What is an #alloneline drawing?

I took an excellent online course with Von Glitschka awhile back, called the 21 Day Drawing Challenge. One of the prompts is to draw an image without lifting the pen. Just one intuitive, free-flowing line. It has been such a fun activity for me, and it really captures the something-from-nothing feeling that I can get when I create. If you ever feel stuck or concerned about perfection, I encourage you to try it.

Some of my recent all-one-line drawings are below. To see posts of other artist's #alloneline drawings, search the hashtag on Instagram. Cool stuff.

All-one-line drawing of a girl saying grace (image referenced from the Internet Archives), ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of a girl saying grace (image referenced from the Internet Archives), ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of a woman with headpiece, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of a woman with headpiece, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of ladies having coffee, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

All-one-line drawing of ladies having coffee, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Thanksgiving and our ornament-painting tradition

Just about every Thanksgiving holiday since my son came along, my parents will drive from Illinois to New York to stay with us for the week. Aside from a daily walk that I take with my dad and some dinners out here and there, we tend to keep plans minimal. However, one plan we have made so frequently that it has now become a Thanksgiving tradition, is to stop at the local pottery place to paint ornaments for each other. It surprises me every year how enjoyable and calm it is to paint with my parents, and the pay off of memory and gift is huge.

Painted ornaments by my parents, my son and me. Thanksgiving 2017

Painted ornaments by my parents, my son and me. Thanksgiving 2017

My parents painting away. Thanksgiving, 2017.

My parents painting away. Thanksgiving, 2017.

 

 

Thanksgiving, family and a free coloring page

My parents drove in from Illinois this Thanksgiving holiday, and we spent an unusual amount of time drawing and coloring. My son has gotten really into what he calls "flare cards" — kind of like monster cards with different strength qualities — and we all pitched in to make about 50 or 60 over their visit. I also made copies of some of my line drawings, like the cups below, and we added color, designs, and my dad even made his into a family tree.

If you'd like to have a copy of my cups drawing for your own family activities, you can find a free, hi-res version here. I'd love to see what you create, so please don't hesitate to email me at kendra.shedenhelm (at) gmail.com or tag me on Instagram. I hope you enjoy it!

Cups drawing, free download available here

Cups drawing, free download available here

My son added various designs, while my dad made them into a family tree (pets included!)

My son added various designs, while my dad made them into a family tree (pets included!)

An example of Flare Cards. Just need blank index cards and an imagination for monster-creating.

An example of Flare Cards. Just need blank index cards and an imagination for monster-creating.

What's been happening this year: Update 5 of 6

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to get my copy of Cricket magazine. I loved every single illustration, and I wondered about the artists who were so lucky to have their work in there. I wanted to know these artists and I hoped to be one some day.

So... a few months ago I was hired to illustrate for Cricket Magazine! Huge! I cried when I read the request. I cried and then I called my mom.

Here is my watercolor of a basset hound for the Nov/Dec issue...

My basset hound illustration in Cricket magazine!

My basset hound illustration in Cricket magazine!

What's been happening this year: Update 4 of 6

Update #4: The Historical Heroines coloring book!

This was hands down one of the coolest projects I've ever been a part of. I couldn't be more grateful to have been chosen as the illustrator.

Crowd-funded and quickly labeled as a "Project We Love" on Kickstarter, this coloring book was conceived by the brilliant, eco-conscious and science-minded author Elizabeth Lorayne.

As explained from her site, "The Historical Heroines Coloring Book: Pioneering Women in Science from the 18th and 19th Centuries was born out of a desire to inspire and empower children, teens, and adults with coloring pages celebrating 31 women in science who followed their passions and let their brilliance and hard work speak for themselves — making significant impacts in our world."

For several months, I was fortunate to spend my days researching, drawing and painting these various STEM heroines. I read their histories, their personal letters, their eulogies. Because of this project, I now study bugs as they crawl by, I pay attention to the leaves and their growth patterns on my walks, and I look at the sky with much more curiosity. Elizabeth's desire to inspire worked!

I'll update my blog soon with some excerpts of the completed book, but here are a few of the sketches I made along the way...

 

Portrait of Mary Somerville, pencil, , ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait of Mary Somerville, pencil, , ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait of Alice Ball, pencil, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait of Alice Ball, pencil, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait study of a young Beatrix Potter, watercolor, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Portrait study of a young Beatrix Potter, watercolor, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

What's been happening this year: Update 3 of 6

Coloring pages!

Although I'd drawn a few free coloring pages here and there (and here!), it wasn't until last fall that I was hired to create them.

This first job was for friend and colleague Elizabeth Lorayne, author of the Piratess Tilly series, who asked for colorable elements for a local kids' event (it turned out to be a warm up for a later project).

A couple of previews below...

Drawing of a chimney swift, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Drawing of a chimney swift, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Drawing of a bird's wing, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Drawing of a bird's wing, ink pen, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

What's been happening this year: Update 2 of 6

I started licensing my work! So stoked!

Last fall, after an extremely helpful call with Giuseppe Castellano of The Illustration Department, I decided to revisit the resources in SCBWI's "The Book." I focused on a small group of art directors and agents that I'd like to work with, and I sent out emails to all of them. I am now fortunate to be represented by Lori Nowicki and Liz Wain of Painted Words licensing, and I couldn't be more grateful.

