Sunday, June 24, 2018

TEAtotaler not Teetotaler

I've been just a little obsessed this past week with furry little rodents and I just can't stop thinking of different scenarios and compositions that I might put them in.  Here is what I have been doing this week.

Really it started with this simple sketch of a stack of tea cups that I did in my sketchbook.  Nothing spectacular but I liked the simplicity of it.  I decided to add some color.

Of course I knew that this was just the beginning and I thought a cute little mouse and maybe a tea bag would be just the thing to go along the idea I had in my head.  So I went back to an older drawing that had a cute mouse holding a cup of tea and decided to invite him to the party.     I added some text and make this cute little poster which is now listed on my Etsy Shop as a printable download.

Etsy Shop- Tea is Like a Hug in a Cup 

Then I decided what I really needed was 2 little buddies and a drinking straw to really set this composition off.  I really liked where this was going but decided that I needed to change up my mice.  I did some quick sketches and scanned them into Photoshop.  I love how I am able to play around with the composition and rearrange elements of the drawing to find the best position.  The mouse on the top I even later moved his foot around because I felt that the way I had drawn him would be awkward for him to be standing on the cup. As you can see by the end I actually changed hit to be sitting on rim of the top cup.

I printed the outline drawing out on to 140lb cold press Canson Watercolor Paper and began painting it.  I'm not very good with watercolors but I love using them for tinting and then finishing off details in pen and ink.  I even used some color pencil on the cups and areas of shading to give it a more solid look.  I've titled this piece, "TEAtotaler"

Sketchbook page of the mice
The final artwork using watercolor & colored pencil
Combining the sketches in Photoshop

I scanned the finished piece back into Photoshop so that I could create a 2nd (8 x 10") poster option by adding the lettering, the tea stained background and the lace table cover. I think this would make a really cute gift for a tea lover on your list or maybe even to hang in your own kitchen.

As you can see this image also makes a darling greeting card.


Etsy Shop link to "TEAtotaler" poster

Thursday, June 21, 2018

TYPOGRAPHY is Creating ART with Word

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking these days about fonts. I had downloaded a few fonts previously from a site called and learned that my favorite font artist so far is Kimberly Geswein (KG). I find myself drawn to almost all of her collection. 

What I realized that this site is fine if you are just using the fonts for personal use but if you want to sell the item, you need to purchase the license to use the font commercially. $5 doesn’t seem like much but it has put me on a hunt to locate a number of fonts that are free to use commercially that I like.

I'm not real good and remembering the names of the individual fonts or what style they are and so to help me with that I have dedicated a whole section to fonts in my creative journal. 

I wanted to share some of my favorite fonts with you that I found on This site has 878 fonts all free to download and use and I quote, "Free to use.  All fonts are released under open source licenses. You can use them in any non-commercial or commercial project.With so many unique fonts to use, you're bound to find something you like!"  Now isn't that awesome?

One of my very favorite font artists is Kimberly Geswein (KG).  Kimberly has a number of free fonts on this site along with others that need a small fee to purchase a commercial use license.  All these beautiful fonts make me a happy artist and I no longer need to feel that comic sans is my only choice. 
All royalty free font examples in my creative journal pages
I have downloaded a number of fonts to my PC. I saved the install zip file on my external drive so that I have access to all the same fonts from my laptop or other computer that I may be working on.

Here is a list of my personal favorites:
Cupcakie- I actually downloaded this while on vacation and can’t figure out where I got it but the license says commercial use is okay
Shadows Into Light- KG font
Love Ya like a Sister- KG font
Give You Glory- KG font
Sue Ellen Francisco- KG Font
Annie Use Your Telescope- KG Font
Moondust- Free this past week from FontBundle
Amatic SC- all caps
Coming Soon- KG font (this is the font I have decided to use when adding my signature to an art file)
Princess Sofia-
Dancing Script
KG Summershine- This is a Kimberly Font that I just love so I decided to spend the $5 and purchase the license for this one.
Vast Shadow-
Fredericka the Great-
Almost looks like a chalk lettering
Londrina Shadow-
Well there you have it. More than you ever wanted to know about fonts.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Some Pig on a Coffee Mug

This Mug on ETSY
A few weeks back I was watching a YouTube video about increasing my Etsy Shop sales and discovered what appeared to be the perfect company to partner with to handle my drop ship order needs.  I want to begin changing my shop to more digital download files and drop ship listings so that I can free myself up to travel and not be required to keep such a large inventory of art related merchandise.  I'm getting so crowded in my studio that I'm finding it hard to create more.

With drop shipping you just place the order with a 3rd party vendor to fulfill the order.  You don’t have to carry a large expensive inventory of products or place orders with printers in large quantity.  Rather, you create the product on their site, advertise it on Etsy, Amazon, your website or any other venue that you might be using.  As an order comes in, you simply log into your computer and place the order and have it shipped directly to your customer.

The drop ship company that I learned about was called  I checked them out immediately and decided to give them a try.  I created a number of coffee mug designs and 2 jewelry designs all using my original artwork.  It was a bit of an effort and I wouldn’t say that the GearBubble site is super user friendly.  They have training videos but it still seemed confusing but I was determined to make this work.

I did have some issues when I came to opening the drop ship part of the account.  I had to email customer support 3 or 4 times to get it all resolved.  They did solve my problem and I’m still not sure why I couldn’t get the drop ship icon on my home page but it is there now and I guess that is what really matters.

I decided that before I had my first online order, I needed to check out the quality of this company and make sure that I was happy with the finished product.  So I decided to order the mug I though was probably the most difficult to reproduce and placed the order on May 13th and the mug was delivered on May 26th.  That is within the 8-10 business days promised and my mug looks very professional.  Overall, I feel I can be confident that my artwork will be nicely represented.

Here are the pictures I took of the mug I received and the link to my listing.  I chose to order the mug design that features my original acrylic painting that it titled "Some Pig".  I love how it turned out don't you?

Julie Townsend Studio Etsy Shop-Some Pig