Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pay it Forward…

I signed up for “Pay it Forward” over on Tinkerfrog's blog yesterday—and I'm excited to see what she comes up with, being such a wonderful quilter. What is “Pay it Forward,” you ask? The first three people to leave me a comment will receive from me a handmade item that I will create. In my instance it will be an illustration or scrapbooked thank you cards. You in turn, post the “Pay it Forward” post on your own blog and create three things for your first three posters.

You have 365 days to create your item, but I'm sure it's a lot more fun if the projects get completed a lot sooner than that. I hope some people play and enjoy their new creations.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Create Your Own Avatar…

Ever dreamed about being a kubric-styled lego character-type person? Of course you have—who hasn't? Well, now you can bring those dreams to reality with the BlackBerry avatar builder.

Here's me as a vampire and how I dressed getting a cup of java this morning.

coffee … gimme!

What’s New This Week…

Check out Mountain Mama for some inspiration for wonderful knitting and baking projects.
Here are my favorite three on her site:
  1. Learn to make bread dough
  2. Perfect Colorado fall vest
  3. A Patriotic Top
To me, knitting is like magic. From a single yarn something beautiful and essential is created. It takes the basic need of clothing and lofts it into an art form. Beautiful work Mountain Mama.

I wonder if she ever finished her beaded necktie from college?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween Decor…

While picking up a bunch of household goods last week at Target, I noticed these awesome paper silhouettes from the Martha Stewart line of craft products. Normally, I am not drawn to the Martha Stewart products. I know I should love it—it's very well designed and usually very good product—but there's something about the products I just can't get in to. I always look, but never buy. Not this time. These things—these funky, spooky shapes! These. Are. Excellent.

Each pack comes with about 12 silhouettes that are at least the size of your hand. In the case of the spiders you see, they also come with string to hang them, as well as little adhesive dots. While I was putting them around the house, I realized they are way too creepy as is. I was having tarantula flashbacks, so I picked up my silver marker and doodled on all of the spiders. They are still creepy! I also picked up a package of rats and mice that come with little mouse holes and tacked them around the house along my baseboards and sitting on top of my electric outlets. The only mods I made to those was to add red eyes. For about 9 bucks, I had an entire house of spookiness, and the paper is of such nice quality, stored flat I can see these lasting for a long time.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Children’s Illustration…

This is another project for the same product line. This piece is all about discovery in your back yard. Not my back yard though—mine's all gravel, what with living in the desert—but it's the backyard I remember from growing up in Colorado. This family lives in my favorite style of house—the Craftsman Bungalow.

I made a number of illustration style evolutions in this piece. Most notably, the texture to the trees. it's something I've wanted to implement for a while now, and this seemed the perfect place to do it. I'd started to put in texture like this working on the Charlie the Choo-Choo books. The leaf shapes were inspired by the sky designs as seen in Spongebob Sqaure Pants. Yes, I watch that show. I was a little worried about the overall crazy-business of the piece, but my client said "bright, bright, bright," and are even adding more color to their packaging. Whew! A bit of color overload, so I kept the palette tighter with a complimentary (red-green) color scheme. I also added some of my signature smoke, as found in the Charlie the Choo-Choo series of children's books.

Detail of the image.

New Children’s Illustration…

An illustration for a local game company for one of their new projects. This piece was created in Adobe Illustrator. It focuses on small town environments and what you might see along an afternoon walk. Though honestly, I'd love to see the town that has buildings this fun.

Detail of the drawing. If you've ever had the opportunity
to feed a giraffe, you will recognize their long tongues.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Monday Artday…

The current word for Monday Artday is Kawaii, or cute object. I was eating a hard boiled egg with lunch and noticed the shell on the cutting board. How embarrassed my little egg was without her clothing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

You Win Some, You Lose Some…

A number of months ago I was asked to present some sketches and rough concepts for a children's book by an author in Yuma Arizona. Ultimately, they went with another illustrator, but I wanted to show my concepts for the artwork. I presented a number of different characters for the author to choose from and then worked up one in full-color. I went very Photoshopy, though I've moved away from that style in most of my work now. It's too fussy and very time intensive. I prefer the illustrator look to my newer art now.

