Sponsored Speed Paints

These have been sponsored. Sponsor your very own Speed Paint here: zeldadevon.com/blog

Traveling Pandas

Traveling Pandas

Lucky Lollipop

Lucky Lollipop

Handsome Cow

Handsome Cow

Revolutionary Fox

Revolutionary Fox

Sparkling Stefan

Sparkling Stefan

Space Witch

Space Witch

Mughal Moth

Mughal Moth

Pandora's Mango

Pandora's Mango

Steampunk Mama

Steampunk Mama

Magical Humanity

Magical Humanity

Homeward Starship

Homeward Starship

Adventurous Wombat

Adventurous Wombat

Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda

Sponsor an Original Gauche Painting

Sponsor an original Gauche Painting on thick watercolor paper, 7" x 10" . You give me an adjective or verb and a noun, from the deepest depths of your noggin. Examples are: Colossal Wombat, Old Barbarian, or Turtle Temple. For $225, I'll give you an original painting within one month. Signed and shipped with love. 

Add Adjective and Noun

March Workshop!

March 23 workshop.jpg

Come peek into my process.

Enjoy an intimate glimpse into an artist’s studio. I’m unleashing new techniques I’ve been honing over the past year. Indulge in a 4 hour session where we create a complete illustration from the beginning. 

Part demo, part inspiration, part philosophy.

Geared towards students, but professionals are welcome as well. You’ll participate in my unique drawing and coloring process step by step. I’ll share insights on creating a piece that looks traditional while being digital. You’ll leave the workshop full of inspiration, confidence, and the start of your own drawing filled with magic. Don’t be surprised if you race back to your studio and start creating. Come learn with me, these always sell out.


• When: Sunday, March 23 2014, 1pm to 5pm
• Where: 319 Washington Ave. 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11205
• What to Bring: Portfolio/sketchbook, clipboard, questions, coffee

Latest Speed Paints

The last few days of speed paints. Each took about 45 minutes. Strong focus is on shapes, color and composition. 

Sponsor a Speed Paint

Guys! Thank you so much for Sponsoring a Speed Paint. It's been so much fun. I'm closing this now, to make way for new adventures. If you're interested in a private commission, drop me a hello here: hello@zeldadevon.com

sponsor a speed paint.jpg

Sponsor a speed paint! You give me an adjective or verb and a noun, from the deepest depths of your noggin. Examples are: Colossal Wombat, Old Barbarian, or Turtle Temple. For $60, I give you a speed paint within a month, a hi rez jpeg you can give to your mom, post as your avatar, or just swoon over because it's your very own. Click here for some examples. 

Very similar to adopting a puppy, only this is way cuter. 


Speed Paints, 30 to 45 minute limit

These were rapidly rendered in the last 2 weeks. Trying to sharpen my skills, push my understanding of character design, story telling, composition and light effects. Each took between 30 to 45 minutes.

A little Girl and a Big Fish

Really pushing myself to understand roundness of form, drawing *thru* my forms, so things sit correctly and look like they are in 3D space. Also trying to push my understanding of values and gorgeous lines. This was done for Analog Science Fiction Magazine. 

A Stranger’s Encounter

“They are the most exotic of pets, bred by wrapping salamander eggs in the fur from a lion’s mane. You bury that parcel in the fresh earth of a virgin’s grave along with a finger from your right hand. They’ll hatch in the darkness of the new moon and be dead by the ripeness of the full. Something so wondrous should never last longer. Only by your own hand can you do this, otherwise they’ll turn on you, devour you alive and then explode into rancid clouds of purple ash. They grant wishes, they cry honey, they cough up lightning and can detect a liar just by the smell, and when they die they make the loveliest of coats,” she said as she struggled to hold on to the squirming litter.

I wondered how often she’d done this but her right hand was buried deep in the bowels of her coat. I could get no closer because I knew the pups wouldn’t like me. Why, you ask? Well I can assure you, in all honesty, that I am very much a liar.

Drawing by Zelda. Little Fiction by Kurt Huggins.


Go draw from life!

I'm in a deadline whirlpool like no other. There's a Circe in there, and a few other Mythological monsters yet to be named. I'm happiest when I'm drenched in work, but they're nibbling at my feet, and I'm gonna drown if I don't find my water wings soon. 

My brain is droopy from endless deadlines; I needed a restart. Kurt and I magically moved to one of the prettiest parts of Brooklyn and right across the street, hidden behind many trees is a glorious playground, bountiful with boisterous kids playing around in the sprinklers. To break up the day, I visited this secret playground. 

They're so absorbed in the being wet, that they have no idea that I've come to draw them, sneakily practicing my life drawing for free. The sun casting gorgeous shadow shapes on everything. When I go to proper life drawing, I pay my $15 dollars, and leave with 10 very mediocre scrawlings. But here, because they won't sit still for you, because there's no pressure, your brain has to learn short-hand immediately. It has to learn gesture. And the minute you understand gesture, all the magic is yours and your work will finally spring to life. 

Knowing how to draw is like learning to type without looking at the keyboard. One day, after 15 years of cheating, and peeking and pecking, it happens. And you do a little jig. (I did a little jig.) 

It's all cumulative. I promise, promise. If I can learn this stuff, you can, too. After a while, it gets easier, ideas start linking together, and it sort of becomes effortless. Many concepts become shorthand and it looks like magic from the outside. But what it really is, is 5, 6, 7, 10 years of collecting all the pieces, until one day, one day you don't have to look at the keyboard anymore, and you can draw from your head and everything is beautiful... until tomorrow. 

