Pups first beach day

By 10:07 AM
I got two puppies earlier this one. The brown pup is named Amber Rose and the white one is named Snowie. They're super cute and fluffy as you can see. These photos were taken on one of their earlier trips to the beach when they were still afraid of the water but in love with the sand. Since they discovered the sand, these two won't stop digging and trying to eat it. I have no idea what is truly so fascinating about the sand. 

Here are the pics and a short video of them digging to China.

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Christmas ideas!

By 12:47 PM ,

So folks, Christmas is coming and the struggle to find the perfect gift is upon us. I personally have changed my mind at least 5 times on gift ideas for the special people in my life. In fact, Liz from over at Sandals and Sunnies gives the most thoughtful gifts that I'm racking my brain as to what would be a truly special gift for her, as well as a few others that have been kind to me and brought sunshine into my life.

This year my gift ideas have been revolving around unique jewelry. I've been digging through the webosphere on Etsy, Pinterest, etc. looking for the most unique ideas and stumbled across this little gem. In my searching, I stumbled across the Emma Winston collection of floating jewelry.

Photo Credit: Emma Winston

Of course, as an artist, this instantly made it into my list of bookmarked gift ideas. It was the first time I saw these type of earrings made where it has the appearance of "floating." I've been granted the good fortune to be able to offer not only a giveaway on my blog BUT a 15% off discount to my readers (Promo code: AUDIENCE15OFF and you can click on my sidebar picture to go directly to the site).

Giveaway below or click here: https://promosimple.com/ps/8401

Feel free to enter! You may win yourself a perfect gift for you or someone special in your life... and if you don't win, use my code to score any of your favourite pieces at a special discount!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a discount for myself and my audience. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Gift of luxury

By 11:24 AM
Advertorial:Powered by BrandBacker

Photo credit: BrandBacker

Due to my recent bout of sickness from gastro, which is typically waterborne, I have a new appreciation for bottled water. While I support local brands, I do support any brand that endeavours to quench my thirst with high quality H2O. With that said, I've been granted the opportunity to be a part of a campaign with Evian Natural Mineral Water to help promote a facial spray giveaway the Wilkes Group is hosting.

Evian is a French water brand. The water source starts it's journey from the famous French Alps down through glacier sand and rock filters to a deep underground catchment. Aside from providing high quality water, the world established brand launched the first facial spray in the US back in 1978. However, the facial spray was first launched at home in France in 1962 as per request of doctors for burn patients. How interesting is that? The water contained in the spray is tested 300 times per day to ensure that when the customer gets the product, be it 10 years ago, now or 10 years in the future, that two things are guaranteed - quality and consistency of the unique mineral content. The French Government takes great pride in ensuring the approved standards for the mineral water for consumption. Evian is the only brand to carry skin care product in the USA to contain mineral water, and one that is a popular first choice to drink worldwide. The Evian brand can be found in over 120 countries, including that of little Grenada. Let it be noted that when you're walking through NYC or any of your favourite cities and see your trusted skincare retailers like Sephora, they carry the Evian facial spray as well.
Photo credit: Brand Backer

So back to the giveaway! The Wilkes Group has brought together a French luxurious giveaway with Longchamp and Evian to giveaway a "Le Pliage" backpack, in stylish, durable, water-resistant nylon topped with a textured leather handle and logo-embossed flap, which retails at $125. It is filled with one 10 oz., one 5 oz., and a trio of travel-sized Evian sprays (over $175.00 total value)

That's not all...! Three runner ups will receive a Longchamp pochetter toiletries case, with embossed leather trim in durable, water-resistant nylon, accented with goldtone hardware, which retails at $50, and filled with a trio of travel size evian sprays (over $70.00 total value).

Click here to go take part: https://promosimple.com/ps/82e2
Want to know more about Evian Facial Spray: www.evianspray.com

Disclosure: Sponsored post I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Pug life. It's real out here.

By 5:41 PM

Thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway! The winners have already been notified privately by the main host and received their prize. The two winners were Kristen S. and Joanne G.

My projects at work are finally picking up momentum and having me busy making sure everything is in order. In the midst of that has been bouts of sickness. I caught a bug going around locally that is like gastro or is gastro. I don't remember what the doc said but I do remember how miserable I felt, it being the worst tummy pain ever and how weak it made me after.

