It's cold and snowy here and winter isn't quite over yet but I'm feeling optimistic now that we're nearing the end of February!  I'm dreaming of those first warm breezes and the scent of fresh grass growing and walking through the plant nurseries and choosing some beautiful things to plant in the yard ... so ready!

But while spring is trying it's hardest to get here, I've been working away in the studio.  I have several commissions in the works that I can't divulge yet but thought I'd post a little about how much I love painting a face.  Or watercolor portraiture, in other words.  I thought I'd run you through my steps by using an example of a recent portrait that I created of Margot Robbie as she appeared at the Oscars recently.  I decided that instead of painting my favorite Oscar gown of the evening (I had a few favorites) I would paint the face that won my red carpet beauty award for pure Hollywood glamour.  I also loved the glow of the famous vintage Zipper Necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels that she wore.

I usually work from photographs and, thankfully, when there is a runway involved, there are plenty of photos to use as reference.  When I'm using a photo for reference, I start by looking at the photo and deciding what it is about the face (or gown, etc.) that I'd like to play up in my painting.  In Margot's case, I decided I'd make her red lips a little more glossy and show a little more reflection in the eyes. Before I sketch, I draw a few light horizontal and vertical lines about an inch apart on her face.  I don't draw a complete grid, but a few horizontal and vertical lines help in lining up features correctly when I begin to sketch.  While constantly looking back and forth at the photo as I work, I begin to sketch the face.  I make my pencil lines quite light when I'll be working in watercolor.  In the sketch below, the lines were actually lightened even more than you see here, picking up most of the pencil with my kneaded eraser until the lines were barely visible before the painting began because once the paint goes on, there is no erasing.

Pencil Sketch (c) SANDY M Illustration

Light Pencil Sketch In Preparation for Watercolor by SANDY M

I always start my portraits by painting in the first layers of skin tone.  I paint on Arches Aquarelle Hot Pressed 140-lb. watercolor paper when I'm looking for a smooth texture.  Sometimes I use Strathmore Cold Pressed 140-lb.watercolor paper when I want a little texture.  I personally like to work with both hot and cold-pressed papers and use both often.

I most often use Windsor and Newton watercolors in the tube.  As watercolor is mixed with water, it doesn't take a lot of paint.  (I use the white plastic palettes with the indents that you buy at any art supply store to mix my colors in).  In choosing the paints to mix for skin tones, there is no set recipe because everyone's face is different.  If you add just a single color mixed with white it often feels as if the face doesn't have any life. That's because we all have undertones of color, sometimes golden colors to give a glow, sometimes pink undertones or blue undertones.  Sounds complicated but it's actually fun.  I like using transparent colors mixed with lots of water to create washes that are layered for my skin tones.  Shadowed areas of the skin often look a little blue (or sometimes even purple) around the areas of the hairline where there is a shadow under hair not resting directly on the skin as well as in some areas around the eyes..  I love using blues added to the skin tone mix for these cool deeper shadowed areas.  It's fun to experiment with shades to achieve the correct coolness and warmth in the mix.  The biggest secret I can give is to really look at the face and it's shadows. How many colors do you see?  You will need to mix those colors.

Margot's face is pretty pale so my first color mixture needed to be a light peachy wash.  You can get this base tone by mixing in varying degrees (mixed with lots of water) cadmium red, cadmium yellow and end by adding a little cerulean blue.  This is where you'll need to experiment by mixing and painting strips on a scrap watercolor paper with your mixtures until you have just the color you need. Don't be afraid, it takes practice and really is fun.  Before you know it, you'll have the mixture that you love the most and will find you use it as your go-to mix for light skin tones.  Once you have the light skin color you'd like, start with a light wash of the color on the face.  Don't forget to be sure it's mixed with plenty of water so that it doesn't go on dry.  Don't be afraid that it is wrong if it looks too light.  You can always add more washes until you have the right shade for your skin tone.

