Dec 30, 2008

clandestine WIP

This word is complicated in my opinion...but eh, I'll work with it. :)
Here's the inking of my piece for illustration friday. I know...with two critique groups online and lots of work to be done off of the computer, my personal blogs are suffering. Poor things.

Dec 27, 2008

Online Critique Group

I finally followed my heart, once again, to start a critique group. I'm anxious to see where it goes...who will desire to be a part of it, etc. There are a lot of openings so if you're an illustrator who at the end of reading the intro to the group feel you fit, gimme a hoot. :) You can visit the group at

Christmas has finally left, yet the ice and snow are still here. I loved my Christmas this year, lots of laughs, lots of great quality time with family. It's a HUGE blessing that Brian and I have families that enjoy our company. Makes for a wonderful time. And of course, Brian gave such beautiful gifts! :) Very blessed this year. What a way to end it, and I'm looking forward to the next.

I hope to get back to work this upcoming week. Update the site, start painting again, get my head on straight. :P The critique group is a start.

So here's to you, hoping you had a great Christmas and that all was blessed and safe. More stuff coming soon!!! I'll keep ya in touch. ;)

God bless.

Dec 17, 2008

Finally...some updating!

So I thought I should update my blog and let you all know what I've been up to lately. It's been kinda quiet on the "business" front....for obvious reasons. Christmas. Yup, all summed up in one word. A great word of course, and I'm taking my gift giving pretty seriously this year. Making a lot of hand made gifts and painting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get it all done. Tonight is gonna be a late night for sure!

Theres that, and spiritually I've had to do some work. A lot more quiet, praying, and journaling time. Lots of conversations with Brian...which I love! I love how we can sit down and talk about the rough stuff, the hard times, and be on the same level. Both calm, understanding, and listening. Though I know I have to work more on listening than talking, since I tend to do that....A LOT. I'm a babbling brook (a phrase by Dr. Gary Chapman).

Also Brian's car got wrecked by a drunk driver early (very early) Sunday morning. Thankfully not a single person was hurt, and Brian and I were inside my apartment. The car was totaled so Brian has been working with the insurance company and friends to find a new car. We've been praying faithfully and God has so generously blessed this whole ordeal. It has been smooth and better than expected. :) So thank God!

This year I also did something different for Christmas. I usually print and make my own Christmas cards to mail out, but since I don't have a printer any more, and the printer I do have is out of ink, I decided to make (sounds kind of cheesy) eCards...well...kind of. So here is my Christmas illustration for this year. Enjoy! And I hope everyone has a fantastic, full of love, full of blessing, full of hope Christmas! Be inspired by Christ. :)

Dec 16, 2008


Just a cute lil' guy enjoying the night of peace. With a few friends of course. :)

Dec 2, 2008

In the Storm

Loved my IF illustration so much I had to do another one...

Every story has a conflict, and in this one she enters a windy storm. Felt I could use the practice of one, drawing the same characters over again, and two, showing distress.

IF - Balloon

"Balloon Ride"

Let your dreams carry you away...

Nov 25, 2008

IF - Opinion

Something is complexing when a raccoon critique's a mouse's cooking. Eh, he's got it in the bag...{italian cheddar} is gonna be a five starer! ;)

Nov 20, 2008

IF - Pretend

It's always fun to pretend!

The Amazing Day!

Yesterday was one of the best days I've had in a very very long time, and one of the best birthdays too. Yes, yesterday I turned 27, and once again saw Brian's dashingly charming side. So here's the break down...because if I didn't break it down this would be a very long post.

8ish in the morning I'm still in bed, Brian calls me and wakes me up asking if my present had show up at the door yet. All groggy I get up, walk to the front door, open it, and I hear someone coming up the stairs. There's Brain with flowers and lots of groceries. He made me breakfast (which just to let you know, I do all the cooking in our relationship).

Present #1 & #2 (no picture because I'm not willing to show myself in pjs half awake. :P)

After we ate I got ready for the day and he hand another we got into the car and we drove to Jordan Creek Mall. I still didn't know what we were doing. So we get into the mall and we walk up to Build A Bear workshop. I got to choose any animal and any clothes/accessories, and we both made one. Even tho the elephant and bunny were adorable I picked a very soft teddy bear. Brian picked a spotted eye dog. It was a blast! Never done it and now I can say I have. Most definitely will do it again!

