Tiger Sketch

An update, hoorah! As of late, the Holidays have consumed my life. For the past week or ten I have been trying to get my shopping, wrapping, and artwork done. Other than a recently launched Etsy shop (next post!), I have been enjoying my time with family and friends. Today is the first day I've had some down time. As a result, here is a tiger doodle.

As a side-note, I saw Frozen this past week. Months ago I saw some concept sketches involving Sven the Reindeer and Elsa/Anna. I was pretty pumped, but the marketing for the dilm eventually turned me off. After hearing only good things about Frozen, I finally had to opportunity to go, and I'm so glad I did! I LOVED IT! I will be seeking out the art book as soon as possible.


To Where the Wild Things Are

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Maurice Sendak's beloved children's storybook Where the Wild Things Are. I've loved this book for a long time, and perhaps my love for it has only grown over the years. The monsters in "Where the Wild Things Are" serve as an embodiment of the imagination. For me, it's a visual reminder to the magical worlds I created in my own home while growing up. I made my own dinosaur costumes out of printer paper and crayons, exploring the vast wilderness of my hastily constructed blanket forts from the comfort of my own living room. He was a boy in a wolf suit, King of the Wild Things. I was a girl in a paper T-Rex suit, Queen of the Three House Cats and a Lab/Rottweiler Mix. (Coming to a child's bookshelf near you, Spring 2015)

This book has been analyzed in many different ways, and it's no secret that Sendak had dark overtones in many of his books. On a simpler level, Max is just a wild little boy with a vivid imagination. Perhaps he'll grow up to write his own books. Maybe he'll be an inventor or a storyboard artist. (Or some sort of terrifying masochist, but hey, who's to say?!) Imagination is a powerful thing, and I think Sendak himself sums it up quite nicely:

“Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do.” ― Maurice Sendak



Shhhh... don't tell. I love monsters. Here are some monsters from my brain.

Pen & Watercolor

Here's a couple experimental pen and watercolor pieces. Definitely will be doing more of these, fun stuff!


Cat & Dog Sketches


Squash and Ollie

I met up with a friend in Saint Louis this weekend. She happens to be a fellow artist, so from time to time we draw things for one another. She ALSO happens to be a fellow self-proclaimed cat lady, so I did a quick watercolor painting of her cats, Squash and Ollie.

Mustachioed Cat Magnets

Whenever I can fit it into my schedule, I volunteer as a photographer at The Vanderburgh Humane Society, photographing everything from dwarf hamsters, to cats and dogs, to major events.

In our community, summers are are a particularly crazy time for the cat population. I spend a lot of my time photographing kittens and cats, many of which I see waiting for their forever homes weeks on end. These are all perfectly good-natured, healthy adoptable cats, but many never find a home.

This breaks my heart. If I could, I'd take them all home. The reality is that I can't or else I'd truly hit crazy cat lady status. I do my best to help get the word out that there are some amazing animals at the VHS waiting for adoption.

Throughout my time at VHS, I've accumulated a large library of animal photographs. One afternoon, I decided to make a few of these into magnets. Obviously my first thought was, "Oh, yeah, better add a mustache to all of these cats!" And thus, cat mustache magnets were born.

I chose a few images that clearly displayed a cat's face and took them into photoshop. There I converted them to black and white to help make the mustaches really POP. I added in the mustaches, sized each head to be a little smaller than one inch and printed out a sheet for cutting. I picked up some crafting glue, magnets, and a 1" round paper cutter at Michael's. I found the glass bits at both Michael's and the Dollar Tree.

My fridge is no stranger to odd and interesting magnets, (I collect them from National Parks, magnets from favorite shows like Adventure Time, dinosaur magnets, bad pun magnets, etc.) but now I have thousands of mustachioed cat faces staring back at me whenever I go to grab myself a snack. Soon, you can too.

Available on Etsy soon (http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/KeriDuckworth)


Digital Portrait

Earlier this year I was asked to do a digital portrait as an anniversary gift for a best friend's parents. I was given a photo reference, and after several hours in photoshop, this was the result. I was excited to have the opportunity to recall my days of figure drawing and work on a realism piece, as typically I draw things a bit more on the whimsical side. You know, like cats with mustaches.

Wolf Park | a study of anatomy

Wolves, and canines in general, are one of my favorite animals. This is a pretty bold statement seeing as I am a complete and absolute lover of any animal, big or small. Back in 2011 my boyfriend and I visited Wolf Park, which is a "not-for-profit organization dedicated to behavioral research, education and conservation, with the objective of improving the public’s understanding of wolves and the value they provide to our environment." Additionally, Wolf Park offers photography seminars under the guidance of one of my most favored wildlife photographers, Monty Sloan. Alongside Monty and a handful of other photography/wildlife enthusiasts, we spent several hours inside an enclosure with three of Wolf Park's resident wolves. This was one of the best experiences of my life to date. Our visit afforded me not only the opportunity to meet and interact with wolves *insert high-pitched noise of complete and utter joy here*, it gave me once in a lifetime photo opportunities, as well as an entire library of photo references for anatomical study. Above I've provided a sketch of Ruedi, one of Wolf Park's at-the-time Ambassador Wolves. Below is a photograph I took of him during my visit.