Now look at the shaded areas of the face.  Do you see a tan skin tone in those areas or a blue or violet tone or pink tone?  I sometimes add a little burnt sienna or raw sienna or yellow ocre to my skin tone mix if I'm looking for a golden tan or  a golden glow to certain areas.  I add a little alizarin crimson, cadmium red or permanent rose to my mix when I need a little pink in the skin tone for the cheek area (I used a little alizarin crimson for the pink tone mixed with the skin tone for under her cheekbone and chin).  I use a little cerulean blue or even ultramarine blue for deeper shadowed areas that may look a little deep grey to you on your photo.  I love the effects that adding blues and reds to your skin tones can give to your skin tones.  These tones are what bring your face to life.

For my illustration (shown in progress below), the shadowed areas of Margot's skin had a lot of pink in them so I added a little alizarin crimson and a tiny bit of burnt sienna to the mix for the shadows along the side of her face and cheekbone, as well as on her neck shaded areas.  I added a little cerulean blue to the shadow mix for the area under the hair at the top of her face.  If you've gotten your shading color too dark, you can lighten it by dipping your brush into water and dabbing it lightly on a paper towel and dabbing with a feather-light touch at your shaded area until some of the color lifts.

Margot Robbie Fashion Illustration in Progress copyright SANDY M ILLUSTRATION

Watercolor Portrait in Progress by SANDY M

In the above photo of the painting of Margot in progress, you can see the shadows along the left of her face and on either side of her nose and on her neck at the base of her chin.  Margot didn't have color eyeshadow on her eyelids.  They just looked as if they were a pretty, natural, soft pink skin tone so I dipped my brush in the same color mix I used for the hollow of her cheekbone and ran it over her eyelid softly and just under the edge of her eye.  I did this until I had achieved the right shade of color for each area, lifting or adding as needed.  The line at her crease was created with this same color in a deeper tone.    For her brows, I mixed a little of the raw sienna and burnt sienna into white with water until it was a very pale wash and washed over the brow color area before adding the detail of the single hairs.  Once the brow color dried, I dipped a very fine-tipped watercolor brush into a deeper mix of the brow wash colors.  I added a little more of each of the siennas and added a little burnt umber to knock down the red tones of the siennas.  I didn't want dark eyebrows but wanted to see the definition of the eyebrow hairs.  I touched my brush to dry paper towel before stroking each of these eyebrow hairs so that they looked soft.

I decided to leave a little space at the top of her upper lip and on the full part of her lower lip without watercolor to give her lips a glossy look.  I used a mixture of alizarin crimson and permanent rose and white mixed with a little of the light skin tone mixture to keep it natural.  After the first wash is on, I deepen the areas of the lip with another wash of the mixture at the underside of the upper lip and in the corners where the upper and lower lips meet.  I also run a little of this deeper shade along her lower lip.

Whites of eyes are never just white.  They have shadowed areas in each corner and often from the upper lashes.  These shadowed areas can look grey or even a little blue or lavender.  For this illustraiton, I mixed the tiniest bit of black and a tiny bit of cerulean with white for the shaded areas inner and outer areas of the whites of the eyes.  This color lightly shades the white of the eye along the edges where it would be shadowed.  I used a little of the pink alizarin skin tone mix for the little pink skin folds in the inner corners of her eyes and along the lower moist rim.  Leave a little of this area in the inner corners with a touch of white showing to make them look moist.

Margo Robbie Finished Portrait Illustration Copyright SANDY M ILLUSTRATION

Watercolor Portrait of Margot Robbie on the Red Carpet Oscars 2015 by Fashion Illustrator SANDY M

For Margot's eye color, her iris color had a bit of a grey tone in the blue, so I mixed a little black and white in with ultramarine and water until I had the right color mix by testing it on my test sheet.  The iris of the eyes are a light wash of this color with added washes in the upper portion of the iris where they would be slightly shadowed.  I also run this deeper color along the outer edge of the iris.  The pupil is a little black mixed with water.  I looked closely at where her actual eyeliner began and lashes and painted them in with black watercolor with a very fine brush.  Make sure you don't have too much paint when you do this so that it doesn't glop.  I am constantly lightly touching a paper towel with my freshly watercolored brush for areas of detail before touching my piece of art.  I kept adding more layers of the black until I had the right depth. I mentioned that I wanted to add more reflection to her eyes and I've done that with a tiny dot of white paint on her pupils (as that is where the light actually appeared in the photo) and added a glimmer of white along the base of her eyelid to give them a moist look.

