Fun with a Skull…

Yesterday I spent some time just doodling, having fun. Using Charlie, my faithful plaster skull model, I sketched this out.


Something about him appealed to me. He just had that certain something, let’s say. In honor of my birthday, I decided to give him a hat.


This amused me. I made him into a soldier…


Then a cowboy. I did not intend for him to look that much like Yul Brynner in WestWorld, but hey, accidents happen, and they can be fun.


Finally, that paranoid look in his eyes starting making me think… so I turned him into a zombie farmer, who is always wary of aliens coming to take his zombie cows.


so that’s what I did yesterday. Hope this made you smile, I had a lot of laughs with these!



Illustrating my Children’s Book…

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This is just a portion of the first illustration I did today for a book I’ve written. I’m determined, and since I released the other book, I’ve gained the confidence to do this one. I know I’m weird. I write horror, but I also write lots of other things, too. I used to work in a library, in the children’s department, and truly, some of my fondest memories are reading to all the kids. So now at last, I’m finally getting around to “Kitty’s Neighborhood”.

The art is created with chalk and watercolor in Corel Painter. I don’t know what I’d do without a Mac and Painter, lol. Well, yes, I do. I’d keep right on painting. But this way is so much fun, and I don’t have to worry about drinking paint water by mistake. So, professional perquisite, right there.

I’m also writing along on a new story collection and a sword and sorcery adventure. But now, I am going to bed…

Red Sonja takes form!

This is a WIP I’m creating with Corel Painter. I’m about halfway finished and I thought you guys might enjoy having a look!

WIP, Kathy Ferrell 2015

WIP, Kathy Ferrell 2015

Illustrating Nursery Rhymes…

"Owl and Pussycat" © Kathy Ferrell

“Owl and Pussycat” © Kathy Ferrell

Hello, Art Fans! I’ve been thinking of all of you while I’ve been working this week! My town’s largest museum is having an open call for paintings, with a deadline at the end of this month, so I’ve been working hard, I promise!

Today I thought I’d share with you a recent Corel Painter project. If you’ve been reading much of my blog, you know that Painter is one of my favorite ways to work. I chose it for these pictures because I know I can match the colors perfectly between pieces, scoot things around for the best composition, and get a wonderful chalk pastel effect without any mess at all. I have a beautiful collection of real pastels in a fancy cabinet, and I have yet to try them. I think I’ll have the confidence, soon!

This is a set that I am creating, illustrating some of my favorite childhood nursery rhymes. I still know Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat” by heart. I have a lovely collection of old nursery rhyme books. I love poems and rhymes and I’ve found they are a natural ice-breaker with children. It’s a shame that sharing these old rhymes is dying away. All it takes is one generation of parents who don’t bother reading to their children to break a worthy ancient thread.

"Hey, Diddle Diddle" (detail, WIP) © Kathy Ferrell

“Hey, Diddle Diddle” (detail, WIP) © Kathy Ferrell

So these will be from my favorites. The second one is a WIP, “The Cat and the Fiddle”. When it is finished, print sets will be soon available. Next I hope to do “Wynken, Blinken and Nod”, and then perhaps “The Land of Counterpane”.

I hope you enjoy this quick peek into my studio. Do you have a favorite nursery rhyme? Do you have the good fortune to be sharing it with a little person in your life? I’d love to hear about it. I look forward to our next visit!

"Hey, Diddle Diddle" WIP, © Kathy Ferrell

“Hey, Diddle Diddle” WIP, © Kathy Ferrell

Good Fortune

"Good Fortune" © Kathy Ferrell, 8x10" ink and colored pencil

“Good Fortune” © Kathy Ferrell, 8×10″ ink and colored pencil

When I was a little girl, I had the very good fortune of knowing Mrs. H. Our backyard touched borders with hers, and she encouraged me to spend as much time as I liked in her garden. And what a garden it was. Mrs. H and her husband were serious rose people, and the garden had no room for lilacs, peonies or hydrangea. To her mind, the rose was best, in all ways. The garden was laid out in a precise way, with flagstone paths between the rows, a martin house on a tall pole, small benches, and a sundial with raised Roman numerals that I loved to touch on hot days.

My very favorite thing about this Alice in Wonderland sort of place was in the very center. There surrounded by mossy stones, laced with lily pads, was a large koi pond. I would sit entranced for what seemed like whole afternoons, gently touching a reed to the surface so that I might see the beautiful conflagration break the water’s surface with their brilliant mouths. They were so big and friendly, and they greeted me when I approached with bread crumbs from lunch. I imagined that the pond itself was filled Alice’s tears, and expected that if I were very still, I may see a Mock-Turtle.

After a while, Mrs. H would notice me there, and invite me in for tea. She had bought me my very own cup and saucer (with roses, naturally) and she seemed to take great amusement in watching me use sugar tongs. I was literally so small that my feet stuck out straight from the edge of the red camelback sofa. My legs weren’t long enough to bend, so I’d sit there sipping my tea and tapping my toes together in front of the fireplace. It was hard to ignore the gigantic moose head that looked down on me from above the mantle. That was the only thing in Mrs. H’s house that frightened me. Everything else was welcoming and sun-dappled.

These memories I’ve shared with you are what inspired me to create this koi. To me, it represents the importance of being kind to children, taking them seriously and helping them to feel important. In a way, some of the very best fortune a person can have is a good neighbor.

I hope you like this piece as much as I enjoyed creating it. I have prints available in full color on 8.5 x 11″ acid and lignin free paper for $28 with free Priority Mail shipping.

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My Childhood Tea Cup

My Childhood Tea Cup