Intellectual Dog

editorial, Le Grand Portefeuille

Intellectual Dog, illustration by Nancy Lemon ©2016

Happy Friday, everyone. The illustration above is a case of finding a half-drawn sketch in a sketchbook. I liked the start, so saw it to finish. This one I actually remember starting at a coffee house…there was an engaged reader enjoying a coffee and a book. Or maybe he was studying. He was human, I remember that; however, I do so love anthropomorphization. BIG WORD for your Friday. 😀

I hope you find time for reading or whatever relaxing pursuit you desire this weekend!

Unicorn Smooches

Le Grand Portefeuille
Unicorn Kisses ©Nancy Lemon 2016

Legend says it that unicorn breath smells like fresh baked cookies.

Here is my little fun submission for Illustration Friday this week. The theme word was “kiss”. I’ve been a bit stuck on unicorns for, oh, about…32 years. However, I’ve only just started drawing them again. I hope this gives you a little smile on a Thursday afternoon.

Autumnus Forest

Le Grand Portefeuille

AuTumnus Forest, Nancy Lemon ©2016

I’m not sure about this one…is there too much wild color going on? Just experimenting with layers of marks: some ink, some pens, some pencil. Then, as I do, coloring in Photoshop. I felt like I was getting into a “palette rut” for awhile, and have tried to get out of my comfort zone lately by using much brighter colors than I used to. The process is fun; I hope I never stop playing!

Tiny

Digital, Le Grand Portefeuille

For this Illustration Friday, I decided to keep playing with the Wacom and Photoshop, so I drew and inked a sketch, then played with color and brushes in the computer. I really like the way this process has been going, and the palette is very unlike my usual earthy tones.  It’s definitely good to get out of the comfort zone.

"Tiny" Illustration Submission by Nancy Lemon © 2016

Drawing is Playing

Digital, Le Grand Portefeuille

 

Digital illustration by Nancy Lemon © 2016

I drew the original drawing in my sketchbook, then scanned it to play around with all the Photoshop brushes I’ve acquired from Kyle T. Webster (best Photoshop brushes, bar none). I’m having to downsize my studio soon, so am toying with using the computer more for illustration. This was really fun to do, actually, and it seems the experimentation with this sort of thing is rather limitless. So…party on and stay tuned for more.

Developing Wings

Le Grand Portefeuille, Photoshop

 

It is fun to play around with the Wacom, as well as illustrate quotes by favorite authors. I am rather happy with the way this turned out, and feel it may be the start of something new in my artistic journey.

Marketing myself

Business of Art

I’ve been working on promos this week, and trying to get better about doing quarterly mailings. Here are the postcards to be sent (once they arrive from moo.com).

A little explanation, if you like: I illustrated my daughter, who really loves to twirl in the living room when music is playing.

There’s a hole in my heart where my dog used to be.

Le Grand Portefeuille, Pet Portraits

Lily Lemon Carney, beloved furry daughter, protector, snuggler extraordinaire.

We had to tearfully say goodbye to a member of our family recently. Lily was our 12 year-old pit bull mix. She was the most empathetic, nurturing and beautiful creature I had the privilege of knowing.

We called her “Nurse Lily” because she could sense when you were sick or sad, and would curl up next to you, or if there was no room for curling up, put her head in your lap. As a puppy, she stayed in bed with me (except for potty breaks) when I got a bad case of food poisoning. When a migraine would hit, she would be curled into my side in the darkest room of the house. When my husband had shingles, she stayed on the floor by the couch, as he was in too much pain to snuggle. (She knew.) And when I was pregnant, she was my protector. If any person or dog was too exuberant, she strategically placed herself between them and me. When we brought our newborn daughter home from the hospital, Lily moved wherever the basinet was, so she could lay at the base of it, and “protect” Rosalee. Bandit was “her” puppy…she picked him out at the doggy adoption day. She cleaned his face and put up with his silliness. Lily let him get away with all sorts of nonsense. Now Bandit is five and misses his adopted mother.

We all miss her so much. She has, of course, popped up in my work over the years, my first furry muse. I found that I needed to draw her again. I hope it does her justice.