For blonde hair, I use many colors, depending upon the shade of blonde.  Blonde hair is never a solid yellow but a mixture of shades ranging from warm colors to very cool, the lightest being white.  I encourage you to experiment with warm and cool colors for hair.  You will notice that hair strands (groups of hairs) are not the same color from root to tip.  They are usually darket at the root and shaded areas and lighter in highlighted areas.  Some colors to play around with when mixing a light brown to use in shadows are a mixture of transluscent orange, aureolin yellow, scarlet red and a touch of phthalo blue.  Pale washes of hair can be a mixture of the same colors in a lighter combination.  Look at the shade you are trying to achieve, lay some of these colors on your palette and don't be afraid to mix.  Look at the hair as if it's a jigsaw puzzle with dark, medium and light areas.  I wet each strip that I'm going to paint with a little water before adding my color mix so that I will achieve a softer look and not look as if the hair is painted in strips.

Lastly, for the top of the gown, I simply used a wash of black, a think coat layered over skin tone for her shoulders and layers built up for the gown top.  I created the shades of the gold on the zipper necklace first with shades of burnt sienna, raw sienna, yellow ocre and white in varying mixes for the lightest and the darkest areas of the gold.  Then I went over it when it was shadowed with touchest of metallic gold paint to give it sheen.  The diamonds along the edge o the necklace and tinier blue stones as well as the blue stones on the tassel were painted with watercolor in varying shades of color.  Black, white, grey for the diamonds and varying shades of ultramarine blue (with a little black added or the deepest shadows) for the tassel.

That's it!  I hope this was helpful to some of you ...  I love painting faces!  Have a beautiful remainder of the week!

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Hi everyone!  I cannot believe how quickly February is flying by ... isn't that what they say happens when you're having fun?

In spite of living in a historical home that is in a constant evolution of renovation projects around me (the kitchen is being gutted at the moment), my days in the studio (with my pug Lily underfoot) are an oasis of creation, a busy constant rotation of custom illustrations (like this portrait fashion illusgtration of Cara McLeay [@carajourdan on Instagram] founder of A Fashion Love Affair), several big project commissions (many that are in the works that I'll tell you about later) and also dreaming up illustrations for the SHOP.

CARAJOURDAN FASHION ILLUSTRATION BY SANDY M COPYRIGHT SANDY M ILLUSTRATION

One of the illustrations that I'm currently working on, and one you will see in the SHOP when completed, is for a new blank journal cover called "Coffee Girls."  Working on this illustration is like a perpetual coffee break (how wonderful is that!).  More on that later as it gets closer to completion but here's a sneak peek:

COFFEE GIRLS JOURNAL COVER ILLUSTRATION IN PROGRESS COPYRIGHT SANDY M ILLUSTRATION

You probably are wondering why this post is entitled Chanel, Party Girls and Shoes.  I wanted to introduce you to some of the first illustrations that have recently been added to the SHOP!  The 2015 Calendar was the first item available on this new site and it is currently available while supplies last.  And now, the first illustrations on prints have been introduced, with many more to come!

First up: A PARTY GIRLS illustration has been created as an 11" x 14" signed print.  It's a bubbly confection of an illustration featuring girlfriends, pink champagne and macarons (which makes everything even more fun, no?).  You will find this print in the SHOP when you click on "SHOP PRINTS" as the first item there ... it would be perfect framed on your bar cart.

