Cactus Drawings

Posted by on Nov 4, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

cactus print

Now that Inktober is over and I have this collection of new work, I’m trying to go back and revisit pieces to see if I can turn any of them into interesting products or patterns.

First on my list was definitely the little cycle of cacti I doodled in red ink & ballpoint. They were simple and fun and I loved the texture created by the super thin ballpoint lines. I’m sure I’ll be drawing more of the little guys in the future, too!

I scanned them in, cleaned them up, and played with the colors a bit. I actually like the red a lot, but I’ve been looking at red for 31 days and I’m ready for some new colors! So, I shifted them around to some shades of green and grey, which I think is a bit more calming. After that, I tossed them into Illustrator and made a quick pattern in a few variations:

I love how the pattern came together! Now I’m just trying to imagine what cute cactus-print things I could make! Wallpaper? Curtains? Pencil cases? (Can never have too many pencil cases!)

PS: The green version of each cactus is now available as a print or art card from inprnt as well! They make a really cute trio.

Inktober 2017

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

full sheet

Whew! I made it through Inktober without missing a single day!
(I will admit, I tried to keep a few pieces ahead for a buffer..)

I’ve also made a little gallery of all the pieces.

For every day in October, I did a straight-to-ink painting in red & black. They’re all 8″x8″ and botanical/plant inspired. Beyond that… well, I tried every single thing I could think of! I used a lot of different materials – brush pens, dip pens, felt tip pens, ballpoint, markers, etc.

It was really fun trying to find ways to keep things fresh & interesting, and also going back and mining ideas to see what I could riff on. I certainly feel like I have a lot to keep building on over the next few months. That said.. I’ll be glad I don’t need to do it EVERY DAY anymore!

Nearly all of these pieces are available for sale on my shop. I hope to do a few prints & other things with them soon as well so stay tuned.

Neon Forest

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Blog | No Comments


Had this idea rattling around in my head for a week or two – glad I managed to get it out. A friend of mine is moving away and she gave me her massive set of primsacolor pencils, including some crazy neon colors. I’m normally more into muted palettes – especially lately – but I couldn’t resist. However, I have certainly learned a bit about how hard it is to digitize those crazy neon colors!



Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Blog | No Comments


Putting my green colored pencils through the ringer again, for another piece inspired by my local park.

I later learned that the flower I’d photographed as my reference for this drawing is bindweed, an apparently frustrating weed, and yet I find it beautiful just the same.

11 x 14, colored pencil on paper.

Recent Art

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

birds web

I’ve been painting and drawing with ink a lot lately. I’ve been using a few different methods and materials – dip pen, brush, and a few different waterbrushes that I’ve filled with acrylic ink. Most of the red/teal you see here is from those waterbrushes- I’m finding I really like the color combination.

fish web


All three of these paintings are for sale and will be coming with me to SPX this fall, so if anything catches your eye, shoot me an email (nugent . liz @ gmail . com) or drop by table L11A!

One last piece, a few doodles cobbled together digitally, is available as a print!chickens web


Posted by on Jul 8, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

verdant styled
Happy summer, everyone! I cannot get over how green it is, everywhere! Every neighborhood, roadside, and park around here just seems to be bursting with foliage and life.

This drawing above is my attempt to capture what it feels like right now, to walk outside and be completely engulfed in a wall of green. I based it loosely on a photo I took while walking in the nearby park – I loved the play of light and dark and how it made such interesting shapes.


It’s another big colored pencil piece- my most complex by far. I thought I’d work on it on and off for about a week or so, turns out it was more like three! I really enjoyed the process, though. The “sketch” was nothing more than a light V to delineate the white area, from there I drew in shapes as I colored them, working mostly from bottom to top and front to back.

Here are a few of my in-progress shots:

This should keep me busy for a while! #tw

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Making progress #wip

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Hilariously I’ve spent a week thinking I was “almost done” 😝 #tw #wip

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And the full piece in all her splendor:

Verdant by Liz Nugent
Colored Pencil on Paper
18 x 24 inches

Phonics Museum

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Blog | No Comments



I love when things get announced and I finally get to show you what the heck I’ve been doing!

Last summer, I got to check off another dream project – working on a game/app! An educational kids app, no less. I got to make art for this massive phonics app & game collection called Phonics Museum.

