Shelter

Crazy thunderstorms and downpours are happening in February in Upstate NY! While I was messing around with a charcoal pencil in my sketchbook, these two characters showed up. Seemed like a good fit for this week’s Illustration Friday topic: Shelter. The sketch was combined in Photoshop with a swatch of colored pencil crosshatching on Canson … More Shelter

Alumni Speech

Back June I was invited to be the alumni speaker at the RISD Continuing Education Commencement Ceremony – a very nice honor – and RISD|CE has posted my speech on their website! From RISD|CE “Making Art a Career” Professional illustrator Meg Sodano was the alumni speaker at RISD|CE’s Certificate Program Commencement Ceremony in June 2015. The … More Alumni Speech

Slow and steady wins the race

Early this summer I was asked to paint a black-and-white illustration of an Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina). I was pretty excited about this assignment. I remember the box turtles from my childhood – they lived in the woods around my Connecticut home, and a few times I escorted one across the road, out of harm’s way. But it occurred to me I really didn’t know much about the species, so this project would be a valuable learning experience. … More Slow and steady wins the race

Light and dark

India ink is a very satisfying medium to work with. You paint it on like watercolor, and it flows and bleeds and blends in beautiful ways. But unlike watercolor, once it hits the paper, it’s there for good.  This illustration (11 x 8.5 inches) took me about 15 hours to paint, in order to build up … More Light and dark

Illustrating the importance and vulnerability of Eastern hemlock forests

This is an Eastern hemlock forest (Tsuga canadensis). The illustration on the left shows a healthy forest, a beautiful place to explore on a summer day, to sit quietly and listen to the vireos, and return to with your snowshoes in winter. On the right is what that forest could look like after an infestation of hemlock woolly adelgid* (Adelges … More Illustrating the importance and vulnerability of Eastern hemlock forests

RGB VEG

Four years ago I made a color wheel with the primary pigments I use most often (alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, and lemon yellow) as a reference for some painting I was working on. It came in handy this weekend when I needed to create an illustration that celebrates seed catalogs and the beautiful variety of vegetables … More RGB VEG

Drawing a plant’s behavior

I just finished this preliminary drawing of Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), part of a series of illustrations about invasive species. While wandering through the forest at Huyck Preserve early this summer, I photographed this aggressive vine and made some rough sketches to try to capture its menacing behavior. It climbs quickly, taking over everything in its … More Drawing a plant’s behavior