Present #3 (dog = "Vincent"; bear = "Lily")

So once we got home, made some lunch, went back to the mall (I wanted to buy myself a scarf), then came home to take a nap, and off to work. Once I got to work there was something new waiting for me. Brian bought me more flowers! I was floored and just didn't know what to say. Very blessed.

Present #4

After work, and after I had my parents pick up the new set of flowers (afraid to drive with them...there were balloons attached), we all met up at my dad's (mom, dad, Brian, and I) and went out to dinner. We went to Ohana's Steakhouse which is a higher end restaurant, fab food, and the chefs entertain you as they make your dinner. Brian and I had been there before in our pasts, but my parents hadn't been. It was very entertaining. :D

Present #5

Oh and did I mention my mom gave me cell phone minutes till March '09? Yeah, I have a pay as you go phone...and lost my service after I couldn't afford 30 bucks a few months ago. So that was Present #6!

When all was said and done, got home, made some coffee, and vegged on the tv watching David Letterman...I didn't want the day to end, but every day comes to an end. I am so grateful for what I have, the people in my life, and times I have with them. Awesome birthday! :D

Nov 17, 2008

Holy Raccoons Batman!

For my new commissioned piece (yay!) I am including several animals I don't have much practice in. These include deer, squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons. So I went onto google and started to find and download images for reference. First I did the squirrels...not too shabby. Did you know there are black squirrels that look like lil' rabbits!? Weird..but so cool!

Then I researched deer. Ugh...nothing made me more depressed. I adore animals, ask anyone, and I wouldn't harm an ant! Going through those images, so many trophy images of guys, with their guns, and with a big buck being held up. Or try this one, six deer hanging upside down with a few buddies standing next to them with the biggest smiles. When it comes to hunting live bait (and even with fish it still bugs me), I say the line is drawn when you don't commit to using every last hair of that animal. Why kill it just for the fun of it? I could totally go into a rant right now. Lets just say, I got what I needed and then stopped, I couldn't take much more of it.

Finally I searched for raccoons. Ya know, they get the short stick. I find raccoons adorable, funny as all can be to watch, and clever. Yes, they carry parasites...most animals do, yes they get into garbage...seal it up, yes they get into your house...fix your wall, see where I'm goin? Actually people have them as pets and say they are like a mix between a cat and a monkey. :) The only complaint is they are full of mischief. BUT....they calm down over the years. So I fully enjoyed drawing the raccoons...I know I'll do more. :D

Rickie's Bad Day

So tonight was Ardent, a gathering here in Des Moines....annnnd....aside from one friend who showed up around one else showed. But I was prepared for that, so I took along some printed photos of deer and raccoons. I drew a page of raccoons and discovered I adore drawing them. They're actually pretty easy to do.

See the page in my sketch blog saradoodles

And out of those sketches came Rickie. Rickie is of Grumpy from the CareBears. Thats Rickie. It's hard for him to have a good day. And here...he's just shoveled, only to finish to a new downfall of snow. Poor Rickie.

Digitally colored.

Nov 14, 2008

Pretend sketches

The word of the week over at is "Pretend". I'm getting started right away! I don't have much action/kid pieces in my portfolio and thought this would be the perfect opportunity. So here are the three siblings...haven't figured out a place yet. Plan on cutting them out and arranging them on a background. I'm thinking a home made fort...I remember doing that all the time when I was little with my sister. :)

Ye Ol' Wise

Well...the concept is expected and the drawing is floating, but here's a sketch I did with my kids for "Wise". They wanted an old man, in a rocking chair, and a turtle. Don't ask, cause I don't know.

IF - Wise

I'm late! I'm late! But at least I got it done....last night even. ;P

Little Red Riding Hood was very wise to follow her instincts about the big bad wolf.

Nov 13, 2008

And the winner is...

Both Thumbelina and Picnic with Monet!!!!!! Yeah!!!

Yet, if you go look at the voting poll...that's not entirely true. To this day Thumbelina is the winner...but on the SCBWI forums it was expressed that Picnic with Monet was a strong piece. I'm not going to ignore professional commentaries. So I went with both. They were sent to the printer today (with a bleed of course...these are cut down to the size they should be in the end).

