Welcome to Ellen Million Graphic’s Featured Artist of the Week! Each week, we select an EMG artist and share their work and history. We hope you enjoy getting to see incredible artists this way.
This week, we’re celebrating the effusive and dedicated Jenny Heidewald! Jenny joins us from the eastern US, and is a proudly self-taught artist. She remembers the exact moment she decided to become an artist: when she was touched by the hand of God. She recalls watching her mother drawing, an illustration of the hand of God reaching forth from the clouds magically flowing into existence on a blank sheet of paper. And that was it: the moment she knew that’s what she wanted to do. She’s been practicing her craft ever since. You can explore more of her work on her Facebook page and at her DeviantArt gallery.
Jenny has been a great friend to and supporter of Ellen Million Graphics for many years. She even participated in Sketch Fest before the first official Sketch Fest! Jenny has over 1000 playful and colorful sketches in her Sketch Fest gallery, and has provided hundreds of prompts for Sketch Fest artists as well. Her work is featured in several EMG coloring books, and her Portrait Adoption gallery has encompassed over 100 portraits – over half of which have been adopted, proving her character illustrations are popular indeed!
We invite you to explore more at her pages over on EMG as linked below:
We continue celebrating 25 years in business with today’s entry in our EMG Story series. Wondering what we’re doing? Start here with our introduction.
Now, we’re turning the mic over to Jenny Heidewald so she can tell us her EMG Story:
“I should begin at the beginning… I think I have known Ellen as long as my husband, to whom I’ve now been married fourteen years!
I met Ellen through Elfwood, back in 1999, when I was just poking around through the galleries. I contacted her about becoming one of her EMG artists making cards and stationery. She was very kind in guiding me on how to make stationery pages that would fit the needs of EMG, mainly fill the page and make borders around the edges—you can’t just stuff a drawing in the corner. This really helped me with the design and flow of my art.
Portrait Adoption was one of the biggest helps to me in my artistic career, as the forums were a safe place for us PA artists to gather. I learned a lot from my fellow artists; we could ask for redlines of our art when we knew something was a bit off, but couldn’t figure out what. Sadly, we all kind of drifted away from the forums, but PA is still a great site, and I, too, intend to get back into making art for it.
I also did a series of tutorial articles for EMG-Zine; those were a lot of work, because to this day I feel like I must Research-to-Death! any subjects I write about. I was late on the deadline quite a few times (sorry, Ellen!), but I learned a lot of interesting things, and it forced me to expand my techniques. The hardest was the “Reflections” tutorial! I learned you can’t just flip the image around—it is a different angle, and that must be reflected in the art. My writing has improved through those articles, too, but semicolons are still a bit iffy for me! My husband kept lecturing me about them, when I forced him to edit my tutorials.
One of the other projects I enjoyed working on are the coloring books. I’ve had a lot of fun thinking of unique subjects, and really getting into inking, one of my favorite techniques.
I haven’t done too much with Torn World, but I enjoy contributing when I am able. Some of my personal favorite art have resulted from TW subjects.
Sketch Fest is The Best Thing EVER!!! I have participated in every single one (I was late posting one month, so the sketch is in the next month); though I haven’t been as active lately what with life events, I still really enjoy it. Seeing all the different art and artists come together is great; I like how even folks who don’t draw can participate by posting prompts. Sketch Fest—it’s addictive. 🙂
Ellen, you have always amazed me with how productive and brave you are when approaching new projects. Some didn’t make it, but you are not afraid to try, or at least have a conversation about it. I am always willing to try any project you conjure up (I have a tendency towards being a lazy bum, but, if it’s for Ellen, break out the pencil and pens!)
You have been one of the greatest influences in my life, and I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without you! I am SO grateful that you have never given up or given in, and keep coming up with “crazy” artistic schemes to involve me with! I don’t know if I ever told you, but I feel you are like a big sister to me, and I am honored to call you my friend.
Congratulations on 25 years of Ellen Million Graphics! I am grateful I’ve gotten to share 19 years of the journey with you, and hopefully many, many more. (It had better, you know I need my SF fix every month. 😉 )”
Thank you for that thoughtful reflection on your journey with EMG so far, Jenny! We look forward to many more projects and Sketch Fests and years with your creativity and participation.
Would you like to share your EMG Story with us and perhaps see it featured on our blog? Email Deborah here.
What an AMAZING Sketch Fest! There was so much energy and enthusiasm, and it means a lot to me that you guys had fun and got involved. #EMGSketchFest is one of my favorite projects, and it would be really boring (and pretty pointless) if it was just me. 🙂
Fifty artists participated, making more than 325 sketches, and there were so many lovely comments and wonderful prompts to work from. Thank you for helping us make this one of the biggest and most beautiful events we’ve had in a while!