With that said, I have a few adventures to post soon.
Hugs and kisses,
Boil your drinking water,

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Somewhere I made a wish, on lucky Denver mint.

By 11:40 AM

Earlier this year, I had the amazing opportunity to work at Dive Grenada, a 5 star PADI certified dive shop located at Flamboyant Hotel, at the end of Grand Anse beach. For the 4+ months that I was there, I made lots of amazing connections and friendships as well as added to my list of amazing life experiences. 

What made it so amazing to me? Lots of things. Whilst the folks around me were busy becoming doctors and lawyers, even though I'm teetering well into my late 20s, there were a few things I've always wanted to do. Many years ago, when I was younger, I had come to that very same dive shop and asked about learning to dive and the cost. Of course then I was too young... probably about 10 or 12 years old. However, after I finally finished up university last year and wanted to get a job that allowed me some extra time to play with, I couldn't pass up this opportunity when I heard they were looking for a dive shop attendant. A few years ago, I had dedicated my summer to conquering my fear of the sea. I had developed a good relationship with the lifeguards and was able to persuade them to help me on my quest. As fate would have it, Andre, the lifeguard and dear friend that went out with me the most, helped me score my first(and only) job on a sailboat where I got to practice my free diving skills that he taught me on professional snorkel tours. Then, it so happens that he had worked at Dive Grenada coincidentally prior to my arrival there.

I had the delightful experience of being in the sea almost every day, carrying out tours guided by yours truly, learn about marine life live and direct and be in the position to find out as much as I wanted. Phil and Helen, the owners, were awesome. Phil was in the British Navy and Helen was a medical doctor in the UK. They were incredibly patient with my millions of questions regarding health and safety with scuba diving as well as identifying marine life. I was blessed to be around such highly skilled and highly patient people with so many amazing life stories they were willing to share with ease. I particularly looked forward to Phil's random life stories like when he told us, the staff, the proper and real way to walk with a staff as a shepherd if ever we ventured to become one in Scotland. It was so random, yet so precious and endearing. 

Also, as with everyone, nothing is ever perfect. However, they were among my best professional experiences to date. I don't remember if I had told Phil, but it was truly refreshing to have a boss that addressed personal and individual issues personally. I wasn't made aware of other staff transgressions, nor were they made aware of mine. He was incredibly patient and understanding and should something pop up that he doesn't like... he'd simply pull you aside and address it privately. My collective recent work experiences to date locally seem to trend with your boss either shouting at you in front of everyone or in other cases, shouting at the customer. I don't recall ever witnessing that there. The staff, including the two dogs Jack & Jerry, were just as friendly and welcoming as well. I made some amazing bonds there. I still meet up with my old coworkers from time to time to catch up. My most amazing underwater shots, that you're going to see (not in this post), were taken by Ricardo, who was also one of my dive instructors.

Ultimately, I was faced with the current job opportunity I'm at now which I felt was a good career move and we parted on good terms. I still drop by every time I'm in the area. I won't lie, I miss the place and the people. My current office is located in Black Bay, St. John. Every day as I venture to the office, I traverse the same route on land along the coast as I did when I worked there. It pulls my heart strings sometimes to be high up on land and not dashing to the Marine Protected Area by boat, prepping to gear up and enter the water. The good news is a few of my projects are going to be sea based and I was given the privilege and trust of the assignment from my experiences from Dive Grenada.

Working there is definitely not a decision I regret and one I would encourage any 20 something year old, even those falling into 30 to try at least once. The sea has a way of calming the spirit and reminding oneself that you're a part of the huge ecosystem and world, and not the one that controls it. Who doesn't need such a reminder from time to time?

Half way through working there, my Ricoh underwater camera finally arrived and I was able to get some beautiful shots from some of my snorkel trips and scuba diving experiences. Even though work has doubled up on me since I started the new job and projects are finally about to roll out, I'm finally dedicating time to edit and post about my experiences there in pictures. 

Hope you enjoy! These were taken in Flamingo Bay.

What did you think? Post a comment. (Click on the post title to open up the post and you'd be able to comment at the bottom.)

