The weather has been sublime in New York City this week. The skies are blue, the temperature has been on the cooler side and the humidity has dropped. Naturally, I’ve taken full advantage of the beautiful days and the safety of our balcony to do my illustrating outside. When I sit down to illustrate in my Moleskine notebook, I let my pen do the thinking. Not surprisingly, my latest illustration has a garden theme. The tangled branches, leaves, flowers and surprise imps of this garden transported me to a very happy place. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that my Garden of Eden print took a full three days to draw.

Garden of Eden Print – Step 1:

Garden of Eden illustration in process

I started this illustration on the upper left of my notebook page with the little imp poking its head through the petals of the flower. As I drew, I decided to make all of the imps naked, with the leaves and flowers placed strategically for modesty reasons. At one point, my pen caught the stitching in the middle of the notebook and sent a shower of ink blotches downward. (You can see the accidental ink blotches in the middle of the page above.) To incorporate the blotches into the illustration, I decided to add veins to all of the leaves.

The Coloring Process…

Was also a lesson in being in the moment. With so much detail, I kept discovering areas that I’d forgotten to color! Fortunately, I was in my own Garden of Eden (thank you, Ma, for my balcony flowers!) enjoying the cool breeze and listening to the birds chirp as I worked.

Garden of Eden illustration photographed along with my balcony flowers

By the way…

I always have a scratch sheet of paper on hand to test out both my fountain pen and my color choices for each illustration. By the time I finish each illustration, the test sheet of paper looks a bit like a modern work of art itself. Maybe someday my test sheets will become collector’s items. (Yah, I know…dream on.)

Photo of  my workspace showing my Moleskine notebook, test paper, Noodler's Ahab Flex Fountain pen, water brush pen and fan travelers watercolor set.

The Finished Garden of Eden Artwork…

Garden of Eden Print by Joana Miranda.  Now available at Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy.

Is now available in my shop at Etsy! It’s available in 3 different sizes, too. I think it would look charming in an entryway, living room or bedroom.

If you’re curious about some of my other freehand drawn Moleskine notebook illustrations, please take a look here.


    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      Yes, they were ecstatic over the weather and the fact that there’s no coronavirus in Eden. 😉
      xox – Joana

  1. MM says:

    I hope your garden balcony fleurs are as lovely as your illustration. Wonderful lil guys ( and gals?) xoxoxoxo MM

    • Joana says:

      Hi Mm,

      I decided to make them sort of androgynous imps. 🙂 Though, maybe the lack of hair is wishful thinking since my own ‘do is approaching my toes now.

      xox –

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