Feliz Navidad!

wreath-2016A collaborative work.  Two of my kids N & E  helped me with this one.  They colored, made shapes and critiqued the layout.  We created and painted it in Photoshop.

I did the writing with an oblique pen with good old ink and scanned it, nothing beats the feel of pen and ink.


Merry Christmas!



tio Paco is emotional

Tio Paco made his grand appearance a few weeks ago.  He has been working hard getting into character and has been practicing his facial expressions.  I think he is the right guy for the part.tio-paco-emotions-color

Drew it on paper with pencil and colored it digitally, after many attempts of painting the face in different mediums.  At one point they became coloring pages and my kids sat next to me painting faces too.





more love

It is supposed to snow here tomorrow, my family is beyond excited, so here is something to celebrate it.love-mug

First thing that came to my mind as I thought about this post

everybody, everybody wants to love
everybody, everybody wants to be loved
oh, oh, oh, just let the love, love, love begin
-Ingrid Michaelson Everybody

Remember the teacups from a while back, well, I drew a bunch and this one was calling to be painted. I borrowed the color palette from a piece of art I liked online and felt daring with the choices.  Taking risks pays off.


This week I discovered that masking fluid also works with gouache, I was afraid it would chip, but it came off just fine.


I have told you how great the illustration class I took was, it sure was.  But it was also emotionally hard as every Wednesday there was a review in which 250+ of us hoped to be in, but only a handful was picked.  That’s when my motivation was drained and self-doubt started kicking in.  I didn’t make it in any of the reviews, I felt I have failed.

I tried encouraging myself with the example of others, remember even Dr. Seuss wasn’t published in his first try.  So I kept plowing along and trying, trying, but I didn’t let myself feel the feelings fully.

A bumpy road to get back to thankfulness, but lots of blessings have come from dealing with disappointment.  The first one, this article:

I want to suggest that our disappointments are not only inevitable but even good. Yes good. They help us find balance and perspective. They bring variety (even adventure) to our lives. They are a source of learning and wisdom. And, perhaps most importantly, they help us develop character.  – Roger K Allen.


Then some friends that have shared of their talents generously with me asked me for small favors.  It feels so good to do something I enjoy so much for them.


So, to my disappointments I now say


for a chat and then please leave.

In working on this sign I pulled out some of the white paints I had around and here is the test, may be helpful some other time.  I used the acrylic craft paint as it was the most opaque.


tio Paco

Nice to meet you!

Tio Paco got the part of the farmer in my version of the folktale The Giant Turnip.  He comes from the Andes in South America.

There were many that came to audition, I had 2 finalists, but at the end, Tio Paco had more life to his acting.



This was his contendercristina_kramp_now-what_icb1_wk1

The last 5 weeks have been intense and full of growth.  I took the Children’s Book Illustration class from Make Art that Sells with Lilla Rogers and Zoe Tucker.  So much good information not enough time!  So, after about a ream of paper of learning and sketching, I feel more comfortable with my drawing and the way I do art.

Here is a very summarized version of the process

mi viejito

This is flashback week, I can clearly remember sitting on a wooden chair at a tall table, in a long drawing class.  Big pad of paper on hand and many pencils from hardest to softest in my pencil case.


We were to sketch super light and build up to as dark as we could get.  This is many, many hours of drawing and blending, no smudging allowed.  Sounds tedious, but those hours went by too fast!  This was one of those times when I amazed myself with what my hands could do, I so vividly remember the bliss!


This sits in a prominent spot in my studio as a reminder to keep pushing myself, have fun and to take the time to do it well ’cause lots of good things happen that way.

be you

I just love the message of this simple play on words.
So, I had to use it again.


First was a pencil sketch, then came the color pencil in layers and layers.
It was fascinating to me to see the contrast in the colors enhancing their strength.


I forgot about the napkin and I hurriedly colored it expecting the same effect as the cup and saucer.  To my dismay the magic didn’t happen, then I noticed that my heart wasn’t there, my mind was somewhere else too, and it shows.  It is not easy to let you see it alone, but it was a good reminder to be present.






no rain, no flower

We really wouldn’t appreciate happiness if we didn’t feel the pain.

Here is my tea cup interpretation of itteacup-no-rain-no-flower

What was the process?  pencil drawing, masking the areas that look white now, painting with watercolors, pen pattern detail, little shading, taking pictures.

And the many hours in between figuring out color palette, interpretation, details, working and reworking some areas, pauses of life… the process is always a good learning journey.