Oh... and I have more pics where these came from... expect some more underwater posts!
Love Shell-aye

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Memories in F minor

By 10:00 AM

Life Lessons #19: Sometimes in life.

I've been doing some reflecting on life's strange ways and perception. Often we can be placed in positions where it's easy to pat oneself on the back for being objective. However, being objective as with many things, is limited by the amount of knowledge and understanding of the situation.

You can spend most of your understanding to date believing a situation to be one way, and in one day learn that your perception was wrong. Like spending your life thinking your grandmother didn't like nor care for you, and a year after her death, discover letters and gifts for you returned to her due to mailing to the wrong address. Or spending most of your life growing up with your mother as a single parent, genuinely feeling like your father doesn't like or approve of your existence, and discover in one visit, it couldn't be further from the truth.

What do we do in such a situation? In some cases, it could be a happy ending. A new path to a different relationship is forged. A 'nothing happens before its time' moment. In others? What does it really change? How much time has to pass to make huge revelations irrelevant? To what degree of a revelation need to be to be considered valid enough to trump the experiences life tossed your way? What does it really change? The people in the situation are still the same people. While a revelation may cast them in a different light...does it always necessarily change what has become your truth to understanding how to deal with them? If someone beat you badly for years, does it matter if they reveal a sympathetic sad story in the end? Does it change the way that experiences shaped and molded your interactions with others... Because that is the reality. Life is happening while the secret life is happening. Emotions, defensive reactions learned and so forth are developed. Does this disappear instantly just because you learn to believe what you learn to be true...is not? 

I've come to learn its too easy to pin selfishness on people. As a friend pointed out to me yesterday, who ISN'T selfish? As humans, at the core, are our actions based off of selfish desires? For example, let's say you have two pieces of fried fish and offer a piece to your friend. One of the pieces is bigger than the other. Who gets the bigger piece? Do you take the bigger piece because it's yours and your offer and you really want the fish for whatever personal reasons, be it hunger, etc? Or do you volunteer it even if deep down you want it to satisfy your conscience more than your stomach with this act of kindness and generosity? Either choice is motivated by a selfish desire on some level - be it to to quell self doubt on being a good, kind person or to give in to the raw desire of wanting and having what you want for the pure reason of wanting it. The desire of wanting even in the selfless ways are in hopes of gaining something. I remember coming down to the last scenes in "7" the movie (on the seven deadly sins), even though the man had orchestrated the 7 deaths to illustrate his point of societal flaws and insisted it was a selfless act of forcing folks to deal with something real and bigger than all of us... it was pointed out that he took pleasure in each killing. And he admitted that he did, but then he asked who doesn't derive some satisfaction from their work on a deeper smug level? Like when the cop was chasing him hoping to catch and kill him. Does it make the cop bad to have derived pleasure from the skilled chase and hopeful killing of a serial killer? He would've been doing a societal good, but the pleasure on a personal level goes deeper than that to pride at oneself and joy of illustrated skill. 

These situations then also beg the question of perceptions of good and bad.  It is possible to the perceived right thing to the masses for the wrong reasons. It is also possible to do something that looks immediately wrong but with good intentions. Is murder less of a murder if it was killing a serial rapist? Is a gift of full university coverage from a wealthy man less of a gift to a female if he has hidden intentions of "special" returns on his investment?

Life mandates that we each get faced with at least one of these perplex situations throughout our lifetimes. Some folks have a more dramatic revelation than others but the take away lesson is the same; Treat each situation as individual, don't discredit the notion of your own personal bias and perception is not to be confused with fact. Sometimes the reason behind the action is irrelevant and other times it is. 

To wrap this up I'll close with a quote by Chronic Future from one of their songs, "Sometimes you are the flight of the birds, sometimes you're watching the flight of the birds and other times? You're yourself." (Sometimes you’re the spectacle people can’t help but to watch; other times you’re watching things in life happen; and other times you’re just you, completely away from all of those things.)

Let me hear what you think, drop a comment. (Click on the post title to open up the post and you'd be able to comment at the bottom.)

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Back to school $800 Giveaway!

