Alphabet Animal Art Challenge: T-Z

The final group of letters for the Alphabet Animal Art Challenge is complete!  It is so exciting to be finished!  I considered combining the last quarter letter’s recap with an overall end of the challenge post, but for consistency purposes (and blog post length) I have decided to keep them separate.  So look for a final recap on the entire challenge coming (hopefully) later this week!

There were 7 animals in this final group.  Here is a look at all of them:

Animals Animals Letters T thru Z by Brenda Zapotosky

This was not my favorite batch, and included some of the most challenging animals from the entire year.  Even though I initially planned on avoiding fish (since I have drawn MANY in the past), for the letter X it ended up being my favorite choice, and it is definitely one of my favorite from this batch.

X is for X Ray Tetra by Brenda Zapotosky

I also really like how the Urial turned out! It is too bad it is a more obscure animal, not sure if/how I could really use him in the future.

U is for Urial by Brenda Zapotosky

I think another reason this round was more difficult, especially at the end, was the lack of time due to all the extra Christmas prep and activities etc. that I was doing.  More complex animals to draw (like the Yak and Zebra) combined with a time crunch equals less fun in my book.  One of the goals of this challenge was to force myself to be regularly creating new art, and it DEFINITELY did that.

During this last quarter I also created one new greeting card design using an animal from the previous batch, the raccoon:

Merry Christmas Raccoon Card by Brenda Zapotosky

I switched up his colors, added mittens, and placed him on some snow to give him a Christmas make-over!  (You can see the original version of the raccoon here.) This was a SUPER quick card design squeezed in to give to my husband for Christmas.  In the future, if I wanted to use the card again, I’d like to spend a bit more time on it, and use my own original font.  I am also considering a Christmas surface pattern featuring this guy and maybe a few other woodland animals.

That’s it for this round!  I have a ton of thoughts about the challenge overall which I will share in the final recap!  In the meantime, I’d love to hear which animal was YOUR favorite this round!

Thanks for reading!

Brenda

ps.  In case you missed it, I announced the theme for the 2018 Alphabet Art Challenge a few posts back!  Super excited for a new year and a new topic!  I would love for you to join me!

Announcing the 2018 Alphabet Art Challenge!!!

I super excited about this post and to share the theme for the 2018 Alphabet Art Challenge!  If you are new to this Challenge you can read all about the first one, The Alphabet ANIMAL Art Challenge, here. You can also read each of the quarterly updates here, here and here.

And so without further ado, and perhaps a little drumroll…. The 2018 theme is:

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!  (At least, I am hoping that is what you are thinking.)  I am very excited about this theme.  While the Animal theme was a great challenge to me personally, and I will be sharing a lot of thoughts about it all when I do the final recap of the year, I am looking forward to having a little bit simpler subject matter this time around.

The OFFICIAL name for this challenge will be the Fruit and Veggie Challenge, because that is more fun in my opinion, and makes for a shorter hashtag:  #2018fruitandveggieartchallenge

2018 Alphabet Art Challenge Announcement by Brenda Zapotosky

For this theme I have a very distinct vision for the style of the art I will be creating.  Since my days of doodle books, starting way back in college, I have LOVED hatching.  And one of the style methods I employ a lot in my artwork is creating “geometric” versions of common objects.  So for my fruits and vegetables this year, they will be geometric in style and employ hatching as part of the rendering.  I already created some patterns that use geometric fruits and vegetables, so I will be building upon that small library.  Here are a few examples (Which are available as fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap in my Spoonflower shop) :

Geometric Pumpkins by Brenda Zapotosky

Tropical Pineapples Pattern by Brenda Zapotosky

As an added “bonus” this year, I have also decided to create a new geometric font to go with my fruit and veggie illustrations, which will add an element of Art to the “Prompt” posts that I do at the beginning of each letter. (You can see examples of the prompts on my Instagram feed.)

Ok, so onto the official “rules” for this Challenge.  There are 52 weeks and 26 letters, so that means 1 letter for every 2 weeks.  Since 2018 starts on a Monday, that will be our starting day for each new letter.  So Monday, Jan. 1 will kick off the letter “A”.  On each Monday where a new letter begins I will post a reminder on Instagram with the letter for that 2-week period and some ideas of fruits and veggies to get you started.

