Thursday, January 30, 2014

January's Illustration - "Mama, can we keep her?"

Hi everyone! Hope you're all starting off the new year happy and well. One of the great things about a new year is the list of possibilities and goals you set for yourself. This year, I've decided to try to paint at least one personal piece per month. I've been really enjoying sketching and posting each day, but I've been thinking that I should really push myself further with my art.

I listened to an interview today discussing the "secrets" to successful business people..and one quote that stuck out was that "one should work 80% of the time on their goal, and think about it 20% of the time", whereas most people in fact do the opposite. I read somewhere that if you make a list of goals, small ones that have specific timeframes, you're more likely to achieve those goals bit by bit. Lately I've been making notes to myself about things I am trying to focus on to improve, and so for these monthly goals, I'll be focusing on these smaller - and hopefully more attainable - goals.

This month, I chose a familiar story..Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I wanted to capture a moment that we've not seen before, but one that in my child's mind I've imagined could very well have happened. I sketched ideas in 2012 of this same concept, and from them, painted these two illustrations. This time around, I wanted to try a new approach. For this goal, I wanted to tell a story in the single image. Boy, this was tough to paint though, to be honest. Trying to paint a darkened baby bear's room was a challenge. I found myself wondering what else would a little baby boy bear have in his room? What kinds of things would be fun for the viewer to peek at...did you see the porridge and spoon on the floor? What about the tilted roman shade? Hopefully these were clear enough to "get the point" swiftly. And hopefully with baby bear's hand gesture, you might have determined that he's a nice bear. All in all, painting this had many challenges, and I have lots to learn regarding lighting, focus, perspective, and so much more..the list grows, but perhaps I can whittle the lists down bit by bit. I will try.

Thank you very, very much for visiting! I sincerely appreciate it and I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoy sharing it with you!


  1. Such a beautiful tender painting Shirley, even the stuffed toys on the side are taking a peep at Goldilocks....great work. Have fun with those lists...I can't function without them ;0) x

  2. beautiful Shirley, great details :D

  3. Lovely illustration Shirley, I like the two previous images too. These ideas can be hard to do sometimes, it's the hard that means that not everyone will give it a go, if it was easy, they would. Your goals sound good, I do think we think about the doing too much, it's much harder to DO and you have made a brilliant start, I love your little cutes :)


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