Thursday, August 3, 2017

Under the Sea - Process Post

Hey everyone!
I recently finished up a super fun commission and wanted to show you guys some of the process in creating it! Last time I did a progress post, there was a really positive response, so I thought I would try again and see how it goes! If you are having trouble viewing the details of some of the images, just click on them and it should magnify the image for you a little bit!

The pieces were created for a nursery for the client's baby girl. The only prompt they gave me was that there would be an "under the sea" theme. I presented a few different options to them in the initial sketches, but they decided this was their favorite option:

Messy, right?
Then I tightened up the idea in this sketch: 

Here are each of the individual sketches up close:

(Sidenote: If you take a closer look at the previous boat, you will see it looks a little different! We ended up changing the idea of the boat to look more sailor-esque by adding a life preserver!)


 Once the client was happy with how everything looked, I did some mock-ups for color palettes. They had a specific color they wanted to paint the nursery (seafoam green/teal), so I tried to keep that in mind while selecting a color palette! Here are all of the options I gave them:

 They decided on this one as the final color palette:
(one of my favorites!)

With everything good to go, I primed the canvas with gesso and then started sketching out the creatures:

Then I applied a thin, watery layer of acrylic to the canvas:

I wanted the water to look a little imperfect and streaky from the very beginning so that I wouldn't have to pile on a bunch of paint for the water. Also, I usually like to build up acrylic with the details and keep the background thin and more transparent - I think it adds a nice sense of depth and completion in the final product!

Here's some more progress...:


I was still experimenting during this stage, but decided that I wanted to do dry brushing on the objects and creatures and then add a dark outline with a Prismacolor pencil. When everything was completed, I sprayed the canvases with a sealant so that the Prismacolor pencil wouldn't smear!

...and of course, that's where the progress shots stop. I started focusing on completing the pieces in time and totally spaced taking photos! Oh well though - at least it got done, right?

*   *   *


 Here are some detail shots of the piece:






 Overall, I'm super pleased with the outcome! Children's book-type illustration is always my favorite.
If you are interested in commissions, please email

Thank you all for your continued support!

Ashley xoxo

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Well hey everyone!

I'm really excited about the prospects of a few projects right now. Hopefully some of them work out so that I can share with you guys!

I just wanted to do a quick little art drop to keep you all in the loop. Oh, and life update: basically, it's way too hot right now, I'm attempting to stop biting my nails for the umpteenth time, I wish it was Halloween, and I ate way too many cupcakes way too late at night. 
 Life is pretty cool though, despite all of that.

Thank you all x 1,000,000 for all of your support! Let's get real - sometimes social media is the worst and makes you feel like a real pile of doo-doo, but other times it's great and people are super supportive and loving! So thanks if you are a part of the latter. :)

Have a great weekend! 

Ashley xoxo

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Catching Up!

Hey everyone!

I feel like the last few weeks have been extremely busy for me, so I haven't had much time for personal art. It bums me out, but I'm gonna try to focus on more personal projects this month! I also have been brainstorming a lot lately - - now I just need to make those ideas a reality!

Quick announcement: I am going to have a booth at Craft Lake City this year! So SLC friends - stop by and say hey! I've been busy prepping for the convention and am hoping to have a few things to debut at the festival!

Anywho, here are some sketches and work-in-progress shots to take a gander at!

 I've been working on a commission the past few weeks and have been doing a lot of preliminary sketches to get properly prepared! It's going to be an underwater-themed children's book-style painting. I'll post my process here when I get it all finished up!

Started working on a personal project series of oil paintings. Unfortunately, I had to stop for a while to give commissions a little more attention (and I ran out of liquin).

Is everyone getting stoked for Halloween??! It's the most wonderful time of the year. I'm already planning out my costume. AND! I've been planning out my Inktober series for this year... so stay tuned :D

Thank you all for your continued support! 

Ashley xoxo

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Doodle Drop

Hey everyone!

First off, I added some new prints to my online shop - check em out HERE!

So I've been doing a lot of sketching lately and thought it would be fun to do a quick little post of some of the most recent drawings I've doodled up! Enjoy!

Have a great weekend! 


Ashley xoxox

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Shadow Box Progress/Mother's Day Commissions

Hey everyone!

It's been a minute! These last few weeks have been super crazy for me, so I'm glad I was able to find some down time to post on my blog! 

I have been trying to document my progress on my artwork a lot more lately. It's been (sort of) successful, so I thought I would share some of my progress shots for some shadow boxes I finished up these past few weeks! The first one is a custom shadow box similar to "The Stuntman" shadow box I did for my Life in a Box show last October.

First, I started out with some concept sketches - 

 Once the client was happy with the character design and layout of the shadow box, I started moving forward with painting the individual pieces for the shadow box. I use Arches watercolor paper and sketch out the characters and objects, then I do some light acrylic washes over the top and build up the layers from there. Once I get the pieces to their completed state, then I cut the pieces out using some itty-bitty scissors. 

I didn't do such a great job taking photos of this step, but you get the basic idea!


  I used string and some transparent gold vellum to make the string lights look a little more exciting! I also used string for the stars. 

Once all of the pieces are cut out, I use a long rectangle of watercolor paper to mount to the back of the piece so that it gives it a "pop-up" effect when I layer them in the box!

Here is the final product! -

In the future, I will try to take more detailed progress shots so it's a little easier to follow what I am doing!

 I had another personalized shadow box commission for Mother's Day - it was a Star Wars-themed shadow box and it was WAY too much fun to paint!

Here were some of the concept sketches and character designs - 



 Starting to arrange everything on the watercolor paper at this stage! I measure out the size of the box and the pieces inside of it appropriately before painting anything so I can make sure I won't have any issues with fitting the pieces in the box when it's all done!

Here is a better look at what the pieces look like in the in-between stage before they are mounted in the shadow box -  

...And finally - the finished product! We added a little chuck of Tauntaun meat last minute. 😆



Here's another fun Mother's Day commission I got to do! I sketched it out on Mixed Media paper first with a Prismacolor Col-Erase pencil and then filled in the colors with Copic markers and a black Prismacolor pencil for the outlines. Highlights were done with a gel pen!

I just wanted to take a moment before wrapping up this blog post to show you all the wonderful and amazing photography by Tenette Espinoza (click HERE to check out more of her gorgeous work!) She took some awesome photos of me drawing and playing piano in my house the other day and I am in love with them. I'm not super great at posing for photographs, but she always makes me feel super cute and comfortable. I highly recommend her for any photography needs you have!



 Thank you all so much for your continued support! Love you all! Have a nice Memorial Day weekend!


xoxo Ashley