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In the past several months I have made the decision to pursue illustration (children’s books, specifically). And now I am practicing. Since, some months ago, I began a portrait of my great-great grandfather (a soldier in World War 1), I decided to practice on that….but I didn’t know how to do his eyes. So I tackled eyes. Here are my two first attempts.

First attempt: I practiced on one of my dearest friends, Shelby from In the Thinking Tree (remember Shelby? She and I hosted the Little Tait Preemie Fund Giveaway). Isn’t she just beautiful?!

(That wasn’t a question.)


For some reason WordPress won’t make the pictures any bigger, so click on ’em to see the full resolution.

The picture of Shelby’s eyes took me…oh, I don’t know, several days at least of working on them on and off. The finishing touches of trying to get the drawing to look like her were the most difficult.

After I finished Shelby, I started in on the other random eye photos I’d printed out. Here’s the second drawing and it’s base photo:


This one is more sketchy, not quite so well blended as the first drawing. But I’m quite happy with it! I find that drawing portraits like these come easily to me– my challenge is drawing more whimsical ‘illustration-like’ sketches. So now I’m teaching myself to do that. I’m very, very excited! Photos to come….soon, I hope!

I am intending to join the ranks of young artists who seek to reform the genre of children’s literature into well-made, wholesome and purposeful material. My art will reflect order and domestic beauty, joy and practicality. I hope to become accomplished in black and white as well as watercolor, filling my art with glowing realism, but still maintaining a simple whimsy to attract all ages.

While illustration is my main intent, I hope to ‘start out’ by selling frameable art prints and perhaps greeting cards with my work on them, to get my name out. I have not yet decided to keep “Dolly Madison Designs” as a brand name, though….. Hmm. I shall have to consider that one.

In the meantime, if you have an inclination to see the artists whose styles I admire, visit my Pinterest board “Scribbles“! Just looking at it makes me giddy. 😀

And the adventure of art begins!