Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Comparing Apples to Apples

Yesterday I redid a painting. I sold my original apple painting at a silent auction and the second bidder also really wanted it, so I offered to paint him another original...I personally think the second apple came out a little better.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Project Sketches

Here are a few sketches for the projects I'm working on. Can't reveal too much, but here a few character studies for a story someone is self-publishing. It's more of a classic fairytale type story. The second book is what I am doing for Prospect Park Books in Pasadena. These animal sketches probably wont be in the book, so it's fine to post. But I thought they were so cute, I wanted to at least post them so they didn't just sit in my sketchbook forever. More to come!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grandma Mary Gallegos

This last week my grandma, Mary Gallegos, passed away. It’s been hard, but at the same time, I haven’t really processed it yet because she lived in Idaho, so it doesn't feel like anything has changed. I’m going up there next weekend for the memorial service and I’m sure it will feel a lot more real once I’m there with all my family. But until then, I’m not even really sure what I feel.

My grandma was a painter and a house-wife and loved her family deeply. Growing up I always saw this painting that my grandma did (I’m guessing it’s more of a study than a finished piece) sitting in her garage. I always liked it and one day, before she moved from Whittier to Idaho, I asked her what she was going to do with it. She didn’t even want it so I told her I wanted it and it’s been hanging in my room ever since. It’s my favorite painting of my grandma’s. I love the spontaneity of her strokes and how she only gives the impression of some of the objects. Plus I love the color scheme, it fits with my room very well! So in memory of her, and her artistic life, I did a study of her study. Mine is a little more polished and “finished”…I don’t know if I would be able to capture the spontaneity of her strokes. But I'm happy with it and I'm sure she would have enjoyed it as well.

I'm so thankful that some her personality and passion is captured in her paintings so I will remember her, always. I will miss you grandma. 
 My grandma's study is about 24x48.
I did a 6x12 study of my grandma's study.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Inspiration: Art galleries, research, and my honeymoon!

First of all, apologies for the lack of posts. Lots has happened in the last month or so, but sadly not much finished art. This is partly due to long projects that I am just starting, but also because I got married on Oct 2nd!! :D I was thankful that everything I'm working on at the moment allowed me to take some time off and now that I am back from the honeymoon (with no sketches to show for it) I will share all the inspirations I've been enjoying lately as I get back to work.

While honeymooning in Monterey and exploring the northern coast of California, me and my husband got to enjoy some amazing waves and rock formations at Point Lobos, as well as picturesque, "fairy-tale" forests in Big Sur, and quaint cottages in Carmel. We also got to visit lots of art galleries while walking around Carmel-by-the-sea. It's the cutest European-style town with lots of wine-tasting, candy shops, and art galleries! So fun! Below are some images of my favorite art from some of the galleries we visited.

Point Lobos had awesome crashing waves.

I loved how the water was constantly churning, crashing and flowing in different directions. Never a moment of rest or stillness.

Pfeiffer Beach is a hidden beach off Highway 1 near Big Sur. There are no signs to the beach, you just have to know where it is. Even the 2 mile road to the parking lot is lush and green and full of trees covered in moss and vines!

 Carmel-By-The-Sea is a quaint little town full of art galleries and apparently live artists. You can partially see the shop in the background that the artist used as reference. It wasn't an exact painting of real life which I enjoyed seeing.

 A cute little cottage we discovered in a back alley behind the shops.

 Big Sur had the best forest area and hikes. It reminds me of The Lord Of the Rings a little...

Julia Burns Pfeiffer State Beach had the best view in my opinion. 

Gilligan's Island?...with an awesome waterfall!

Now for some of my favorite galleries we visited in Carmel-by-the-sea.

Galerie Rue Toulouse: Marc Clauzade and other artists. His art captured me because if it's vibrant colors and active lines! More on the Galerie Rue Toulouse here.

The Garcia Gallery: Danny Garcia. I like his impasto style, subtle colors, and thin lines. These images don't get the colors right at all. They are much prettier... More on the Garcia Gallery here.

My favorite gallery with sculptures was featuring an artist named Richard MacDonald. I didn't realize that I had actually seen this artist's work before at a gallery in Laguna so it was fun for me to see it again and I enjoyed much more the second time around. I love that he does a lot of dancing positions. The lines and angles are so beautiful. More on Richard MacDonald here.

Finally, we visited Gallery 21 with the artist Eyvind Earle. He was a background painter for Disney and worked on Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp (as well as many others), and most importantly was responsible for the stylizing, background and coloring for Sleeping Beauty. I loved how geometric his style was and all the vibrant colors. I couldn't believe they were all done by hand in oil paint! When I saw it I didn't realize who he was but it reminded me of Mary Blair's work. More on Eyvind Earle here.
From Sleeping Beauty

Now off I go to work on all my art at my new creating station in my new (and very small) studio apartment! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Big News!

Hello everyone,

I've been hinting at some big news lately, so here it finally is! Today I signed the contract to illustrate a children's book for Prospect Park Books! It is a small publisher in Pasadena, CA, who is doing their first children's book and I have been given the opportunity to work on it with them.

