Exploring Shapes in Black and White

Lately I’ve been trying to get back to the basics and spending my creative playtime exploring basic shapes and simple patterns… all in black and white. Putting black pen to paper is my go-to creative habit and that’s how all my ideas blossom.


I realize that there is nothing amazing about all these basic shapes. It’s all been done before and it’s not exactly “eureka!” in terms of illustration or amazing technical skill. However, I think we often overlook the beauty in simplicity and the importance of curation and balance.



I’m trying to strengthen my foundation these days and really curate. I have been known to fall into the trap of paralysis, wanting to create the most amazing-best-ever-all-time-perfect-never-been-done-before thing. Silly, right?


It tune with my word of the year – READY – I just have to go for it and do, rather than hesitate. In many ways, it has all been done before… but never by you and your hand. So that is the unique special part of creating with your own two hands. Don’t you think so?

Peek Into My Sketchbook

Doodling away variations of girls. A head here and a head there…brewing in my head! I think it’s going to end up being a cute little print…


Peek Into My Sketchbook

Recently I made myself a new journal, simple longstitch binding and opted for a larger size – A4 full page – which is more challenging for me to “fill up.” I used mixed media paper from Canson, so hopefully that will allow me to play with whatever medium I choose, day to day.


I’ve been trying to do something every single day, but it’s definitely challenging with a newborn in the house. There are days when I feel spent and without any motivation whatsoever. Then there are other days when I have a lot of ideas, but just physically don’t want to move – seriously!


Now I understand the zombie state that many parents probably feel like they are in… it’s pretty insane that our bodies can keep going despite the fatigue and lack of sleep. These days the little one is staying awake more – thus more fussy – and it’s taking longer to get him to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night for feeding. I’ve still got nothing to complain about compared to so many stories out there. I try to console myself into thinking that my arms are going to be super buff just carrying the little guy around!


So it’s a bit random in my new sketchbook. I’ve been trying to add some paint and color, rather than defaulting to plain black and white doodles all the time. It’s a bit messier than I would prefer, so not sure how long I can stick with this. I’m still exploring and experimenting here and there, so there’s nothing very directed in my creative mind these days.


Peek Into My Sketchbook

With the new arrival, I’ve certainly neglected my sketchbook a bit. Haven’t found the time to just sit around and doodle. There are times when my mind is buzzing with ideas, but my hands are full and I can’t actually do anything about it. This feeling sort of connects with my Illustration Friday doodle of feeling like I haven’t accomplished anything day to day. The hours just fly by, whatever happened to yesterday?

LTieu2But of course, I’m not complaining. Motherhood is a beautiful time and I should most definitely soak it all in as these days pass by. Sometimes when I have a minute – literally – I try to practice variations of doodles I have in mind. How many times do you practice something before deciding on exactly how you want it? I think sometimes people assume that drawings just magically form themselves in one shot. That’s not how it works for me. I draw variations and variations, until I come upon something I really like.


Take this simple baby birdie doodle. The idea was in my mind, but haven’t refined the details, even though it’s a fairly simple drawing. I was reminded of this video of Quentin Blake about how he redraws his work over and over again, until he’s satisfied. The spontaneity of the line he wants to keep, but that doesn’t mean you get it on the first shot. I suppose these are the studies, even if they just look like simple doodles.

Illustration Friday: Wings and Myth

Catching up again on Illustration Friday, so decided to combine this week’s prompt Wings with last week’s Myth. Le tme present my cute little flying piggy… a quick little sketch before bedtime. You know how people say “when pigs fly?!” I say, why not? At least in our imaginations and cute illustrations.


Illustration Friday: Ocean Edge New Glow

I fell behind with Illustration Friday for a couple of weeks as I’ve been quite occupied with getting work done before the baby arrives. Decided to do some catch up today with quick doodles. Nothing time consuming, but I did try my hand at digital coloring when I scanned them into the computer.

For this week the prompt was Ocean


Week before Edge


Week before New


Week before Glow


Even though at times a quick doodle might seem pretty insignificant, it’s really great practice for anyone who wants to add a bit of creativity into their day. Not to mention, many projects start from a quick doodle like these. Always remember that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts!

Illustration Friday: Snow

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is snow – quite timely as the weather dropped below zero here in Tuscany, Italy. It’s not normal at all, because normally it never snows in our town – that’s what my husband assured me anyway. But the 3 winters I’ve been living here has resulted in 3 cold winters with a weekend of snow. Apparently a Californian girl can bring on the snow?


I decided to draw up a snow family. I think it’s cute to think about snowmen and how they can be dressed up for cold weather as well…