Archives for category: illustrations

Intersections 9 was so much fun that I had to continue exploring. I decided to try something on paper on a smaller, more controlled scale. It is wildly fun to pull these things from the line I have been drawing for these past months. This one turned out to be about a dinosaur who has released all the luggage from a passenger ship out to sea. I think he seems really gleeful about it. Not sure where those spaceships came from. As this is a work-in-progress, we will see what comes out of it.

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Intersections 10

Graphite on paper

30″ x 22″


So something happened a few days ago. I had painted this background and let it dry, sanded it down and drawn a line on it. When I walked into the studio the next day I looked at it with the intent of drawing out objects from the shapes. The shapes I assumed I would see would be regular objects in my life. The first thing I saw was a spaceship. Then a dinosaur. Then some fish. And boats. And another dinosaur. I had a moment where I said to myself, “You can’t paint those things on there!” And then I thought, “Oh really? According to who?” That who has been telling me for a long time to keep these things separate. I’m no longer interested in doing so. It turns out that this is very very fun to do. This new intersection is a place I have been trying to get to for a long time. It feels good to get there.

Intersections 09 by Heather Riley

Intersections 9
4′ x 2
Oil paint and conte on wood

After a few re-designs, this year’s holiday design is now complete! I didn’t get too many printed… so speak up fast if you want one!

The front

The middle of the card (imagine the fold horizontally in the middle of the string)

And the back of the card

Initial color sketches for my holiday card – I may or may not include this here brontosaurus. The sky and stars are acrylic on glued book pages on board, the trees are a lovely little stencil I made. The dino is acrylic with pen and graphite, but I may do her in oil paint as well just to compare. Hand drawn font people – it’s the way to be. I also threw in some mockups that I am playing with as well.

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These are sketches for holiday cards for the Children’s Illustration class I am taking with Greg Pizzoli. Nothing says holidays like yelling kids and a good old brontosaurus.

These are sketches for my first card. There is a little girl who loves the holidays and everything about them – the snow, the music, the presents, the food. Then there is a boy who takes a more cynical approach and loathes the lines, the joy, the waiting. There is also a little picture there of two shoppers apologizing – I was thinking about Black Friday in a perfect world.

My second card idea involves this sweet brontosaurus who gives himself a little bit of holiday joy. It’s important to be good to yourself, especially at the holidays.

Cups by Heather Riley

After many a rookie mistake in the print room (all cured by a lovely latte from La Colombe) I have finally finished this print. My registration is off on most of them – with lovely results. I think I might be exploring this image further. I am definitely interested in printing just the inside and just the bubbles… people have said that it looks like text, written music, flowers and braille. And all of that from my coffee habit.

Both of my critics suggested that I go bigger this week – and so I went and bought a bigger roll of paper to experiment with. I have painted large in the past and have been trying to paint smaller for years, mostly because it is just more practical – yes, I know this is ridiculous. So I taped it on the wall and just started to make.

Cityscape Two

With a line of course. The city emerged as it does with a line – someone flat and graphical. Discouraged, I kept going. I threw chalk at it. I threw paint at it. I threw more chalk at it. Still not happy with the entire thing – but I do like parts of it – as you can see in the detail photos below.

Cityscape Two Detail Two by Heather Riley  Cityscape Two Detail by Heather Riley

I think both of these detail sections – both the lamp and specifically the yellow roof of the house in the second image speak to me in terms of materials and outcomes. They will help me in my future illustration work. The combination of line, chalk, acrylic wash, chalk, acrylic wash then line, then chalk again give it something I have been looking for awhile. So I am extremely happy with this part.

The next thing to do is to start to take away. Both of my critics mentioned something about the lack of space, the inability to get “into” the piece. You can move around the piece in a flat way, experiencing the chaos of this world on a flat plane. There is some connection, or some “place” that exists between the Single Building, the Pears and this. This is the place I am trying to both find, and with that – discover the process as well.

Backpacks by Heather RileyI almost forgot about this because it hangs outside my studio door to remind me of looseness. And how nice everyday objects can be to look at. I also am interested in multiples and hope to explore this concept further. My studio neighbor suggested I look at Wayne Thiebaud and I am glad I did. Repeating cakes? Yes, please.

Cityscape OneI have often been influenced by Julie Mehretu’s work – as anyone who has known her has been. It has such force and delicacy — something of a push – pull without launching you off the edge of the cliff, but managing to give you a good scare. I specifically was interested in her somewhat recent for the Deutsche Guggenheim – her Gray Area paintings. I did this piece with some of her work in mind. I am still exploring this theme of chaos and the built world. This piece was drawn in pencil from observation (just the buildings obviously) from the 4th floor of my school. It hung on my wall for a bit before I took it down and decided to ink it. All of the additions to the buildings came once I added the ink. This is the first piece I didn’t plan before I made, I just went with the thoughts that came into my head. Ellipses. Kites. A tree. I haven’t added color to it for fear that it would just feel like a coloring book – coloring in the lines.

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