Nov 29, 2010

"...when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”-The Alchemist

Warning: This post is long and cheesy, If you don't want to read it all skip to the end and just read the blue paragraph, it has an announcement about the future of this blog.

This phrase from "The Alchemist" keeps popping into my head, when unexpected changes affect my life; Specially now.

It is my goal to become a successful illustrator, by successful I mean that one day  I'll illustrate a lot of children's books, and have just enough money to live a good life full of motivation/inspiration and travel.

Due to many circumstances I had to make some hard choices( but again as life has taught me sometimes the hardest choice is the right one) but long story short, I'm moving back to the motherland, by motherland I mean Mexico.

It was sad to let go of my opportunity with Oregon College of Art and Design, I'm not completely closing that chapter, I plan to definitely come back one day, maybe to visit and take a summer class there, one never knows. I'm sad to leave behind beautiful people, they being family and friends who been with me for wonderful 12 years that I lived in the USA.

Despite sadness, there is excitement in me too ( I guess that's what it means to have mixed feelings)
I have good family in Mexico, that I have't seen in so long (not counting facebook) plus I have reconnected with childhood friends that I'm looking forward to meeting again. Plus I have fond memories of my hometown Oaxaca. So I'm looking forward to re-discovering its beauty before (& after) I move to Mexico city for school. In Mexico city I plan to attend a Seminar of  8 Months where it will introduce me to the world of illustration in Mexico ( It will be the push I need to start and become part of the illustration market in Mexico).  I will finally be able to freelance and grow as an illustrator 
(something I could not do here in the united states where I only had a diplomatic visa, that gives me no permission to legally work).

But before all that excitement begins I'm making another stop at another continent: Europe, destination? Switzerland. A cousin of mine and her husband has always encouraged me to come visit her and learn french. I kept saying no because the timing was always wrong, but now I can totally do it, the savings I had for grad school, I'm using it to make this trip possible.

To end this novel of a post, my last announcement is to say that my blog is getting a whole new makeover I want to make it into a blog where I will still cover recycling and green consciousness, but I want to expand it to inspiration, illustration, travel and books( Lately I been slowly going toward that directions, so I feel the name ecollustration no longer applies to my blog.) My blog will be up and running again in January first. :)

Thank you for sticking with me.....well if you did, I have to admit it was a really long post so if you didn't, I don't blame ya.



Nov 24, 2010

D.I.Y Recycling Mail a hug!

A friend requested a hug, I said sure! and here is how I figured out how to mail it.  :)

The materials I used were:

1: Shoe box top, cut down to the size of the envelope I'm using.
2: String.
3: Matte medium & spray fixative.
4: Watercolor and color pencils.
5: Hole puncher

And here is how a hug was born:

Sketch yourself and your hands

Prep the shoebox top with some matte medium so the paint won't bleed.

Paint it with your choice of medium. I used watercolors & Color pencils

Hole punch where you will pass the string.

Cut out your mini-me

Pass the string through the holes & tied it. Make sure the arms are long enough to hug your friend

Ready to be mailed.

If you mail a hug, do share a pic! I would love to see all kinds of hugs being mailed :)

Nov 23, 2010

Ecollustrations of the week: Having fun with the sketchbook project.

Man I'n having fun with the sketchbook project, here is a glimpse of the story I'm drawing in the sketchbook. I usually do one or two pages per day :)

Nov 22, 2010

Sharing is caring: Watercolors Swatches.

Hope you all had a great weekend. I wanted to share the watercolor swatches I did on the weekend. As you know I want to understand my watercolors, their pigment and the different techniques and explore color theory as well. I feel it would help my artwork more and be able to embrace the most of what watercolors offer. If you ever have an artist block or are just plain bored, this is a great way to gain back inspiration, and is actually quite therapeutic. Anyway enough talking here are my swatches! :)

The spaces are for Dioxizine Violet, Sienna Brown and Cobalt Blue


I came across this amazing website called "Handprint" by Bruce MacEvoy where it covers everything you need to know about watercolors from paper to pigment to techniques to history and so on. IT'S A MUST READ AND SEE really recommend it, is going to blow you away. I'm mostly focusing on just pigment and color theory. For the swatches I used Windsor and Newton Cotman watercolors. Now I did not just did color swatches, I included the following from top to bottom:

  • Name of paint + Color Code Index (found at the back of the watercolor tube under pigment)
  • Color of paint by itself
  • Line of pencil on top of watercolor
  • Line of pencil under the watercolor
  • Lifting technique test 
  • Back run technique test
  • Tinting ( watercolor plus White)
  • Wet on wet technique.
To read more about it go HERE

Quick interesting fact I learned, what we actually pay when buying the watercolor is the pigment, not all watercolor have the actual pigment specially the ones that have the word "hue" on their label that means the pigment has been replaced by a less expensive alternative( there are actually 4 kinds of pigments Natural inorganic, natural organic, synthetic inorganic & synthetic organic). One way to know the value of the paint you are paying specially if you have Windsor and newton is by looking at the series number (labels do have so much information, I had no idea!), in front of the watercolor Cotman tube you'll see something that says series 1 ( they have from series 1 to 6) the bigger the series the more expensive the pigment is, windsor and newton has a chart about it for the Artist and Cotman watercolors. The Cotman watercolor chart is HERE.

This I feel applies to all student watercolors, I'm not saying they are bad quality, I think it means that they would fade faster than an artist watercolor like Artist windsor and newton watercolors, also the Artists watercolors have more saturation to their colors so appear more vividly. For now my budget can only afford the Cotman windsor and newton watercolors and I'm quite happy and it has so many colors I love, but I'm looking forward to the day I switch to the Artist watercolors. :)

Wanted to share what I learned but don't just take my word for it. I know I still have to do a lot of reading, and re-reading, because is a lot of information to take,  but is much fun. I'm using the following sites to learn about my watercolors. If you know of any other site, do let me know :)

Have a good day!