Watercolor of a scarlet ibis. One of the images picked up by GreenBox Art + Culture for 2018, watercolor and pencils, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Watercolor of a scarlet ibis. One of the images picked up by GreenBox Art + Culture for 2018, watercolor and pencils, Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm

Debut of my licensed watercolors with GreenBox Art + Culture for 2017 (image posted on Instagram by my agent, Liz Wain of Wain's World and Painted Words Licensing

Debut of my licensed watercolors with GreenBox Art + Culture for 2017 (image posted on Instagram by my agent, Liz Wain of Wain's World and Painted Words Licensing

What's been happening this year: Update 1 of 6

Hello again!
I cannot believe it's been over a year since my last post! This will be the first of a series of short updates of what I've been working on the past 13 months....

November of 2016:

Three local, award-winning businesses that I love began carrying individual collections of my note and greeting cards. Wonderful shops with stellar products and customer service: Sunshine & Clover, Feed the Birds and Baked by Susan.

Kendra Shedenhelm, Notecards for Baked by Susan, Croton on Hudson
Kendra Shedenhelm, Greeting cards for Sunshine & Clover, Croton on Hudson, NY
Copyright 2017 Kendra Shedenhelm, card for Feed the Birds, Croton on Hudson

Back to "When in doubt..."

In 2013, when I first started illustrating, I wrote a post titled, "When in doubt, cut it out," which emphasized how helpful cutting paper can be for shaping my characters. Since cleaning up my studio space a couple weeks ago, another perk for paper scraps would be free, no-pressure experimenting.

Although the difficult-to-cut corners, accidentally-torn details, and bends and warps of the paper can frustrate the heck out of me, these same problems liberate me. I've been treating it as a big Who Cares exercise. And, as the composition is whisked away by my cat jumping on my desk, I feel unattached and able to try something else.

Kendra Shedenhelm_Bird_Paper Cutout_Sketch
Kendra Shedenhelm_Horse_Paper Cutout_Sketch
Kendra Shedenhelm_Bird on a Branch_Paper Cutout_Sketch

Missing Milla

Last night, I had a dream that I found my beloved cat, Milla, at my friend Jenny's apartment. I was totally confused as to why she was there, but so thrilled to see her. I told her all about our new cat, Leo, and how much her buddy Tyco was going to freak out with glee when he saw her. All the while, I could not figure out why in the heck I'd left her at Jenny's in the first place.

As I was packing her up to leave, however, I realized I was dreaming. My dream self told me that Milla was not at Jenny's and would not be coming home. That she'd passed away two years ago.

When I woke up, I wanted to feel grateful that I was able to hold and pet her all night (even if it wasn't real), but it's not enough. Man, I miss her.

The A. Eric Arctander Grant

This weekend, I accepted a grant from the Putnam Arts Council, in the name of the late artist A. Eric Arctander. Aside from his beautiful "About" story that you can read here, I knew very little about him when I walked in to the event on Saturday. As I walked around the room, shaking hands and asking questions, I heard various stories about him from people with shining eyes. He was clearly highly revered. It was wonderful. And a tremendous honor.

Eric, I've since read more about you (like this... love!), and I'm sorry that I didn't know you before. Thank you for providing me with this scholarship, and I hope to be as inspiring and encouraging of an artist — and person — that you have obviously been to so many others.

Accepting the A. Eric Arctander Grant. Presented by his beautiful wife, Dell Jones, and the Putnam Arts Council

Accepting the A. Eric Arctander Grant.
Presented by his beautiful wife, Dell Jones, and the Putnam Arts Council

Back to Illustration Friday & drawing with one long line

A few weeks ago, my 8 year old son asked why I only submit collaged work to Illustration Friday — why don't I submit drawings? I'm not 100% sure of my answer for this yet, but I did decide to draw for that week's challenge, which was "Nest."

I went with one of my favorite styles to work in right now, an all-one-line/not-lifting-my-pen drawing. I then cleaned it up a bit in Photoshop and added a subtle blue tone in Illustrator...

Kendra Shedenhelm's "Nest" for IllustrationFriday.com

Illustration Friday, "Nose"

For this week's Illustration Friday's challenge, "Nose," I used my watercolor paintings as my collage material. It was my first time doing so, and I really liked incorporating both of my techniques into one. I definitely plan to explore this further.

I call this piece Portrait of a Woman with Flowers.

MATS Bootcamp and The Hierophant

MATS Bootcamp for May was really fun for me.  

First, Lilla assigned us the "mini" assignment which had us looking at medieval styles in both art and lettering. I found this super cool site in my search: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/, and I drew extensively. (You can check out some of my drawings on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/kendrasred/)

The final assignment was to create a tarot card that correlates with our birthday. I'm a Taurus, and my card was The Hierophant. Again, I drew a lot, and then began a collage. This was my final submission...

My second illustrated cookbook now available!

I've completed illustrations for another cookbook written by Melissa Fouch Machowski of M Delish Boutique, and it is now available for purchase

One Dish Wonders is personable and enjoyable to read, and its smaller size and spiral binding gives it that old school/potluck-y feeling that I love. I think it would make a great gift, and Melissa has spice kits and other stuff available to package with it.  

I'm really proud of this one, and I hope you check it out. More info can be found at mdelishboutique.com. Below are a few screenshots from the book...

Another submission to Mark Mitchell's Guest Group Critiques

If you're an illustrator (working or aspiring) and you haven't heard about Mark Mitchell's Guest Group Critiques, I highly recommend checking it out: http://guestgroupcritiques.com/


This month's assignment/critique is with children's literary agent and artist's rep Nicole Tugeau of Tugeau2 Illustration. You can check out her assignment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QILCl_CU6Ow.

Nicole chose 15 of the approximately 50 submissions to critique on May 24th, and I'm very grateful that mine was one of them! Here's my submitted sketch below. Off to work on the final!