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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Illustration Friday - Universe

I started with a circle and the idea of looking through a telescope then I decided to just play and see what happened. I worked wet in wet, dropped in alcohol, salt and spattered paint. Then I fooled around with the background a little bit in Photoshop and stopped when I thought it looked interesting. It sort of looks contained so I'm not sure if it reads "universe" but I like the spacey design and texture.  ;)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Just start. Ideas WILL happen.

Something I have learned during the past year designing scrapbook papers is that I just need to get started. I never know how my collections are going to look. What I have discovered is that as I get started, I get more ideas. It's like going for a walk and deciding which street to go down next.

Delicate Splendor Collection
These scrapbook papers are image dominant so there's got to be some art on each page vs. just a pattern and all six papers need to read as a cohesive group. My client is terrific to work for. My specs are to use 3-4 main colors (backgrounds) based on the given theme. The rest is up to me. A little daunting the first time, but I decided to just dive in.

My process is more relaxed now than when I did the first set. I don't do as many thumbnail sketches or try to plan out everything before I start because my designs end up evolving as I go - so I brainstorm different objects, colors, and textures that go with my theme and then I look for reference material (my own photos or online). I start drawing in my sketchbook. Then I paint all the pieces of "clip art" on watercolor paper.

Autumn Splendor Collection
Usually I want to start designing before I have all of my objects painted so I scan what I have and get started. As I start on a page, I get ideas for other pages. I use the images I've created to inspire background color choices and I make several layers and try out different colors and textures and fiddle with the blend modes until I get something that I like.

So the lesson I have learned is to just start and trust that I will discover other solutions as I continue. I also have learned to give myself permission to redo. If I approach my art knowing that if I don't like the way it looks, I can start it over, then I am more relaxed. You can have a many tries as you want. I learned how to paint portraits this way. And it doesn't have to be a huge labor intensive encounter. I usually get my answers sooner than I think I will.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Beautiful Girl - Watercolor Portrait finished

I am lucky to have access to some lovely models nearby (sometimes unsuspecting that they might end up in one of my paintings after I ask them if I can take a picture.) The reference I used was actually from a couple years ago when we were up at our neighborhood playground and at the time I thought it would make a great painting. I surprised my subject yesterday and I think she approved.

Watercolor 11 x 14 inches on 140 lb Arches cold press

Elise


Friday, May 02, 2014

Illustration Friday "Revenge"

A couple of years ago during a trip back home, I took a bunch of photos of my niece and nephews climbing a tree and lately, I've been thinking about what this illustration is going to look like. Today I think I got a little bit closer with IF's prompt for revenge.