This week belongs to Unicorns.

This week belongs to Unicorns.

Watercolor Firefox

Here is another watercolor experiment. I'm keeping things pretty simple for the moment and trying out new styles. It's fun to experiment in new mediums!

Watercolor Deer

Over the weekend I unearthed a couple of gift cards to Blick, so I decided to put them to use. I picked up a new travel set of Winsor & Newton watercolors. I also bought a tube of white gouache to use as an overlay. I haven't used gouache in a few years so I'm hoping to find some of my old tubes and test those out as well. I plan on doing some mixed-media with these watercolors, combining digital lines with watercolor backgrounds. I probably favor watercolors over acrylics or oils due to the fact that I'm used to working quickly in programs like Photoshop. Their fast dry time keeps my patience intact!


"Woodland Creatures" - Pt. 2

The second part of my "Woodland Creatures" series is complete! This one features a cute little forest owl. I am currently working on an illustration for the back of this bookmark, as well as one for "Little Fox", as shown in my previous post. I am also looking into various printing companies and I hope to have these two in production shortly. Enjoy!


Little Foxes

I'm currently creating a handful of products to sell locally and online. These "Little Foxes" will be offered as bookmarks. This particular set consists of an Arctic Fox, a Red Fox and a Fennec Fox. The Red Fox will also be featured in a "Woodland Creatures" set. Additionally, "Little Foxes" will be offered as a print, along with the rest of the "Woodland Creatures" series. I'm excited to share the remaining illustrations!


Jep: Photoshop Lines vs. Illustrator Lines

HEY GUYS! LOOK, A PUPPY! This is Jep, our Shepherd/Chow mix. I have been searching for new line art techniques, so I decided to try converting Photoshop lines to vector in Illustrator. Adobe Photoshop and I have been in a pretty committed relationship ever since I switched over from Jasc Paint Shop Pro back in the early 2000's, but Illustrator has a lot of great qualities that I am really growing to love for traditional art, like the Blob Brush tool. These are great options when you want to resize your graphics at a later date.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of my Photoshop line art vs. Illustrator line art. In this particular case I used Live Trace to convert my lines, and after some tweaking I was pretty happy with the results. I've created smooth, scalable lines with minimal quality loss. That is a success in my book! You have no idea how many hours I wasted scaling my recently vectorized lines up and down, completely in awe of their beauty. (Roughly .003 seconds, but in my mind it was a lot longer.)


A Study of Canine Anatomy

It's no secret that I love animals. If you've spent any time on this blog, that is quite obvious. Dogs hold a special place in my heart. I've always had a dog present in my life in one way or another. I spent much of my childhood exploring the woods behind my house with my childhood dog and best four-legged friend, Bo. He, along with a vast array of other furry creatures instilled within me a deep love for animals that I will never shake.

I've started a personal project to illustrate an assortment of dog breeds. This project is primarily so that I can study anatomy. It's amazing that although they are all canines, the anatomy of a Great Dane is extraordinarily different from that of a Chihuahua. Don't even get me started on facial variations! On one hand, we can have the proud, wolf-life face of the German Shepherd, and then we have the Pug, a comical little dog that looks like he didn't put the breaks on soon enough before plowing into a wall.

Below is the first draft in a series I will be continuing. By the end of this project I hope to have a greater understanding of canine at anatomy and overall physical appearance. Enjoy!


From Doodle to Drawing - Happy Easter!

HAPPY EASTER! I hope that by now you all have jellybeans spilling out of your eyeballs. If not, locate the nearest vehicle and get to the store. What you are waiting for? There is discount candy to be had, GET ON IT!

There, now that I've gotten that very important public service announcement out of the way, let's get to the point of this post. Have you ever sketched something and liked it so much that you had to take it to the next level? Sometimes a doodle can turn into a lot more than originally anticipated.

The other day I was messing around in Flash for the sake of practice. I ended up just doodling a few things, playing with layers and messing with line weights, but one of my early doodles stuck with me for some reason.

The sketch is very crude and I never intended for it to be anything but a doodle that never saw the light of day after I closed out of Flash. But... by the time I was done, I kind of liked the pose. I saved the little bun, and a few days later I re-sketched it. This is what I ended up with:

Voilà! A fully-fledged, sickeningly adorable rabbit, just in time for Easter.
The moral of the story is that at times it can prove beneficial to keep all of your sketches. One day you might just look at them and find inspiration where you didn't see it before.

Back to Top