By 12:18 PM

Hello my lovelies! I'm trying something different. This blog has been my baby off and on for the last 9 years. With that said, I'm trying my best to be consistent and active here for you guys, my readers and newcomers. I know a few of my returnees as they message or stop me in the streets from time to time inquiring about a post or when's the next update. As a reward for dutifully returning time after time to see whether I've updated or not, as well as those who have just arrived and decided to stay, myself and a team of bloggers from a blog community have come together to chump up and co-host an $800 USD back to school giveaway on our blogs. It's open to anyone, anywhere with a few conditions later on in this post. The giveaway raffle officially opens for entry on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015... You have a month to deliberate and secure as many entries as possible!

How to enter:
**The Rafflecopter link will provide directions for your tickets. You have the option to log in with Facebook or with your email. Different requests would allow you to earn more ticket entries to increase your chances of winning. Aside from those I won't mind if you do these as well, if they're not listed in the Rafflecopter (I'm a newbie at these blog giveaways). If you've already done the following already... then great!

1. Like my art Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ShellonArt
2. Follow me on Instagram: bluemoon_daisy
3. Follow me on Blog Luvin' (Hit the + Blogluvin'  button on my side bar)
4. Post a comment saying hello, which part of the world you're from and what you plan to do with the money if you win it! Click here!
5. Tell a friend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & conditions: The giveaway starts on September 1st @ 12:00am EST and ends on October 1st @ 11:59 PM EST. There will be two winners ($400 each). Winners must be 18 years or older to win. Giveaway is open world wide, void where prohibited, Full Lives Reviews will choose the winner no later than October 6th 2015 and the winner will be notified no later than October 7th 2015. The winner has 48 hours to respond by email before forfeiting the prize. The co-hosts (like myself) will be notified no later than October 10th 2015 with the winning names.

Good luck!!

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Climate change remains yet to be proven.

By 9:57 AM

In keeping with my recent theme, I decided to do another environmental piece. This one too will soon be up on my Society6 store ready for purchase. With that said, it's of fish dying in a dried up river valley. Initially, I was going to put up a sign similar to the one with the bears saying "Climate change remains yet to be proven" but seeing the dying fish is already such a dire scene, I decided to use floating balloons carrying the message instead to add a little colour and life to the piece. Hope you like it.

The piece is mixed media. It was sketched lightly in pencil. I used markers to superimpose the lines. I used pencil crayons to do the shading.


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Share your light

By 11:31 AM ,
Dear All,

The following is a guest post by Lizelle from Sandals & Sunnies. (I have often referred to her as Sher here on mine) Also, after you're finished reading this, there will be a link at the bottom of the post for her super awesome free End of Summer Giveaway. Read, enjoy, and then hightail it over there...! You can win one of my art prints...!


Life Lesson #18 : On sharing your fireflies with your creative friends to keep the drive alive.

When I was younger I used to chase fireflies in the field beside my house. We had just moved here and there were no signs of development for a constructive purpose yet. It was just a wide open field with tall grass full of butterflies for chasing and catching (alive and well) in masses during the golden hour while you watched daylight turn the rich green colour of healthy wild grass into a colour tinted with the shade of amber.  Releasing them then, back into their home ecosystem as soon as the sun had disappeared and watching them spiral into the air happily and relieved into a dusk veiled sky. 

At night, it was for watching fireflies (where I am from on the island we call them lightening bugs) pop slowly and with little purpose over the then black grassy plain.

Watching them was and is still amazing; so majestic, it seemed to me. So much so that when I heard those lyrics 'Would you believe your eyes...when ten thousand fire flies...light up the world....'  it made me vividly nostalgic.

When I saw them at first they would always be alone; just one bobbing, as if the weight of their light and their beauty was too heavy to keep them steady. Yet, purposeful and driven they flew on, sharing their light with me, with every on looker. Lighting up the world like no human could imagine or conjure....

Much like the creative. Much like the artisan. Much like the ascetic.

Funny story: lightening bugs always seem to move faster to me when in pairs. Every time I sat in silence marvelling at a lightening bug, whether in that field or in the verandah of my own home, I would almost hold my breath as a voice in the back of my consciousness whispered 'Wait for it...'

