Illustration Friday, "Hat"

This week's Illustration Friday topic was "Hat."

I first sketched a bird with an actual hat. Then I thought of the Eurasian hoopoe that I recently drew for a client, and the cool crown/hat that it already has. 

Using the scans of vintage drawings, I assembled this black and white bird with a hoopoe-style headdress. I also added a vignette effect to give it a slightly creepy, noir-esque tone.

Illustration Friday: "Orbit"

This week's Illustration Friday challenge topic was "Orbit."

Similar to the "Moon" collage from a couple weeks ago, I used photos of grungy and decaying textures to create a scene that was recognizable, but almost accidentally so. 

After showing my 7 year old my initial abstract layout, he emphatically felt I needed to showcase the word "orbit" more, so I added more planets and some moons. This is what my son finally approved....

Illustration Friday again!

I really enjoyed creating this piece for last week's Illustration Friday's challenge, and I was stoked that I was able to submit again this week. This week's theme: "Tropical." 

I haven't worked with birds lately (possibly my favorite subject ever), so I decided to focus on tropical birds. I looked through various images, and considered a flamingo collage, but then I found a beautiful shot of a toucan. Below is my collage inspired by that photo...

Hot Cocoa Sketch + Free Coloring Page

I sketched a collage of hot chocolates last night, and I'd love to see what people can do with it. Add a zentangle? Draw logos or pictures on the mugs? Color with 3 colors, or color with 10? 

Below is a preview of my sketch. If you'd like to download and print a hi-res version, you can find it here (available as a JPG and a PDF). Please find me on Instagram and post your final Hot Cocoa art for me to see!


Another submission for the Tomie dePaola Award

Yesterday, I submitted another illustration for the Tomie dePaola Award. This is my third year participating — I blogged about the 2013 contest here, and I was a semi-finalist for my 2014 submission, which you can see here.

The assignment was to "illustrate a moment from the following passage from Philip Pullman’s version of “Little Red Riding Hood” from FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM (Viking, 2012)." (You can read the full prompt at

I chose this passage:
"When Little Red Riding Hood had only been walking a few minutes, a wolf came up to her. She didn’t know what a wicked animal he was, so she wasn’t afraid of him."

Below is my digital collage...

Busy October, gallery shows and more to come!

It has been a very long time since I've updated my blog, and I hope you're still catching my posts on Facebook and Instagram!

The month of October was a very busy and exciting time for me. I had a good deal of illustration work come in, AND I had my first group gallery show since college. In fact, I had TWO gallery shows in October — one opened in Iowa on the 16th and the other opened in NYC on the 24th. 

I'll update more about the illustration jobs soon, as well as details on an upcoming solo show, but here is a shot of the watercolor and collage work that was at the show in Cedar Rapids ("Rabbit," "Meeting the Wolf" and "Crow"). 

As always, your questions and comments are most welcome!

Kendra Shedenhelm_COE_College_Art_Gallery_Show_Watercolor

Shoe design accepted by bucketfeet! (And another coloring page!)

I submitted my hi-top coloring page to, and it was accepted to go to the next round for product testing!

Because I'd actually drawn the art onto my shoe outline, I needed to re-create the design into 4:5 print-ready vector art. Below is my final reinterpretation, and I've also uploaded it here as a free, downloadable coloring page (PDF and JPG).

Enjoy, and don't forget to tag me on your colored piece on Instagram!

The cookbook I illustrated now in print

The cookbook I illustrated (written by the magnificent Melissa Machowski of M Delish Boutique) is now in the printing process! Melissa and I had a fantastic time working together, and I'm thrilled about this whole project.

It's our first run of 50, so there could be some hiccups, but we'll be signing all of them, and I'll consider these 50 the "collector's edition." (: 

To order yours, you can visit Melissa's Etsy shop here.

Here's a little preview.... 

Another year of the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search

On Friday, I submitted my entry for the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. This was my third year of creating work for this competition, and it proved to be as challenging and rewarding as ever.