My Fiance's grandma told me that she heard about a publisher in Pasadena who was going to do a children's book and was looking for an illustrator. She had heard it through a friend of her's. So I looked up the publisher online and contacted them. They said they were surprised to hear how I found out about their project because they hadn't really told anyone about the children's book project. (haha, oops!) To my pleasant surprise they asked me to come in for an interview with the President and the Author if the book. The interview went great and soon after I got an email saying they wanted me to be the illustrator!

I'm not sure how much I can tell you about it but I think it's going to be really fun! It has an educational element to it, and I get to paint lots of fun animals! It will be released in September 2012. I'm so blessed to be able to do my first book with a real, established publisher! I can't wait for the adventure to begin!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Good Morning Red Polka Dots!

Just finished a freelance project. It's actually going to be a YouTube video of a song someone wrote for his daughter who loves their Red Polka Dot curtains! My illustrations will accompany the music. Here's a clip from 2 of the illustrations.

Other big news coming soon!!!...

Friday, August 19, 2011

On The Day Love Was Born now available!

The lastest book I illustrated is now available to purchase! Here's a special note from the publisher/author:

Hello Friends!

Its finally done! A labor of love, 7 months in the making, my new book On the Day Love Was Born is now published! For children, parents, and parents-to-be, it highlights the sweet sentiment of "soul connection," with gorgeous illustrations by west coast artist Lauren Gallegos that really engage the little ones.

Please visit my website for more info., and *please* forward this email to everyone you know! My marketing campaign includes a big "grass roots," "get-the-word-out" effort, so any assistance to spread the word would be much appreciated.

For a limited time, Little Hill Publishers is offering an Introductory price of $8.95 to our first customers (an 18% discount off regular retail), with flat $4.95 shipping for up to 12 copies. Perfect for Mom's clubs, church groups, school groups, etc.. Wholesale discounts to qualified resellers are also available.

Soon I'll be sending blasts via Facebook and LinkedIn, so you may see this announcement again in a different form. For anyone interested in reviewing or discussing my book, please visit my Amazon Author's Page. I welcome any feedback and encourage reviews!

Thanks so much everybody, and enjoy the rest of your summer!
Warmest regards,

Dana Cerrito, President
A small elevation can still improve your view

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sweet 16

Here's a little drawing I did for someone who's throwing a Sweet 16 party for her daughter. This is the cake design as well as the image that will be used on her invitations.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

15th Annual Orange Open

This last weekend was the 15th Annual Orange Open at the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University. Unfortunately for me I missed the opening reception again (I missed last year's too!), so I went to see the show today. To my pleasant surprise, I got 2nd place for one of my paintings!! Hurray!

This is a great show with some great art, but it's only going on for a few more days. I hope to continue to be a part of this show annually, and I hope next year I will be able to make it to the opening reception!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Inspiration - Chris Sheban

No new work from me today, but I want to share someone else's work! He has been one of my biggest artistic influences while starting my illustrating journey, and even now. During college when I was trying to find my "style" I spent a lot of time looking at other illustrators just to see what I liked.

I kept coming back to Chris Sheban's work. I just couldn't pull myself away from it! And I couldn't figure out what his technique was! It was different then anything I had ever seen! I bought all of his books and studied each image intensely. Finally I couldn't take it any longer...I looked him up online and emailed him! I didn't really expect him to answer, but to my pleasant surprise, he did!! He was very appreciative of my curiosity and told me about his technique in depth. (He starts with a dark watercolor underpainting an works over that with Prismacolor pencils and occasionally touches of pastel. He works back into darker areas with watercolor. The grainy surface texture is achieved through the use of and Arches 90 lb cold press surface.)

This led to my attempt to use colored pencil on toned pastel paper. I loved the textured look of it! But, as some of you know, I've run into difficulties with this technique, the colors would fade (a lot!!) after some time and the drawing pretty much looked dead. I tried everything to fix it, so far I haven't found anything. So recently I've started to switch to acrylic. However! I'm still in love with Chris Sheban's work, and will always be inspired by it!

Another one of my favorites of Sheban's books is "Red Fox at McCloskey's Farm". GREAT illustrations, GREAT always reminds me of a song by Nickel Creek (GREAT band!) called "The Fox"...

I want to share his WEBSITE with you. It has been updated with TONS of new illustrations. I was SO excited when I discovered this because he used to only have a few illustrations available to view in his portfolio. Now there's tons!

He also has another book out A Night On The Range. A lot of the interior illustrations in his portfolio. I admit it...I just ordered a copy for myself...guilty. I can't wait for it to come!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Cover - Ghost Tales

Just finished a Book Cover for a client. This is probably one of the easiest projects I've done in awhile. The client had no complaints about the sketches or the final painting, so there were no revisions! Now those are the kinds of projects I like!!

As always, I did a sketch and added some values in Photoshop. This time, however, I did some underpainting values...which I never do. It really helped! I'm going to make it part of my process because it makes the painting go faster in the long run.