Lily Lemon Carney, beloved dog, Nancy Lemon ©2016

Creating the Universe

Le Grand Portefeuille, Sketchbook

I have been creating portraits for the 100 day project on Instagram, and I’d like to share a few here.

The 100 day project is an initiative to do one creative thing, be it drawing, painting, music, sculpting, digital art…some people just take happy pictures. The point is to commit to bringing some creativity into your life each day.  It began on April 19th, on Instagram, but they encourage you jump in at any time. I did it last year and it really challenged me to create a new little story each day. The challenge is currently on day 22, but I am playing a bit of catch up. (I’m on 19.)

I’ve been using Instagram more than my blog, as it is really easier, takes less time and is more convenient. Also, I’ve spent some time revamping my website and have an additional blog over there. However, I miss the camaraderie and little community blogging brings. I hope all of you fine folks will feel the pull of the creative challenge and join me on this journey of 100 steps. 😉 I will try to be better about regularly posting!

“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” -Carl Sagan

Children’s Book repped

Business of Art, Le Grand Portefeuille

I’ve been so busy lately that I have neglected this poor little blog. The biggest news I have at the moment is that I am now represented by the wonderful Teresa Kietlinski of Bookmark Literary.  This is a really big step into the world of children’s publishing and I couldn’t be more excited!

Nancy Lemon's entry for the 2016 Tomie de Paola Award

My entry for the 2016 Tomie de Paola Award. I didn’t win, but I still like my entry. (From December)

Disco bunny process

HaHa, Le Grand Portefeuille

This is a piece originally intended for SCBWI’s monthly #drawthis prompt, but I got a little behind because I had other work that required my attention. Anyway, I liked the idea, and the drawing made me smile, so I wanted to finish it. This was hand drawn and digitally colored with Illustrator this time.  (So if anyone needs this on the side of a bus, it can be scaled that large, without pixelating the image. I’m just saying.) There are many ways that I enjoy working, both by hand and digitally.

Black-eyed Pea Chili

Food drawings, Le Grand Portefeuille

black-eyed-pea-chili

My mom gave me this great chili recipe. So of course, me being me, I illustrated it while making myself giggle. It is now up at They Draw and Cook. That website is a great “creative playground” and I encourage all you artsy folk to submit a recipe.  There is also They Draw and Travel, where you can submit maps. I haven’t ventured into maps yet, but will of course let you all know when I do.

watercolor, gouache, ink on paper

Pet portraiture and Happy New Year (finally!)

Business of Art, Le Grand Portefeuille, Pet Portraits

Hello Friends.  Happy New Year.  I’ve been a bit busy, and have neglected blogging.

Here are some of the pet portraits I created for people who needed gifts this past holiday season.  I create these (and other custom work) all year, so if you need a Valentines gift…or Presidents Day gift (?) or an anytime gift, let me know!  You can even order online.

I’ve revamped my website, if you have time, take a gander.  Any feedback is appreciated, if you feel so inclined.

I am excited for 2016…it has started off on a pretty great note, with lots of possibilities! I hope you are having a great one so far, too.

Pet Portraits for a loved one

Le Grand Portefeuille

Holiday gift suggestion for yourself or any pet lover in your life!

Custom pet portraits: $100
For every custom portrait sold, I will donate $10 to a local animal shelter.

Paintings are on 9″x12″ (image size is 8″x10″ so easier to frame).  All paintings created with watercolor, gouache and ink on paper.
Please contact Nancy to order.

If you want something like a print, tshirt, or kids’ wear, please visit my Society6 shop or BoomBoom Prints store.

Thanks everyone, and have a lovely Holiday Season!

Stylish Kitty Cats

Business of Art, Le Grand Portefeuille
style-cats-nancy-lemon

Prints available here!

I drew this cavalcade of glorious cats in my sketchbook a month or so ago, and finally decided to make something with it.  The drawing was done in pen (on lunch break) and I always thought it was a fun one, so here we are.  As usual, I added it to some different items…

Stylish Cats coffee mug by Nancy Lemon Studio

Grab a stylish cat mug here, of course!

stylish-cats-long-sleeve-tshirts-s6

Or a long sleeve t-shirt…also available in short sleeved…

It is so fun making all of these things.  If you can, please share with family and friends…wouldn’t it be great to get something with original art/design/illustration as a gift this year?