Sure enough a while later as the first lightening bug was well on it's way, whether from underneath the leaf of a fig tree our from the grassy dark plain or just somewhere out of my peripheral vision, would come a next lightening bug. Soon they would catch up, if not then almost but they would both suddenly seem to be moving so much faster into the distance....birthing a different kind of beauty for my eyes to feast upon.

I feel like the weight of an artists' creativity is like the lone lightening bug.

I recently saw an image, surfing around. It said something along the lines of surround yourself with people who light your path. I have found that good friends and or supporters don't just light your path. Hey lets face it, scarcely is that what we need. We don't need someone to provide the light for us, we have our own light, this is the age of the independent remember? More often what we need is someone to hold their light up as they walk beside us so that we can see further than beyond our footsteps, farther than the top of our toes that we thought would have been further along the track by now. Someone to improve upon our vision when our hands grow heavy with doubt so that we end up lowering our lanterns.

It is then that a good friend raises their own light, in that moment when the darkness of self doubt, obstacles or just plain tiredness seems thickest, when our own light feels too heavy for our hands.

Motivation is a powerful thing, a good friend is there to remind you not so much of the things you have not yet done but of how far you come and how capable you are of going so much farther.

Preferably over wine.

Peace. Love. Lightening bugs 


As promised, click anywhere here on the text to get a direct link to the giveaway post. Go take part!

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They paved paradise and put down a parking lot.

By 10:00 PM ,
I finally got around to doing environmental themes as intended since I started learning about wildlife and its conservation issues. It's what I completed my degree in (specialization under biology) and something that I found to be very relevant. There are many realities we're faced with on a daily basis. However, to me, the starkest is the lack of regard to the fragile ecosystems that surround us and ignorance of the repercussions for humans should it crumble. Earth will survive, we won't. Of course there are lots of cognizant folks out there like me, raising awareness and doing their part to leave the world better than they found it... but there's so much more work to be done. 

This was made increasingly evident after reading all those comments under news articles about the murder of Cecil, the lion. I saw an article about how lions kill people and essentially, the lion deserved to be killed. That is the usual mentality folks have towards top predators. You know what kills humans the most out of all different specials on Earth? Other humans. Here's the real situation, animals don't have boundary lines and fences the way humans do. Yes, they have territories but how the animal kingdom works, without human interference, everything balances itself. They claimed those lands before us. They aren't encroaching on our space, we encroached on theirs. They don't always catch up to speed to acknowledge this and be aware like "Oops... the savannah is now a city." 

Also, since we humans are committed to expansion with little thought towards practical coexistence, the animals can't survive and exist as before; they end up getting lazy and linger around human settlements to get easy food like domestic livestock and such. Hell, even cute monkeys are commonly considered pests too. Locally, there are hunters for monkeys. More so today as after Hurricane Ivan there is little to no food in the forest. Thus, the monkeys have relocated to live along or close to agricultural farm belts and raid the farms. Is this the animal's fault? They too have that instinctual need to do what's necessary to survive.

With all this in mind, aside from all the other things annoying me in the world today like the resurface of open dislike of brown people in America... I've decided to explore these issues through art. Here's my first one, "Sad bear and friend." It's of two plush toys sitting in a deforested area holding a sign. Plush toys aren't alive, even though we saw Ted come to life recently... But there are real animals facing this real issue of no longer having a home due to deforestation. This reality extends beyond the bears and the birds to cures undiscovered in plants, insects and other bugs that keep the soil fertile, other mammals, etc. At this rate, we should probably go take pictures of everything for generations to come because who knows what will still exist?

Here is how it looks on my Society6 store.

You can get "Sad bear and friend" in a variety of print options ranging from a tshirt to a teacup or wall tapestry, a pillow, clock or a regular framed print. Want  to  help  spread  the  message? Click here...! 

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My Fiverr experience

By 11:18 AM
It has been that time of changing seasons where I was ready to give my blog a face lift. You may have noticed my blog looking unrecognizable from time to time over the last couple weeks. 

The reality is that since last year I've been trying to decide what direction to take my blog in and what template can I live with for an extended period. I discovered a website called www.fiverr.com where you can enlist almost any service starting at $5. I decided to take a chance. Initially, it truly felt like a nightmare come to reality. I found myself rereading my correspondence thus far with the guy I hired for the job to ensure I did not misrepresent what I wanted but constantly found the blog looking worse than the day prior.