Like last year, this is JUST FOR FUN!  There are not any prizes for participating.  Use any type of medium you like to create your art.  And if you are late to join in or miss a letter or 2, that is totally fine!  I would like to do an artist round up like I did for the first quarterly recap of 2017.  Sadly participation last year drastically tapered off after that first quarter, so the other recaps did not include other artist’s work.  I hoping that there will be more participation this year and I will able to share a bit more of other’s work.

So get your artistic thinking caps on and start mentally prepping for a year of Alphabet Art Fun!  I really hope you will consider joining me!

Brenda

ps.  If you are not already following me on Instagram, I highly recommend it.  It is where I will be posting all the prompts and fruit and veggie creations.

Alphabet Animal Art Challenge: N-S

Hi folks!  I am back with the third recap in my year-long Alphabet Animal Art Challenge. 3/4 of the way through!  If this is your first time learning about the challenge you can see my original post here.  And recaps 1 and 2 here and here.

Let’s start with a look at the 6 animals I created for this portion of the challenge:

Alphabet Animals Letters N to S by Brenda Zapotosky

3 birds and 2 sea creatures in the mix. Very interesting.  Not sure if I can narrow down a favorite.  Instead I’ll make it a tie and choose both the nautilus and the peacock!  Here is a closer look at both of those:

N is for Nautilus by Brenda Zapotosky

P is for Peacock by Brenda Zapotosky

I don’t know how “marketable” the nautilus is to use for other things, but I just love him! The peacock on the other hand would be fun to incorporate into a pattern or a card.  I particularly love his fat belly and his feathers!  I could see a coordinating pattern using just those ovals from his feathers.

I have used one of the animals so far in a greeting card design.  The owl!  Here is a look at the super cute birthday card I designed in 2 colorways:

Owl Birthday Cards by Brenda Zapotosky

I especially love the new colorway I did for the second card with the pink and teal.  It would be fun to do a whimsical geometric owl collection using these two colorways.

Final thoughts:

This round was the same as most of the rest in that some animals were easier than others.  I write about my thoughts about each creation individually when I post them on my Instagram feed so I won’t bother rehashing that here.  One thing that is interesting:  I did not give any of these animals names!  I am big time into naming things so it is a little bit surprising that not even one was named.

With only 7 letters left, I anticipate some challenges in this final quarter.  I normally don’t research the next letter until I am ready to do my prompt post shortly before the Sunday I post it, so I really haven’t looked to see what my selection will be for the upcoming letters.  I can think of a few, but not many.  I have a hunch it will be slim pickings and possibly some creativity involved to get an animal for the rest of the letters (or else being force to draw something either really obscure or not very fun). The adventure continues!

I guess that wraps it up!  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.  Which animal was your favorite this round?

As always, thanks for reading!

Brenda

 

Alphabet Animal Art Challenge: G-M

Well folks, we have officially reached the halfway point of the Alphabet Animal Art Challenge and it is time for the second recap for the year!  As time has progressed, I have found that participation from other artists is dwindling.  Bummer? Yes.  But… this began first and foremost as a personal challenge to myself and alone or with a crowd, I will continue until the end!  I certainly miss seeing other’s people work inspired by the letter prompts, but I totally get the difficulty of sticking with any challenge for a full year!  Honestly, it has been hard for me for a few of these letters to want to spend the time creating anything, especially when I was uninspired by the choices.  If not for my determination to stick to my goal I might have stopped too!  (Or at least skipped some letters).  But I persevered and am happy I did. Today I am sharing a look at the second batch of animals, G-M, and sharing some designs I created that incorporate animals from both the first and second round of creations.

Letters G-M  There was definitely a lag in excitement when I hit the middle of this batch. Letters I and J were not very inspiring to me.  I came up with the idea to do multiple insects for I, which ended up kind of fun.  But J… the jellyfish you see here was actually just a re-working of an old illustration (and then scaled twice to create 3  different sized ones).  Thankfully the Koala helped me get some of my enthusiasm back!

Alphabet Animals Letters G to M by Brenda Zapotosky

I think my favorite of this batch is the Hedgehog.  I would definitely like to create a pattern for him using a maze of green hedges!

