Daily Animal Doodle

2013 Animals Calendar {Product Spotlight}


Now that the Indie Art + Design Trunk Show is behind me, I have finally been able to take inventory of my product and start putting it in my Etsy shops. Over the next week or two I'm going to do a few Spotlight posts to give you some additional insight on my new products!

First up, the new 2013 Animals Calendar:

This is a project that has been percolating for quite some time. I knew I wanted to focus on animals, but not in my usual anthropomorphic way. Last year, during my brief stint doing the Daily Animal Doodles, I was experimenting with a different style that was more about simple blocks of color, simplified color palettes and selective line work. For a quick reminder, here are a few of those doodles: here, here and here.

I wanted to explore that idea a little further with a new animal series. With my renewed love of painting, I thought I would create little gouache paintings and focus on Animals of Wisconsin (though they're pretty common, so we could call them "woodland" animals, as well!). I picked a fun color palette, along with black and white, grabbed my paint and brushes, and set to work.

Here are some Instagram photos I took along the way to document the details and my process:

The final calendar consists of 12 pages, printed on creamy paper, complete with a bulldog clip for easy hanging. Then after the months are over, you'll have a nice little collection of animal prints for your viewing pleasure forevermore!

Calendar pages, month-by-month:

*Please note, the maroon isn't quite that dark - you actually CAN see the animals, I promise!

I had such an amazing time with this series, and finally a fun little calendar! If you're interested in purchasing one, you can find them in my Bluestar Ink shop. They make great stocking stuffers or teacher gifts!

New Bluestar Product

Hello again!

Are you finding lots of wonderful goodies this Cyber Monday? Before you fulfill EVERYTHING on your list, I wanted to quick share with you the newest Bluestar products that just hit my shops this weekend.

First off, the new 2012 wall calendar. This 11 x 17 calendar features my new "Sitting Lotus" illustration in pale yellow, blue and teal. It is printed on the heavy-duty Arches watercolor paper and comes ready to hang with a white grosgrain ribbon. Calendar can be found here.

I love this new tote! I upcycled some vintage drapes to create these whimsical new totes. My new floral illustration is screen printed across the front. These bags are lined with coordinating floral fabric, complete with 2 pockets for all of your incidentals. Do you like pom poms? There is an option with, and one without.

Holiday cards, woot, woot! I decided to take a more simplistic, graphic approach when designing these cards. Each 8-pack assortment features 2 reindeer, 2 snowmen, 2 trees and 2 retro ornaments screen printed onto either white or Kraft cardstock. Coordinating envelopes, (red, white, tiffany blue, magenta) are also included. The white pack can be found here, and the Kraft pack can be found here.

Here we have the new floral illustration again, this time screen printed onto thick, 100lb French Pop-Tone paper. Printed on 5 colors: magenta, aqua, green, red and purple. Just a simple print to brighten any room!

Finally, lots of my personal illustrations have made it into the shop as prints! These include some of the Daily Animal Doodles, along with other fun illustrations I've created over the last year or so. All are printed on 8.5 x 11 creamy Epson Ultra Premium matte paper with a white border for easy framing. Print shop can be found here.

And last, but not least, the newest Fuzzies! Meet Valentino, Galama, Wanda, Tringo, Yasu, Jemizee and Zazu. All can be found in the Bluestar Fuzzies shop. And, I've finally listed the 3 circus Fuzzies who were featured in STUFFED Magazine. Fuzzies make great gifts for the kiddos on your list!

In case you missed it there are special Cyber Monday deals happening in both my shops today only!

Bluestar Fuzzies : 20% off your purchase using the coupon code CYBERMONDAY20 at checkout.

Bluestar Ink: A free print of YOUR CHOICE with any purchase. This includes screen prints! Just note your choice at checkout.

Thanks again!
Now I'm going to go check out the sweet Cyber Monday deals floating around the Interweb...

Doodle {Chipmunk}

I'm back with another Daily Animal Doodle!

This time I chose #21, the chipmunk. Or as Stephen would call it, 'Grinny Squirrel'. Have you ever heard that name? I think it's a Pittsburgh thing. Anyways, here you go:
Lots of white space. And some crazy eyes. Chloe, our dog would like this one - I think she dreams of catching a chipmunk to make her pet. 


Doodle {Swan}


I hope y'all are doing well. I know it has been a while since my last post. That's because I've been mega busy doing some work for an upcoming wedding. But after this weekend I'll be able to show you the fruits of my labor - it is has been a fun project!

Tonight I felt like doodling again. I really miss the Daily Animal Doodles, but sometimes "real" work takes priority, right? I took a look at the September list of animals, most of which I've skipped, and the Swan jumped out at me. I wanted to create something that was simple, yet bold. Here's what I came up with:

I think it turned out pretty cool.

