Farmhouse Kitchen

farmhouse kitchen

I’ve been practicing drawing background scenes lately. I realized they are one of those things I avoid drawing mainly because I don’t know how, kind of like when you draw a person’s hands in their pockets šŸ™‚

One thing that is really hard to pin down is symmetry, straight lines, and shadows. I am very lazy and I don’t like to use a straightedge. As for shadows, I just haven’t paid that much attention to them. They’re secondary for me. Especially with line drawings. Usually my illustrations start out as pencil drawings, which doesn’t help as far as dimension goes.

And the amount of details! It’s crazy how much time I spent on this kitchen drawing compared to other sketches. I’m afraid of details, like I’m afraid of failure.

But the only way to improve is to practice.

I used aĀ Country Living picture as aĀ reference.

Portrait Challenge 8/10

This manly man is definitely an improvement over yesterday’s post. Even if he is wearing a sweater. Actually, I’m not entirely opposed to guys wearing sweaters, but I know a lot of people who just don’t like it. I wonder why. Ā But then again, if I saw a guy wearing a sweater that looked like this, then I’d likely feel the same way.

Today’s portrait happened in a funny way.

I started drawing a redheaded lady (think forty-ish), and then it ended up looking like Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. Eeyikes! Not the look I was going for.

And then I tried a sweet freckle-faced young woman, and that turned out like crap too.

So I did the unthinkable…I drew a man.

You guys knew how I was complaining about how they’reĀ soĀ hard to draw. And they are. But they’re also fun and (sometime)Ā handsomeĀ and challenging.

And that is the whole point of this challenge…to expand my creative horizons and try something new.

And even in drawing this guy (what would his name be? Any suggestions?) I learned that it is awesome to start with a simple ball point pen. Yes, you can make mistakes and struggle a bit, but it is all a part of learning.

I just need to push myself!

P.S. What do you think about seeingĀ the illustration before/after paint is applied?


Copy of the Master (Inslee)

So you guys know my love for Inslee’s art. Her feminine illustrationsĀ are amazing and inspiring. There is this quality about it that really resonates with me–the slightly unkempt and loose look. The small imperfections that come along with it really make it charming and interesting. I could wax poetic on her illustrating abilities for a whole blog post plus some. But enough hero worship šŸ™‚

I’ve been using her as a loose guide in my illustration adventures since waaaayy back (I mean ninth-grade…2014). Just to show you my ninth-grade skills, here you go šŸ™‚


I’d like to say my skills haveĀ improved since then. What do you think?

Here areĀ some recentĀ “master studies” of her work: (If you want to find the originals, do some Pinterest browsing!)



A simple lady having breakfast and reading a magazine. Fresh-squeezed orange juice is a must!


Stylish lady on her way to work…I hope her feet aren’t killing her in those heels!


Lastly, another simple lady people-watching or enjoying nature.

Thank you, Inslee, for all of the wonderful work you’ve made!

Have a wonderful evening!




Mockups – Learned Something New!

Wedding-Card Mockup.jpg

I just discovered this thing called a “mockup!” I wish I would’ve thought ofĀ this myself, since it’s such a simple and genius concept.

For those of you whoĀ don’t know, a mockup isĀ a visual example of a designer’s work. It cuts the cost of actually ordering sample products and is a timesaver for photographing. Ā A lot of people use these to post their products online. Also, designers use them as examples for clients. If you’re a miserable photographer like me, it is a very useful tool to create decent-looking product photos.

Skillshare, as you know, is such a great resource for people who love learning + being creative. I learned how to do a simple mockup from Teela Cunningham on Skillshare. Check it outĀ here. Just so you know, I think Skillshare is worth the price. (And no, I am not sponsored to say nice things about them šŸ™‚ )

Onto a different subject, these two designs are for wedding cards I am illustrating. They are quite rough, but I like the overall idea.

My family + friends keep telling me to start selling more art, and I’m trying! It’s intimidating though. And also a lot of fun!

Okay I’ll quit rambling šŸ™‚

xo Caroline

Winter VacationĀ 

Coming to SD for vacation was a good idea on my part! I have enjoyed every bit of the cold weather. We did a bit of sledding, ice skating, and even a couple snow angels šŸ™‚ 

I am such a beginner when it comes to ice skating. The kids were skating circles around me and asking if I can “hockey stop.” But learning around them is better than adults. Maybe their bravery rubs off on one. Back home, it’s more uncommon to go ice skating so I never learned growing up. I want to learn now, though, because I know it’ll get harder as I get older. 

Some say it is similar to rollerblading so maybe I’ll learn that too! (Summertime…that’ll be nice when it comes!)

Until next time, go enjoy the winter weather!

P.s. The image was taken with a smartphone, not scanned in like my other posts, so it loses some quality. 

Happy New Year!




Well folks, 2016 is almost over! This year has been filled with so much!

Starting in February, I launched Illustration Avenue. I can say I’ve learned quite a bit from the first few months. In those *early* days (okay, it wasn’tĀ that long ago), I didn’t even have my own computer or scanner to share my work. I remember using the computer labs at school to edit low-resolution pictures from my phone. Ugh, it was such a pain! I’m thankful for my equipment now!

Another discovery: good-quality watercolor paint. I have never regretted switching my Reeves paints for Winsor & Newton. The colors are so much more vibrant.

Sharing work more often has definitely increased traffic to the blog, as well as not feeling so bashful about telling people about my website. That being said, it is something that is still hard to do.

I learned I love to communicate with other bloggers. Knowing how much I love feedback, I love to give it as well. Thank you for all of the advice!

2016 has had many changes in my day-to-day life as well! In January, I had just quit my job as a server at a senior living place. I was totally okay with being jobless for a while, but I did kindly get a job offer, which I accepted with ease. The job I have now fits so well with my schedule and I’m very content there.

I’ve learned a lot of life lessons too! Meeting new friends has definitely expanded my horizons and loosened my death grip I had on my comfort zone.

Going to Alaska in July was a trip I’ll never forget! (The experience of being charged by a moose tends to stick in your mind.) It is so beautiful there with the glaciers and endless scenery to feast your eyes on šŸ™‚

The most important lesson that seems to stick with me is how much you need your family. Of all of the memories I have of 2016, they all are connected to family in some way. It is a good thing family sticks through thick and thin. My family gives me so much love and support….where would I be without them?

Best wishes to you in the coming year!