Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I can draw and cook... well, bake actually...

Michelle told us the other day about this fantastic blog They Draw And Cook, that has a call to artists out, asking anyone interested to illustrate a recipe. They'll be picking from the entries and compiling a book, and all submissions must be in by October 10th. I love this idea, and there are so many amazing works already, that I'm inspired to try my hand. I've got an idea to use some of the artwork from my In The Kitchen collection, and I've come up with some sketches... I'm working on the final now!

UPDATE: Click here for the final piece. Yum!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flying Penguin Revealed

I've been working on this little guy on and off for a couple weeks.  Thanks to the ladies of Smells Like Crayons for the tips and suggestions to help him come to life!  Here are a few of my process shots.  I love having my working palate over to the side of my piece.  How do you guys work your palates (digital or traditional)?

You can see the original sketch at my blog here:

First round of color:  I tried to work with a limited palate,
but I wasn't convinced it was the right one...

So I adjusted the blue sky a bit and added darker values
and new highlights to shift the light source.

 I tweaked the blue sky again and changed the color of the parachute.

And here's the final version:
Have a creative day!  - Sarah

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Sketchbook Project 2011

I've begun work on my Sketchbook Project.  The Sketchbook Project if you're unfamiliar with it is a fantastic collective artist/art project led up by the Art House Co-op.  You pay $25 for a sketchbook.  You fill said sketchbook.  You mail sketchbook back to Art House.  Your sketchbook goes on tour around the country. Your sketchbook becomes part of the Brooklyn Art Library permanent collection and can be checked out just like a library book.

It took a while to pick up the pencil.  Seeing that blank sketchbook and knowing where it's going to be going makes it a bit daunting.   Some artists have amazingly, tricked out sketchbooks.  Seriously, Faberge eggs of sketchbooks.  There was no way I was going to be able to compete with them, so mine remained blank.  But then I realized something.  That's not me.  I'm not a tricked out sketchbook girl.  I'm just me.  So, I picked up my sketchbook, and put down my sketches.   It's actually quite liberating once you begin.

Below is one of the sketches.  (You can see some of the others over at my site).   If you haven't considered doing it, I highly recommend it.  (And they have cool T-shirts too!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

a little distracted

Sorry for the day late post I was a little distracted because my three year old was off to his little pre-k for the first time yesterday. He cried at the sneak peek so I was bracing myself for waterworks. When we arrived the teacher came over and grabbed his hand told him the fun things they were going to do and and asked if he wanted to say goodbye to mom. From behind I saw his little head move slightly back and forth and they walked away. There was a little bit of waterworks but not from him.

I did post artwork recently at my other blog, check it out.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hidden Pictures

This is a piece I did for a Hidden Pictures submission. Unfortunately, it wasn't accepted for publication. So it's back to the drawing board! It was a fun exercise trying to incorporate all the hidden images, and I'd like to complete a finished version for my own portfolio. Can you find the kite, book, car, ice skate, snake, fish, bird, hot dog, carrot, piece of pie, spoon, and boot?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

American Recorder

So last time I posted a drawing and promised to post the painting. Here it is. It is a cover for the September issue of American Recorder Magazine. Recorders were popular during the Renaissance and as of late have achieved regard in the World Music genre.

It was a fun assignment. The theme was Brazil and so I researched Brazilian recorder music. Found this duo. I did a sketch of a crowd, but I thought a duo with a lush background, representing the flora and fauna of the country might also work. Searching for a female guitarist, I was inspired by Badi Assad's music and her hair!

So here you have it, my first magazine cover!

Friday, September 10, 2010


As I've mentioned before, in addition to illustrating for kids, I also license out my art to manufacturers of many kinds of products, and today I thought I'd show you my most recent collection. Its called Camping, and this one was a struggle to put together - sometimes collections are easy and my fingers can't move fast enough to get everything down on paper that I want to, and other times they just don't want to appear and are really difficult and I second and third and fourth guess myself before things click. I started out with this one knowing I wanted to do a camping collection, and drew lots of tents and hiking boots and backpacks and forest creatures...but things just weren't coming together. I was having a hard time picturing what the final art would look like, when normally I have a pretty clear vision in my head. I figured I'd start coloring everything and chose my colors and just hoped for the best.

