Monday, November 29, 2010

Froggie and Fishie

I was traveling last week and a baby sitting behind me started to get very fussy before take-off. It prompted me to whip up a couple of paper puppets. I had colored pencils in my backpack and tore a couple of sheets of paper from a notebook. The mouths open and close and I drew little surprises inside. (You can see a little fish in the fish's mouth. The frog has a heart inside.)

I have made these with kids before and they are very simple to make yet allow for endless possibilties. They can become people, animals, monsters, etc. Though I didn't do it here, you can complete the back side so they are fully 3D. You could opt to create them in collage.

I took some photos to illustrate the process in case you want to try making one. They are pretty self explanatory, but let me know if you have any questions:

Have fun!

P.S. I never got to see if baby would like them as she was passed around during flight to her dad and another woman helping her mom out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Its the most wonderful time of the year...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Is anyone else just craving mashed potatoes and gravy? I'll be getting my fix tomorrow I'm sure. I thought I'd dig up some old Thanksgiving art from a few years ago for today's post. I created this collection when I first signed on with my current agent.... looking at old artwork is like taking a walk down memory lane, isn't it?

Also, I thought I'd give you guys a sneak peek of what I've been working on for our new winter themed header - its coming next week, so stay tuned! Here's a snippet of my sketch... can anyone guess what will be going on in this picture?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sarah's Studio (...sort of)

Here's my "studio" space.  I used to have a whole room with great light... and then it turned into a nursery and I was moved into the basement and share a room with my husband's office and his gym equipment.  Here's hoping for a well lit studio in the next house!  Please excuse the mess.  It's always like this.  (Click on it for a closer view).

My working style has transitioned several times over the past few years, going from colored pencil and marker to almost entirely digital coloring.  Today I want to share with you my all time favorite illustration tools.  If you're an artist you can understand how it's possible to be in love with a tool, so much that your day is totally ruined if it's misplaced.  As you can see, it's not all that hard for me to do.

Uni TouchMatic Eraser - I bought this at least 10 years ago at Jerry's Artarama in West Hartford, CT.  I am constantly amazed how it has yet to run out.  I love this this click-style eraser because it gives me the precision I can't get with my regualar eraser.  It seems Uni has upgraded the TouchMatic to its current form, the E-Knock found at JetPens.

I fell madly in love with the Faber-Castell Dust-Free Vinyl Eraser when I picked it up this past year.  I end up having way less smudginess where there used to be a pencil line, and the line actually erases.  Imagine that!  The "dust-free" aspect of the eraser is that the eraser dandruff rolls together in a neat little nugget that you can roll off to the side instead of brushing off of your drawing.  I picked mine up at ACMoore, but you can get them here, too, at Dick Blick.

Since purchasing old school Wacom Intos tablet (circa 2000) a year ago via CraigsList, my digital painting has improved significantly.  Actually, up until that point I hadn't really colored digitally because I didn't like how little control I had with a mouse.  Now my little grey friend follows me to my in-house job and home everyday.

Then there's Photoshop.  Who doesn't love Photoshop?!  I work in it 8 hours a day while at my in-house job, designing gift bags and boxes.  You'd think I'd be sick of it the computer, but at the end of the day, when everyone else has gone to bed, I'm back at it digitally painting away at my latest illustration project.

Other notables from my studio:
    • Holly DeWolf's book Breaking Into Freelance Illustration - this inspired me to grab the bull by the horns and make this dream reality
    • Canon MX860 All-In-One - no complaints as of yet.  I picked it up for its nice scan quality and nice art paper printing
   • Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate - gives me the kick I need for these late nights

On my screen there you can see a final color illustration from my current project with author Barbara Ann Simone.  Check out my BLOG for a close up of this page and a few others!

