Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Strathmore illustration contest

The Strathmore paper Company recently had an illustration contest entitled "how do you see green?" They asked for artists to submit original artwork representing their own unique version of green using dry media and strathmore paper. Because the competition was for artists paper I decided to illustrate the artist's hand drawing and the greenery coming to life as it was being drawn. My message was that if we as artists do our part in using recyclable materials and paper to create our artwork, we will in turn be helping our resources to flourish. My illustration didn't come out exactly how I wanted it to, but due to the deadline I had to settle for what I had done. I'm not really sure if I will get to be one of the finalists for the competition but I did want to share the piece that I had created. I also superimposed the image onto the strathmore sketch pad to show how I had envisioned the image to appear on the cover. Like I said, it may not happen but one can dream right?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trevor's Bully Problem

For a while now I have worked on a children's book project with Team Dawg Productions Inc. I am happy to say that the work is finally being sent to the printers and hopefully the book turns out great. The book is entitled "Team Dawg: Trevor's Bully Problem", about a young pup who learns how to deal with a bully problem that he is having at school. I will post when the book is published but for now here is a sneak peak at some images from the book.


A couple sketchbook pages of quick sketches done at the park.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Article in the Observer :)

It made my day to get the mail today and see that I had received the Observer magazine from the University of Hartford. I was lucky to have an article about my visit printed on page 4!! Not to be repetitive, but the experience I had speaking to the students was very fulfilling. I know I don't have a lot of experience. But I was happy to answer questions and share with them what I had learned through my pursuit of a career in illustration.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This is a self promotional piece that I did a little while ago that I never quite finished. It was based on an idea of a little porcupine named Spike. His look of uneasiness is due to the fact that on his birthday he can't enjoy his own birthday balloons. A silly idea that I wish I developed a little more before painting, but we live and we learn. And perhaps one day I will work on it some more. I always liked the idea of contrast, and having unlikely characters in certain situations. I think most of the time it makes for an interesting image. I posted below some stages of drawing that I went through before beginning to paint this piece. Looking at the sketches I notice how much more personality he had before I forced myself to tighten up while painting. I notice this happens a lot in my characters and it's something I am trying to work on more. Making my characters more believable and relatable.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

~ The journey is the reward. ~

I haven't done a good job keeping up with posting and of course with the same excuse of being too busy with work. I had a deadline to meet this past month and a lot of work on my plate. At times I felt that I wouldn't be able to finish it all. Mostly it was a lot of work because I had not managed my time wisely. After finishing all the paintings, I was happy with the feeling that no matter how tough it was to get through..I would gladly do it all over again. :)
There is a Chinese proverb saying that, "The journey is the reward." I found myself realizing that only at the end of the project. I guess while I was doing the work I completely allowed the feeling of stress and worry overwhelm me. Don't get me wrong, the feeling of accomplishment in the end feels pretty good too, but only for a little, and then I start picking apart the work and wishing I had done a better job.
I have now sent out all my work with some suggestions of layouts so I hope that all is well and the book will be out by Spring of 2010. Still a while to wait, but I'm looking forward to having a published book and hopefully more work to come. Here are a couple paintings from the book as well as the cover.

Friday, June 19, 2009

“Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals."

In a great book that I am currently reading entitled “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch he writes:

“Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. You’ve got to get the fundamentals down, because otherwise the fancy stuff is not going to work.”

I think this phrase pertains to artists just as much as it would anyone else. Students may not always understand the reason for fundamentals such as anatomy drawing and learning about perspective, because some believe that they will be drawing creatures; things that don’t look like human; or worlds that don’t exist, so why learn the basics?! And what they may not realize is that with the tools of anatomy and basic drawing in their tool belts, their fantasy worlds will become that much more believable. I had always loved figure drawing and still try to attend figure-drawing sessions when I can. At times the work schedule makes me make excuses for not going but it is something that I truly love to do. While at school I did drawings of anatomy more and more from anatomy books and it’s something that I miss. I still refer to my anatomy books a lot when sketching. Below are some great books on human anatomy that have helped me, and also served as reference for these drawings.

Artistic Anatomy by Paul Richer and Robert Beverly Hale

Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist by Stephen Rogers Peck

Bridgman’s Life Drawing by George B. Bridgman

Constructive Anatomy by George B. Bridgman

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To see more work Please visit www.illustrationsbyolga.com  or http://www.creativeshake.com/profile.html?MyUrl=OlgaLevitskiy 

“You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart. “

“You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart. “ ~Author Unknown

The majority of the work in my portfolio contains “cartoon” like characters. While that is something that I enjoy doing, I also like drawing more realistic images. I like being able to practice drawing and accuracy in depicting something just as it exists in reality. In this drawing I show another subject matter that is a big passion of mine, which is ballroom dancing. I danced for a big part of my teenage years and it’s always been something I’ve loved. I guess it all ties into a love for everything artistic. There’s nothing like being able to move to a great piece of music. And since I haven’t been able to get back into dancing just yet, I feel that drawing dancers brings me a little closer to that dream.

“To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.” ~Hopi Indian Saying

Monday, June 15, 2009

~ Cricket Love ~

This post is based on the belief that as an artist you never know where an idea can come from; This idea for a painting came to me after hearing my brother complain about the cricket chirping outside his window. He said that they were keeping him up late at night and not letting him sleep. I, on the other hand, have always loved having the windows open in the spring/summer time and hearing the chirping outside my window. Curiosity led me to look up the reason for the chirping. It turns out that the chirp is something only male crickets can do. And there are four types of cricket songs; one is a calling song which attract females and repels other males while there is another that is a courting song, which is a very quiet song and is used when a female cricket is near;and of course there are two others. But these were the two that sparked an idea for me. After some failed attempts to capture my own crickets, I went and got one from local pet store. I did some sketch studies of the cricket legs. And a drawing for my "Cricket love" painting, of a male serenading a cute female cricket, who has clearly fallen for the romantic guy.

This is only a section of the painting and is nowhere near being done. Since it was a self motivated piece it was another abandoned painting that had to be put down until there was time for it again. Nonetheless I still enjoyed exploring this subject and learning something new about this insect. It is a piece that i will finish one day. The experience taught me that we never know if an annoying sound to us may be music to someone else's ears ...or feelers :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

After following many blogs, and learning so much from others, I wanted to join the blogging community.  I'm happy that I have stopped making excuses and finally decided to take action and start my own blog. I hope to share more recent art work (faster than I am able to update on my website), as well as  thoughts, and any recent news. And of course things that motivate me everyday and help me grow as an artist. I look forward to making this blog as interesting as the many that have inspired me. I guess I'll end this with a quote that always reminds me of the beauty and dedication that it takes to be an illustrator. I apologize for not knowing who to credit for this quote. I had it written down in my sketchbook without a name next to it, but I will find it and post at a later date.
"Being a professional illustrator is a full time job that goes beyond the mainstream 9-5; tough deadlines mean working through the night and reference photo shoots might whisk you away to unexpected places. Flashes of inspiration can happen anytime, so your sketchbook is an indispensable appendage. You might spend innumerable hours secluded in your studio, or perhaps you're a regular at the local coffee shop. Chances are, your work and your life are one and the same and you wouldn't have it any other way.