That ADHD Life

Trying to get my comic hat back on a little bit. Also trying to make some darn mac and cheese!

Potting Shed

Here's a piece I've been chipping away at for the last few weeks. It started as just meditative little straight-to-ink sketchbook doodle. I really liked how it turned out, so I thought I'd try coloring it up as if it were a riso print. Because that means color separations, it's always a bit of a puzzle, but that keeps things new!

Here's what the original drawing looked like:

And for fun, here are a few extra colorways:

Hopefully before too long I'll have a chance to get it printed up for real!

Shelfie Goals

shelfie-web Lately when I've been drawing, I've just been wanting to get lost in the details. I've been doing these complex ink drawings of shelves and shelves of plants. This one started as a pencil drawing (increasingly rare for me - I'm impatient and likely to go straight-to-ink in personal work) and I wound up inking it with a fountain pen. I liked the drawing enough to want to color it, but the paper wasn't strong enough for watercolor. I decided to bust out my old copic markers (it's been years) and I'm so happy with how they worked out! It was a really fun challenge to mix up some interesting colors with a very limited palette- I only used peaches, pink, greens, and one sky blue.

A few WIP shots from Instagram:

Inky inky

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Sort of an aspirational shelfie, I suppose? #tw

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trees We had the prettiest snow here a few weeks ago - big fat flakes drifting down, just enough to cover the grass in a soft white blanket. I took a long drive in the country to visit a friend and just feasted my eyes on the beautiful Breugel-esque rolling hills. It's been in my mind ever since, so here's a little drawing to get it out onto paper.

14x7, colored pencils

A study and a work in progress #tw

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Pike's Peak & Ponds

colorado - web My sister moved from my hometown in Wisconsin to Colorado Springs this year. For Christmas, I wanted to make her something that would celebrate her new home & remind her of other home. So, I made two pieces- one (above) of Pike's Peak, the iconic mountain she can see from her new apartment, along with some other local Colorado sights and flora. I included The Garden of the Gods, some Rocky Mountain Columbine (gosh, what a beautiful flower) and some sage.

The other painting, below, is of a corner of my parent's backyard- something so specific to us that it makes my heart ache a little bit looking at it. (In a good way!) Our crooked little trees, the beautiful ponds, the golden yellow fields, my mother's favorite flower, and our steadfast great blue heron pal.

ponds web

It was really lovely to return, in a way, to the landscape series I'd been creating before. I've enjoyed these types of pieces more and more as they've gotten more personal (and I can think of few places more personal to me than the backyard of the home I grew up in!)

Looking forward to falling in love with more places and drawing them, too.


dressup-web I realized I should get some practice drawing interior spaces, so I dreamed up this little illo of some siblings embroiled in a fierce game of pretend. I do think I started to find fun in the background elements - I liked the storytelling I could accomplish by adding toys/clutter/etc.

It's based on a watercolor piece I did a few months back:

Hilariously I write in that caption that I sometimes overthink/overcomplicate things when I go digital, which I'm pretty sure is exactly what happened here anyway! At least I know myself!

Dessert Doodles

parfait twitter I'm working on a project that involves a lot of desserts, so I decided to try and practice on a few before I really dig in! Here are a few little dessert doodles - a strawberry parfait, an ice cream sundae, and a host of mini pies!

ice cream sundae pies all

Playing with Repeats

pattern 4 I'm continuing my explorations of some of my Inktober pieces. One sequence I found particularly fun to draw were these little patterns of plants, drawn with a brush pen and felt tip pen. (Originals available for purchase, by the way!)

I scanned them in and took them apart into 80-something little individual icons. Photoshop did NOT enjoy that particular export-to-layers, but we survived! I then took them into Illustrator and I've been playing around with making different repeats. I've really only dabbled in this before, but it's always interesting to me.

I'm really enjoying seeing how much I can stretch & transform one set of little plants! I'm also finding myself looking around my house, visualizing patterns on every surface trying to think of what might look good where..

Cactus Drawings

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

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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!



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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

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


verdant styledHappy 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 Verdant Colored Pencil on Paper 18 x 24 inches

Phonics Museum


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.)

[video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]

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

girlsdraw_0000_Layer 3Alongside 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.)

[slideshow]girlsdraw_0003_Layer 4 girlsdraw_0002_Layer 2 girlsdraw_0001_Layer 1 girlsdraw_0000_Layer 3[/slideshow]

Botanical Paintings

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.