There's no button, or snake oil you can take. It took me an obscenely long time to learn this. But a month before turning 35, I'm closer to drawing effortlessly, like I always wanted. I always thought that if I could draw effortlessly, it would be very similar to flying. And I was right. 

TL;DR Go draw from life.



Some sketches from life and a quick drawing of a monkey alien. (Not from life.) 

Bone Flower Throne Process

I couldn't wait for an opportunity to do a traditional piece. I bought the prettiest watercolor paper I could find, Fabriano 300lb. It feels, just like it sounds, fancy and Italian. I did many sketches of Aztec imagery, using 4B charcoal on tracing paper. I like tracing paper, not because it's translucent and I could cheat, but because I like the way the pencil connects to the paper. The lines flow smooth and confidently. After many tries, I finally came to a drawing I liked. We printed it on the watercolor paper, and I painted it. Twice. 

The final image
Where to buy the Original


Tiny Journals

These tiny Moleskins, measuring only 3.5" x 5.5" fit seamlessly into a pocket. Charcoal smears beautifully on this paper, leaving lots of raw marks. Might have a bit of Photoshop as well.
I'd love for everything in my life to be so confident, carefree and effortless.  

Source: http://tinyjournals.tumblr.com

What I've learned in 6 Years

6 years ago, in an (un)fortunate accident, I found myself without a job. I was 29, and in an expensive part of Brooklyn, NY. I had to figure it out. These are as much for you as they are for me. Here’s what I’ve learned:

• There is absolutely no magic button, you learn to draw by drawing. Likewise, you learn to garden by gardening. The more pencil nubs you make, the better you’ll be. I think it might take 4 or 5 large coffee cans filled with pencil nubs to be really good.

• The more sketchbooks you fill, the better, the stronger your sketchbooks get. It’s absolutely a question of fulling your 10,000 hours. Mozart packed in his 10,000 hours as well, but unlike most of us, he did it before he was 6 years old.

• I asked my atelier teacher, “How long does it take?” He said about 4-5 years. I asked Jillian Tamaki the same question. She said about 4-5 years. I also asked Yoda: he said, “To understand drawing, 4-5 years it will take.”

• It’s all cumulative, all of it. All your failings and exaltations. Everything you’ve lived through, you can roll into your work.

• Draw *through* your forms. Make everything beautiful from the inside.

• Seek inspiration from everywhere. Aquariums, rusted metal, textiles, letterpress, ugly people, architectural ornament. Seek awe in cement cracks, or the way noodles lay on your plate. Sometimes, I see skulls in the folds of cloth. The wider your inspiration, the more unique your fingerprint will be.

• It just takes a lot of work. Put yourself in a position where you’ll have to do the work, and gain the 4-5 years. The lamest, yuckiest project can turn into a stellar piece. It’s often easier when the client is weak, because the pressure is gone. Do your best, you will be rewarded.

• “It ain’t easy.”-Ollie Johnston

• Surround yourself with peers who have similar goals and motivations. If all your friends are fat, you will be fat too. If all your friends are entrepreneurs and goal seekers, you won’t be fat.

• Confidence is important, not only in drawing but everywhere. If you don’t have it, pretend. Roll play; it’s free. Pretend until it’s real. If you pretend/ believe, you’ll do a good, solid, beautiful job. No one will know you’re pretending. Your brain acts upon what it believes.

• You learn only by doing, be fearless.

• Strong compositions are just black and white and grey puzzle pieces. -Justin Sweet and Marshall Vandruff

• Don’t fill your image with a thousand little details. Combine what is unnecessary, Merge the unessential. Highlight what you really want to say. Good compositions are like the glossy apartment photographs in Architectural Digest. You don’t see the stack of magazines from 3 years ago, or that fugly pot your mother-in-law gave you. Reveal only the essential; leave the rest out.

• Understand value patterns. Don’t wade around in a grey soup. Grab screen stills from powerful black and white movies, like Hitchcock stills. Compare your work in grayscale. Is your work as powerful as a Hitchcock movie still?

• Sometimes, you gotta draw it 6 or 7 times. Or 13 times.

• Do copies. Copy screen stills, master paintings, classic sculptures. Climb into a master’s shoes. Eat their hands. Most of my idols are dead, so they don’t mind. Pretend to be them. Pretend. Never claim copies as your own, those are your secret stash.

• Trace who you love, with tracing paper, the whole bit. Just trace it. Trace characters, trace backgrounds. Concentrate as you trace. Tracing affords you to pretend to be your idol. Put the tracing paper away, and try on your own. You’ll be astounded at how much better you’ll be, like in 5 minutes. You gotta fake it a little bit before you do it. Just don’t claim the tracings as your own; bad form.

• Do what you love, others will love it, too.

• Know who you love, then research who *they* loved. Don’t only be inspired by one person. Make an influence casserole out of 20 people. You’ll find your fingerprint that way. A style is as much what you don’t love or understand than what you do.

• You are the one that makes this work, if you are closed and fearful and timid, your work will be as well.

• Don’t ever draw a ‘nothing’ drawing, have something to say! And say it! Draw verbs, not nouns. I am giving you my attention, make it worth my while.

• “Just do it.” -Nike