Old Thanks and New Flowers

The first drawings in my sketchbook I actually completed. I had planned on printing them into actual thank you cards I could actually use, maybe someday. They are quick little drawings and pretty fun.

I really had a sun motif thing going on, which I still like, but I force myself to use a little more sparingly. The cursive ins’t super clear, but hopefully when they are colored, the thanks will be more obvious.

The third doodle is the state flower for Alaska, Forget Me Not. I also added the Big Dipper, although the proportions aren’t accurate, a hazard of drawing freehand, and the swirly top is going to be the northern lights when colored.

Sketchbook Abandoned No More

These last few doodles are the rest of the drawings that I abandoned a few years ago then completed in these last few weeks. I know why I gave up originally, and in some ways I’m kind of surprised I was able to get something presentable out of them.

The first doodle took the longest, by far, out of all my recent drawings. I wanted to use only curves instead of sharp corners, and I wanted only swirls and plants. It looks very tangley, which I like.

The second doodles is a state flower. Its Oregon Grape holly. The blossoms are quite small, about the size of a grape, and I forgot which flower it was. I was resigned to calling it a random flower until I came across the original image I used as a reference. There is some goofyness to it, but it came out all right in the end.


A Few Southern Gems

Southern states have some of the most showy state flowers because of their hellish, humid climate. They may have delicious food, friendly locals (at least on the surface), and lovely scenery, but I’ll stay in my lovely arid Colorado.

Magnolia is the state flower of two states, so I added Fluer de Lis to distinguish this doodle for Louisiana. The diamonds also kind of allude to Mardi Gras, but not very overtly. Magnolia blossoms are quite lovely, almost like a more simplistic rose. The leaves of magnolia trees are green on one side and brown on the other. Weird.

I really love the doodle for Arkansas. Apple blossoms are cute little flowers, and since I drew the little posy so small, I had lots of room for fabulous paisley designs. I also decided to add the state bird, the mockingbird, after I added the Kirby dots to the paisley on the bottom. It all worked out I think. I think it’s one of my better doodle compositions.

Kirby dots are a type of fill that Jack Kirby invented (maybe?). It often appeared in the comics he drew, like Fantastic Four. It usually indicates explosions, or space, or whatever he wanted it to mean.

kirby dots FF

Kirby Dots Fantastic Four

Just one more thing I know thanks to my husband.



Central States Flowers

I began doodling state flowers with all the states my husband and I had ever lived. Then I picked basically arbitrarily, mostly picking flowers I thought would be fun to draw or easy to compose a doodle around. These states weren’t super easy to either draw or compose around.

I got carried away when I began my mistletoe doodle, and I nearly took up the whole page with the plant itself. This would have been okay I suppose, but then it wouldn’t have had many doodle elements. I decided to fix my composition issue by weighting a few of the mistletoe stems rather than the whole plant.

Goldenrod is really pretty, but it is difficult to draw in detail. It’s most often drawn as an impression of goldenrod, rather than an accurate close up depiction. It’s so involved, I decided to have relatively open doodle elements.

Bitterroot is almost incandescent in color, so coloring that drawing will hopefully make it really pop. I added other Montana elements in the doodle since the flower itself was relatively simplistic. Also, see a picture of Bitterroot and check out the gross flower buds:



New Zodiac Doodle Project

While I haven’t finished drawing all the state flowers yet, I decided to start another doodle project, which has turned out to be fun already. My son has a Greek name and I decided to draw his zodiac star sign for his room. It turned out so well I drew my own star sign.

It would be really fun to color these with watercolor, so I may experiment with printing them on a watercolor type of paper. I’m not sure how well that could possibly work, and I’m pretty sure I would need to print them using toner rather than inkjet so the lines wouldn’t run when they get wet. I like the varied line weights, and they look a lot more like a coloring page because of it.

I do plan on drawing all the Greek star signs, and who knows, if I finish that project maybe I’ll do Chinese zodiac animals too. We’ll see.

Guess Who’s Back? Ducky’s Back!

It’s been quite a few years since I have written or posted a blog, but at long last I have some new material!

After moving back to Colorado, my husband and I got straight to work, and it proved to take up a lot of time that I had previously dedicated to drawing. After working in the commercial paint industry for both Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore for 5 years, I turned my sights to Web development. However, in the middle of my first web development course I discovered to my shock and delight that I was pregnant! I had known due to a condition called Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (a diagnosis doctors give women when they don’t know what’s wrong with ye old reproductive organs), that it would be difficult if not impossible to get pregnant.

When I enrolled in the web development course I decided it was just one change I wanted to make in my life, another was to become healthier. I ended up losing about 40 pounds and gained much more aerobic fitness, and it’s this lifestyle change that I think tipped the scales in my becoming pregnant.