But it was boring. The animals didn't make sense with all the camping gear, they felt like a different collection, and the camping outdoor stuff didn't have any life to it....I banged my head against the wall, swore a bit, and came to the conclusion that it wouldn't work. The forest animals needed to be their own group. So I took them, added a moose, a skunk, and other friends, changed the colors and made them into a baby/toddler group that you can see here. Good, I thought. Then I turned to the camping theme, and said, ok now its your turn. I added some forest scenes, and some word paper, made the layouts more dynamic and voila! It looks not too bad. Now I think I've got something, and I feel a lot better about both new collections.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

An Introduction to Sarah Pecorino

Hi there.  I am Sarah Pecorino, the newest member of Smells Like Crayons.  I'm so happy to be part of a very talented collective of artists.  Since this is my introductory blog post I think it suits the event to give you an introduction to Me.   (Thanks to the illustrators group We Love to Illustrate for the great bio questions).

1. What’s your illustration background?
I have a BFA in Studio Art from Endicott College.  I have been working on my illustration career since second grade.  I declared in the "about the author" section of one of my self-published duct-tape-binding books that I would become a children's illustrator. 
2. Where do you live?
A little town called Auburn, New Hampshire.  Thirty minutes from the seacoast, forty-five minutes from the mountains, and fifty minutes form downtown Boston.  I can't really complain.
Home Sweet Home, 2007
3. What are your sources of inspiration?
My one year old son, nature, and all of the other amazing illustrators out there. 
4. What are your favorite techniques?
My style has made a gradual progression to its current state.  For a long time I worked with Prismacolor colored pencil, and then added Prismacolor markers to fill in ground.  I would use the blender to bleed the markers and make a smoother transition between colors.  When I illustrated "Ugly as a Toad" I drew my sketches on one sheet of paper, then on my light board placed a sheet of marker paper over it and made the color elements.  I then combined them digitally.  Since then, and with the purchase of a used Wacom tablet, I have scanned my original sketches, edited them as needed in Photoshop, and colored them digitally.  I love being able to adjust colors and "UNDO" as often as needed (which is a lot).

5. Do you have a favorite food?
I love a big plateful of grilled veggies with pesto, but I have a severe soft spot for good 'ole creamy ice cream, preferably with home made hot fudge.  (One of the best places ever for ice cream is nestled in the woods of Granville, MA, The Gran-Val Scoop.  I highly recommend it.  Also, I'd recommend Captain Dusty's in several locations on the North Shore of Boston, including my favorite spot - see #7).  Oh, and sushi.  I L-O-V-E sushi.

6. What’s your most productive time of the day?
Since I have a full time job, and a little guy, I work between 8pm and 12am, so those HAVE to be my most productive hours. 
7. Do you have a favorite place?
Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.  My husband and I lived in town and I would run to the beach nearly every morning.  It's also there that he proposed to me!  It you ever want to live in the cutest most warmhearted town, I would send you to Manchester-by-the-Sea, but be sure to bring a big check with you.  The houses are enormous, beautiful, and mighty expensive.  If I ever, or should I say WHEN, I make it big we want to move back there. 
8. What are your future illustration goals?
I plan to break into freelance illustration full time and illustrate more children's books.  I'd love to come up with my own story and illustrate it. That would be pretty cool.
You can find me on my website, Flickr, or Facebook.
from "Sadie & Rosebud" by Mary LaFleur Langdon

Monday, September 6, 2010

Artist Trading Cards

I am a big fan of artist trading cards, otherwise known as ATCs. They're miniature works of art no bigger than your average baseball card--usually 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Originally, the creation of these cards was a way for artists to meet one another, and exchange tiny pieces of their work for free. The concept is generally credited to Swiss artist, M. Vänçi Stirnemann, who initiated the first Trading Sessions. I think the entire idea of artists networking and collecting little works of one another's art is just lovely. You can read a little more about the concept here or on Wikipedia.
Art cards became so popular that some artists started selling them to the public - these are called ACEOs which stands for Art Cards, Editions, and Originals.
A few years ago, I founded a Mail Art Club where artists got together, formed a mailing list, and sent each other small works of art. Though I didn't specify a size, it was sort of like a postal version of a Trading Session. It was fairly successful, but unfortunately my hectic schedule got in the way of my continuing to run the group. While I was participating, however, it was ATCs that I chose to send to other artists. I have also sold some as ACEOs. I thought I'd share a few of these mini-illustrations with you today (you may have seen some of these already):

Maybe a "Creating and Trading Session" would be a fun idea for our group to do during a meeting? We could draw/paint and then exchange our cards with each other. Just an idea. Let me know what you think! And happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 3, 2010

This girl's got moxie!

I'm working on a few sketches for a children's magazine (don't know if I can say which one right now, so I won't). This is one of the rejected sketches.  I think their response was "Cute, but too young."

I think she's fun and full of Moxie!   (Isn't "moxie" a great word?!)  I think I may keep her around, and find a story for her.  I bet she has loads of adventure stories to tell.