The front full color with Thumbelina dancin' away, and the back a more calm environment, having tea and biscuits in black and white.

Nov 11, 2008


This commission was so darling to work on. Very simple, small, but with such meaning. My neighbor commissioned me to create this wee piece for her boss (who's more than that, a very close friend). Her boss will be leaving soon, out of state, for good and thats kind of hitting my neighbor emotionally. Yet, this woman got my neighbor through the hardest part of life, loosing her mom. The point of the bumblebee is that old saying that it shouldn't's wings are far too small for such a large insect...but it doesn't know that and believes it can fly...therefore it does.

This piece is 7x5 and will be matted in black to 10x8. Research sketches can be found on my sketch blog here.


saradoodles has been updated with 3 new sketches.

Running to Catch Up!

Okie, trust me, I've been sketching...just not posting. :P

I continue to practice my toddlers...drawing this one from imagination, keeping in mind that toddlers are only 3 1/2 heads small. A typical adult is 7 heads tall. Yet...even though they are extremely different in proportions I greatly enjoy drawing them. Even had to stick one of my mice in there. I don't know why I'm so obsessed with these mice. Kinda weird...
Then there's the Blanket King. When Brian was asleep I went over to pet Madie and noticed it looked like he was walking with the blanket's going in the opposite direction. I got this idea and just had to put it down on paper.

I have recently received a small commission to paint a bumblebee with the word Believe...and thought after the first sketch I should really research bumblebees. I knew I liked these guys for a reason. They are, out of the family of buzzers, the most timid and kind. Very easy to get that feeling across in my opinion.

Nov 7, 2008

Paintings on Sale!

In this economy we're all hurting, you, me, everyone. So I have made the decision to lower the prices on my originals for this holiday season. Prices will go back up January 1st. All paintings are at the least $100 off. Prices for my sepia Fairy Blessings have been cut as well. Only $40 a piece on them all out!!! :)

Go See!!! >>>>

Which Design?!

I need help figuring out which postcard I should mail out...will you give me your opinion?

One Afternoon


Picnic with Monet

Little Girls

Yesterday it came to mind that I should be practicing the body structure and language of children under 10 years of age. I didn't get far (had to go to work) but here are a couple that came out.

One Afternoon

Finally finished the merger piece I've been working on for the last week or two. Trying to blend my whimsical and elegant styles. Feedback and thoughts much appreciated for I was I hoping to use this for my postcard image. But not sure if it's strong enough. :)

Princess Sophia's necklace

This morning I give praises to my mom. She's been braggin' about the book and sending me all of the responses. Major affirmations this morning. But when I sent her to (the author's site), she found something new, something I didn't know existed, and something I'm very excited to share!!

In the book Princess Sophia's Gifts , Princess Sophia receives a sapphire necklace from the wise woman Athena. This is a replica of this necklace. It's only $10!

Proceeds from the sale of this necklace will fund books and donations to youth experiencing similar losses and disability.

Purchase Necklace

Nov 6, 2008

I am loved!

Thank you Candace Trew Camling for your lovely gift! :D

Rules of the Award:
1. Must display award.
2. Must link back to the person who gave it.
3. Choose 7 other bloggers to pass the bloggity love onto.
4. Let them know they have been chosen.

Here are my choices:
1. Meredith Dillman
2. Holly Durr
3. Dani Jones
4. Kristi Valiant
5. Anthony VanArsdale
6. Jennifer Meyer
7. Jennifer Nilsson

Also saradoodles has been updated.

"One Afternoon" - In Progress

Okie, having' issues here. I find myself getting very strict in my mind when it comes to pieces like this. I have added such an expectation on it that I dug myself into a ditch. for me. It naturally flows and I don't get so frustrated with it...yet in this piece I'm just "blah". Don't know if these colors are working. Of course, in watercolor, you never know what the true color is going to be until you're near finished...because it's watercolor (layers). Yet usually by now I have a good sense as to what those colors will be. Not right now.

So I'm putting the piece out there (here and on forums...check out Amateur Illustrator...awesome site! Not just for amateurs either) to see if there is any feedback I can grab about the colors. The other part I know I struggle with is making things feel like they're going back in space in watercolor.

I want to use this for my first mail out postcards...but wondering if I'm making the piece way too tight.