Three Little Pigs, reboot

Inspiration, Le Grand Portefeuille
3-little-pigs-cover-final

Sample cover

So, I have been playing around on Skillshare (highly recommend) and have been loving the camaraderie of being “in class” again. This was for a class with the great Lisa Congdon.  The project was to respond to an imaginary art director’s email and then illustrate a creative brief she sent.  In a nutshell, it was to reinterpret a well known fairy tale.  I think the houses need a little something, but I am pretty satisfied with this.

 

I see you, seeing me, seeing you

Le Grand Portefeuille

third-eye_web

I continue down this path of fun, doodly-style illustration.  Also, it seems I have become infatuated with creating art for coffee mugs.  I don’t know what it is…I do love coffee, but I also love the mug as an illustration surface.  Go figure.

 

P.S. I like to think that David Bowie would drink his tea out of this mug. 😀

A stampede of animal heroes, ready to help start the day.

Business of Art, Digital

super-heroes-web

I doodled while watching football with my hubby on Sunday night.  Then I put it on a coffee mug, because I want a coffee mug with this on it. 😀

I have such good time making all of these, whether they end up as prints, mugs, or dog t-shirts ;-). Or if they are just doodles in a margin or my sketchbook.  I really love drawing, and I’ve loved finding a community with whom to share all of these crazy little designs.  Thank you again for following along, and stay tuned for more. 😀

More bunnies, different style!

Business of Art, Digital
bunnies-bo-iphone

…such as cell phone cases.

bunnies, kid's t-shirt ©2015 Nancy Lemon Studio

There are kid’s clothes…

bunnies-maternity ©2015 Nancy Lemon Studio

Yes, maternity tees (although I wish the design could be put on the belly.)

bunnies-bonanza-onesie ©2015 Nancy Lemon Studio

Of course the onesies!

dog-shirt-bunnies ©2015 Nancy Lemon Studio

And even something for the pup in your life. (We wouldn’t want to leave out Fido.)

Now there is really something for everyone in the family. (Yet this is only the tip of the ‘print on demand’ iceberg). I really laughed when I saw the dog t-shirt, and felt it must be shared. Please feel free to share this post!

Bunnies, bunnies, everywhere…

Digital

Good Monday, everyone.  These bunnies have been sitting in a sketchbook as a quickly scribbled idea, so I took them out and brought them to fruition.  One of my teachers once told me, “You should always have a default animal, object, etc. to draw when you can’t think of anything to draw.”  Apparently, my default is silly bunnies.  You’re welcome, Mom.

Painted with gouache, ink, and Photoshop

Learning, learning and a pillow fight!

Business of Art, Le Grand Portefeuille

I thought it would be fun to design some cushions for the OhhDeer.com Pillow Fight.  You can enter as many time as you want until November 6th.

For this one, I played around and used Illustrator, just for a change. I took a fun course on Skillshare, and forced myself to use Illustrator for the final project (since the demo was in Illustrator.) I think I am going to be exploring this avenue…watch this space! haha

Nancy Lemon Studio©2015 Fox and Hound Cushion

Mash the cushion to vote. 🙂

And here is a fun cat, created with charcoal and finished in Photoshop.

Nancy Lemon © 2015 Cush Cat Cushion

Smoosh your mouse into this cushion to vote. 😀

If you have time, I would love your support!  Just click on the pillow image and you will be taken to a page where you can “like” and “tweet” or even purchase a cushion.  Any of those things help me to win a spot as an Ohh Deer artist.  Thanks!

Revisiting the Vacationing Bear

Illustrating Books

Upon reflection and useful critiquing, I’ve revisited some projects in my online portfolio.  One was a piece I did as an Illustration Friday submission, for the prompt word “Vacation.”  Bear was just too relaxed for a realistic vacation, I’m afraid.

I consistently have fun creating these stories, and experimenting with both traditional and digital media.  May my learning never stop and my curiosity never satiated.  I hope the same for you, my creative friends!

