drawing.  The idea was to just experiment at the drafting table.  I decided to sketch myself with a pain in the neck and set the timer for exactly 37 minutes.  (Why 37?  Take a look here.)

In 37 minutes I came up with this…

Pain in the neck sketch

But since I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to render the sketch to see what it would look like.

A little (LOT) more than 37 minutes later, I came up with this…

Pain in the Neck

You’ll notice I cropped the illustration.  I did this because my proportions for the arm on the left side of the illustration weren’t right.  I also overworked the skin more than I should have.  The good thing is that I learned about arm proportions, the ever-tricky nose placement, and how many layers of color are just too much.

On the positive side, I’m sufficiently overworked enough now that I’ll be able to take a nap.

(Cleaning the bathroom will just have to wait!)

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Filed under Art, illustration, Influences, marker and ink illustration, motivation, New work

A Wardrobe That Even Carrie Bradshaw Would Envy…Whimsical Fashionista Illustration by Joana Miranda

A few days ago, I posted a preliminary pencil sketch and a partially rendered version of the illustration I was working on.  The partially rendered version gave me some perspective on the composition and I decided to go back to the drawing board to rework it.  (For those of you who missed that post, I’ve posted the preliminary pencil sketch again below:)

Getting dressed sketch

Now see if you can spot the differences (hint…this fashionista may be slightly off balance in her Manolos, but her style choices are spot on!)

The Wardrobe final blog


(8.5 x 11 print now available at Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy)


Filed under Art, illustration, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy, Josephine, marker and ink illustration, techniques

A Partially Rendered Illustration Opens Up My Perspective (and Priorities!)

I’ve been working on a new illustration this week and have been feeling excited with my progress.  Here’s the preliminary pencil sketch:

Getting dressed sketch

I always start the rendering process with the main figure.  In this case, after rendering Josephine with markers, I realized that her pose was less dynamic than I originally intended…

getting dressed prelim

And, I decided to tweak some of the proportions of the surrounding “props.”  The new sketch (and maybe final version) may debut tomorrow, but tonight I’ve got more important tasks at hand – namely to play with my husband, who just arrived home from being out of town.

This fashionista has her priorities straight!


Filed under Art, Drawing, Josephine, marker and ink illustration, motivation

My Favorite Things – Making Progress at the Drafting Table

I’ve had limited time these past weeks for regular work on my illustrations.  Therefore, when I do get a chunk of time – like I did yesterday – I feel like an addict making up for lost time.  Top of my list recently has been a new “head-shot” for Josephine.  I struggled this week with various looks and angles…only to find that, in the end, the problem was  too many angles!  In each of the versions I created, Josephine looked stiff, over-worked, and (gasp!) old.  Yesterday as I scratched my brain in frustration and pondered the next step, something clicked…or loosened up…or, whatever.

draft table collage

And a pondering, but still sassy, Josephine emerged.

Josephine ponders blog


Filed under Art, illustration, Josephine, marker and ink illustration, motivation, My Favorite Things, New work, techniques

Jo’s Journey (A Somewhat Irreverent Guide to Doing Anything Better) – When Less is More

I’ve been de-cluttering all my life.  I’m a confessed neat freak, but recently I took my de-cluttering to a new extreme and decided to embrace the Ten Item Wardrobe concept.  Not my own idea, but it intrigued me when I read about it in Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.  (If you’re interested, her spring 10 item capsule wardrobe looks like this.)

The first step in my weeding out process was to try on everything I owned in front of a full length mirror.  Anything that didn’t fit well, looked cheap or unflattering, or that I hadn’t worn for over a year, went into the give-away pile.  This included a bunch of fancy labels (yes I actually owned some Gucci clothing) that had been passed down to me by well-meaning friends.  Vintage bohemian looked great on the hanger, but I finally faced up to the fact that the red suede Gucci flare leg pants just weren’t me.

pile of clothes

Which leads me to another important point.  Knowing your style personality helps immensely in the weeding out process.  It’s also a good thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for new things.  As much as I’d love to rock a more edgy and bold vibe…

punk heel

the truth is, I’m a Classic Gamine.

In the end, while I wasn’t rigid to whittling down to 10 items – after all, I live in a part of the country that has seasons – I discovered an unexpected benefit.  Along with more space in my closet, came the ability to actually see what I have to wear.  All of a sudden it’s easier to pair things that I never considered pairing before, and therefore my palette of “looks” has increased.

Josephine ponders pink dress

Finally, since I don’t have that many clothes, these days I wear my nice things more often.  Proof that less can be more!

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Filed under Art, Drawing, illustration, marker and ink illustration, wisdom

Fashion Centered Meditating Diva – Whimsical Greeting Card by Joana Miranda

This is what I wish I had been doing all week…

Josephine meditates for blog

But instead I was running back and forth to Lincoln Center playing rehearsals and 6 performances (12 different pieces in all!) with New York City Ballet.  However, the moments I stole here and there to render this illustration gave me true happiness and a sense of being in the moment.  Creating your own inner peace…what could be better than that?

The card version is now available in my shop at Etsy.

fashion centered card mockup for blog

Click to purchase here!


Filed under A Talent for Design Shop, Art, Drawing, illustration, Joana Miranda Studio, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy, Josephine, marker and ink illustration