Welcome to my blog , The Hare Illustratère. I'll be posting about my art process and journey as an illustrator/author here. To find out more about my whimsical & elegant illustrations on nifty things you can buy, please Visit my other blog, The Art Hare's Wares.


Sunday, March 31, 2019

SCBWI Long Island March Newsletter Art

Winter Friends © Diana Ting Delosh
Colored Art and digital
Back at the end of 2018 I was honored to be invited to create cover art for the SCBWI Long Island newsletter, Kid LIt News . The only directive was to include a kite. As it was to be a winter/spring issue I decided on animal friends having some winter fun. It was bit tricky figuring out how to get the kite to work as logical part of the illustration but I think I came up with an interesting solution.

Winter/Spring 2019 Kid LIT News Cover
There is even a lovely interview by fellow illustrator, Stephen Ingram about my art process and more for an article in the Kid Lit News Winter/Spring 2019 issue, which I'm happy to announce went live, March 14, 2019.

If you don't live on Long Island, NY and want to find out more about the SCBWI click here: scbwi.org

Illustration blog: dtdelosh.blogspot.com
twitter: @dtdelosh

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Of Life and Dreams - MATS Boot Camp February

Of Life and Dreams © Diana Ting Delosh
Mixed media: Ink, Pencil, Digital
 Mock Journal or Book Cover
It's been awhile since I blogged, either I had nothing to blog about or something but no time to do it. At any rate, here I am. Not promising that I'll be blogging on any regular basis but hopefully more often then not. At the end of 2018 I signed up for a bunch of thing and one of them included Lilla Roger's MATS Boot Camp 2019. This is my second go round with Bootcamp. The first time was in 2014, during the months of Feb, March, May. June and July. If you're wondering, yes, you can read about my experiences in this blog's archive. I signed up this time because I felt like I wanted some assignments that would stretch me. A peek at other markets out there aside from children's book publishing. Similar to why I did it last time. Except this time around I'm at a different place with my art and I thought it might be a good time to revisit the course.

Lilla teaches by giving us a mini assignment before she gives us the brief for the main assignment. This way we get to explore a subject without being limited by the scope of the final product/project. This time around the mini was to do florals and use a specific media. My group was assigned lily of the valley and colored pencils. I hunted around my studio and found an unopened box of Derwent Inktense 12. These are colored pencils that are meant for you to wash over with water. Honestly wasn't sure about the pencils until I threw the water on it - Then I really liked working with them.
Here's one of my minis, Bunny Amongst the Lily of the Valley
© Diana Ting Delosh
Derwent Inktense Color Pencil Sketch
February's Brief:  Journal Cover with some hand lettering as that's very trendy right now. I loved the idea of doing florals but had a hang up about type on a journal. I never buy journals with type as I always felt like they were telling me what to put in my journal. But I really wanted to do some Hand Lettering. Plus that was part of the brief. I decided to think of it more as a book cover to get over my mental block.
Of Life and Dreams © Diana Ting Delosh
Rough Pencil Sketch layout of journal / book cover
Here finally is my finished mock book, ahem, journal cover in the MATS BootCamp February Gallery amongst all the other lovely designs. Click on the thumbnails to see them bigger.

I had a lot of fun drawing florals for this assignment. There will be more florals in my future.

For more samples of my art check out my web portfolio at dianadelosh.com
Follow me on Twitter @dtdelosh

Greeting Cards: greetingcarduniverse.com/dianascards
Gifts: zazzle.com/deloshdesigns*

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Art Process Experiments 4 - 6

As I mentioned in the previous post, I've been experimenting with my art process. Hoping to shake things up a bit in 2018. SEE Art Process Experiment 1- 3 

Experiment No. 4A and 4B - Squirrel with Snowdrop: Semi Reverse Process
4A: Sketch. Watercolor. lines added with brush Scan. Add digital details. 
4B: Sketch. Watercolor. Scan. Add all the lines and details digitally. 
Results 4A: Similar to my usual style. But there's less black line, a Limited Palette and the squirrel looks younger because overall he's rounder. I love his Buffalo plaid jacket.
Results 4B: Felt my digital brush lacked the accuracy, smoothness and expressiveness of a real brush. At least at this point my brush skills are light years ahead of my Wacom pen skills. Frustrating. Trashed this effort hence: Art not shown.
Squirrel wrapping his scarf around an early bloomer -Posted this on Twitter for my #colour_collective illustration for the prompt, Cinnabar Green. Not sure if this counts for much, BUT it is my most popular illustration to date on Twitter.

