Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Boxer

This commission was of a Boxer. The woman wanted it as a gift for her son because the dog is getting old and may pass soon. Certainly a nice gift! I worked on my short fur rendering...slowly getting there. Very tedious. I really worked on a new method for the eyes and nose which I think is working quite well.

Medium: Scratchboard with a watercolor wash
Size: 8x10

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cracker Jax

Introducing Jax the mixed breed. The first commission I received at Mutts Mania [the fundraiser for the animal shelter I participated in]. I'm so proud to finally be giving money to the shelter via my artwork. I tried a few different techniques I'm learning from fellow artists on eyes, noses, and fur rendering and trying to slowly apply that to my own style of scratchboard. I feel a lot less stressed having this commission finally done. Now I want to take a short break before I start my next commission and play with my new Golden Open Acrylic paints!

Original Photo:
[will upload later]

Final Results [VIEW FULL SIZE]:
Medium: Scratch board with a watercolor wash. Size: 11x14

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beagle Pup

If this wasn't a commission I would possibly keep it. He is a Beagle puppy, so cute, and I'm pretty content with how he came out. I'm not sure what his name is [I have to find that out]. For this scratch board I went for a 'more is less' approach. Also to substitute the hands, which I didn't want in the piece I replaced them with a piece of wood. So, it appears as if the pup is hanging over the side of a wooden fence of some sort. I think it fits. It only took me about 3 hours over 2 days to finish this guy. I really hope to finish off the other 2 commissions I have before November is over so if I don't get any commissions for the holidays I don't have any back logging. I also went to a demo for Golden Open Acrylic paints. The demo was interesting...mostly I felt like I was at a lecture but instead at the end I received free samples. Yay! I can't wait to start experimenting with them.

Original Photograph:

Final Results [VIEW FULL SIZE]:
Medium: Scratch board with a watercolor wash. Size: 5x7

Monday, October 20, 2008

The PHA Gala Event

I'm so happy. The owner of Phinney asked me awhile back if I would donate to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association that is having a gala event. This will raise money for awareness and research of this rare disease that is very close to me. I donated a gift certificate for one 5x7 pet portrait. Phinney's portrait was displayed as an example along side the gift certificate to be auctioned off. The gift certificate went for over $75!! The owner even told me that some people wanted to buy Phinney's portrait but that wasn't up for auction. I'm so happy I was able to give money to a cause by doing something I absolutely love.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jagger the Lab

And another commission to check off the list. I tried a couple of different techniques with this one. First; for the fur on the body I tried a different fur rendering that I'm not entirely happy with but it helped me learn. I still think it looks good as a fur render but not quite there yet with the perfection of short furred dogs. Second; I used an acrylic based paint that I watered down to get the creamy color of the coat since they don't sell cream colored inks. It worked nicely. Third; I timed this one. I'm not sure how accurate it is but over the course of a week and a half, this piece took me a total of 6 and a half hours. Since I don't have any previous record of how long scratchboard tends to take me I'm not sure how to judge that. But...I think I'll judge that as being acceptable. And fourth; I had to creatively sketch in the rest of the feet and tail since the original photograph didn't supply them. Yay for creative licenses.

Okay, enough about how I went about the piece. Here is Jagger the Labrador.

Original Photograph:

Final Results [VIEW FULL SIZE]:
Medium: Scratch board with a watercolor wash and acrylic wash. Size: 11x14

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another commission.

Another commission for a family friend. They really wanted this by a certain date so I put my current project aside and spent a good two days on this one working to get it done on time. Unfortunately, the photograph that was supplied isn't the best but it was the only one the owner had. So, I made apples into oranges. Is that how it goes? This time instead of trying to get the texture on the nose, which I have yet to perfect, I decided to just highlight it with some cross hatching and I think it works. At least until I find the right texture. I also had more fun than I expected getting the crazy hair on this dog. Well here is Pooh, who is a hyper active Bichon Frise that really needed a hair cut.

Original Photograph:

Final Results: VIEW FULL SIZE
Medium: Scratchboard with a water color wash Size: 8x10

Thursday, October 2, 2008


My first commission measuring 11x14. Phinney is a Springer Spaniel and an adorable one at that. I'm pleased with how this came out. I decided to go with a 'fade' effect for the fur on the bottom instead of finishing the fur to the end of the board. I think it adds a nice artistic touch. I need to start timing how long these are taking me. I believe I worked on Phinney for a few weeks, taking about an hour, hour and a half each day. My next commission I will start to count the hours, out of my own curiosity.