Painting your Muse

Illustrating Books

 

Paint the Muse, illustration by Nancy Lemon Carney ©2015 watercolor, ink on paperHere we are with more artistic expression via Muse the dog.  He cuts a dashing figure, reminiscent of Napoleon, or Javert from Les Miserables.  I ask you, if your dog stood still clad in old-timey maritime costume, wouldn’t you also feel inspired to paint?

Watercolor, cool new Derwent Inktense pencils, all on paper

The artist and her muse, reading

Illustrating Books

muse-read-nancy-lemon

Since creating two cute characters for the prompt “Muse”, I’ve decided to put them together in more scenes.  Maybe a story will come from pictures…as an illustrator, that is how my mind really puts things together.

Watercolor, colored pencil

I put a bird on it!

Digital, Le Grand Portefeuille

Hello Friends.  As you know, I am constantly experimenting with different art mediums as well as on a constant quest for simplification. Now that I have a Wacom tablet, I am challenging myself to create art straight into the computer, but trying to keep it as “hand made” looking as I can. I LOVE painting, drawing with different tools, and generally making a creative mess, but sometimes it is nice to maximize the space I have by using the laptop and the Wacom.  No mess up, no clean up, and editing is SO EASY. As simplification goes…all it is is thte laptop and the Wacom.

I have long been reticent to technology as an art tool (stubborn as a mule, Dad would say) and have just embraced this idea in the past four years or so.  I’ve been drawing on paper, scanning and then “painting” with Photoshop, but for this I thought I’d try straight up computer.  I still love my watercolors, and bring my traveling “studio” with me for lunch breaks, but it is always good to stretch one’s self, I think.

Like the link above states, you are able to get this design on a myriad of items in the Society 6 shop.  I am currently trying to revamp the stores, and fill them with better designs, as the holidays are right around the corner.  Stay tuned, and please share this post, if you feel so inclined.

Look up, people!

Illustrating Books, Le Grand Portefeuille

When I draw people, they seem to all be in a similar pose.  This made me imagine the things we miss while we gaze, text, and scroll our phones. Illustration Friday provided the inspiration as usual.  This week’s theme is “people.”

Original is watercolor and colored pencil on mixed media paper.

Glasses-wearing Giraffe

Business of Art, Digital

I love creating designs for kids’ t-shirts and clothes almost as much as creating book illustrations. Giraffes are a particular favorite, with their crazy anatomy. I hope this fellow makes someone happy today.

Draw This! “Muse”

Inspiration, Le Grand Portefeuille

Muse, Draw This, SCBWI Nancy Lemon Carney ©2015

Every month, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators issues a prompt word for their online illustrator gallery.  The word for September is “Muse”.  My dogs have always been a great inspiration for me, so here we are.  Who (or what) is your muse?

Pointy Animal Parade

Inspiration, Le Grand Portefeuille
Illustration Friday prompt-pointy-Nancy-Lemon-illustration-2015

If you would like the original, you can find it in Pointy Animal Parade in my Etsy store.

This week’s Illustration Friday topic is “Pointy”.  This is the idea that made me giggle, so this is what I made.  (It is probably ridiculous that this is the way I make many idea decisions.)  I went analog here, using watercolors and colored pencils on watercolor paper.

If you would like a print or kids’ t-shirt, please go to my BoomBoom Prints store.

Grow a Sasquatch

Digital, Le Grand Portefeuille

Grow a Sasquatch, ©2015 Nancy Lemon, illustrator

Last week’s prompt word on Illustration Friday was “Grow”, so naturally, I grew a Sasquatch.  Kind of a no-brainer, really.  As anyone who grew up in the 1980s knows, Sasquatches are gentle vegetarians.  (Thank you, Harry and the Hendersons.)

I got to use my illustration talents at regular work.

Business of Art, Le Grand Portefeuille

Will wonders never cease…

…I got to create a sort of children’s illustration project at the old day job! The Lions Club here has donated money to the Eye Institute of the Medical University (where I work) for a reading/fun waiting room for kids. They put in a request for a fun poster featuring a kid-friendly lion, so the job was passed to me. (Thanks again, Tom!)  I came up with several ideas, these two were presented, and they ended up using the three lion illustration for a poster, and the lion in the chair for book plates for their books in the waiting room.  I’m stoked that kids will see my lions.