Experiment No. 5 - Sleeping Giraffe: All digital with sketch.
Results:  Did this late at night and perhaps my judgement, focus, and coordination had gone to bed without me but I found the process clunky and frustrating. IF given many more hours of practice, perhaps I could come up with something more satisfying.
Sleeping Giraffe - Hate the colors. Had problems picking colors amongst other snafus.
Experiment No. 6- Sleeping Giraffe: Semi reverse Process Plus Digital Flourish: Sketch, Paint with watercolors. Scan. Added some additional digital flourishes. Note: Giraffe, Weedy Bits and Night Sky are are created separately. scanned and put together digitally. 
Results: Felt happy with the final art. The loose digital weedy flourishes seem to tie it all together in a new, for me, way. I want to explore this direction.

Sleeping Giraffe - Note, I used the same sketch for both Sleeping Giraffe  illustrations. Yes, I know, I should've done ALL the experiments using the same sketch BUT I didn't think of it earlier.  Posted this on Twitter for my #colour_collective for the prompt Delft Blue.
CONCLUSION: To be honest, there were times that I felt the last few weeks were an exercise in procrastination. I was afraid that I was going to just go back to my same old process but with only a few minor tweaks, experiment 4. Which would not have been the worst thing except for the time lost. Luckily experiment 6 came along.

Illustration blog: dtdelosh.blogspot.com
twitter: @dtdelosh

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Art Process Experiments 1 - 3

Recently, I've been trying new ways to work for a variety of reasons including keeping my work Fresh. My usual process is to sketch, ink, paint, scan, Photoshop. Elements are created separately and then put together and further digitally messed with until I'm satisfied. Here's a link to a recent process post.

Experiment No. 1 - Old English Sheepdog:  Reversed my process and No sketch.
Results: It felt daring working backwards. However, I can't imagine doing a whole piece this way. It does open up more possibilities.  I like the less outlined look. I also like that I used less black lines and feel the gray lines give it a softer look.
Painted basic shapes with watercolors. Scan

Added more shadows  and lines with my Wacom tablet and Photoshop. 

Experiment No. 2 - Owl flying in a Pine Forest:  The OWL only - Digital. NO sketch.
Results: Fun and a bit challenging to just draw paint with the Wacom. It has a certain appeal. A sketch would have helped.
The owl is drawn and painted using only the Wacom tablet and added to the Forest. A few Pine trees were hand inked*, scanned than digitally colored and put together for the forest. *I had originally created the pine trees for a different project and before I had the Tablet.  

Experiment No. 3 - Squirrel:  Oil Pastels. NO sketch.
Results: Felt like I was drawing with trees... Doubt if a sketch would've helped. I'd have to do this MUCH BIGGER. Never mind years of practicing. Similar to my Wacom experience but without being able to undo and all the other advantages of digital.
I haven't used oil pastels since high school! Rediscovered why I stopped using them.

Sharing more art process experiments soon.

Illustration blog: dtdelosh.blogspot.com
twitter: @dtdelosh

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bye Bye 2017

Can't say I'm sorry to see 2017 go.  Like any year it had it's good and bad and meh moments.

Had a lovely challenging illustration commission that I hope to be able to share... soon. Challenging because while it involved animals in costumes, YAY, it also involved a lot of detailed backgrounds and architecture. This project has taught me to truly respect illustrators that excel in backgrounds, especially urban scenes. As always, hope to acquire more fun illustration commissions in 2018.

It was also the year I became more political. Previously, I had always felt that my political views were private and I didn't talk or share much about it on social media. After all you didn't want to offend a potential buyer or client with your personal beliefs. However 2017 was different and I did share my views more openly. My feeling is that you can't be silent when you see things heading in the wrong direction. Did I loose out on any jobs, commissions or sales??? Not that I noticed. I did tire of seeing my twitter feed overtaken by political tweets rather than lovely art. Unfortunately, I fear there will be 3 more years of watching the planet being parceled off to line a few greedy pockets and other evils.

In 2017 I got excited about quite a few art challenges BUT I ended up not fulfilling most of these. Which made me a bit sad. I end 2017 with a long trail of unfinished personal art.  Granted, I had real paying work deadlines. Good excuse not to be distracted by personal art projects. I'm not complaining. I need those paying projects. Rather I'm annoyed that I couldn't figure a way to balance my financial and my creative needs. Definitely need to work on that.