PARTY GIRLS FASHION ILLUSTRATION BY SANDY M COPYRIGHT SANDY M ILLUSTRATION

PARTY GIRLS by Fashion Illustrator SANDY M

When you go to the SHOP here on this site, you will notice shopping selections that say: "SHOP CALENDAR," "SHOP PRINTS" and "SHOP PRINT COLLECTIONS."  The above Party Girls print is in "SHOP PRINTS" because it is an individual print, not currently part of a themed print collection (if I decide to create a whole series of PARTY GIRL prints in the future, then this print would be a part of a PARTY GIRL print collection, see how it works?).

Under SHOP PRINT COLLECTIONS you will find the first prints available in two print collections in the SHOP: THE SHOE COLLECTION prints and THE CHANEL COLLECTION prints. Many more print collections are in the works.  All of the prints in these collections are available individually but are shown in the collection because they would also be fabulous framed for a gallery wall.

For THE SHOE COLLECTION, I recently created illustrations of some very glamorous shoes for prints.  The first three shoe prints have just been added and are available right now and you will see more and more shoes being added shortly.  The shoe prints are priced perfectly for collecting several for a grouping.  Following is my illustration of the Delpozo Bow Sandal, one of the first three shoes currently available as a print.  I started this shoe collection of prints because I could imagine them as 10" x 10" framed prints in a dressing room (even if you don't have the real shoes, now you can have them in your dressing room or bedroom!).

DELPOZO BOW SHOE FASHION ILLUSTRATION BY SANDY M COPYRIGHT SANDY M ILLUSTRATION

DELPOZO BOW SANDAL by Fashion Illustrator SANDY M

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I just completed the first three prints for THE CHANEL COLLECTION and they all feature favorite CHANEL scents: Chanel No 5, Coco Noir and Coco Mademoiselle.

Chanel No 5 copyright SANDY M

CHANEL NO 5 by Fashion Illustrator SANDY M

Chanel Coco Noir copyright SANDY M ILLUSTRATION

CHANEL COCO NOIR by Fashion Illustrator SANDY M

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle copyright SANDY M

CHANEL COCO MADEMOISELLE by Fashion Illustrator SANDY M

Have a great week and stay tuned for much more to come!

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Happy February, everyone!  It's time to replace January's gorgeous calendar girl (you know, the girl who ordered the extravagant room service to her Plaza hotel suite?)  with lovely,  ponytailed February's girl. who happens to be illustrated standing in her Oscar de la Renta gown (because ... why not?) in the airport concourse dreaming of a destination to head off to.  If you don't have a SANDY M 2015 Calendar yet, they're still available in the SHOP while supplies last.

February Sydney_Blog

As I am writing this post in the studio, a big snowstorm is whirling outside and dumping lots of the white stuff all around and I'm very glad to be in here and not out there.  If this is happening to you too, you may be longing for June's calendar girl, but we wouldn't want to wish the months away, would we?  I'm very cozy inside with a cup of hot chocolate and Lily the pug curled at my feet.  Hope you're doing lots of the same!

In the previous post of last week, entitled GOLDEN GOLDEN, I shared an illustration of a beautiful Viktoria Novak ANASTASIA crown resting atop the head of a very lucky (and pretty!) girl.  For that illustration, I painted the crown with very loose details and mentioned that a detailed illustrated version of the crown would be coming soon. Well, that detailed version was created during the last week and I wanted to share it with you!  In case you missed the last post, Viktoria Novak is Australia's premier couture milliner.

Viktoria recently was kind enough to share the back story of the ANASTASIA crown with me (the ANASTASIA crown is the one in the upper right of the photo below).  She first created it only as a sample in March of 2014 for a high profile celebrity, who wore the crown to an Australian major horse racing day called the Golden Slipper.  She then received an overwhelming response from celebrities and stylists and, thus, created a whole little collection of crowns similar to the ANASTASIA.  This crown is hand-crafted by Viktoria in her Sydney, Australia boutique and features brass leaves, Swarovski crystals and French metallic and embroidered lace.  She is extremely rare and only about twelve or so will be produced by her in the whole world.