Thank you so much to everyone who came out and played this weekend at Sketch Fest #100!
It’s true, everyone! When all was said and done, Sketch Fest #100 featured 50 participating artists and 382 total uploaded creations to the gallery. Wow! You absolutely owe it to yourself to wander through all of the artwork and maybe buy a sketch or original – there are some really amazing pieces in there just waiting to hang on your wall.
Now, let’s announce all of our prize winners:
Comments Keep Us Going – Our 5 random winners are: Julie Cooper, who wins a 6×8 print with matching magnet by Maria William; Katerina Koukiotis, who wins a collection of 3 5×7 prints by Sarah Alden; ElmaBree, who wins a postcard of “Sea of Stars” and stickers by Nathalie Edelhirsch; Rosie Wells, who wins an original ACEO of your choice by Jenny Heidewald; and Mayumi Ogihara, who wins a coloring book of her choice by Selina Fenech.
Most Popular Prompt – This one was a tie between Nicole Madden and Rosie Wells! They will each receive a mystery bag (3 ACEO prints each) by Mayumi Ogihara.
Super Supporter of Sketch Fest #100– The person who purchased the highest value of art this Sketch Fest was Julie Cooper, with Ed Cammarato as our runner-up! Julie and Ed will both receive a selection of ACEO prints by Katerina Koukiotis (one of each she does this Sketch Fest).
Most Creative Use of Prompt– We had a really tough time choosing the winner of this category – so we’re awarding two Honorable Mentions as well! The artist with the most creative use of a prompt this Sketch Fest was Rosie Wells for “Operation: Fluffy Cuddles,” and she will receive an 11×17 print, an 8.5 x 11 print, and her choice of coloring sheet or bookmark by Sheryl Abid. Our two Honorable Mentions are Amy Sue Stirland for “Glittering Eye Blank Book” and Deirdre M. Murphy with “Warning, DM Whimsical When Bored” – they will each receive one print from Cindy Hill!
Sketch-crazy! – Jenny Heidewald submitted THIRTY-ONE sketches during the official #EMGSketchFest 100 hours! She wins a copy of From The Deep coloring book by Ellen Million.
Opening Bell Artist – The first artist to submit a sketch was Milkycat with “Storm of Petals,” and she wins a print from Cindy Hill!
First Hurdle Artist – Tara N Colna was the first artist to submit five sketches this Sketch Fest, and she’ll receive a customized original 4″ x 6″ character portrait from Julie Rabischung!
First 3D Artist – Afke van Herpt was the first artist to submit a 3-dimensional sketch or other work, such as sculpture, jewelry, crocheted piece, etc. and has won a wee dragon charm by Whimsical Dreams Art!
Collaboration – The best collaborative work, here defined as the best collaboration between prompt and art, was selected by our guest judges Afke and Ronja! Katerina Romanova wins this prize for “Shy,” and will receive an ACEO by Afke van Herpt and her niece Ronja!
Submission by Someone 12 or Under – Shell’s 7-year-old daughter Willow took this prize for “Am I A Rainbow?“! Our guest judges Afke and Ronja made the selection, and Willow wins an ACEO from them.
Sketch Fest Newbies – We had four new participants in our 100th Sketch Fest: Ellen Moore, Ellen Wilberg, J. Ryan Decker, and Regina Mailloux. Each of our newbies will receive an ACEO print and postcard.
And here’s our last series of featured illustrations – we hope you enjoy this final taste of Sketch Fest #100!
First up is this gorgeous example of handlettering in watercolour brushpen and tangles in black fineliners in honor of our 100th Sketch Fest. Thanks for this, Francis Bax!
We can’t get over how adorable Maria J. William’s “Mr. Meowington” is! This colored pencil, white charcoal, and white acrylic illustration is on toned paper and measures approximately 6×8. You can pick up prints of this fine feline for only $7-$10!
“Glittering Eye Blank Book” by Amy Sue Stirland is an upcycled plain spiral bound blank book with Velcro closure and won one of our Honorable Mentions for Most Creative Use of a Prompt. Amy said, “This was a book that was given out by a major company as a promotional item. I have reworked the cover for the prompt.. only one eye, and the scales are raised and nicely shimmery.” It measures 5.5 ” x 4 ” and contains 20lb weight white pages numbering 80.
Of her “Heart of Peacocks,” Julie Cooper says, “This is the first decent peacock I have managed to do. I might colour but not too sure.” We love this bird and hope you do!