Even though I haven't been totally committed to the Daily Animal Doodles this month, there are a lot of other artists who have! I am so impressed with the brilliant drawings submitted lately. Be sure to check out the group's pool here!

Take care,

Doodle {Seahorse}


Today I drew a Seahorse for the Daily Animal Doodles.

I'm calling him my 80s seahorse because of the color palette and the halftone pattern. I decided to go with the halftone pattern because I didn't necessarily want to add a new color, but I did want to add some shading and dimension. So I thought it might fun to play with that texture a bit.

Have a great day!

Doodle {Loris}

Today I drew the cutest little animal - the Loris!

This one was interesting because of the major foreshortening going on with his position. But I think I pulled it off.

Tomorrow we're heading to Chicago for some Renegade Fair action - I'm SOOOO excited! I can't wait to see some of my favorite artists in person. I'll be back in a few days to share my experiences.

Until then, have a wonderful weekend!

Doodle {Baboon}


I've decided I'm going to just pick and choose some animals from the list that I really want to do. My "real" work is picking up again, and it's becoming quite time consuming. But I don't want to forgo the Daily Animal Doodles all-together, so I figured this was a good compromise.

With that being said, D.A.D. #6 is a Baboon:

I really like the color palette of this one. Again, I'm trying to find a good balance between color shapes and linework. 

I chose the Mandril Baboon because of his unique facial features. My version looks pretty tame, but I have to say, after looking at reference photos, these guys often look quite scary with their teeth bared. I would definitely not want to run into one of them in the wild...

Hope you're having an excellent week,

Doodle {Hare}


Just poppin' in to post another Daily Animal Doodle. We're actually visiting my parents' this weekend, but I got a little time during the kiddos nap to draw. My next doodle is a hare:

I'm still trying to figure out this new drawing style, but I'm definitely having fun with color blocking. My limit is 5 colors.

For those of you in the U.S. have a swell Labor Day holiday tomorrow!

Doodle {Heron}

Okay, I'm back with more Daily Animal Doodles. Since I was 100% for August, I figured I'd take it easy from here on out; not necessarily committing to EVERY assignment. But then tonight at 10:30, I'm looking at my computer, and I suddenly have the itch to doodle. 

This time around, I'm going to take a different approach. I'm going to concentrate more on color blocking than the linework. Last time, I'd do the sketch in my sketchbook, transfer it to the computer, and then color and finesse it in Photoshop, leaving the original sketch pretty much intact. Now I'm going to still utilize the initial sketch, but it will only be the framework for the blocks of color and minimal, only necessary linework. We'll see how this goes.

Today is a Heron:

It's simple, yet graphic. Hopefully it still exhibits some of my style, such as the eye and the uneven lines. 

I hope you had a great September 1st!

Daily Animal Doodle #31

Well, I did it. I made it through an entire month of Daily Animal Doodles! I have to say, I've really been enjoying them. It has been a great way to hone my skills and experiment with textures and colors.

Today's doodle was an Ibex:
I realized I draw an awful lot of profiles. So I decided to go with more of a 3/4 front view. I love the horns!

Wow, I love looking at the whole month! Do you have a favorite? I think my favorites are the skunk, mouse, squirrel, reindeer, ostrich and sun bear. And it looks like I need to use more yellow. Funny, the last two are the only ones that really incorporate that color!

If you want to see any of them again, check 'em out here.

See you next month!

Daily Animal Doodle #30

Today's Daily Animal Doodle was a Sun Bear. I wasn't sure what that was, and after doing some research, apparently it's the smallest of the bears. They are great climbers, have very long tongues, and have the bright yellow horseshoe-shaped markings on their chests which inspire their name.
Here's my little guy. I still wanted to include a sun somewhere, just because I like drawing them. And I tried to limit the color palette, too.

Can you believe there is just one more day of August? Wow. My little girl starts school tomorrow...*tear*.

Which means I should probably be going to bed, since it's a school night and all...

Daily Animal Doodles #28 and #29

Hooray! I've finally caught up on my Daily Animal Doodles. Today's doodles were the Kiwi (bird) and the Peacock.

All of the reference photos of the Kiwi were about the same - just a profile of a little round brown bird. There wasn't a lot of inspiration. So I decided to play around with its color once again. I kinda like how he turned out with his fluorescent green stripes.

And the beautiful peacock. My hand hurts. That's all I have to say.



Daily Animal Doodles #26 and #27


Well, I'm almost caught up...and just in time for the end of the month. Today's doodles represented two opposite ends of the Earth - the [Mountain] Goat and the Shark.

I decided to go with a mountain goat because I got to meet a few while on a road trip out west. We were just leaving Mount Rushmore, and we came around a bend, and there they were - a family of mountain goats leaping gracefully down the side of the mountain. They decided to graze along the side of the road, so we pulled our car over to take pictures and get a closer look. They weren't afraid of us at all! They just looked at us as they munched the grass and gave us a little smile. I fell in love with the baby - it was so fluffy and adorable!