The original photograph:

And the final results: VIEW FULL SIZE
Medium: Scratchboard with a water color wash
Size: 11x14
[Sadly my scanner couldn't scan the full size but it was able to scan the important part; the dog]

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Practice- Tino

After an unexpected hiatus I have finally returned to art. I'm very excited because I have a lot of commissions to keep me busy. But, being on hiatus I needed practice before I tackled the hard work. So, here is Tino. The reference [supplied by an online community for cats] caught my eye and it looked like a fun way to get the 'creative spark' going again. I do not do cats often but I certainly would like to try them more often. Not one of my better scratchboards, I think some of the proportions are off but I learned techniques for rendering cats in the future. Now, I think I'll be ready to go tackle those commissions.
Medium: Scratchboard with water color wash
Size: 5x7

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wolf In Progress

I've been doing a ton of scratchboard lately and wanted to get away from it. I decided to go with something that would give me a good amount of freedom and I could really mess around with. I decided to draw a wolf and paint it in acrylic similar to how my Into the Wild illustration was done. I experimented a bit more by adding color to the eye with Prismacolors and outlined the eye in ink.

I have yet to decide a background. I was thinking of perhaps a fantasy type of scene...Any ideas?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Balentine the Bull Dog

I didn't count the total hours but I believe this is the longest I have ever had to work on a scratchboard. Balentine the Bulldog turned out to be a lot more challenging than I first perceived. I'm glad I had the practice with Camelot on short fur rendering or I would not have been sure how to make the short furs on a bulldog look even slightly believable. I'm pleased with the final product but at the same time I feel it's missing something. I think it may be the fact that Balentine is all white and I'm not used to working with so little color. All he needed was pink highlights for his ears and some of the fur. I'll let Balentine sit on the side for a few days and see if I can come up with anything or leave it as is. For now I present Balentine the Bulldog who looks like he has a lot of attitude!

Oh, and for a change of pace I am including a scan of the original photograph I worked from as reference so, you can compare the photograph to the artwork produced, as well as what I chose to change and leave in.


Medium: Scratchboard with water color wash - Size: 8x10

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Camelot edited and older piece [Fawn]

After letting Camelot's portrait sit around and received a few critiques I went back and fixed a few things. I reworked the tongue which proved to be more difficult than I first preceived and added a few touch ups to the fur. Here is the final version I will be bringing to the shelter.

I also dug up an older piece I did about a year ago that I finally rescanned for a better quality image to display and have on the computer.
Through the pine trees
Scratchboard with a water color wash

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


My first donation to the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter. I'd like everyone to meet Camelot. She is an adorable year old Pit Bull Terrier Mix. Cammie has been at the shelter for awhile and has touched all the hearts she licks. Always welcomes you with a wagging tail and a big grin on her face, Camelot would be a great companion. Here is the beauty queen in her 'artistic debute'.

Medium: Scratchboard with water color wash

I recently purchased new tools specifically for use on scratchboard and Camelot's picture was perfect for trying out these new tools. I found a lot of interesting and new techniques that I can now use in the future. As much as I liked how Camelot came out this was a good learning experience as she was my first attempt at working with a dog with really short fur and getting the fur rendering accurate.

Monday, May 19, 2008


My dad's birthday present. This scratchboard with a water color wash features the dog we had when I was a baby. Her name was Holly. We are unsure what mix she may have been. After hearing about her abandonment at work my dad rescued Holly off the streets. She was a sweet, lovable dog that was incredibly loyal to my dad.

The Call of the Wild Color Illustration

The second illustration for my illustration class final project.

Medium: Gouache

"Best of all, perhaps, he loved to lie near the fire, hind legs crouched under him, fore legs stretched out in front, head raised, and eyes blinking drearily at the flames."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Call of the Wild Illustration

The final project for my illustration class is to pick a classic book and illustrate two scenes. The first scene has to be in black and white and the second scene in color. I chose The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

I started the black and white scene first. I am uncertain if this is the final piece but this is how it looks so far.
Medium: Acrylic Paints

The wolf was suspicious and afraid; for Buck made three of him in weight, while his head barely reached Buck's shoulder. Watching his chance, he darted away, and the chase was resumed... But in the end Buck's pertinacity was rewarded; for the wolf, finding that no harm was intended, finally sniffed noses with him.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Greatness of a Nation...