VIKTORIA NOVAK Gold Headpieces

VIKTORIA NOVAK Golden Crowns

For an illustration such as this, I start out with a detailed pencil sketch of all of the leaves, crystals and tiny metallic lace details. I then paint in areas of shadow in watercolor to give it a three-dimensional quality.  I love using a little lavender mixed in with my grey for shadows, so pretty.

IMG_0852

SANDY M Pencil Sketch of VIKTORIA NOVAK ANASTASIA Crown

Next, I start adding layers of watercolor to the tiny details.  It's ALL about the details ... I get lost in the process and just love watching a painting come to life.

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SANDY M Illustration in Progress of VIKTORIA NOVAK ANASTASIA Crown

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Finished Illustration by Fashion Illustrator SANDY M for VIKTORIA NOVAK

More and more layers, more and more detail and suddenly ... just like magic ... voila!  The finished illustration, soon to be on it's way to beautiful Australia!

I'm working on many projects at the moment and one of those projects is an illustration for the next journal cover to be available in the SHOP, called COFFEE GIRLS!  Are you one?  I so am!  More soon! xx

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VIKTORIA NOVAK Gold Headpieces

Viktoria Novak Gold Headpieces via Instagram

Do you love pretty things, sparkly things, glimmering things ... golden things ... and the sheer lusciousness of fine detail?  So do I and I'm in golden love with these Viktoria Novak golden crowns!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my illustration posted this morning of a very lucky girl wearing a Viktoria Novak golden 'ANASTASIA' crown of golden leaves, sparkle and beads. Creating this watercolor and ink sketch (using quick strokes of gold paint and golden glitter that floated in the air as I worked to pay homage to the sparkle of the glorious headpieces) almost made me wish to slip it off of my illustrated girl's head and place it on my own ... and have it come to life, of course!  But if that happened, I may just have to make it my signature piece and wear it everywhere (kidding, not kidding).

crown small with website COPYRIGHT SANDY M ILLUSTRATION

Fashion Illustration of Viktoria Novak Gold Crown Girl by SANDY M

Viktoria Novak is Australia's leading and multi-award winning couture milliner, specializing in luxury bespoke headpieces, crowns, birdcage veils and more.  For more fabulousness, follow Viktoria on Instagram and Facebook.  Thank you, Viktoria, for the golden inspiration and for making Monday positively shining!  Watch for an illustration of one of these amazing crowns in greater detail to come.

Hi everyone!  I can't believe how quickly January is zooming by, can you?  First, I wanted to take a moment to say that my very first calendar, the 2015 SANDY M Fashion Illustration Calendar, has now been shipped off to so many homes all over the world, so thank you to everyone that has ordered for being a part of such a successful first calendar!  So happy to think of it framed in your homes accompanying you during your year all the way through!  For those of you that would like to order the Calendar, It is available while supplies last right now as the first item in the new SHOP.

Speaking of SHOP, I previously mentioned that soon many more items will be added and available for purchase.  The first items I have been busy getting ready this week are several shoe illustrations that will be a part of the upcoming SHOE COLLECTION Prints perfect for a dressing room!  You'll be seeing those very soon ... I'll do a feature post on them once they are added.  (A good way to be sure to hear about everything as soon as it's available in the SHOP is to subscribe to receive the blo posts in your email inbox.)

Today, I wanted to tell you about another category to be added to the SHOP very soon and that new category will be journals embellished with my illustrations!  The journals will be blank, lined and come complete with a white ribbon bookmark that is attached to keep your place as you write exciting things, I'm sure!  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have created the first two journal designs recently already.  One of the first two journal designs that will be available will feature my "Tiffany Dreams" illustration, which stars a modern-day Audrey look-alike standing before the window of the Fifth Avenue Tiffany's store ... and I've placed inside the golden window sparkling chandeliers and glittery jewelry pieces that you may remember from the scene in the movie.  One of my favorite things to illustrate are stores and buildings that have a golden glow in their windows.

Tiffany Dreams Journal copyright SANDY M Illustration

The second journal design will feature my "Things I Love" illustration. This illustration stars several chic girls dressed in designer dresses of springtime colors while they shop at a gorgeous shop ... the shop of all of our dreams!  Imagine being able to go to a shop that contained all of the things you loved.  That's what I named this boutique.