This year, we were given a story about a fictitious young woman who lived in Brooklyn. The brief showed us a picture of her (and her clothing style), where she shopped, where she worked, products she'd buy, products she sold in her shop, the food truck she stopped at, and so on. With this type of person in mind, the assignment was to create a patterned sneaker that she could wear when she bicycled to work. The patterned shoe also needed to incorporate at least one word, hand-written or an actual font.

Although I really liked this approach of getting a visual story about the client, I did find it tricky to create something for a person I couldn't really relate to, while still keeping myself in the art. So I focused on whatever images I was drawn to in the brief.

In her shop, she sold some darker, occult-type of items, so I decided to go with a crow theme. They are one of my favorite birds – strong, smart and ominous, and I knew I would enjoy drawing them.

She also sold some pretty, Parisian-style gifts, which made me envision using a loose, dreamy watercolor style for my pattern.

I drew my shoe template with a sharpie, painted several crows (you can see one of them here), and this is the mockup I submitted, followed by the actual pattern...

You can see my 2014 and 2013 submissions here and here.

Your comments are always welcome!

Birds, doodles, shoes and FREE coloring pages!

For a recent assignment, I drew my own shoe template. Now I can't stop drawing on it with my Artwin marker...

Here are a couple of my doodles. Feel free to download these images here, print them out and color them for yourself. I'd love to see what you come up with, so please find me on Instagram and post for me to see!

Silkscreening t-shirts for a Pokémon birthday

For my son's 7th birthday party, I decided to silkscreen t-shirts for all the guests to take home with them. Archer is really into Pokémon right now, so he and I looked through several books to find the right Pokémon character for our tees. We finally agreed on Fletchling. It's a cute, typically-peaceful Pokémon, and I felt it could be simplified fairly easily.

After I received my Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Kit and my t-shirts, I procrastinated for several days before even opening the packages. I haven't attempted a silkscreen print since the 90s, and I don't remember ever using drawing fluid, so I was pretty nervous about the results.

Eventually, I brought out the screen, and sketched Fletchling onto it with pencil. Then, with as steady a hand as I could muster, I painted with the Speedball Drawing Fluid. It looked like this:

After the drawing fluid dried completely, I squeegeed on the Speedball Screen Filler....

After the filler dried, I rinsed the screen under cool water, which dissolved the drawing fluid, and I set it out to dry again:

It came out okay, but, as you can see, there was screen filler in his eye, and the filler had also bled into the top of his beak and wing (I'm assuming my drawing fluid was too thin). With a cotton swab and detergent, I scrubbed the Screen Filler out of these areas, and then touched up the edges with Screen Filler and a paintbrush.

Once that dried, I was ready to print. I stuffed a piece of waxed paper inside each t-shirt to prevent the ink from bleeding through. I then laid the screen on top of the tee, added a thick line of fabric ink at the top, and my son squeegeed the ink across the screen and onto the shirt.

It was a fun process to do together, and we ended up with about 30 tees that looked like this:


Overall, it was a success. The kids seemed to like them a lot, Archer and I were able to create something together, and I tried a new art process.

Have questions or suggestions? Your comments are always welcome!

Loving my new Copic marker

I thought I'd forever be a Pigma Micron and Sharpie marker person, but I've found a new love: the Copic sketch marker. The brush side moves so smoothly on the paper that it feels like it's leading my sketches, and I've found myself drawing a lot more the past few days...

Sketching in the car, while waiting to pick up the kid at camp

Bird sketch, merely because I saw the Copic marker and I couldn't not pick it up

Floral sketch to warm up for summer school class

Geometric Patterns for summer school 2015

As I wrote in my last post, I'm taking another Make it in Design course with Rachael Taylor this summer. My previous post was about my intermediate track submission, but I also submitted to the advanced track.

The advanced assignment focused on "Past Modern," with keywords like ornate, ornamental, geometric, and laser cut. Although I initially spent my time drawing floral elements (which I've done plenty of in the past), I decided to try some geometric shapes in Illustrator, and I ended up with a whole new group of work that I really enjoyed creating.

Below are several of my new patterns, both ornate/floral and geometric (top left was what I'd submitted for the final online gallery)...