So, what are some of your favorite tools?  Is your studio space as messy as mine?  * Here's a secret, all my art supplies are on shelving units in the other part of the basement, so what you see is only a sliver of the goodness.*

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oil paint

Last weekend, I raided my little storage area at my parents' house. I collected some items that I'd left there from my college years: my old paint-smudged easel, a roll of canvas, my sad-looking glass palette, and a toolbox full of paint and mediums (to my surprise - still good!). Then I went shopping. I bought supplies to stretch and gesso my own canvas etc...the whole nine yards.The outcome was a bag full of goodies that I had to drag from my car into my house. It's been about a decade since I've painted in oils, but some of the ideas I've been toying with lately just won't translate with my usual gouache paints. (I'm thinking about giving paintings as Christmas gifts! What? Not enough time? Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?) I've yet to start this process, but I have a 4 day weekend off of work coming up next week. No class on Wednesday night (for once) and not many other plans other than Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to getting back into my old groove. I'll post the results - good or bad - and we'll see if I should just continue to stick with gouache or not. (;

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Graphic Novel

I've never thought of myself as a graphic novel type girl, but felt inspired.  I'm actually pretty happy with the way it came out.  Here is an early sketch.  I really like the ability to pull in tight for a few panels, and on the same page have images that are zoomed out.

Monday, November 15, 2010


A year ago today was the start of the saddest week of my life. My Dad died suddenly, he wasn't the picture of health but I thought he'd be with us for a lot longer. My kids kept him young. My husband and I had the second batch of grandkids 15 years after the last. A few days before he died I posted a IF submission on my blog picturing my dad and my son Reid. I thought it would be oddly comforting to imagine what they would be doing if my dad was here today. Go Fish!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Solarplate Prints

This is a little drawing I did on mylar for my first attempt at creating a Solarplate print. A Solarplate is a thin steel plate prepared with a light-sensitive polymer surface. A transparency (the mylar) is placed on the plate and exposed to a light source. Then the plate is developed in a water bath and printed like any intaglio plate. This product is made by the Daniel Smith Co.

My instructor at my printmaking class took me through all the steps. First we made a test print to check the timing of the exposure. The image below is the print from the test strip. We then created the plate with all three snowmen. I will be printing from that one at my next class. It's a really awesome technique because one's drawing reproduces so perfectly---all the subtle shading and lines remain in the printed image.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sketchbook Project 2011 Page

Here is a page from my sketchbook. You can tell what my day was like--endless laundry and an endless customer service call.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Theater As A Book

Hi All
I thought I'd share what I've been illustrating lately-stage sets!
For the past few years, I've been in charge of scenic design and painting for
Bedford High theater. This year, BHS produced Thoroughly Modern Millie.
I had help from volunteer friends who helped fill in, so that helped with the work load and lessened the stress level the comes with tight deadlines. The play was great and the kids did a terrific job!
As I was watching the show, I couldn't help comparing designing and painting for
theater to the task of illustrating a book.
The actors moving through my designs onstage are like my characters in a book with the illustrated environments I give them.
The attention we pay, as illustrators, to drama, color, lighting, pacing and page turns in a book also apply to designing and painting environments for actors in order to transition smoothly from scene to scene.
Since I was too busy drawing and painting to take pictures, I'm grateful that Zack Uliasz, one of the young male leads in the play, was kind enough to snap a few. Thank you, Zack. Hope you all enjoy them. Happy illustrating!
-Angela Lucido

Friday, November 5, 2010

In my sketchbook

Yesterday's cold rainy day made me sketch something gloomy..... sigh....weren't you FREEZING yesterday?! So I brought out the ole' conte crayons and craypas. It was so hard to get warm. Thankfully the sun has finally peeked out just recently. Maybe its time for a new sketch!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Since it's the season for all things pumpkin, I thought I'd share a small drawing exploration I did a couple years ago. It was for a class I had at the start of my graphic design program. We had to draw one object several times. Each time we did, we had to draw a different angle with different media and different tools. I think one of these drawings was made in ink and drawn with a stick. (Pumpkin slime may have been involved too!) I chose a pumpkin to work with because I just happened to have one at my house, and I loved the twisted stem. Sometimes all you need to do is play/explore and not worry too much about the outcome: