Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Illustration Friday - "Tales & Legends"

© Kathleen Rietz
I am working on this preliminary sketch this week for a new piece that I hope will make it into my portfolio. I am open to suggestions about what you think it "needs". It is in the very preliminary stages. I really want my illustrations to tell a story. Not just be pretty pictures.
Last Friday I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down at a local Starbuck's with children's book illustrator Kristi Valiant, who stopped through town on her way to see family. I had such a nice time with her, and I also learned so much from talking "shop" with her and leafing through our portfolios together. I am hoping that we will catch up with each other again in the not-too-distant future. It was so great to see such an established illustrator with over 20 books to her name! Bonus: she is a very nice person! Thanks Kristi!
Then on Sunday Kathy Weller and I talked on the phone until our ears pretty much turned into soft cauliflower. : ) I have always been such a BIG fan of Kathy's. Funny to find out she is also a big fan of my work. We seem to have similar personalities and I get the feeling we would be a dangerous pair if we lived anywhere within 50 miles of each other! You know you are a dangerous combo when you have talked so long that your phone's battery dies and you have to switch to your cell phone. heehee... Thanks Kathy! You crack me up.
I also want to thank Alicia Padron for our valuable email exchanges about illustration, promotion, and just plain "life".
I am realizing how blessed I am to have "met" so many terrific artists while blogging (some virtually and some in real life!). Rubbing elbows with you all is what makes my day, every day. I have learned so much from your comments about my work. I do not take for granted anyone who stops by to have a look. I always hope you like what you see and will that you return again and again.
O-O-O-Oh!!! By the way, I am going to try to put together a new blog showcasing my art students' work. I hope to work on it this weekend. Stay tuned. I will announce the blog once I have it up and running.

43 comments:

  1. she looks beautiful...I love how the fishes are swimming through her hair.....looking forward to seeing the finished product :)

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  2. I don't think it needs anything! I know that's not very helpful, but it's honest. A very pretty illo!

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  3. It is a very sweet picture, but I am glad it will be part of something more. That's half the fun of illustration, of course. I'm still working at tying my pictures to stories or functions.

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  4. Hi Kathleen:
    I think the drawing is great. Being a big fan of irony I would have a book in her lap about the myth of humans.

    Jim B
    A.K.A Artboy

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  5. Oh Kate, this is charming and delightful...even in black and white! I love the details like her shell-like pockets billowing in the water, her starfish bracelet and the placement of all her starfish friends as if they're in the night sky and not in the ocean. Her face is pure sweetness! This will make a drop-dead portfolio piece! She seems quite content to be around her underwater pals. I don't think this illo needs a thing!

    How lucky for you ladies to be able to get together and inspire one another, either in person or by phone. Like you, I'm so inspired and encouraged by so many friends here. Isn't it wonderful?!

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  6. I think you know I love your arts. This sketch is other brilliant work from you! With best regars - V.

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  7. I adore your work, and your mermaid is oh so sweet!! I can see her in a good book, or even used in an animation. Your work always inspires me. I am sitting here trying to make myself work and reading your post helped me tremendously. Just out of curiosity, what are your favorite pencils, pens, and paper you like to use. I know goofy question!!

    Thanks Kathleen!!

    Teresa
    xo

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  8. I want to see finished. Also Nice Week!!!

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  9. Hi Kathleen....

    what a wonderful sketch....I was pleasantly surprised on my daily visit here...oh lucky you....I hope to one day meet up with you at Starbucks to talk shop and learn....

    how did you manage to hook up with her? and you also talked to Kathy ...how wonderful to hear that you have a special network of great illustrators....

    I need so much help with promotion and the biz....

    Hope you have a wonderful day and thanks for the great read....

    Cheers,
    Diana

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  10. oh and I forgot to mention how neat it is to feature a special blog for your students...you are truly an inspiration...and I am glad to say I know you...in cyberspace anyways...

    Cheers,
    Diana

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  11. This is great, it's beautifully drawn and I like the movement of the fish around her.

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  12. Beautiful piece, Kate, as usual. The details you've added leave plenty of room for the imagination.

    It's good to hear about your network of friends and your successes. Thanks to the Internet, we can connect with like-minded people on a global basis. I'm glad to have found your work.

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  13. Really lovely piece! I find a strong back ground element adds to a sense of narrative. I'm having a similar experience, being able to talk to illustrators all over the world.

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  14. Ohhhhhhh that beautiful!
    I was waiting for your post ... and the expectation was rewarded
    ciao :o)

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  15. Ohhhhhhh that beautiful!
    I was waiting for your post ... and the expectation was rewarded !!

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  16. Your mermaid is just precious! I love the way you incorporated the pretty fan tail and the side fins that could also be seen as pockets.Kids would absolutely love this, especially with all the little added details.