Only did one postcard campaign in 2017. I usually do 2 if not 3. The problem with commissions that you can't share is that it's makes self-promotion harder. Another reason to figure out the balance between paying work and nonpaying. Personal art is where you make your discoveries and build your future and hopefully your fortune. Here's to returning to 3 postcard mailers in 2018 and more  creating and submitting

Made a huge art process discovery. I need to sketch, ink, paint, Photoshop something every week. So if I'm working on the sketch phase of a BIG project, to keep me in top form I need to also be doing "warm-up inks, paintings, Photoshop art" on the side. That way when the sketch phase is done I can move on to the ink phase without going through the I forgot how to... moment first. Less redos and more doing.  I know a bit of a duh, obvious idea but a big revelation to me and my art process. I should probably add creative writing to the weekly mix for 2018 too.

Wishing All a Happy, Healthy, Creative , Prolific, Productive and Prosperous 2018!

Illustration blog: dtdelosh.blogspot.com
twitter: @dtdelosh

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Lion & Mouse Illustration Process post

Ok I admit it. I've been absent from this blog. I've been busy working on a big hush hush illustration project which is finally winding down. Unfortunately, I can't share anything from it yet BUT I can share the illustration process of my personal Christmas card.

Lion & Mouse © Diana Ting Delosh
Inks on watercolor paper & Digital.
Here's the CARD
I all begins with a pencil sketch. As you can see, originally was thinking of doing some hand lettering on the top.
Lion & Mouse Pencil Sketch
 © Diana Ting Delosh
Next comes the ink. Currently I'm using a brush on watercolor paper. It gives me thicks and thins as well as various tones of blacks and texture. I feel it all adds to the illustration's energy.

Lion & Mouse Ink Line © Diana Ting Delosh
I use colored inks to paint right over my black lines. I've lengthened the lion to give myself some leeway with the final design. I will mess with background on a separate layer in Photoshop.

Lion & Mouse © Diana Ting Delosh
Colored Inks on watercolor paper
Experimenting with the background. I know I want stars and a magical quality to the sky. Time to experiment with backgrounds. The sky is actually a sky I had previously painted with colored inks on watercolor and scanned.  I like the texture of real paints on paper. The stars are drawn in digitally on their own layer. Thank Goodness for the Wacom Tablet!

Lion & Mouse © Diana Ting Delosh
on Background-A

 Not enough oomph. It still lacks that magical quality I was after. Make the sky darker? Toss? NO! Thank goodness for layers. Just experiment with adding digital swirls and more stars and layers until... Voila! See the finished design at the beginning of this post.

Happy Holidays to ALL!

Illustration blog: dtdelosh.blogspot.com
twitter: @dtdelosh

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sky Pony Critique Winner


Yup it's real. I received the official winner e-mail and it's been announced over at D2PB

In case you're wondering I followed the rules to Win a Sky Pony Editor Critique: bought my copy of Patricia Keeler's, adorable picture book, Lizzie and Lou Seal and put my name in the hat by sending an e-mail to Sky Pony Press. Now to be honest, I almost didn't do it because I figured I never win these lottery things. Sure I've won things: books, a pink flamingo balloon, goldfish, even SCBWI conference tuition but for some reason I was sure only other people won reviews from editors or agents. And then of course I myself was sharing this great opportunity on Twitter and FB so even when I did throw my name in the ring I  didn't think I'd get it. I mean every other author and author/illustrator was applying. Right? Which just goes to show that you just need to be in it to win it.

So what did I win? An "Above the Slush" opportunity to submit a manuscript/dummy and have it reviewed by an editor. Really reviewed. Which in this day and age of  publishing houses only replying if interested is a BIG DEAL. At least it is to me. Now I'm off to polish my picture book dummy to a high gloss before I officially submit it to Sky Pony. Wish me luck.

Illustration blog: dtdelosh.blogspot.com
twitter: @dtdelosh

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hand Lettering News

In the Fall of 2016, I was approached by Quarto UK to submit samples of my hand lettering to appear in the gallery pages of a Hand Lettering book they were working on. I believe they found me via Twitter. I submitted 3 hand lettering samples in all. They chose my FLOURISH. You can find it on page 19 in the Gallery of the book, Hand Lettering Creative Alphabets for Any Occasion by Thy Doan Graves published by Quarto, UK and St Martin's Griffin, US and Canada- published Spring 2017.