And here we have the mighty shark. I didn't want to go the gory route, so I went with their most famous feature - their teeth - and decided they probably needed good hygiene to keep their pearly whites sparkly clean!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Daily Animal Doodles #24 and #25

Hello and Happy Weekend! I hope y'all are having a lovely one.

I spent my afternoon drawing #24 and #25 of the Daily Animal Doodles: Penguin and Cow. First off, Penguin:
Stephen's favorite animal (I think) is a penguin. I even got him a stuffed one when we first started dating. Aww! Maybe it's because it's the name of his hometown hockey team (Pittsburgh Penguins), or perhaps it's just because they're so darned cute. Either way, I decided to make them Love Penguins. Sappy, I know. But I'm allowed to be a little cheesy once in a while, right?
And then we have a cow. Yes, I meant to draw the tongue picking her own nose. That is because one of my more traumatizing childhood memories involves a purple cow tongue. My dad worked in a veal packing plant when I was growing up and he would occasionally bring me along to the office or to the barns. I would love going to the barns because I could pet all the cute little calves. He would discourage me from naming them, because, well...let's just say he didn't want me to get too attached. :-(  Anyways, I loved petting their soft noses between their eyes. One day, though, one of those cute calves must have liked me a little too much because he licked me square across my face. Ugh. Wet, purple calf tongue. Do you know where their tongues have been? See the above illustration.

Sweet dreams! Hopefully they don't involve cow tongue.

Daily Animal Doodles #22 and #23


I have two more Daily Animal Doodles for ya, both birds: The stout Kingfisher and the leggy Ostrich. I have never seen a Kingfisher before, so I don't have much to say about them.
But regarding the ostrich, I do have a related story. It's actually about some Emus, but the ostrich is close enough. My prom date's family owned an Emu farm. And one of my girl friends and I where hanging out at his house, specifically near the Emu barn. All of the Emus were out in the field, so for some reason we thought it would be a good idea to go in their barn. Perhaps we thought we'd get a closer look? Well, as soon as they caught sight of us, they came storming towards us, legs flying, mouths open. Oh my gosh. We were terrified. We screamed and sprinted back towards the gate we had just emerged. We were able to escape just before they could get to us. In retrospect, I think they probably thought we were going to feed them, but they looked so manic that it is a vision I don't think I'll ever forget. I know, Emus aren't ostriches, but this drawing reminded me of that scary moment.

So in honor of the lovely Emus, here is my Ostrich doodle, running at full speed, with the help of his fancy sneakers.

Daily Animal Doodles #20 and #21

I was super unmotivated to draw tonight, but I knew I had to knock a couple doodles out in order to catch up. Despite my lack of motivation, these turned out being two of my favorites.

Here is Daily Animal Doodles #20 and #21: Squirrel and Reindeer, respectively.
I want to use the squirrel in some other application. Maybe a screen print if I ever get my shop set up? A tote bag could be fun.

And of COURSE I had to make my reindeer into Rudolph. I'll take any excuse to get into the Holiday spirit!

I'm hoping one of these days I'll get a chance to take photos of the top-secret project I've been working on. It's been stressing me out all summer, but I finally finished it! It will feel good to finally share it.

Until next time,

Daily Animal Doodle #19

Well, have you guessed what my favorite animal is? It's a sloth! And D.A.D. #19 is just that. What's funny is that I don't think I've ever drawn one. Weird, eh?

Here is Mr. Sloth, in all is cuteness:

Some day, I'd love a real, live sloth hug. For now, I'll hug my stuffed sloth, Kirby. I got him when I was 14, and this little dude has traveled with me all over the U.S., to England and to China. I adore his mashed-up little face and his matty fur.

 *Kirby waves good-bye*

Daily Animal Doodle #18


I'm back from a wonderful vacation, and even though I had high hopes, I wasn't as productive as I would have liked to have been while traveling. I had planned ahead, saving animal images to my phone so I could doodle during the flight. But then we had little individual TVs for each seat on the plane, and I couldn't get enough bad cable television. I know. Pathetic. Who would have thought Millionaire Matchmaker was so interesting? Well, it was, and I totally soaked it all in. And alas, no doodles. :-(

So this week I am going to attempt at playing catch-up. Which is funny, considering all of the other projects I have piling up. We'll see. 

For now, here is the Daily Animal Doodle #18 for last Thursday: Blue Jay. Birds are fun to draw! All the feathers and markings make for an interesting illustration.

I am so excited for D.A.D. #19! It is my favorite animal. Do you know what it is?

You're going to have to wait until tomorrow to find out...