SANDY M Favorite Things Journal copyright SANDY M Illustration

The idea for this design actually came to me when I thought of something that I started doing a long time ago and find so enjoyable.  Once, on a whim, I started making a handwritten list in a journal of the things that I loved.  Some things were very simple and others very luxurious.  The only criteria I used for my list was that I had to really love whatever I was adding to the list ... not just like it.  To give you an idea of the types of things that begin my list, here is a snippet:
Pink peonies
Coco Chanel Noir perfume
The smell of baby powder
Sparkling reflections of summer sun on the water
Foot rubs
Chocolate molten lava cake with vanilla ice cream
New York
A weekend getaway at a hotel
A massage
Raspberry white chocolate pancakes
Sleeping in
A restaurant with crisp white tablecloths
A luxury hotel that puts mints on your pillow

See what I mean?  Does it make you feel good to read that list?  If it does, then just imagine how good it would feel to read your own list!  I never really started writing my list thinking that I'd go back and read it often but what I found is that if I kept it handy at my desk with a pen, whenever I'd think of something that I really loved, I'd add it, and I noticed that when I would go back and reread a couple of pages every now and then, I would feel wonderful, as if I'd visited a very special place ... and I actually had!  So, now you will have a journal perfect for making your own favorite things list (or for using it in any way you'd like!).  Have fun creating!

Whenever I begin a journal illustration, I illustrate it with the entire journal in mind.  You can see how the "Things I Love" Illustration is painted so that the scene completely wraps around the journal cover front to back.

SANDY M Favorite Things Illustration for Journal copyright SANDY M Illustration

Right now, I am currently just beginning the next journal design .. a bevy of stylish, sophisticated girls at a city coffee shop ... a very pretty coffee shop, at that!   Stay tuned, much more coming soon!

 

Champagne Diet at the Plaza Partial View copyright SANDY M Illustration
January is off to a roaring start ... I'm very excited to finally have launched this fab new website with it's new SHOP and WordPress blog, welcome!  I'm planning on so much prettiness to be added to the SHOP soon and new items will appear regularly, so stay tuned, can't wait!

If you're new, the first item added to the SHOP is my first calendar, the 2015 Fashion Illustration Calendar, available now while supplies last!  It's been so thrilling to see piles of calendars in their packages heading out to be shipped all over the world so far this year!  Each fashion illustration created for the calendar comes with a glamorous little background story, which I featured in the previous post here on the blog.  If you haven't read them, the stories bring those fashion illustrations to life by giving you insight as to my thoughts behind each scene (and they're just fun!).

I spent the first week of this new year getting organized after an extremely illustration-packed end of 2014 and beautiful holiday season.  It's been so peaceful to just grab a cup of hot chocolate, pat my pug (Lily) on the head and sit at my desk in the studio and plan ... planning new illustrations for the SHOP and looking over the commissions that have been booked already and are on my calendar for this first quarter of 2015.  I took the time, before life gets crazy busy, to create a thank you watercolor portrait fashion illustration this last week for one of my clients, glittery life coach, Cara Alwill Leyba of The Champagne Diet, in appreciation for commissioning me to create an illustration of a Champagne Girl for the book entitled Sparkle, one of a trio of her inspiring books.  I have wanted to create a thank you illustration for Cara for some time and when Cara recently posted some of the photos taken by April Belle Photos at a photoshoot at the at the Plaza Hotel Champagne Bar on Instagram, I knew that I'd seen the one that would be the perfect photo to use as reference for the portrait illustration!

Champagne Diet at the Plaza in Progress copyright SANDY M Illustration

Champagne Diet at the Plaza Black Background copyright SANDY M Illustration

For custom illustration pricing and timing inquiries, just drop me a note in the CONTACT tab of this site.

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Framed Calendar

LOTS of confetti tossing and bubbly sipping has been going on around here to celebrate this brand new SANDY M Illustration website that contains a SHOP and this new WordPress blog ... thanks so much for joining me.  This is, in fact, my first post on this new blog!

