Long Live IllustrationFriday.com!

If you haven’t already heard of Illustration Friday, I encourage you to check them out. There is something so friendly and encouraging about their site, and I always enjoy creating art for their prompts.

This week’s prompt was “Game.” I took it as “The Game” or even “Game ON.” Below are my two variations. Have a favorite?

KendraShedenhelm_IllustrationFriday_Collage_Game_BlueSwirl.jpg
KendraShedenhelm_IllustrationFriday_Collage_Game_RED_550.jpg

Holiday Card Submission for MATS

Another year, another round (or several) of MATS courses!

This year, agent Lilla Rogers of Make Art That Sells offered a free course to the winner of the Holiday Card challenge. The prompt: Favorite Holiday Drink.

Aside from coffee in the morning, my favorite holiday drink is red wine. I wanted to create a cozy, wintry look for this card, with a not-so-dainty glass of red wine.

Drink up!

KendraShedenhelm_MATS_Holiday_Card_Dec2018.jpg

Portraits and stories from the nursing home

My grandmother spent her last few years in a nursing home, and after my visits with her, I would always wish I'd listened more (wisdom! stories! life lessons! history!). Even though I cared immensely and wanted to make fulfilling conversation with her and her friends, I felt nervous about what to say and unsure how to interact. This really bothered me, and I've been ruminating since on how to be more present and at ease in similar situations.

Recently, it occurred to me that art might be my gateway.

After contacting the nearby nursing home, I arranged to go in for an hour every couple of weeks to draw quick portraits of any residents that would like to sit for me. For now, I'm choosing the all-one-line technique (drawing without lifting my pen), as it is not only fast (5–10 minutes per portrait), it does not allow for fussing over mistakes. The process forces me to stay present and allow for whatever happens to happen. It also gives me a chance to look — truly look — at the face of each person, and listen as she or he tells me stories of falling in love, past careers, and children raised.

Here are some of the people I've had the chance to work with...

Kendra Shedenhelm_Continuous Line Drawing_NursingHome_Portrait1
Kendra Shedenhelm_Continuous Line Drawing_Portraits_2
Kendra Shedenhelm_Continuous Line Drawings_Portraits_3
Kendra Shedenhelm_Continuous Line Drawing_Portrait_4
Kendra Shedenhelm_Continuous Line Drawing_Portrait_5
Kendra Shedenhelm_Continuous Line Drawing_Portrait_6

 

 

 

I won an Illustration Friday challenge! #stoked

I love Illustration Friday, and I've been using their prompts to create new work since 2015.

A couple weeks ago, amidst a dearth of gray days and a cloudy head, I found out that I won a challenge! It was exactly what I needed to kick start a better frame of mind. Thank you once again, Illustration Friday!

Here is my collage for the "Twins" prompt (as promoted on Instagram):

Kendra Shedenhelm_TWINS_Illustration Friday_Collage

What is an #alloneline drawing?

I took an excellent online course with Von Glitschka awhile back, called the 21 Day Drawing Challenge. One of the prompts is to draw an image without lifting the pen. Just one intuitive, free-flowing line. It has been such a fun activity for me, and it really captures the something-from-nothing feeling that I can get when I create. If you ever feel stuck or concerned about perfection, I encourage you to try it.

Some of my recent all-one-line drawings are below. To see posts of other artist's #alloneline drawings, search the hashtag on Instagram. Cool stuff.

All-one-line drawing of a girl saying grace (image referenced from the Internet Archives), ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of a girl saying grace (image referenced from the Internet Archives), ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of a woman with headpiece, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of a woman with headpiece, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of ladies having coffee, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of ladies having coffee, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

What's been happening this year: Update 4 of 6

Update #4: The Historical Heroines coloring book!

This was hands down one of the coolest projects I've ever been a part of. I couldn't be more grateful to have been chosen as the illustrator.

Crowd-funded and quickly labeled as a "Project We Love" on Kickstarter, this coloring book was conceived by the brilliant, eco-conscious and science-minded author Elizabeth Lorayne.

As explained from her site, "The Historical Heroines Coloring Book: Pioneering Women in Science from the 18th and 19th Centuries was born out of a desire to inspire and empower children, teens, and adults with coloring pages celebrating 31 women in science who followed their passions and let their brilliance and hard work speak for themselves — making significant impacts in our world."

For several months, I was fortunate to spend my days researching, drawing and painting these various STEM heroines. I read their histories, their personal letters, their eulogies. Because of this project, I now study bugs as they crawl by, I pay attention to the leaves and their growth patterns on my walks, and I look at the sky with much more curiosity. Elizabeth's desire to inspire worked!

I'll update my blog soon with some excerpts of the completed book, but here are a few of the sketches I made along the way...

 

Portrait of Mary Somerville, pencil, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait of Mary Somerville, pencil, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait of Alice Ball, pencil, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait of Alice Ball, pencil, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait study of a young Beatrix Potter, watercolor, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait study of a young Beatrix Potter, watercolor, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

What's been happening this year: Update 3 of 6

Coloring pages!

Although I'd drawn a few free coloring pages here and there (and here!), it wasn't until last fall that I was hired to create them.

This first job was for friend and colleague Elizabeth Lorayne, author of the Piratess Tilly series, who asked for colorable elements for a local kids' event (it turned out to be a warm up for a later project).

A couple of previews below...

Drawing of a chimney swift, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Drawing of a chimney swift, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Drawing of a bird's wing, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Drawing of a bird's wing, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Back to "When in doubt..."

