Happy Halloween!


Franenstein Monster

Boo! I’m enjoying a Frankenstein triple feature and working on artist trading cards.  I’ve had a couple of requests for the Frankenstein monster so what a perfect night to finish these drawings up.  Here’s one I finished last night.

Have a spooky evening everyone!


ATC Round Up: Crows

Here’s a quick round-up of crow artist trading cards I’ve been making lately for swaps and trades:

ATC:  Valerie's Crow (traded)ATC: Crow (traded)ATC:  Totem Swap I (Traded)

Thanks for visiting!  More art soon…

ATCs: Cats, Cats, and More Cats

ATC: The StareATC: Fletcher's Profile

ATC: Fletcher in Color

More cats for you here.  I’ve been making a lot of these lately.  I think because I want to make sure that they aren’t flukes or just happy accidents.  I’m so amazed by how well these are turning out.   For a contrast, here are some cat drawings I drew in 2008:

Big improvement, I think.

Pen Sketch: The Cat Next Door

cat drawing-pen and gouache on pater
© 2011 Mellanie Collins

 Fletcher, brush pen and gouache on paper, 5 x 7 inches

Prowling his own quiet backyard or asleep by the fire, he is still only a whisker away from the wilds. ~Jean Burden

Ballpoint Pen Sketch: Something Serious

Something Serious

pen and paper, 5 x7 inches

Instead of filling requests for portraits, I’ve been filling up my sketchbook with ballpoint pen drawings.  Here’s one I thought came out quite well.  As always, Michael is my ever-patient model.  He looks like he’s thinking about something pretty serious, but I think he’s just asleep.

Graphite Sketch: An Impossible Angle

sketch of man relaxing
© 2011 Mellanie Collins

graphite on paper, 5 x 8 inches

On the first sunny and warm day this spring,  Michael and I went to the park.  Michael basked, and I sketched.   At first I was frustrated.  I had chosen an impossible angle and as it was such a glorious, lazy, summery afternoon I just couldn’t bear to get technical and try to do a “proper drawing.”

I had to mentally thumb my nose at my inner critic as she badgered me to consider the proportions or to “slow down and try do some proper hatching for god’s sake!”  I just kept marking, smudging and scribbling on pages.  I had such a great time.

Looks like I’m finally learning to just give myself a break and enjoy myself.

It’s about time.

ATCs: Bulldog Drawing

ATC: Bulldog (traded)

Creative Commons License
Bulldog by Mellanie Collins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

2.5″x3.5″  gouache and colored pencil

Here’s a little bulldog drawing for an artist trading card I made by request.  I have mixed feelings about this drawing.   I think the eyes turned out okay, but it just seems to be missing something.   Maybe it’s that the whites are too white.  I’m still experimenting with gouache and not quite comfortable with it.

My Own Mini-Portrait Party w/ Lindsay Long


ATC:  LinsdayWhimsy ATC (traded)

© 2011 Mellanie Collins

I’ve been trading artist trading cards (ATCs) for about three years now. It’s a great hobby and it’s really helped me with my drawing. The first trade I did was a portrait exchange with Ujwala from Draw the Line.   We each drew each other and it was a great experience.  I’ve managed to do it a few more times and gathering a nice collection of little portraits of myself.

I met Lindsay (she goies by Lindsaywhimsy)on ATCS for All and fell in love with her whimsical images so I invited her to do a portrait card trade with me.  She’s allowed me to feature the card she made for me here.

© 2011 Lindsay Long

Isn’t it wonderful?  She’s given me such an infectious smile.  Definitely check out Lindsay’s Flickr Photostream.  Her artist trading cards are vivid and cheerful.  You are in for a treat.

Before I wrap this up,  I want to do a quick shout out to Joan Yoshioka.  Thank you for mentioning me in the same sentence as the amazing France Belleville on your blog.  You made my day!

2010? Forget About It. I Did.

© 2010 Mellanie Collins
John Bavarro for Julia Kay’s Portrait Party
Pen, ink, and marker on paper, 5×7 inches


Let’s pretend last year never happened.   It was not one of my best.  In fact, it sucked.  I’m just tucking 2010 away to that that place in my brain that isolates things like songs from the 80’s that I don’t want to remember, and having all my wisdom teeth removed in one go, unpleasant things like that.

The image above is one of the few drawings I did last year that I’m pleased with.  I drew it for Julia Kay’s Portrait Party on Flickr.   Artists post pictures of themselves and we all draw each other.   There are so many amazing artists participating and more are joining all the time.  When I joined up around June of last year there were around 200.  Now there are over 450.

I’m so glad this is going strong because I only managed to do 17 drawings,  and I want to get back to this.  There have been so many artists who have drawn pictures of me and I want to return the favor.  I hope to have some new drawings to share soon.

Thanks for sticking with me!  I’ll be making some updates to the blog pages and generally trying to make things more interesting.  But for now, I have some drawing to do.




Wishful Thinking


© 2010 Mellanie Collins

Oh how I’ve been missing drawing!  After starting a new job and succombing to some nasty and persisent sinus funk, I’ve not been able to get much drawing done for the last month –or even this month.   The sketching I’ve managed hasn’t been worth sharing.

I did manage to do this sketch in March.  It’s from a picture I took of myself in December.  Even though it’s a bit rough in places, I like the expression I captured.  And yes, my teeth are that crooked.  Oh I wish I felt this bright and happy!

But this too shall pass.  I’ll feel better.  I’ll be drawing again.  And then I will be happy.

Take good care of yourselves.  Keep drawing!

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