Friday, December 18, 2009

Illustrating A Dog-Gone Cute Christmas Card!

Ta-dah!...presenting "Shelby and Santa"! A dear friend asked me to create an illustration of her dog to include in her Christmas card design this year. I couldn't resist the opportunity.

It may seem an easy task to just put the pencil to paper and out comes the drawing. But, it takes some time to mull over the illustration, jumbling it around in your head for weeks, penciling rough sketches, contemplating it some more, re-sketching....until you finally feel like the illustration is working.

With that said, I thought it would be of interest to post a blog about how this fun illustration came to be.

First, about 20 photos of the adorable canine subject, Shelby, were sent to me as reference material. Here's a peek at two:

After looking at the photos and getting a feel for Shelby's gestures, colors, facial expressions and more, my next step was a bit of mulling over how to approach the illustration.

What should the dog be doing? Is Santa in the sketch? Is she under a Christmas tree? Is she unwrapping a present? sledding? hanging out with snowmen? under the mistletoe?

Then, rough sketches over a few weeks helped me work out a composition that flowed:

Santa holding Shelby in his lap didn't seem to work, but I wanted to portray a warm, friendly interaction between the two of them:

This one seemed too flat and stagnant, but I'm liking the paw/hand idea:

Shelby's face seemed too rigid and the position too stiff: I'm sorta liking this approach. Shelby giving a sweet, backwards glance:

Ahhhh, and now it's got a good flow going. A doggie-pat on the head, and a pet down the back. Who knew that Santa was a dog lover?!

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy another one of my creative process posts:

* Mulling over Madison

Merry Christmas to all!
And, as my dear friend noted, be sure to leave a little doggie treat along with the milk and cookies on Christmas Eve....just in case Santa brings Shelby along for the sleigh ride! *woof*

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stuff Your Stockings - Note Tablets Make Great Gifts!

Super cute note tablets are a great idea for those last minute stocking stuffers. Four Kugler illustrations are available.

Sip some tea with Strawberry bunnies...

Your petter sitter will smile...

A warm-hearted friend will appreciate...

And, of course, for the cat lover...

My online shop is not quite set-up yet, so good ole' fashioned email and snail mail will have to do for this year! If you are interested, just send me a message....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Toad!...Should I Kiss Him?

When raking leaves, you can uncover some funny surprises. This cute fellow was under a pile of leaves that I was gathering out of our basement window well.

So, ummm, should I kiss him?

Your thoughts are appreciated! ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Imagine...Saturday in the Park

Saturday in NYC's Central Park was a tad rainy, but still full of color and artsy fun.

Strawberry Fields forever in memory of John Lennon.

Romantically arching, Bow Bridge.

The mandatory dog blog meeting. The story told was that Emma the Basset so very much wanted a granola bar stashed in the glove compartment of her owner's car that she caused $3,000 worth of damage trying to get to it. Sounds like a basset to me!

Her sidekick, Olive.

Sounds of a soothing sax.

NYC Central Park Sax from Cheryl Kugler on Vimeo.

Belvedere Castle.

Rich, green hedge apples on a sill.

The Dairy.

Anyone for a game of checkers at The Checker House?

One of many reliefs in the park.

Colorful words at the Alice In Wonderland statue.

My brother and Mom strolling out of the park.

If you enjoyed this post, stop and visit the post to my last road trip:

Home on the Range, Where the Deer and the Buffalo Play

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sketches/Sand Hills Buffalo and Dad

My sketch book traveled along with me on my recent trip out west to see buffalo. I figured that if the opportunity presented itself, and I didn't have my paper and pencil with me, I'd be kicking myself. Lucky me, I did get two sketches in along the way!

Buffalo in the Nebraska sand hills.

Two days of driving with Dad.

Much of the travel time was spent talking with my Dad. A great memory!

Be sure to check out the "artsy" photos and story about the buffalos on my previous blog post:

Home on the Range, Where the Deer and the Buffalo Play

If you liked this sketch, check out my previous sketch post:

Ted E. Graham, The Seagull

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vampire Soup!? - Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! Found this devilish little soup can in an adorable country store called "In Grandma's Attic" in Kinzers, Pennsylvania. Having just finished reading the "Twilight" series of books, it was too tempting to pass up.

I haven't heated up any of the soup yet to see what vampires could possible find appealing!...although the tag indicates is good ole' Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup inside.

The unique label is created by Justina's Sweets 'n Treats.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Home on the Range, Where the Deer and the Buffalo Play...

...where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day!

In mid-October, we ventured to Cherry County, Nebraska. The amazing herds of buffalo and colors of the American West offer a mixture of warm, earthy browns against cool snowy grounds....just before winter really sets in. Lots and lots of buffalo and deer to see. Come along and see for yourself...

Notice the tails up in the air? - a "be alert" warning sign.

Why did the buffalo cross the road? I'm not sure either, but I'm not getting out of the car to find out. This amateur video clip was shot with a little snapshot camera, but still gives you a sense of the mammoth size of these beautiful beasts.

Why did the buffalo cross the road? from Cheryl Kugler on Vimeo.

Heading back the ranch road in the Nebraska sand hills.

What's a "Creative Time" blog post without visiting a canine friend. Meet Puddles, the friendliest dog North of Mullen, NE.

An amateur video clip again, but it's fun to see the movement among the herd. You can even see a few momma's and calves running along the back sand hill.

Buffalo Roaming the Sand Hills of Nebraska from Cheryl Kugler on Vimeo.

The resident ranch cat....we nicknamed him "Cat-tanka".

Even fields of hay bales offer a beautiful scene among the miles and miles of prairies.

A red clay sculpture adorned the facade of the bank building in downtown Valentine, NE.

A little side trip to the Badlands National Park south of Wall, South Dakota.

Hubby and me.

Gorgeous mustard yellows, sage greens, and clay reds in this colorful section of the Bad Lands.

Can you spot the TWO deer bedding down in the grass?

A unique carving in the bar at Wall Drug. Seeing the buffalo herds in person gives one a renewed sense of appreciation for hunting buffalo with a bow and arrow.

Eating breakfast with Dad, hubby and my nephew in Valentine, NE:

We never did get back to The Bunk House restaurant in Valentine, NE to partake of these scrumptious looking pies. Maybe next time!