Flourish on Page 19 of Hand Lettering Creative Alphabets for Any Occasion by Thy Doan Graves

Below (from left to right) are the US and the UK covers for the book. Can you spot the difference?

Find more samples of my Hand Lettering in the TYPE section of my Portfolio.

If you're interested, You can read about my how I approach Hand Lettering at Drawn To Picture Books: Hand Lettering Process Post by Diana Ting Delosh

Illustration blog: dtdelosh.blogspot.com
twitter: @dtdelosh

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thoughts On Being Creative

I've been thinking a lot about creativity. Probably because I've just crawled out of a creative black hole. Usually I don't worry too much about feeling blocked as I think it's like insomnia eventually you will fall asleep. So I figured this uncreative state would just pass as I went through my daily rituals and worked on current projects. However this time around my lack of creative thought was lasting much too long. I felt like all my receptors were coated in slime so nothing triggered an inspiring thought.

First I thought it was because I was sleep deprived. I remember when I was a new mom my creativity  suffered. Getting more sleep did help my overall well being but the numbness remained. I did continue to slog on with whatever was in the studio. After all the real thinking part of those projects was already done -now it was just doing the work. So at least being productive, although lacking omph.

The last time I was in such state was right after 9/11. I remembered feeling insignificant and helpless. I found comfort watching bumble bees buzzing around my garden and thinking that nature would prevail even if we humans were bent on killing each other. What broke me free last time was an illustration commission and a rush job from 1 of my regular clients. Maybe I wasn't significant but I was still needed in my small world. So I, and the world moved on.

Which brings me to my current state of unease. Since the election, I've felt that all I've taken for granted as life in a democratic society is under attack. Even common sense notions about protecting our planet because we live on it have been sacrificed in the name of greed and stupidity. My new routine includes contacting my congressman and senators about things I'm outraged over. It's the effects of all those NYC signs that say if you see something say something. There is no hiding from what is going on. No peace or comfort that nature will prevail.

Unfortunately, this time around there were no calls from dream clients or rush jobs to distract me.  This time around it was a string of small acts. Slogging forward on my current PB dummy revision. Even if it's going too s-l-o-w. Looking into yet another, as my hubby would say, harebrained scheme: opening an Etsy store. (I'll let you know when it's open). But the thing that really flipped my switch was submitting my picture book dummy out yet again. Which at first I thought was odd but I was still happy that something finally worked. Now, I don't think it's so odd. When you submit something you are saying you believe in your project/yourself. Whether the submission get's an acceptance or a rejection is a different story.

What do you do that helps to buoy your spirits and keeps you creative?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Happy Year of the Rooster!

Rooster © Diana Ting Delosh
Ink, pen, brush, watercolor
Bye Bye 2016. 
Hello 2017! 

Don't know about you but for me, 2016 was one of those years, as a friend tactfully said maybe it's your transitional year. Perhaps. Whatever. On the plus side and going forward, I did have a few AHA moments that I'll share with you. I guess these are my sort of resolutions.

• To only apply/submit to things that are appropriate for my skills, and tastes. I tried a few paths last year that I knew probably wouldn't work in the name of being open and trying new things. Mind you there are problems with tunnel vision too. Still, I need to be mindful of being true to me and not waste time on long shots... just because it's an opportunity. Balance is needed between the two extremes.

• Try NOT to wait until the last minute to submit something before the deadline. Unfortunately, if it's a submission opportunity sometimes they close that window of opportunity early due to a flood of submissions. Yup, it happened to me in 2016. Create and submit, ASAP.  Also, my theory is that they start forming their opinions as the submissions come in. So if you wait too long your submission has to be that much stronger. As I said, it's only my theory.

• Must Create Faster. Come up with something unique and beat the crowd to the finish. Of course it's has to be wonderful but sometimes all the fussing may mean that you'll miss out. And then your wonderful idea is no longer unique. You ever notice that as soon as you have a great idea for a star-nosed mole character or other odd animal, that there seems to be a trend for them while you're working on your idea? It's like the universe spied and snitched on your plans.

• BE BOLD. Believe in yourself, ideas etc. - create and submit. Sure you may know everyone else will be creating ABC but if you're thinking MNOP do it. Never mind what everyone else is doing and what you think is expected of you. Follow your instincts. When I did, it worked out really well for me.

Here's hoping we all have something good to crow about SOON!

If you missed it, take a peek at  at my latest post on D2PB: Happy 2017 Reboot 

Illustration blog: dtdelosh.blogspot.com
twitter: @dtdelosh

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