by robin gayle howard

Monthly Archives: November 2012

My neck hurts, my eyes are blurry, and my fingers are discolored.  No, it is not contagious . . . but it could be if you enjoy experimenting in COLOR. 

So here is my first test with Big Red.  I was going for a dominant red.  I may try at least one more combination before I finally decide.  I am attempting to follow Mark Mitchell’s Power Color theory as taught in his online  illustration course, Make Your Splashes  – Make Your Marks.  It is a great way to decide what colors to use to make your artwork pop!  And have fun with color too.

Speaking of fun with color, here is an art journal page I also made this weekend.  I guess I need more long weekends to get more work done.  Have a blessed week!

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Latest revision of Barn Dance. I think it is almost there.

When you are in the stream of momentum, you don’t want to stop.  A little revision here, a little revision there, and it all begins to come together.  The key is to keep it going, but way too often you hit a brick wall.  Well,  I should change that “you” to “I.”  Way to often I hit a brick wall.  Most of the time it may feel like a brick wall, but it is really only a speed bump.  Brick walls are obstacles.  Speed bumps just slow you down, but are not hard to get over.  So how do you change that perception so that you can regain your momentum?  Just do something different.  Simple, but be patient with yourself because it can sometimes be a slow process.  Kind of like the way you should go over a speed bump so that you don’t rip out the underside of your car.  Trying to plow through a brick wall can get you a broken nose.  Trying to go over a speed bump too quickly causes damage too.  The key is to take it slow.   I was nose deep in a brick wall a few weeks ago, then started doing Zentangles.  If you have not yet tried them, you should.  It is a great exercise to bring on relaxation and focus.  Or you can pull out a medium you haven’t worked with in a while and just play.   Play with no final product in mind.  Play with different color combos.  Play with collage.  Play with different paper.  Just play and enjoy and get lost in the play.  Or write instead.  Write about anything.  Write about your dreams.  Write about your first childhood memory.  Write along with some artwork and create an art journal.  Find a favorite quote and decorate it.    The key is to just change things up and do something differently.  The brick wall will begin to melt away and then, lo and behold, you are on the down side of the speed bump and back in the race.  This week, I am running!

I think this one is ready for painting!


I have been a drawing maniac this weekend!  And I love it.  I have never felt more productive.  I have my sight set on the goal to have a portfolio ready by April.  I know I can do it, but I also want to finish well.  I want all of my artwork to be the best that it can be.  I am so thankful for my Wiggio group members from my online illustration course, Make Your Splashes  – Make Your Marks, who always give great critiques.  We are all on task for helping each artist improve their craft.  Thank you, Mark Mitchell, for bringing us all together.   Have a blessed week.


At the beginning of November, I encouraged my co-workers to participate in a 30 Days of Thanks Challenge.  Those who have taken up the challenge are writing a daily thanks and posting it on the walls in our offices.  Finding at least one thing each day to be thankful for can renew your strength and eliminate the ever present, oppressing negatives that we are bombarded with at every turn.  These colorful little tokens of thanksgiving are going up all over and bringing rays of sunshine into our rainy days.  I need to take photos at the end of the month and update this post with them.  They are beautiful.  It is so inspiring to walk around and read the thanks being lifted up from all of those that I spend so much time with each day.

I have so much to be thankful for, including the past month that has been a bit surreal for me.  I entered an illustration contest for our local SCBWI chapter’s Spring Spirit conference for  the logo to be used on all the promotional materials.  I have never ever entered an art contest of any kind.  But I did.  That is because I have really been working on listening.  Listening for the direction that my Creator wants me to go.  The old me was not an artist.  My Creator said I was.  He made me that way.  So, I am.  I am an artist.  I have been working on developing the gifts that have so lavishly been given to me.  It’s about time and it is never too late.  I am truly enjoying the ride and guess what?  I won the logo contest!!!  I cannot yet reveal the final artwork until it has been published, so hold on until December 7th.  And that is only one part of the perks for winning.  I will be receiving a portfolio review from the amazing Laurent Linn of  Simon & Schuster.  I know I will be so nervous because he is such a talented artist.  It is going to be an amazing experience!  I will definitely be extremely busy making many rainbows between now and April 6.  Check out my sketchbook for the things I will be working on.  And as always . . .

. . .  I am so thankful!