Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Following your inspiration

So often I wake up in the morning and I have this great desire to draw or paint, and so often I put it off feeling obligated to get the chores done first.  The problem is that when I do my "other" work first, by the time I have the opportunity to be creative, the inspiration has vanished.

It has been this way for as long as I can remember. I blame the fable The Ant and the Grasshopper. That story terrified me when I was a child. I don't want to starve to death!  

Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with "work before play". It is a good lesson to teach and to live by, but once in a while you need to break the rules and chase after that inspiration. It is good for the soul. :) Sort of like having pancakes or cereal for dinner.

Starting today, I'm going to change the way I prioritize my time. I am going to "give in" more often to my whims and follow my inspiration.


I haven't done a watercolor in almost four years. I woke up this morning and all I could think about was coffee painting with watercolor. The dishes aren't done, the cats and my son are hungry <-I'm kidding, what kind of monster do you think I am? I fed the cats! :-P, the laundry isn't folded, and that's okay. ♥ I'm too busy giving in to my inspiration. ♥

Monday, July 28, 2014


Last week, I posted the below images to the nikkiMdesign Facebook Page. I was hopeful that this past weekend would bring me lots of time to work on turning this heaping mess of a bedroom into my art studio.

Stuff, stuff, stuff, and more stuff, and toys, and...

Is that dirty underwear on the floor?! Haha! Made you look!

I had old furniture to dismantle and move out, shelves to hang, things to organize, and a very large, heavy table that had to be hauled from the basement to the upstairs (sorry honey!) to create a space that was all mine.

After several hours of hard work and a lot of assistance from a very patient husband, there was progress.

One of these days I will paint the walls, add some better lighting, and put up some more shelves, but for now, this ♥ will do perfectly ♥ 

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I am struggling with the facial hair. I've added quite a bit more but I feel as though it is losing its definition. I'm worried that if I keep going it will become one big black blob. At the same time, I don't feel as though it has enough depth. Grrr. Any of my illustrator/artist friends want to give me some advice? 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Making progress WIP The Hitchhiker

I added his pipe and I have started to fill in his beard! 

Sorry about the photo quality, I am a horrible photographer!

According to the tutorials that I have read, the first step to drawing facial hair is creating the skin tone beneath the beard by making circles at varying sizes and shades and then using a stump to blend them. Then using a kneaded eraser, you lift some of the graphite to create lighter areas. 
Next you begin to layer in dark areas and light areas with different leads to begin creating the fullness. Do not press too hard because later you want to add highlights with your eraser by removing some of the graphite. I am rewording what I have read, the tutorials available via an online search will go into much greater detail than what I have listed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Hitchhiker WIP

I have been busy lately and haven't been able to do much drawing. So this morning I decided that instead of doing the usual cleaning up the house work, I would get busy on the Hitchhiker. I also carved out a little bit of time to do some reading from Taproot, a wonderful, ad-free magazine filled with stories, poems, art, and crafts.

I should start everyday this way. <-Wishful thinking.

My experience drawing beards is very limited. I found several great tutorials for drawing facial hair, now I have to put that knowledge to paper. Eeek! I'm nervous! 

Notice the left eye, yeah, I overworked the paper. I shouldn't have drawn him on sketch pad paper, there isn't any substance to it and I like to erase, a lot. I'm not too worried about it though. You don't notice it as much in person, it is far more noticeable in a photo. Lesson learned. :) 

I'm thinking about making him a smoker. What do you think he is... a pipe or cigarette smoker?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dreams WIP Completed

The idea that I hope to convey is to dream big, believe in your dreams and they will become your reality.  

Each of the elements in the drawing represent something from my childhood. 

The Moon. As a child, I daydreamed about someday meeting the moon. I talked with him often and thought that the moon was special to me because everywhere I went, there he was. He was there when I looked out of my bedroom window before falling to sleep, he was there when I played outside at night whether in my own backyard or somewhere else, and he was there when I looked out the window from the backseat of my parents car while riding home from the days activities. The moon was a huge part of my childhood. He was my friend. 

The Giraffes. I wanted a pet giraffe when I was little. Ah, who am I kidding, I want a pet giraffe now. :)

The Monkeys. They are from the game, Barrel of Monkeys, and I used them a lot in play but I don't think I ever used them as intended. They made great "ropes" for my toy soldiers to escape from impending doom.  

The Mushroom Village. I was a smurf lover. A dedicated watcher of the television cartoon series in the 80's, the little blue creatures found their way into my heart, and into my drawing. 

Teddy. My teddy bear went everywhere with me. We walked, talked, and ate together. He was always close by. In fact, I still have him. ♥ He is an old timer now but as loyal as ever.

The Creatures or Aliens. These guys were my protectors. As a child, I scared easily and I was anxious. My bedroom was on the second floor and my parents bedroom was on the first floor. This posed a problem because when I would wake up from a nightmare, which was often, I was too scared to walk into the darkness through the long hallway and down the stairs to my parents bedroom. So, I created these guys to watch over me. They "lived" in my bedroom window and when I would wake up terrified from a dream, I would "hand" it to them and they would take care of it for me. 

The Tree. I have always had a fondness for trees. They are strength, beauty, and providers. If you look closely in the drawing, you will find faces in the branches and trunks. 


Time spent:
150+ hours

12"x18" drawn on smooth bristol board

2H, 2B, 4B mechanical pencil
kneaded eraser

Original available:
email me for pricing - nicole@nikkimdesign.com

“Dreams are illustrations...from the book your soul is writing about you.” 

-Marsha Norman

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Comic Strip

I have a bin full of scrap pieces of paper with ideas for drawings sketched on them. A few of those scraps have ideas for a comic strip that I've been kicking around. This morning I had the opportunity to sketch out one of the characters. These aren't great by any means, they are just rough ideas. I need to do some research on comics and character development; drawing consistently, how to develop a character, expressions, etc., before I really start to plan the comic strip. But, it's a start. :)