PS:Here is a close up on two of the swatches to see what I wrote on top.

Nov 18, 2010

From my library to yours: Imaginative Realism

Hey! Remember this book I mentioned by James Gurney?

Click on image to direct to amazon to buy the book.

I finally had a good chance to go through it more throughly and is so informative and motivational!! and it gives some really good tips on how to improve on your drawing skills, specially if you struggle with drawing architecture. James Gurney goes from the thumbnail idea, to working out composition, color theory, to creating the maquette, to the final painting.  If you are a fan of drawing maps, then he covers that topic too! he literally tells you how to illustrate your own world. So here is a few peeks, enjoy!

Nov 17, 2010

Ecollustrator of the Week: Visual Storyteller Teresa Martinez

It was Love at first sight when I saw Teresa Martinez's Illustration. You know that feeling of when someone starts to tell you a reaaaalllly good story you can't help, but stop what you are doing and scoot closer to listen? Well that's what her illustrations do to me! Here is a peek to some of her illustrations:


Beautiful!!! I think she uses a variety of mediums from traditional to digital. There's a really strong storytelling sense to her illustrations that I love. There's more of her, check her out!:

Visit her WEBSITE
Visit her BLOG
Visit her FLICKR

She just release this book, which I'm going to buy, because there's nothing like fables + beautiful illustrations. Here is a glimpse:

Nov 12, 2010

Quickie D.I.Y Recycling: Keep those old shirts!

I was about to start painting, and didn't have any rags to dry my brushes ( when I want to remove extra paint from my paper, I use dry brushes to absorb such paint) Anyway I did not find kitchen rags but I did remember my mother keeps old shirts to use them to clean objects, furniture,etc.  Good example mom! So  I took an old shirt  and cut me out a pretty good amount of rags, that I will use ALOT! because they are laundry friendly :)

Nov 11, 2010

From my library to yours: Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist

Looking at my library and then to the books I have recommended I surprised myself that I haven't shared this book with you:

This book was so helpful during my student years when taking figure drawing classes. I still use it today, and will use even more, because I have noticed my human beings need a whole lot more practice, I have reached the conclusion that my basic figure drawing foundation is not strong enough. If you are wondering why?, the answer is simple, After two years of figure drawing, I stopped diligently pursuing it and focused my attention in other things, which mean I didn't practice as much as I should have. Well Just like I plan to color study my watercolors, I plan to do more figure drawing on my own with the guidance of this book and real life. So take as much figure drawing as you can not matter what!! Now here is a peek to some of the pages, this book cover every thing from the bone, out to the muscle to proportions and a really good chapter on the muscles of facial expression.

Ecollustrations of the week: The Rest of the Alphabet.

Click on image to enlarge even more.

Nov 10, 2010

Ecollustrations of the week: Bird's Feathers Alphabet

Here's a glimpse to some of the letters from my Bird's Feathers Alphabet that I submitted to DesignSponge, It was fun to do!.

Nov 9, 2010

On a side note: I want to see this movie!

"Linotype: The Film" Teaser from Linotype: The Film on Vimeo.

I have actually seen a functioning Lynotype typecasting machine at the International Printing Museum, is amazing to see and hear all the movement the machine does to create the each line of type.

Nov 8, 2010

Best Illustrated Children's Book 2010. Check Them Out!

So I came across the "Best illustrated Children's Books 2010" article and I really want to check them all out. I am familiar with Peter Brown's "Children make terrible pets" why? because it was once upon an afternoon a friend an I wandered into a Barnes and Nobles, walked to the children section, saw the book from the display, took it and we started reading, and giggling, and loudly kept giggling all the way to the end. I added it to my list of books to buy in the future when I get a bigger bookshelf and we left happy.

Here's a pic of the cover:

To read about his process creating this book, head over to one of my favorite blogs: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast a fun blog about books.

Have a great week everyone!

Nov 4, 2010

From my library to yours: Writing Picture books.

A must have if you want to know what makes a strong story to tell children ( and adult as well) and how to write it and re-write it as well as revise it. And not just about what makes a good story, but it gives great tips on creating strong characters. It will give you from "before you write a story"  to "after you finish you story" procedures. And at the end of every chapter  you will be given homework to do, from research, exercises and reading material. You have in your hands a little school of children writing education or a bible of children writing. I know I will reread this over and over and over again. 

PS: Oh by the way if writing poetry scares you, then definitely get this book, it has a whole chapter on poetry and how you can began to have fun with it and not get stressed. Remember practice makes the master.

Here is the book trailer:

Nov 3, 2010

D.I.Y Recycling: Paint a bag!

Or in my case paint my little first aid bag, because it's boring. It needs a little makeover and you can do this to any bag all you need is clear gesso or matte medium, acrylics and ink.

The before photo:

The makeover:

Clear gesso or matte medium where you want to paint

Paint background, add rough sketch.

And paint...

...and keep painting...

...just keep painting, oh and outline details with micro or rapidograph pens.

Add the last details and Tada!!!

The After Picture:

About my first Aid Kit:

Yes, I always carry a first aid kit with me, which my family and friends used to tease me about, until they started benefiting from my little first aid kit. Originally it had items that came with that little bag, when it ran out, I refill it by going to the travel section in any pharmacy store. I love everything in the travel section, everything is so small, is so cute. Another aisle is the first aid section too, not as cute as the travel section but one needs to.

Have a good day everyone!