I am known for creating fashion illustrations of sophisticated girls in glamorous settings ... those settings are often in exciting cities like New York or Paris or having fun by the pool or sea, shopping in glamorous boutiques, in luxurious rooms of penthouse apartments, in formal gardens ... the list goes on and on!  This blog will act as my journal and sketchbook, keeping you updated on what I'm up to and announcing new illustrations as they are created and available for purchase in the SHOP.

Speaking of the SHOP, the brand new 2015 Calendar, just released in December, is the very FIRST item added to the SHOP (it's been flying off the shelves, thank you to everyone who has purchased thus far!) and it is available right now while supplies last.   Very soon, more and more items will begin to appear in the SHOP, including limited-edition prints, blank journals and much more, so stay tuned!

I've chosen to dedicate this first post on the new site to the new 2015 Calendar.  If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the posts in which I shared my thoughts behind each calendar month's illustration with little background stories.  In case you missed those stories, the first post of the blog seemed the perfect place to publish them!  The 2015 SANDY M Calendar consists of twelve frameable 8" x 10" individual pages printed on bright white 100 lb. cover stock plus the cover page.  Each illustration features a girl (or girls) illustrated in gorgeous gowns from spring summer 2015 designer collections.  Here is the Calendar cover page and the gown illustrated (the cover gown even has touchest of glitter!) is a beautiful Lela Rose.  By the way, isn't the calligraphy gracing my calendar just lovely?  I commissioned Jenny Sanders of Graceline to create it for me!

Cover for Blog

THE CALENDAR STORIES;

JANUARY:
Sometimes after the glamour of the holidays, January can be a bit of a ... letdown.  But not for January's beauty! She intends on celebrating every luscious day of the new year.  In January's illustration, she's planned what certainly looks like a very fun weekend and begins by slipping into a fabulous Naeem Khan gown for a glittery NYC evening.  When the party ends, however, she absolutely insists that the fun should not!  She has booked a room at the iconic Plaza Hotel for a weekend of luxurious fun.  She has in mind a relaxing stay with a butler-drawn bath, champagne in the lobby champagne bar and has just, in fact, ordered her idea of a midnight snack.  I really like the way January's girl plans weekends ... very Eloise-like, I'd say, don't you think?

 

January Blog

FEBRUARY:
How fun would it be to stand in front of an airline departure sign and spontaneously choose an exciting place of your choice to fly off to? I know I'd feel as if sparkling celebratory confetti certainly must be falling all around me right there in the airport and it looks as if February's ponytailed darling, in an incredible Oscar de la Renta gown, feels the same.  I'm sure she's the center of attention in the busy airport ...

February Sydney_Blog

MARCH:

About the time that March rolls around, we're more than ready to see some green grass peeking up and feel warm temperatures kissing our skin.  The sophisticated beauty illustrated in March has put her time during this month to very good use by planning all of the details of a Hampton's poolside party for the upcoming summer, right down to the beautiful Badgley Mischka gown she'll wear with her jeweled turban.  I think I can almost hear the music wafting in the air and can taste that frozen margarita ...

March for Blog

APRIL:
April, oh how we love you!  You bring sweet promises of a warmer season as tulips start to poke their heads through the ground along Park Avenue!  Of course, everyone surely knows the best way to flag a cab is to be wearing an attention-getting Carolina Herrera gown like this gorgeous girl, right? I'm sure it's even been tested somewhere that a cab would appear MUCH more quickly ... don't you think?

April for Blog

MAY:
I admit that I have a sweet tooth ... probably even several sweet teeth ... but do I stress about it?  Noooo, because I see that I'm not alone ... even the stunning beauty illustrated in May is the same.  She is carrying not one, but two, of those signature green and gold Laduree bags in her hand, along with several boxes filled with sweetly-scented deliciousness stacked in her other arm.  She is sashaying down Madison Avenue in a delectable Reem Acra gown, after having just left Laduree.  Her poodle is looking up expectantly as they walk ... and word around town is that his favorite flavour is Caramel a la Fleur de sel ...