Nov 5, 2008

Taking Flight

November 3rd

So Monday was Ardent, our art gathering here in Des Moines and it actually wasn't too bad of a night! Brian and Jacob were there of course, but my dad stopped in, two friends/coworkers from the Art Center, and then two other guys who happened to be meeting others decided to step on it during our first critique. Yeah! We had an actual critique! Way stoked about it too. I keep praying that this will continue.

Last Ardent I was trying to figure out a look for the White Rabbit in one of my illustrations (which has been casted aside since), and so we sketched in our books white rabbits. This time around somehow we got on the top of Brian being a ladybug. I think dad brought it up, but can't quite remember. So here was my version(s). And right next to it is another ink drawing for the word "vacant". IF's word of the week. Something different that my usual work. ;P

November 4th

Once again, while sitting in my cartooning students working hard on their project..I was asked what my assignment was this week. They were referring to my Illustration Friday word of the week. I told them, alas, I had already done the assignment. So one of my students said "I'll give you an assignment!" The assignment, once all said and done, was someone quizzical and flying. Then the bird was's Gus the gooseflyer. Also attempted to paint him with watercolor in my sketchbook which is not meant for watercolor. :)

And while the tv was on, crowds cheering, individuals crying, political analysts praising, and Obama takes the next presidency as the 44th President of the United States of America...I drew this. Wanting to mix culture and show emotion, this is what came up. I am so happy to know that I have lived to see something so historical and life changing for our country. You grow up hearing about historical people and events but find your life so ordinary in comparison. Not today. I'm 27 this month, and am SO looking forward to seeing what happens in my life because of his election. I think no matter what happens, the United States will forever be changed. Good job Americans! I hope and pray that we as a people grow stronger and wake up to what needs to be done. Love and rely on eachother, love and support your neighbor.

Nov 1, 2008 la la

Yes, I love change...have you noticed? I've always like the scribe template, but never used it because a lot of people out there like it too. Which is great, but too similar for me. But now I have a tiny bit of css knowledge (just after working with this blog a few times) and have been able to change the scribe template to my likings. I think it now connects with my website and feels fresher.

The motivation behind the move besides my likes of the scribe? My new sketch blog "saradoodles". I have been inspired by quite a few to get my butt into gear with sketching. I mean...I want to make a living off of my why am I not sketching every day? But this blog feels overwhelmed already to me. I have posted sketches, but I rather this be for IF, projects, and personal life. The sketch blog will be more about thought process, and my day to day life as an illustrator (I think).

Anyways, take a go see, and bookmark it. Should be fun. There's a link to the left under "sara's world..." for saradoodles too. :)

Sketching daily?

So the other day I was surfin' the web (a habit I'm beginning...thank you Brian for the inspiration! hehe), and have discovered how useful the web can be at times. I've never been a BIG blog person...I have a hard enough time remembering what day it is let alone keeping up a blog. Yet in that day of surfing I came across some great rants and ramblings on other illustrators' blogs.

I don't know about you, but I miss the community I had while in college. All of us together, illustrators, animators, comic artists, graphic designers. My close group consists of all of these talents and the critiques/small talks where awesome. Now, its just Madie. But she just wants to be petted. I get fantastic affirmations from Brian, and some small talk about art here and there, but nothing compared to what I had in school. Brian, me, and a few other friends have been trying to create a group of fellow artists here in the community, but it's small growing.

My point is, surfing on the web has kind of filled that gap, a little. Reading other illustrators journeys, their process, etc. Sooo I found this blog and this post titled "Just Draw!". It really hit me. Also recently my friend Candance has inspired me to keep sketching. This blog post about drawing every day just ran it home for me. Even when I want to paint, if I haven't sketched, then I'm not ready to paint. I have also found this helpful in just creative thinking. I instruct my students to free draw every class period, yet don't do the same for me. It's about time, thus...this blog.

Warrior Princess' Dream already has enough going on, kinda feel overloaded (considered making a blog for just IF but decided not to). So here's a wee page filled with fun and probably sometimes odd sketches. Just doodles. :)

So here is what I doodled today...

Oct 31, 2008

IF - Vacant

Who stole the cookies out of the cookie jar?! Awww....the cookie jar is vacant now! Poor guy.

Oct 30, 2008

IF - Repair

Love, God, and time together is what repairs a broken family. And...well...winter always seems to help too. ;)

Oct 29, 2008

Cinderellie! Cinderellie!

