Sea Monsters and Maps!


Drawing Maps

and Sea Monsters!

Sea monsters aren’t part of every map, but they’re a lot of fun to play with! See if you can add one or more to your maps with me in my drawing and sketching map workshop starting March 6th at Cloud 9 in Bothell, WA. This 6-week workshop will explore different types of illustrative and figurative maps that we can draw. Traditional map elements will be addressed as well as making the maps personal and informative. One of the projects will be to draw a place that you know well and are connected to. Illustrating a map tells a story of a place that’s important to you. It’s a thing of beauty but also conveys useful information. I will be using a sketchbook with ink and watercolor but you can use the materials you are comfortable with. Considerations of map design will be addressed and discussed throughout the workshop with plenty of examples of illustrated maps.

All skill levels welcome.

When: Wednesdays, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm March 6th - April 10th, 2019 (6 weeks)
Where: Cloud 9 Art School, 18414 103 Ave NE, Bothell, WA 98011
Contact: for more information and to register.

A Glimpse into One of My Travel Journals...


I am currently teaching a 6-week Travel Journal with Ink and Watercolor workshop. My students for this workshop are so interesting. They jumped in feet first with designing their pages and choosing what images to use together to describe a day. With composition out of the way, I can help with how to draw some of the images they’ve chosen and cover some watercolor basics. Even though I like to use ink and watercolor for my sketchbooks, making a travel journal is telling a personal story. If the artist is more comfortable using watercolor pencils, or pencils or colored markers, that’s fine with me. I just want them to try in some areas watercolor to see what it’s like and its possibilities. I will post student pictures soon!

My image is from a picture I took of the staircase in my parent's house where I grew up. I’m lucky that they are still living there so I can both visit them and it. I love the perspective looking down two flights of stairs and the changing perspective of all the balusters. While I don’t always get much work on my sketchbook done in class, I like to work on it as homework between classes too. I like to do what I ask of my students.

My next workshops at Cloud 9 Art School in Bothell will be on Drawing and Sketching Maps, and another on Drawing and Illustrating Recipes.

Happy 2019!

Happy 2019! I hope it brings you new adventures and experiences that you find interesting and make you grow. 2018 marked the first complete year of having my own business, Anya Toomre Art & Illustration. I’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work for me. It’s a continual process and there will likely never be a “done” state. What remains true is that this is a lifetime business. It’s only more public than I’ve done before. I like the people I’ve been meeting with this change. Another big addition this year was expanding my product range to include textile art. I’ve opened up an etsy shop, AnyaToomreStudios where I have been adding my fabric and art-quilt coasters. Esty is an easier site to have lots of hand-made items than I know how to do on this site right now.

One of the long-term goals I have with my business is to give back. So at the end of December 2018, I tallied up my sales and was able to donate a percentage of total sales to the following three organizations:

From my pet portraits, I give to the Seattle Humane Society. I love cats and dogs and all three of my cats were adopted from the Seattle Humane Society.

From my card and print sales, I chose to give to the Hispanic Federation in support of rebuilding Puerto Rico. I was in Cuba in 2017 during Hurricane Irma. I had never been in a hurricane before, nor on an island with such high waters. There was a lot of damage and disruption in Cuba but it only got battered by the edges of the storm. Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico shortly thereafter and it was a full force hit on the island which was devastated. I can’t imagine the chaos and destruction. I was only 700 hundred miles on a more lightly hit island 2 weeks earlier.

With adding my quilted textiles to my line of available products, I wanted to do something in support of women and kids and home, so I chose to give a percentage of my textile sales to Mary’s Place in Seattle.

Thank you to everyone who supported me last year and helped me to contribute to these three organizations that are doing good work in their areas. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to give more. All the best for the new year!

Drawing and Painting a Chocolate Wrapper


Here are the two steps when I do a drawing. First I draw in ink and then I paint. I rarely do it the other way round, paint first then ink. With a wrapper I will also use pencil before hand to get the placement of the lettering and larger elements. In this particular case you can see the chocolate wrapper I’m drawing from.

Travel Sketch from Porto, Portugal in Progress

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I love to travel and I love to draw and paint in travel journals. I work on them while on trips, but mostly after the fact using photographs that I took during the trip and bits of ephemera that I brought back. This is an in-progress sketch of the first outside tiled church I saw in Porto, Portugal this past summer. It’s from the Capela das Almas de Santa Catarina (Chapel of Souls on Rua Santa Catarina).

If keeping a travel journal is something that you’d like to try, please join me for my next offering of Creating an Ink and Watercolor Travel Journal 6-week workshop on Monday evenings that starts on January 7th, 2019. See my workshops for more information and to register.

Labradoodle Puppy Past and Pooch Present Pet Portraits

Great job on aliteration, huh?! I recently finished a couple of pet portraits of a cute labradoodle for Christmas presents - one of her as a puppy and the second as she looks now. This was a fun commission since I got to do two similar but different portraits. My challenges were her curls and trying to keep her fur looking soft. I did them with my favorite approach of ink and watercolor. I work from client photographs and typically have a two-week turn around time from the scheduled start. See the Pet Portrait Item in my shop for more details.

Holiday Bazaars Begin


I am going to be a vendor at a couple of holiday bazaars this fall. The first one is on Saturday, November 17th at the IEOU Hall, 18701 - 120th Ave NE in Bothell from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. I will have a variety of notecards and prints including my most recent Portuguese tiles. I will also have my quilted coasters and zippered bags available. Those are always so much fun to play with in person. I love to see people’s reactions to my coasters and how they want to touch and handle them - which is okay! Come out and support local artists and artisans at the My Friends & Me Holiday Bazaar!

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