What do you do when the weather is grey and rainy and you’re stuck indoors because of a pandemic? Well, if you’re me, you procrastinate exercising, showering and food shopping. You also put off anything else that would generally fall under the category of “adulting.” But I do love to illustrate, so at least I used my free time today to create an I is for Illustrate illustration spread in my Moleskine art sketchbook!

I is for Illustrate Freehand Ink and Watercolor Illustrations

Yesterday was St. Patty’s Day, but I let the day pass with only a cursory nod to celebrating. Even though I’ve never been a big fan of doing up St. Patty’s Day, I do love emerald green, the Irish language and what I’ve seen of Ireland from movies. So, that might explain why so much emerald green crept into today’s illustration:

When it came to adding watercolor, I used the “add shadows first” technique I described in this post.


I don’t think I’m the only one who gets a touch of seasonal affective disorder from gloomy, rainy days. Little Ziggy spent the entire day pretty much in my lap, or sitting behind me in my office chair as I worked.

What about you? Do rainy days make you feel a bit lackluster? If so, how do you make the best of the gloom?

I think the genetics of being Irish are that you sort of prefer when it’s rainy and cloudy. It’s just genetic.

Kate Flannery


  1. Jen says:

    What a delightful post—love your imagination. And Ziggy!! I just want to squeeeeze him!

    • Joana says:

      Hi Jen,

      Maybe you’ll get to meet Ziggy for real someday? Ironically, the two brief visits we’ve had from friends to our apartment have resulted in Ziggy running like mad for cover under the couch. Deirdre had dinner with me on our balcony a few nights ago, but she really only got to see Ziggy when Andy opened the bedroom blinds to show us Ziggy nestled in his arms. For the rest of the time, Z was cowering under the couch.

      I’m looking forward to talking with you again next week! Hope you have a lovely weekend. 🙂
      xox – Joana

    • Joana says:

      I always enjoy hearing which illustrations “spoke” to you. And I’m glad that you liked IRATE! I keep trying to grow my arsenal of expressions, so it’s good to know that I succeeded with that one. I like the Irish dancers, too. And I adore Ziggy of course. (He’s taking a bath in my lap as I write this message.) 🙂
      xox – J

    • Joana says:

      Irate seems to be winning the most votes (at least between you and my mom.) 😉 What would I do without you guys?
      I hope you reward your half-vaccinated self with some truffles. Meanwhile, I bought a pair of shoes. I don’t deserve a reward, but I rationalized my purchase by telling myself that I’m helping restart the economy.
      xox – Joana

      • Helen Reich says:

        Well, here’s what I bought last month…….I have an Instagram friend who’s a textile artist (also musician and other kind of arts) who lives on a tropical paradise island in the north of Australia, off the coast of Queensland. She makes these woven shawls…..they are small woven panels sewn together, and they’re all “portraits” of legendary ladies. Mine is Mary Magdalen. It has a brooch in the back, and a brooch that sort of closes it in front. The front brooch fell off immediately, and I ultimately decided to replace it with a brooch my friend gave me that’s a little sturdier. Also, I’ve had to mend it a bit, as she sewed the panels together sort of loosely, a little too loose in some cases! But, it’s surprisingly warm, and it’s comfy. Not at all sure if this counts as re-starting the economy, as it was a foreign purchase, and Australia has been doing quite well. I just had my eye on Mary Magdalen, and wanted to grab her before anyone else did. It turns out, I was her first customer!

        • Joana says:

          Send me a picture! I’d love to see your new shawl; am having trouble trying to picture it. A brooch in the front and back? It’s fascinating to hear that Mary Magdalen would be your legendary lady of choice. If I had to choose (not that I know which ladies your friend has available) I think I would go more along the lines of Amelia Earhart.

          My shoe purchases have all been duds. (I’ve had to return all of them.) Sigh. So I’m not helping out the economy as much as I thought. Though I did get a haircut today. Almost everyone in the salon had been vaccinated and the mood was definitely more exuberant than I’ve seen in a long time. I feel like the “odd man out” since I don’t even yet know when my age group will be offered the vaccine. Boo hoo!

          xox – Joana

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