In 2013, when I first started illustrating, I wrote a post titled, "When in doubt, cut it out," which emphasized how helpful cutting paper can be for shaping my characters. Since cleaning up my studio space a couple weeks ago, another perk for paper scraps would be free, no-pressure experimenting.

Although the difficult-to-cut corners, accidentally-torn details, and bends and warps of the paper can frustrate the heck out of me, these same problems liberate me. I've been treating it as a big Who Cares exercise. And, as the composition is whisked away by my cat jumping on my desk, I feel unattached and able to try something else.

Kendra Shedenhelm_Bird_Paper Cutout_Sketch
Kendra Shedenhelm_Horse_Paper Cutout_Sketch
Kendra Shedenhelm_Bird on a Branch_Paper Cutout_Sketch

Back to Illustration Friday & drawing with one long line

A few weeks ago, my 8 year old son asked why I only submit collaged work to Illustration Friday — why don't I submit drawings? I'm not 100% sure of my answer for this yet, but I did decide to draw for that week's challenge, which was "Nest."

I went with one of my favorite styles to work in right now, an all-one-line/not-lifting-my-pen drawing. I then cleaned it up a bit in Photoshop and added a subtle blue tone in Illustrator...

Kendra Shedenhelm's "Nest" for IllustrationFriday.com

Illustration Friday, "Nose"

For this week's Illustration Friday's challenge, "Nose," I used my watercolor paintings as my collage material. It was my first time doing so, and I really liked incorporating both of my techniques into one. I definitely plan to explore this further.

I call this piece Portrait of a Woman with Flowers.

MATS Bootcamp and The Hierophant

MATS Bootcamp for May was really fun for me.  

First, Lilla assigned us the "mini" assignment which had us looking at medieval styles in both art and lettering. I found this super cool site in my search: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/, and I drew extensively. (You can check out some of my drawings on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/kendrasred/)

The final assignment was to create a tarot card that correlates with our birthday. I'm a Taurus, and my card was The Hierophant. Again, I drew a lot, and then began a collage. This was my final submission...

My second illustrated cookbook now available!

I've completed illustrations for another cookbook written by Melissa Fouch Machowski of M Delish Boutique, and it is now available for purchase

One Dish Wonders is personable and enjoyable to read, and its smaller size and spiral binding gives it that old school/potluck-y feeling that I love. I think it would make a great gift, and Melissa has spice kits and other stuff available to package with it.  

I'm really proud of this one, and I hope you check it out. More info can be found at mdelishboutique.com. Below are a few screenshots from the book...

Another submission to Mark Mitchell's Guest Group Critiques

If you're an illustrator (working or aspiring) and you haven't heard about Mark Mitchell's Guest Group Critiques, I highly recommend checking it out: http://guestgroupcritiques.com/


This month's assignment/critique is with children's literary agent and artist's rep Nicole Tugeau of Tugeau2 Illustration. You can check out her assignment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QILCl_CU6Ow.

Nicole chose 15 of the approximately 50 submissions to critique on May 24th, and I'm very grateful that mine was one of them! Here's my submitted sketch below. Off to work on the final!

First assignment with MATS Bootcamp 2016

I enrolled in another year of Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells Bootcamp. Previous years' assignments have included creating art for a phone cover, illustrating an online editorial, and making a holiday plate/paper collection. I find that MATS Bootcamp is an exceptional way to try new materials and markets, and the class has really helped to develop my portfolio. 

Lilla starts all of her course assignments with a "Mini." This is a just-for-fun exercise, which includes a little research of a given topic and a whole lot of no-pressure creating and experimenting. For this first month's assignment, our Mini was 1920s hairstyles. I found a ton of cool photos online, and I drew and drew. It was a surprisingly inspiring subject for me, and I found myself drawing more portraits in general that week.  

After one week with the Mini, we received our full assignment, which was to assemble our drawings and ideas into a faux cover for an adult coloring book. After drawing several faces, hairstyles and patterns, I went with this as my final submission....

Spot Illustration for Mark Mitchell's Critique Group

One of my favorite instructors, Mark Mitchell, now hosts a critique group every month. For a small fee, anyone can submit their work for live, online feedback by a professional in the industry (as well as from Mark and the enrolled members). 

Last month's guest was Peachtree Publishing's former senior art director, Loraine Joyner. She asked us to submit one finished-ish piece, and I chose a spread that I had a few questions about. I thought she did an excellent job all around, and her suggestions for my spread were extremely helpful. 

Loraine will be joining us again this month for another critique. This time she gave us an assignment to create a spot illustration/sketch for a Hans Christian Andersen story. She wanted us to choose a character and/or scene and draw, re-draw and draw some more, to see what personalities and details emerged. 

After reading a few Hans Christian Andersen stories, I decided on The Nightingale, and I chose this passage for my spot illustration: "and even Death himself listened, and said, 'Go on, little nightingale, go on.'"

Below is the collage I submitted...

My first school visit with "You, the Magician"

On Friday night, the authors of "You, the Magician," Jodi and Josh Carothers, came to my little village on the Hudson River to read to the families of our local elementary school. They did an outstanding job speaking with the audience, and I was truly touched by the enthusiasm and questions from the children and their parents. 

After their reading, I offered a coloring/flip book activity for the participants, and it turned out pretty cool. Here's an animated version of that flip book...

http://makeagif.com/i/J5FHFm

It was my first big presentation, and although I'd do a few things differently next time, I'm hoping for another opportunity like this soon!