Digital Painting Practice

Still playing with brushes. I decided to try to make this one a little more stylized as well as painterly, but it still came out pretty realistic, oh well, I’ll keep trying!

Garden Painting | Samantha C George

Garden Digital Painting

I’ve been wanting to play with digital painting more, so I painted a garden for practice (used a photo for reference). I played around in photoshop and tried to paint sort of like I would with real paint, laying in general areas of color fist, etc. I also tried to make sure to use a lot of textures since texture seems to help digital art look more “real” and make it feel less sterile. One other goal was to pay attention to lighting, I ignore that too often 🙂

Digital Painting Garden | Samantha C George

Succulent Arrangement Free Coloring Page | Samantha C George

Succulent Coloring Page

Here is another free coloring page, I’m on a roll! I have one more in the works and then thats going to be it for a while. Prepping for Designer Con this weekend where I’ll be sharing a booth with Neysa Bové (November 21-22 at the Pasadena Convention Center).

Feel free to print these coloring pages at home and enjoy!

Succulent Arrangement Free Coloring Page | Samantha C George

Succulent Free Coloring Page

Watercolor Coloring Page | Samantha C George

Gem Coloring Page

On a coloring page making roll leading up to Designer Con this weekend! You can print this page at home and color it for FREE – have fun! I’ll also be giving them away at Designer Con at the Pasadena Convention Center this weekend (Nov 21-22) on regular paper AND I’ll be printing coloring pages on watercolor paper (fancy fancy) and selling them for $1 – a bargain.

free coloring page of gem line art by Samantha C George

Free Gem and Mineral Coloring Page

Pony Free Coloring Page - Samantha C George

Free Coloring Pages :)

It is the beginning of a new week , so here are some coloring pages to help relieve stress, lol!

As a thank you to all the people who have followed me on Instagram, I have made a couple of free coloring pages (for all ages) which you can download below (right click and save to your computer or just print from the bowser).

My friend and coworker mentioned to me that her grandma has recently enjoyed coloring as a way to relax, which reminded me how great coloring is an inspired me to make these for you guys.

Have fun coloring!

Fly and Be Free Coloring Page - Samantha C George

Fly and Be Free Coloring Page Download

Pony Free Coloring Page - Samantha C George

Pony Coloring Page Download

Christmas House Free Coloring Page - Samantha C George

Christmas House Wreath Coloring Page Download

Pony Header


In April I exhibited at my first ever convention, CTN Road Trip in Burbank. I shared a booth with Katia Grifols and Neysa Bove. It was lots of fun and gave me an excuse to make a bunch of PONIES! I was feeling like my personal creativity had been restricted for a while, so felt inspired to make horses that looked like they could fly and be free with no rules! So I decided to give them wings. I am also obsessed with things that hang, so I cut them out so they can be hung up.

This was my process:

First I made a quick mock up for scale out of regluar printer paper, string and paper clips. I painted a pony, scanned it in, and printed it on my cheap bw printer.

Samantha George flutter pony mock up

Once I had proof of concept, I started making thumnails. I have been doing separate thumnails for color and pose lately since it is just easier that way – I only have to think about one thing at a time. I just made these really quick to help me figure things out, but when I posted them to instagram people seemed to really respond to the color thumnails so I actually ended up reproducing them as mini cards. They will be on my etsy soon!

I used bright colors because I wanted them to feel happy, and also used a lot of patterns. I themed a lot of them and let myself go with whatever ridiculous idea popped into my head. Normally I give myself a lot of rules and try to make things organized and matching, but for these I just ran with whatever I felt like, fly and be free!

I wanted their poses to feel like they were bounding carefree through the sky, so I made sure none of their hooves look like they were parallel to the ground. I used images from my Pinterest Horse Board for reference. These are some of my pose thumbnails:


I also made a chart to help me make sure that they would all have different colors, poses, etc. As a toy designer I often have to think about how to make all the items in an assortment a little bit different from each other but still related, so this is a habit.


Once I had my plan in place I was ready to paint the final ponies! I sketched them in prismacolor pencil on watercolor paper, and painted them using watercolor and gouache (I thin it down and use it interchangeably with watercolor). This part is really fun because all the thinking an planning is done and I can just color! However it can be a bit stressful though because I feel a lot of pressure to make things “perfect” because it is “final”. I am trying to work on letting that feeling go because my work tends to turn out better when I am not trying so hard.

