Archive for the ‘Whimsical and Strange’ Category

Exploring

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Exploring by Amy Crook

Exploring, 6″x6″ pen & ink and watercolor on Fluid watercolor paper

Through the fantastic foliage, the tiger stalks its prey. Or that’s what this adventurous tabby cat is imagining. Colored-ink lines give a cartoonish appearance that’s meant to evoke a Disneyish feel (though Disney is usually a bit more coy about cat butt).

If you’ve ever met a cat, you know this is a very common view, however, and soon enough it becomes commonplace. The real question isn’t about the end of the cat facing us, but where the other end is headed off to and what it will find it its explorations.

Exploring, detail, by Amy Crook

Exploring, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the lovely details of ink lines and watercolor shading on the foreground foliage. Below, the kitty is in a frame, to be viewed as though through a cat door as it heads out on its adventure.

Exploring, framed art by Amy Crook

Exploring, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Floating Gallery, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, Sea Creatures and Other Animals, Whimsical and Strange
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Vine Ring

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Vine Ring by Amy Crook

Vine Ring, 5″x7″ pen & ink and Copic marker on paper

The third book in my Consulting Magic series is imminent! This beautiful vine ring will be part of the cover, the same way that the mechanical bird graced the first one, and magical flowers the second.

Gold and platinum vines twine around each other, thick and thin, in a graceful and organic pattern. Bright emeralds dot the design here and there, cradled in little curls of metal so their placement looks natural.

It could almost be a circlet or crown rather than a ring, whatever your imagination desires.

Vine Ring, detail, by Amy Crook

Vine Ring, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the tiny green emeralds shining out of the curls of metal vinework. Below, the ring sits in a frame, waiting to decorate your home.

Vine Ring, framed art by Amy Crook

Vine Ring, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Floating Gallery, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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Emerald City

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Emerald City by Amy Crook

Emerald City, 12.2″x9.1″ watercolor on L’Aquarelle Canson Héritage paper

This city comes with a story — someone asked whether my Rainy City parasol was from the Wizard of Oz, and while that wasn’t, this one is.

Brighter greens and a beautiful orange sunset make this a much brighter city, too. The clouds were dyed a bit green from the glow of the city below, which stays away from mundane building shapes and strays into the fantastic, the strange, and the glorious.

What fantastical land have you always wanted to visit?*

*My answer? All of them

Emerald City, detail, by Amy Crook

Emerald City, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see a close-up of one of my favorite buildings in this fantastical cityscape, and a flying monkey circling overhead. Below, this city glows in its frame, the colors a brilliance that will brighten up your space.

Emerald City, framed art by Amy Crook

Emerald City, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Angels, Cthulhu, and Other Myths, Floating Gallery, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, Series and Books, Things I'm a Fan Of, Whimsical and Strange
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Podovich

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Podovich, catnap art by Amy Crook

Podovich, 7″x5″ Copic marker on paper

It’s Caturday – a wild Pod appears! Only this time he’s been evolved into a Russian Blue instead of his usual sleek black, hence the name.

Podovich is curled up in a fuzzy ball with just one pink ear to break up the soft, inviting grays. The white pillowy surface he’s sleeping on carries just a hint of shadow, as of course he’s found himself someplace flooded with light for his nap.

That must be why he’s got his paw over his eyes.

Where in your life do you need a kitty to remind you of the value of catnaps?

Podovich, detail, by Amy Crook

Podovich, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the little details of fur and ear and one closed eye not quite hidden completely. Below, Podovich is napping in a frame, safe and content.

Podovich, framed art by Amy Crook

Podovich, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Floating Gallery, Sea Creatures and Other Animals, Things I'm a Fan Of, Whimsical and Strange
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Prague Rock

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Prague Rock by Amy Crook

Prague Rock, 7″x5″ watercolor on Arches cover black paper

Another city gilded in metallic shine, only this one has silver starlight instead of golden sunlight glinting off the roofs and towers. The night has washed the city in shades of blue-violet, stealing away whatever color it has in the daytime.

The architecture here riffs on Prague without really being accurate in any way to any part of it. Much like the Painted Ladies, it’s more the idea of a city than a portrait of it, the feeling of somewhere magical you could live, if only you could turn just the right corner.

Prague Rock, detail, by Amy Crook

Prague Rock, detail, by Amy Crook

Above, you can see the light glinting off the silver highlights on the stars and spires. Below, this smaller city is nestled in a frame, like a window to somewhere you wish you could go.

Prague Rock, framed art by Amy Crook

Prague Rock, framed art by Amy Crook

Categories: Floating Gallery, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, Series and Books, Whimsical and Strange
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30 Day Marker Challenge, part 3

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

The amazing Sadynax gave herself a 30-day Marker Challenge last month, and I decided to do it for April to help get back in the swing of art after my surgery. Three weeks and counting I’ve managed some daily art, hooray!

I’m giving my wonderful Patreon supporters some bonuses at the $5+ sketch levels this month, so it’s a good time to become a patron!

Celadon Teapot by Amy Crook for Kim

Day 18: Use colored paper.

Amethyst Spear by Amy Crook

Day 19: Draw stone or crystal.

Podovich by Amy Crook

Day 20: Draw fur.

Jellyfish by Amy Crook for Molly

Day 21: Draw water.

Charmeleon by Amy Crook for Eric

Day 22: Draw fire.

Coffee Warms the Soul by Amy Crook for Jefferson

Day 23: Draw cold atmosphere.

Desert by Amy Crook

Day 24: Draw warm atmosphere.

Categories: Card Design, Completed Commissions, Daily Art, Flowers, Trees and Landscapes, People, Figures and Faces, Sea Creatures and Other Animals, Tentacles, Things I'm a Fan Of, Whimsical and Strange
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Random Recipe: Cardamom Milk

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Cloves, Cardamom, Candied Ginger, and a Mug, illustration by Amy Crook

I found a great place to buy green cardamom, and then went hunting for this recipe, which makes a wonderful, warm bedtime treat.

  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 cardamom pods, cracked open
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 cloves*
  • 6-8 slices of candied ginger*

*Optional — if you do use candied ginger, you might want to reduce the honey a bit to keep it from being too sweet. I know it seems like a lot of spices, but since you don’t boil them, it takes more to get the same flavor as in tea.

In a small saucepan, heat everything but the vanilla, stirring constantly. Once the milk is steaming hot but not boiling, remove from heat, add vanilla, and cover. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain out the spices and serve.

I usually add the ginger back to the cup before serving, yum.

Categories: Things I'm a Fan Of, Whimsical and Strange
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