We’re thrilled with this strikingly colorful ACEO from Erika Harm! Here’s what she says about “Oni Fox“: “I wanted to blend the idea of an oni and a kitsune into one mask. Ink!” You can pick up the original artwork for just $15!
Ellen Million, the founder of our Sketch Fest feast, created several fantastic art cards this Sketch Fest! Here’s her interpretation of an alarune. You can pick up the original ACEO drawing for only $8!
Our last featured piece is this lovely illustration by Janna Prosvirina. “Waiting for Autumn to Come” is ink pen on Bristol measuring 4″ x 6″. You can grab the original ink sketch for $12, and you can get a download to print out as a coloring page for only $3.
That’s it for #EMGSketchFest 100, a truly remarkable milestone. We can’t wait to see you at Sketch Fest #101, which will be August 24-26, so mark your calendars!
We’re nearing 150 pieces posted in the #EMGSketchFest 100 gallery, which is stuffed full of amazement and enchantment – where else can you see fine examples of acrylic pouring mingling with bubbles and mermaids or green man sculpture hanging out with pencil sketches of pegasi and horned women? We’ve got it all!
Including some winners of our 100th Celebration prizes! Read on for their names and a sneak peek of great art you’ll encounter in the gallery.
Smile at Jenny Heidewald’s “Fox Flower,” an enchanting piece that suggests a tale of whimsy and joy. Jenny is also the winner of our First Hurdle Artist prize for being the first participant to upload 5 pieces to the gallery!
“Shadows and Lace” by Katerina Koukiotis is an alluring portrait inspired by Jenny Heidewald’s prompt. Katerina had vintage and steampunk notions tumbling through her head when she read Jenny’s prompt! The original 5×7 graphite and charcoal powder sketch can be yours for only $25! You can also get an ACEO LE print for $6.
Inspired by Laura Macy’s “Putting Flowers in My Hair” prompt, Nathalie Reinholz painted this vibrant girl crowned with radiant flowers. Here’s what Natta said about her piece: “My version of ever after painting course. A bumble bee landed on the flowers while painting. I can be satisfied then!” Yes!
Kathryn Whiteford knows how to draw a man too devilishly handsome for his own good! This rake also lived up to his reputation, even on paper, from what Kathryn had to say: “Augh, men! This guy was such a pain to draw and this is the second attempt of the sketch. Took the whole hour to get him to this point since I started and scrapped my first idea, then started again and finished here. As stubborn as he was, I do like how he ended up.” We do, too!
Afke van Herpt sculpted this adorable narwhal from glittery polymer clay, inspired by Sarah Alden’s prompt. Afke explained, “The horn I made a couple of months ago (for a little unicorn workshop I gave). It will get a knitted body.” This narwhal was the first example of three-dimensional art uploaded to the gallery – so Ake wins our First 3D Artist prize!
Did you enjoy these featured pieces? There’s even more to admire in the complete #EMGSketchFest 100 gallery. Hop on over there and share your favorites on social media with our official hashtag.
#EMGSketchFest was incredible fun, with 16 participating artists and 68 sketches uploaded – so far! We honestly had more than 16 artists join in this weekend, with several family members of our artists joining in: daughter, husband, niece! You should check out the full gallery, after enjoying our featured illustrations below.
Amanda Baker took Afke’s prompt “words like butterflies” and created this fluttering and delicate beauty – “Butterfly Words.” And this was Amanda’s first Sketch Fest! (Welcome, Amanda!) Pen and pencil sketch on archival paper.
Then we have Sarah Alden’s “Polar Bear and the Fairy,” an utterly adorable confection of roly-poly polar bear cub and sweet fairy in the snow. She’s eager to draw more polar bears now!
Inspired by Cindy Hill’s prompt, “my pet dragon,” Julie Rabischung created this precious pair – though the dragon is less than pleased! Here’s what Julie said: “Little girl has a new pet and it’s a dragon!!! But the little dragon is not happy at all to be wearing a bow and to be called ‘Squee’…” Graphite and markers on 4×6 Bristol.
Jenny Heidewald jumped in with several illustrations, including this lovely portrait: “Forest.” Jenny commented, “I really like how this one turned out in pencil, the soft effect works well.” They did! You can have this sketch for $8 (specially marked down from $10 in celebration of the New Year). Pencil on 2.5″x3.5″ Bristol.
We saved another one of our favorites for last! This is a collaboration between Afke van Herpt and her niece Ronja! Ronja drew the witch’s sweet kitty and then Afke added the troll witch herself.
That’s it for #EMGSketchFest 95, but don’t forget to click through to the full gallery!
Sketch Fest will return in March. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to hear about #EMGSketchFest 96!