Now my baby boy is almost 6 months old after being born 6 weeks early and I’ve been drawing for the last few weeks as his routine becomes more predictable.


Behold the adorable Mini Duck

I’ve got lots of plans for the future, not least of which is self-publishing a little coloring book. I’d also like to actually learn how to draw using my computer. We’ll see.

The first drawings I finished after how ever many years of not drawing at all were some incomplete doodles in my sketchbook.

art deco rescan_NEW

I just hooked up my scanner and I’m attempting to learn how to get my images to appear the way  want them to. I’m aslo trying to figure out Adobe Illustrator, which always surprises me in it’s un-user freindlyness.

Gloomy Gray Sky

I’m nearing the end of my backlog of pre-sketches, and I took an interesting new path with this doodle. I would describe many of my drawings as cheerful at the very least, which become very upbeat with the addition of bold, bright colors. I have done many black and white and grey and white doodles as well, but this is the first time I really integrated color and grays. The result is pretty gloomy and rainy despite the prominent flowers.

The ring thingalings in the middle are pretty strange, I’m not sure what I was really thinking of when I started drawing them.  I did try to make them a little less awkward by adding the 3D type effect. I really like the black outlined shapes filled in with dark gray. I will certainly make that a major part of a future drawing.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

Birthday Cards for the Faithful

I have almost gone an entire year’s worth of making birthday cards for my nieces and nephews, which means I need to start thinking about the cards I’m going to make for them for the next go-round.

As I’ve collected new drawing materials and become more practiced with consistent doodling, I feel very much improved compared to when I first sat down and began drawing again. I like doing cartoony cards for the younger kids, but as my nieces and nephews grow into tweens and teens, they require more sophistication from their aunt. Most of my siblings have a stRong affinity toward my Alma Mater, Brigham Young University, which also means their kids are being brought up to love all things BYU.

This is one of the only cards I’ve drawn that I had in my mind exactly what I wanted to draw before I made any pre-sketches.

I tried looking for a good video showing BYU Cougars singing the fight song, and I FOUND THIS!

You could conceivably sing along to this video, but you could also just check out the lyrics:

  Rise all loyal cougars and hurl your challenge to the foe.
  You will fight, day or night, rain or snow.
  Loyal, strong, and true
  Wear the white and blue.
  While we sing, get set to spring.
  Come on Cougars it’s up to you!

  Rise and shout, the Cougars are out
  along the trail to fame and glory.
  Rise and shout, our cheers will ring out,
  As you unfold your vict’ry story.
  On you go to vanquish the foe For Alma Mater’s sons and daughters.
  As we join in song, in praise of you, our faith is strong.
  We’ll raise our colors high in the blue
  And cheer our Cougars of BYU.

Ra, ra, ra, ra, ra (3x) GOooooo COUGARS!

It’s probably totally weird to other school alum to see this olde timey fight song, but it is super fun to sing after a BYU team has sportsed harder than their opponent. At the BYU bookstore they have little key chains that play the tune, which can lead to hours of endless entertainment.

I bring all this up because I used the fight song as inspiration my this latest birthday card:



Unusual and Creepy? Just a Part of the Plan

These next sketches are more unusual than my regular flowers and swirls. It’s pretty fun to do something new, but I  find that I like the comfort and stability of flowers and swirls. They are easy and predictable.

Sea creatures and weeds.

Sea creatures and weeds.

Steam punk/industrial

Steam punk/industrial

Spiral Challenge

My dear husband is always sugesting things for me to draw, and sometimes I do in fact take his sugestions. After watching Ken Burns: The West, he sugested I write a history of myself in pictograph form and also in a spiral. He said start from the center of the page and spiral outward. I decided to try this, but not as a history, but just as a regular doodle. Maybe I’ll do something more ambitious once I know what I’m doing. I do like the aesthetics of spirals, and of course, a prominent ducky.

The pre-doodle is not actually completed, but what they hey! Onto the blog you go!

The pre-doodle is not actually completed, but what they hey! Onto the blog you go!

More Itsy Bitsy Doods

Although my Moleskine sketchbook is about one fifth of the size of my regular book, it takes just as long to complete a doodle in it. This is probably because I end up using a smaller pen and try to make the lines fit in terms of scale.

The Color Problem

One of the first things I discovered about the Moleskine is that the full spread of pages is more pleasing to draw on than just one side of the book. However, this also means that I can’t really color the doodles because the markers bleed trhough the paper. So for now, These little doodles will have to remain in only black. I might go back later and spot the blacks, but we’ll just have to see.


Some winter plants. And a ginormous shadow.

Some winter plants. And a ginormous shadow.

Need more mistletoe!

Need more mistletoe!

The second doodles is what my insides feel like after eating super spicy Thai food. Not that I’ve done that more than once, but the memory is lasting.

More abstract than usual.

More abstract than usual.