H is for Hedgehog by Brenda Zapotosky

Pattern and Cards:  So far I have incorporated 4 different animals from the challenge into either cards or a pattern.  These include my giraffe from this batch of illustrations and 3 other animals from my first round  (Letters A-F) of illustrations.  I absolutely love that I am building a library of animal illustrations, in my style, that are all ready to be used in other ways.

I created a seamless pattern with my flamingo for the Birds and Blooms Design Challenge on Spoonflower.  I absolutely love the bright, happy palette and am in the process of creating an entire collection around the signature print:  Flamingos and Flowers.

Flamingos and Flowers Pattern Promo by Brenda Zapotosky

The collection is not finished yet, but you can find the first two coordinates of Floridian, as well as the flamingo print available now in my Spoonflower shop.

I also created some greeting cards using my animal art designs too!

Animal Art Greeting Cards by Brenda Zapotosky

The cat card was a birthday card for my husband.  The giraffe card was actually a MOTHER’S day card (my mom loves giraffes) but I kept the greeting on the front generic to give it better flexibility for future use.  I had both a niece and nephew turn 2 in June, so I actually did 2 different colorways of the elephant card.  In my “girl” version (below) the elephant has pink toenails like in the original illustration, although in a brighter shade of pink!

Birthday Elephant Greeting Card Pink by Brenda Zapotosky

These cards were a lot of fun to put together.  I could see an entire line of animal cards along with maybe some matching gift wrap being developed at some point.  For now, I am enjoying creating them as the need arises.

Overall, I will call round 2 a success!  It is quite incredible how many different animals there really are!  I have discovered many “new to me” animals along the way.  Next up is the letter N, which marks the beginning of the second half of the alphabet.  So if you wanted to join me, or jump back in if you started and fell behind, this is a great time to start!!!

And be sure to follow me on Instagram, to see each animal as I finish them and see the reminder posts and animal idea prompts each fortnight!

Thanks for reading!

Brenda

Alphabet Animal Art Challenge: A-F

Hey art fans!  Bringing you a little recap today of the progress for the Alphabet Animal Art Challenge I started at the beginning of the year.  If you missed the original post you can find it here.  We have now made it through the first six letters:  A-F!  (And are currently in the midst of the two week time frame for the letter G).  Here is a look at the first 6 animals I chose to create:

Alphabet Animals A thru F by Brenda Zapotosky

So far I am very happy that I embarked on this journey.  I have really stretched myself with some of these characters.  It is forcing me to step outside the box. Here are some thoughts as I reflect on the challenge to this point:

  • Looking back on the first six characters you might notice that the armadillo looks a little different than the rest.  I decided after I created him that I wanted to try for a more “cute” look to my characters and to be a little more playful with them.  I think this has been achieved!
  • I have no idea why I chose bats for the letter B.  It seems a weird choice to me now, although I did have fun creating their “looks”.
  • I thought the deer would be the most difficult for me but in the end it was actually the elephant that caused me the most trouble.  She is actually my favorite so far though, so completely worth the effort!
FIXED E is for Elephant by Brenda Zapotosky
Eleanora the Elephant

Overall, I think I am starting to have a nice collection of characters to add to my portfolio and future projects!  Ideas for incorporating them into seamless patterns are already running through my mind.

I am especially excited about how many others have joined in the fun!  I absolutely LOVE seeing them pop up in the #alphabetanimalart2017 tag on instagram.  Such a wonderful collection of creativity in a wide array of styles!   Here is a look at some of the stand-out designs that were posted for the letters A-F:

I’ll start with the letter A.  And first up is an alligator by Noa of worldofpineapple.  I love the bold colors she chose for her illustration and the clever way she made her letter “A” match her animal.

Print

Guncha from gunchakumar chose an Ant for her letter A.  I love how she decided to have him pose with the letter itself!  (Looks like the A is barely staying put!)

Ant by Guncha small

Next is the Letter B and for this one I have 2 different beavers to share!

Tina from tinatidesign created this adorable beaver!  I love his over-sized teeth:  Perfect for gnawing down the toughest of wood (or carving a pencil-like log!)

