Digital Drawing on Photographs

Allium artwork

I have a little more to share about our trip to France, but for now, here’s a little artwork.

On a recent flight from Boston to Charlotte, I took a break from reading and started fiddling around with an app (Adobe Ideas), drawing on some of my photographs. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some of these before, both pre and post-drawing.

Floral Arrangement

Fun, eh? Have a favorite?

Floral Artwork

Just finished watching the BBC adaptation of Dickens’ Bleak House. Really enjoyed it. Currently reading Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (it’s the memoir upon which the show is based). Now watching Bletchley Circle. I seem to be in a BBC/ British kind of mood.

For more posts about  my artwork and others’, click here.

Beyond Coloring Books

My kids are way into drawing right now, and I hope it continues forever. At this point, they don’t really wanting me sharing their drawings on the blog, but maybe in the future, I hope. I bought them this book (one of our go-to birthday gifts for friends) but made them promise they would share it with me, too:

It’s a coloring book with pages that are primarily blank, with prompts for what you might want to draw on them. For example:
The caption reads, translated from the German: Who sits in the other four cages? Draw keys to free them all.
There’s a whole series of these books. They remind me of my Anti-Coloring Book from back in the day, a similar concept published in America. The idea is to give kids something to imagine, something they can draw themselves, rather than an outline they just color in.
This is the old school cover:
You can still buy these books, for example here, albeit with updated covers.
Here’s one of my favorite drawings from my old Anti-Coloring Book:
Note the I Dream of Jeannie influence on one of the homes. You gotta love SuperStation TBS. The red-haired lady is saying “Good morning, Mr. Doowaddle.”
Here’s another drawing that cracks me up, this time for the 80s references:
Notice any other tv influence? I must’ve watched a lot of tv.
The creator of the Anti-Coloring Books, Susan Striker, has a pretty extensive website, and you can even get free downloadable sample pages from the books there. Enjoy!

Sketch from Burgundy


I haven’t had a chance to say anything about our trip to France over the summer. I had always wanted to go, so it was really a dream come true. I took a bajillion pictures, some of which I may share on flickr if you’re interested. We spent time in La Camargue, on the coast, and in Burgundy. We loved it all, but the week in Burgundy was so relaxing. I was dying to paint for the first time in ages. I still love to paint, but it’s not often that I get this overwhelming urge to do it—-or even the head space to think about it. Right now it’s just not a very practical pursuit (oil painting anyway), so, I drew a tiny bit.

We could see this church from our bedroom window, and we walked by it nearly every day. I photographed it in every possible light. There’s just something about its simple elegance that struck me.

I was a little anxious but also excited to try out my rusty schoolgirl French. It was received very warmly, I’m glad to say, and we managed just fine. It actually made me feel more confident about using my German back here in Hannover. I’m beginning to accept that it’s okay for me to speak bad German and use hand gestures—-this is the only way I’m going to get better at it, after all. Though I do start German class again next week, which I’m really glad about.

Figure Drawing

Copyright Emily Smith Pearce 2009

I recently started attending a figure drawing session with my friend, illustrator Judy Stead. I hadn’t done any figure drawing since college, and to prove the point, when I opened my sketchbook, out fell some papers from a mythology class I took my junior year.

It was an interesting experience—-kind of like stretching a muscle I forgot I had, but it felt good, too. My muscles did seem to remember a few things. The above is a contour drawing—-that is, done using a single line without picking up the pen from the paper. I used a Sharpie—love drawing with Sharpies—they make such a bold, decisive line that you just have to go with it, and when you stop for a moment they make these great little puddles. They’re kind of stinky, though. I felt bad for the fumes I was making my neighbors smell. I used pencil and charcoal in some other drawings but this was my favorite that night.