Contests for Free Stuff

We all like free stuff. Even if it’s not our thing, we usually know someone who would like that neat free giveaway thing the store gave us. Years later, I still have some of those Tupperware trinkets which still remain useful; turns out they really are durable. In this case if you like to sew…


The Future and Goals

A whole new year, with a set of goals. Aren’t goals fun? You reach them and life is awesome; miss them and the next three weeks are spent thunking your head on a desk. What is the trick to reaching goals? I don’t think anyone would consider myself an expert on the topic…yet. I am,…


When a Cephalopod is Really a Mammal

This curious little critter created himself.  This began as an octopus drawing.  Almost immediately after the pencil touched the paper, he drew himself.  He was simply there, and I could see all the lines on the blank paper.  The working title has been “Rofl” a rolling-on-the-floor-laughing made tangible; I believe this refers not to his name or what he is, rather his actions in creating himself when I was in the middle of creating something else.  Quite the prankster.

"Rofl" © 2015 by Tara Crowley - Digitally painted pencil drawing.

“Rofl” © 2015 by Tara Crowley
Digitally painted pencil drawing.

Originally drawn in 2013 as a pencil sketch, digitally painted 2015 using a Wacom Intuos drawing tablet and GIMP.


Winter is Around the Corner

With the chilly weather and thoughts of decorating for December, this little tree picture came together over the weekend.  The mood resulted in the same overcast, frosty, near snow weather I’ve been experiencing this week.

Tree Decorated with Red Bows, pencil sketch and digitally painted, by artist Tara Crowley, 2015.

Tree Decorated with Red Bows, pencil sketch and
digitally painted, by artist Tara Crowley, 2015.

This was actually a pencil sketch I have had in my archives since 2001 which I always intended to paint.  Simple, basic, and an image I’ve always remembered.  Nicest thing is, this is a decoration I won’t be taking down after the holiday.


The Missing Lagybug: A Story in Every Artwork

In every work of art there is a story. I often wonder what master artists in the past sincerely thought about when creating their works. “The eyebrow seems a little low…well its marble, there’s nothing I can do about it now,” or perhaps, “I think the only place for this statue is the bottom of the Thames.” How about, “What a horrible, boring painting; I’m just going to paint over it,” which from modern scanning processes we know many painters in history did.

Oil on canvas painting, The Missing Ladybug by Tara Crowley 2015.

The Missing Ladybug by Tara Crowley 2015, oil on canvas.

Several times when I was sketching the idea for this painting, there was supposed to be a ladybug somewhere. After adding her in the composition, something just didn’t look right. “Maybe placing her there? Not quite. How about over here? Nope, still doesn’t feel right. The decision was made to just add her in while painting. By the time I was done, she just did not want to go anywhere. In the end, I imagine by the time I started painting, she simply flew off.


Hidden: Heart Art Digital Painting

In the end this worked out, yet another creation I’ve been working on for overall three plus years, starting with a concept doodle, followed by a pencil sketch, and completed as a digital painting. This was one of those works where I was so pleased with the drawing I didn’t want to wreck it in completion – as if. Metal, and almost steampunk.

Hidden: Digital painting from a pencil drawing, by Tara Crowley, metal with a hint of steampunk.

Hidden: Digital painting from a pencil drawing, by Tara Crowley; metal with a hint of steampunk.

Generally when I’m in the mood to draw yet don’t feel like a particular subject, I draw claws, bows, or hearts; not sure why, although I enjoy shading organic material (claws and bows) and while a heart is a relatively standard shape it can be painted a thousand+ times differently – something average made interesting.


Patient Peacock: How Awesome is it Painting with Digital Glitter Glue?

Very awesome…and weirdly fun.  My little blue peacock turned out pretty much exactly how I had originally intended. There has been several times where I have attempted to digitally paint my pencil drawing, yet each time I worked on this the work just didn’t look right. Everything was too exact actually, too digitally perfect. This was the first time I tried painting the pretty bird and egg with my small Intuos drawing tablet.

Blue peacock on an awesome black and glitter egg.

Patient Peacock © 2015 Tara Crowley

The original concept sketch of this work has been roaming around my home for maybe around ten years or so. As it happens, at the same time I was thinking of revisiting this work, a nice little treat appeared on Creative Market; a peacock glitter texture set. For quite awhile I’ve been puttering around the craft site, wondering if I should try out some of the textures. Usually I don’t need them as I prefer to make my own, yet once in a while something comes along which intrigues me. However I didn’t expect this texture set to feel just like painting with a bottle of glitter glue – something about the way it repeats and the style of the shimmer makes it feel like that bottle of glitter is in my hand. It’s been awhile since I’ve had this much awesome fun painting an artwork…seriously, this was ridiculously fun.

It was a little tricky to get the texture working the way I needed.  The texture files were significantly hi-res.  Saving these down to smaller dimensions made the glitter appear correctly for the size I was working with.  Better to start with a resolution too high than too low.  Incidentally while testing, I discovered the texture also nicely writes like a real-world glitter pen.

Blue, written in digital blue glitter.

Writing with blue glitter, digitally.

It will be interesting to see where else I use this glitter in the future; right now the next few paintings I’m working on would look a bit odd (in the wrong way) with glitter.


Imagination & Learning: The Project Continues

Well, the crowdfunding was a success; no funds were raised, however I was successful in planning the project, thus the project continues instead of stagnating these many months. Where has and will the funding be coming from? Me. The project will take longer to complete, but ces’t la vie. Where is the project now? In…


Fabric Inspired Nail Art: Tiny Flowers

In my life just about everything is a canvas. Nails are no exception. Despite being somewhat rusty in the skills of nail polish, I recently discovered inspiration in fabric, reviving my interest in nail art. A tiny fabric print of green stem five petal flowers inspired the nail art in the following photographs. The fabric…


Art: Fabric of Tara C

One of many an eclectic interest has been to create fabric prints, for a variety of different uses. In a time of increasing print-on-demand options, modern and custom fabric choices are now available. Currently, all my fabric designs are available through Spoonflower. All the fabrics at Spoonflower can be washed in phosphate-free detergent – only…