Topic: The Sketchbook Project

sketchbook stories :: kathy weller

Kathy, is a wonderful whimsical artist that has a soft spot for animals and pets of all kinds. Her sweet illustrations reflect her positive outlook and her ‘look on the bright-side of things’ attitude towards life. Kathy recently wrote a post on her blog titled The Realities of an Art Licensing Newbie and I think she has some really great insight that we can all learn from. One of the things that Kathy said that really spoke to me was “I just had to keep my head on, refocus myself and revise my plan a little. Just keep on plowing through. Keep working, keep submitting, keep trying. No quitting allowed.” This is good advise for anyone pursuing a dream not just an newbie trying to breaking into art licensing.

Here is Kathy’s Sketchbook Story ::

KW: My inspiration for this piece was two-fold. First, I am taking part in The Sketchbook Project, and the sketchbook theme I picked is “It’s raining dogs and cats”. Second, I have a long history with dog and cat art—I have always loved drawing them. For five years, I even ran a busy custom pet portrait business. So nowadays, it’s practically a given that I feature pets in many of my art licensing collections. And though I had no specific visual reference for this sketch, I was initially inspired by the idea of creating a decorative pattern with the theme of cats and dogs—something that could potentially be a part of an art licensing collection.


KW: I enjoyed the fun energy and whimsy of this initial drawing, and I thought it exuded commercial appeal. So I decided to develop the image into a finished piece of art. If the final ended up strong, it could be the beginning of something good…

KW: I scanned the sketch in and brought it into Photoshop. The initial 8.5″x11″ sketch was not as large as the 12″x12″ piece I was going to craft from it, but I usually redraw everything digitally anyway, using a sketch as a guideline. The line will be clean, fresh and work seamlessly with the digital painting, but it will still maintain it’s quirky original line. I decided to try something I have not done in a long time: I drew and painted this piece start-to-finish in Photoshop. The reason why is because I’d just upgraded to CS5 right before I started this piece. The new Photoshop has some painting tools that are a bit similar to Corel Painter, and I was excited about the possibilities— excited enough to take my chances.


KW: I decided to paint the clouds without an outline, after initially planning to do them with an outline/ line-work detail as I usually do. I liked the collagey feel of the fluffy, painterly clouds living in the same world as the little line-painted cats and dogs. It felt fresh, so I went with it. During the cloud painting process, I used a temporary green background for good contrast.


KW: The finished piece! I am liking this new Photoshop painting method… and, this piece has indeed become a part a new collection. Success!


And here’s where you can find Kathy:




    twitter: @wellerwishes


if you are an artist, art director, designer or would like to recommend someone to be featured in Sketchbook Stories please feel free to drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you :-)

My Sketchbook has Finally Arrived!!

Yeah, my sketchbook has arrived!! Now I have the daunting task of actually filling all the pages around my theme, “A day in the life” by Jan 15th. The possibilities are endless the only rule is that it needs to stay the same dimension when closed shut.  It’s all a bit overwhelming. I think I’m going to start in the middle and work my way out that way I avoid the”first page” stage fright.

I’m In: The Sketchbook Project

I been seeing people posting about the sketchbook projects for weeks now. It sounds like a really cool project and I’ve visited their site on several occasions and even added it to my shopping cart a few time but never followed thru, well that is until yesterday.  After seeing it for the umteenth time I decided to just do it rather then keep tourchering myself with weighting the pros and cons. I’ve been milling around with the idea for so long that it just became easier to commit and  stop worrying about if I have enough time to do it, and if I was going to be left out of something BIG that I would regret not doing later. So I’m in, I’m doing it! My sketchbook is paid for and is in route right now!!