Here was a screen I did trying to explain to no avail what needed to be adjusted on the blog after he applied this weird Wordpress looking template.

Things escalated until I finally gave up and told him just leave it alone, that I'll do it myself. Truth is, I could do it myself. I had always done it myself. I just didn't have the time and felt rather lazy about it. I attempted to cancel the $30 US custom blog order out of frustration too. I know, it's only $30 US but I felt like in this dry dry guava season $30 US is a lot to give away for free and be unhappy. It was at this point he decided to re-build our correspondence and I realized that maybe there could've been a language barrier situation. Long after the payment was issued, he continued to work to adjust to my needs and suit my fancy. I started using simpler, shorter phrases as you do with folks who are learning English and I found to be getting better results than when I used more descriptive words.

Here was when we started to make some progress.

He sent me links to pick a template I liked and wanted. In the end, I'm content with the results of how it looks and I feel satisfied to send anyone to him. What I've come to learn is that while he may not get it right the first time, he's surely dedicated to getting it right eventually... and sometimes KISS (keep it simple stupid) is way more effective than what I perceived to be a long list of clear instructions.

I'm not sure how long I'll keep this template for though. Now I'm feeling for a little bit of colour added in. However, I'm so in love with my new drop down menu that I think I'll stay with it for a while.

Like the new look?

Oh! And if you'd like to give him a try, here's the profile.

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Mango! Season open!

By 7:19 PM

There is one truth that most should know about me and that is... I love fruits. The older I get, the less I discriminate among fruits as well. Recently, five finger (carambola) got added to my list of favourites. However, one of my absolute tried and true favourites are mangoes. I love the fruit, I love the fruit juice, I love the fruit candy, I love mango upside down cake, etc. It's safe to say that this is one fruit I love in all shapes and forms. I remember even going to my favourite gourmet supermarket Garden of Eden in Manhattan when I was studying overseas just to get the bottled mango puree juice from India. It's just so yum!

Suffice to say, when I visited a friend's house last week and discovered he had many mango trees in different varieties behind his house, we ended up trekking in the backyard. Ironically, he hates mango. I've come to the conclusion that that's the number 1 reason why I never noticed that he had mango trees. He felt inclined to make this revelation about the trees after I ranted all upset about my mum claiming a celon mango that I had been patiently waiting to ripe. In fact, I think everyone that crossed my path heard the injustice of the boldface claim of my mango. Of course, no one understood... but that's ok! His backyard is like endless mango ville.

My unprepared self going to trek through the mud to get mangoes.

We have to cross those two planks/makeshift bridge to get across.

Guess who was a happy camper with a huge bag of mangoes?
No, there are no pictures of my bag as I'm not trying to motivate anyone to claim my mangoes again. Easy lesson good for dunce.

What fruit or food do you love this much?

Love & light,

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Caribbean reef squid

By 2:30 PM
I decided to finally try drawing my absolute (current) favourite sea creature. I remember the first time I stumbled upon these, I was carrying out a tour in the marine protected area. A group of guests called me over urgently to tell them what kinda fish these were. Even though it was my first time ever seeing these so close in person myself, I knew instantly those were not "strange fish" and were reef squid. 

They're so incredibly beautiful up close, lots of pretty colours. The photo is actually a shot I took myself. The drawing is not done realistic as I'm still experimenting with different ideas and expressions.

Firstly, an ink sketch.

Starting to lay down the colour with pencil crayon.

More colour added.

And then some more...

I started adding in the marker colours.

Adding more marker colour

And then some more

Added a few bubbles and my signature just in case the piece went so horribly wrong from here.

Started adding a light background

And then I was all done.

I continued to do some edits on Photoshop. I must say I was pleased with the end result.

Little squiddy is available for sale. Inbox me your offer if you like it at shellonart@gmail.com or dpwithit@gmail.com.

Also, if you'd like to explore squiddy on more options, I have a wide variety of things available. 

Here's a few...

There's two different edits as you can see. If you prefer one look over the other and don't see it as an option, let me know and I'll make it available.

The link is here Caribbean Reef Squid so you can bring squiddy home!

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