Art Review for April 2019


My brand new 3moji zine is available for preorder! It features all 10 of my 3 Emoji Challenge paintings, a written vignette about each character, and sketches in the back. Click here to see the shop listing!
I also added new original artwork to my shop, including all 10 3moji paintings.
My Ko-Fi page has been updated! I added a new post with scans of my sketchbook, which I never share online. If you enjoy seeing my work, please consider buying me a coffee! It helps me fund new art supplies and larger projects.

~New Art~

During the first week of April, I finished the 9th and 10th paintings of the 3 Emoji Challenge. This has been a really fun project and I hope to continue in the future!






I finished my last Animal Alphabets painting. I made it all the way to M this time, which is the longest I’ve ever lasted in this challenge. At this point I want to focus more on new projects that will help boost my portfolio. I feel like I’ve painted enough sea life for now. Here is the mantis shrimp!



Erin Hunting has a Draw This in Your Style challenge that I couldn’t resist doing. Here is my take on her Captain Claws!


Trekell Professional Art Supplies had a promotion for a free starter’s set that includes a 6-inch hexagon wood panel, a round brush, and brush restorer. Here is what I painted, using the word “Bloom” as inspiration.



When I lived in Montana, my family cut down a wild Christmas tree and later cut the trunk into wood slices for me to paint on. A few weeks ago I painted the main characters of my story Hucklebear on them!



Cherbear, Huck’s little sister.

Cherbear, Huck’s little sister.


I decided it was time to revisit my gem dragons from 2017 and give them new life in paint. I am currently painting these small designs that I plan to turn into stickers. Below are the first six dragons: Garnet, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Diamond, Emerald, and Pearl!

~Plans for May~

Here are some things that I hope to complete this month:

  • Finish the gem dragons sticker designs

  • Start some full illustrations of the dragons❗️

  • An acryla gouache tutorial (continuing from April’s goals)

  • A couple stationery designs (continuing from April’s goals)

Thank you for reading! If you enjoy my work and want to support me, you can either make a purchase in my shop or buy me a coffee!

Art Review for March 2019


Root and Star #20: Forest is now available! For this issue, I drew a full-spread comic about a moose set to the text of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Root and Star is a beautiful, thoughtful magazine for children, although I’ve met adults who fully enjoy it, too! You can buy a copy at

★ I just launched a Ko-Fi page! What is Ko-Fi?

Ko-fi allows creators to receive money from fans, who support them with a “coffee” (a small payment that is roughly equal to the price of a coffee).

Proceeds will go towards purchasing more art supplies, website maintenance, printing costs and other art-related expenses. I will soon be upgrading to Ko-Fi Gold, which will give supporters exclusive access to content not uploaded anywhere else: step-by-step tutorials, works in progress, my thought process, and other digital goodies like wallpapers and printable calendars!

~New Art~

★Animal Alphabets

I am on my longest Animal Alphabets streak! Every Tuesday, a new letter and animal are revealed by the lovely people who run @AnimalAlphabets on Twitter. Artists then create their pieces and post them at the same time every Monday. The theme of this round is…yep, sea life. You can find out more at

I is for Immortal Jellyfish

J is for Japanese Seahorse

K is for King of Herrings (also known as the Oarfish)

L is for Lobster

★3moji Challenge

I’ve seen some artists do the 3-Emoji Challenge, where they take three emoji suggested by others and make a character based on the combination. I asked Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to send me their emojis, then use to pick which combination to do. I had so much fun coming up with these little friends!

★Mar10 Day

I received a Nintendo Switch for Christmas along with Mario Odyssey. For Mario Day (March 10, or MAR10), I painted one of my favorite moments in the game.


~Plans for April~

March was such a great month for me both artistically and personally! I hope April continues to bring more joy. Here are some goals I have for the new month:

  • A new painting on a 6-inch hexagon panel from Trekell Art Supplies. I’ve always wanted to try their panels and brushes!

  • A physical art zine featuring my 3moji characters, including sketches for each one!

  • Two sweet stationery sets that include illustrated letter paper, envelopes, and stickers!

  • A beginner’s guide to acryla gouache!

★★★ Thank you for reading! I share my art online for free, so any support received through my shop or my Ko-Fi is greatly appreciated and will help me continue to create new work!

Acryla Gouache Time Lapse || Fox Creek

Last month I received an invitation from Light Grey Art Lab to participate in their Instagram Charity Exhibition. Each day, beginning on December 4, LGAL will feature a handful of prints that art collectors can purchase. The prints are $75 each, including the frame and gift-wrap. To order a print of my painting, Fox Creek, visit and select “#11 - Heather Franzen Rutten.”

Fox Creek   Acryla Gouache, 5x7 inches

Fox Creek
Acryla Gouache, 5x7 inches


There will be an in-person reception in Minneapolis on December 14. Information about this event can be found on LGAL’s Facebook Page.

A portion of the exhibition sales will be donated to four non-profit organizations: ACLU, The Wilderness Society, American Red Cross, and The Humane Society of the United States. As a lifelong animal lover, I selected to donate a my portion to The Wilderness Society.

Please enjoy this time lapse video I recorded of my painting, Fox Creek.


"Julia Florida" by Agustín Barrios Mangoré
Performed by Edson Lopes
This recording is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Download Source
Edson Lopes' YouTube Channel

Acryla Gouache Time Lapse || Fox

A miniature portrait of one of my favorite foxes! I start by outlining with some ink and erasing the pencil sketch underneath. The ink is waterproof and doesn’t smudge when I apply the first wash, and is ultimately covered up by the paint in the end.


Noodler's Ink in a Lamy Safari fountain pen
Holbein Acryla Gouache
Stonehenge paper, 2.5x3.5”

Watercolor and Colored Pencil Time Lapse || Pickle's Day Out

THROWBACK to this video from May 2017: a painting of a momma croc and her baby! This drawing was for the Illustration Friday prompt “Mother.”



Sakura Koi Watercolor
Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils
Mossery Sketchbook (masked to 4" x 6.75")


Music: "Dill Pickles" by The Heftone Banjo Orchestra
For use under a Creative Commons Sharealike 1.0 License.
Download Source