Just a silly idea.

Business of Art, Digital, Photoshop

Digital illustration by Nancy Lemon ©2015

I initially had an idea for more coffee mugs, and I thought about small people and critters who tend to show up at the edge of the bed to ask this very question.  SO, it is now on a coffee mug in my Society6 store. (As well as being available as a print.)

I’ve been really having fun with these new digital brushes; they almost lend a screen printed look.  It is really fun to experiment with drawing and then manipulating with the endless possibilities of the digital realm.  This is the way an illustration style is pushed and stretched…it’s really fun.  I love doing what I do. 🙂

Bigfoot snoozing–it’s NATURE!

Digital, Inspiration

Bigfoot sleeps in nature. Nancy Lemon, illustrator

So, I got my Illustration Friday topics mixed up–this week was “Growth” and I thought it was “Nature”.  Whatevs…it’s still Friday!  I got some new (free) Photoshop brushes that I am playing with here, along with some paper texture…wheee.  I think this weekend I will need a vacation from screens, but this was fun to make.  I love Illustration Friday–they are a great community and always keep me inspired.  I highly recommend the website to anyone interested in graphic design and illustration.

I want a vacation like this…

Digital, Photoshop
Bear vacation with books

A reading vacation would be nice.

I can’t figure out what this summer reading lover needs.  More trees?  It feels as if I’ve created a scene where there are only two trees in a vast, open space.  I would love any feedback on this.  Should more shadows be added, or is this too overdone?  I can’t help but feel that something is missing.  Comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

The unicorns are inadvertently found…

Illustrating Books
God's hand causes a commotion in the water. Illustration by Nancy Lemon

Click the image to enlarge the view.

We are coming to the end of the unicorn book…can you tell what will happen next?  I bet you can, you brilliant readers.

Fun commissioned artwork

Le Grand Portefeuille

It has been a while, and I’ve been busy.  I wanted to share two fun pieces I was commissioned to do.  It was gratifying that they trusted me so much and like my style.  They gave me a few activities they enjoy and told me to run with it, using whatever characters I came up with (animal, people, mineral…)  The themes were gardening and dining with friends.  These are 9″x12″ watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper.  A big THANK YOU to Dusti and Jonathan.

Ahoy hoy. Sorry I’ve been away…UNICORN update!

Illustrating Books
God asks where his unicorns are.

Click the image to enlarge view

Hello all, it’s been a while, and for that I do apologize.  I got a bit caught up in some other projects, and let the unicorns idle for a bit.  Well, here is the newest installment, and I’m hard at work on finishing up the rest so I can just schedule them for posts.  The next step is to pick the strongest and fully illustrate in color, as publishers like to get a taste of what the illustrations will look like in their final garb.

#100daysof…

Inspiration

Hello all, I am taking a post off from unicorns to tell about a fun project I’ve found through Elle Luna and The Great Discontent. It’s called the #100dayproject and you can participate (on Instagram).  I found it today, and even though the official start was yesterday, anyone can jump in at any time.  You can pick anything to do for 100 days.  Since I’ve started creating Little Adventures during my lunch break, I thought I’d use that as my project.  I hope you will join me.

nancy-lemon-ladybug-little-adventure

Diving Unicorns

Illustrating Books
Click the image to enlarge view

Click the image to enlarge view

Now that I look at this page, I think it may need a redesign.  I will probably say that about the entire book once I finish this!

What will happen to these deep-diving unicorns?  Stay tuned…

The Unicorns are in too deep

Illustrating Books
Unicorns of God miss Noah's ark - art by Nancy Lemon ©2015

Click on the image to enlarge the view

Uh oh, unicorns, what did you do?  Will you miss curfew?  We are continuing on with the story of Noah and God’s lost unicorns.  It is getting stormy for Driggs and Bridger.  What will happen?  Stay tuned for more…

Tally Ho

Le Grand Portefeuille

I have been drawing a lot of horsey scenes lately…horseback riding has been out of the picture for me for the last couple of years, due to growing a family, but one day I will get back to riding. And if not, I can still draw them. Or anything. 😀

Free worldwide shipping through tomorrow at my new print shop.