The book will be released sometime around September as an eBook only. I don't know many more details other than that. But look for it soon!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Etsy Shop Now Open

Hello all,

Just finished setting up my Etsy shop! Hurray! I'm hoping it will attract some people who haven't discovered me yet. It's a great site to be a part of because it's such a large community. I'm happy to finally be a part of it. Tell your friends!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Short and Sweet, with cute little Turtles!

It's been awhile since my last post! But I have been doing lots of work...mostly freelance graphic design projects, but also some fun illustrations work too! I'm doing some finishing touches on a book that someone is self-publishing. I'm doing all the illustrations as well as the layout and design of the book. It's short and sweet with cute little turtles! What else could I ask for?? Here's the front and back cover layout.

It's getting printed in July. That's about all the info I have at the moment. More details to come when I get it. I know the author is setting up a website for the book and I'm pretty sure it's going to be on Amazon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Art Shows and Updates

I feel like I haven't been updating everyone on all the things that have been going on in life artistically, and I feel bad! If you follow my Facebook page, you probably have seen some of my activities, but in case, you have missed some, here's the gist of it all:

First some old news, just to catch up...

~My first illustrated book was just released on May 1st! (order your copy here!)

~Had the opportunity to show my art at the Huntington Beach Art Walk on April 20th.

~There was a shift in leadership roles within the OC Illustrators group that I am in. It was a sad, but also very inspiring change. We now have a new Facebook page!

~Me and 3 other artist friends have started a sketch blog on Tumblr. (I will try not to neglect this one because of it!) We will be posting a sketch every Monday and a new illustration every month. It is really just a way to keep ourselves accountable to each other.

And now for some upcoming news!...

~I will be showing my artwork from The Mahogany Door on June 3 from 6-11pm at the VioletHour Studio for the Fullerton Artwalk. I did this a few months ago, but I was asked to come back for a special "Kid's Extravaganza". I will be there selling copies of The Mahogany Door!

~Me and Katy Betz will be sharing a table at "Within Radius" an Art Festival in Riverside on June 18th from 6-10. It's going to be a great Festival of the arts! A bunch of bands will be playing and all kinds of artists will be there selling art. Come out and enjoy the festivities!

~Once again, some of my art has been accepted into the Art-4-Health Exhibition and Auction at Cal State Fullerton on October 12th. I have been involved in this show for 4's one of my favorites to be involved in. They were the ones who gave me the chance to have my first Solo Artshow! I am so thankful.

~I have a second book in progress that someone has hired me to illustrate. I can't show you much, but I have been given permission to post the cover illustration and maybe one interior image! For now, I'm posting the cover sketch. Next week I'll post the final image for the cover. The book should be out this Fall.

I'm pretty sure that's everything. If other things come up, I will be sure to post it!
Thanks for all the support and encouragement!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Mahogany Door has opened!!

The door has opened! My first published book is available to order today! I'm so excited! I started the project just over 1 year ago, and it's so exciting to see it all done! I have learned so much from this project about the process of creating a book, and how much work goes into it. I can't wait for the next one! Mark Boliek worked so hard to make a nice, quality product. I think he did an awesome job!

There is also a cool Original Soundtrack that goes along with the book! Preview the music and then order your own.

Exclusively on May 1, order your copy of The Mahogany Door in the store and receive a signed copy by the author, the CD, and free shipping!

Order your copy now!

For updates on the book and for special offers, visit Mark's Facebook Page.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mouse Paintings

I was hired for a small job of painting little mice in someone's kitchen. This woman had them painted on by someone else and for some reason, when the painters came to repaint her walls, they painted right over them! Who would do that!? So she hired me to paint them back on.

The mice were based off of two little mouse salt and pepper shakers that she had. She wanted a girl mouse with a red dress and a boy mouse running to her with some champagne in a tux. Then, as a surprise to her husband, she asked me to paint two little baby mice wearing USC shirts that would represent her grandchildren. So cute! It was a fun little project, and I think they come out good!

Huntington Beach Art Walk

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to be a part of the Huntington Beach Art Walk! I had a great time meeting all the friendly art-lovers coming through and was thrilled to be able to show my work there. Robin Ott, the librarian there was so accommodating and even provided cookies for everyone! I didn't sell anything, but it was still totally worth the drive! Can't wait to do it again! Here are some pictures from the night.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Camp Gilligan

FINALLY! Something I've been working on that I can post! Lots of the things I'm doing I can't really show anyone yet. And all this work isn't allowing me much time to work on my own stuff...actually it isn't allowing me ANY time. :( But I'm still creating, and still loving it!

Here's a summer day camp logo I did for a camp that is starting up this summer. One is a huge banner and one is a Rackcard for people to take for more a flyer, but with a fancy name and different shape. It was fun to do another project with vector art. I hope to do more. Although I haven't done much painting lately, and I'm starting to miss that too. But not to worry! I'm working on a project right now that will allow me to do a bunch of paintings! Until then...keep creating!