These are the finished painted ponies:

THEN I had to make the wings! I didn’t paint these on the same paper as the ponies because my plan all along was to make dimensional hanging ponies with 3D wings, so the wings had to be made as separate pieces. Back to pinterest for wing inspiration! Here are some WIP images of the wings:

After that I scanned in everything and cleaned it up. Then I laid it out and made vectors that my Silhouette Cameo can read and printed the ponies using my friend Katia’s fancy Epson printer on watercolor paper. I ran the print outs through my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the pieces (it is an amazing machine and I highly recommend it!). This step is a lot more complicated that it sounds, there is a lot of counting, mirroring, and technical fussing with the computer involved. This is an example of what the ponies look like when they come out of the printer, before cutting:

After that I had all my pieces and it was time to assemble them! I hung them from my dinning table light (ikea) so they wouldn’t get tangled after I put them together. It took forever!

Whew! Here is a 360 of one of the final flutter ponies:


Then I packed them up and took them to CTN Road trip to sell! The ponies and me in our booth:


In addition to hanging “flutter ponies” I reproduced the art on cards and as regular prints, which will be available in My Etsy shop soon and at my upcoming art show, The Girly Show at Pop Secret Gallery in Eagle Rock June 13th.

Early Morning Art Pracice

I’ve been waking up at 5:50am every morning to fit in some art practice.

I started a new job, and now lave a longer commute. After making myself a daily schedule that plans everything dow to the minute, I realized I don’t have time for all of the things I want and need to do! (In fact writing this post was not scheduled, it is cutting into my “do hair/makeup/get dressed time). The only way for me to get in some art practice time everyday was for me to wake up earlier.

Also, I got cintiq! So I needed and excuse to play with that.

Been doing this for about two weeks. I have been trying to do 30 minutes of figure drawing using reference from Pixelovely and then spend another 45 min doing something else (like digital painting from photo reference). Some of my (better) figure drawings are below.

sketch of a baby great horned owl and a secretary bird.

Boxing Day at the Natural History Museum

Took a trip the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles today to draw the dead things. Mel and I had a lot of fun sketching the taxidermy. We want to go back and spend a whole day in the Hall of Birds! I can’t believe the last time I was there was almost exactly a year ago!

Samantha George, digital painting of light coming through trees.

Playing With Light and Digital “Pastels”

Quick little digital sketch. I am supposed to practicing drawing people and animals…but I am also practicing playing with light and looking at shapes. I realized that a lot of the illustrations that I like have pretty dramatic and stylized lighting, often shining through trees or windows and casting long dramatic graphic shadows.

I also wanted to play around with using a sort of limited color palette. I took a mini art class at work a few weeks ago where we went to a park and drew with pastels. The pastel sets has 15 colors, and none of them were the actual colors of the trees. That was great because it made me stop trying to represent what I was seeing accurately, and instead look at shapes, shadows, highlights, and whether colors were warm or cool. I wanted to play around with the same limited palette, so I found the exact same pastel set and “eyedroppered” all the colors out of it in photoshop to make a digital palette. Very sneaky heheh.

I have also been enjoying playing with photoshop brushes that imitate real art materials. The ones I used for the chalky parts of this sketch are from this free set. I love how the texture of these brushes stay speckly like real chalk when you drag the brush. They are also great to use as erasers to make chalky edges by erasing. I also used this free pencil brush for the black charcoal-ish parts. It is the best “pencil” brush I have found, as long as you don’t blow the size up too large.

I used this photo by ++NiklasPhotography++ on Flickr for reference.

watercolored ponies

2014-2014 Sketchbook

This sketchbook only took 5 1/2 months to fill, I have been drawing more yay!

Exploring Our New Neighborhood, Disneyland, and Other Drawings
Matt and I moved to Culver City in February and we love it here. There are a lot of fun little community events, lots of restaurants, and it is very walkable. Some of these drawings are of haul from the Farmer’s market one Tuesday, a Firetruck at a festival for Fire Service Day, and the inside of some cafes.

The other drawings are from mini adventures; hikes, Disneyland, driving around San Marino because I love pretty houses, etc.

Impromptu 48 Hr Trip to San Francisco
I was really itching for a mini vacation and specifically craving San Francisco (embarrassingly because I had been binge watching Charmed on Netflix). I realized that I had enough travel points to book us a stay at the Raddison of Fisherman’s Wharf for free, so Matt and I decided to drive up for the weekend. We wanted to explore and relax, take pictures and sketch.

Then, because we are both workaholic planners, we determined exactly the activities we wanted to do, made a map, printed directions, created an itinerary that scheduled us down to the minute, and spent the weekend vacationing with military precision. We severely overdid it have decided to try to try to achieve more of a balance next trip (going to Seattle and Michigan later this month, so we can try that out).

Renaissance Pleasure Faire
Yep, that the real name of this event. Mel and I try to go every year because it is a great place to draw people in costumes. Also they actually like being drawn! Regular people get really uncomfortable or rigid when they notice you are drawing them. Ren faire people pose or get excited.

Santa Anita Race Track
Going to the race track in the morning is an Easter tradition for Matt and me. Santa Anita is a really pretty race track. We never win anything significant, but the people watching is superb.