May for Blog

JUNE:
I don't know about you, but there's a certain magic about a summer carnival at dusk ... you know, when the lights of the rides glow and music and laughter is all around?  I love riding the ferris wheel and looking down upon all of the lights below.  Each June, fairs and carnivals start appearing, signaling the beginning of summer.  So, it seemed more than right to include a beauty who has stepped away from the city to enjoy a summer fair as the girl for June.  You see just the hazy edge of a lit carousel in the background of the illustration and in her hand is a cone of the prettiest, gauzy pink cotton candy, as she wanders through the midway wearing a shimmering Monique Lhuillier gown that is just as frothy and sweet ... as if we see that sort of magic everyday ...

June for Blog

JULY:
I think we'd all love to have July's girl as a bestie.  She's the kind of girl that takes all her fun to the ABSOLUTE limit!  In July, it seems we've caught her relaxing just a bit from quite an exhausting shopping day before she enjoys her afternoon tea.  She's lying on the floor of Bergdorf Goodman's beautiful and sophisticated BG Restaurant in a sparkling Monique Lhuillier gown (it's sliding up a bit on her legs and gathering on the floor around her).  Her feet are resting on the seat of one of BG's signature French canopy chairs, with her shopping bags filled to the brim with her treasured finds all around her ...

July for Blog

AUGUST:
August's girl!  The wonderful thing about illustration is that there ABSOLUTELY are no limitations.  Imagination reigns.  Gowns right from the runway like this glittery Reem Acra, with its delicate blue ribbon at the sides are, of course, worn in the middle of the afternoon for no good reason other than wouldn't it be fabulous.  And a girl just might live in a luxury city penthouse in an exclusive apartment building in the city not only with a doorman that knows her by name, but with an elevator that isn't limited to merely offering "up" and "down" as her only choices on hot August days ...

August for Blog

SEPTEMBER:
September's calendar girls are stunners, aren't they?  They've just met for a delicious, long lunch.  And what could be more fabulous than meeting your girls for a leisurely lunch in the city?  Well, maybe a lunch at none other than the oh-so-elegant and classic Carlyle Hotel with cocktails, of course!  We see them in September's illustration just leaving, wearing some of the prettiest gowns imaginable by Oscar de la Renta, Lela Rose and Alice and Olivia (L to R).

September for Blog

OCTOBER:
October's girl has just arrived at an elegant Black and White Ball at a stately city townhouse and a golden glow from the festivities indoors welcomes everyone in.  I can almost smell the crisp autumn air!  The beauty in the sparkling gown standing at the door has donned a black mask and long gloves and stands beside her very Mad Men-looking beau.  October's featured girl is holding a soft, white bunny mask in her hand (inspired by the mask that Candice Bergen had with her at Truman Capote's iconic Black and White Ball in 1966).  She has brought along her black Frenchie who is adorned with a sparkling collar and leash.  The girl's elegant, sheer black Carmen Marc Valvo gown catches enticingly in the evening breeze.  I can only imagine the fun that awaits them ...

October for Blog

NOVEMBER:
November's elegant girl doesn't dress in just anything to walk her two sleek whippet dogs (one pup is wearing a sparkling collar and the other, a very Ralph Lauren bow tie).  She wears a gown from a sparkling and glamorous safari collection from Ralph Lauren.  As she happens to walk past one of the stately Ralph Lauren NYC stores, it hasn't slipped by her notice as she passed that the very dress she is wearing is also sparkling back at her from the golden window.  Magic!

November for Blog

DECEMBER:
What could be more perfect for golden December than to have a beauty illustrated walking down the steps of the stunning golden entrance of the fabulous St. Regis Hotel NY.   She must have just left a very elegant party.  Dressed in a fabulously golden Stephan Caras gown, she surely is soon to be whisked off into the night in a waiting limo as she reaches the bottom of those iconic stairs.

December for Blog
The calendar can be purchased in the SHOP.