Beaver by Tina Ti small

Nehal Desai of designedbynehal also created an adorable beaver. He looks so innocent holding that little branch!  Love her color choices and the tones and subtle textures she achieved.

Beaver by Nehal Desai small

Onto the letter C!  Stacey of peppypattern created a happy crab!  I am a big fan of hatching and fills and I love how she creatively combined them with subtle color variations on its legs.

Crab by peppypattern small

For the letter D we not only have a dog, but it is a dachshund!  (Double letter D) This stunning illustration was created by Jill of jillbyersdesign.  She has placed each of her animals in a lovely scene.  I absolutely love the old German town setting she chose for her dachshund (and his matching lederhosen)!

Dog by Jill Byers small

Last but not least is Brooke from the busybdesignstudio.  Brooke is one of my “real world” friends and we met through the world of architecture (Me, buildings, Brooke, landscape).  I have loved seeing Brooke’s animals for this challenge and discovering a whole other artistic style she has! My favorite of her posts so far is this lovely elephant she has named Esme.  The flower crown she gave her is the perfect delicate touch of feminine.

Elephant by Brooke Slater small

You might notice I have not included any outside artist’s work for the letter F.  Sadly, enthusiasm for the challenge has dwindled as the weeks have progressed and there was not a really another F candidate from an artist not already shown here. (I made the decision to only chose one work by each artist).  I really hope that after this post there will be a renewed enthusiasm for the challenge because as I said earlier I have really loved seeing what others have created!  And if you are new to the challenge (or perhaps got a little lasped in your posts) feel free to jump right in at any letter!  We are currently on the letter G!

I hope you have enjoyed this recap and all the animal creations both here and on instagram!  Excited what comes in the next batch of letters!

Happy creating!

Brenda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alphabet Animal Art Challenge

2017-animal-art-challenge-by-brenda-zapotosky

I am excited to announce a challenge I am creating for 2017!  It is a personal challenge for me, but I am really hoping that others will join in the fun.  I love all the fun “special” art creation events I see on Instagram throughout the year.  Events like Inktober or month long drawing prompts, etc.   But to be honest, most of them are intimidating in terms of commitment.  Truth is, I really don’t want to commit to something that makes me draw or create everyday.  As a freelancer, sometimes my work time is spent creating new art, but that is just one portion of a bigger picture.  That being said, I would really like challenge myself creatively.  So I came up with a more moderate challenge, tailor made to help me grow in an area that I would like to improve upon: creating animal characters!  Thus, the “Alphabet Animal Art Challenge” was born!  (Say that 3 times fast… ok, I did, it actually isn’t that hard… ha ha ha).

I love this concept for a few reasons:

  1.  By using the 26 letter Alphabet as my structure, it fits perfectly to a 52 week year!  One animal, per letter, every 2 weeks = 52 weeks in total, and 26 new characters created by the end of the year!
  2. There are enough animals that even within the limits of a single letter, there are a lot of options for most of the weeks (we’ll tackle Q and X when we get to those!)
  3. The 2 week time frame gives plenty of time to create without feeling pressured or rushed!

Note, this is not a DRAWING challenge.  You can absolutely draw your characters by hand if you want.  But if you prefer creating digitally go for it!  Painting?  Of course!  You could even do collage animals if you’d like.  I wanted as little restrictions as possible.  So feel free to create your animals in whatever medium you most prefer (or multiple mediums if you want to try new techniques throughout the year.)

Here is the structure of how things will work.  Since 2017 starts on a Sunday, that will be the day I will be posting a reminder on Instagram that a new 2-week period has begun.  I’ll share the letter and some animal ideas to get you started.  You can share the animal you create anytime during the two week period. I hope to post mine near the end of the time period.  I am assigning 2 hashtags to put with your posts:  #alphabetanimalart2017 and #alphabetanimals  So be sure to use those when you post.

This is not a contest or giveaway.  There aren’t any prizes.  This is merely a fun way to motivate yourself to create some new art and connect with others that are doing the same. I would like to do a blog post quarterly to share what has been created so far, so there is a chance I might ask to share one of your animals here on my blog!  (But I can only find you if you use the right hashtags!)

Thanks in advance for following along!  And I really hope some others join in the creating fun!

Brenda

PS.  If you aren’t already following me on Instagram you can find me here.