When I first started out as an illustrator, I would get frustrated with myself for not getting the job. Did I not draw it right, was I not quick enough, was the color wrong? The only thing I can say, is this is how I draw and work and I'm constantly trying to hone my illustration skills so that you immediately know it's a Kerrie Robertson illustration. I am so very far from being there! So, these are the fireflys I presented.

After refining some of the characters I presented this turnaround to show how the firefly would look in different poses and angles.

I also worked up some page thumbnails to show how I would lay out the story.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Writing World

Screen grab of the game in progress.

This is the second in a series of games done for Dreamco for the Tucson Public Library's summer reading program. The device is to capture the letters to complete a sentence sort of in a crossword puzzle style. We decided to keep the background very Tucson with the desert colors and landscape. I originally had a green grassland but Greg at Dreamco suggested the more desert brown and he's right—way more desert-y! I myself prefer sunsets and sunrises for background sky colors as I think that is the time the desert is most alive, so I created the background around that. Go test your skills hunting desert bugs here: Pima Public Library.

P.S. I almost always do my rough sketches in blue pencil. It helps me keep neat lines when I go over it in graphite and I can set my scanner to eliminate the blue. But I don't like those non-repro pencils—way too hard and you can't see what you're doing. Great for paste-up, not so good for sketching.

Background play space. You'll see saguaro, prickly pear,
mesquite, palo verde and a simple desert background.

Intro page ready for text.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Evolution of An Illustration

A few months ago I had the pleasure of working on video game art for a local company. There are 6 games in total, and today I feature the work on Robot Rock! Starting with loose sketches I explored numerous shapes of robots, some inspired by everyday household objects.

Next, I worked up a background and drew up one of the robots to near completion to see how it would interact. I wanted a really dramatic background, but when in color, it would be quite minimal. Does that make sense?

The developer wanted kids to be able to choose a “girl” or a “boy” robot, so here they are:

And here's the final layout:

If you're interested in playing the games, check them out here: Pima Public Library.

Book Cover Illustration

This particular illustration was based off of very specific requests from the author. I also supplied a design of my own that he ultimately chose—but the book's not out yet, so I won't post that one until it's available! One thing specifically requested was to see both the setting sun and the moon hanging low over the horizon. Because of the brightness of the sun and the relatively poor reflectivity of the moon, it is nearly impossible to see both at the same time, unless they are rather far apart in the sky. I justified this—in my own mind at least— by putting the sun as far to the right as possible and the moon as far left as possible as though the entire thing was shot through a fish-eye lens.

I illustrated the entire thing in PhotoShop and used a combination of transparent shapes and a photograph I had taken of an Arizona sunset. I wanted the colors muted because of the serious tone of the novel.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book Cover Illustration

This is an illustration I did for a recent book cover—though the author ultimately chose the photographic cover I designed. I was inspired by the old travel posters that were so prevalent during the 40s and 50s. One of the difficult things about working on book covers, is that I am only allotted 4-5 hours of design time for these book cover, including a second proof and interior layout, however I still want to present the best possible image choice.

Below are some samples for my inspiration. I love the designs of this era, from interiors to fashions—probably the best thing about living now is that I get to choose what I like from that time and ignore what I don't (war, disease, politics, etc.).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Orchesis Dance Company logo…


This is a logo design I worked up for a local youth dance company. I often times work logos up in sketches, then go immediately into Adobe Illustrator for refinement. I've found a lot of clients want to see a more finished version of their artwork to be able to visualize its end use. This particular logo started out with simple drawings of ballerinas and modern dancers, but the final was worked into an androgynous man/woman dancer without any emphasis on the dance style.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Spot Graphics…

Spot illustrations depicting different personality types among trendy young women.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Look…

In anticipation of launching my new website, I've updated the blog to reflect the direction I'm going. I should have the new website up and running in about a week and will soon be re-directing all blog traffic there. In the meantime, take a look around and enjoy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Time to post up…

I admit—I haven't posted in a long time. I've been thankfully busy with working on projects and finishing up my new website. Eventually, that will take over this blog and all elements will be in one handy location.