Final thesis project for my Life Drawing 2 class from last semester. My thesis was based on a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Materials: Charcoal and acrylic background

Measures: [approximately] 32x36

*Second image is full sized when viewed*

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


My favorite medium; scratch board with a water color wash. My dad's friend at work asked if I would draw a picture of her dog. Here is Sheba. I am unsure what breed but she looks a lot like my dog, Kodi.

My Childhood Memory

My first project for Illustration 1. Illustrate a childhood memory. My grandmother recently passed away and to remember her I decided to illustrate a memory of her. She was an amazing cook and a cherished memory I have is helping her bake her delicious apple cake. This was my first time working in Gouache paint. We are required to work with this medium and I'm not sure I like it yet. It is certainly different than working with acrylics or watercolor. Hopefully as the semester continues I will learn how to better 'tame' this medium.

Composition: Gouache on Bristol Paper

Final: Gouache on Illustration Board

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Final Photography Project

The final for my photography class I took the Fall semester 2007 was to do whatever we wanted. I decided to do a series of shelter animals for my love of animals and that I would be likely to use the photographs I took as references for my artwork. I went to Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter in NJ. Taken with a 35mm at 1/60 with various f-stops depending on the lighting.

I'm sure some of these animals are still there. They were all very friendly and delightful models! While I was taking the photos I was so immersed in getting an accurate shot I didn't have time to see how precious they all were and how much they all needed homes. Processing the photos and looking at them now...I wish I could have taken them all home.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Photography Class

Last semester, Fall 2007, I took Photography 1. I loved it! I honestly never knew that taking a picture used to require more then just a point and click. My professor was amazing and I learned so much. If I had the money and a place to put a dark room I would pursue photography at least as my own resource, but, alas. At least it gave me a chance to try out a field of art I never would have thought I'd be good at or try. All photos were taken with a 35mm. [The above photo is a classmate during our first session trying out our cameras and getting used to shutter speed, fstops, and depth of field].

My first project was to experiment with depth of field. I used my dog, Kodi, who is a Carolina Dog and Shepard mix. He photographs much better in black and white then he does in color sometimes.

My friend Jennifer, who loves to pose for the camera was perfect for this project. We had to take photos that focused on perspective [worm's, bird's, ect. eye view] and reflections.

Old work, new spot

I decided to make a large post of some of my 'best' work from over the years. Most of these drawings were on Deviant Art but I want them on the blog with a more direct link. Also, since my website is in the works this will serve as my 'mini portfolio'.

Fire Stallions, Acrylics, Project in Color Theory experimenting with the color red and transparency.

Baby Still Life, Charcoal Pencils, Independent project experimenting with still life

Childhood Innocence, Charcoal Pencils, independent project

Dragon Lady, Colored Pencil, independent

Wyoming Knott, Pen and Ink, gift for a friend

The L was Licked, Pencil, Project for Commercial Illustration

Harvesting Squirrel, Scratch board with a water color wash, independent

In Loving Memory, Scratch board with a water color wash, gift for a friend

Tropical Pepper, Water color and marker, independent

More About Me...

Artist Statement
The passing of a loved one can break your heart, but the passing along of a loved one’s talent can mend your soul. My mother was an accomplished artist who passed away when I was a young girl. Her loss was tragic, but what helped me through the hard times was that even though she had passed away, she had passed her art talent on to me.

The motivation to expand my art skills at a young age came from the influence of my mother, even though she was not on earth physically motivating me. By advancing my skills in painting, drawing, and etching I felt a further connection to her. Art always held within it a spiritual value for me. The same spiritual aspect I apply to my artwork I receive from my love for animals. Animals have influenced my artwork from the first time I picked up a pencil. I find the creative use of animal subjects gives the subject of my artwork an essence of spiritual power.

When I am in my own space completely focused on my artwork, I feel rejuvenated and content with myself. Feeling this way helps me create pieces of artwork that are more than just pencil on paper, or painting on canvas, but an outlet to express myself in a way that I could never accomplish verbally.

On my journey I would like to develop my artwork by using all of the skills that I have and will learn to make my artwork a unique and powerful spiritual tonic for others and myself.


My first post on my new blog. If you are reading this, welcome! My name is Jessica Kale and I am an illustrator. I have an Associate in Fine Arts and I am currently a full time student going for my BFA.

I do not have an official website to post my artwork so I am using this blog for now. During the summer I hope to start taking classes to learn some basic website design and skills to create my own official website. I will post previews of pieces I am working on, as they progress, finished pieces, and relevant news in this blog.

Comments are welcome, critiques, suggestions are encouraged. Enjoy and please feel free to contact me!