Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Illustration Friday- Wings

I've been seeing some bloggers and artists mentioning the website Illustration Friday and I thought I'd go see what it was all about. 

It's a fun weekly art challenge that anyone can participate in.  Each week there is a theme, and you can draw, paint, create, doodle, etc. your interpretation of the theme, and then link up your image for all to see! 

I think this is a good chance for me to try new techniques and topics that I may not do for myself or for school work, and it will be a good way for me to learn more and experiment without any pressure to make it 'perfect.'

This week's topic was WINGS.

I drew this in ink in my little 7x7 sketchbook, and I didn't even plan it out right and it ran off the page, hence the obvious break in the page right at the swan's head. 

Then I scanned it, painted it loosely in Photoshop and then ran the sponge filter on the paint layer. 

It's actually based off of a bird called the whooper swan I found in an article in National Geographic magazine.  The pictures were so beautiful; the swans are really plain bright white with black feet, and the setting was a snow covered wonderland. 

Are there any other art/ drawing challenges I should know about? 

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Australian Animals Fabric + Contest

This week's Spoonflower contest is all about the amazingly loveable animals of Australia!  I had so much fun designing this fabric and I love the way it turned out.  Today I thought I'd share my design process.
I tend to get an immediate picture in my head when I first start a design, whether it be fabric for Spoonflower, a print or card for Etsy, or a project for school.  But once I have an idea to start with, it may change depending on how it looks once I start sketching things out and arranging them on the computer.
I'm lucky to be in a graphic design program that is part of what I believe is a solid art program.  My teachers believe in learning traditional art methods as well as the Adobe programs.  Even though it is just a two year program, it includes three semesters of drawing, as well as separate 2-D and 3-D design classes, in addition to many others.  My graphic design teacher also emphasizes sketching several thumbnail ideas before beginning work on the computer, which I love.
For this fabric, I knew I wanted to include animal silhouettes, so I began by sketching the animals I chose.  Absolutely nothing fancy.  

I scanned in my sketchbook pages, darkened the lines using Levels in Photoshop, and then placed the images in Illustrator so I could trace the outlines, fill in the shapes, and fix up anything that didn't look quite right.

I have to admit, I was sort of impressed with myself at this point.  It was like "ohmygoshthosearesocuteANDYCOMELOOKATMYANIMALS!!"  God bless him for looking every single time I asked him to :)  And I hope I'm not totally immature and annoying for getting excited about making something I think looks good.  But look at the funny kookaburra with the big head!  And the tough little cute ferocious tasmanian devil!

Next up was the fun part- arranging everything!  Here's where I played with colors, created my color palette, mixed up the sizes, duplicated shapes, added the circles and background, and made sure it looked visually balanced and would repeat well as a fabric design. 

At this point, I am sort of thinking about composition and design elements that I've learned in school, but a lot of it is also just my natural instinct, and what looks right to me.  I spend a lot of time making small adjustments, scooching objects a hair this way or that, changing colors, scaling things up or down, looking at the spaces between objects, etc. until I'm satisfied with how it looks to me.

I did some things in this fabric that I think give it depth and interest, such as overlapping the shapes in the foreground and adding the on-purpose unevenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines in the background.  It was amazing how much adding those stripes changed the way the whole design looked!

Here's how the design repeats at the size of a fat quarter for you sewers and quilters out there.

I think it's my favorite fabric creation so far!  What do you think? 
If you like it, please go vote in the contest!
Is your creative process anything like mine, or completely different?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This update brought to you by...

Hello from little Pep Pep!

I've brought out the "big camera" as I call it and have started practicing with it again because I'm in a digital photography class this semester!

We have not one, but TWO local professional photographers who are team teaching it; and I feel like I have just won the lottery!  Not many people get this opportunity, I don't think. 

Classes are going well, and this semester will be different because I have two classes that are not art related.  One is business math and one is computers.  I'm actually excited for the math class because unlike a lot of people, I really like math.  In fact, it was my first college major!  Ha...  me and my majors have been around the block a time or two.  But me and math didn't last too long once I sobbed my sorry way through Calculus II. 

You guys, I am trying so hard to find time to blog, but after taking some time off around the holidays, I'm slow getting back into it.  I've been brainstorming what it is I REALLY want to say, show, and talk about.  Is it school?  Design?  My career change?  Literacy?  Daily life?  DIY Projects?  I'm trying to figure it out, but I hope to be back more regularly soon. 

Is there any type of post you like the best?  Should I have a focus, or just do what I feel like from day to day? 

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Thank You Cards in Boju Designs!

Remember this ink drawing I did when I was snowed in over Christmas break?

I really liked it, but I didn't know if it would work well just as a print to frame, so I decided to try note cards!


I had so much fun coloring these digitally in Illustrator, and it was so satisfying to see something that I had hand-drawn come to life on the computer.  I decided to go with four different crops and four different color schemes and include one of each in the set. 

You can check them out in my shop here.

What do you think?  I already have some other ideas for cards filling my brain, but I'm curious, what would you like to see as a card?

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Snake Scale Chevron Fabric

Hi everyone!

I was so excited to be able to design a new fabric over Christmas break and enter it in the current Spoonflower contest: Year of the Snake.

I knew I wanted it to be abstract, and once I had the scales placed, I played with different color patterns.  I started with vertical wavy stripes, but then switched to a chevron pattern and really loved the way it looked.  I'm also really happy with the fun colors.

Here's the screen shot of the fabric from my shop, a fat quarter size.

What do you think?

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