Friday, December 20, 2013

King of Assassins

Cover Illustration for Jenna Rhodes
"King of Assassins"

Preliminary sketches

Presentation sketch in black and white

Color comprehensive

Final finished art in acrylics on gessoed illustration board.  Some colored pencil just for back ground texture, and graphite pencil for strengthening borders.  Jenna has created a wonderful fantasy world with several races, a breathtaking sense of urgency, frightening magic, and strong characters full of hopes, desires, humor and love.  A joy to read, and I'm only getting the unedited manuscripts!

Happy Solstice!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Craft Fair

Holiday Craft Fair

sponsored by Hudson Valley Etsy Team

I'll be at the Hudson Valley Etsy Team Holiday Craft Fair at the Howland Cultural Center at 477 Main Street in Beacon, NY, this Saturday, December 14th, 10AM to 5PM! Come see my jewelry and plush monsters!  I'm pretty busy so this is my only fair of the season.  Happy shopping, everyone!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Free Printable from a Studio by the Sea

 Free Gift Tag Design for the Holidays

Happy Solstice from a Studio by the Sea!  These winter mice and birdies are all ready to celebrate the season in these gift tags I made.  All you need is a printer, card stock paper, and something to cut out the tags with. 

Click on links below for downloadable pdfs

Bird & Mice Large Tag Sheet

  1. Print out the downloaded file on a sheet of card stock
  2. Cut out each tag along the pale green lines - use scissors, x-acto knife & ruler or paper cutter.
  3. Punch out holes with a hole punch or just attach to your gift with tape or glue.

Happy Holidays!

All images © Jody A Lee 2013
These gift tag sheets are for your personal use only
All commercial use of them or these images is prohibited


Monday, July 8, 2013

DIY: Leaf Pincushion Pins

 Leaf Pincushion Pins Tutorial

For all you crafters who sew, or know someone who sews, here's a little way to green up your pincushions!


x-acto blade or even a toothpick will do
flat top pins or needles from the dollar store

Choose or make various shades of green by mixing the ready made colors with white or clear sculpey.  Just knead the two shades together until blended.  Roll into a tube, and cut some slices.

Make a leaf shape of a slice by rolling it into a ball, flattening it, and pinching one end.  Push in the pin or needle, and push the clay back onto the puncture so it's sealed.  Its nice to have decorative pin heads that are flat, as they are easier on the fingers and okay to iron over.

Gently press the x-acto blade or toothpick onto the top of the sculpey to make the veins of the leaf.

I got some leather punch tools to press into my sculpey pins as well!

 Place or even make the pins right on top of a small piece aluminum foil.  That way you don't even have to move them after you've form them, and distort their sides.  Bake at 275 degrees for 10 minutes and they are done!  So simple and fun!

The Garden Tortoise goes on his way to new projects


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Craft Fairs

Craft Fairs June 1st & 2nd

I belong to two Etsy teams, Etsy NY and Hudson Valley Etsy Team, and they are each having a craft fair on the first weekend of June.  I will be hoping for no wind or rain and showing my jewelry and my NEW one of a kind stuffed monsters.  No artwork, just crafts from me at these two shows.  The forecast is for a sunny weekend so come on out!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Collegium Chronicles: Bastion

My Drawing Board 

I turned this in yesterday.  A cover for Mercedes Lackey's new novel in the Collegium Chronicles for the good folks at DAW Books.  In the upper right you can see my color comp and below that my now 17 year old son posing for me as Mags, the Herald trainee at the center of this series.  Oils on illustration board for the painting and a digital background of silver horses and arrows done in Photoshop.  I'm not sure when this is coming out, as Misty is in the midst of writing it!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

DIY: Matting & Framing Tutorial Part 3

DIY: Matting & Framing My Fantasy Art
Part 3

Tools & Materials

DIY metal frame 
Picture hanging wire (any wire will do, even tough string)
matted artwork
wire cutter

This is the final part of the tutorial.  Previously I had completed the matting of the art, and now I assemble the frame and put the artwork in it.  I buy my frames from American Frame, Graphic Dimensions, and sometimes from the art suppliers like Dick Blick, Pearl Paint, or AI Friedman.  I like American Frame because most of the time I'm framing artwork for conventions and I expect the art will do some traveling before it sells, so I prefer metal frames for toughness. I use plexiglass, which American Frame will cut for you as well, instead of glass because it is much lighter, and may crack but not shatter as glass will.  I like color in my mats but a clean, austere look in my frames.  

I assemble the frame as per the instructions, leaving the top open for insertion of the art.

I insert the corners at the top and the piece for hanging wire about 5" down.

I dust off the top of the matted artwork so there is no lint.  The plexiglass comes with sticky paper on both sides. I peel off one side and place it quickly on the matted art so there is minimal chance of getting dust on that side.  Then I peel off the other side, revealing the artwork.  I scan for lint and specks.  If I find anything, I carefully lift the plexiglass and use a bit of masking tape on a finger to trap the lint and remove it.

 Now I'm ready to slip the matted artwork and plexiglass in together into the 3 sided frame.

And slip in the final top side of the frame.

I turn the whole piece over and screw the sections in tight.

I don't know the technical name for these curvy things, but they apply pressure between the frame and the backing board to keep the art in place.  Slip them in along the edges, about 4 or 5 to a side.

They don't fit in all the way, and they occasionally pot out, but they do the job.

 Cut a length of wire about 4" longer than the width of the frame and put them through the holes of the frame's wire hangers.  Wrap the ends around the wire.

Finished and ready for show!

This painting was the illustration for the cover of "House Wars Book I: The Hidden City" by Michelle West.



Monday, April 1, 2013

Travels & Art

Murals at Willard Straight Hall

I've been taking my son, who is a junior, on a tour of various colleges.  One of the joys of travel is finding quirky objects of interest and of course, ART in unexpected places.  These are murals painted by Alison Mason Kingsbury under the auspices of Ezra King in the entry room of Willard Straight Hall in Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  The student guide rushed us through this with not a word (but gushed at us for minutes over the School for International Business and Labor Relations) proving itself little better than a benighted heathen.

Sorry about the glove up there, it was cold and I was being rushed into the great hall!  But isn't that just a lovely unicorn and a real treasure of a room?  More about the artist here:

Willard Straight Hall.  The carvings in the ceiling are of good and bad professors, but you can't make it out from my iphone pix.

The new Engineering building.  It looks a bit like a large indoor mall at first, but those are 3 sided rooms for students to gather and discuss things, and the grey wall and stairs are supposed to reflect the many gorges on the Cornell campus.

I don't know what this was about, but it was amusing.

 Just can't resist taking a pix of an anatomically correct statue of a Human/Transformers hybrid.

This is Cornell's Biological Sciences building (or one of them, dealing more with plant biology) so my son was quite tickled by the fact that they've let plants grow all over it.  Even their metal gates are sprouting!