    This image made me think back of when my daughter was in grade school(she's 21 now...yikes) and she had a fan-tailed gold fish named Marina. She loved that fish so much. We actually buried her in the garden with a little cross which stood there for many years.

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  17. Wow - this is a beautiful sketch!

    I just awarded you the 'You Make My Day' award. I find your blog very inspiring and definitely think you deserve this award! Check out my blog for the details :o)

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  18. She's amazingly cute! Your composition and line are so lyrical. I like it as is, so I'd love to see the finished piece if you were to update us.

    I know what you mean about meeting so many wonderful artistic people, (virtually though it may be for myself.) It's so enriching. How cool that you got the chance to meet those gals in person and on the phone!

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  19. So sweet. It will make a great portfolio piece. Can't wait to see the final.

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  20. Great drawing Kathy! Her face is so cute and I really like the fish too! It's a great composition.

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  21. Thanks for saying that Kate! It's great for me too to be able to share thoughts about illustrating and life with you :o)

    I love this Illo. It has many things going for it. She is adorable.. (I love the little line-dots you make around the eyes sometimes- like on the halloween piece).

    There is a lot of action around her and I'm sure with your soft layers of acrylic she is going to look so beautiful. Are you planning on doing acrylic or digital?

    I'm dying to see how it will look once is finished!

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  22. Beautiful... nothing needed! A little color and ta-dah!!!
    How lucky to meet with like minded artists. In this business we spend a lot of time alone with our pencils and paintbrushes.

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  23. Hi Kathleen, this looks great. You've captured very well the movement of being underwater, and I love the fish fins!

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  24. Oh my, that is so lovely! The sense of movement is really nice; it keeps it from being just a pretty scene to being much more dramatic. I really like the way she's interacting with the fish above. Wonderful piece.

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  25. Hi Kathleen...

    I loved the idea of the Starbucks Latte and rice krispie square so I had to drwa it right away...

    It is waiting for you on my blog...
    thanks for the request...I enjoyed it!!! and I am off for a latte right now...hehehe

    Cheers,
    Diana

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  26. This little mermaid is a real cutie pie. I love the detail and design you've put into it. The fish swimming in the swirls of her hair is a nice touch, very dream like. I know a lot of people are anxious to see the color but I also appreciate the softness of the pencils and the looseness of the drawing as well. One addition that might be fun might be some sort of necklace that could be comprised of starfish and seaweed. Little girls love the bling, including the aquatic kind. I think your students would love the blog and I know others will as well. You've got such a wonderful style. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. aaaaww! i think she's so spot on, kathy! maybe all she needs is your amazing sense of color and light and she'll make a terrific portfolio piece. :)

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  28. Oh another gorgeous piece and a perfect accompaniment to your portfolio!

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  29. Ooops I meant to say gouache not acrylic.
    Either way, it is going to be so beautiful I'm sure :o)

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  30. What a little cutie! What happens when she gets hungry for fish?

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  31. Very nice work, and I enjoyed hearing about your fun life too. The shapes all seem to have a wonderful snyergy.

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  32. lovely happy piece, I love the way you have the fish above her tickling her fingers, they're like the equivalent of little birds.

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  33. Congratulations, this illustration is beautiful, as well as your artblog. What a nice discovery I made today !

    Best wishes from a Belgian painter.

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  34. That's great Kate! It looks great overall... much more cheery than my dark scene!

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  35. Lovely illustration! Nice blog, too!
    will be back!

    www.indigeneartforms.blogspot.com

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  36. This is so lovely! I can't wait to see it in color - although your sketch definitely stands beautifully on it's own. Perhaps you could make the pearl glow - like it knows something :)
    How wonderful to meet such fabulous other illustrators - I'm still trying to make some connections here!

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  37. kate, I love the sketch. your line is so sure. wonderful work. I am going to have a second look to check out all of the details.

    Yes, Kate, I really do love your work, as you know (fawn, fawn)...! I find I am regularly surprised by things you do. Can't really give you a specific example or put my finger on it for you - I will just see something new that you will post, and it will show a new side of your talents and skills that I hadn't seen before! You have a LOT of wonderful facets to your creative talents.

    Ok. Enough already - I will take my gushing offline now :) going back to the sweet mermaid now...

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  38. Hi Kathleen...

    just popping by to say hello !!!!

    Hope you're having a wonderful week...

    Cheers,
    Diana

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  39. A beautiful and sensitive sketch, Kate. I always enjoy looking at your work.

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  40. I love Mermaid stuff and this one is so darned cute!!

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  41. Your little mermaid is darling! What a sweet face! SWEET, SWEET, SWEET!!!! The entire picture is perfect.

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  42. kathleen! your mermaid and the spot illio to match are ADORABLE! awesome work, dahling!

    teri

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