I illustrated fourteen different games, with various multiple states, and created a host of other assets for various animations and other parts of the app. Whoah!

It was such a wonderful and new challenge. I worked with a much bigger team than I’m used to (uh, typically it’s just me and maybe an art director), including other artists, which was neat. I had to try to match and take inspiration from existing assets, and also of course organize my work in a way that other teams could actually use my files. It was also really different trying to account for various different states within a game. Each set of illustrations had to have several different variations based on what was happening in the game – not something I’d ever done before, but something I really enjoyed figuring out! (I learned to love layer comps.)

Here’s a little example of what I mean- this game is one of several that involve connecting pieces to create a sort of Rube Goldberg track or machine. I also had to make lots of different track pieces – that was a total logic puzzle for me at times as well!

paint machine

Another cool challenge that comes with any freelance gig is having to draw things that you wouldn’t think to draw otherwise. That came up a lot on this project, but one of the best examples I can think of was the ship game. I had to draw three different ships, each in various states of disrepair. I was baffled as to how I would do it, but once I started I actually really enjoyed it!viking ship viking shipsships

In most of these images, you can see another parameter I was working with – I needed to create background assets that could be moved around or turned on or off to make some variety in the background, so it doesn’t get boring. I really enjoyed flicking the layers on and off and seeing how different I could get things with just a few assets! There’s a good example of that in some of the screens from this game, in which players explore a pyramid. I had to make assets (including doorways) that could be rearranged to produce different rooms:

mummy pyramid interior artifactsOf course, probably the absolute coolest part of all of this is getting to see the stuff in action in a working game! My drawings move and do things!! You can see a few things in action in the trailer for the app, below. (I was collaborating with some other folks of course, so it’s not all my art. My fellow MIAD Alum Jillian Stiles did a few games, and some other folks worked on a lot of the other assets.)

So wild! There’s more screenshots and such over on the Phonics Museum website.

Big thanks to my art director, Sean Hennessey, over at MajorMega! He always knew exactly what to tweak to make the pieces that last little bit better.

Girls Draw

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

girlsdraw_0000_Layer 3
Alongside my illustration work, I also teach kids art classes a couple times a week. It’s a great complement to freelance life – gets me out of the house and talking to humans, gives me a community to be a part of, and best of all, I get to spend time with my wonderful, inspiring students!

I’ve been wanting to make a few drawings as exercises in capturing all the rich little details that make my students seem like the real human beings that they are. I had particular fun trying to create outfits for them that felt real- their clothing choices are always crazy awesome.

Hopefully I’ll get to do more of these soon!

Below, you can see a slideshow of the various steps it took to make this piece. Thumbnail to tight sketch to flats to finish! (I confess, there was A LOT of struggling between the thumbnail and the tight sketch.. but I didn’t save any of that to show.)

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Botanical Paintings

Posted by on May 17, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

I’ve been finding myself wanting to work with traditional media more and more lately. I have a nice, sunny room upstairs where I’ve set up some sketchbooks and inks, and I tend to doodle there while I drink my morning coffee. I don’t really plan anything, I just sit down and paint whatever seems fun or relaxing in that moment.

This is a mini collection of some of those paintings. I definitely want to make more – I feel like it’s going somewhere, but I don’t know where yet. It’s all definitely something new to me, which is really fun and energizing.

Reading Bears Postcard

Posted by on Apr 2, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

bears web

New promo postcard illustration! Still have to draw/design the back, then I’ll be ordering a big stack of these to send around.

I have a part-time job as a children’s art teacher. One of the things I do at that job is create sample images for our various assignments. So basically I do a drawing that fits the prompt, aiming for roughly the level of detail/complexity my students can handle, and color it with the same materials they use. It’s SUPER fun and I kinda can’t believe I get paid to do it every week!

Anyway, the original drawing for this came about from one of those samples. I didn’t change the composition much,(Although I changed how I drew the bear – my students kept thinking it was a hedgehog or a beaver or a hamster.. oops!) but I wanted to go with a less expected color palette than what I used initially. I fussed with it a lot and even did a host of color studies, assisted by the color tools in the Adobe Capture App. I was really trying to make the green work! But ultimately, I just had to kill it. Wasn’t working for me. Modified primary palette it is!

tree color studies