What's going on? I'm working on about 12-15 book covers right now, trying to find a client of mine (Charlie the Choo-Choo—you out there?), trying to get my illustration mojo back, going back to school this fall for business and planning my 11 year anniversary.

Here's a drawing I did to honor the beginning of the Monsoons. I'm ready for them!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Life Drawing Mondays…

10-minute pose (Sharpie Marker)

This week I got to draw an older gentleman, something I haven't done in nearly 10 years—draw a man that is. It seems like in all the figure drawing classes and sessions I have attended, women are models probably 90% of the time. At the beginning of the session, I really wasn't feeling it, drawing wise. I felt like my line work was stiff and overly bothered. I really think the only drawing I enjoyed out of the session was the pastel portrait. Oh well!

10-minute pose (Graphite)

10-minute pose (Graphite)

15-minute pose (Sharpie and Graphite Wash)

20-minute pose (Pastels)

1-minute pose (Graphite)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo

NOTE: This is a repeat post from my personal blog, but I believe cooking is a very creative endeavor and should be shared as much as possible.

To celebrate the day, I made a few of my families more favorite Mexican style dishes. Chile Verde, Nacho Dip and Key Lime Pie served with an icy cold Corona and lime.

Chile Verde (This is a variation of my chile verde, found HERE)

  • 2 Lbs. pork rib meat
  • 1 Lb. tomtatillos
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 3 green chile peppers
  • 1 Small chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • pork rub or seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 cans white beans
  • Cumin to taste (I use about 1/4 cup!)
  • Cubed jack cheese
  • White jasmine rice


Roast chili peppers, jalapeños and tomatillos under broiler until skins turn brown and bubbly, then place peppers in covered container for approx. 10 minutes for skins to loosen.

While vegetables are broiling, place pork in crock pot and season with desired seasoning.

After removing skins, combine peppers, tomatillos, cilantro, garlic and onion in blender and blend until smooth. Poor mixture over pork and add in bay leaf; cook covered until pork is tender and can be pulled apart with a fork.


After shredding pork, add in white beans and cumin and cook an additional hour.

Serve with cubed jack cheese and rice if desired.

Nacho Dip

  • 1 can refried black beans
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 small can chopped olives
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 small can chopped jalapeños
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar/jack mix
  • Tortilla chips

Mix refried beans with chili powder and spread in 9" casserole.
Layer remaining ingredients in order and top with shredded cheese.


Serve with tortilla chips.

Key Lime Pie (as adapted from Gourmet, May 2003)
For crust
  • 18 graham cracker squares; crumbed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 20 Key Limes; juiced

For topping
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

Make crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.

Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie:
Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Make topping:
Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.

What’s New This Week…

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What’s New This Week…

I completed work on a new blog header for a friend of mine. I went for whimsy and fun, with emphasis on the color green.

If you get the chance, check it out at Mountain Mama. She has some fabulous hand knit apparel, as well as a new give away this week. Be sure to check out her handmade wedding dress write-up HERE.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are you a twitter…

Well, I am now. Though I have no idea who would want to listen to my ramblings, I have become a twitterati at the bequest of one of my clients. If you're interested you can follow me as KRIllustration.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Selected Sketches from Charlie the Choo Choo: A Day Away…

This is the second in a series of books by author Cyle Young, the first being Charlie the Choo Choo: A Day At Work. Such a fun story to illustrate!

Though I've been using Adobe Illustrator for over a decade, this is the first time I've done such a large project using only vector art. I traditionally use PhotoShop for a more textural and loose feel, but I wanted these images to be bright, cheerful and clean. I think Charlie would animate rather well.

I utilize a lot of clipping masks when I work in Illustrator and create my own blends rather than relying on Illustrator gradients. You get much more control and color brightness this way. I'll be posting some Adobe Illustrator tutorials shortly. Stay tuned!