Sooooooo I've started a new project. A wee one trying to merge my whimsical with my more classic elegant style. Ya know, dazzling beauties with cute and lovable animals? Well...remember the mice on a string? Hehe...I haven't been able to leave them be. First there is Lou...

Then there is Mark...

And now there's this....who knew they were part of Cinderella's household! Too bad Paulie is always missin''s either eating or sleeping. He's so oblivious to the commotion around him.

Oct 25, 2008

Fairy Blessings go Live!

It's official, the Fairy Blessings have gone live on my site and on There are a total of 6. I plan on making more of these wee fairies, they are a blast to create! They're only about 4x6 inches in size, most painted in sepia watercolor. My favorite is the "Hope" and "Blessing" ones in sepia (I made it confusing because I've done two "Hope" in color and one in sepia.) Interested in knowing more? Visit their page! Or visit their shoppe page to purchase one.

Can you imagine how this Christmas season is going to be?! With the economy so screwy (here in the US of course). Department stores like Home Depot already have their holiday set ups displayed and totally scratched Halloween and Thanksgiving. Of course, I don't think thats to bad of an idea...although it's kinda weird. It gives us, the consumer, more time to spread out and budget our money. By the way...what's budgeting? /:|

So this made me rethink how I'm going to run my business this season. The Fairy Blessings are a part of it. They're small, already matted to 8x10 with black, and $75 for the sepia...$100 for the color.

Also I've made original paintings affordable by offering Lay Away. Lay Away is just that, layaway for the painting. Allowing the consumer 90 days to pay with three payments. I don't know about you, but money has been unbelievably tight this last month. At least gas has gone down. I live in Des Moines Iowa and it's down to $2.15. Too bad the rumors say we won't be getting below $2 for the rest of my lifetime. :( But even with gas going down, groceries have continued to go up. Yet, with all the money issues...I can say for having so little I have so much in life. Which is why I want to be able to share my work, to share that perspective with others, and make it easier to hold that emotion/feeling/affirmation in their hands. If you would like more details please visit my Lay Away policies page.

Commission requests for sizes 4x6 and 5x7 have also dropped in price. A 4x6 until December 5th is only $75, and a 5x7 until December 5th is only $100 ($75 off original price!).

Yet, as an artist, this year I think I'm going to have to find my own way of giving presents without artwork. My closest friends and family all have artwork...hum....gonna have to get creative. ;) Ideas anyone?

On a personal note my sister, Lexee, just got engaged!! Her beau, Jacob, has been a family friend for almost 20 years. I am SO happy to see her and Jake take this step in their relationship and thrilled to get started on helping her plan the wedding. Hehe...pull out the design tools. ;) So exciting!!! So many blessings their way. :)

Oct 16, 2008

Yay for Fun!

Well, if you follow my newsletter and me then you know of Brian, my best friend and incredible boyfriend. Today he surprised me with the greatest gift including attention, affirmation, character, and affection. I just have to share because for me, this is so special I don't even know how I'm comprehending it!

Now, to you, it may not seem as big as it does to me. But today when I got home from work there was a note on my door. He had driven down from where he lives (an hour away) and set up a treasure hunt in my apartment. There were 35 clues numbered 1-35. Each clue led to the next through bible verses. He found verses that linked to my apartment through key words. Also, in each clue, was a puzzle piece. Once I found all of the clues (and the special bag of chocolate covered almonds), I put the puzzle together which had the final clue on the back. When I got the box (the treasure) and opened it, there was the camera I had been wanting since I practically met him! So below, for your enjoyment, is a picture I took with the camera and a close up of the pretty thing. I have named her Rose. :D

And keeping in the spirit of love, here is my latest piece...a request by my friend Candace...a fairy of blessing with a squirrel.

Oct 15, 2008

IF - Strings

"Strings of Mice"

This was extra special because the students in my Tuesday night class helped me along with it. They're a cartooning class and really got into how this illustration should turn out. So I don't get 100% for this. The chef hat was one of their ideas...and I wasn't going to do the balloons but they wanted the balloons. Also it was their idea for the primary colors in the balloons and complementary colors for the outfits. Wait, I take that back, they wanted them to be secondary colors. Oh well...

Played a lot more with textures in this one. Let me know if I went over board. :P